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Monday, July 05, 2010

Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains - Emirates Hotel

wolgan valley swimming pool
Wolgan Valley Resort

It wasn't too long ago that my idea of luxury accommodation was having the shower and toilet inside my room. On my first trip overseas on my own, I stayed in a youth hostel in London, sleeping in a triple bunk bed in a compact room with 11 of the newest best friends.

Communal showers and toilets aren't all bad. I backpacked around Europe and the UK on a shoestring budget, staying in cheap but always clean accommodation. Back in the UK, I ended up working for youth hostels in both Cambridge and London, living on-site in staff quarters --with our own private bathroom -- and gaining an appreciation for life on the other side of the reception desk.

Wolgan Valley Resort, however, is a world away from bunk beds, curfews and sleep sheets. Built by Emirates at a cost of AU$125 million and opening in October last year, the six star resort sprawls across 4,000 acres in the Blue Mountains.

I was somewhat incredulous when I received an invitation to visit Wolgan Valley as a guest, a resort where each two-person suite has a rack rate of $1,950 per night. Would I like to come? Surely this was a rhetorical question!
blue mountains
View of the Blue Mountains from Mount Tomah

It was an early weekday start for the group: three journalists, two PR executives and I, driven by luxury mini-bus, out of the chaos of Sydney and up into the Blue Mountains. It's about a three-hour drive to Wolgan Valley from the Sydney CBD, and we make a pit-stop halfway at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden.

The idea of "fresh air" always seems ludicrous to hardened city folk, but we tumble out of the bus and can smell the difference immediately. The air is clean, crisp and pure and we gulp it greedily.

scones with jam and cream
Scones with jam and cream

We also gulp down scones with jam and cream, a late breakfast for most. The scones are light and fluffy, served with pots of strawberry jam and real cream. The view from the balcony makes it understandably popular as a wedding reception venue.

It's another 90 minutes to Wolgan Valley, the last section on a dirt road that raises clouds of dust amongst the skittering pebbles. The resort finally comes into view, a row of Federation-style timber houses beneath towering escarpments that loom dramatically overhead.
wolgan valley suites
Wolgan Valley accommodation suites

Joost Heymeijer, General Manager of Wolgan Valley Resort, is already standing outside the main reception area to greet us and host a brief tour of the facilities. Armed with twelve years of hotelier experience with the Hilton group, Joost worked on the resort from the concept stage -- before any drawings had even been done-- and through the process of approvals and construction to its current operations. The entire planning process took eight years.

The main building, which houses the reception lobby, dining room and bar, is affectionately named The Homestead.

wolgan valley reception area
Reception lobby in The Homestead

The reception area is deliberately discreet with low desks and no obstructive computer monitors in sight. A laptop is secured in a drawer beneath the desk and only brought out when required. The most striking feature is the back wall made from old fence posts that were found on the property. They add a delicious smell of wood to the room, and create a homely country feel.

wolgan valley dining room
Dining room with the main chimney

Sandstone - from nearby Mangrove Mountain, on the Central Coast - and timber have been used extensively throughout the building. There was a huge emphasis on sourcing local and recycled materials. The structural timber in the ceiling was made from an old bridge in Molong near Orange, in the NSW Central Tablelands. Skylights in the ceiling enable natural light by day, and a view of the stars at night.

All of the furniture has been custom-built, we're told, and many of the furnishings were designed and made by local artists. Door handles, made to resemble a knobbly tree branch with leaves, was made by a blacksmith in Lithgow. Recycled tractor axles, rusty troughs and even an old Drizabone coat were used by local artists to create quirky and interesting lamps - there are 26 dotted around the property.

Staff are dressed exclusively by RM Williams, and their tailored uniforms are a mix of country garb mixed with corporate trimmings. An RM Williams shop in the Homestead is ideal for the international tourist keen for their own dinky-di clobber.

wolgan valley drizabone lamp shade
Lamp shade made from an old Drizabone coat

wolgan valley private dining room or boardroom
Private dining room or boardroom with solid timber table
and light fitting made from an upturned rusted trough found on the property


wolgan valley wine cellar
Wine cellar open to guests each evening for hands-on browsing
- the room holds about $200,000 worth of stock.

The wine cellar is particularly impressive, even more so when we're told that it's kept open for guests to wander and browse at their leisure. The 300-strong wine list was created with the expertise of noted Australian wine expert Peter Bourne. Thirty per cent of the wine list comes from the local Orange, Hunter valley and Mudgee region; another thirty per cent has the sourced from the rest of Australia and New Zealand. The remaining forty per cent comes from France, Chile, the United States and Europe.

Guests receive a complimentary bottle of wine in their room when they check-in - this wine is always Australian.

wolgan valley dining room
The dining room and outdoor balcony

We're taken downstairs to The Country Kitchen for lunch, a sunny spot that serves more casual fare than the formal dining room upstairs. The accommodation price includes all meals, non-alchoholic beverages, selected wines and two nature-based activities per day.

duck and pistachio terrine
Country style pork and pistachio terrine with preserved lemon and fennel salad

For lunch I choose the country style pork and pistachio terrine, coarsely textured and generous with whole pistachios. Others choose the arborio crusted calamari, Kurrajong beef burger, wild mushroom pie and prosciutto and pine nut and fetta risotto. The Country Kitchen is the only dining area with a printed menu - in the dining room upstairs, the menu changes daily.

cheese plate
Cheese plate

Goaded by another who is intent on having mango gelato for dessert, I have the cheese plate that includes a Holy Goat cheese (from Daylesford, Victoria) and a Brillat-Savarin triple cream brie. I ravage it completely.

wolgan valley golf buggy carts
Golf buggy carts

We finally check into our rooms after lunch, a golf buggy cart trundles us down the gently sloping path with a whirr and happy hum.

wolgan valley suites
Heritage suites

The suites are not just rooms, they are stand-alone villas. Forty suites surround the Homestead in a U-shape. There are 36 Heritage suites - one-bedroom buildings that measure 83 square metres internally. Three Wollemi suites can cater for four guests and have 201 square metres of internal space. The Wolgan suite has an internal area of 245 square metres and has a two-bedroom suite with separate staff quarters and gourmet kitchen for a maximum of six guests.

wolgan valley deck chairs
Outdoor deck chairs

The suites are beautiful even on approach, and the views are stunning. Joost had told us that most hotel operators automatically think of building a property on the top of a mountain, not at the bottom of a canyon. Wolgan Valley sits between a cliff face and a river and the escarpments create a sense of sanctuary and stillness.

wolgan valley mountain bikes and front porch
Mountain bikes on each porch

Each suite has two mountain bikes parked on the porch, for complimentary use by guests to either ride up to The Homestead or to explore the property. Helmets are kept under the wooden on the front porch.

wolgan valley living room
The living room

You know that moment when you first open your hotel room with bated breath? I (naturally) fumble with the door key before I finally push the door open and poke my head over the threshold. I'm greeted by the sound of mood music playing on the stereo accompanied by the gentle crackle of the fireplace that has already warmed the room.

What does a $1950 per night suite get you? Follow me.....

wolgan valley living room fireplace
The double-sided Jetmaster fireplace in the living room

wolgan valley four poster bed
The four-poster king-size bed

This is not just a bed. This is a magical place of slumbering wonder. Romantic nuances of the four-poster bed aside, the mattress is the hero here, a seven-layer tribute to foam on top of individual coils that support every tired fibre of your body and soul. The pillows are 50% duck and 50% goose feather, and were truly as close to resting your head on a cloud as you could imagine. The mattress was that ideal combination of soft yet supportive, moulding to your body without overheating it. It was the best night of sleep I've ever had.

My only quibble was the ridiculous number of pillows on the bed. What do people do with so many pillows? Thankfully most were removed during the "turn down" service at night, a process that translates to "we will get rid of all these ridiculous pillows and provide you with a tray of petit fours for your in-bed dining pleasure".

The beds are available for sale at a cost of AU$3,000 although we're told the retail price is closer to AU$9,000-AU$10,000. In the nine months since they've been open, they've sold 25 beds.

I also loved the fan above the bed, a wooden fan that looked more like a plane propeller.

wolgan valley bathrobes in walk-in wardrobe
Bathrobes in the walk-in closet

The walk-in closet is huge. You could fit a bed in here and possibly have room for a garage as well. The drawers have clear fronts for easy clothes identification, and there's even a tie drawer with tidy box compartments.

wolgan valley dressing table
Dressing table

The dressing table inside the walk-in wardrobe gives an idea of its generous dimensions.

wolgan valley bathroom with double sinks
His and hers sinks in the bathroom

wolgan valley shower with skylight
Shower with overhead skylight

wolgan valley bedroom fireplace and tv
View of the TV and fireplace from the king size bed

wolgan valley rocking chairs on back porch
Wooden rocking chair on the back porch

wolgan valley private swimming pool
The private swimming pool

Easily the most impressive feature in the private swimming pool that adjoins each suite. Accessed from an internal door in the living room, the pool measures 2.5m by 7m and is heated to 25C . There's much novelty in being able to swim whenever you like in relative privacy, and I couldn't resist a warm midnight swim after dinner.

wolgan valley suite back porch
Rear view of a suite

wolgan valley four wheel drive vehicle
Our four-wheel-drive vehicle

We only had one nature-based activity for the day - a four-wheel drive tour of the property. The resort only takes up two per cent of the 4,000-acre property.

Originally run as a cattle station, the resort owners say they are trying to reverse-engineer the environmental impact of its past. No trees were cut down during the construction of the resort, and 140,000 trees and shrubs were planted in an egg-shape around the main buildings. The resort is the first in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon neutral certification. All domestic water is fully recycled, solar panels are used for hot water and traditional windmills are used instead of electrical pumps.

kangaroo in wolgan valley
Male kangaroo

We spot hundreds of kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos, bounding in groups across the grassy plains.

wolgan valley white wallaby
A white wallaby

A white wallaby is a special sighting - according to our guide Elwin Wolfenden, this female is one of only two known white wallabies in Australia. She is not an albino (ie. missing skin pigmentation), and according to Elwin, seems to be always well looked after by a group of male wallabies.

wombat and kangaroos in wolgan valley
Wombat

Do we need a new TV wombat star to replace Fatso from A Country Practice? I think we do.

We're told that wombats can run up to 40km per hour. They tend to dig and own four burrows in different areas, each up to 20m long. Because they sleep in different burrows each night, their burrows are often shared with foxes who will take advantage of free lodgings for the evening.
wolgan valley lookout platform
The lookout

The lookout is a popular spot for couples, and the resort have often organised dinners for boyfriends looking for a place to propose. The resort will also pack picnics for couples, take them by four-wheel-drive to wherever they please, drop them off with picnic rug, food and walkie-talkie, and return to pick them up when buzzed on the intercom.

wolgan valley executive chef dwane goodman
Executive Chef Dwane Goodman

Before dinner, we're given a brief tour of the kitchen and meet the the Executive Chef, Dwane Goodman. Formerly the Area Executive Chef for the Banyan Tree Resort in Bintan, Indonesia, Dwane has also worked with the Berkely Hotel in London and the Intercontinental Hotel Sydney.

The Dining Room offers a completely different menu every day - it is estimated that in the nine months since they have been open, 3,000 different dishes have been served. There is a strong emphasis on supporting local suppliers and ingredients too. The resort roasts its own coffee beans and each day they bake their own bread. Wolgan Valley also runs its own apprentice chef program, training them in-house rather than at TAFE.

wolgan valley asian vegetarian rolls
Asian vegetable rolls

Whilst we're chatting, Dwane serves us a selection of canapes.

wolgan valley beef tempura
Megalong Valley beef tempura

I'd been a bit sceptical about the idea of beef tempura, but these were amazing, the local Megalong Valley meat cooked to a tender pink and juicy with flavour.

wolgan valley chicken with langoustine and green pea coulis
Chicken with langoustine and green pea coulis

Tiny drumettes of chicken stuffed with langoustine were elegant but it was the green pea coulis I was obsessed with, smooth and sweet.

wolgan valley white anchovy and apple on lavosh
White anchovy and apple on lavosh

wolgan valley potato ravioli with fresh Oberon winter truffle
Handmade potato ravioli with fresh Oberon winter truffle

Our formal dinner upstairs starts with the most prized ingredient in the kitchen - a newly delivered fresh Oberon winter truffle. Shaved on top of handmade potato ravioli, the truffle adds an aromatic earthiness to the dish.

wolgan valley seared rabbit loin
Seared rabbit loin
with poached langoustine and zucchini ribbons


The rabbit loin is a little on the dry side but the accompanying buerre blanc sauce is delicious with the plump morsels of poached langoustine and soft silky ribbons of cooked zucchini.

wolgan valley ice sculpture with basil lime sorbet
Basil and lime sorbet

Everybody oohs and ahhs when the basil lime sorbet arrives, each scoop presented in a tear-drop-shaped vessel made of ice. The ice sculptures are made using water balloons that are filled with water and then hung in the freezer until a thick layer of ice develops. A knife is used to delicately carve out a hole in the front, the excess water removed, and then a small amount of water poured into the bottom to create a flat surface for the sorbet to sit on. This is then placed into a blast freezer.

The ice sculpture is tinted green by a few drops of food colouring in the water. It seems a shame they will only be used once and then left to melt into a puddle of water.

wolgan valley basil and lime sorbet in ice bowl

wolgan valley hereford prime beef fillet
Hereford Prime beef fillet

We're given a choice of mains. Hereford Prime beef fillet is a huge hunk of meat, served with a red onion tarte tatin and a cluster of cherry tomatoes on the vine, roasted in the oven.

wolgan valley red onion tarte tatin
Red onion tarte tatin

wolgan valley wine glasses stemware
Logan 2007 pinot noir (Orange) and
Printhie 2009 sauvignon blanc (Orange)

I'm a fan of both our wines tonight, the pinot noir is particularly smooth and silky. The stemware is also exceedingly elegant, hand-blown crystal glasses that were specifically chosen for their height to match the lofty surroundings. The dining room has 16 different glasses and we're told that the red wine glass alone costs $63 each.

wolgan valley beans and broccoli
Steamed beans and broccoli


Rolled wattle seed pavlova

We finish with slices of a rolled wattle seed pavlova, garnished with stars of drizzled toffee.

wolgan vally petit fours
Bedtime petit fours

The golf buggy takes us home where we find our beds turned down (ie. excessive pillows removed) and a plate of petit fours.

wolgan valley breakfast yoghurt, fruit, danish pastries and porridge
Yoghurt, fruit, Danish pastries and porridge

It's hard to get out of bed the next morning, but the promise of breakfast is always a good incentive. Each guest automatically receives a tray of yoghurt, fruit, Danish pastries and porridge. We don't have to eat it all, we're told, but encouraged to eat what you like, much like a buffet. I only eat the yoghurt and a small amount of fruit, but I do wonder whether the items are either re-used or thrown in the bin. Neither option is appealing.

There are only a small number of guests on the Thursday night -- I'd only spotted three or four other couples -- but we're told that they're fully booked for the weekend.

wolgan valley eggs benedict
Smoked trout with poached egg, Hollandaise sauce, wilted spinach and potato roesti

My order of a poached egg with Hollandaise sauce releases a delightfully runny yolk. The potato roesti is a little soggy but the smoked trout is firm and flavoursome, and not too oily. I wash it down with a glass of freshly squeezed watermelon juice.

wolgan valley horse feeding Wrangler with carrots
Feeding Wrangler with carrots

From breakfast I head straight to the stables with another journalist via a chauffeured car. Most horses here are about ten years old, although they do have two young mares here who apparently cause as much trouble as a pair of teenagers.

wolgan valley horse riding
Riding Marshmallow

The horses are quiet and peaceful. Due to time constraints we only get to ride them around the small arena.

wolgan valley ranger Elwin Wolfenden with horse, Marshmallow
Elwin Wolfenden with Marshmallow

wolgan valley timeless spa relaxation room
Timeless Spa relaxation room

We don't have much time because I have a massage booked in at the Timeless Spa. Oh yes it is a tough life here.

The relaxation room is a huge space dedicated to guests to unwind pre- and post-treatment. After filling out a survey (there was a moment of guilt as my pen hovered over the "exercise" section), I'm ushered into one of their six treatment rooms.

wolgan valley timeless spa room
Timeless Spa treatment room

The treatment rooms are designed for couples, with two massage beds next to each other. I'm intrigued by the square Japanese soaking tub and am told it's often used by couples who book in a treatment at dusk and watch the sunset together.

wolgan valley 1832 homestead
1832 homestead on the right
with workers cottage on the left, firepit and outdoor oven

We conclude our visit with a lunch at the 1832 Heritage Homestead, restored by a team of specialists headed by Ian Kiernan and involving meticulous work for two years. Originally a settler's farmhouse, the property was lived in until 1950 when it eventually fell in extreme disrepair. AU$2 million was spent just on restoring the building which required 90% of all doors and windows replaced. The building is presumed to been built in 1832 as one of the stones in the fireplace has 1832 engraved into it. Heritage architects have also confirmed that nails used in the structure pre-date at least 1890.

The 1832 Homestead now serves as a living museum with artefacts and displays and restored pieces, including a pool table with original pool cues, and a nursing chair that was re-upholstered.

wolgan valley restored nursing chair
Restored nursing chair with inset picture of its condition when found

wolgan valley 1832 homestead
1832 homestead

wolgan valley zucchini soup
Zucchini soup

It hasn't been as cold as I'd thought it'd be in the Mountains, but at lunchtime the wind picks up and we all seek refuge in mugs of hot zucchini soup, kept warm in the thermos.

wolgan valley ploughman's lunch
Ploughman's lunch

A Ploughman's lunch is our final taste of Wolgan Valley, a selection of cold meats, cheeses, olives and bread.

wolgan valley main swimming pool
Main swimming pool

It's a shame to have to leave. Interestingly Joost had told us that after nine months, the resort is into its first cycle of repeat visitors. Whilst most guests only stay for two nights on their first visit, he says repeat visitors are staying for a week on average. The resort is currently offering a winter special of $1,365 per suite per night with a minimum two-night stay that is also proving to be incredibly popular.

Worth the money? It's definitely an amazing experience. Whilst the well-heeled form the bulk of their clientele, the resort claims to have a significant level of customers who are celebrating honeymoons or big anniversaries. The level of service was impressive (doors magically opening, staff knowing you by name and knowing exactly which suite to deliver you to) and the resort didn't feel ostentatious or forbidding, but rather homely and comfortable.

The guy looking to propose... The couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary... Hey, even a single girl has to have a few ideas up her sleeve...

Grab Your Fork stayed as a guest of Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa.

wolgan valley suites

2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley, Lithgow
Tel: +61 (02) 6350 1800

~~~

FREEBIE FRIDAY WINNER

Congratulations to Paul who has won a $50 dining voucher to Helm Bar in Darling Harbour.

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32 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/05/2010 03:17:00 am


32 Comments:

  • At 7/05/2010 8:39 am, Blogger fickle red riding hood said…

    This place is absolutely spectacular.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 8:56 am, Anonymous Trissa said…

    How did you get yourself to leave paradise? What a gorgeous place. Next big occasion or when I win the lotto I'm going to stay here.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:01 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    hard life indeed hehe the private pool is awesome and im lol'ing that the beds can be bought!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:06 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    This is awesome, and it's within a good driving distance for most Sydney siders too!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:14 am, Anonymous Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    Wow! This place is absolutely gorgeous! The private swimming pool, the bikes, the ice bowls, horse riding.. omg!!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:19 am, Blogger K said…

    Such luxury! Thanks for showing us your experience. I for one know I could never afford such paradise. :)

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:31 am, Anonymous The Extra said…

    Wow. If only I had a few thousand dollars to spare! Do you have to be a guest to buy one of the beds?
    A very nicely written piece too - if I ever make 20 years of marriage, I know where I'm going for the anniversary.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:36 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    Hello, sign me up please! That's an amazing looking suite, I had no idea there was something so decadent so close to sydney!

    P.S. Congrats on the bigger pics and wider site!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:42 am, Anonymous Chris said…

    I am now planning my honeymoon - notwithstanding the fact i'm not getting married anytime soon! Lucky you!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:44 am, Anonymous Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said…

    Amazing experience - how very lucky of you to be treated. Good food, luxury surroundings, massages - hard life indeed.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 9:54 am, Blogger Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Wow! Helen, I am in awe...what a magnificent and luxurious spa/resort. That ice sculpture dessert looks so spectacular. I'd go there for that alone!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 10:24 am, Anonymous Fiona said…

    Wow. Oh WOW.

    WOW.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 11:17 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Oh heavens to Betsy! One of my recent hostel experience involved a complete lack of soap in any of the bathrooms for four days straight (St Christopher's in Bruges, if anyone wants to know where NOT to go), so this is just... swoon.

    It also hurts that your room is about a squillion times nicer than my entire two-bedroom unit. Ah well. Wombat! And cheese! And hoooooorsies! Happy days!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 11:29 am, Anonymous Leona @ pigged-out.com said…

    omggggggggg that view, pool and food !!!! This is one relaxation holiday resort that sure knows how to make us go WHOAA! If i win lotto one day i'll take us bloggers there LOL!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 12:01 pm, Anonymous NADZ said…

    I officially hate you!!!! Helen the place looks amazing and it looks like you made the most of it. By the way, I think i will fall over and die if i see another photo on ur blog with scones, jam and cream. They are one of my true weaknesses.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 12:09 pm, Anonymous MissDissent said…

    That looks amazing, wonderful to get a glimpse into the food and amenities of a place I'll never afford to go. You certainly seem to have been fed a lot! Love the ploughman's lunch shot.

     
  • At 7/05/2010 12:43 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    What an absolutely dreamy place, and with such cute wombats, what more could you ask for?
    You need to expand your blog focus to 'luxury resorts' immediately!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 12:57 pm, Blogger Ladybird said…

    Paralyzed with envy.. Oh.My.God!!! That is luxury at a whole new level.. is there such thing as 10 star?

     
  • At 7/05/2010 1:18 pm, Anonymous Mrs Pigflyin said…

    This place looks amazing! I have read about it before but didn't intrigue me, now I want to sit on that rocking chair, try the heavenly bed, and see kangaroos in the wild... there you go, I have three reasons to go now, maybe when I make my annual visit to Mount Tomah Botanic Garden :p

     
  • At 7/05/2010 1:32 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    What an amazing place! The beds sound so comfortable and I love the private swimming pool!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 1:53 pm, Blogger Laura said…

    I CANT believe a place like this exists, incredible. perfect, stunning & luxurious!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 3:57 pm, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    Gorgeous place, feel like I am there through your photos!

    I spy a pair of binoculars in the room, did you use it? :P

    and thats it! I am making a terrine for this yuletide dinner!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 6:44 pm, Anonymous Tina said…

    Wow wow and whoa! Do you buy a new or used bed...??? :S

    Those canapes look to die for too. And that ice bowl!

     
  • At 7/05/2010 11:27 pm, Anonymous divemummy said…

    Oh man, my eyes are green with envy.

    Glad to see you've enjoyed a couple of days of pampering and luxury - you deserve it.

     
  • At 7/06/2010 1:06 am, Blogger mademoiselle délicieuse said…

    Wow...this is serious luxury. I mean, your own private heated pool!

     
  • At 7/06/2010 12:40 pm, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    I'm uber jealous! Thanks for showing us what it would be like to live in luxury. Everything about this place is so wonderful. When I find a cure to cancer and make millions I am so going here!

    What a hard life you have Helen :)

     
  • At 7/07/2010 12:47 am, Blogger FFichiban said…

    Hahahah "magical place of slumbering wonder" love it!! And awww Marshmallow is the best name ever! This place seems so serene and peaceful, perfect for a getaway.

     
  • At 7/07/2010 12:52 am, Anonymous KFC So Good said…

    great place! but brain works in mysterious ways - the scones and the rocking chair catches my attention - and the lovingly restored chair, wombat were so lovely and Wrangler seals the deal.

    Wrangler invoke so much man from snowy river memory :)

    I was also fascinated by the square tub... it looks very inviting.

    May be just the perspectives in the photos.... for such an lux place - i would expect a little more space and privacy between the villas? and I thought the legendary Drizabone lamp shade was made of old granny stockings :P I should be ashamed of my self!!!

     
  • At 7/08/2010 1:56 pm, Anonymous Alexandra said…

    Uber jealous Helen!!
    Knowing that Wolgan Valley is so close to where we live, but knowing i will probably never step foot near the place is devestating! But thank you for giving us some insight! How decedant!

     
  • At 7/12/2010 12:21 pm, Blogger bri said…

    That looks and sounds amazing. How lucky are you!

    The guide was wrong about white wallabies though - we have quite a lot of them down here in Tassie :)

     
  • At 7/12/2010 9:02 pm, Blogger Helen (grabyourfork) said…

    Hi fickle red riding hood - It is amazing. A memorable weekend.

    Hi Trissa - It was definitely a sad departure, and if you can get there, I am sure you will love it!

    Hi chocolatesuze - Sometime it's a struggle. lol.

    Hi Howard - i think you should treat someone next weekend :)

    Hi Betty - There was lots to do, and lots of nothing to enjoy as well!

    Hi K - I certainly won't be forgetting it in a while. It was fun sharing it with everyone.

    Hi The Extra - You don't have to be a guest (I don't believe). And I think you deserve a treat regardless!

    Hi Minh - Haha absolutely! And lol, yep I finally heeded your constant requests :)

    Hi Chris - I would be an amazing spot for a honeymoon!

    Hi Forager - I felt very lucky indeed :)

    Hi Peter G - The ice sculpture was very impressive. Such a shame it was a one-off.

    Hi Fiona - Absolutely :)

    Hi Hannah - Oh dear! And haha, I was well aware that my place was about the size of the bathroom. lol.

    Hi Leona - Ha, you're on!

    Hi NADZ - lol. Sometimes I can hardly believe my own good luck. And oh yes, I hear you on the scone love. It's all about the cream, no?

    Hi Miss Dissent - It was a non-stop eating feast although it seems I've been training for events like these non-stop lately!

    Hi OohLookBel - The wombats were quite exciting to spot as usually they come out at dusk. Ha, I'd love to focus on luxury resorts. That's a great idea :)

    Hi Ladybird - I don't think there is 10 star but this one may as well be :)

    Hi Mrs Pigflyin - I'd heard about it too but hadn't really seen much of it in photos. I think you deserve a stay there :)

    Hi Jacq - The private swimming pool was awesome. And the fact it was heated was such a novelty for nighttime swimming.

    Hi Laura - I get the feeling a lot of places like this exist, its just that us mere mortals don't often get a chance to stay at them!

     
  • At 7/12/2010 9:11 pm, Blogger Helen (grabyourfork) said…

    Hi Billy - Yes I think I may have gone a little overboard with the photos but could you blame me? And well spotted - there were binoculars but I didn't get a chance to use them. They were waterproof too. I loved these little details.

    Hi Tina - Ha, I'm guessing it's new. The ice bowl was very cool. lol.

    Hi divemummy - I have a feeling you'd like this place. And thanks, although it was a bit of a paparazzi-fest most of the time. Photos photos!

    Hi mademoiselle delicieuse - I know, it's crazy. But in a good way!

    Hi Phuoc'n Delicious - Haha that sounds like a plan, and yes, I was a bit delirious half the time walking around the resort. Incredible luxury.

    Hi FFIchiban - lol. Best night's sleep ever. And Marshmallow was a lovely horse.

    Hi KFC So Good - The square tub is such a lovely idea for couples. I can only imagine how magical a sunset would be.

    The villas aren't too close but they are nestled together - I presume to save energy etc. You don't really notice it though because you only look through the back windows. And granny stockings? Maybe there was another one I didn't see! lol

    Hi Alexandra - It's an amazing spot. Maybe someday... :)

    Hi Bri - I was very lucky, and oh, thanks for the correction on the wallabies. I'll have to go to Tasmania sometime!

     

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