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Four reasons we love Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Luxury and nature near Sydney

Bordering the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage region and less than three hours drive from Sydney (or a short helicopter ride) is Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley – one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia.

This special resort is located on a private conservation and wildlife reserve and is a haven for wildlife in addition to its breathtaking beauty. Guests come for seclusion, nature and relaxation, all complemented by unsurpassed luxury.

 

Here are four reasons we love Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains.

The backdrop of the Blue Mountains is simply stunning.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

 

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

 

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

 

It’s less than three hours drive from Sydney (or 45 minutes by helicopter).

Arrive by helicopter to Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains
Arrive by helicopter to Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

 

The 40 individual suites with their private indoor / outdoor pools are divine.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains
The indoor / outdoor pool

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

 

Most activities are included.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains
Search for wildlife at sunrise or sunset on a safari drive

 

Activities include stargazing by the campfire at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley i
Stargaze by the campfire

 

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains
Explore the area is by horse back

A stay at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains is a great addition to any Australian travel itinerary. Get in touch with our Alquemists to weave it into your next trip down under.

 

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Capella Lodge – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Capella Lodge, on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is Australia’s answer to Tahiti with the magic of the ocean and spectacular views.  Elise Johnson, Sales Manager for Capella, tells us more about this Luxury Lodge of Australia.

Describe Capella Lodge in 3 words.

Stylish barefoot luxury.

Tell us a little bit about Capella Lodge and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Capella Lodge is a luxurious retreat on Lord Howe Island, a small, breathtakingly beautiful island that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. The island is bordered by a reef-fringed lagoon, rolling surf, and the world’s southern-most coral reef. Only a fortunate few enjoy this stunning island paradise, with a small number of residents and only four hundred visitors permitted at any one time, to ensure that the island is preserved as nature intended.

Capella Lodge is Lord Howe Island’s premium boutique accommodation and a close-kept secret amongst those in-the-know! It’s inspired by the authentic Australian beach house, with nine island-styled suites designed to reflect Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment. A unique feature of Capella Lodge is its prime location, resting above Lord Howe Island’s tiny, secret beach at Lovers Bay and at the foot of the island’s famous twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. Capella prides itself on its contemporary cuisine, first name service and relaxed sophistication, which delivers an exclusive Lord Howe Island experience. Despite all of this, it is the genuine hospitality that each guest receives from the Lodge Managers, Mark and Libby, along with their team of warm and welcoming staff, that always leaves a lasting impression, long after our guests have left our little spot of paradise.

Capella Lodge is a luxurious retreat on Lord Howe Island
Capella Lodge is a luxurious retreat on Lord Howe Island

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Capella Lodge?

Take a stroll with our resident naturalist guide, Caitlin, who offers interpretive nature excursions around the island. Caitlin is a walking encyclopaedia on Lord Howe’s flora and fauna, and has a natural knack of discovering the shyest of rare sea birds or cleverly camouflaged marine wildlife!

Best dining experience at Capella Lodge?

Capella Lodge has a regional approach to cuisine ensures the finest and freshest produce from Lord Howe Island and New South Wales is showcased in every inspired menu. The light and airy, beach-house styled Restaurant and Bar has spectacular views of the lagoon and mountains, providing a dramatic backdrop for all dining.

My own memorable dining experience was a relaxed BBQ lunch with my husband on our anniversary. We rode bikes (complimentary for Capella Lodge guests and the best way to get around the island!) to Ned’s Beach, where Capella Lodge arranged a BBQ pack and bottle of wine to be delivered in time for our arrival. We spent the afternoon enjoying a BBQ lunch, along with fresh salads and dessert, followed by fish feeding and paddle boarding in the blue waters of Ned’s Beach. Bliss!

Sea-birds abound on Lord Howe Island
Sea-birds abound on Lord Howe Island

Please describe a typical guest at Capella Lodge.

We have welcomed a diverse range of travellers from all over the world, each looking to capture a piece of our island paradise! Our guests return again and again to reignite the magic they discovered at their secluded beach hideaway and to enjoy a warm ‘welcome home’ from their Capella family.

Is Capella Lodge child friendly?

We welcome children 10 years and older at Capella Lodge.

Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life
Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Capella Lodge is just one property in the ‘Baillie Lodges’ collection, which offers premium experiential travel in some of Australia’s most inspiring locations. See the real Australia, in style, by visiting our sister properties: Southern Ocean Lodge on the coastal sanctuary of Kangaroo Island, and Longitude 131° at Australia’s spiritual heart, Uluru-Kata Tjuta.

 

Elise Johnson
Sales Manager for Baillie Lodges (Southern Ocean Lodge, Longitude 131, Capella Lodge)

Elise Johnson is the Sales Manager for Baillie Lodges, a collection of intimate luxury lodges in unique wilderness destinations.


 

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Longitude 131 – A Luxury Lodge of Australia

Longitude 131, one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia is uniquely located in the Central Australian outback near World Heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Elise Johnson, Longitude 131°’s Sales Manager , tells us more.

Describe Longitude 131° in 3 words.

Timeless, spiritual and authentic.

Tell us a little bit about Longitude 131° and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Imagine waking to the sight of Australia’s most iconic view – the sacred red rock of Uluru – literally at the end of your bed! Situated discreetly adjacent to the World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Longitude 131° offers 15 elevated luxury tents with unrivalled views of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the surrounding desert landscape. A custom itinerary of guided experiences offer guests a first-hand encounter of Australia’s Red Centre. Guests might walk among the majestic red domes of Kata Tjuta, dine outdoors under the stars and witness the changing lights over Uluru at the magic moment of sunset, with glass of champagne in hand. At Longitude 131°, we promise our guests a special connection with the spiritual heart of Australia, with that little touch of luxury!

At Longitude 131° Uluru (Ayers Rock) can be seen from your bed!
At Longitude 131° Uluru (Ayers Rock) can be seen from your bed!

How is Longitude 131 pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

An exceptional signature touring program designed exclusively for Longitude 131° guests is included in the wilderness experience and a personalised itinerary is presented upon arrival. This touring program showcases the world’s largest monoliths: the Red Centre’s gem, Uluru (Ayers Rock), and the sacred red domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). For further exploration, we can arrange additional bespoke experiences that cater to a wide range of interests, including scenic helicopter flights, camel rides, motorcycle tours, dot painting workshops and plenty more!

At Baillie Lodges’ we pride ourselves on our ongoing commitment to product excellence, the result of which our guests are thrilled to experience. One recent example is the iconic ‘Field of Light’ display, an incredible light installation created by British-born installation artist Bruce Munro. Longitude 131° guests have an exclusive experience of the interactive artwork as part of the lodge’s Signature Experiences program. As the twilight cools the day, guests walk uninterrupted along the pathways in the Field of Light, just as the tiny buds are lighting up in the evening sky. When it’s time to depart, the field is fully lit, mirroring the billions of stars in the midnight blue of the desert sky and offering an unforgettable transformation of the landscape. Field of Light will be lighting up the Red Centre until 31 March 2018 ~ you won’t want to miss it!

The new balconies complete with swag at Longitude 131°
The new balconies complete with swag at Longitude 131°

What’s a recent (last 6 months) innovation at Longitude 131°?

Earlier this year, Longitude 131 revealed its new balconies, a modern addition to the existing tent-style pavilions that fit so naturally it’s hard to imagine the tents without them. The balconies offer luxurious outdoor lounging with comfy armchairs, an EcoSmart fire for the evenings and generous daybed for relaxing into views of Uluru. A luxury evening turndown service includes an after-dinner snack with accompanying digestifs, and the rollout of the new custom-designed Baillie swag under the open night sky. Perfect for lazing and star-gazing under a blanket of stars, this is glamping at its most marvellous!

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Longitude 131°?

A scenic helicopter flight showcasing spectacular bird’s eye views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, or further afield discover Lake Amadeus and Mount Conner.

A helicopter experience at Longitude 131° is not to be missed.
A helicopter experience at Longitude 131° is not to be missed.

Best dining experience at Longitude 131°?

Our daily changing menus reflect the best of contemporary Australian cuisine, combined with outback flavours and native ingredients like lemon myrtle, quandongs and desert-foraged herbs to create a uniquely local dining experience. Whilst dining under the canopy of the Dune House, guests are encouraged to feel at home by helping themselves to a diverse range of Australian wines, beers and premium spirits from the open bar. There’s always a friendly team member on hand to assist with mixing up a special ‘outback’ cocktail!

A truly memorable dining experience is Table 131°, a spectacular dinner under the stars enjoyed with fellow travellers among the red desert dunes. Guests are welcomed to their table by the sounds of the didgeridoo, reflecting on their day of discovery whilst enjoying four delicious courses complemented by the finest Australian wines. The evening is complete as our resident astronomer shares stories of the Southern night sky. Exclusive to Longitude 131°, Table 131° is an incredible outback experience like none other.

Table 131°, a spectacular dinner under the stars
Table 131°, a spectacular dinner under the stars

Please describe a typical guest at Longitude 131°.

There are no typical guests at Longitude 131, each are unique with their own personal desire for visiting this magical part of Australia!

Is Longitude 131° child friendly?

We welcome children 10 years and older at Longitude 131.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Longitude 131° makes a perfect outback complement to the coastal wilderness on offer at sister property Southern Ocean Lodge and to the subtropical coral reef paradise at Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island. Let Alquemie create the ultimate luxury itinerary for your visit to Australia!

 

Elise Johnson
Sales Manager for Baillie Lodges (Southern Ocean Lodge, Longitude 131, Capella Lodge)

Elise Johnson is the Sales Manager for Baillie Lodges, a collection of intimate luxury lodges in unique wilderness destinations.


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The Louise – Luxury Lodges of Australia

The Louise, is an intimate Luxury Lodge of Australia in the Barossa Valley with just fifteen beautifully appointed suites. We talked to Ruby Stobart, Director of Sales and Marketing to find out more.

Describe The Louise in 3 words.

Luxurious, private, authentic.

Tell us a little bit about The Louise and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

A stay at The Louise is more than a memorable dinner just a short stroll from your luxurious suite, it’s a place where you can find a genuine connection to the people and land of Barossa through food, wine, and experiences. Our luxurious suites, dinner, informed and intuitive service understands the need for our guests’ breathing space and privacy, to allow reconnection to each other, self and the beautiful region that is Barossa.

Nestled in the heart of Barossa, Australia’s most famous wine region, The Louise offers absolute luxury and inspired design with private spaces and breathtaking vineyard views together with Appellation restaurant, one of Australia’s best contemporary regional dining experiences. With a passion for fresh local ingredients, Executive chef Ryan Edwards and his team are guided by the rhythms of the seasons; harvesting from their kitchen garden, baking their own breads, butchering and curing their own meats; and see wine and food as the most natural of partners.

The Louise restaurant Appellation - chef's picking fresh food

 

The Barossa is home to over 80 cellar doors and over 50 small producers who are not open to the public; we have great relationships with local producers and are happy to share these with you. Whether it be a one-on-one masterclass at an iconic winery, a private lunch and tasting with an artisan winemaker or a behind-the-scenes look into a working winery with the winemaker, there are many ways for you to enjoy what is magic and special about the Barossa.

How is The Louise pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

Surrounded by stunning vineyards, The Louise suites are designed for you to revel in beautiful vineyard views, offering breathing space as well as a sense of privacy. A stay at The Louise seeks to cocoon and pamper, all suites have spa tubs for relaxation and many with gas log fireplaces for cosy days, and outdoor private rain showers – showering under a Southern sky is one of those special experiences! Appellation’s sunset terrace is the perfect place for cocktails and fine wines overlooking verdant vistas. Our infinity edge lap pool sits adjacent to vines and overlooks olive groves, casting glorious light as the sun sets. In-suite massages can be arranged in your private courtyard too.

The Louise pool

We pride ourselves on our local knowledge and relationships to deliver unique and special off-site guest experiences. Some of my favourites are:

Breakfast with the Kangaroos – walk amongst Australian flowers, birds and wildlife then sit back and enjoy a sunrise picnic breakfast with kangaroos in native bushland.

Most Brilliant Blend – for the wine enthusiast, make your most brilliant blend of wine at the famous Penfolds and have our chef prepare a dinner to match.

Farmer’s Market Tour – join our chef while he peruses the local farmer’s market for dinner provisions, meet the makers and share in his passion for the food of the region.

Hot air balloon flights – float over ancient vineyards and natural landscapes whilst enjoying a birds eye view of wine valleys.

Cooking classes – Roll up your sleeves and get into the kitchen at either of two cooking schools in the Barossa; the Italian inspired Casa Carboni or the intimate kitchen studio of Food Luddite.

The Louise dining at Appellation

What’s a recent (last 6 months) innovation at The Louise?

We’ve partnered with Australia’s most exciting winery Two Hands Wines and their Vineyard Experiences to bring you a ‘vineyard safari’ like no other. Your guide will pick you up from The Louise in a luxury Land Rover Defender, for a day of exploring iconic Two Hands Wines private vineyard estates. You’ll stand in the vineyard, drinking the wine from the vines you see before you, with views unrivalled in Barossa, flagship wines and a wood-fired pizza lunch to finish. This is a one of a kind behind the scenes experience in Australia.

We love this experience so much it is part of our 3 night Best of Barossa package!

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at The Louise?

My perfect day – Taste for yourself the bounty of great Australian wine and genuine Barossa hospitality:
Tour the Barossa Farmer’s Market with our chef on a Saturday (he’ll even buy you a coffee!), chat with the growers and shop for the evening’s meal. Enjoy a day wine touring with a local guide – start with the Influences of Oak tasting at Murray Street Vineyards hosted by the winemaker, a great insight into the whole winemaking process, then join one of the family for a tasting at the famous Elderton Wines, and make sure you head over to Fino @ Seppeltsfield for a delicious lunch and a stroll through the JamFactory artists’ studios, return to The Louise for a soak in your tub and a sundowner on your private terrace.

Best dining experience at The Louise?

Appellation’s wine paired four course dinner: our menu offers you the opportunity to enjoy the very finest of seasonal produce from our friends, neighbours, and regions of South Australia. You simply select your own ‘four course tour’ of the menu, and our Sommelier will pair wines from our award winning 400+ wine list.

The Louise restaurant Appellation

Please describe a typical guest at The Louise.

The Louise is perfect for couples seeking a romantic getaway, experience seekers

Is The Louise child friendly?

Appellation at The Louise is designed for adults and caters for children 10 years and older, who will be accommodated on the same basis as adults.

Ruby Stobart
Director of Sales and Marketing – The Louise and Appellation

Born in New Zealand and with many other stops along the way, Ruby has enjoyed a life of travel. Her adventures have taken her to many parts of the globe; living in Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, England and the USA as well as trips to Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Cambodia, the Caribbean and Bahamas. Her passion is for great food and wine and this drove her to study wine in various levels at Adelaide University, Court of Master Sommeliers, Australian Wine Research Institute and WSET UK. Her work in the industry includes roles in wine buying, wine sales, marketing and management.

Ruby oversees The Louise and Appellation brand communication and takes care of all trade and media relationships and has been with the company for over 9 years. She genuinely relishes working in the hospitality and tourism industries and along with her work at The Louise is currently Deputy Chair for Tourism Barossa and co-founder of non-profit meal service Kind Hearted Kitchen. Married to a winemaker and mother of two, living and working in the Barossa with like-minded passionate people, Ruby feels she is living ‘the good life’.

 

Ruby Stobart
Ruby Stobart

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Bamurru Plains – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Bamurru Plains, a Luxury Lodges in Australia’s Top End is one of the most stunning destinations in Australia. A profusion of bird and wildlife are on the doorstep of this unique bush lodge that brings a touch of style to the discovery of a remote and beautiful wilderness. We talked to the manager of Bamurru Plains to find out more.

Tell us a little bit about Bamurru Plains and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Bamurru Plains is located on a 303sq klm pastoral property just to the west of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia. With approx. 1/3 of this property being floodplain and with a saltwater river system and coastline as part of its boundaries the property boasts a huge amount of wildlife and different eco systems all with their own unique story to tell.

The Kingfisher Suite at Bamurru Plains
The Kingfisher Suite at Bamurru Plains

How is Bamurru Plains pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

I would like to think it is through the deliverance of the experience to the guests. You are not just a spectator on the tour where you simply take photos of a magnificent landscape. It is through the guided experience where guests get to touch, smell, visualise and hear the stories of the environment so that they can take away knowledge as well.

What’s a recent (last 6 months) innovation at Bamurru Plains?

We have recently purchased seven Yamaha Grizzly quad bikes for our guests. It allows us to get into areas of the property which our safari vehicles cannot access, which form a guided experience is something unique, but it also allows the guest to be in control of their own machine which has been a winner with the guests.

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Bamurru Plains?

An airboat tour across the floodplains (weather permitting).

Best dining experience at Bamurru Plains?

It has to be the communal dining experience which we do for every meal at Bamurru Plains. To me I think one of the key fundamental social issues is people do not communicate face to face anymore. Everywhere you look in the cities it is people communicating by phones etc. Whereas at Bamurru people are dining in what I believe to be the true outback way….together at one big table swapping stories of their travels and making in some cases lifelong friendships.

Please describe a typical guest at Bamurru Plains.

There is absolutely nothing typical about our guests. Everyone who stays here has a particular interest and it is up to us as the hosts to find what that is. Similar to our environment it changes daily and so do our guests.

Is Bamurru Plains child friendly?

Yes from 8 years old and above. Some great experiences for kids are doing a quad bike tour with their parents, swimming in the edge pool, an airboat tour across the floodplain or a river cruise spotting the resident saltwater crocodiles.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes…..see you all soon!

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Pretty Beach House – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Pretty Beach House, an exquisite Luxury Lodge of Australia only 90 minutes from Sydney has room for only eight lucky guests. The all-inclusive guesthouse is situated within the Bouddi National Park and surrounded by several golden beaches. Deborah Ramsay tells us more.

Describe Pretty Beach House in 3 words.

Relaxed, effortless luxury.

Tell us a little bit about Pretty Beach House and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Our guesthouse is surrounded by natural beauty including several glorious golden beaches & picturesque bays, all easily accessible for hiking expeditions along walking trails & over coastal sandstone cliffs. Indigenous rock art by the local Darkinjung tribe features at the doorstep of the guesthouse, dating back an incredible 10,000 years.

A ‘welcome to country’ indigenous smoking ceremony, is performed for every new guest, usually on arrival night. It’s a very special experience for our guests who absolutely love the interaction and engagement of a true aboriginal elder from our community.

How is Pretty Beach House pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

By providing a complimentary indigenous Welcome to Country smoking ceremony for all guests. This experience is deeply spiritual and very engaging. Our property’s offering is also an all-inclusive package. All meals and even most beverages are paid for in the one tariff making the experience effortless for our wonderful guests.

A Welcome to Country ceremony at Pretty Beach House
A Welcome to Country ceremony

What activity should guests not miss during their stay?

Of course, the Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony, but the bushwalks are rather spectacular too. We have mountain bikes for guests to take whenever they feel like it, and paddle boards and kayaks can be hired from just down at the local bay. A ferry trip across to the famous Sydney beach of Palm Beach, is also a beautiful day out.

What is the best dining experience at Pretty Beach House ?

All All dining is curated by Stefano Manfredi – master of modern Italian cuisine. Italian born Manfredi is one of Australia’s most celebrated and influential chefs. Guests are often lucky enough to chat with Manfredi over the pass, and learn new culinary skills from the master himself.

All dining at Pretty Beach House is curated by Stefano Manfredi
All dining is curated by Stefano Manfredi

Please describe a typical guest at Pretty Beach House.

Well, our guests are special. They are looking for total relaxation, privacy and relaxed luxury at its finest. They might be hopeless romantics with a proposal in mind. They may be honeymooners, babymooners or discerning globe trotters. They might be baby boomers who spend their well deserved time at the finest hotels across the globe. Each and every one of our guests are unique and we love to create very special experiences for them depending on their needs.

For more insight, read a review of our stay at Pretty Beach House here. It is also the perfect place for groups of friends.

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Lake House – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Award-winning Lake House in Daylesford just 90 minutes from Melbourne is as famous for its fine dining as it is for its boutique accommodation. Set within picturesque spa country, this family-run Luxury Lodge of Australia is a foodie’s delight and offers one of the best cellars in the country. Larissa Wolf-Tasker fills us in about this magical property.

Describe Lake House  in 3 words.

Gourmet | Country-chic | Service

Tell us a little bit about Lake House and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Lake House is family owned and operated. It began as a restaurant in 1984 when Alla & Allan, husband and wife (artist and chef) opened the doors of their Lake House which had taken four years of building, plotting and planting. More than 30 years later Lake House is still owned and operated by the family including myself, my partner and 120 industry professionals.

The property is situated on six acres of country gardens; much of it planted by the previous generation, on the edge of lake Daylesford. It’s a rambling seasonal garden with old established fruit trees, fragrant old fashioned roses, lilac, magnolia and Daphne.

Lake House is near to the village of Daylesford which is filled with quirky shops, bars, cafes and galleries. A short stroll or bike ride will get you into the heart of the village within ten minutes but guests more often than not will spend hours exploring the main street and laneways on route.

This region is a land of extinct volcanos and boasts the largest concentration of naturally occurring mineral water springs in Australia. There is now an enormous spa industry built around the health giving properties of this mineral water and you can see the evidence on the springs on site where the waters flow above ground in creeks, water features and shallow pools. A local water diviner came on site to discover the underground springs and we now have water available for people to drink on site as well as bath in. The volcanic activity millions of years ago also ensured productive volcanic soil resulting in a diverse organic and biodynamic farming industry. As a result our restaurant has a consistent supply of extraordinary produce. It’s a pretty special place.

Accommodation at Lake House, Daylesford
Accommodation at Lake House, Daylesford

How is Lake House pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

Our purpose built Cooking School gives guests an opportunity to get their hands dirty in either an intimate class of ten or amongst a masterclass with some of Australia’s leading chefs. The full calendar for the year ahead is always released in December and spaces fill quickly.

What’s a recent (last six months) innovation at Lake House?

We are always moving forward and now in our fourth decade the Lake House continues to grow and evolve with refurbished accommodation, brand new facilities and plenty of wistful country inspiration. The Lake House Team have never been known to rest on our laurels; now launching the newly refurbished Waterfront Suites. This update comes hot on the heels of the new Waterfront Pavilion – a private dining room for up to 40 guests on the lagoon shore, The Lagoon Deck – a place to enjoy afternoon aperitivo high in the poplars overlooking lake Daylesford, and the refurbished Lodge Studios and Suites in the original homestead.

The cooking school at Lake House, Daylesford
The cooking school at Lake House, Daylesford

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Lake House?

A Signature Salus Bliss – it’s a combination of soft body polish, rhythmic massage and hot volcanic stones

Best dining experience at Lake House ?

Our restaurant is a destination in itself. Dining in the restaurant is the signature experience of a stay at Lake House and our tasting menu that changes with the seasons is a definite must-do. The Lake House Restaurant is listed as one of Australia’s best and this year alone has been included in every major national industry and media award.

Please describe a typical guest at Lake House.

There are no typical guests. We practise a very bespoke style of hospitality. Every day and every guest is a new opportunity to create very special memories.

The Spa at Lake House, Daylesford
The Spa at Lake House, Daylesford

Is Lake House child friendly?

Yes however we are on an unfenced lake and ask parents to be mindful of the natural landscape. Onsite there are plenty of activities for kids – feeding the kookaburras, geese and ducks, fishing, flying kites, tennis, basketball, lake walks etc. Nearby there is also quad biking, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, three golf courses and the Wildlife Park.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

We have a few more unusual parts to the property. Our own resident artist Allan Wolf-Tasker’s studio is on site. At the moment he is working on a new exhibition “Lake Daylesford” which will be shown in Melbourne in November 2016. His studio is open to hotel guests or by appointment. We also display the work of several local artists throughout the gardens, in the public space and in the hotel rooms themselves.

The Lake House is also regularly featured on shows such as Masterchef. Culinary Director Alla Wolf-Tasker AM is an icon in the hospitality industry and is often representing Australia’s food and wine in partnership with Tourism Australia overseas.

The deck at Lake House, Daylesford
The deck at Lake House, Daylesford

 

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Silky Oaks Lodge – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa adjoining the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park is a picture of tranquility. Located on the Mossman River it’s the perfect based to explore this tropical rainforest wonderland.  The lodge offers activities such as canoeing, river snorkelling,  guided walks, wildlife spotting and yoga classes or simply swimming in the crystal clear mountain waters of Mossman River. It’s the perfect haven for guests keen to re-energise their soul. We speak to Samantha Lusk, Sales & Marketing for Silky Oaks Lodge.

Describe Silky Oaks Lodge in 3 words.

Relax, Rejuvenate, Explore.

Tell us a little bit about Silky Oaks Lodge and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Silky Oaks Lodge offers a luxury experience from which to explore Tropical North Queensland, situated only 20minutes north of Port Douglas. It boarders the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest National Park and is spectacularly perched above the Mossman River. Surrounded by the lush rainforest, this luxury eco lodge is the ideal location to appreciate the natural tropical environment.

How is Silky Oaks Lodge pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

We understand that all guest’s needs and requirements are different, so prior to the guest arrival, we try and obtain as much information as possible about them so we can tailor individual and personalised touches for all guests. These special touches may be in the form of the location of the room ie. if a guest has a walking difficulty, we will try and allocate a Treehouse as close to the Main Lodge as possible, even if this means we need to upgrade them. We strive to exceed guest expectations at all times and this may be achieved by special touches in the guest rooms such as fresh flowers on arrival, local teas in the room upon turndown, mood music playing upon arrival and during turndown, acknowledging all guests by their names.

Relaxing in the tropical surrounds of Silky Oaks Lodge
Relaxing in the tropical surrounds of Silky Oaks Lodge

What’s a recent (last six months) innovation at Silky Oaks Lodge ?

Due to high demand we have just finished building another Lodge Suite. This room type is in high demand by families as they are the only room which can accommodate four guests. These rooms which are 88sqm offer a spacious open plan layout with extra large balcony with its own outside king size four poster day bed.

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Silky Oaks Lodge ?

Take a picnic hamper and guide book and hike the Fig Tree Rapids trail and immerse yourself in the crystal clear mountain water along the way.

Clear waters of the Mossman Gorge at Silky Oaks Lodge
Clear waters of the Mossman Gorge at Silky Oaks Lodge

Best dining experience at Silky Oaks Lodge?

Our Treehouse Restaurant offers an exquisite dining experience. This unique open-sided restaurant where the walls and windows have been replaced by the Mossman River and surrounding rainforest, offers the freshest of local produce. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Treetop accommodation at Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree
Treetop accommodation at Silky Oaks Lodge

Please describe a typical guest at Silky Oaks Lodge.

Retired couples whose children are now at university etc., and who now have the time to relax and enjoy the peaceful surrounds after a very fast paced career. They value the tranquil surrounds of Silky Oaks, however also want to get out and explore the region and what it has to offer, such as a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef or a day trip to Cape Tribulation.

What’s a great experience for teens at Silky Oaks Lodge?

For teenagers, they can have a great time exploring the beautiful Mossman River with a mask and snorkel available from our Reception. They may spot some Jungle Perch, turtles and if they are really lucky the elusive Platypus!  We do not accommodate children under the age of 8 years.

Mt Demi Rainforest by Silky Oaks Lodge
Mt Demi Rainforest by Silky Oaks Lodge

 

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True North Kimberley Cruises – Luxury Lodges of Australia

A cruise along the Kimberley coast aboard the luxury adventure small-ship TRUE NORTH is on the bucket list for many. Scenes of thundering waterfalls and spectacular gorges greet guests daily. Highlights include Horizontal falls, Mitchell falls, the unique eco-system of Montgomery Reef, Aboriginal rock art and catching huge barramundi.

We speak to Peter Trembath, General Manager, who has been responsible for brand and product at North Star Cruises (owners of TRUE NORTH) since 2001.

 

Describe TRUE NORTH in 3 words.

Revered adventure-cruise ship

Tell us a little bit about TRUE NORTH and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

An adventure on the TRUE NORTH is one of Australia’s most desired holidays. Bigger ships cannot go where we go! Extended periods at sea are specifically excluded and daily activities can include scenic walks, fishing, snorkelling, diving, scenic flights in the ship’s helicopter and cultural events. We deploy comfortable expedition boats (not rubber boats) and discover wilderness in small groups. An Australian crew uniquely chaperones every experience.

Fishing for barramundi on the True North
Fishing for barramundi

How is the TRUE NORTH pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

By providing unparalleled access to some of the world’s most pristine wilderness and, by providing activity-laden itineraries that provide our guests with maximum opportunity to truly experience the destination.

The True North is a base for adventure
The luxury small-ship is a base for adventure

What’s a recent (last 6 months) innovation from North Star Cruises?

The introduction of new itineraries in the Kimberley and the scheduling of a Discovery Cruise in the South Pacific.

What activity should guests not miss during their stay on the TRUE NORTH ?

Flying in the ship’s helicopter.

Raft point sunrise by helicopter on True North
Raft point sunrise by helicopter from the True North

Best dining experience on the TRUE NORTH ?

Catch of the day likely caught with your own hands.

Please describe a typical guest onboard.

Anyone who considers ‘the experience’ to be the true luxury.

Is the TRUE NORTH child friendly? If so what’s a great experience for kids under 10? And for teens?

Where behaviour is guaranteed not to disrupt the enjoyment of fellow guests. The high-speed drift-snorkelling at the stunning Rowley Shoals is great fun.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Beware of imitations and discover for yourself why our guests consistently remark “that’s the best holiday I have ever had!”

Peter Trembath, General Manager TRUE NORTH
Peter Trembath, General Manager, North Star Cruises  with his catch of the day

 

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Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups of friends

Picture this…Your favourite people, an amazing location, a heavenly bed, delicious food, wine aged to perfection and a range of unique and interesting activities that would delight even the most seasoned traveller. Sound good? Well that’s what’s on our list of small boutique properties are just perfect for groups of friends. These gorgeous options for exclusive Australian accommodation for groups will make you want to go on vacation right now. Read on…

Spicers Peak Lodge

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Spicers Peak Lodge
Spicers Peak Lodge is Queensland’s highest mountain lodge retreat.

With just ten luxurious suites and two Private Lodges, Spicers Peak Lodge serves as an intimate and relaxing accommodation experience in one of South East Queensland’s most beautiful wilderness areas. Located on 8,000 acres at the peak of a ridge, with breathtaking views of the World Heritage listed Main Range National Park and Scenic Rim.

There is a range of experiences designed to give guests access to this strikingly beautiful part of the Australian wilderness including rainforest bushwalks, mountain biking adventures, and wine tasting at the nearby Granite Belt wine region. There are also guided four day treks ending in a night of luxury at the lodge.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Spicers Peak Lodge
For those that love nature, the four-day walk is recommended

Pretty Beach House

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Pretty Beach House
The gorgeous view from Pretty Beach House

Pretty Beach House is the epitome of relaxed luxury and elegance for those looking for a private getaway not far from Sydney.  A serene escape nestled within the heart of the NSW Bouddi National Park and high above Pretty Beach (just a 5 minute drive away), here you’ll find the perfect balance of intimacy, privacy and personalised butler service. With just four luxurious pavilions a group can have this exclusive Australian accommodation all to themselves.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Pretty Beach House
Enjoy a private picnic or fishing during your stay at Pretty Beach House

Arkaba

Arkaba_Flinders-Ranges_South-Australia_Sunset-Dinner2-1024x654

Arkaba’s true luxury is delivered by the fact that its 60,000 acres are shared by just 10 guests, taking the definition of exclusivity to a new level in Australia.  Located in the ancient and awe-inspiring grand scale landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba is a genuine blend of conservation and tourism.

Arkaba’s team of expert field guides live and breathe the bush and through a mix of guided walks, open top safari drives and sheer passion, they will open up the secrets of one of Australia’s most fascinating and spectacular landscapes.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Arkaba
Spot unique Australian wildlife on a sunset safari at Arkaba

Cape Lodge

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Cape Lodge
Cape Lodge attracts those who are seeking a private, stylish and sophisticated retreat

With 22 romantically secluded rooms and a magnificent five bedroom private luxury Residence, Cape Lodge in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia sits on 40 acres of manicured parkland and ornamental lakes and has its own 8 acre vineyard producing fine Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz exclusively for guests of the hotel. The superb Cape Lodge Restaurant is voted one of the ‘Top Ten in the World for Food’ in Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List and is described as “one of Australia’s finest new generation dining establishments.”

Private, tailor-made activities in the nearby surrounds of Margaret River can include wine tasting (of course!), devouring some of the best regional produce in the country, learning about the Aboriginal significance of the region, surfing the world-famous breaks, multi-day walks, whale watching, truffle-hunting and much more. Read our review here.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Cape Lodge
Explore the nearby stunning beaches

Crystalbrook Lodge

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Crystalbrook Lodge
The Executive Chef catches dinner at Crystalbrook Lodge

Hidden in the rugged outback of North Queensland this secret outback mecca catering to only 10 guests is an oasis of luxury perched over the spectacular Crystalbrook Lake.

The lake is haven to a staggering range of wildlife including birds, freshwater crocodiles and fish; a nature lover’s paradise, guests can spend days on the lake or riverside, exploring the bush wilderness or just enjoying the serenity and stillness of the outback in the lodge’s private manicured grounds. Keen fishermen will be hooked on giant barramundi or heli-fishing in the gulf rivers. Here in “big sky” country, the colours of dawn and dusk bookend nature’s daily theatre.

Lakeside Dining At Crystalbrook Lodge
Lakeside Dining At Crystalbrook Lodge

 

Travelling with groups of friends is one of the loveliest ways to spend time. On the other hand, trying to organise everybody can be difficult and sometimes pleasing everyone can be tough work. This is where Alquemie comes in. Our Alquemists are specialists at crafting magical holidays and ensuring that each and every traveller has the trip of a lifetime. Get in touch today.

 

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