If you’re going to blow your budget while on honeymoon or special romantic break, it’s wise to follow the advice of those who’ve gone before you. These stays are guaranteed to deliver.
1. The Great Barrier Reef
It’s Australia’s premier romantic destination, with some of the most beautiful beaches and undersea vistas in the world. Five-star accommodation abounds here. Aside from qualia, the top picks include Bedarra (an exclusive resort with just 16 private villas), Lizard (chic décor, 24 beaches, private plunge pools) and Hayman Islands. On Hayman, book a beach villa. Truly magic.
2. The Kimberley
When you’re in love you want to hide away from the rest of the world. You can’t get much more secluded than inAustralia’s remote Outback. Even though it’s set on a million acres, you seriously can’t go past El Questro Homestead for cosy intimacy. Well laid out suites have transparent bathroom walls giving clear shower and tub views over Chamberlain Gorge. Stunning.
CONTACTS // El Questro: www.elquestro.com.au
3. Byron Bay
The slow-paced, chilled out, casual vibe that pervades Far Northern NSW’s favourite beachside location is deceptive. Two of Australia’s premier honeymoon destinations are located here: The Byron at Byron and Rae’s on Wategos. The Byron’s apartments are chic, thoughtfully laid out and large enough to lounge about in while the pool area is full of young, beautiful people. Rae’s offers a more exclusive, exotic-looking boutique escape with a decadent, feel-like-you’re-rolling-in-cash-just-by-being-here ambience.
4. The Blue Mountains
Summertime is great for hiking, spring brings out the best in the cottage gardens, autumn colours create a marvelous mood and winter is the very best time for staying indoors and watching the weather approach the majestic Blue Mountains. Lilianfels Resort and Spa is a Blue Mountains institution, brimming with old-school grandeur, while a little further away from the Three Sisters, the more contemporary Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is a relative newcomer that’s already taken prime place on the luxury hotlist of romantic destinations.
CONTACTS // Lilianfiels Resort and Spa: www.lilianfels.com.au Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: www.wolganvalley.com
5. The North West
The northern WA coast is so dazzling in its beauty that it’s impossible to comprehend until you’re standing in the midst of it. Broome’sCableBeachis a long, flat stretch impossibly white sand lapped by aquamarine water. The intensity of colour here is out of this world. Cable Beach Club has South-East Asian stylings, exoticism and opulence, and the suites come complete with butler service. We recommend the Price Jones suite.
CONTACT // Cable Beach Club: www.cablebeachclub.com
6. The South West
Much further south, on WA’s bottom corner, Margaret River’s wine, food and wildlife is perfect for a lazy start to wedded bliss. Cape Lodge is one of the very best boutique hotels in Australia and its landscaped grounds seem custom-designed for leisurely walks swinging hands. You can’t fault Cape Lodge on their food, service or fit-out. Choose the Superior Spa Suite for maximum appeal.
CONTACT // CapeLodge: www.capelodge.com.au
7. The Adelaide Hills
A region already brimming with romance, the Adelaide Hills is also home to fairytale boutique stay Thorngrove Manor. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the medieval-style castle has just five chambers so guests are limited. All have their own entrances so you never cross paths with another guest. Expect towers and turrets, stained glass windows and tapestries, romantic dinners, open fireplaces, in-house spa treatments, Egyptian cotton sheets and strolls around the garden. If you reeeeally need to leave you can always go on a day tour of the neighbouring wine regions.
CONTACT // Thorngrove Manor: www.thorngrove.com.au
8. Kangaroo Island
Feeling relaxed and content with your lover while looking out the window across a stormy sea is just one in a plethora of amorous possibilities at Southern Ocean Lodge. There’s something supremely sexy about the way this long, low building clings to its wild escarpment. Great care is given to making guests feel special, too, with staff providing as much privacy as possible to ensure you feel like a VIP.
CONTACT // Southern Ocean Lodge: www.southernoceanlodge.com.au
9. The Tasmanian Wilderness
A true wilderness retreat, Saffire Freycinet is all about getting cosy and taking in those terrific Tasmanian views: The Hazards,Wineglass Bayand Coles Bay. Everything is made for two in this top-of-the-line lodge: the bathroom has a double shower, there’s a courtyard with plunge pool and a deck with a private view to share over sunset drinks. The architecture, interiors and landscape all align to create an immaculate, impressive experience.
CONTACT // Saffire Freycinet: www.saffire-freycinet.com.au
10. Victoria’s Spa Country
A luxury lodge set in Victoria’s idyllic spa country,Lake House is yet another fairtytale venue come to life. The Daylesford-Hepburn Springs region has purportedly health-giving waters, and the food and wine in the area will also bring a rosy glow to your cheeks. Lake House is a tranquil retreat complete with row boats, white swans and bath tubs for two.
CONTACT // Lake House: www.lakehouse.com.au