You can walk from one end of the esplanade to the other at Palm Cove, within an arm's reach of the golden sand, in just 20 minutes.
And that's how long it will take you to start feeling relaxed at this beach side resort located just north of Cairns and about 20 minutes drive from the airport on the Captain Cook Highway.
It's simple to find - just head out of town towards Port Douglas and take a right turn off the busy road in to the quiet streets of Palm Cove.
Williams Esplanade is full of restaurant choices including Nick Holloway's highly awarded Nu Nu and his Rising Sun which offers pub-style food or pizza at Il Forno. Beach Almond at the far end of the strip is a modern Asian seafood restaurant and bar. Try their chilli mud crab.
I stayed at two resorts in Palm Cove - Alamanda Palm Cove and Peppers Beach Club & Spa.
Alamanda is located right on the beachfront with stylish apartment style suites overlooking the beach. Waking up to the sunrise was superb! (See the photo below.) It's also right on the end of the esplanade so it's quiet at the front.
The one bedroom suite I stayed in was huge with a full Miele-appointed kitchen combined with a spacious living area and dining table, all opening out onto a deck near the pool and beach. It had all the bells and whistles including a coffee maker and free wifi, although the wifi was very patchy so I ended up not using it.
The king size bed had an en suite adjacent and there was another separate loo just in case you were caught short. The advantage of having a ground floor apartment with easy access to the pool and beach was less attractive in the bedroom as I kept the blinds drawn to ensure privacy.
Alamanda also has a roof-top spa where you can have a dreamy massage overlooking the beach and follow it with a swim in the plunge pool. Wickedly decadent and fun.
Alamanda is home to Nu Nu restaurant and that's where I had breakfast each morning. I could eat their food for every meal of the day.
More in the middle of the action, Peppers Beach Club and Spa, Palm Cove is over the road from the beach, but that doesn't matter because they have made their own. Yes, right in the middle of the resort, the huge pool is ringed with white sand. It's an ideal place for small children, of course under the careful supervision of their parents. The gardens are lush and tropical.
I stayed in a one bedroom suite which overlooked the pool area. (See the photo taken from my balcony below). This room also had everything you could wish for including a kitchen and laundry. The wifi was better here but I still often used my own. There's also a day spa on site, but I didn't visit it, and a restaurant for easy dining, although there's a wide selection of dining options just a few steps from the front door.
The rooms were very comfortably appointed but some of the furniture was a little tired.
Best tip: Alamanda for couples and Peppers for families.
Bottom line: Watch out for off peak specials
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Disclaimer: Ed+bK stayed as a guest of both resorts.