In a nutshell, I shelled out lots of money to be here, but was it worth it?
The answer is probably, "Yes....and may be no."
My Aqua experience began with a really friendly and helpful service on the phone. I was on a mission to impress my wife and just escape; the two of us. I asked for special things to be done, and they were.
Being the crap male who can't organise anything, I took one lead from a well-placed friend and the odd Google dalliance, and hey presto, Aqua was the final outcome.
Aqua was so new, that even with Trip Advisor I was left shooting in the dark and rolling dice. And this is what I found.
The Aqua Resort is a somewhat secret and expensive haven wedged on "Busso Highway" between more established and better-known room farms (I mean hotels....if you want to call them that).
Not a lot tells you how to get there, or when to turn into its front gates, unless you have a very active GPS that speaks to you and you are crawling at 20 kmph. Even then, you probably have to hit the anchors some 50 metres after you pass the entrance and end up in one of those religious getaway sanctions nearby.
The first thing that really impressed me about Aqua Resort is that you have this meandering, snake-like driveway that leads from the highway to the sea, off which all their self-contained cottages dot the route in carefully planned clusters. I felt that the developers really cared about the flora and fauna before they built the place, keeping the mature gum trees where possible and then brilliantly landscaping and in-filling the space there after with native plants.
My cottage (I believe it was number 21) was really open, bright and probably too much for a couple, but the space was modern and 'wow' and very well thought out. Neutral grey cupboards, white bench tops, all the mod cons you'd ever need for a night or a week. Clever. Small back garden secluded and peaceful.
It felt very private at all times despite the big windows and the seclusion was really refreshing. However, a tiny flaw and I mean a tiny one, is in the actual construction. The walls and floors are all built with and framed by metal beams and girders which look amazing. Annoyingly, this means that everything is somewhat suspended and every step you make echoes throughout the building, especially in the morning, when you don't to wake up the wife, kids or guests. Again, this is a minor defect but something that might grate me with a house full of "terrorists/kids" running amok!
The infinity pool is wonderful and I could see the chairs being taken and snagged in peak season, so you may have to plan ahead to get a seat.
I wanted to use the gym and didn't really want to walk up the driveway to get a key. I think guests should have a coded room pass to access the gym without going to the front desk to ask for entry. But these are teething problems.
And would I recommend Aqua. Yes. I was itching to give it 5 stars, but if you are going to charge the money that they do, you have to deliver a 5 star product. I like to pay for quality but hate going to places where they charge you for everything. They have a tennis court that I may have used, but I resent having to rent a racket and tennis ball. Don't they want you to come back and say, "Wow, this is such a great facility." I never once saw someone play a game there. I was almost frightened to turn on the tap in case that cost me extra!
Same with the internet. Do people really need to charge guests to use the internet in this day and age? This is an executive place, not your average kid-friendly resort. If the 'boss' is going to pay, give him a few perks. They do in other places in the area and it will probably cost the resort business.
That being said, I am planning to return. In my view, this is the perfect place for a large family or group of friends. The beach is so close thet you can nearly hear the waves. And being self-contained cottages, there is mileage to be gained.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Aqua Resort Busselton understated luxury accommodation on the shores of the pristine protected waters of Geographe Bay, in the beautiful South West of Western Australia. Nestled in eight and half acres of mature peppermint woodlands and complimented by beautifully landscaped grounds. Aqua Resort Busselton offers self-catering Beach House accommodation with uncompromising privacy and the best of contemporary indoor / outdoor living. Your holiday accommodation on the beach. With a choice from 1 bedroom to 5 bedroom luxury self-contained Houses, able to accommodate the largest of family gatherings to the most intimate of getaways. The Bay Beach Houses have expansive views overlooking Geographe Bay and Cape Naturaliste; while the Grove Beach Houses enjoy garden views with private lawned area. The Aqua Resorts world class Facilities include a beach front waterfall swimming pool, gynasium, sauna, spa and tennis court. Located a leisurely 2 and half hour's drive southwest of Perth, Western Australia through the coastal towns of Mandurah and Bunbury. The Aqua Resort is conveniently situated between the seaside towns of Busselton and Dunsborough; within the internationally acclaimed Margaret River Wine Region and all the Attractions the beautiful South West has to offer. Aqua - capturing the quintessential spirit of the Australian beach house holiday. ... more less
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