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The best of the Sunshine Coast in 7 days!

Beach Day

The best things to do on the Sunshine Coast are undoubtedly hard to top for any holiday makers keen to soak up the sun, absorb the healing qualities of nature, enjoy exquisite taste sensations, stimulate the body and re-energise the spirit, which are the ultimate goals for a holiday! The diversity of topography, unique attractions and cultured dining options make it hard to stay for just a week, however we have put together a seven day itinerary that will satisfy the whole family

Day 1: Fly into Sunshine Coast Airport at Marcoola, or drive an hour-and-a-half north of Brisbane. Pick up hire car and drive north stopping at the base of Mount Coolum for an exhilarating hike to the top to appreciate a magnificent panorama that captures the sparkling coastline from Caloundra to Noosa heads – be prepared to work as this is a steep climb using a natural rock path and not recommended for people with health concerns.  Once down, just a little further north, turn into Point Arkwright for a surf or to watch the locals surf the breaks. Depending on the time of your arrival, head to Peregian Beach village for lunch, coffee or dinner. There is a multitude of options from “the best pies on the Sunshine Coast” at the bakery, Almond croissants that melt in your mouth from the French Patisserie, gourmet Pizzas from Zachery’s, Spicy Thai, scrumptious passionfruit roulade complete with Turkish delight ice- cream and Persian fairy floss from Pitchfork, Fish and chips at Wahoo and even deep fried Mars bars!!! That is just a few options. It is well worth a walk through the village square and investigating the boutique shops for beautiful designer outfits and home wares. The bottle shop is also reasonably priced to pick up a few supplies! Check in at The Retreat Beach Houses which offer large open plan living in free standing, fully self-contained beach houses. Make sure you pre-arrange online shopping, so that your groceries are in the cupboard and the fridge stacked when you arrive! The managers at The Retreat Beach Houses are more than happy to arrange for your groceries to be packed away and actually encourage this so as to promote total relaxation upon arrival. You will love natural ambience created by the high ceiling, large windows and native bush surrounds. Relax to the sounds of the sea!

Day 2: Rise with the whipbirds and laughing kookaburras that make their home in the coastal bushlands of the sand dunes and enjoy breakfast on the deck of your beach house.  Head to the beach for a surf or if you are not already a skilled surfer consider taking a lesson. Surf lessons are available at many beaches on the Sunshine Coast, including nearby Coolum. Noosa offers a little more protection from the big sets that are renowned in the Peregian to Sunshine Beach open waters. Ask at reception to have your lessons booked, alternatively book online prior to arrival. Surf lessons are so much fun when taken as a family or group of friends. Spend the remainder of the morning on Main Beach in Noosa and set the tastebuds buzzing with an abundance of food choices on Hastings St. Apple pie ice-cream is yummy and ice-cream is important to have on a hot day! Hike the Coastal track along the edge of Noosa National Park, for breathtaking views and a high chance of seeing koalas, dolphins, sea turtles and whales (during May to September). Wear your swimmers for a splash in the fairy rock pools. There are many tracks to hike back through the National Park or you can walk right over the headlands, along Alexandria bay to Sunshine Beach. Sunshine Beach surf club is a great choice for a cold drink and the evening meal. On some nights they have a complimentary shuttle service. If you left your car at Noosa – they will drop you back to it or drive you home to The Retreat Beach Houses in time to catch a flick on Foxtel with more than 60 channels to choose from!

Day 3: An early start is essential to experience the best of the pristine wilderness in the Noosa Everglades. There are a few options to discover the river of mirrors that makes up part of the Cooloola National Park which is recognised as a “Wetland of International Importance”. A full-day cruise deep into the dark, tranquil mirrored waters of the Upper Noosa River with Discovery gives you the option to canoe through ancient landscapes with captivating reflections creating a sensation that you are paddling in the sky. An Aussie BBQ lunch and interactive boat cruise home with a keen eye for many of the bird species that reside within this spectacular region. A full day guided or self-guided kayak tour with Kanu Kapers is an awe inspiring adventure into the heart of the Noosa Biosphere. On guided tours, a scrumptious morning tea and lunch are provided. If you have your own Kayaks or Canoes – load them up, leave in the dark and drive to Harrys Hut, pack a picnic and paddle north through the mirrored waterway, hike to the Cooloola Sand Patch (with some cardboard for sand tobogganing) keeping an eye out for dingoes in their native habitat. Return home via the historic Apollonian Hotel which was constructed in the heyday of the 1870's at Boreen Point! Top the day by requesting a Beach House with a spa bath, although all The Retreat Beach Houses do have a rather nice bath for relaxing and locally made aromatherapy bath salts can be purchased from Essential Bodywork to uplift, balance and energize.

Day 4: Wednesday or Saturday. A quick bite for breakfast and an invigorating swim in the surf at the front of The Retreat Beach Houses then Head for the hills! First stop the enchanting Eumundi markets where you will find a plenitude of locally crafted artisan treasures and entertainment. The Hinterland is renowned for the Great Walk (a total of 58 km through a diverse landscape), however can be broken up into smaller walks that are achievable in a limited time frame. Mapleton falls, Kondalilla falls, and various lookouts are perfect for picnics and cooling off in the refreshing water. Lunch at Mapleton, Montville or Maleny is a wonderful culturally rich experience. The Maleny Dairy tour provides an insight into the milking process and up close experiences with livestock which is ideal for family groups. The view from The Edge Cafe in Montville is picture perfect. A visit to organic fruit and vegetable producing farms and vineyards always results in flavoursome home cooked meals, which are simple to prepare in the large open plan kitchen at The Retreat Beach Houses. Return through the Glasshouse mountains for inspiring views of the volcanic icons that have a very interesting cultural story of significance.

Day 5: Watch the sky streaked with gold and the ocean ripples of amber as the sun rises from your deck or as you walk along the almost deserted beach into Peregian Village for breakfast and coffee! Hire bikes for the whole family (chariots, tagalongs and baby seats are available) and experience the thrill of varying challenges across a number of bike pathways throughout the Sunshine Coast. Pre-book an in house massage with the best therapist in the region. Take the boogie boards, cricket gear and beach chairs from ‘The shed” at The Retreat Beach Houses and spend the remainder of the day at the beach, building castles, watching for whales, swimming, floating, surfing, playing beach cricket, soccer or volleyball... A game of tennis to intensify the family love is a perfect end to the perfect day, although a swim in the lagoon pool and a BBQ will top it right off!

Day 6: A full day trip to world heritage listed Fraser Island is breathtaking. Morning tea, and lunch are included. “Throughout the day you will appreciate nature’s magnificent paradox; seemingly endless golden beaches encompass towering hardwood forests, barren heathland, pristine rainforests, huge creeping sandblow deserts, crystal clear freshwater lakes, gurgling blood red streams, prehistoric ferns and mosaic coloured sands” (Fraser Island Adventure Tours). The day includes, beach driving at its best, plenty of photo opportunities throughout the diverse ecosystem that is home to many native flora and fauna and lifetime memories of a swim at Lake McKenzie. If you have your own 4WD an alternative is to take the ferry at Tewantin across to Noosa North Shore and head to Rainbow Beach along the sand (you will need to check tide times for beach driving at low tide). For the horsy visitors – experience the exhilaration of horse riding at Noosa North Shore. The Great Sandy Bar is a superb choice for lunch, dinner or a cold drink, complete with a jumping pillow for the kids! Pick up a DVD from reception at The Retreat Beach Houses for a quiet evening in, you will find the sleep quality close to the top shelf, with crisp linen, soft top firm bamboo filled mattresses and comfy pillows – total relaxation!

Day 7: Last swim or surf at the Beach. Ask The Retreat Beach Houses reception staff to book Attraction tickets. Spend the day at the iconic Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s beloved Australia Zoo at Landsborough near the Glasshouse Mountains, with over 1200 animals and interactive wildlife shows. The Zoo is wonderfully set on large acreage which provides a positive habitat for many endangered species from various regions of the world and our endearing natives, with a Kangaroo sanctuary where you will find it irresistible to feed and pat our national emblems! Australia Zoo contributes significantly to conservation efforts around the world. Purchase of tickets and additional hands-on animal encounters with koalas, tigers, snakes, giraffes... contribute to saving and protecting wildlife from the estuaries of far north Queensland to the jungles of Sumatra. The Koala encounter is almost overwhelming for overseas visitors, who describe the experience as amazing. If you have an adrenalin junky in the family, call in at The Big Kart Track for a few high speed laps. This is a little scary as a spectator, so it is best that the whole family are on the track! Alternatively for younger families Sea Life Aquarium at Mooloolaba is certainly worthwhile. It is also possible to arrange a dive with the sharks or a swim with the seals. There is the option to book a package tour with Australia Zoo and Sea Life combo or Sea Life and Whale Watching (June to October). Winter is unbelievable on the Sunshine Coast with daytime temperatures averaging 23 degrees Celsius and humpback whales migrating past on their journey north to calve in the warm waters and south with their young. A cruise is the ultimate way to experience these majestic creatures that give the impression of putting on a show for their human fans with amazing displays of aquatic acrobatics that seem impossible for an animal of such massive proportion. A cruise which incorporates a swim with these gigantic mammals in their open ocean environment is also now available. Before returning home, fresh prawns direct from the trawlers at the wharf is hard to beat for dinner although there is an assortment of choice for dining in Mooloolaba. Live life and love your Sunshine Coast holiday!

We had a fantastic stay at The Retreat - it was perfect for a family get together. Location was... Read More
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High quality accommodation in a great location. We felt wonderfully relaxed and enjoyed the... Read More
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What a perfect holiday. So quiet, great breezes and wonderful weather. We will definitely make The... Read More
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Spacious rooms, whole top floor is open plan living ideal for families, lots of outdoor decks and... Read More
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I absolutely loved it. Perfect place to stay with a group/family. I recently stayed here with a... Read More
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We've been coming to The Retreat for around 15 years. We always have a great time but this last... Read More
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We have young and older children and we all had a fantastic Easter up there last year. We surfed,... Read More
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We loved that we were right on the beach with bush around for birds and animals. It was great to be... Read More
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What a beautiful spot. All we wanted was peace, quiet and serenity and this holiday had it all.... Read More
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We come to stay for the same week every year and always hate having to leave. The houses are easy... Read More
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Fantastic getaway for families lovely kept accommodation. We saw the most spectacular sunrises.... Read More
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In February 2014 my family booked out two beach houses with another family and two couples. We had... Read More
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We absolutely loved The Retreat Beach Houses. The beachfront location and in the dunes, with the... Read More
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My stay was perfect. Very relaxed. It was delightful being so close to the beach, having access to... Read More
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Thanks Dan, Nora and family for the warm welcome, the excellent service and general helpfulness in... Read More
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Service was great! Loved everything and every minute of our stay at The Retreat. Was idyllic. Will... Read More
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The Retreat is perfect for young families and those who need a welcome rest in delightful surrounds... Read More
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Nothing but great things to say! The accommodation was so comfortable, beautifully decorated and... Read More
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We have stayed there couple of times, last being a couple of years ago - brilliant location and... Read More
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I love staying at The Retreat at Peregian. Staff are friendly and helpful, location is great (own... Read More
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We had a lovely stay at the Retreat Beach houses. It was close to all amenities, but you felt like... Read More
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Wonderful break away from our daily grind in Brisbane. Newly refurbished, fresh, clean and one... Read More
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Our family has stayed at The Retreat twice now and we have really enjoyed our holiday. The best... Read More
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Always feel relaxed, great spot, have stayed 3 times and will come back. Have another group of... Read More
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Amazing pristine beach just metres from your hideaway, quiet location and away from the hustle and... Read More
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I have stayed at The Retreat on two occasions and cannot fault it. Love the open planned set up of... Read More
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We booked out a beach house to hold our small Wedding reception a couple of weeks ago and couldn't... Read More
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Well equipped houses in a great location with very friendly staff. We had a fantastic few days and... Read More
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Nestled in the dunes, the beach houses allow you to experience the wonderful sounds and smells of... Read More
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What a wonderful place to relax and recharge. Just finished our second stay at the Retreat and... Read More
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Excellent service, location and accommodation. I stay here regularly and love it every time.
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We have stayed twice now at The Retreat and have loved it. It is a peaceful, relaxing break from... Read More
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We had an awesome stay at the Retreat. The property was very well presented. The deck upstairs was... Read More
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The Retreat is the perfect place to relax with grandchildren. Swimming pool beach and tennis kept... Read More
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I would love to recommend the Retreat to anyone who wishes to stay in a beautiful, relaxed spot.... Read More
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Loved staying at The Retreat Beach Houses which are lovely and private and nestled just in behind... Read More
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We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Retreat. Our house was very comfortable, immaculately clean,... Read More
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We had the best holiday ever here a couple of years ago , was so relaxing and peaceful and pretty... Read More
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Best holiday destination we have been to.
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Having traveled and stayed for 10 nights in June, my boys and I are longing to return. The stay was... Read More
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I love going to Peregian Beach and staying at The Retreat. It's my favorite place to stay on the... Read More
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What a beautiful place to relax and unwind, the place is everything it looks on the Internet but... Read More
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ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. It's just got such a great feel at The Retreat - it's so relaxing and so well... Read More
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We really enjoyed our week long stay. It was perfect. We originally started looking at Noosa but... Read More
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"This was the BEST holiday place EVER" Christopher (5 yr old). Our whole family agrees. Great pool... Read More
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A very lovely location and very comfortable beach houses. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The... Read More
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The house was perfect, the pool was a crowd favorite and the shed full of beach toys/chairs/... Read More
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A perfect location for a perfect, relaxing holiday. No matter the length of stay, it is a great way... Read More
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Our family stayed here for 8 nights. As part of a deal we paid for 7 nights. The 3 bedroom unit... Read More
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Couldn't have found a better spot for us to land for 4 days on our trip to Australia. Beautifully... Read More
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We had a great catch-up weekend. The facilities were excellent and a great location. The rooms were... Read More
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We enjoyed a wedding anniversary holiday and enjoyed the privacy, locations, birdlife and layout of... Read More
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What a great holiday. My family had a wonderful time, enjoyed the private atmosphere and relaxation... Read More
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I booked a beach house for my UAE based brother and his family, they are frequent travelers and... Read More
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The accommodation was superb and the position of the retreat stunning. We had a wonderful much... Read More
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Karen McCauley, Family with older children from Australia We have been holidaying at the Retreat... Read More
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We had been to the Retreat many times quite a few years ago with family and friends in several of... Read More
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My wife and I stayed at the "The Retreat" in February 2015 and rented a 2 bedroom beach house. The... Read More
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Thank you so much for a fantastic long weekend away - yet it wasn't long enough, as we could have... Read More
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We had our first break in years at Retreat Beach houses and it was wonderful. We took our son from... Read More
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We were welcomed by Dan with a friendly greeting when we arrived at the Retreat Beach Houses and we... Read More
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Perfect family holiday destination. Easy access to some great locations on the Sunshine Coast eg... Read More
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I don't think I have ever had such a relaxing experience ever in my life to date. The place was... Read More
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My family stayed here with some overseas friends of ours, and we had a great holiday. Our friends... Read More
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My family had the best holiday ever. The kids were not short of space or something to do. We were... Read More
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Our lively family holiday could not have had a better time off to relax and unwind at the end of... Read More
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We have been coming to The Beach Houses for many years... Read More
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I have stayed at the Retreat Beach Houses many times over the past decade,... Read More
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This was our first time to The Retreat Beach Houses and it certainly won't be our last. We had such... Read More
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We first stayed here a few years ago with Grandma and had such a wonderful time. We have now moved... Read More
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Thank you so much! Early March this year my husband and I got married at the Retreat Beach Houses... Read More
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This place was just what 5 mums of 11 boys and 3 girls needed. So peaceful and relaxing. The house... Read More
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Loved the position so close to the beach, very relaxing... Read More
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We loved the seclusion of The Retreat, and we chose it deliberately so that we were away from the... Read More
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We stayed with The Retreat Beach Houses on our recent trip to the Sunshine Coast. I would recommend... Read More
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Service was absolutely fantastic. Such a relaxing location. Had a really wonderful stay.
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What a great place!! Wanted to move in, bummer was only one night we were staying! Will definitely... Read More
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Peaceful, spectacular location. The brilliant display of breaching, spouting and tail walking by a... Read More
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We were craving some peace and quiet to unwind and recharge our batteries and we certainly got it... Read More
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Everything was just perfect! We were warmly welcomed by Nora and Dan and thoroughly enjoyed the... Read More
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We stayed at the The Retreat for a two week holiday in November. The house was immaculate and... Read More
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We have been coming to the The Retreat for family holidays for more than twenty years and it is... Read More
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We absolutely loved our stay at the Retreat Beach Houses. Our beach house had beautiful renovated... Read More
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We loved the retreat, a perfect getaway for families in an amazing location, away from the hustle... Read More
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Just wanted to say thanks for having us and making us feel welcome! What a wonderful spot -... Read More
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Absolutely fantastic break here. Dan... Read More
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Lots of great memories. Clean, friendly, private, home from home. We have never been disappointed... Read More
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The location is stunning, postcard beautiful beach. Can't fault any aspect of our stay, the place... Read More
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Everything was amazing!!!! We are definitely going to book again. We had the best time and the... Read More
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Great place to stay. Right on the beach, and a very clean and functional house. Close enough to... Read More
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We had a fantastic time, the accommodation was exactly as described. Short walk to the beach. We... Read More
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What a fantastic place! We stayed at the Beach Houses in September 2016 with our four children and... Read More
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Wonderful location, a beautiful house and friendly staff––a very relaxing beach holiday with... Read More
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We have been enjoying spending our yearly holiday at the Retreat for the last 7 years, it's a... Read More
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The service was impeccable. We had a beautiful stay at The Retreat Beach Houses. It took a bit of... Read More
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