This Nelson Bay hotel is our new family holiday mantra

Mantra Aqua Location

You’ll find Mantra Aqua conveniently located at the end of Tomaree Street, which is an easy six-minute walk to Woolworths, a seven-minute walk to the surprisingly impressive Nelson Bay Playground at Nelson Bay Foreshore, and an eight-minute walk to the d’Albora Marina dining precinct. Secure undercover parking is available on site, with direct lift access to the apartments.

Your balcony view will make you swoon. Watch the waves from your apartment! Credit: Mantra Aqua

Why we stayed here

We’re a family that loves to stroll along a sandy beach (after building sandcastles, of course) but swim in a pool. Thanks to its proximity to Nelson Bay Foreshore and its lagoon-style pool, Mantra Aqua satiated both of these needs. We’ve also always had good experiences with the Mantra Group brands (Mantra, Peppers, BreakFree and Art Series), so we find ourselves more inclined to book our mini-breaks with them when we can.

Come back from the beach for a quick dip in the pool! Credit: Mantra Aqua

Accommodation

Our two-bedroom apartment with a private balcony overlooking the pool featured a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities (laundry powder is provided and, if you run out, more can be purchased on site) and airconditioning. Depending on the indoor activities we had planned, we could set up shop in the dining area, the lounge room or the bedrooms. The open-plan living was so well thought out that it really did feel like a home away from home.

The master bedroom of the single-storey penthouse. Credit: Mantra Aqua

Food and Beverage

The only food available on site is the ice-creams that can be bought at reception during business hours. However, that wasn’t as big an issue as I anticipated it to be. With one coeliac in the family, we often prefer to cook our own meals – and the self-contained kitchen made this very easy. All of the normal utensils are covered, as are special extras that aren’t usually thought about, such as a colander to strain pasta, a chopping board and a muffin tin. Uber Eats is not yet available in the area, however many of the local restaurants offer their own delivery service.

Living room and kitchen are spacious and relaxed, making self-catering a piece of cake! Credit: Mantra Aqua

We treated ourselves to a fancy meal on our last night, at Bay Brasserie at Wests (a five-minute drive away) – and we wished we’d come earlier in the trip! Not only were the meals fresh and delicious, the care taken for food allergies was beyond expectation. When looking at the menu, you may think it’s on the pricey end of the scale, but realistically this is what you’ll be paying right across town for lower-quality fare.

Relax after dark with the low-key, beachy vibes. Credit: Mantra Aqua

Explore

This is a coastal town, so many of the activities are water-based (whale- or dolphin-watching tours departing from d’Albora Marina, inflatable fun at Splash Waterpark and spiral waterslide action at Tomaree Aquatic Centre). However, there is more to explore inland: camel riding and quadbiking at Stockton Beach, adventure sessions at Toboggan Hill Park, and – if you need to break up the roadtrip from Sydney – animal meet-and-greets at Australian Reptile Park in Somersby.

Our journalist Sarah was a guest of Mantra Aqua, 1A Tomaree Street, Nelson Bay .

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