In my decidedly inexpert opinion, holidays are the fountain of youth. Research shows that holidays can cut blood pressure, aid in better sleep better and relieve stress. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that nothing gives one a natural glow quite like a few days of sun and sea. And, as a mum, when that sun and sea comes child free at Airlie Beach’s Heart Hotel and Gallery, I figure there’s time to indulge in a little makeover magic.
You see, the idea of a little solo luxury and indulgence has momentarily inspired my inner beauty blogger and I decide to make the most of the beauty benefits of this break.
In preparation I take several layers of skin off with body scrub (incidentally I use a home made salt scrub which comes sans microbeads, which are right up there with plastic shopping bags, straws and turtle strangling six-pack rings as destroyers of the environment, and nothing is uglier than that). I then slather myself in fake tan, which results only in leaving me covered in bigly Trump-hued streaks that nicely highlight the red raw patches of over scrubbed skin.
Next comes the attempted purchasing of a sassy new swimming costume. But trying on scraps of stretchy fabric that expose my every dimple, wrinkle and saggy bit is right up there with bathing in a Jacuzzi with a malnourished white pointer. I bypass the bikinis to try on a Miracle Suit, which comes with the promise that I will look 4 kilos lighter, but instead serves only to make me look like an orange striped walrus squeezed into a too small wetsuit. I stick with my old one, which comes complete with fetching patches of disintegrating lycra and missing elastic.
It is at this point I realise how very few few shits I actually give about beauty routines and decide that I will instead throw my holiday efforts into procuring massages, sleeping in and drinking enormous quantities of wine. Because everyone knows that nothing improves your looks more than seeing your reflection through wine goggles.
Where better to indulge my efforts in slothful indulgence, after a day spent lazing on beautiful Whitehaven Beach, than at the Heart Hotel and Gallery, Airlie Beach a brand new boutique hotel in the main street of Airlie Beach that is surrounded by dozens of restaurants and fabulous bars just waiting for my patronage.
The design of the gorgeous Heart Hotel and Gallery is a contemporary interpretation of a classic Queenslander and each air-conditioned room comes with ultra-modern ceiling fans, slatted glass windows, and pretty wooden fenced verandas which overlook either the water or the town (two of the rooms are wheelchair-accessible).
I’m ushered into a beautifully white and minimal room to a suitably dramatic classical soundtrack from the personal Bose Sound system, and head straight for the bathroom’s rain shower to rinse away the salt and sand I’ve managed to collect in every crevice of my body before slathering myself in the gorgeously fragrant L’Occitane amenities supplied.
As I watch the sun setting through the louvred windows, I wrap myself in a fluffy white robe and leap onto the enormous fluffy king-sized bed, which I am excited not to have to share with a single somersaulting, eye-gouging, farting, belching child. As I nestle in its cloud like comfort, and spot the Lindt chocolate-filled mini bar fridge, I even consider nixing the need to explore Airlie’s bar and restaurant scene to instead bunker down in the Heart Hotel and Gallery to watch a movie that doesn’t star a single talking animal or animated ogre.
Of course I do exit the facilities, so to speak. And not only to indulge in fine food and wine, but to see an incredible Airlie Beach sunrise. I also spend a glorious day sailing in the aquamarine waters of the Whitsundays on tall ship Derwent Hunter and snorkelling on pristine patches of fringing reef off Hook Island.
Not once on this voyage do I need to yell at a child to behave itself or have panic attacks when I spot random offspring loitering too close to the edge of the boat. Instead I actually relax and sip my wine in the sun without a worry in the world.
After a few days on repeat, despite my complete lack of effort, the most amazing thing happens. The salt water has my skin feeling soft and rejuvenated, the days of lazing on beaches and boats has removed my tension, along with the self inflicted orange streaks, and my diet of fresh seafood and tropical fruit has left me feeling as light as air. The wine? Well, that’s just left me with a killer hangover.
Add sleeping in a deliciously comfortable king-sized bed without a single child’s foot embedded in my nostrils, and the result is this particular mummy looking as radiant as a nuclear meltdown. I may have nailed this beauty blogger thing down after all.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Tourism Whitsundays and the Heart Hotel and Gallery but as always all opinions, bad beauty advice and extreme wine tasting is my own.