- Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:37
Article Read: 606
Imagine your breakfast tray being competently delivered by a bubbly and smiling young boy.
Well, that was a normal occurrence when Stephen Coop's parents operated a successful guest house/motel at Apollo Bay, Victoria, in the late 1950s. Today, Stephen and Margaret Coop — management rights owners since October 2007 — deliver that exuberance at the Melaleuca Resort, situated on the beachfront of beautiful Palm Cove, the spa capital of Australia, in Cairns' Northern Beaches, Tropical North Queensland's premier vacation destination.
Palm Cove is only a 20-minute drive north of Cairns International Airport and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
Stephen trained at William Angliss Institute then started at the Old Melbourne Motor Inn as a trainee manager and later at the Hilton in Melbourne.
Margaret worked for several solicitors in Melbourne and has a secretarial and a sports marketing background.
"Before we bought the management rights here we managed several properties around Cairns," explained Stephen. "We love looking after our guests and Melaleuca is a perfect place to do this plus we feel right at home here."
"However it is always nerve wracking when you first start management rights," continued Margaret. "We believe if you survive the first three months then you are up for anything because the unexpected will all happen no matter what people try and tell you."
Many guests call Melaleuca Resort their second home and often bring other guests and family with them so they can introduce them to the Coop's old fashioned hospitality and the beauty of Palm Cove.
"We try and make sure that guests have everything they want and if they don't then we try very hard to get, or do, whatever it is to delight them. Most are wonderful and easy to please," said Stephen.
With the help and encouragement of the owners, the extensive refurbishment of the resort has been ongoing, mainly inside the apartments. "We have just completed a lovely outdoor room in the garden with a barbeque. It is proving very popular with small groups and families," continued Stephen.
After 24 years in Far North Queensland, the Coops are very familiar with the surrounding area and have experienced many of the tours on offer and know most of the tour companies and their reputations. The 23 one-bedroom apartments, all of which are in the letting pool and most are ocean facing with views over the lush tropical gardens, resort style pool and the ocean.
Stephen's humour was evident when he continued, "Once a booking enquiry asked — just how close to the ocean is it? So we measured the distance and responded it is 47 paces to the high water and wet feet!"
All apartments have new pull out sofa beds and can accommodate families with children. There are upper and lower levels and both have wonderful views.
"We do have an older clientele who appreciate the gardens and the quiet and comfortable lifestyle we have here at Melaleuca," continued Margaret. "Many come up from the south for longer stays during the winter and the larger balconies attract them for breakfast, lunch and the odd happy hour drink. We don't have disabled units but we have had blind guests; guests with walking sticks and lots of other ailments and we work around their disabilities to help make their holiday a pleasant experience."
The pool is styled on the famous Mossman George and is deceivingly deep in the middle. There are three in-pool spas at the rear of the pool that adds to the experience. It has a sloping entrance and is wonderful for older people and the young ones as well.
"The extensive tropical garden is a big part of Melaleuca – everyone loves the garden and the private sections and is why many guests return to us," said Stephen. "We feel blessed with our guests and because of their reviews we are a Trip Advisor 2012 Traveller's Choice Award winner; No 23 in Hotels for Best Service and number one on Trip Advisor," Margaret and Stephen said proudly. "We must be doing something right."
"Guests want clean and friendly accommodation, so comments like 'can't help enough', 'will do anything for us' is what we love hearing! Palm Cove is such a great place to visit why would you go elsewhere?"
The surrounding environs offer a diverse range of activities for all ages and it is difficult to fit it all in on one visit – all the more reason to return!