Mirage Alexandra Headland

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.

A view of the resort from the lake

A view of the resort from the lake

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.

It's a spacious apartment

It’s a spacious apartment

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.

Living room

Living room

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.

View from the balcony

View from the balcony

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.

View from the living room

View from the living room

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.

Master suite

Master suite

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.

Ensuite

Ensuite

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.

Where are the wardrobe doors?

Where are the wardrobe doors?

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.

Main bathroom

Main bathroom

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.

A beige laundry

A beige laundry

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.

My little guy flying through the air

My little guy flying through the air

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.

The heated spa

The heated spa

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.

Playing under the waterfall

Playing under the waterfall

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.

Plenty of fun in the waterfall

Plenty of fun in the waterfall

There are lots of birds on the lake like this black swan

There are lots of birds on the lake like this black swan

Verdict:  The 4.5-star rating needs to be reconsidered.

Riding bikes and skateboards around the lake

Riding bikes and skateboards around the lake

Mirage Alexandra Headland:  6 Mari Street, Alexander Headland QLD

Ph:  07 5443 9400

Comments

  1. If I’m ever in the area, I’ll keep your review in mind. :)

    At least the little guy found friends to play with under the waterfall. And the black swans were beautiful.

  2. The waterfall and pool looked fun but the room seemed a bit depressing. What a shame. It’s so annoying when places don’t live up to their star ratings. GG

  3. Hmmmm at least you are out of chilly Sydney. Hope you are enjoying the Sunshine Coast and you get to visit Noosa.
    Caro

  4. It’s so disappointing when you visit somewhere and it doesn’t live up to expectations. It might be worth leaving a review on Trip Advisor.

  5. Awww, in my back yard and you had no joy. Poor things. I’ve never been over there so I wouldn’t have known but Alex Headland does have a nice beach. I haven’t been out of bed for over a week. i hope the visit with the olds went well at least.

  6. What a pity it was such a bust Charlie! As if visiting the in-laws wasn’t depressing enoughw without having something nice to look forward to. On the bright side- at least you didn’t have to stay WITH your in-laws :) xox

  7. I’ve never stayed at a Mirage (I didn’t realise that they were still around, I think of them from around the Skase days!) and it sounds like they definitely need to improve things :(

  8. At least you had lovely views and Alfie found some young friends.

  9. You would think a 4.5 star hotel would have better accommodation than that! But at least there weren’t bugs or any filth or nonsense like that! And those swans! Gorgeous! Have you seen the in-laws yet?!? xo

  10. 5 shades of beige…hehehhe! I’m sorry the experience wasn’t as good as you expentec, but glad the kids found something to be happy about.

  11. Only serviced every 7 days, but still gets 4.5 stars?!! What a crock!
    I’d be taking that little point up with Wotif, if I were you.
    Still, on the up side – at least you weren’t staying with the inlaws.

  12. Sounds like they were cutting costs, for sure. I can tell you are not impressed! Nice views though and Alfie looks like he’s having fun. I wonder if the owners will read your blog?

  13. Note to self, don’t go there!

  14. Wow you manage to find some doozies! I hope you enjoyed the rest of the mini-break at least.

  15. I’ve never heard of black swans; I thought they were only white.

    I hope your visit went better than the resort stay.

  16. It’s hard to sleep in smaller beds than you’re used to, isn’t it?! Anytime I see a queen I think, that’s so tiny! ha! Well, at least the waterfall looked fun for the kids to play in!

  17. ’50 shades of beige’ – haha – that IS a LOT of beige!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much beige in one location before! But at least the waterfall was nice – even though not 4.5 stars worth! Hoping they comped part of the price of your stay at least.

  18. You were definitely more polite than I would have been. It’s also expensive for what you get, even with free WiFi! Hope you’re back in the good books of the in laws!

  19. What a disappointment! I can see that this was really not what you would expect for that level of rating, and I presume you paid dearly. I do hope the time with Carl’s parents puts you back on track with family expectations, and perhaps before too long you can book yourselves another more luxurious get-away! I must say I’m appalled that cielings would be low with fans? How do they get away with that? Sounds like an accident just waiting to happen. ox

  20. You’re amazing! Thank you for all your support! You have an award waiting @ http://foodgurly.com/2014/06/09/wonderful-team-member-readership-award/ , please do not feel the need to do anything if you do not wish to, just know you are appreciated and loved! ;) xo

  21. It is so disappointing when the stars and reviews don’t match the property. I’ve been through that too, arriving at midnight to find the place we and booked was awful. I was so annoyed. I can imagine your frustration. At least Alfie had fun! Where is the in laws news? That’s always funny reading :)

  22. At least the kids seemed to be quite happy with the waterfall and the heated spa.
    But the whole place seemed a bit depressing and not up o the expectations with the 4.5 stars. Should we ever be in this area , we are warned.

  23. It’s too bad you couldn’t check out after seeing your room. I’m sure hope after reading your review they attempt to remedy some of these issues. It’s such a luxury to be in a gorgeous hotel room and when one is expecting that and receives so much less.. it’s a huge disappointment. Guess everyone reading is now warned! xx

  24. The inside of the room was a lot of beige & no nice colors at all but it is good that your son enjoyed himself though!

  25. Man, what a disappointment. At least it was clean and Alfie seemed to have fun!

  26. Well, at least you got free wifi! I’m staggered by the hotels in the world which STILL don’t offer free wifi. I’m not expecting them to have an open network which any random guy can pick up sitting outside in his car, but as a guest it’s a nice touch, especially given the amount you have to pay just for the luxury of having a bed to sleep in.

  27. ouch – no wonder you don’t visit Carl’s parents often – I can’t stand bland beige places to stay – ideally I love B&Bs with lots of personality but Australia doesn’t have so many of these – though we do find some nice house rentals. Just catching up but hope you had a nice long weekend despite the accommodation – and at least the pool sounds nice

  28. Gosh… I expected a much more modern resort but it doesn’t look like that from the inside…which is a shame but I’m still glad Alfie enjoyed the pool and the heated spa :)

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