‘We know what you do takes a lot of time and effort and we feel you deserve a little break …’ began the email from Nicky Vaux, inviting us for a one-night stay at the Lavender Majestic, a luxury guesthouse in the Blue Mountains. As the owner of Beaches and Mountains Girls Getaways, Nicky prides herself on making women feel welcome and special, reflected in the job title in her email signature: Chief Spoiler of All Girls Needing a Getaway.
Did Inner West Mums founder Anita Vitanova and I need a little break in style? Hell yes, we did. We scrambled to accept this generous offer not only to stay at the property but to experience the delights of the new Treat Me Like a Princess package, including afternoon tea, a facial, light supper and full breakfast the following morning. While most choose to stay two nights at the property, the Treat Me Like a Princess package lends itself to those who have time pressures, particularly mums with young children.
Anita and I arrived at the Lavender Majestic, situated just outside the Katoomba town centre, on a Friday afternoon. We were greeted at the entrance by Jim, who would be our butler for our time there. Yes, you read that right – our butler! Jim took our bags in hand and invited us in.
Butler Jim. Image © Anita Vitanova
Next we met Nicky, who welcomed us warmly and gave the grand tour of this stunning 1890s property. The Lavender Majestic was built as a holiday home by the Foy family, who also built the famous Hydro Majestic. Many of the original features remain, such as the beautiful sandstone façade at the front, high ornate ceilings, stained glass windows and hardwood floors. In recent times, however, Nicky and her family have lovingly updated and expanded parts of the house, providing spacious accommodation with modern conveniences – including a six-person outdoor hot spa and underfloor bathroom heating, such a nice touch in the cooler months!
The living areas have been appointed with an eye for detail. Think deep, comfortable couches and armchairs, antique furniture, eye-catching ornaments, plush rugs and chandeliers. You can choose to unwind in the kitchen (which has a combustion stove), conservatory, living room (with open fireplace), formal dining room or one of the elegant outdoor spots. There is a treatment room on site too – but more on that later!
The kitchen and Nicky in the conservatory. Images courtesy of Beaches and Mountains Girls Getaways
We joined our friends from North Shore Mums in the light-filled conservatory overlooking the back garden for afternoon tea – a delicious selection of savoury items and sweet treats, presented on a tiered stand and accompanied by our choice of tea served in attractive and vintage china. And when we were done, the empty dishes were promptly whisked away before we had a moment to think about mundane tasks like cleaning up!
High tea. Images © Ginny Grant
Image © Anita Vitanova
Then it was time for each of us to take our turn for a full facial, including a cleanse, exfoliation, mask, neck, shoulder and foot massage, with the lovely beauty therapist Helen. The treatments are done in a purpose-designed room, and feature quality skincare products. Helen was sensitive to our particular skincare needs and highly skilled, and we were in a deep state of relaxation by the time she was done!
After our treatments were complete, with our skin glowing, the only thing to do was crack open the champagne we’d brought – except we didn’t even need to think that far, because butler Jim was already on the case! Without any intrusion, he just seemed to have a sense of exactly when glasses needed refilling, which of course they did, with a bunch of lively mums chatting the evening away.
When it comes to dinner at the Lavender Majestic, you have options. You can choose to stay in and enjoy a bowl of soup with crusty bread and a cheese and fruit platter. Or you might prefer to get a takeaway dinner from one of the local restaurants. Alternatively you can dine out – and it’s just a ten-minute walk from the property to Katoomba’s centre. We stayed in for supper, moving to the lounge room to enjoy the comfort of the open fire. The soup – a rich pumpkin flavour with double cream and parsley – was absolutely delicious and, together with the cheese and other goodies, more than adequate.
The lounge. Image © Ginny Grant
After all this pampering, we were frankly a tad exhausted and retired to our rooms at around 9.30 pm. Anita and I stayed in the very large upstairs room with four king single beds, a lounge area and balcony. On entering the room, we discovered a little turn-down fairy had visited our room, arranging the bedding just so and leaving chocolates and spa products. In no time at all we had nodded off in our cosy beds, made with fine linen, warm blankets and quality pillows. (We’re especially fussy on the last point but were very pleased with the pillow selection.)
The large upstairs bedroom. Images © Ginny Grant
The Lavender Majestic sleeps up to nine people in total, with three bedrooms: the upstairs one we stayed in with four king singles – with magnificent Blue Mountains views – a second upstairs one with a queen-sized bed, and a further downstairs bedroom with a queen and single. In addition to the open and combustion fires downstairs, there is heating throughout the house and the upstairs rooms have air conditioning as well. There are two bathrooms, one ensuite to the queen bedroom upstairs.
Overall the accommodation has a very inviting, decadent feel. We kept discovering luxurious touches throughout, such as the wonderful lavender grass-scented handwash and body lotion provided in each bathroom or the electric oil diffusers gently dispersing delicate scents. We were pleased to find the bathroom products are available for sale, and we purchased some of these to help us remember our stay at the Lavender Majestic.
While chatting with Nicky, we learned she began her career working in luxury hotels in London – and the attention to detail and intuitive service clearly shows. ‘We try to be like little fairies in the background,’ Nicky explained, ‘taking care of everything and making all our guests feel special.’ Mission accomplished!
The next morning espresso coffee and tea were offered then a full breakfast was served in the formal dining room at our chosen time. There were pastries, muesli, fruit, eggs made to order, roasted tomatoes, avocado, bacon, mushrooms and baby spinach – all up, it was quite the spread! Nicky and her team can accommodate various dietary needs.
Breakfast in the formal dining room. Images © Anita Vitanova
When it came time to leave, we’ll admit we almost shed a tear. Our relaxing girly time had come to an end too soon. One of us said, ‘We all need a Jim in our lives,’ and we heartily agreed. Could we cope with life after our butler Jim? It seems we can – just. Sigh. But we’re already thinking, planning our next girls’ escape to the Lavender Majestic.
Thanks so much to Nicky, Jim and Helen for making our stay so thoroughly enjoyable. We miss you already – truly we do!
Please note: while Anita and Ginny stayed as guests of the Lavender Majestic on this occasion, all the opinions expressed in this piece are authentically our own.
The Lavender Majestic is one of several of the Beaches and Mountains Girls Getaways, popular for hens’ nights, birthdays and general bonding time with girlfriends. There is a range of packages to choose from – all include the exclusive use of the house, a spa treatment and butler service. Packages can be personalised with additional treatments, services and activities. You can find out more here.
Cover image courtesy of Beaches and Mountains Girls Getaways