luxe - Pullman Resorts, Bunker Bay
Written by Carmen Jenner
Hovering on a burnt ochre cliff with a turquoise expanse at its feet lies the Pullman Resort Bunker Bay. Like visitors to the region, even the gum trees seem to reach for the pristine coastline.
Designed by Grounds Kent Architects (GKA), the resort was constructed from local materials like limestone, karri, and jarrah and follows the colour palette and texture of the landscape. GKA is renowned for creating authentic hotels with a strong sense of place, and clearly the Bunker Bay project was a success because it won awards from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and Master Builders Association.
Set amongst 35 acres of naturally sloping native flora, all 150 villas have a contemporary Australian design and feature corrugated iron roofs, stone feature walls, and jarrah flooring. The timber decks include natural brush fencing for privacy while offering views of Bunker Bay, the lake, or the native flora, which includes kangaroo paws and native grasses; you certainly know you’re in Western Australia.
Those seeking pampering should head to the Vie Spa for all kinds of treatments and tenderising. The thermostatically controlled tables cocoon the body from any temperature fluctuations during sessions.
Named after a nearby surf break, restaurant Other Side of the Moon embraces those sweeping Indian Ocean views, especially from the terrace. Serving Modern Australian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist, the venison is a standout, and the wine list includes local and imported labels.
Protected from the elements by Cape Naturaliste, the resort hugs the curved shoreline and its only a short stroll down to the beach. If you can tear yourself away, then head to Ngilgi Cave, discovered in 1899, so pretty that honeymooners once camped out inside. Also nearby, and for panoramic views, climb the 123 m to the top of Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, built from limestone quarried from Bunker Bay.
Eco Wilderness tour
Get a different perspective of the resort and coastline by boat on an Eco Wilderness Tour with Naturaliste Charters (whales-australia.com.au). Enjoy an invigorating zoom by speedboat and explore the secluded caves and coves; spot dolphins, sea birds, New Zealand fur seals sunbathing on the rocks, and whales, including the rare blue whale, from September to December. As you can imagine, a sunset cruise leaves a lasting impression and enviable photographs.