It would not have been the first destination to come to mind for a family holiday.
With two young kids, our holidays tend to be to places with hardy, washable walls, a playground of some sort and an extensive kids menu.
So when I was asked if I wanted to take my family on a staycation to Sanctuary Cove, my immediate thought was, where is the magic eraser?
We checked into the Queenslander Suite at the Intercontinental Hotel on April 12.
It had a flashy foyer and reception area, and lots of sparkly things that made my nerves jangle as Miss 2 moved around the space pretending she could fly.
But the staff quickly allayed my fears of total toddler destruction, handing the two cherubs a kids pack full of goodies. Phew, I thought, they have done this before.
After checking in, a lovely chap in a golf buggy transported us to our suite, with Master 8 asking, “so how fast do these things really go?”
The room itself was spacious, with a king bed for the adults, a sofa bed for Master 8 and a cot for Miss 2.
The balcony overlooked the parklands, the canal and the pool area, which includes a pool house, spa, an oversized chess board and a mob of kangaroos that like to sunbake and occasionally mow (chew) the lawn.
That night, we were transported by buggy to the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village where we dined at the Black Angus Bar and Grill.
Located on the water overlooking multimillion dollar yachts, we were seated at a table with a paper tablecloth and crayons. Hallelujah!
The kids had pasta and hubby and I were treated to a menu chosen by the chef, Jun.
That pasta! Master 8 demolished it faster than a footy team doing carb loading ahead of a big game.
For hubby and I, it was the signature Black Angus eye fillet steak cooked on a hot rock and the braised beef cheeks with cauliflower puree, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and duck-fat potatoes. You know a meal is good when two adults and two boisterous kids are completely silent at the dinner table.
We followed this up with dessert, which for me was a heavenly espresso martini.
The following day started with breakfast at The Grange, a buffet of goodness that saw Master 8 put away four man-sized helpings.
This was followed by an exclusive tour of Marine Village and Sanctuary Cove development, a haven for southeast celebs and well-heeled business types.
Again, Master 8 was suitably impressed by the number of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other flash cars, so much so he queried why we drove standard automobiles.
That turned into a great life lesson — stay in school, work hard and maybe, just maybe, you can buy your own Lambo!
Lunch for the day was courtesy of Anchor Buoy Cafe and Bar. Still stuffed from breakfast, we ordered a range of tapas and they were delicious, if only there was room for more.
That afternoon, we were free to roam the resort, with the kids frothing at the chance to get wet. So it was off to the pool for a few hours of water wrestling, ball games and then a dip in the heated spa. There was also a few competitive games of oversized chess.
Dinner that night was at The Verandah Restaurant and Bar, which was good but better suited to couples.
Full to the brim with food, we retired to our suite, checking out the next morning after another hearty breakfast.
Overall, the Intercontinental Hotel and the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village surprised me. Given its location and luxury homes, it could be easy to assume that this is not a place for families with boisterous and energetic kids, but we had a ball.
The staff were fantastic, the location spectacular, the food delicious, and the amenities and natural setting offered a great opportunity to switch off from technology and enjoy some family time.
So much so Master 8 remarked: “So are we going to buy a house here?” Maybe one day, mate.
Meanwhile, five new display homes are currently under construction at Sanctuary Point — the latest residential stage at Sanctuary Cove.
Now 30 years old, the development is home to more than 3000 residents, with only five more releases expected before its completion in the next five to 10 years.
To help home buyers see the vast options available, developer Mulpha Group has enlisted several prestige builders to construct and complete the display homes by mid-year.
Those builders include Ausview Constructions Group, Kalka Homes, Gallery Homes and HomeCorp Constructions.
The Ausview display home will be located on a 367sq m with marina views, and will features a gatehous, buggy parking, zen-style courtyard and a spa in the backyard.
The Kalka Homes house will be a Hamptons-inspired, two-storey residence on a 420sq m marina-frontage allotment.
Gallery Homes will showcase a single-level house, while HomeCorp Constructions will focus on indoor and outdoor living on its 782sq m lot.
Lots in the current stage range in price from $525,000 to $2.6 million.
Sanctuary Cove is home to a number of celebrities, and hosted some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
It is currently home to real estate TV personality Andrew Winter, golfer Adam Scott and V8 Supercars champion, Jamie Whincup.
Self-proclaimed billionaire and controversial political candidate Cliev Palmer also has homes in the exclusive gated community, which features the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village, the Sanctuary Cove Country Club and two championship golf courses.