The Elandra opened in 2008, after its owners Katrina Knowles and Adam Karras bought it as a rundown resort and transformed it into a chic and stylish boutique hotel.
They invited Catriona Rowntree to their new property in Mission Beach, south of Cairns in northern Queensland.
The resort has 52 rooms and is hidden among lush rainforest with views of the ocean and Dunk and Bedarra islands in the Great Barrier Reef. Decor includes artefacts and splashes of tribal colour and antique pieces.
The owners visited many countries to source furniture and artefacts to make their property special. Nagaland in India, Thailand, Bali, Zanzibar in Tanzania, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast in Africa were some of the places they purchased thousands of items which filled 14 shipping containers.
Vanity tops and basins are hand-carved, marble elephants grace the pool deck, a commissioned Mark Douglas chandelier hangs in the foyer and a stunning antique wooden Bengal tiger stands guard. Many of the pieces would otherwise be found only in museums.
Rooms have ocean or rainforest views from their balconies or terraces and each has its own individual decor. Guests can choose from a queen room, queen suite or king suite.
For relaxation, there's a pool, tennis court, in-room massage and a boutique for a bit of shopping.
The Elandra has a fine-dining restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge areas. The executive chef's menu is inspired by a safari meeting the sea and presents a blend of Middle Eastern and North African flavours with Australian influences. Guest may dine indoors or out.
Diners are advised to leave room to savour the special dessert-tasting platters, including Turkish delight, baklava and baby banana beignets, as they're too good to miss.
Lovers Beach, Lugger Bay and South Mission Beach are an easy stroll away and there are day trips to Dunk, Bedarra or Hinchinbrook islands or you can simply walk through the rainforest if you can drag yourself away from the pool.
Ninety minutes south of Cairns
The Elandra queen rooms are $220 a night twin share. The resort is offering a special Getaway
Package starting at $220 a night. It's for a maximum of two people per room and for a minimum of two nights. The first 20 reservations will be upgraded to a queen suite. Continental breakfast, picnic lunch hamper, welcome cocktail and bottle of Australian wine when dining in the restaurant are included. The offer is valid until December 20, 2009.
Price correct at August 20, 2008.
For further information
South Mission Beach 4852
Ph: (07) 4068 8154 or 1800 079 090