Top Sydney escapes
Dreaming of an escape? You don’t need to travel far. There are plenty of stunning spots a couple of hours’ drive from Sydney, just waiting to be explored. The next time you’re planning a getaway or cheeky long weekend, treat yourself to a stay at one of these beautiful resorts, hotels or holiday houses.
Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa
Rolling hills and charming streetscapes, Bowral is the perfect weekend getaway, so why not make the five-star Milton Park your base? Built at the turn of the twentieth century, the hotel is grand, with tree-lined walkways, and plenty of arts and antiques. While it’s acceptable to do absolutely nothing, we recommend a pamper session at the Wellness Spa, followed by dinner at Horderns Restaurant.
Horderns Road, Bowral
Set on the Hawkesbury River, Peats Bite is made up of six upscale bungalows. Each features a living area, kitchenette, bedroom and balcony across two levels, as well as riverfront views. Peats Bite is a bit of an insider secret, so don’t be surprised if you spot some celebrities on your stay. The highlight is the restaurant, which showcases fresh, local produce and can only be reached by boat or seaplane.
Sunny Corner, Hawkesbury River
A boutique retreat that screams seaside chic. After you’ve checked into your Hamptons-style suite – and perhaps soaked in a bath overlooking the lake – wander through the eight acres of perfectly manicured gardens until you reach the Manor House. There, you’ll find the pool, day spa, and the restaurant that attracts foodies from all over.
107 Scenic Road, Killcare Heights
When the south coast is calling your name, stay at Bannisters by the Sea, a 32-room luxury hotel overlooking Mollymook Beach. If you’re willing to splash a little cash, upgrade to a Spa Retreat room to score an outdoor Jacuzzi, or a Penthouse Suite to see Collette Dinnigan’s handiwork up close. Beachy rooms aside, the resort is famous for its clifftop infinity pool.
191 Mitchell Parade, Mollymook
There’s glamping, and then there’s Paperbark Camp, a safari-style retreat in Jervis Bay. In the heart of the bush, each of the 12 canvas tents has a bed, ensuite shower (and in the Deluxe rooms, a bath), hardwood deck and wraparound verandah. The tents also feature roll-up walls, so you can decide the extent to which you bond with Mother Nature.
The Archer House is the Whale Beach weekender. A striking home right on the beachfront, it’s won awards for its minimalist steel, glass and concrete design. It flows over two levels: the top floor is dedicated to entertaining, with a fully equipped kitchen, dining and living room, courtyard, and balcony overlooking the water. Downstairs, there are four bedrooms, including a kid’s room with its own lounge area.
On a 7,000 acres wildlife reserve in the exquisite Wolgan Valley, of the Blue Mountains region, One&Only have created a conservation resort that puts you in touch with nature’s finest without compromising on the luxury that they’re renowned for. 40 freestanding suites, each with their own private pool, fireplace, spa-like bathroom and terrace. Plus, onsite dining and outdoor and conservation activities aplenty.
2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley
Another Blue Mountains beauty, Sangoma Retreat is an eco-retreat nestled on 10 acres of lush bushland. It has eight spacious suites, all of which boast freestanding tubs, wraparound balconies, and African decor accents. If you’re celebrating something special, the Escarpment Suite is the ultimate in eco-chic luxe. Outside the room, there’s an infinity lap pool and lawn, as well as a communal lounge and dining area.
70 Grandview Lane, Bowen Mountain
To recharge and relax by the ocean, book the aptly-named Pretty Beach House. Perched on the fringe of the Bouddi National Park, there are four glamorous guesthouses, each offering incredible views over the bush and Brisbane Waters. The rooms are private and decorated in beautiful earthy tones, while the main house features a dining room, kitchen, open-plan living area and spa, plus an infinity pool up front.
After a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Blue Mountains’ Hydro Majestic Hotel is more glamorous than ever. Located in Meadow Bath, it has panoramic views of the Megalong Valley. Inside, the hotel pays homage to a bygone era, with elegant, art deco interiors and grand ballrooms. Enjoy afternoon tea in the Wintergarden and cocktails at Salon du The before retiring to a Heritage Room.
52-58 Great Western Highway, Medlow Bath
Originally published in Sitchu