Most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation includes grand Art Deco hotels on clifftop escarpments overlooking vast valleys, remote eco-friendly lodges serving Australian cuisine from fresh local produce and garden cottages on sprawling estates.
Encompassing a whopping 11,400 km² of native Australian bushland, rocky escarpments, dramatic rock formations, stupendous valleys, pockets of rainforest, spectacular caves, and quaint towns and villages, the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in New South Wales is one of Australia’s main tourist destinations. And it’s a magic part of the country.
While Sydneysiders see the Blue Mountains as a year-round escape, typically for weekends, but also retreating for longer stays for gourmet getaways, hiking trips, family holidays, and honeymoons, foreign visitors can spend as little as a day and night at the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, despite the fact that it’s a must-do for most travellers.
It’s a shame, as the pristine Blue Mountains are home to lodgings of the kind you want to settle into for a while, offering wonderful food and wine from the region, magnificent gardens, gob-smacking views, and a sense of history. The most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation ranges from everything from eco-friendly luxury lodges in wildlife reserves to grand hotels perched on the edge of cliffs with breathtaking valley views.
These are our picks of the most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation:
Most Beautiful Blue Mountains Accommodation – from Luxury Lodges to Grand Hotels
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
The most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation is to be found at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia’s first conservation-driven luxury lodge, dedicated to sustainable practices and protection, regeneration and conservation of surrounding pristine wilderness and its flora and wildlife. Set on 7,000 acres of reserve in remote Wolgan Valley in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, 3 hours from Sydney, the drive here is as breathtaking as the destination. Crossing the Blue Mountains you can punctuate your journey with stops at sights such as the magnificent Three Sisters rock formation, then there’s the picturesque driving to Lithgow, after which you travel along Wolgan Road, which winds it’s way through The Gap as gobsmacking views of the rugged escarpment and forested valley unfurl. The resort, at the southern end of the valley, at the base of Mount Wolgan and Donkey Mountain, consists of 40 sumptuous villa suites, each with a big stone fireplace, four-poster bed, spa bathroom, terrace, and private pool. Activities include guided bushwalks, 4WD safaris, horse riding, stargazing, archery, mountain biking, and conservation activities. There are also history tours of the property, which include the original homestead built in 1832. The exquisite contemporary Australian cuisine served in the Wolgan Dining Room and the providore-inspired Country Kitchen is based on the finest seasonal and, where possible organic, regional produce, sourced from within 160km of the property, including local Blue Mountains boutique farms, private growers, and vintners.
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Psst… Luxury Escapes has an incredible offer at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley – ending in 9 days! – for 3 nights from AUD $4,499 (valued up to AUD $8,100) for two adults in a Heritage Villa with private swimming pool, all-inclusive dining including daily breakfast, daily three-course lunch, nightly three-course dinner, local wines and beers with meals, non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary in-villa snack bar, and two on-site nature activities per day. Click here for details. It’s valid 15 September 2018 until 30 September 2019.
Spicers Sangoma Retreat
More of the most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation can be found at Spicers Sangoma Retreat on ten hectares of pristine native bushland at Bowen Mountain in the Blue Mountains foothills on the Sydney side, so only a 90-minute drive from the city. With just eight suites, Spicers is intimate and exclusive. The two-level Chief Suite has a spacious lounge-dining area, kitchenette, private deck with pool, and the upstairs bedroom boasts panoramic views as far as Sydney, 80kms away, on a clear day. The luxurious Tent Suite has timber flooring, a chandelier and freestanding bathtub overlooking the forest canopy. The Luxury Bush Suites feel embraced by the forest of Angophora gums; look out for the lyrebirds. There are wood-burning fireplaces for winter and wraparound verandas with a swing chair. When you feel like socialising, there’s a communal lounge with a bar and board games. Outside there’s a gorgeous green infinity pool, sun-beds and umbrellas. The serene spa offers bush views and when you want to get active, there are walking tracks, horse riding, bike rides, kayaking, seasonal fruit picking, and sunset-watching with champagne and cheese at nearby Avoca Vale lookout. The contemporary Australian cuisine by chef Matt Ostrenski (formerly of Melbourne’s Vue du Monde) is crafted from fresh, organic, seasonal produce from the Hawkesbury region. The all-inclusive package includes all gourmet meals and beverages and the in-suite mini-bar is replenished daily.
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Hydro Majestic Blue Mountains
Reopening a few years ago after a $35 million facelift, the magnificent Hydro Majestic Blue Mountains hotel is more sumptuous than ever, now offering some of the most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation in its restored heritage rooms and suites. Located an hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Sydney’s city centre, in Medlow Bath, which is part of Katoomba, the historic Hydro Majestic Blue Mountains sprawls for a kilometre along the edge of the escarpment, overlooking the glorious Megalong Valley. Built in 1904 by visionary retail magnate Mark Foy, the Hydro Majestic was a spa until 1909, when it became a luxury lodge and Foy’s own private playground, filled with art and sculpture and furnished extravagantly, it was a site for glamorous costume parties. Run down when purchased by the current owners, the hotel has now been restored to its former glory. Daily guided history tours take guests through Casino lobby, which has a domed roof, the Salon Due Thé and Cat’s Alley, which give a nod to their decadent past, the opulent Majestic Ballroom and Hydro Majestic Pavilion. There are too many room categories to mention here, with different styles across three buildings, but make sure to book a room with valley views, as well as high tea in the elegant Wintergarden over looking Megalong Valley.
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Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa
You’ll find more of the most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation, and quite possibly the most romantic, at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa at Katoomba, just a 90-minute drive from Sydney CBD and a few minutes walk to the Blue Mountains’ main attraction, The Three Sisters. Boasting magic views over the Jamison Valley, not far from Echo Point, and set amidst two acres of gorgeous gardens, Lilianfels is located on the former estate of Sir Frederick Darley, the sixth Chief Justice of New South Wales, and the historic homestead that served as his summer residence now houses Darleys, one of the state’s most awarded regional restaurants. In keeping with the style of the era in which the property was established, the 85 rooms and suites are decorated with brass beds, and handcrafted wallpapers and matching drapes and cushions, often in pretty floral patterns. The Victorian-era lounge serves a traditional high tea with scones, jam and clotted cream. There’s a comfy library, billiards room and crackling fireplaces. There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an impressive spa with a long list of treatments, individually tailored to guests, along with a gym and tennis courts, although most guests are content just to saunter the gardens and relax on the terraces.
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Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges
As the name suggests, the highlight at Parklands Country Garden and Lodges, an hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Sydney city and a kilometre from the town of Blackheath and the gob-smacking views of Grose Valley from Govetts Leap Lookout, are the 28 acres of gardens. Immediately after you enter the estate’s gates you’ll be gobsmacked by greenery, from the driveway, lined with towering pines and cypress trees planted over a century ago, to the vibrant flowerbeds, sweeping lawns, and the private lake. The pines that still line the boundary, providing a windbreak, were planted in the 1880s. The property and its gardens were established by its original owner, John Pope, a wealthy Sydney businessman who was one of the first buyers of land in Blackheath in the late 1870s. The current owners have restored them to their former glory, including developing a rose garden, 4000 sqm kitchen garden, fruit orchards, a dedicated compost area, and a workshop for packaging the fresh seasonal produce, not only for use at Parklands, but other hotels and lodges. As you’d expect, some of the most beautiful Blue Mountains accommodation is to be found here also. Pope’s grand manor house was destroyed by fire in the 1980s and while the current weatherboard cottages were built in the Nineties, they tip a hat to the traditional Blue Mountains style popularised as summer holiday houses, with classic, comfortable interiors. When you’re not seeing the sights, you can stroll the gardens, picnic under the pines, feed the ducks, or indulge at the day spa.
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