Friday, September 12, 2014

Websites Listed In My Bathroom Book (Part 2)

It's time for me to explore another website featured in my favorite bathroom book.

The website I'm looking at today is for the Bedarra Island Villa.

Bedarra Island is a Queensland island, and part of the Great Barrier Reef area.  The website says it has white sand and turquoise water. I like turquoise water. I like typical swimming pool water. Would that count as being turquoise?

As for sand. I guess white is okay. Is that the preferable color for sand?

Now I'm looking at their overview page.  They say, Bedarra Island is the closest thing to tropical paradise in Australia. 

I don't doubt that Bedarra Island is a tropical paradise.  But why is it the closest to tropical paradise?  I think there's a lot of tropical paradises in Northern Australia. The way they state that; it almost sounds like they're saying there IS no tropical paradise in Australia, but if you're desperate for one, and you're stuck in Australia; Bedarra Island comes kind of close.

I was thinking this place was a resort with a collection of villas, but now I'm seeing that it's just one villa.

You get your own private two acre estate. If I'm understanding things right. That's pretty big.

The overview page has two photos of the interiors of the villa. Personally, it's not appealing to me. I mean it's not repulsive. But it's not calling out to me. I'm not getting this huge desire to stay there. At least not yet.

Oh! And there's a picture of sand, and the sand isn't white. It's brown.

Now I'm going to look at the features and facilities page. It has three king-sized bedrooms. I'm thinking they mean three rooms with king-sized beds.

They use the word "bathrooms", so maybe they're expecting Americans to go to the site.  The bathroom information is confusing, though. They say, Two/Three bathrooms + separate shower and toilet + outdoor showers and toilet. I have no idea what that means.  How many toilets? How many bathtubs? How many showers?

What's funny is our house has six showers, and one fancy bathtub.  Guess how many showers we use? One!

While traveling, Tim, Jack, and I manage fine with one shower and one toilet. Though on rare occasions, we've had two toilets and two showers. That's quite nice. If we were traveling with another family, I'd want there to be an extra bathroom.

One of the features of the island (and the villa) is there are no day-trippers. I'm wondering if that's important.

Maybe it is. What if Disney World was like that? I think I'd like it that way. First of all, it would be much less crowded. Also, you'd get that feeling of everyone being in the same boat. We're all on vacation. We share that in common. And I think it provides a wall between your vacation and the real world.

The villa has two kitchens. That's interesting. I don't like sharing bathrooms with non-family members. But I think I'm okay with sharing a kitchen. I'm trying to imagine a scenario in which two kitchens would be preferable.  I guess you could get more cooking done faster. One group can make one part of the meal and the other group can make the other.

The location page of the website has helpful information. One of their suggestions is that you do the two hour drive from Cairns to Mission Beach. At Mission Beach, you go to Woolworths and stock up on supplies. Then a water taxi will pick you up. I wonder how much the water taxi costs.  And what about car rentals?  Is there a place, in Mission Beach, to return your rental car? Or do you have to keep it and pay for the days you're not using it?

Here's a water taxi service.  The ride is twenty minutes.  They say you should wear thongs and shorts, because to get onto the boat you have to step into the water. I like that.

The price for the water taxi isn't available on the website. You have to send in an enquiry.

Here's an image gallery for Bedarra Island Villa. I think I've seen some of the photos on other pages, but it was a slideshow and hard to get a good look before the picture changed.  Maybe spending more time on the photos will give me more of a chance to fall in love.

I looked at the first row. Nothing's screaming out to me, Dina! Come stay here. Maybe I'm not a fan of the decor. It feels a bit sterile to me. Though rental places often are. I don't know what my problem is this time.

I wonder if the animal skins on picture #9 are from real animals.

I feel a tiny twinge of something for picture #17. It reminds me of some of my dreams. I mean not any specific dreams, but just a general kind of thing.

Now I'm looking at the FAQ page.  There are no restaurants. That's kind of nice. I'd be afraid we'd end up eating too often at restaurants, and the TWO kitchens would go to waste.

You can do a reef tour from the island. The caretaker people will help set that up for you.

The other day I was thinking of whether I'd want to visit the Great Barrier Reef area. I'm not that interested in the reef itself, but I do like the whole tropical island thing. Plus, the plane fares seem pretty reasonable (within Australia; not from the US). But then I was thinking it really wouldn't work to go to the area and not visit the reef. Why? Because we'll be somewhere, and we'll end up striking up a conversation with other tourists. And what are they going to ask about? The GBR. What do you think of it? Have you been yet? They'll tell us their stories and recommend this wonderful tour they went on. I'll sit there feeling like a loser. And what would they say if I was honest and said the GBR is a lovely aspect of our planet Earth. I'm totally glad it exists. But I'm personally not into it that much.

So then I got to thinking, well, we can just do SOMETHING. We don't have to scuba or snorkel. We'll just do some kind of glass bottom boat thing. But then I pictured the snobbiness we'd encounter from people who did the scuba thing. I think they'll feel so superior to us if all we do is the glass bottom boat.

I'm thinking it's best to just skip the area.

Back to the FAQs.....

The island does get mobile phone reception, but you have to walk to the west side of the island to get it. How far a walk is that?

I'm looking at Google Maps, but I can't really get a sense of things.

The FAQ page says there's a villa and a studio. Do you get both? Or does one party rent out one and another party rents out the other?

There are no shops on the island and no hair dryer. Oh! And you shouldn't bring your own hair dryer. They say to leave high voltage electronics at home.

I just read down further and I think the studio and Villa are combined, meaning you rent it all out.

They say the best time to visit the island is May-November.  In November-April, you have stinger warnings. We've always gone to Australia between November and April. I think next time, we'll do something different. I'm thinking maybe October.

Here's the Rates page.  It's expensive, but probably worth the money. If you have the money.

You pay for the amount of rooms you want. So does that mean other people might rent out the other rooms if you don't?  If so, you might lose the whole private island feeling.

I'm guessing, though, that they're not rented out.

We had a similar situation in Sydney. We could get one bedroom for a lower price, and if we paid extra, there was a second bedroom. We were cheap and got the one bedroom only, but then it ended up that the second bedroom was open for us. I'm not sure if that was a mistake, or if they decided to be extra nice. One thing I remember is the internet hardly worked outside the extra bedroom. Maybe they realized that, and since Internet was one of the promised features (I think?), maybe they decided to give us the extra bedroom.

Anyway...the price of two bedrooms at Bedarra Island Villas is $990 per night. There's a three night minimum, so that equals $2970. Plus, there's a $50 linen charge for each bedroom. So now we're up to $3020. I think the linen charge is a bit much. For $990, I think linen needs should be included.

Now I'm checking availability.  They're booked for this weekend, but the villas are available starting on Wednesday, and through next weekend.

They're already booked up for Christmas.

On this page, they have special offers. If you stay on this company's Bedarra property, they'll give you a $100 voucher for use at another one of their properties. In a minute, I'll look at the other properties available.

The website has one couple's review of the villa. They say, The setting is perfect and the caretakers were great hosts. Interesting how different it is to stay somewhere like that without staff bombarding you with plastic smiles and 'morning sir's'! I wonder what the staff at the villa is like then. Do they not bombard you at all? Maybe they keep out of the way, and you seek them out if needed? Or do they bombard you with smiles, but they're real-type smiles instead of plastic ones?

Well...a paragraph down, the reviewer says the cheerful caretaker greets you when you first arrive. That's good. I wouldn't want a grumpy caretaker greeting us...or a creepy, spooky one.

Now I want to find out what company owns this Villa. Their website is connected to the villa website.

Their name is Contemporary Hotels.  Here's a list of their properties.

They have five properties in Byron Bay; fifteen in Sydney; two in Port Stephens, eight in Summer Bay! (Palm Beach); two in the Blue Mountains, and one on Kangaroo island. And there's others besides that.

They also have a few international properties—places in Bali, Paris, Japan, Italy, and New Zealand.

My verdict on the Bedarra Island Villa: I don't think we can stay there. It's out of our budget. And if we had the money, I'd probably want to use it in a way that gives us more time in Australia.  I could spend $3020 for three nights on Bedarra Island, or I could stretch that money out to spend many more nights elsewhere.

If I was super wealthy, I'd probably still not want to stay there. But from what I see on their page of other properties, I think I could find something that appeals to me.

I took a break from this post to go to the zoo, in the rain, with Tim and Jack. In the car, I told them about the post and asked their opinion. First of all, they both liked the idea of Disney World being closed to day-trippers.

Neither were too thrilled with the private island idea. Tim had a wise thought, however. He said he'd be keen on the idea if he was in the public eye. That makes sense to me. If we were celebrities and wanted to avoid all our millions of fans, a private island would be nice.

I just thought of something else. I think it would also be nice for couples (or groups?) who like outdoor sex, but also like their privacy. You can have sex on the beach without worrying too much about being watched.

The other thing I'll say, is private islands...well, it's a horror movie waiting to happen. When I think private island, I'm not thinking romantic comedy. It's either going to be horror, psychological thriller, or a dark depressing drama.

Like a couple goes there to save their marriage, and one of them goes insane and tries to kill the other.

Or a group of friends THINK they're alone, not realizing there's a mad scientist making human-spider hybrids.

The other scenario is where you start on the island, and everything is nice there. But then the tourists get back to Mission Beach, and realize there's a zombie apocalypse.

P.S-I reread the page of my bathroom book with the Bendarra link, and I saw that Catriona Rowntree says the same thing Tim said. Bendarra Island is a good place for celebrities.