From relaxing in the cool baths to tasting the gastronomic offerings, Kelly Allen reviews Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach’s recent refurbishment.
Waking up to the sun creeping up over the horizon, its golden tinge winking on the ocean surface, I slide my big armchair to the edge of the balcony overlooking Coogee Beach. The swimmers, joggers and dog walkers below are busily chatting as they line up at their local cafe for their morning caffeine hit.
I throw my swimmers on so I can enjoy a quick dip at McIvers Baths, the last remaining ladies only rock pool in Australia, before breakfast. Down in the lobby bar I grab a takeaway coffee, where the friendly barista remembers my order from yesterday. This will be my warm reward after a few laps in the cold pool. The pool is stunningly beautiful in the morning light and I feel like I have entered a secret mermaid grotto. If you don’t happen to be a lady, there are several other rock pool options — Wylie’s Baths and the surf club rock pool are next door and both co-ed. It’s a chilly barefoot sprint back to the hotel, but I can’t think of a better way to start the day.
The newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach sits directly across from the beach. From the balcony of my oceanfront suite I can see much of the famous coastal beach walk to Bondi that I will explore this afternoon.
Breakfast at Shutters Restaurant with its soaring windows and glass ceiling also makes the most of the fabulous views out to sea. Stations are set up around an open kitchen offering all of the usuals including eggs, bacon, mushrooms, muesli, fruit, salmon, pastries and a very delicious pot of housemade baked beans.
The fresh new look of the hotel borrows the soft hues from its coastal location, incorporating deep blue, soft grey and creamy white throughout. Framed artwork of local rockpools and surfboats give it an authentic beach vibe and the staff are genuinely friendly.
Estate Coogee, the onsite restaurant, takes its inspiration from the west coast of America with a focus on seafood. Dishes are designed to be shared and some of the highlights include the kingfish crudo with coconut ranch on bluecorn tostada, spicy yellow fin tuna tartare with creole spice and the Morton Bay bug roll. I highly recommend leaving room for the signature desert- “Violet Crumble” which arrives as a smoking plate of dark chocolate brownie, violet ice cream and nitro infused salted honeycomb.
Grab a local wine or signature margarita at the adjoining cocktail bar, or when the weather is fine check out the Terrace, a trendy outdoor oasis complete with daybeds, bleachers and a charming Airstream that doubles as a bar.