From the moment my companions and I board the golf carts to take us to our villas at Hyatt Regency Coolum, time seems to slow down to the putt-putt pace of our buggies. Me and five of my gal pals are here for a girly mini-break - three days of pampering with champers to be precise.
Set among sweeping lawns bordered by a lake and tropical bushland we get our first view of our villas, and they are enormous. Each has a main sitting/dining area and kitchenette, as well as two double bedrooms with ensuites. I head straight to my room to do the customary flop on the bed, then have a stickybeak to tick off my luxury-accommodation prerequisites: a fluffy bathrobe and souvenir slippers, sumptuous bedding and a perfectly folded triangle at the end of the toilet roll. I'm also impressed they've personalised the main menu on the TV with my name.
After an afternoon of exploring the vast resort (thankfully, guests are given bicycles to ride around the property, but a shuttle bus is also on constant rotation and walking, should you be so inclined, is pleasantly manageable) we all reconvene in our evening finery for a glass of bubbly at Bruschetta restaurant. The meal that follows is a spread of delectable assorted pastas made with local produce. Full from dinner, we tuck into the decadent tiramisu dessert anyway - it would be rude not to.
The next day has a pick-and-mix style itinerary, and 6.45am sees three of us embarking on a guided walk up Mount Coolum - which, incidentally, is the third largest monolith in Australia after Mount Augustus in WA and Uluru. In parts the walk is more of a climb, but after our feast the night before, the exercise is welcome. The view from the top is spectacular, stretching all the way up to the Noosa headlands. Our descent is much quicker and easier and we arrive at the bottom feeling energised and quietly pleased with ourselves.
After a quick buffet breakfast, we head off to the tennis centre to finetune our forehands, backhands and serves. In reality, as beginners we'd just like to be able to hit the ball and after an hour-and-a-half of tennis tuition, we've progressed to being able to sustain a rally that we (and we alone) think is worthy of Wimbledon.
Our three other friends had opted for a lie-in but after breakfast they, too, get into the sporting spirit and take a golfing lesson. The locals take their golf seriously here. Hyatt Regency Coolum is home to the Australian PGA Championship, but beginners are encouraged to have a go too.
To counterbalance all this physical activity, we spend the afternoon at The Spa, a world-class haven that offers a lengthy list of beauty treatments. We are spoiled with the Luminous Vitamin C Facial, but everything from massage and body treatments to personal training and sound therapy are on offer. The Spa also has two of the resorts nine swimming pools, plus indoor and outdoor spas, a steam room and sauna. This is adults-only territory so you can rest assured that your down time won't be interrupted by children playing Marco Polo in the pool.
With our skin plump and glowing, that evening we meet at Eliza's, the resort's premier dining spot. The modern-Australian menu here is exquisite with a wine list to match and by the end of the night, considering all we've devoured; we choose to walk back to our villas.
As they say in Queensland, it's beautiful one day and perfect the next - and our final day lives up to this statement. With nothing specifically planned, two of us head to the beach, another goes for a bike ride around the resort and the rest of us do as little as possible at The Spa. By the afternoon, we all feel impossibly relaxed and revived, which makes heading back to the rat race almost bearable.
Priced from $275* per person per night, the package offers accommodation for three sharing a luxurious two-bedroom, two-bathroom Woodland Villa plus two-course dinner, continental breakfast and indulgent spa session.
For more information, call Hyatt Regency Coolum on (07) 5446 1234 or go to coolum.regency.hyatt.com.
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