Barney's Place - Gold Coast
On November 24th after booking 2 weeks earlier and planning on staying a week in Beaudesert I was faced with the need to find somewhere else to stay (I'm saving that story for a later post!) and I somehow stumbled across this gorgeous house with an odd name - read on for my story of a man trying to bring change in the way we look at disabled accommodation.
I make a call to the manager of an amazing looking holiday house on the Gold Coast called Barney's Place. Jess is skeptical that it'll be available, or affordable, but I give it a go anyway. What have we got to lose? The manager is Tracy and she tells me it's actually booked out for the owner to do maintenance on it... but he could possibly be open to giving us a few nights there... we can't get hold of him so she suggests we head over there to see him. We get back on the road and plot the course for Barney's Place in Mermaid Waters... hey it looks worth a look at the very least.
We turn up to a seemingly ordinary residential street, a very tidy looking property from the front, with level entry from the street, through the garage we can see ramps to doors, OK so far so good. Andre the owner meets us out there and says yes, he's open to booking it out to us for a few nights, he shows us in, we pass by the pool with a seat lift thingie, nice. We come in through the wide front door and our first reaction is WOW... this IS nice... open plan, wooden floorboards, newly renovated, SPA with a lift too! Oh, and I get my own bathroom?! Brilliant! Wet floor, plenty of space, able to get under the basin... full marks from me.
Not only is a beautiful house - that feels homely – it also backs onto one of the canals, and the deck looks out onto sandy beaches and water. I would've loved to get down onto that beach so I could throw the dog a stick, but alas, this was one thing I couldn't do due to a steep flight of stairs to that level.
There is three bedrooms; a single hospital bed if you want it in the smallest bedroom, bunks for the kids, another single electric bed, and a queen bed in the master bedroom looking out over the canal (which is where I slept). Andre was helpful to the point of going to get some elephant feet for the queen bed so it was a better height for me to transfer in and out of my wheelchair. There were also modifications to the kitchen cabinetry to allow the spaces under the kitchen sink and hobs to open up for wheelchair access.
This is not a budget holiday option, but for the extra cost we had all the home comforts including things like; a wheelchair accessible car (if we'd wanted it), a decent BBQ, wireless internet, washing machine and dryer, dishwasher... the list goes on. Jess was impressed with some of the simple things like disinfectant for the bathroom, a vacuum cleaner, and plenty of tea and coffee supplied.
We truly felt at home there and would've loved to stay longer than the five days we had. We really enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to others. I'd only deduct points for lack of footpaths in the area (but the streets are very quiet until you get to the ones with them), far too close to Pacific Fair shopping centre (Jess disappeared for a couple of days), and not being able to get down to the waters edge myself. Probably a little far removed from the main beaches too but still a 9/10 for me.
If you go to the Barney's Place website the owner Andre also runs a business in Thailand called Phuket Access Travel that provides links to reliable accommodation and transportation... if I was interested in a holiday over there I'd be going with him for sure.