Just as we loaded up our rental car and pulled out of Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s long driveway and back out onto the picturesque Captain Cook Highway, the sky brightened ever so slightly and I instinctively reached for my sunglasses. It had bucketed down relentlessly over the past few days and I’d come to appreciate exactly why this region is known as the ‘wet tropics’. But was the end of the deluge in sight? We could only hope that the second half of our trip up in lush, tropical north Queensland was a little drier and we hit the road hopefully as we drove towards our next destination, the luxurious Niramaya Villas & Spa in Port Douglas.
Niramaya Villas & Spa is all about seclusion and tranquility while still only being a stone’s throw away from the buzz of the town. While still located in Port Douglas (an easy hour from Cairns), this boutique sanctuary is a five-minute drive from the centre of town, which makes it ideal for those seeking solitude and intimacy while still having easy access to all the dining and activity options in Port Douglas as well. Having a rental car made it so easy for us to duck into town for a meal or to explore the beautiful surrounding region. If you don’t have a car, you can rent one of the hotel’s bikes or instead catch the shuttle bus into town for only a few dollars.
Pulling into the impressive open-air reception pavilion, for a moment I thought I’d been magically transported to Bali! The Balinese-inspired design of the hotel creates an air of luxury and a perfect harmony between indoor and outdoor living. The hotel complex has been designed to reflect an exotic tropical village; the self-contained, individual villas surround a tranquil central lagoon filled with lily pads and frogs and the separate pool and restaurant area provides a social, communal meeting point. Surrounded by colourful and fragrant gardens, a stay at Niramaya Villas & Spa is designed to make you feel a world away (or perhaps a country away?) and that it surely does.
Stepping into the reception pavilion to check in, I was struck by how architecturally beautiful the hotel was and how different it was to other hotels in the region. The reception desk overlooked the stunning pool area below and my, what an impressive first impression that makes! I was already mentally counting down the minutes until I could jump right in. After the quick completion of paperwork, we were guided to our villa by way of golf buggy — possibly my most favourite mode of transport, ever.
It was only a short trip to our villa, but already we felt like we had found ourselves in a tropical oasis. We pulled into our private garage and stepped through into the most luxurious of private sanctuaries you could possibly imagine.
Opening the heavy wooden door, we found ourselves in a peaceful and spacious entrance way complete with a tranquil water feature, leading through to an expansive living area with high, pitched ceilings and gently whirring ceiling fans. The room was furnished with natural textiles, sandstone and timber with sleek lines and featured state-of-the-art appliances including a temperature-controlled wine fridge (hello!). It was big enough for a whole family to enjoy and here we were, just the two of us! That’s the idea behind the design of each Niramaya villa — they are completely customisable depending on the size of your group and can accommodate up to eight guests in each. As soon as we stepped inside, we flung open the bi-fold doors, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors, and let the warm breeze drift through.
The bedroom was equally beautiful and featured a giant king-size bed with a striking wooden headboard, a huge walk-in robe, TV and plush sitting area.
The bathroom was also one to crush on, featuring double vanity, spa bath, L’Occitane toiletries and, get this. There was also, wait for it, not one but TWO showers, so you could shower either indoors or outdoors depending on what tickled your fancy at the time. Oh I could definitely get used to this!
But really, the hero of the villa for me was of course the private plunge pool and shaded, cushioned pavilion — the perfect place to catch up on a few emails.
If the pool is a little too cold, for $10 per day you can ask reception to turn on the heating. It’s a hidden cost but worthwhile — it’s not every day that you have your own private plunge pool and you definitely want to be able to enjoy it!
Although we didn’t sample the food, the on-site restaurant, Rasa, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests amongst a lush, tropical garden overlooking the pool.
Other facilities and services
The Niramaya Day Spa is known to be one of the best spas in Port Douglas and offers a range of indulgent treatments that would be the perfect addition to a relaxing holiday here. If you don’t make it to the spa, be sure to talk a walk around the lush, verdant gardens around the property or hire a bike for the day to get you the few kilometres up to Port Douglas main town.
Book this hotel if…
If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just simply craving a luxurious, secluded stay, you won’t be disappointed with a stay at Niramaya Villas & Spa. While a stay here doesn’t come cheap, you’ll be rewarded with a level of privacy and tranquility that you never would have thought possible in Port Douglas. Whether you’re travelling just as a couple or in a larger party, the flexible layout of the villas mean that you can create the perfect, private experience whatever your needs. If you’re after a hotel with lots of additional guest services, this probably isn’t the right place for you, since Niramaya Villas & Spa likes to provide its guests with complete privacy and independence. I honestly felt like I was back in Bali which added that extra touch of exoticism to my stay.
Rooms can be booked through the Niramaya Villas & Spa website.
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Disclosure: I was welcomed at Niramaya Villas & Spa as a guest, but as always, this review is an honest reflection of my experience. This post contains some affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for support!