AS our car pulls up at The Ville Resort-Casino, we feel as though we’ve been transported to a tropical destination far beyond a two-hour flight from Sydney.
Through the reimagined foyer and into the distance, we can see vibrant flowers in purple and pink and the aqua ocean.
A getaway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree in North Queensland, the iconic Townsville resort recently underwent a $43 million renovation and it feels light and airy, with palm-leaf design elements (think Beverly Hills Hotel) added to cushions and carpet and the addition of three restaurants: Quarterdeck, Miss Song and The Palm House.
We check in and then head out towards the water, where the sea breeze blows in through open glass doors. Below, we spy the pool with a slow-descending floor – perfect for our toddler – surrounded by white deck chairs, cabanas and a swim-up pool bar, Splash Bar. Is there anything at all better than a swim-up bar? No, there is not.
We head up to our suite on the 16th floor to find a spacious room, split into two parts – a lounge room and balcony to the left, overlooking the harbour below and to the right, a small kitchen area with bench to dine at. A door leads to a master bedroom and ensuite where huge windows provide views of the ocean and islands in the distance. The stunning light aqua hue of the ocean is truly something to behold.
We unpack for the night and then we head down to Quarterdeck for lunch and a drink. We order a spritz each and dine on fish and chicken tacos while enjoying the view.
Afterwards, we head to the pool where we’ve booked a cabana. We order drinks from our poolside waiter and then take our busy babe into the water for a swim. He’s fixated with the water-feature by the swim-up bar, where water cascades off the roof and into the pool below. Three hours, and a couple of rounds of sunscreen, fly by before we head back to the room to freshen up for dinner.
Dinner is Japanese at Miss Songs, a restaurant that feeds the guests but also lures the locals for its tasty offerings and views of the ocean below.
We sip on wine as the sun goes down and relax with our full bellies before retiring to bed for a good night’s sleep.