First Visit to Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort

Our first visit to Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort at Townsville was on Monday 28 July 2008. Carlyle Gardens style themselves Townsville's premier lifestyle resort, which isn't exactly informative, but sounds good. They are owned by Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust, aka Prime Trust. I had seen a little of Carlyle Gardens at Mackay, and met some residents, when Jean was having her hip replacements the previous year.

Jean had been researching retirement villages and retirement resorts for a considerable time. The difference between a retirement resort and a retirement village seems mostly price, facilities and size. Villages seem typically less expensive, have fewer facilities, and are smaller. Carlyle Gardens, Townsville came closer to matching Jean's list of retirement facilities required.

We were actually headed further north, to get away from the construction noise at Airlie Beach. However we had scheduled an overnight stay in Townsville specifically so we could check out Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort at Townsville.

First Impression of Carlyle Gardens, Townsville

Not really knowing what to expect, we entered Carlyle Gardens and drove slowly (there is 20 kph speed limit) around the outermost streets of the retirement resort, to get an overall impression. Lots of individual homes, around 300, and a few duplex units, set in nicely landscaped flat surroundings, with quiet meandering streets. Gardeners working on new plantings. The main buildings and community areas were near the entrance.

Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village Townsville looked very like Panorama City, the USA retirement community near Lacey, Washington, where Jean's parents had lived for decades. We had visited her parents at Panorama City many times, and they seemed to find that retirement community an excellent choice. Jean's mother also got good support in an assisted living apartment when widowed.

In the administration area at Carlyle Square, there were diagrams of the streets on the wall. Of more use for visualising the large complex was a recent large scale model of the existing facilities, also showing the expansion plans. In the absence of the sales staff, we were introduced to the resort manager, who explained some of the facilities and how the place worked.

We took away the fancy flyers, for further study. They had floor plans of the homes, which was handy. We were also given a list of exit fees, the general service charge, and the entry price for all the different house designs. The fancy brochure didn't actually have a lot of other information, and some was simply incorrect. For example, the (possibly dated) FAQ said approved pets are allowed, but this is not so. The DVD mentions optional skylights, but we didn't notice them as an option (but for many designs, they would not make sense).

We were told Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village would have an Open Day in September, so we planned to attend that.