I will wax lyrical to anyone who will listen about how fantastic Northern Queensland is for a family holiday. There is so many things to do in Northern Queensland with kids, from exploring the Great Barrier Reef and rainforest, to cuddling koalas, riding cable cars and playing on endless miles of white sandy beaches. We split our last family holiday to Northern Queensland between Palm Cove (just a 20-minute drive north or Cairns) and Port Douglas – a further 40-minutes up the road. Here we review the Alamanda Palm Cove.
We recently checked into the fabulous family-friendly Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore, just a 20-minute drive north of Cairns in Northern Queensland in Australia. This luxurious all-suite hotel is the only hotel in Palm Cove to provide absolute beachfront accommodation, with only the palm trees coming between you and the beautiful Palm Cove beach. The spacious suites are more like self-contained apartments, it has beautiful swimming pools and landscaped gardens, and is just a short walk from all of Palm Cove’s restaurants and amenities. The setting here is so stunning, that it is also a popular wedding venue, and even boasts its own seaside chapel.
Bedtime at the Alamanda Palm Cove
There are 69 large 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites in the Alamanda Palm Cove – all exceedingly spacious. We opted for a one-bedroom beachfront suite, choosing to allocate our budget to the beachfront view over the extra bedroom (the two-bedroom pool view worked out similar in price). As my kids are still quite small, this wasn’t a problem, and we had plenty of room in our bedroom for both the travel cot and blow-up toddler bed. In fact, we could probably have fitted in another double bed in our bedroom it was so large.
The living/dining area was also spacious, giving a home-from-home feeling, with a large corner sofa and coffee table, dining table and well-equipped open plan kitchen with microwave, cooker, oven and laundry facilities. There were also two separate bathrooms – one ensuite with shower and the other with bath.
But my favourite part of the room was the large balcony, which ran the width of the living area, providing comfy seating for kicking back on, to enjoy the view of the ocean. I would definitely recommend choosing a beachfront room. Waking up and watching the sunrise over the ocean, and hearing the crashing waves as I sipped my coffee on the balcony made the stay at Alamanda very special indeed (and yes, thanks to my kids I was up in time to watch sunrise every morning!)
Playtime at the Alamanda Palm Cove
The main selling point of the Alamanda Palm Cove, is the beach on its doorstep. The gorgeous sandy Palm Cove beach stretches for miles into the distance and is the perfect place for family playtime. Most of the time we went down to the beach we had it to ourselves, or shared it with only a handful of people.
Within the resort there are also three swimming pools (although one is adults-only). We particularly loved the rock pool with its natural setting and waterfall, and leafy surrounds.
There is also a spa at the Alamanda Palm Cove, offering a selection of treatments, including Hot Stone Massages, Avocado Smoothie body wraps and a Mimosa Champagne body scrub. Three of the eight treatment rooms are open air with private plunge pools overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately I was too busy checking out the family-friendly attractions in the area so I didn’t have time to try out the spa – maybe next time.
Dinnertime at the Alamanda Palm Cove
There is one restaurant in the Alamanda – the award-winning Nu Nu – and like the hotel, is the only absolute beachfront restaurant in Palm Cove. The outdoor decking surrounded by palm trees and looking out to sea is the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lunch. Come nighttime, it also makes for a romantic setting for dinner to the sound of the crashing waves (at least it would have been romantic if we didn’t have two small children running around our seats).
Chef Nick Holloway (formerly of Pearl Melbourne) serves up an eclectic mix of dishes, featuring fresh local produce, combined with flavours influenced by his travels around the world. Expect fanciful dishes such as Wok Fried North Qld Mud Crab, with chilli caramel, sweet pork, market greens, jasmine rice & ginger broth.
Even breakfast is fancy with North Queensland mud crab omelette, greens, ginger caramel & white pepper broth, and Roast grape & ricotto crepes with candied lemon all found on the menu.
To be honest, we found breakfast at Nu Nu a bit elaborate for what we needed and, as it wasn’t included in our room rate, we actually spent most mornings at Chill Café across the road. We totally fell in love with this laid-back beachfront café, with its amazing coffee, fresh fruit smoothies and breakfast items (including Funny Face Pancakes for the kids) – they also provided colouring books and crayons for the little ones. We could have saved ourselves plenty of money by stocking up at the supermarket and having breakfast in our suite but we loved Chill Café so much, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it.
There are plenty of other fabulous child-friendly restaurants along the main stretch of Palm Cove to choose from. We particularly loved Vivo Bar and Grill with its breezy verandah – their Spanner Crab Linguini is the stuff of dreams!
In the ‘hood
Palm Cove is a gorgeous, sleepy town with a sweeping sandy beach stretching as far as you can see in each direction, perfect for sandcastle-building, splashing in the sea and running with abandon. A beachfront playground with swings and slides is about a ten-minute walk along the beach from the hotel.
Cairns is just a 20-minute drive, and you can find plenty to keep your kids amused here, including the fantastic Muddy’s Playground and Cairns Lagoon.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is just a twenty-minute drive in the other direction towards Port Douglas, and makes for a great fun morning or afternoon out, while Port Douglas itself is just a forty-minute drive and is the main launch pad for trips to the Great Barrier Reef.
Check out the latest prices for this hotel here:
We LOVED the Alamanda Palm Cove, and were very sad to leave after our one-week stay. The ocean view obstructed only by palm trees remains with me to this day. Luckily we checked out of the Alamanda and drove north to Port Douglas, where we stayed at the equally fabulous Peppers Beach Club. You can read our review of Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas here.
Another very child-friendly hotel in Palm Cove is the Peppers Beach Club & Spa, which has the benefit of an awesome lagoon pool, complete with sandy ‘beach’ for sandcastle building. However, for me the beachfront setting of the Alamanda swung it.
Check here for the latest prices and more information about the Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore.
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Mum on the Move visited the Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore “undercover” and paid for their own stay at the hotel. All opinions expressed are honest, and our own. This post contains affiliate links. If you book a hotel through the affiliate website, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.