As we continue to work longer hours with less opportunity to take a fortnight or more off work for a worthwhile overseas getaway, we often find ourselves staring out the office window mentally escaping to the poolside of a fabulous Bali resort, strolling along a pristine Tahitian beach or sipping Glühwein in the warmth of an Austrian chalet. But instead of daydreaming, you can actually have a luxury holiday in Australia that wont require you take two weeks off work.
The word luxury is often used, but rarely delivered. It seems the word is flung around these days to describe any hotel with free Wi-fi and a complimentary newspaper. True and exclusive luxury is something that depicts a lifestyle and a way of living that excites the senses and delivers an experience above and beyond expectation.
So where does all of this leave us? Well, here are five properties a little closer to home which truly understand the meaning of luxury and exclusivity – and with some you can even drive your fabulous Porsche straight to the front door.
Saffire at Freycinet – Tasmania
From the moment you drive through the gates to Saffire at Freycinet you know you’re about to experience something special. From the million-dollar views of Coles Bay to the stunning architecture of the resort itself.
Whether you enjoy hiking, cycling, indulging in fine wine and food or high-speed boating, Saffire offers it all. Simply leave your phone and credit card in your room on arrival and indulge your senses. Fully inclusive rates including all meals and beverages range from $1800 – $2800 per suite per night.
Southern Ocean Lodge – Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Secluded and located on top of a stretch of rugged coastline, Southern Ocean Lodge is a sanctuary of refined comfort. The lodge offers personalised experiences and allows you to get up close to Kangaroo Island wildlife or enjoy some of Australia’s finest local food and wine.
There is a minimum stay of two nights and the rates range from $990 to $1800 per person per night. This includes all dining, open bar, in-suite bar, selected guided Kangaroo Island experiences and island airport transfers
The Royal Mail Hotel – Victoria
Located at the foot of the Grampians, the Mt Sturgeon Cottages at The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld provide an understated but luxurious escape within a driveable distance from Melbourne. With stunning views of the Grampians, the self-contained cottages are highly recommended. But the main reason for visiting the Royal Mail is you’ll have an opportunity to dine at one of Victoria’s most highly rated regional restaurants specialising in local produce. So make sure you can book at the restaurant prior to booking a room. Apart from the cottages, there are hotel rooms which are lovely, but a standard hotel size and fairly safe interior design.
The Royal Mail has a Celebration Package that includes one night’s accommodation in a Deluxe Mountain View hotel room (ensure you book rooms between 13-17 as these have the best view) including a cooked breakfast and dinner for two in the Royal Mail Hotel Restaurant with matching wines for $1100 per couple over the weekend. Don’t miss out on the chef’s tour of the restaurant garden.
Lizard Island – Queensland
If seclusion and white sand are your priority, Lizard Island, located on the Great Barrier Reef, should be at the top of your list. With only 40 suites, five-star cuisine and an indulgent spa, it could be your perfect winter pick-me-up.
Rates vary according to the season but are around $1519 to $3410 per room per night. This includes meals, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, selected wines, beer, spirits and champagne during meals, picnic hampers, use of non-motorised water sports and motorised dinghies.
El Questro Homestead – Western Australia
The rugged and stunning Kimberley Ranges landscape is the setting for one of Australia’s most renowned luxury resorts – El Questro. With a limit of 18 guests, you will get personal attention and service. The three new Cliff Side rooms look incredible as they are situated at the edge of a sheer escarpment overlooking the spectacular wilderness.
Rates range from $1949 to $2749 per room per night and include all meals and beverages plus guided tours in the El Questro Valley. Note that the Homestead closes from October 31 – April 1 each year for the “green season”.
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