Booked a last minute stay during Easter school holidays, costing A$195/night for a 2 Bed 'Spa' Apartment.
We had a warm, friendly welcome on arrival and without us asking, they called the cleaners and found us a room that was ready so we could check in earlier. I also called them a couple of times to book in the Tennis court and ask about the Foxtel - they were consistently friendly and with a 'can do' attitude.
Remember, you're not paying Sheraton prices, so don't go expecting 5 star accommodation. The apartments are made on a budget to keep it at a budget price, so the paper thin walls didn't really come as a surprise, but it was good that our apartment was freestanding so we didn't need to worry about noisy kids upsetting the neighbours.
The rooms were tastefully decorated [again on a budget], and had good, clean facilities: fisher & paykel fridge-freezer, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher and a convection microwave oven. The little Weber BBQ on the deck was a nice touch. They really could do with new curtains and blinds though - there was no privacy in the lounge room in the evening due to the rather unclean net curtains being completely see through when the lights are on; and the blinds are those *really* cheap metal things that have gone rusty. They'd be better off investing in some decently wooden blinds that will last longer / stay cleaner.
Our villa (E-6) was one row back from the pool/beach which meant we had a view of the cabin in front of us. We'd ask for a villa in the front row by the pool/beach next time (think they might be called 'Beach Houses'?), however it was only a couple of steps to the pool and beach.
The pool was very cold but a good design with one side having a gentle slope to enter into it (great for toddlers), and the other end deep with steps entry, great for adults. There is also a good sized grass area within the pool fence for toddlers to play around in.
The beautiful and quiet [but un-patrolled] 6km Diamond Beach was literally a few steps away from the pool. It hit 29C when we were there yet was still quiet enough to ride our bikes from one end of the beach to the other, stopping to have a dip in the gentle surf a few times along the way (nb: friends said it was quite rough surf a few days earlier but it was quite gentle and shallow during our stay).
It really was the pool and beach that made the stay so enjoyable for us as we're not keen on busy beaches regardless of how beautiful they are!
Good clean tennis court. Well loved but not completely run into the ground.
3 NIPPERS (ON-SITE) RESTAURANT
We stopped in for Happy Hour sunset cocktails (4-6pm every night - $9 each vs $12 standard) and ended up eating here too. In line with the rest of the resort, it's a quiet little place but staff are again friendly and welcoming.
We ordered the Salmon with wasabi mash which came with bok choi, pickled cucumber and seaweed, for around $30 - I loved it. Salmon was very fresh and a huge piece and the flavours were right up my street. We also ordered trio of dips which were tasty but fairly basic, for ~$10, and a calamari entree which was again fresh, lightly dusted, and a fairly large size portion for ~$16. All in all it was an enjoyable meal and I would recommend eating here (particularly because you don't have to drive anywhere either) but again, remember to set your expectations in line with where you are - service will be more casual than your 5 star hotels, and you won't get the same bells and whistles, but you will get friendly service and a decent tasting meal.
OK, so this is where it'll make or break some people's holidays I think. If you're the type of people that enjoy being entertained, rather than creating the entertainment yourself, this place may not be your thing - there is nothing to do without taking a 20min drive into Forster.
There is only one other restaurant that we could find open [during the week] and that was a Bowling Club in Black Head that looked very basic [like your typical Aussie bowlo] but was absolutely packed -- probably because the prices were super cheap ($20 steaks, $5 kids meals) and that there aren't any other places to go! Big Boys Pizza is nearest to the resort and seemed to have good TripAdvisor reports, but was closed during our stay.
We were only there for 2 nights / 3 days, and whilst the peace and quiet was what we wanted (and got), I don't think we could do a whole week there without getting bored. I'd recommend bringing family board games -- we forgot ours so bought a pack of cards which kept us entertained for one of the nights.
GREAT FOR: families on a budget who want a little 'family time' in a peaceful area and are happy to make their own entertainment. Even better for 2+ families travelling together.
NOT IDEAL FOR: those who like to be right in the middle of the action; those who don't want to cater for themselves.
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- Also Known As:
- Australis Diamond Beach Resort And Spa
- Australis Diamond Beach Forster