Need to know
202 freestanding studios and villas.
11am; earliest check-in, 3pm (both are flexible, on request).
Double rooms from $288.25 (AU$405), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (pick from Continental and à la carte options from $25). On-the-house extras include: beachside morning yoga sessions, guided rainforest walks, unlimited in-house movies, WiFi and use of the fitness facilities.
The hotel’s minimalist, modern design comes courtesy of acclaimed Australian architect Shane Thompson. He deliberately designed the hotel’s stilted structures to preserve the surrounding ecosystem and cause minimal impact on the local wildlife.
At the hotel
Public beach; seasonal beach club; 20 acres of greenery; tennis courts; yoga classes; library; gym; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, iPod dock, blackout curtains, tea and coffee kit.
Our favourite rooms
It’s a toss up between the Superior or Deluxe Two-Bedroom Villas, whose collective charms include a peaceful location in the eucalypt forest (a five-minute walk from the beach) and all the mod cons a family could desire, including swish kitchen facilities and a washer/dryer. (The Deluxe Villas might just inch ahead, on account of their extra space.)
Prepare to spend plenty of time hanging out at Elements’ double-whammy of watery attractions. The family-friendly alfresco Central Lagoon Pool has hanging daybeds, a heated spa pool, a relaxation deck and daily poolside service. The adults-only pool wows with a dazzling design, private cabanas, full poolside service and a swim-up bar. (Both are temperature controlled, so you can splash around happily throughout the year.)
Frazzled parents can unwind at the whisper-quiet Osprey Spa, decorated with wood and white, where products by proudly-Aussie brand La Gaia star in treatments. Relax with the Rainforest Revival Ritual or boost radiance levels with the Get Glow ritual. Yogis can join group sunrise sessions or have a private class; one-to-one meditation and breathing sessions are also available.
Beachwear, books and binoculars for the birdlife.
Communal areas can accommodate wheelchairs. Dedicated disabled-access rooms have adapted bathrooms and an entry ramp.
Little Smiths are very welcome. Babysitting can be arranged for $25 an hour (minimum two-hour slot; book 72 hours ahead.
All are welcome, but the hotel reckons it’s best suited to little ones aged between three and five.
The two-bedroom villas are perfect for families, offering plenty of space; each one has a fully kitted out kitchenette. Travel or foldaway cots can be provided on request.
Little legs can get tired out with help from the adventure playground, agility circuit and tennis court. Borrow electric bikes, go horse-riding or hit the public beach, a five-minute walk away.
The main pool is family friendly, but keep an eye on your water babies.
The restaurants have high chairs and staff will happily heat up baby meals.
You’ll definitely want to hit the spa, dip into the adults-only pool and enjoy a romantic meal or two. Luckily, babysitting can be arranged with three days’ notice, for $25 an hour. (A minimum two-hour booking applies.)