Bedarra Island Resort, designed for couples, is the perfect place for that romantic holiday. The low-key luxury and privacy of its 13 comfortable villas, two splendid pavilions and two recently renovated beachside villas appeal to people who do not enjoy the glitz and glamour often associated with upscale resorts.
The tiny island is just one of hundreds in the 350,000 square kilometers of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, situated above the Tropic of Capricon. Bedarra lies of the Queensland coast, midway between Townsville and Cairns. Both Captain James Cook and botanist Joseph Banks noted the island in their journals when the Endeavour sailed past in June 1770. Europeans first settled the island in 1913, when Bedarra was purchased for £20 from the Queensland Lands Department. The original resort, Bedarra Hideaway, was opened in 1957 and operated until 1991.
It is said that a host of international celebrities such as the Duchess of York, Elton John and Princess Stephanie of Monaco visited, usually incognito using tongue-in-cheek pseudonyms such as “Burgess and Maclean”. The present hideaway, operated by P&O Resorts, is on the opposite side of the island and provides a more attractive location. It probably stills attract celebrities but unless you encounter them face-to-face on a bush track you will never know. Guests fly from Cairns to Dunk Island where they transfer to a small launch for the 15-minute trip to Bedarra.
Each with a different sea or rainforest view, the villas offer total privacy and are furnished with all the comforts. The newest luxury accommodation options – the two Pavilions and two large villas known as The Points – are the ultimate in modern tropical style.
Completed in 2001, The Pavilions overlook Wedgerock Bay, secluded at the end of their individual paths away from the main resort. Below them is a perfect curve of white beach framed by massive polished granite boulders. You hear no sounds but birdsong and the gentle whisper of waves. The Points are two newly renovated villas close to the beach, one at each end of Hernandia Bay, both with panoramic views.
The Pavilions and Points are each furnished with the latest Bose sound system, CDs, a computer with internet access and a plasma-screen television. They each have a plunge pool on the deck with a huge day bed and market umbrella covered in chic black canvas. When you tear yourself away from your private paradise for meals, swimming sailing, picnic excursions or one of the other unstructured activities available on the island. Your bar is discreetly refilled with Bollinger or anything else you enjoy. Canapes and ice arrive in the evening.
At all levels of accommodation, meals and drinks from the bar- open 24 hours a day – are included in the tariff. The resident sommelier will help you choose from a wine list that features leading Australian and New Zealand wines. Bedarra is justly proud of its cuisine and young chef Alasdair Davidson produces modern Australian dishes using local reef fish and fresh produce brought to the island daily. The food has a sophisticated edge but is at the same time simple, healthy and suitable for the tropics. All meals are served in the terrace dining room overlooking the pool and Coral Sea. Or you can opt for a candlelit table in a corner of the lower decks near the water. The kitchen will happily provide almost anything outside the menu, and pack a marvelous picnic lunch.
“We came in search of paradise and we were not disappointed,” wrote guests from London on departure.
For more information visit the website at http://www.bedarra.com.au
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