Seventh heaven

A world-class marina in a stunning location with all the trimmings and personal service of premium accommodation plus various sumptuous dining options to choose from – what’s not to love?

In 2016 the Marine Industry of Australia and the Yacht Harbours Association launched a singular, global gold anchor Platinum accreditation scheme for the benefit of the marine industry and its boating fraternity. With its strict criteria, marinas are measured on a variety of aspects, not least the service levels extended to boat owners. To date, there are just seven marinas across the world that can claim the Platinum Anchor accreditation.

Three of those are within Australia and Soldiers Point Marina is among the select few. Nestled at the tip of Soldiers Point in the pristine Port Stephens region, this boutique Marina certainly pushes the boat out when it comes to service, offering premium facilities, world class service and a swathe of luxurious touches. It’s all about service Boat owners are essentially treated like gold here, a mantra that seems ingrained in the dedicated team at Soldiers Point. Personal service drives much of the Marina’s success and is so very evident when I meet with General Manager, Darrell Barnett and Guest Services Manager, Carmen Holden.

“We meet every one of our customers, without exception. We know everyone by name and take time to get to know them and their families, we look after them and cater to anything they might need while they are here.”

Darrell Barnett, General Manager Soldiers Point Marina

Darrell has managed the Marina for 20 years and is, as you might imagine, highly invested in upholding its outstanding reputation. As we sit in the boardroom, he shares with me a small preview of upcoming renovations to the The Deck Restaurant bathrooms, bathrooms that are already impressive. But for Darrell, keeping the Marina at the Platinum anchor standard is an ongoing task and one which he seems to embrace with vigour.

Well-appointed bathrooms, a sauna, gym, office facilities and a fully air-conditioned lounge are of an equal standard to that of premium accommodation. There’s no room for complacency here, from the moment customers arrive they are taken care of, in fact the Marina staff will happily turn on your air conditioners, refrigeration or motors before arrival. From the complementary airport drop off and pick up, valet service, Lexus cars fresh coffee and newspaper delivered to your boat in the morning to the chilled hand towels provided at sundown and refreshing cocktails, no stone has been left unturned.

V-assist technology provides customers with a tag for their car and boat so that the Marina is notified via text message of a customer’s pending arrival, staff are then ready and waiting to greet boaters with a smile and take care of their luggage or tend to any other requests. It’s much like a high end hotel, yet far more personal. Aside from its long list of facilities, the Marina boasts a unique sense of style, featuring commissioned sculptures dotted around the pontoon, that can be booked for open air weddings on the water. A floating café, two restaurants, a bar and BBQ space offer plenty of choice for a quick bite or a long lunch or dinner.

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Read more wonderful stories in the Spring issue of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine.

Story Lesley Horsburgh, images courtesy of Soldiers Point Marina