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Mirage Whitsundays Review – Barefoot Luxury

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Airlie Beach is emerging as a luxury getaway, that won't break the bank and an alluring change from well-trodden destinations such as Noosa and Byron Bay.

Once considered the exclusive domain of backpackers, Airlie Beach is all grown up, with plenty of brand spanking new hotels, restaurants & experiences bringing some style to Airlie, making it an appealing luxury getaway to rival the Whitsunday islands.

Firstly, Airlie Beach is so accessible, just a 90-minute flight from Brisbane. Secondly, it's the perfect base to explore all the Whitsundays has to offer. Unlike the islands, all the major attractions depart from Airlie Beach, so you have your pick of activities to suit your style and budget from high octane adventure, exploring rainforests via Segway to the barefoot luxury of sailing away toward Whitehaven Beach, the choice is yours!

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Luxury is no longer defined by formality, plush fabrics and gold taps; the new luxury is much more about experience and inspiring destinations. 'Barefoot luxury' is a term that conjures up white sandy beaches, turquoise seas, tropical weather, beautiful natural surroundings and essentially getting away from it all. Barefoot luxury is also the luxury of informality, no schedules, no deadlines the feeling of freedom and simplicity without sacrificing comfort. Bliss.

Barefoot luxury is exactly what you'll find onboard Lady Enid. Lady Enid recreates the classic age of yachting on this elegant timber 74ft Ketch. Included in your dreamy day trip is a pick up from your accommodation, morning tea, gourmet lunch as you glide through the Whitsundays with a stop at Whitehaven Beach and wine and cheese as you sail back at sunset. It's a magical experience and ideal for the more discerning traveller.

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Back at Port of Airlie the crew transfer you back to your accommodation and we're here to check out Mirage Whitsundays. Mirage Whitsundays is an absolutely stunning resort overlooking the Coral Sea. It's a sprawling development, opening in stages with a range of spacious 1,2 and 3 bedroom villas available, some with private plunge pools and an extraordinary 4 bedroom Penthouse with its own private lap pool. The resort boasts two pools and is soon to open an onsite fine dining restaurant, day spa and gym to complete the luxe look.

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We're in a ground floor apartment, which allows us to wander barefoot straight from the villa to the nearest pool and enjoy an invigorating dip without being disturbed by other guests. The apartments are big, I mean really big averaging from 170-250sqm for the apartments up to 430sqm in the deluxe villas. The styling is cool and contemporary with spacious open plan living and dining opening up to a large private balcony. The Master ensuite boasts a luxurious bathroom with oversize shower and deep soaking bath. There's free wifi and Foxtel to keep you entertained; I may never leave...

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Depending on your location, expect lush garden views or panoramic ocean views from your luxury villa. The modern, fully equipped kitchen is a pleasure to cook in and while there is no coffee machine, you can get your caffeine fix at nearby café Fat Frog, which serves Campos Coffee.

Airlie's coming of age in the culinary stakes too. Enter Walter's Lounge, which opened onto the Airlie Beach dining scene a little over 18 months ago primarily as a cocktail bar but has garnered a legion of fans with its inventive cuisine and top notch service. Recently awarded a chef's hat by the Australian Good Food Guide, take the decision making away and opt for the 5 course-tasting menu ($50) with matched wines (add $35) for unbeatable value and quality.

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With flights to Whitsunday Coast Airport starting from just $55 each way, luxurious accommodation at Mirage Whitsundays and sailing the Whitsundays on Lady Enid a barefoot luxury getaway to Airlie Beach is within easy reach.

Mirage Whitsundays
11 Altmann Avenue, Cannonvale QLD
Book Mirage Whitsundays here.

The writer was a guest of Mirage Whitsundays and Lady Enid.
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