Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort review: Not cheap, but hard to beat

Our rating

4 out of 5

THE PLACE

A landmark well known to Noosa aficionados in its former salmon-pink incarnation, the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort has been updated with a cool white exterior, smart foyer and Mediterranean-inspired striped umbrellas by the pool. The brand's French origins are emphasised throughout, with a focus on wellness, food and wine; some very chic uniforms reminiscent of an Air France flight attendant and an (occasionally incongruous) greeting of "Bonjour" from all staff.

THE LOCATION

At the risk of sounding like a real-estate agent, it's all about the location. Smack bang on Hastings Street, just across from the main beach and a short walk to the national park, the Sofitel is mere steps to shopping, eating out, surfing or bush-walking. The ferry along the river to Noosa Sound and Noosaville stops at the back of the hotel while Sunshine Beach, Noosa Junction and the farmers' market are a short taxi ride away.

THE SPACE

This is not a state-of-the-art design hotel but it's comfortable and spacious. For many, including this sand-phobic, the main attraction is its large swimming pool with swim-up bar and pool service. There are also many inhouse facilities including the Aqua day spa, a wine shop, the popular Beach House restaurant and bar, which opens on to Hastings Street, and the quieter and (IMHO) more appealing Riviera Bar overlooking the Noosa River.

THE ROOM

Our top-floor, two-bedroom suite has a lounge area; kitchenette with espresso machine, fridge and microwave, and balcony overlooking the pool and ocean beyond. The generous bathroom includes a spa bath with river views, while the beds are supremely siesta-inducing. Best of all, there is a sixth sense among the super-friendly staff as to when we go out for breakfast or brunch and without fail during a week-long stay we return to a freshly serviced room.

THE FOOD

Peter Kuruvita is the flagship chef here, not only in charge of the menu at the Beach House restaurant but eminently watchable on the in-room videos. Breakfast and lunch are both served but dinner is the highlight – don't miss the Noosa spanner crab entree and Peter's signature Sri Lankan snapper curry for main. Meanwhile, the pool bar food is definitely a step up from the average; try an Aperol spritz followed by a Nicoise salad made with local yellowfin tuna.

STEPPING OUT

Everything is on your doorstep. While beautiful Noosa beach is a given, don't miss the spectacular national park (look out for koalas and kookaburras) with its myriad coves and swimming spots. There's good shopping including Bow & Arrow, Alterior Motif, Orlebar Brown and a brand new boutique from local brand wYse; plus the plethora of restaurants for which Noosa is renowned. Try stalwart Aromas for brunch, Locale for buzzy Italian and current hotspot Sum Yung Guys at Sunshine Beach for flavour-packed mod-Asian.

THE VERDICT

As a base for families or groups, the Sofitel is hard to beat. We lounge by the pool with a book while our teenagers meet friends at the beach and walk to Betty's for burgers or Massimo's for ice-cream.

The room rates are not cheap, but being perfectly positioned in the heart of the action means you don't need to hire a car and everyone can come and go as they please, making it the easiest and most relaxing of holidays.

ESSENTIALS

Rooms start from $349 a night. 14-16 Hastings St, Noosa Heads. Phone (07) 5449 4888. See sofitelnoosapacificresort.com.au

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Trudi Jenkins was a guest of Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort.

HIGHLIGHT

The hotel staff are some of the cheeriest we've encountered

LOWLIGHT

Slightly dated rooms and a lack of storage space in the second bedroom