Have you ever phoned a hotel to make an enquiry and immediately felt confident they truly understood your accessibility needs and enquiry? It’s rare, and that’s why when it does happen it immediately makes the hotel stand out from the rest. On phoning Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort’s reservations department, I was immediately struck by how informed the operator was regarding the accessible accommodation. She even elaborated on what I had asked. For that reason, the Sofiitel Noosa had me at “Hello”.
Unbeknown to me at the time of my enquiry, I had stayed at the hotel before. In a time before kids, when I was working in the travel industry, the then Sheraton Hotel was opening in Noosa (now the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort). I still remember they boasted their rooms were “the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.” Hubby and I were celebrating a wedding anniversary so we took up the industry special on offer and were indeed wowed by the size of our room. We had a wonderful stay and it provided us with a great base to explore the Sunshine Coast.
Given we are in an era of shrinking hotel rooms and closet-style bathrooms, I figured over the years the property’s renovations would have included a reduction in the room’s size…….but I was wrong!
Walking into the accessible room I was delighted to find an enormous room, a wonderful accessible bathroom, kitchenette, lounge and dining area and an interconnecting room. My travel buddy, Christine from Adventure Baby, was staying in the interconnecting room so when we opened the two doors I really had a clear idea of what it would be like staying at the hotel as a family. I’ve never seen so much space in a hotel. Mind you, I did keep losing Christine which had us both laughing.
The size of the room allows for easy wheelchair circulation with room on both sides of the bed for transferring. Being tired on arrival I couldn’t wait to sink into the plump bed with its crisp sheets and silky cover but still had exploring to do.
I popped the kettle on for a cup of tea and continued to take note of the hotel’s exceptional features.
It’s rare to find a kitchenette in a 5 star hotel but so incredibly handy when travelling, especially with kids. The kitchenette is well equipped with microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery, mini-bar and sink with a lever tap. They’ve thought of everything with space under the sink making it wheelchair accessible.
The bathroom is spacious with a roll-in shower with lever taps, a bench seat and grab rail.
The height adjustable shower head, if left in a high position, can be accessed by pulling it down with a pull lever on the side.
Grab rails surround the toilet and there’s a full length mirror.
All features in the bathroom are lowered. The accessible sink even has room on the side of the bench for toiletries (something many of our readers have mentioned is missing from many accessible bathrooms).
Small details make a difference in accessible rooms and I found the Sofitel Noosa has a keen eye for detail. An emergency call button is located beside the bed and the wardrobe is fitted with a bar which lowers the clothes railing if needed.
The accessible room was certainly a winner but combined with the interconnecting room, it’s a fabulous option for a family or for friends travelling together.
Christine was certainly comfy in her 55 square metre room which included a large lounge room and walk-in wardrobe.
The interconnecting suite has a large bathroom with shower, bath and double sinks.
A kitchenette is also included.
The accommodation is so lovely it would be easy to stay put but the hotel’s location in the heart of Noosa and Hastings Street’s shopping and restaurant district will eventually lure you out of the room.
Sofitel Noosa’s pool sits in the heart of the hotel complex. If I’d had more time I would have loved nothing more than lounging poolside on a comfy lounge chair.
A swim-up bar with drinks and ice creams ensures guests don’t need to leave the relaxing pool vibe when they get thirsty or peckish.
I still remember the meal Hubby and I had all those years ago in the restaurant. My meal was outstanding, a blue swimmer crab lasagna and the service impeccable. No doubt the menu has evolved all these years later but the restaurant still has a relaxed but sophisticated beach vibe.
Breakfast included a range of cereals, breads, a hot buffet, including my fave, made-to-order omelettes and a range of gluten-free offerings. I recommend the Morning Burst juice which is freshly squeezed Watermelon, carrot, orange and ginger. I’m not a huge fan of ginger but loved this juice combination.
Parking is available under the building (additional charge) with a height restriction of 1.9metres.
Like Hubby and I, the hotel has changed over the years. Unlike us, it hasn’t aged a bit. Maybe we need to consider some ‘work’, if you get my drift!
ACCESS TO HASTINGS STREET NOOSA
Hastings Street is accessible directly from the hotel via a ramp which puts guests in the heart of Noosa.
You can read more about the fresh and luxurious Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort here.
I was hosted by Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort for my stay. As always, my opinions are my own.
If you need an accessible vehicle to use while staying on the Sunshine Coast, our friends at Nationwide Mobility Vehicles may be able to help you. They have a range of vehicles available from a Mazda 2 Flashe Cab to a Hyundai Imax.
You can read more about the service they offer on their website.
Noosa Main Beach is within easy reach of the hotel. Just across the road and through a walkway and you’re on the beach where there’s a boardwalk which runs beside the beach.
Noosa Life Saving Club has a beach wheelchair available to borrow.
If you are travelling with kids or have a sweet tooth, right next door to Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort you’ll find Candy Addictions Noosa.
Not only can you satisfy any sweet cravings in this shop, but with any luck, you’ll see them making the candy.
When you’ve exhausted the dining options at Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, I recommend heading to the beachfront and trying Season Restaurant.
Season Restaurant offers beachfront dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Season Restaurant Noosa is known for its contemporary, fresh seasonal cuisine, great service and stunning views.
Sadly, I was only in Noosa for one night but I could easily have stayed longer to explore all that’s on offer.
If you’ve got any tips on accessible activities on the Sunshine Coast, please pop them in comments below or over on Facebook.