Carolyn Collins nds big city standards in a regional gem.
Port Lincoln Hotel 1 Lincoln Highway Port Lincoln, SA 5606 portlincolnhotel.com.au FOR THE SOLO woman traveller, the Port Lincoln Hotel holds a lot of appeal. It’s new, modern, secure, centrally located and, more importantly, it has fluffy towels and room service.
After an early start and a full day touring, I arrive in dire need of a shower, a good lie down and some mindless television so I’m terribly grateful to local fisherman Sime Sarin who decided Port Lincoln needed a $45 million luxury hotel befitting its status as South Australia’s richest regional town.
Opened with much fanfare and celebrity glitterati in early 2008, the four-star hotel fronts Boston Bay and boasts 111 rooms, a restaurant, bar, conference and function facilities, gaming areas, gym and a swimming pool. Towering above any other local landmarks, it’s also impossible to miss.
It might be the most luxurious hotel in the region but neither the décor nor the personnel are the slightest bit pretentious. I’m greeted cheerfully although I’m slightly disconcerted to have my room number repeated – loudly – three times in the course of a discussion about hotel security. Perhaps I’m being ultra-sensitive but it’s not something a woman travelling on her own particularly wants broadcast, even if Port Lincoln is not exactly a Third World crime hub.
But my room is a welcome sanctuary. Spacious and dressed in the same understated casual, contemporary chic-style as downstairs, there’s a comfortable king-size bed and a sofa bed. On the wall directly in front of the bed, is a giant-sized plasma TV, while an alarm clock that doubles as an iPod docking station sits on a bedside table.
I’ve taken a “town room” but almost immediately I regret my decision to save a few dollars. Instead of an ocean view and balcony, I have a view over the car park and a roundabout. Still it’s quiet . . . at least until the road works start the following day.
But you can’t hear anything in the bathroom, which has a deep, full-sized bath, a decadently large shower and, yes, big white towels. In the larger suites, the baths are fitted with spa jets, but I don’t miss them.
I don’t feel like braving the restaurant alone so I opt for room service, which shares the same menu as the downstairs Sarin’s bar, providing a range of regional choices at surprisingly reasonable prices. It proves to be tasty upmarket pub tucker that arrives still steaming and in quick time.
An inspection of Sarin’s restaurant the following day proves I had no need to be intimidated. Designed with plenty of quiet corners and comfy chairs, it spills outdoors on to the pavement where you can dine overlooking the water. A two-way fireplace makes a stunning centrepiece.
There’s no doubt the hotel is a huge asset to the local tourism industry and it proves an excellent base from which to tour the region. My stay is only partly spoiled by yet another security blip when an unscheduled evening visit from my equally surprised neighbour reveals the adjoining room door has been unlocked my entire stay. I call downstairs and someone duly comes and locks it, but there’s no apology.
Having been burgled in the past via an unchecked door, I can’t believe I haven’t checked all the locks (solo travelling 101). It leaves me uneasy, a feeling that is heightened later when I’m awoken by series of ghostly midnight knocks from a group of pranksters staying down the hall.
But you can’t blame hotel security for badmannered guests.
accommodation 111 rooms and suites. facilities king-size or queen beds, broadband internet access, mini bars, 24-hour reception, satellite TV channels, Sarin’s Bar and Restaurant, Sharky’s Bar, gaming room. location centre of Port Lincoln. price town...