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Sanctuary Retreat
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All reviewsal frescoyour luggagecommunal kitchendeluxe cabinmission beachpeaceful stayself catering kitchendinner one nightyoga roomcold showershade clothan amazing placebreakfast and dinnernatural environmentshared bathroomget away from it allfood and wine
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Reviewed July 4, 2012

We stayed in two different rooms, the first was 2 nights in the Hut then the third night we "upgraded" to a Cabin. Both were great! The Huts were a unique experience. The walls are just tent material, but they have comfy beds, power outlets, and bedside lamps. Although they were tightly packed, the trees gave you more than enough privacy from your neighbours. While staying in the huts we had a tree frog hang out on our porch and saw a stripped possum one night not three feet away from us. A lizard did some how get in and fall on my partner right as we were about to fall asleep which was hilarious for me, but not for him :).

The Cabin was also amazing, it felt like the lap of luxury after the hut. The shower was a bit disconcerting as it had a floor to celling window looking out onto the ocean. Granted if some one wanted to be a peeping tom, they'd have to climb up through the trees which the tops were about 10+ feet below, and we decided if they could manage that, they probably deserved a look. On the porch we still had nature encounters, we saw a huntsman eating a lizard of at least his size.

The staff were amazingly friendly and laid back and just a pleasure to interact with. Being nestled right in nature was amazing and we got to have multiple encounters with a Cassowary and her young. There were a few golden orb looking spiders, but the staff kept the paths clear of their webs.

The website states that there is a 600 m walk to the sanctuary so they suggest being fit if planing on staying... What they didn't tell us is that the 600 m walk is almost straight up hill on a narrow muddy path, not bad if you are expecting it, but while carrying your luggage even if it is just a travel back pack... I'd suggest taking them up on the offer to pick you up at the bottom of the "hill". After that, it makes for a great nature walk! There is a similar, but not quiet so narrow nor steep walk from the Huts to the beach, and man that beach is amazing. It's quiet, calm, and beautiful soft sand. I really want to go back to this place!

All in all it was perhaps my favourite vacation. Right after staying here we went on a kayaking trip with Coral Sea Kayaking and the two experiences back to back were just magical.

Room Tip: If you want to be right in nature and/or have a cheaper trip definitely the Huts. Out of the Huts I'd ask for one as close to the sides as possible. This way you only have neighbours on maybe 3 instead of 4 sides and you also have a better chance of seeing more wildlife!
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lexa_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

Had a great stay when traveling alone through Mission Beach. Was on holiday from work and wanted some peace and quiet and here I got it! Gorgeous views, spacious clean kitchen, comfortable cabins, friendly staff. Even had the beach at Bingil Bay entirely to myself for 2 days. Food in the restaurant was nice too!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank emkay_long
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2011

One of the highlights on our honeymoon in oz. Stayed in one of the treehouses. Food very good

  • Stayed: October 2010
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2  Thank DMcDmgar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

Our time here was amazing.....just one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to. We stayed in the deluxe rooms with the fantastic shower view across the forest to the sea and loved every minute of it...Sure the walk up from the beach took your breath away, literally, but so did the views from the top when you got there...And the beach...we were blessed with perfect weather, which I believe is not always the case, but it was fantastic...Very private and secluded, where you could where you could wear as little or as much as you liked, we chose little....perfectly still and calm, snorkelling coral reefs just off the beach and turtles coming to say hello...and most of the time it was just us..

At the end of the day, fabulous meals on the deck and we were lucky enough to be there when the full moon was rising out of the sea just after a spectacular sunset...it was as though the planets were aligned.

The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed...not so many people...but the staff were attentive and happy to engage but also very professional..a great service

And of course we saw the resident Cassowary or Cassowaries....a real highlight to see these creature in their natural state...and with no effort on our behalf..

Sanctuary has a great mix of all the things we enjoy...wish there were more of the same

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tellytubby27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2011

I've stayed here a couple of times and love it. As mentioned on the website the property is pretty steep. The accomodation consists of basic rooms and cabins - I stayed in the basic rooms, which are very basic. But they are clean and comfy and surrounded by trees. You're sleeping right in the rainforest. The staff are lovely, really friendly and helpful. The lodge (and the accomodation) sits on a ridge with a great view of the rainforest and the sea. There's nothing better than sitting on the deck in the early morning sun having a leisurely breakfast. The food is very good but not cheap. So its a good idea to take food with you - there is a well equipped and spotless kitchen that you can use. The lodge is lovely, lots of wood and glass. Upstairs is the bar/restaurant/lounge areas and downstairs are the kitchen and bathrooms. If you are in the basic rooms you have to go to the lodge for the toilets and showers. It's a really peaceful, beautiful place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank birdy95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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