Carl and I have been in disgrace with his parents because it’s been a while since we popped up to Queensland to visit them. We did receive a bit of a thrashing over Easter because for some reason there was some notion in their heads that we were arriving any minute which was news to us. So in an effort to put ourselves back in the good books we have flown up to the Sunshine Coast to spend the Queen’s birthday long weekend with them.
Naturally we booked at the last minute which can work out well but not always.
I love the Sunshine Coast, mostly because I love Noosa, however, Carl’s parents don’t live anywhere near Noosa so to make sure we made the most of the time we had available with them, we decided to stay further south and through Wotif, found a 4.5-star resort-styled complex in Alexandra Headland.
It hasn’t worked out well.
The drama started with us only being able to book a flight leaving Sydney at 7pm and taking us only as far as Brisbane. Arriving in Brisbane we then hired a car for the 75-minute drive to the Sunshine Coast, arriving here after 10pm.
When we drove up to the Mirage I was immediately underwhelmed. The resort is managed by a couple who work business hours so for after-hour arrivals your keys, along with a few typed-out instructions, are left in a strong-box near the entrance. After securing the keys we tried to find where in the complex, (made up of several buildings), we were supposed to park our hire car.
We found our designated spot but were annoyed that the car park spaces are so tight it’s almost impossible to navigate your way into them and then once you’re ‘in’, you’re pretty much trapped as there’s no room to open the car doors.
Then we had to find the apartment building and we were told it was in Tower 1 but we couldn’t see any signs designating the towers. On our third venture into different towers, we found ourselves in the right tower. We then had to guess on which level we would find Apartment 40. As I finally entered the apartment, I was worn out.
While I found the apartment to be spacious, I felt claustrophobic due to the low ceilings that in some rooms, were within reach. There are ceiling fans in some of the rooms and when Carl was walking underneath them, if he was just 1cm taller he would have been scalped. The apartment was certainly clean and in good condition but the overall colour scheme is ’50 shades of beige’. Beige tiles, walls, ceilings, curtains, sofas, cushions, bedding, kitchen cupboards and bathroom fixtures. It’s ‘Blandville’ to the extreme.
In the master suite there is a queen-sized bed. No king-sized beds are available. The bed is rather spongy so whenever Carl moved I found myself being tossed around. The sheets are from a linen service and I doubt they’re 100% cotton. There were four pillows on the bed but there are no extra pillows supplied. There is a huge issue with sound-proofing. I was woken at 5am on Sunday morning by the noise of someone watching TV (loudly) in an adjoining apartment.
While the bathrooms are a good size, they are poorly designed. If you open the ensuite door widely it bangs into the toilet. There are no towel rails for hanging your towel so we had to hang ours on coat-hangers in the wardrobe. There are no drawer units in the bathroom cupboards are cheaper to build than drawers), so all my toiletries sat out on the bench. The shower head is one of those water-saving devices so you don’t have good water pressure and when you’re under it you have to move around to get wet. The tiles are very slippery so quite hazardous. Basic toiletries are supplied but the apartments are only serviced every seven days.
Despite the winter conditions, the apartment felt stuffy. These apartments are not air-conditioned throughout but rather, it seems at some later stage, split-systems have been installed. Our apartment had one split-system in a far-corner of the lounge room and I’m not sure how effective this would be at cooling down the bedrooms at the other end of the apartment, in the heat of summer.
One attraction of the resort is that wi-fi is free however I could only make it work in the living room; the connection would die if I took my laptop to the bedroom. But plugging in devices is an issue as there are very few power points per room.
At the Mirage, you’re not right on the beach but instead, one block back from the beach. The advantage is that while some rooms still have an ocean view, you’re away from the traffic noise. Our apartment faced east and so looked out over the ocean. The view was pleasant although we weren’t able to see what was happening at the pool area. If you wish to bar-be-cue, the only bar-be-cue facilities are down at the pool area.
Alfie loved the resort’s pool but it was a bit of a business getting out of the apartment and down the lift and out of the Tower and across the driveway and into the pool area. There is a small, thin lap pool, a resort-style pool, a small pool with a waterfall and a heated spa. Lots of fun and options for children of all ages. There is also a gymnasium, a sauna and a tennis court.
Unfortunately, the Mirage was listed on Wotif as a 4.5-star resort and while there are some good features, overwhelmingly this resort looks and appears like it was slapped together by a developer taking a lot of short-cuts for maximum profit. While a quick coat of paint could erase some of the beige-blandness, the oppressive low ceilings and lack of sound-proofing are major problems.
Verdict: The 4.5-star rating needs to be reconsidered.
Mirage Alexandra Headland: 6 Mari Street, Alexander Headland QLD
Ph: 07 5443 9400