Who doesn’t dream of an escape from Sydney – better still, a romantic one without the kids? Where to go for a rare getaway with your partner, or even a special occasion for grown-ups, is a question that comes up regularly in the Inner West Mums Facebook group. So, we’ve gathered together this drool-worthy list of idyllic escapes in and around the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands, the South Coast, the Northern Beaches and Central Coast and the Hunter region, as recommended by the Inner West Mums.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley
Phone: (02) 9308 0550
For the ultimate in luxury (and with a price tag to match!), head directly to Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley resort, set on more than 7000 acres of conservation reserve in the magnificent Wolgan Valley. The accommodation is spacious and refined. The elegant Wolgan Dining Room showcases the region’s finest seasonal and organic produce. A la carte and degustation selections are available. A more casual option, The Country Kitchen, offers small plates and light meals. There is also a bar and terrace lounge with an open fireplace and verandah with sweeping views. The spa menu includes wellbeing and beauty therapies using exclusive Sodashi products. There are numerous activities on offer, including a chance to get involved in conservation, nature walks, heritage tours, horseriding and archery. Or you can simply relax fireside and soak up the incredible beauty of the surrounds.
Image courtesy of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa
5–19 Lilianfels Avenue, Katoomba
Phone: (02) 4780 1200
Approximately 90 minutes from Sydney by car, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa is situated at Echo Point in Katoomba. With elegant gardens that overlook the spectacular Jamison Valley, Lilianfels is the perfect place to unwind with your partner. The hotel is renowned for its food and wine. Its fine dining offering, Darley’s Restaurant, is an award-winning, Good Food Guide hatted restaurant that oozes old-world charm. The day spa has a comprehensive menu of therapies and treatments to help you relax and feel pampered. There is also a tennis court and two heated pools.
0412 884 061
A stunning 1890s property, the Lavender Majestic is a luxury guesthouse that sleeps up to nine people. Located just outside the Katoomba town centre, the property is the ideal location for a girly getaway, such as a hens’ weekend, a baby shower or a special birthday. The comfortable, spacious accommodation, which has been lovingly restored by owner Nicky Vaux, offers modern conveniences, including a six-person outdoor hot spa and underfloor bathroom heating. Oh, and a butler – so guests can truly unwind and feel special! There is a range of packages from which to choose, and all include the exclusive use of the house, a spa treatment and butler service. Packages can be personalised with additional treatments, services and activities. To read our full review of the Lavender Majestic, see here.
First two images courtesy of Beaches and Mountains Girls Getaways
Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa
Horderns Road, Bowral
Phone: (02) 4861 8100
In the picturesque Southern Highlands, just 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney, Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa is an ideal place for a romantic getaway at any time of the year. At the heart of the elegant five-star hotel is a grand heritage mansion. The accommodation is luxurious, and there are multiple casual and formal dining options, including The Conservatory, The Terrace, The Orangerie and Horderns Fine Dining Room. The estate’s well-established, beautifully manicured garden is considered to be among Australia’s finest gardens. On the splendid grounds there are tennis and croquet facilities, a gym, heated indoor pool and the new Wellness Spa.
Image courtesy of Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa
Bannisters Hotels, Mollymook
Bannisters by the Sea
191 Mitchell Parade
87 Tallwood Avenue
Mollymook Beach NSW 253
Phone: (02) 4455 3044
Bannisters Hotels has two Mollymook locations: the original Mitchell Parade site, Bannisters by the Sea, as well as the more recent Tallwood Avenue addition, Bannisters Pavilion. Both locations offer luxurious accommodation and upmarket facilities, perfect for a romantic escape or a special occasion. Bannisters by the Sea boasts its renowned Rick Stein at Bannisters seafood restaurant, an infinity-edge pool overlooking the sea, a poolside bar and a day spa. The new hotel, Bannisters Pavilion, has excellent access to Mollymook Beach. It features a rooftop pool with a bar and grill. Each hotel provides a range of beautiful coastal chic rooms, many with spectacular ocean views.
571 Woollamia Road, Woollamia
Phone: (02) 4441 6066
Featuring 12 luxury safari tents set above the ground among eucalypt and paperbarks trees, Paperbark Camp offers a haven with a difference. Located in Woollamia, near Jervis Bay, two and a half hours south of Sydney, Paperbark Camp combines fine cuisine and hospitality and canvas tent accommodation. Each tent has solar-powered lighting, high-quality linen and all the modern comforts you’d need for your glamping experience. The tents also have a deck from which guests can appreciate their natural surrounds. Children aged six and up are allowed to stay at Paperbark Camp.
NORTHERN BEACHES AND CENTRAL COAST
Bells at Killcare
107 The Scenic Road, Killcare Heights
Phone: (02) 4349 7000
Situated on the Bouddi Peninsula just 90 minutes from Sydney, Bells at Killcare is a favourite among Sydney couples wanting a romantic retreat. The boutique hotel, which only allows adults to stay, features a range of suites and cottages in a Hamptons style, set on beautiful grounds. The hotel is well known for its restaurant, featuring estate-grown and local produce. A swimming pool and a day spa are also on site.
Image courtesy of Bells at Killcare
For those wanting next-level luxury, Bells at Killcare’s nearby sister property Pretty Beach House fits the bill.
69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach
Phone: (02) 9974 5599
Just a stone’s throw away, on Sydney’s spectacular Northern Beaches, Jonah’s boutique hotel is a superb retreat with 11 rooms for accommodation. A favourite spot for special occasions, Jonah’s restaurant offers jaw-dropping ocean views. The hatted, award-winning restaurant specialises in contemporary Australian cuisine, and has a coveted extensive collection of wines.
Kims Beachside Retreat
16 Charlton Street, Toowoon Bay
Phone: (02) 4332 1566
Situated on a large beachfront property in Toowoon Bay, Kims Beachside Retreat is a great choice for either a romantic escape or a special occasion for grown-ups. The property features 34 bungalows and spa villas set among subtropical rainforest and Norfolk pines. The restaurant serves fresh local produce and there’s also a cocktail bar with live music. Kims is exclusively for adults.
Bannisters Port Stephens
147 Soldiers Point Road, Soldiers Point
The newest property in the Bannisters portfolio, Bannisters Port Stephens has transformed an iconic retro motel into a stylish boutique hotel experience in a serene seaside location. Situated approximately 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney, Bannisters has all of the charm of Bannisters by the Sea in Mollymook. Choose from a range of well-appointed rooms and suites looking out to sea or the surrounding tranquil bushland. The wet-edge infinity pool offers mesmerising ocean views. A major drawcard for guests is once again Rick Stein’s signature restaurant, serving superb freshly caught local seafood and fine wine. Cocktails and Mediterranean and Australian dishes can be enjoyed at the Terrace Bar or, for a more casual option, The Tavern provides a traditional family-friendly pub atmosphere with live music, sports and comfort food.
The Convent, Hunter Valley
88 Halls Road, Pokolbin
Phone: (02) 4998 4999
On the magnificent Roscrea Estate, The Convent is a distinctive boutique hotel in the Hunter Valley wine region. The hotel is part of the Escarpment Group’s collection of upmarket hotels, including the Hydro Majestic and Lilianfels in the Blue Mountains. A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney, it’s an ideal choice for couples wanting an intimate retreat, while sampling local wine and produce. The Convent offers 19 luxuriously appointed guest rooms. There is a winery on site, Pepper Tree Winery, a casual restaurant, Restaurant Eighty Eight, and a hatted fine dining restaurant, Circa 1876, which serves a selection of tasting menus. Both restaurants gather their produce from the property’s organic kitchen garden, a bee hive, eggs from the on-site chickens and quails, as well as from local sustainable sources.
Spicers Vineyards Estate
555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin
(02) 6574 7229
Also in Pokolbin, Spicers Vineyards Estate is another excellent choice for a Hunter Valley romantic stay or special occasion. It features 12 well-appointed guest rooms, a fabulous modern Australian restaurant, Restaurant Botanica, and a day spa, Spa Anise. The accommodation is spacious and stylish and offers idyllic views over the vineyard and a mountain backdrop. Restaurant Botanica’s cuisine showcases fresh, seasonal produce, much of which is sourced from the kitchen garden. The restaurant has an impressive, award-winning wine list. To help guests unwind, a full range of spa treatments is available at Spa Anise.
Chateau Elan at The Vintage, Hunter Valley
Hydro Majestic, Blue Mountains
Spicers Retreats Sangoma Retreat, Blue Mountains
Cover image courtesy of Bannisters Hotels Mollymook
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