IN THE PINK AT NOOSA

There’s a chic new ur­ban ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tion on the Sun­shine Coast, writes Susan Kuro­sawa

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

THE Sher­a­ton Noosa has taken a groovy new di­rec­tion with its Lifestyle Spa Stu­dios — de­spite a tag that makes them sound like a venue for hot-tub photo shoots — to­wards a big, bright and de­cid­edly hip ac­com­mo­da­tion al­ter­na­tive.

There are seven such stu­dios within the Noosa Sher­a­ton, which is still painted a 1980s shade of flamingo. It’s a hard-tomiss land­mark in the same way as Honolulu’s rose-coloured Royal Hawai­ian Ho­tel — long dubbed the Pink Palace — but the build­ing seems more muted now, more retro Mi­ami than any­thing else. That’s not to say it’s at­trac­tive: rather, it has be­come less of a sore thumb and more an in­te­gral part of the Hast­ings Street pa­rade of hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion, shops, cafes and bars.

The seven Lifestyle Spa Stu­dios, which were launched in April last year, feel a mil­lion miles re­moved in terms of de­sign and de­tail from the rest of the ho­tel. Their colour theme is neu­tral in that beige-bran­bis­cuit pal­ette so loved by to­day’s de­sign­ers. The views are not to the Hast­ings Street strip, the beach or Noosa River but to the rooftops of the town, with green hills be­yond. ‘‘ Ur­ban vil­lage out­look’’, the de­sign­ers call it.

In keep­ing with the feel of a top-line city pad, there is hi-tech gad­getry ga­lore, from Smeg and Fisher & Paykel ap­pli­ances and an es­presso ma­chine in the kitch­enette to a fil­tered wa­ter dis­penser, flat-screen television and Bose sound sys­tem. The bath­room is all cool grey-speck­led mar­ble with a win­dow-wall to the bed­room and a Hoesch spa bath that would not have looked out of place on the star­ship En­ter­prise (if Cap­tain Kirk and co were into in­ter­ga­lac­tic jacuzzis).

On a broad private ter­race sits an out­door spa bath, too, and loung­ing furniture. There is such an abun­dance of in­door and out­door space (58sq mis the largest con­fig­u­ra­tion) that the rooms seem larger than the av­er­age in­ner-city stu­dio or smaller one-bed­room apart­ment.

Then there’s the bed: the cus­tomised Sher­a­ton Sweet Sleeper has a su­per-soft mat­tress top and is stacked with squashy pil­lows. Th­ese beds are in all the rooms at the Sher­a­ton Noosa, so even if you’re not waft­ing around a Lifestyle Spa Stu­dio feel­ing like a home­wares cat­a­logue model, there’s ev­ery chance of a su­pe­rior night’s kip.

As that name sug­gests, there is a spa link: com­pli­men­tary ac­cess to the ho­tel’s Aqua Day Spa (usual day pass is $30) with its ter­rific aquather­apy cen­tre, re­lax­ation area and steam rooms. The aquather­apy pool, set in an en­closed semi-al­fresco court­yard with Ro­man-style col­umns and draped god­dess stat­ues, is a won­der: sit on a sub­merged tiled lounge and be pum­melled by mul­ti­ple trig­ger-point mas­sage jets. There’s al­most enough mus­cle-pound­ing force to cat­a­pult you back to a Lifestyle Spa Stu­dio, which is no bad thing. Susan Kuro­sawa was a guest of Sher­a­ton Noosa.

Check­list

The five-star Sher­a­ton Noosa Re­sort & Spa has been smoke-free since Septem­ber last year. All gue­strooms fea­ture a bal­cony; there are also eight pool­side vil­las. For best sea­sonal rates: (07) 5449 4888 or 1800 073 535; www.sher­a­ton.com/noosa.

In­ner space: Lifestyle Spa Stu­dio

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