RESORT REVIEW : QT Port Douglas, Australia

All photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke.

Think 1950’s Los Angeles meets tropical Far North Queensland. Dream about a monochromatic palette dotted with bursts of colour synonymous with Australian flora. Imagine minimalist retro luxury coupled with a fun and cool vibe. Open your eyes and wander into the QT Port Douglas.

Despite not backing onto the famed Four Mile Beach like some of the other resorts in the area (which you are advised not to swim at anyway, unless there is a stinger net and life guards on duty due to the jellyfish and crocodiles that inhabit these warm waters), the QT Port Douglas makes up for this with its own lush tropical gardens, soaring palm trees, flowing ponds dotted with vibrant lilies and a cascading aquamarine pool.


The entrance to the resort is like stepping back into mid-century retro LA or Miami, with its white pillars housing black and white QT banners, framing the open reception area with metal chairs and neon graphic pillows. It’s a definite nod towards modern chic with a hint of nautical, and thankfully very far away from vintage naff. The entire resort emanates a retro-summer-chic vibe that is refreshing and exciting. From the friendly staff dressed in pastel polos and white volleys; the oblong pool with its little alcoves and mini waterfalls; the padded circular day beds with adjustable shades; the pink metal flamingos hiding at the base of palm trees; and the open plan bar complete with table tennis and grand piano – everything about the QT shouts of summer fun and cheeky romance.


Opt for a QT 1 Bedroom Villa during your stay, if for more than a few nights, so that you can enjoy a kitchenette and lounge room (and did we mention two balconies?!) that overlook the lagoon pool. Or if you’re not keen to cook on your holiday, then opt for the QT Resort Room with one private balcony overlooking the tropical garden or pool. We would recommend the Martini set of rooms, as they are the closest to the pool, restaurant and bar. QT’s rooms are very minimalist but well-sized, which is in keeping with the theme of the resort. Rooms feature air conditioning (which is a must in the tropical heat), free wi-fi (yay!), TV, mini bar and bathroom amenities from New York’s Malin + Goetz. It also features interior design pieces, such as iconic Australian images of cockatoos and ladies in swimsuits screen-printed onto lamp shades, silver pineapple candle holders and chevron throw pillows, which you can purchase from the resort’s gift shop – along with an array of other goodies. There is also all of the other perks you would expect from a hotel – room-service, daily turn-down, concierge and luxurious day spa (spaQ) – perfect if you’re up for a couple’s massage or individual treatment.


The QT Port Douglas boasts its own restaurant named, Bazaar, which is a buffet style set-up (open for breakfast and dinner). Breakfasts are always fun and a bit decadent, and the QT certainly has a lot on offer for guests and often includes it as part of your stay. Food on offer included an array of fresh fruits, cereals and pastries, shots of green juice, smoothies or yoghurts, alongside hot dishes of pancakes, bacon, sausages, roasted tomatoes, hash browns, poached eggs and baked beans – so you can clearly  eat to your heart’s desire. Chefs will also prepare freshly cooked eggs for you, so it doesn’t hurt to ask them. But be warned that espresso machine coffees are not included and will be charged to your room.


Dinner at Bazaar, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish. Charged at $65 per head for food (extra for drinks), the buffet style continues and is a very cool concept, allowing you to pick and choose from fresh seafood of crab and prawns, to hearty casseroles of rabbit and a thoroughly delectable assortment of desserts. However, there are a few flaws that exist, and they are two-fold: you don’t get to have your food ‘made to order’, and the food at the buffet (most notably in low-season) can be sitting on display for quite a while, as dinner begins at 6pm and the restaurant closes at 9.30pm. It definitely is a great concept and convenient to be able to enjoy a sit down dinner at the resort, however for the price, you might be better off eating at the Estilo Bar just a stone’s throw away (literally), or popping into town to discover one of the many top class restaurants by the sea.*

*Check out Pen To Paper Media’s Destination Review for Port Douglas here.

The pool is by far a most favourite spot to relax… Order a cocktail from the pool bar, from which summery sounds emanate daily; pull up a padded banana lounge chair and laze in the sun; or wade into the water and stare up at the pristine blue skies whilst palm trees sway in the light tropical breeze.


You’ll also have an opportunity to pop on your strappy stilettos when staying at the resort, as it is notorious for hosting many cool yet inclusive parties on weekends in the Estilo Bar. Add to that the resort’s gym (where you can borrow push bikes to ride around Port Douglas on), lap pool, friendly staff and tropical atmosphere, the QT Port Douglas is your answer for casual yet chic holidaying in Far North Queensland.

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