The Beach Resort, Cabarita Beach review: Stop at nothing

Read our writer's views on this property below

Like an unlikely model in an interiors magazine, Bruce Elder spends a weekend lounging on white leather.

There's a tai chi group, facing the sun and slowly limbering up, on the boardwalk below us. Beyond, three surfers with boards under their arms are heading for the waves. As we gaze upon them we feel as though we're rather unlikely models in an interiors magazine, for surely this huge three-bedroom apartment at the Beach Resort is just waiting for a fashion photographer to record hectares of CaesarStone in the bathrooms (one bathroom, one en suite and a toilet near bedroom three), the ballroom-sized timber floors in the lounge room, the elegant images of wildflowers on the walls, the huge flat-screen television in the lounge room (with a smaller one in the main bedroom), the glass dining table with white leather seats, white leather couches, the barbecue setting and table for six on the balcony.

There's more: a huge, stainless-steel Maytag fridge with ice dispenser, a second bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a third bedroom with two single beds, thick shag rug, ceiling fans in every room, a Sony CD player and walk-through cupboards in the virtual corridor between the main bedroom and the en suite. Some might regard it as a little sterile but this is beachfront luxury living in 2010.

The unceasing roar of the ocean is the soundtrack as we sit on the balcony watching the surfers catching waves, families playing in the shallows and joggers making their way along Cabarita's long beach. Below there is a meticulously mown lawn extending to the sand, edged by pandanus and colourful tropical plants. It's beautiful and peaceful.

Inside is a multilevel central courtyard, a wonderland of palms, spa, four swimming pools - from toddlers to 1.8 metres - fringed by deckchairs and a bar.

At the moment, the complex is a mix of 57 apartments owned privately and for holiday rental in a permanent letting pool. The 40 apartments for rent include one four-bedroom penthouse, a range of three-bedroom beachfront and ocean-front apartments and two-bedroom pool-view and mountain-view apartments. If you like it so much you want to buy, they've been selling from $590,000 to $2.5 million.

The development of the coastline south of the Gold Coast has been much more low-key and tasteful than its high-rise northern neighbour. Cynical locals will tell you that the reason is not aesthetics but rather that this area, at the mouth of the Tweed River, was swamp and was reclaimed only when the Gold Coast and Byron Bay burst their natural boundaries and started spreading.

The Beach Resort has kept building to a maximum of three storeys and emphasises the traditional seaside virtues of surfing, walking on the beach, lazing in the sun and doing very little.

While it is possible to buy the makings for breakfast, cook up anything your heart desires in the large, well-appointed kitchen and settle on the wide balcony, it's more in keeping with the ambience of laziness to wander across the road to the Pandanus Cafe on the ground floor of the surf club. It has hot breakfasts, good coffee, views over Cabarita Beach and is open daily from 8am.

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For families, it's possible to use the Beach Resort as a base and enjoy the razzmatazz of the Gold Coast's tourist attractions. The Gold Coast Airport is only 15 minutes' drive away; Surfers Paradise is 40 minutes' up the coast. Cabarita Beach sits in an area now branded as the Tweed Coast and is catering for an increasingly busy tourist trade.

There is much to see and do in the area. But it's hard to imagine anything better than a day like this: an early-morning walk along Cabarita Beach; watching surfers, whales and dolphins from Hastings Point; driving into the hinterland and exploring the rainforest and attractions in Lamington National Park and around Mount Warning; and then returning to the Beach Resort for an afternoon nap before firing up the barbecue on the balcony while watching as evening softly settles over the Pacific.

The thoughtful visitor will be driven by a desire to relax in the sun rather than find theme parks and joyrides.

It is hard to fault this weekend away. The Beach Resort is a superb collection of beachfront holiday apartments with many of the luxuries of a resort.

Weekends Away are reviewed anonymously and paid for by Traveller.

VISITORS' BOOK

Address 2-6 Pandanus Parade, Cabarita Beach.

The verdict Huge, comfortable apartment in a beachside town that is a little like Noosa was 30 years ago.

Price Rates are highly seasonal, from $195 a weekend night (two-night minimum) in November.

Bookings Phone 1800 256 911, see www.thebeachcabarita.com.au.

Getting there About 10 hours' drive from Sydney, or a 15-minute drive from Gold Coast Airport.

Perfect for Those who remember Noosa 20 years ago, don't fancy the high-rise of the Gold Coast and want a luxury beach holiday.

Wheelchair access Yes.

While you're there Check out Tropical Fruit World and Research Park; visit Tweed River Art Gallery and have lunch at Mavis's Kitchen in the hinterland.