THERE was a time when the words "caravan park" and "spa bath" would never have appeared in the same sentence, let alone the same location. But times have changed. Once the cornerstone of a working-class holiday, caravan parks now have upmarket amenities. Batemans Bay Beach Resort sits on superb real estate, a 50-metre walk from Corrigans beach and a few kilometres south of Batemans Bay shopping centre. The resort has tennis courts, a jumping pillow, swimming pool, minigolf and an amphitheatre.
There are 34 cabins, ranging from a three-bedroom version named Casuarina to two-bedroom cabins with beach and aquatic names such as Grey Nurse. Our accommodation is called Pipi.
The cottages are modern, spacious and comfortable. At $175 a night and sleeping two adults and three children, they are a modestly priced holiday option.
Our front deck overlooks a lawn (used as a camping site if the resort is full) and low-lying dunes, which lead to Corrigans beach. A leisurely walk along the long beach is a sublime way to start the day.
On the deck are four chairs, a small table, an electric barbecue and a stainless-steel basin that, during our stay, will be used to prepare a kilogram of local prawns bought from the Good Food Guide-listed Bay Marlin Seafoods.
The front wall is floor-to-ceiling windows, and there is a table that seats four, a kitchen with a good-size fridge, microwave oven, cooktop, coffee maker and freshly ground coffee (Mexican Lite) from Uro Coffee in Batemans Bay.
This is relaxing family holiday accommodation at its best, where the emphasis is on leisure.
Batemans Bay Beach Resort
Address 51 Beach Road, Batehaven.
The verdict A five-star caravan park with spacious cabins and beach frontage.
Price Cabins vary according to the season. A deluxe cabin, sleeping two, costs from $145 a night, low season. A three-bedroom deluxe cabin costs $440 a night in the premium summer season.
Bookings Phone 1800 217 533, see beachresort.com.au.
This is an edited extract from The Sydney Morning Herald's 2012 52 Weekends Away.