Best Romantic Getaways in Queensland

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From a luxurious island resort surrounded by the turquoise Coral Sea to a colorful adult-only boutique hotel for the young at heart, these are the most romantic resorts in Queensland.

  1. Located on 30 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds in the Whitsundays, Qualia Resort easily checks all the boxes for a truly special experience. The 60 chic rooms occupy modern pavilions, each one with enormous windows and a deck offering stunning sea views. Bathrooms are huge, extravagant affairs as well, with separate shower and freestanding baths, plus designer toiletries -- there's even water views from the tubs in many rooms. There are two infinity pools (free bottled water and sunscreen at the pools) and a private beach. Kayaks, small catamarans, and free yoga classes are available. Excursions to Great Barrier Reef dive and snorkel sights can be arranged. The two restaurants and a bar provide excellent food and drinks, but tabs can add up quickly. The resort is geared towards couples wanting a luxury break, and no guests under the age of 16 are permitted.

  2. Mai Tai Resort may not have Qualia's Whitsundays island setting, but still, there's nowhere else in the Port Douglas area quite like the upscale resort. Its relaxed bed-and-breakfast-like style, adult-only policy, and small size create an intimate and grown-up vibe. The property's stunning views over the Port Douglas hinterlands are a major draw, but the four immaculate rooms are also enticing. They're not as luxurious as the rooms at Qualia, but all have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea/coffee-making facilities, ceiling fans, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms also have private outdoor sitting areas, some with sweeping views, and the two Deluxe Rooms have outdoor Balinese-style showers. One drawback is that there is no on-site restaurant.

  3. Milanese extravagance hits the Gold Coast at this distinct Versace-branded hotel. The exclusive 200-room property has a private marina, plus close access to Surfers Paradise and a serene lagoon pool with a sandy shore and hot tub. Luxury designs in the rooms are true to the Versace brand, with rich plum or yellow fabrics, lovely parquet floors, white molding, and Juliet balconies. Marble bathrooms feature gold framed mirrors, plush bathrobes, high-end toiletries, and perfume. Palazzo Versace has several dining options (unlike Mai Tai, which doesn't have any), but they get mixed reviews. Regardless, high tea at Le Jardin is popular and the fine-dining experience at Vanitas -- complete with Versace china -- is memorable.

  4. Though it's one of the most upmarket hotels in Cairns, Shangri-La's vibe is decidedly casual and in line with its tropical North Queensland locate. The 255-room luxury hotel has a prime position on the marina and excellent dining options (including a modern restaurant and two bars). The contemporary, minimal rooms are a far cry from the Palazzo Versace's richly decorated units, but they also come with minibars, big marble bathrooms, and balconies. Of course, it wouldn't be a Cairns hotel without an epic swimming pool, and the Shangri-La's is arguably the best in town: it's huge, with a poolside bar, and an abundance of cabanas. 

  5. Set in a rainforest, the low-key Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa offers a romantic, back-to-nature experience. The resort is located on a gorgeous private beach and its bungalows are integrated into the lush rainforest at the shoreline (don't be surprised if you have to brush aside some foliage or dodge local critters on the way to your cabin). Paperbark, the resort's restaurant and bar, offers alfresco dining, with a strong emphasis on local seafood. Two lagoon-like pools with small waterfalls and rock caverns are inviting, but they don't have a pool bar like Shangri-La. Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa is competitively priced compared to the luxury retreats of Cairns and Port Douglas, but it's not the place for urban luxury seekers; in some cases the rooms and bathrooms are looking tired and Wi-Fi can be unreliable. 

  6. Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coastis a luxury beachfront property with trendy decor, sea views, and tropical grounds that include an exclusive beach and more than 6,800 square feet of lagoon pools. As you'd expect when comparing a chain property to an independent one, Sheraton is far more impersonal than Kewarra (it has 293 rooms to Kewarra's 44). The rooms, suites, and villas feel corporate, but include flat-screen TVs, bathrobes and slippers, minibars, and turndown service. In-room Wi-Fi is free only to Starwood Preferred Guest members (the brand's free program); Kewarra's in-room Wi-Fi can be unreliable, but its free. Two seafood restaurants -- the Oyster Bar and Terraces Restaurant -- overlook the pool, while Pearls Bar, offers ocean views, high tea, and cocktails. 

  7. The stylish Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort has a laid-back beachy style reflecting its location between the river and the ocean. The 176 rooms and suites are spacious and light, with balconies and a range of extras including microwaves, minibars, and living areas. Disappointingly, in-room Wi-Fi costs extra here, like it does at the Sheraton. Bright bathrooms feature bathrooms, slippers, jetted spa baths, and separate shower; suites add rainfall showerheads. The hotel's standout feature is its swim-up bar, and there are plenty of activities, including tennis courts, bike rentals, and a private dock with water sports like jet-skiing and sailing. Organized boat trips can also be booked. Inside, Aqua Day Spa offers treatments, a sauna, and a large aqua therapy bath area. The Beach House restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and international fare for dinner. All three bars (including the pool bar) serve a range of light snacks throughout the day. 

  8. Peninsula Boutique Hotel may be an intimate property (just 34 rooms), but there's a bustling vibe in the communal areas at all hours of the day. It's the only hotel in Port Douglas with absolute beach frontage, so occupancy rates are always high, and the on-site restaurant is open to visitors, who arrive in droves to sample the menu and the one-of-a-kind views. All rooms include balconies, kitchenettes, minibars, espresso machines, and flat-screen TVs with DVD players. Bathrooms are impressive: They include two-person spa baths and separate showers, as well as boutique toiletries. The generous bathrooms, remarkable location, and no-children policy help keep an air of romance and sophistication, despite the crowds. Unlike Sofitel, Peninsula does not offer turndown, room, or concierge services.

  9. This small, adult-only hotel wins points for its distinctive style, quirky touches, and gay-friendly ethos. The dozen rooms are packed with features like outdoor bathtubs and small kitchens, and each feels private and self-contained, thanks to the lush gardens on all sides. The slightly out-of-the-way location and lack of big-hotel amenities (Pink Flamingo doesn't have a restaurant, bar or spa; Peninsula has an on-site restaurant with free breakfast, while Sofitel has one restaurant, three bars, and an impressive hydrotherapy spa) may be off-putting to some, but those looking for a boutique mid-range option in the Port Douglas area should be pleasantly surprised. 

  10. This mid-size, upscale resort is adult only, which contributes to its quiet, mellow, even romantic, ambience. Like several neighboring hotels, the Shantara is an apartment/full-service hotel hybrid, offering many of the comforts of a resort (no restaurant, though, like Pink Flamingo) coupled with the facilities of self-catering accommodations, such as kitchens and laundries. Some rooms open on to the large lagoon pool, but subsequently lack privacy. The other amenities (including a second, smaller pool, a day spa, and a fitness center) are well-maintained, and Port Douglas' dining and recreation opportunities are a short walk away.

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