Blessed be the infinity pools, right? When holidays are all about the thread count and access to a private yacht, look no further! The playground of so many celebrities even Cannes gets envious, Port Douglas and surrounds is an exclusive destination. Fancy a luxury hotel with all the trimmings and a lagoon pool so big it has its own postcode? How about a palatial private home with beachfront access and every conceivable want met? Throw in two World Heritage Listed locations with high-end, stylish experiences, and… oh Barry, this is living.
Just getting to Port Douglas is a luxury experience. One of the world’s greatest and most picturesque journeys, the 60-minute road trip by private car or self-drive along Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns uncovers incredible vistas over the shimmering azure waters of the Coral Sea on one side, the lush green ancient rainforest on the other. Suddenly you’re in Port Douglas, your arrival met by palm tree lined streets perfect for a postcard. For the true ballers out there, there’s also the option of a chopper transfer straight over the Great Barrier Reef – what a glorious way to be welcomed to the Tropical North! Port Douglas is the jewel in the crown of laid back luxury travel – small town charm combined with an alluring blend of high-end polish and barefoot glamour.
For where to go and what to do for your truly luxe experience here in Port Douglas, just think of us as your personal assistant… how very Mick Jagger of you.
Let’s get straight to it. Luxury travel is mostly about how and where you rest your head, right? But beyond the bedrooms are endless infinity pools, glorious gardens and very clear instructions on The Art of Tropical Living (aka relax and repeat). From the breathtaking expansiveness of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, the villa life of Niramaya, all through to private homes a Real Housewife would swoon over, Port Douglas has no shortage of gold-leaved places to lay your head.
The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort has always been credited for transforming the sleepy fishing village into a tropical playground for the rich and famous, whilst maintaining the town’s relaxed coastal charm. This iconic spot boasts over two hectares of shimmering lagoon pools complete with private cabanas, a swim up bar and sandy beaches. Four Mile Beach hugs the property, so if you’d prefer the real deal beach, it’s literally a sandy skip away. Stunning tropical rooms, many that swim out directly into the shimmering lagoons, an 18 hole golf course and award-winning fine diner Harrisons by Spencer Patrick complete the luxe life.
Niramaya Villas and Spa embody the perfect blend of tropical North Queensland and South East Asian design. With an open air appeal of timber and sandstone set amongst fifteen acres of lush rainforest landscaping, each villa has it’s own private plunge pool, poolside daybed, full kitchen, lounge and dining. There’s an onsite spa on property as well so you can quite literally float from villa to spa and back again should you wish.
If you prefer private properties over rolling resorts, there are a number of luxury lodgings in Port Douglas and surrounds perfect for luxed-out privacy. Infinity pool overlooking tropical cane fields? Can do. Private outdoor bathtubs in palm surrounds? Well, of course. Rooftop penthouse with 360 degree views of reef and rainforest? We thought you’d never ask. Executive Retreats, Port Douglas Getaways, Sanctuary Stays or Port Douglas Accommodation have full portfolios of where to find your perfect, palatial holiday house. Even better is the concierge service also on offer, so to organise that private chef, inhouse yoga session, poolside spa treatment or butler service is no trouble at all.
Surely this must be up there with one of life’s ultimate experiences? A private chopper ride to the top of a Jurassic Park-esque waterfall where you can swim, relax and eat gourmet treats. The stunning Mossman Gorge is a truly magical location that feels like an ethereal otherworld. Only accessible by Nautilus Aviation, the coastline flight sets the scene with rivers and creeks that are fed from the more prehistoric times. If you prefer the reef over the rainforest, chopper out to your own private sand cay smack bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef for a indulgent picnic date like no other!
But wait! There’s more! For the luxury adventure-seeker, Backcountry Bliss Adventures offer custom, private adventure tours – hiking mountains with breathtaking vistas, swimming in hidden rockpools, exploring refreshing riverways and rainforests. The only thing you need to bring is your sense of wonder.
While collecting fine art and jewels or polishing the collection of vintage cars are lovely and all, there’s very little that puts one into a league of luxury all by themselves than life on a superyacht. Yachting experiences up this way are less Monaco casino heist glamour and more Cannes and champagne class. Like the very best of cars or jewels, superyachts have a glamour and luxury that cannot be paralleled, however it is the freedom that a yacht offers, to cast off from your everyday life to explore spectacular places in a spectacular way, that makes them truly special.
Private boat charters on commercial vessels such as Indigo or Sailaway are available all year around and can be hired for a wide array of activities including snorkelling the reef, island hopping or super deluxe picnics on deserted sand cay. Ever wanted your own island? Anything’s possible here in the tropics! Reef trips range from luxury charter expeditions to sites including Snapper Island and Agincourt for experienced divers, or private expeditions diving with minke whales or serenely snorkelling from a sailboat amid the rainbow colours of reef and fish at the Low Isles.
For those with our superyacht sea legs well and truly on, Flying Fish and Dreamtime MV are specifically designed for live-aboard charters. Water skis, on board jacuzzis and inflatable water toys are only some of the perks, alongside interiors that would make any house designer drool. Add in a day trip to the super luxurious Lizard Island, and you’ve got yourself a fantasy holiday come true.
Port Douglas is not short on places to whet appetites and indulge in culinary delights. Full of astoundingly good restaurants, bars and paddock-to-plate produce, the Tropical North is literally a stock pot full of delicious adventure. Paradise never looked so abundantly tasty. However, our favourite of all silver-spooned perks must be the private chef. Do you think Harry and Megan, Beyonce or the guys from Metallica do their own cooking when on holiday or hosting a dinner party? Definitely not.
There are plenty of services in Port Douglas that will help you find a culinary concierge or personal chef during your stay. Check out Magic Mouthfuls for that true in-house dining experience, or if you prefer a more private-but-offsite experience, Oaks Kitchen & Garden will have you swooning all the way to the dinner table and back.