A romantic, winter escape
What is it? Lodge
Best for: A cozy retreat in the wildnerness
Will set you back: $229 – $699 p/n
Llilanfels emanates a sort of old-world charm that never gets… well, old. Half way between a lodge and a hotel, it is nestled in the perfect position to admire the breathtaking and majestic Blue Mountains of New South Wales, and is surrounded by beautiful, lush gardens and terraces overlooking the Jamison Valley and its famous Three Sisters. Lilianfels is a place that oozes every bit of old-fashioned luxury that frequent guests of this famous 5-star hotel have come to expect.
I love the Victorian style of Llianfels, where the design seems to reflect an unabashed love for romance and the finer things in life, as they would have appeared in a bygone area. Each room is uniquely decorated and has its own signature, but the common thread is antique prints and lots of them.
They haven’t spared a cent on the soft furnishings, with bed canopies, printed bed spreads and throw cushions made from silk and organza, and even hand-crafted wallpaper. I stayed in a room with a 19th Century Japanese-inspired feel, and everywhere I looked, from the wallpaper to the curtains was decked out in the same print.
It might be a bit much for some people’s taste, but I think it’s a little outrageous and kind of fabulous, although there is a little wear and tear on close inspection and parts of the room are beginning to feel a little dated. The design of the room is a little decadent and very cozy, ideal for your winter escape to the Blue Mountains.
It’s all about the comfort at this iconic lodge. There is your old-time guest lounge with open fireplaces that will appeal to any premium traveller wanting to chill out, and the relatively intimate size of the lodge, with only 85 rooms, means you will never be competing with throngs of tourists in the hallways.
The rooms are extremely comfortable at Lilianfels. The beds are plush and with many of the rooms with views of the beautiful surrounds, there are plenty of reasons to just kick back in your room with a cup of tea.
Llilanfels features an on-site day spa and in the same vicinity a spa, sauna, and indoor pool, which is fairly different from the kind of pool you generally see at hotels. It has an air of yesteryear to it, and perhaps leans towards being outdated, although the hotel also has an outdoor infinity pool with a view of the Jamison valley, umbrellas and furniture if that’s more your thing.
The spa is smallish and simple but warm and inviting as a spa should be… I loved the touch of the fragrant apple and cinnamon water in the waiting lounge. There is also a floodlit tennis court in the middle of the hotel’s pine forest with complimentary racquets and balls, a 24-hour gym, bicycles for hire, parking and wifi – all complimentary, just the way we like it.
Oh, there is also a gorgeous billiard room that takes you back to the days of cigars and smoking jackets.
The staff at Lilianfels are professional, well presented and take their jobs seriously, which they should at such an established and iconic hotel with a faultless reputation.
Nevertheless, it’s an area of the hospitality industry which is often lacking, so it’s refreshing to see the staff taking such pride in their jobs and the hotel in general.
Lilianfels is home to multi award-winning and hatted, Darley’s Restaurant. I absolutely adored this dining experience, with food by executive chef, Lee Kwiez. The aesthetic of this fine dining restaurant is opulent, rich and absolutely beautiful, and is also fairly intimate with seats for only 50 people.
It is an incredibly romantic atmosphere, and the food is simply to die for. It would be a sin to stay at Lilianfels and not eat here so do yourself a favour and go all out with the three-course menu.
Although Darley’s is the main restaurant at Lilianfels, there is the more casual all-day dining menu served in The Lounge, with its plush armchairs, comfy couches and open fireplaces. You can also opt for high tea or afternoon tea, and there is a bar to boot so you can enjoy a cocktail or two with a share plate or pub-inspired meal. Breakfast is served in the light and airy Orangery Restaurant and is buffet-style.
Lilianfels is set in a stunning spot called Echoes Point, in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains - a heritage-listed destination 90 minutes north-west of Sydney by car. The Blue Mountains is a great weekend destination for families and couples, with over one million hectares of rainforest, canyons, tall forests, heathlands and reserves. One of Australia’s best network of trails, it’s perfect for the outdoorsy type who loves to hike, bushwalk or mountain bike, as well as admire all of the stunning animal life on show. There are countless tours and activities on offer and the area as a whole is very tourist friendly. Book your stay at Lilianfels here
Outdoorsy family holiday, or a romantic, cozy experience for two.