The Dunes, Mount Coolum

I’ve just returned from a Christmas holiday where a few days before Christmas we drove north to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a journey that took 13 hours, to a holiday house in Mount Coolum.

The house is set in a quiet street

The house is set in a quiet street

The idea was to spend Christmas with Drew’s family; something we hadn’t done for at least a decade.  The idea of travelling to Queensland for Christmas first emerged about six months ago.  I jumped online searching for a holiday home that would not only be available but also suitable.  I wanted it to be within walking distance of the beach, have a holiday feel, include a swimming pool and have a dining room table big enough to seat 12 as well as enough plates, glassware and cutlery for that many guests.

Open-plan living area

Open-plan living area

By the middle of November I’d all but given up.  It seemed I’d wasted hours on websites where you put in the dates you’re looking for and it comes up with around 20 properties.  You then one by one send off enquiries and then they get back to you saying ‘the accommodation you requested is not available for the dates you’ve selected’.  You can waste days on this kind of a hopeless system.

Casual living

Casual living

While Drew was overseas in Vegas, I decided to give the idea of going to Queensland one more shot.  I googled ‘beautiful holiday homes on the Sunshine Coast’ and up popped a property linked to a website I hadn’t heard of before.  It was Prestige Holiday Homes run by a woman named Vicky who I discovered, had excellent reviews for her helpful attitude and attention to detail.

Large entertaining areas

Large entertaining areas

She had a house available for one week over Christmas called, The Dunes.  And it looked absolutely perfect.  It was positioned almost on the sand dunes of Mount Coolum beach, it had five bedrooms, a 15-metre swimming pool, it was very open plan with expansive bi-fold doors opening onto the entertaining deck, there was a large kitchen for preparing a Christmas feast, a very adequate fridge and freezer and even a wine fridge.  And…it was ‘pet friendly’.

Mount Coolum in the background

Mount Coolum in the background

15-metre swimming pool

15-metre swimming pool

Mount Coolum beach

Mount Coolum beach

I couldn’t type my application quickly enough.  Having had months of not being able to find any property even vaguely suitable, The Dunes seemed too good to be true.  The story is that the property is one of the most popular holiday homes on Vicky’s books.  Twelve months ago it was booked for the entire December/January period.  However, on that November morning when I decided to have one last attempt at finding accommodation in that most heavily booked week of the year, a family who had booked The Dunes almost 11 months earlier, had a change of circumstances and had to cancel.

Cousins surfing together

Cousins surfing together

There's even a sandpit

There’s even a sandpit

Vicky had just re-listed the property when I happened to google-search, one last time.  Within an hour there were three applications but I was first on the scene.  Yeah!  I got hold of Drew in Vegas and told him Christmas was sorted.

Large kitchen

Large kitchen

A good thing about the Sunshine Coast is that you have easy access to good quality produce.  The farms are so close to the coast that local produce that’s often free-range and organic is readily available.  From Sydney I ordered a free-range organic turkey from Green Ag Farms that was delivered to the holiday house on December 23 and I pre-ordered a free-range ham that we picked up from Yandina Butchery on Christmas Eve.

Upstairs hallway

Upstairs hallway

Upstairs hallway

Upstairs hallway

We drove up on December 20.  I have to tell you, it’s a bloody long drive.  After four hours sleep, I got up at 2.30am and by 4am Drew, Rosie and I were on the road.  By the time dawn had broken we were well out of Sydney and progressing well towards Queensland.

Entrance

Entrance

Upstairs hallway

Upstairs hallway

Vicky had asked us to let her know when we would be arriving so she could meet us at the property to show us how everything worked including things like wi-fi, netflix, the coffee machine, keys, water features and garbage disposal.  When we were half an hour away I phoned Vicky and she told me she had just been to the house to put a complimentary bottle of French champagne in the fridge.  And along with the Christmas card left on the kitchen bench it was a very welcome personal touch.

Champagne on arrival

Champagne on arrival

As soon as we drove into the double lock-up garage with internal access straight into the house, I knew I’d found a very special home.  Owned by a pilot in Brisbane, it is a property that’s permanently set up for holiday-makers.  It’s been architecturally designed and even though I’d seen images of the property, it’s even better in real life.

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Esuite

Esuite

Ensuite

Main bathroom

It didn’t take us long at all to settle in and very soon we were reclining beside the solar-heated swimming pool, sipping on chilled champagne with Rosie beside us.

Queen-sized bedroom upstairs

Queen-sized bedroom upstairs

Now…this is not an inexpensive house to book however, having stayed in a number of places on the Sunshine Coast, this is by far the best in terms of functional design, indoor/outdoor living, comfortable furniture and luxury inclusions.  It’s also pristine in its cleanliness and bug free.  While the odd fly buzzed around, there weren’t any of those dreadful midgies (biting sandflies) the Sunshine Coast is well known for, nor even a mosquito.

Fourth bedroom

Fourth bedroom

Third bedroom

Third bedroom

Another bonus that makes the home more affordable is that it can easily accommodate two families.  There’s a master suite with a king-sized bed together with a bedroom with a queen bed on the upper level, along with two additional bedrooms with twin single beds.  Downstairs there’s a fifth bedroom with a queen bed with access to a powder room and a combined laundry/bathroom.  With an additional media room to park the kids together with the swimming pool and easy access to the patrolled beach, there’s plenty of room for everyone.

Living room

Living room

Any negatives???

Hallway upstairs

Hallway upstairs

Well…the property is on bottled gas.  There are two gas cylinders down the side of the house.  There is an enormous sign above the tanks asking you, when one tank runs out and you switch over to the spare tank, to immediately contact Vicky to let her know.  Well some guest didn’t make that call and so on Boxing Day, when we ran out of gas and had to switch the tanks over, both were empty.  I phoned Vicky who said, ‘Leave it with me’.  But me of little faith, went ahead and had a cold shower – quite invigorating actually.  But within half an hour and on a public holiday, a fresh tank of gas was delivered.

Living room

Living room

Our time at The Dunes was an absolute delight and we were very well looked after by Vicky and her team at Prestige Holiday Homes.

A full moon on Christmas Day

A full moon on Christmas Day

Verdict:  Exceeds expectations.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful place. Have a wonderful 2016.

  2. It looks like the perfect getaway. And the gods must have been smiling on you on that last day you googled!

  3. It looks like you totally lucked out this time, although it does sound expensive, it’s sometimes worth it! The property looks wonderful and if we’d ever need that much space down under, I’d surely book it (plus the kitchen looks amazing!) Hope you had a happy holiday. XOXO

  4. A wonderful holiday home in a wonderful part of the world – Happy New Year Charlie to you and your family – looking forward to reading about your adventures in 2016 xxx

  5. this sounds like a wonderful and relaxing place to stay. sometimes holiday places can be so disappointing and you wonder why you are paying when you could be more comfortable at home but this looks great. happy new year!

  6. Sounds like it was just meant to be. How nice to have someone who cared about you and the property too.

  7. What a stunning property and how lucky that you had just gotten in at the right time. I find life always full of wonderful surprises like that. It’s always great when the house looks better in real life than in photos even if the photos are impressive too! Happy New Year to you and your family Charlie!

  8. Happy new year! What a great find and how lucky you were to find it. It makes such a difference if you get good service with any sort of accommodation and vicki sounds like a wee treasure!

  9. Hi Charlie, what a gorgeous place, looks like you found a real winner. Happy New Year’s to you and your family.

  10. How lucky can one be, like Cheri said, you found a real winner. so glad to learn you had a wonderful family get together. Wishing you and your family all the very best for the New Year.

  11. Dear Charlie,

    What abeautiful holiday home and we are spoilt for choice in Australia when it comes to quality especially down in the South Coast and Barossa Valley. This blog post is exciting and a bit daunting at the same time as we are starting major renovations to our new home where the eventual dining area will also sit 12 with an open kitchen. Wishing you and your family a great 2016 ahead!

  12. Oh, my gosh, what a beautiful property! It was meant to be! What a wonderful spot to celebrate the holidays!!! xx

  13. A very happy, healthy, problem-free and successful 2016 for you and yours, Charlie! Very lucky indeed to find the above house – smilingly, knowing Australian rental prices especially in the holiday season, I won’t even try to guesstimate the bottom line 😀 !! But am certain Vicki at ‘Prestige Holiday Homes’ will be very happy with your thorough appraisal! Well, back to work for all of us . . .

  14. What a wonderful place to stay! I’m sure Vicky was thrilled when you booked it so soon following her previous cancellation, and I wonder if now that you’ve found such a gracious home with all the natural beauty of the dunes you may want to visit Drew’s family more often this time of year! And how wonderful that your previous Rosie was able to visit with you! Happiest of new years, Charlie. I’m looking forward to all the stories and family adventures you’ll share with us in 2016!

  15. Yay up today, place looked amazing, sometimes you just have to not look at the cost and go with something that will give you an amazing holiday and memories. Happy 2016 🙂

  16. It’s gorgeous, what a magical place to spend Christmas, all that natural light and not a bug in sight too, those critters have caused much anxiety in the past. Wishing you & yours a magical 2016 filled with all the awesome. Can’t wait to follow your delicious adventures. Happy New Year Charlie! Xxx

  17. Happy New Year Charlie! Sounds like you had an amazing holiday! What a beautiful house to stay at! Love the open space and beautiful interior design! I actually love the staircase upstairs in this house and got the idea for our house… I might use the similar design! 😀 I look forward to reading your blog posts you share this year!

  18. What an incredible property – so glad your relentless searching finally came through. Love how there is so much access to natural light throughout the house!

  19. What a stunning property. I’m so glad you had that last look in November! It looks absolutely beautiful and perfect for a Christmas away.

  20. It looks like it was meant to be. The unfortunate family that had to cancel provided you and your family with a wonderful holiday. I hope the rest of the year goes as well.

  21. What a beautiful place to enjoy a holiday! I would love a home just like it.
    Have a beautiful day Chalrie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  22. Wow, what a fanastic spot! Coolum is a lovely little community with a terrific beach and it’s only 16 minutes up the motorway for me. You were really lucky to find a spot that not only fit your needs but run by people who know what they’re doing and care about the experience their guests enjoy.

    Happy New Year!

  23. I’m glad you had such a great time Charlie. It’s a nice beach isn’t it. Happy New Year x

Trackbacks

  1. […] her to fall behind and so this gift didn’t arrive until after I’d already left for the Sunshine Coast.  Can you believe we booked a house only a few minutes away from where Maureen lives – she […]

  2. […] on track.  While it was now some time ago, I did want to share with you how we spent Christmas in The Dunes holiday house at Mount Coolum on the Sunshine […]

  3. […] our week’s holiday over Christmas in the holiday house on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, we were faced with a 13-hour drive home.  And having been so […]

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