The scent of change is in the air at this Noosa stalwart. That's Sofitel's house fragrance wafting through the lobby, imparting notes of rose and bergamot, just one of many Gallic touches introduced since Sofitel took over from Sheraton two years ago. There are pre-dinner "apero chic" soirées in Noosa Beach House or at the new riverside Riviera Bar; Mumm, Badoit and Evian in the minibar; a "bonjour" from smartly attired staff; and the signature Sofitel candle-lighting ritual at dusk. Spacious guestrooms in a palette of cream, stone and coral are largely unaltered. Blue and white parasols have sprouted poolside, and five new cabanas with butler service border the lagoon and its retro swim-up bar.
Noosa's best-located lodgings deliver the luxury of space; even entry-level studios have spa baths and 55 square metres of real estate. On the doorstep are Hastings Street's boutiques, Main Beach and Noosa National Park.
How considerate to have a well-stocked bottleshop on site, allowing guests to charge drinks and deli items to their rooms.
A French-accented buffet breakfast served in the light-filled Noosa Beach House includes a mix-your-own juice bar, barista-made coffee, Viennoiserie, and breads with mini Bonne Maman jams. Approach the omelette station for a change from standard hot options.
Choices, choices: Champagne in a poolside cabana, or cocktails at the swim-up Water's Edge Bar? Perhaps a gin-fuelled Riviera Sunset on the balcony of the riverside Riviera Bar or a round at the busy Noosa Beach House Bar? Or retire to your balcony with a drop from the bottle shop.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.