Hipsters are gravitating to the northern end of Hastings St, sipping cocktails from coconut shells, spilling onto the street in groups, and making themselves seen checking into refurbished beachfront hotels. It's a small part of Noosa which not long ago threatened to host walls of ugly graffiti. Rather, it is reinvigorated, flying a flag for trendy 30-somethings and their eclectic group of friends.
There are three heated pools here, one with a spa. Beyond that, there's easy access to a boardwalk stretching the length of popular Noosa Beach. On the lawn, it's not uncommon to see wave boards of varying types and sizes; and beach towels, plenty of beach towels. On the other side, there's the Hastings St shopping strip; and cafes, plenty of cafes.
A previously tired Seahaven Beach Resort recently underwent a $16 million facelift, closing down for a complete reconstruction. After reopening in late-2013, it drew a new family clientele. The hallway of a one-bedroom unit has frosted glass, a feature which continues to the sliding doors to both bedroom and bathroom. Plentiful cupboards would indicate an expectation of longer stays, as would the fully-equipped kitchen. Modern brown décor is complemented with bright artwork on the walls. There's a plush lounge for three or four people, kitchen island bench with stools and an outdoor dining setting for six which sits on the balcony overlooking ocean views.
When on holidays, the key word is convenience. And with enough space to spread out, whether it be in the deep bath, on the king bed, the outdoor day bed, or in front of the flat screen television, Seahaven has most comforts of home. Modern kitchen appliances also come with the refurb. Any beachfront hotel in Noosa will be close to shops, bars and cafes. And then there's the luxury of one of Australia's best-known beaches.
While Seahaven itself doesn't have a restaurant of its own, one of the key reasons for the resurgence of this end of Hastings St has been the opening of Miss Moneypenny's, a hip restaurant and bar with full meals, plentiful platters, tapas and a long list of cocktails designed by the restaurant's resident bar staff. Anyone familiar with Goldfish in Sydney and the Hunter Valley will be aware of the concept. "We know how to party," says their advertising, and so too do its guests. Try an antipasto board to share, or a pizza. And mix it with an Istanbul old iced tea which comes in an old-fashioned teapot. It's gin and quince liqueur shaken with elderflower cordial, lemon juice and lightly pressed cucumber topped with Turkish apple tea. Sound unusual? Damn straight.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
If the glitz of Noosa's brand name clothing stores, bars and restaurants, or the nearby beach weren't enough to pry guests away from the hotel room, pull on the walking boots and discover a bit of national park. To the north, there's the spit which backs on to the Noosa River on one side, and surf on the other. To the south is the national park which has a choice of walks, either through the forest or along the cliffs of the waterfront.
Seahaven Noosa Resort might have just spent $16 million, but most guests will see it as money well spent. It is well-placed in the heart of Noosa, bears sleek décor and design, and has added touches of modern apartment-style living such as bench and cupboard space. And it's spacious enough for families, couples or groups of friends.
HOW TO GET THERE
Drive into the heart of Noosa and north along Hastings Street. If you hit the beach carpark, you've gone too far. Noosa is about 90 minutes from Brisbane by car.
Seahaven has a variety of room sizes, with studio rooms found as low as $175 per night, through to the more expensive two-bedroom suites at around the $500 mark. There's also a penthouse. Phone 1800 072 013, see seahavennoosa.com.au.
- The writer was a guest of Seahaven Noosa Resort.
- View other great Queensland escapes.