Doing business Down Under? Then we suggest you Get Out Of Town!
There’s no place easier, closer or more beautiful for an overnight or weekend excursion than the Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, located a mere fifty kilometers from the edge of Sydney in the rugged Greater Blue Mountains.
At first, you are struck simply by the beauty of the drive. We were fortunate enough to be driven by Grant from Australian Wild Escapes from Sydney to the Resort, and listened to his great inside stories on the area as we enjoyed the scenic trip. This is an excellent service company, by the way, and the luxury SUV was more than comfortable. The beautiful Blue Mountain Valley is a Unesco World Heritage site, and gets its name from the blue hue that the water vapour and eucalyptus oil, combined with light rays, emit. The atmosphere is enveloping and calm, dotted with the occasional Kangaroo or Wallaby.
The resort itself is a reclaimed cattle farm that has paid careful attention to reclaiming the waterways and ecology in the area, branding it one of the most environmentally friendly eco-resorts in the world. One of the first things I noticed as we rounded the corner and pulled up to the beautiful property was the massive rain barrels at each private villa, gathering water.
However, if you think ECO means roughing it, well you’re in for quite a surprise. Each private villa comes complete with a secluded deck and rocking chairs; a private swimming pool that opens up and functions as both indoor and outdoor; mountain bikes on the porch; a skylight rain shower, fireplace, massive bed and more. The main house is an excellent melding of antique, contemporary and funky décor, complete with huge ceilings, fireplace and many cozy corners to enjoy a glass from the impressive (local) wine list and a plethora of intriguing, delicious local cheeses; for this resort thrives on the best of local quality. One of our most enjoyed evenings was “hosted” by the Assistant Restaurant Manager and local wine and cheese expert, Shane Smiley. We left our evenings’ wine and cheese choices up to him and were not disappointed by both the stellar variety and the conversational knowledge imparted, these are people that truly love their jobs!
Dinner at the Wolgan Dining room, served with sparkling silver and crisp white linens, was a small but excellent selection from a set menu of no less than five courses nightly, showcasing scrumptious takes on risotto, venison, soups, vegetables and more; all local and delicious. The more casual Country Kitchen downstairs boasts a fantastic Wagu beef burger and some of the best French fries you’ll ever indulge in. I made a point of buying some of the local savoury jams for sale on the shop side of the café.
Of course, every evening was “wasted” either on the fabulous wrap-around deck of the Valley Bar and Terrace Lounge, or relaxing by the infinity pool as the sun set shone mesmerizingly gold and red on the ancient rock hillside.
Horseback riding, Jeep adventure tours, mountain biking, a lovely fenced in vegetable garden to admire, a first-class spa and more leave guests with plenty of choices on what to do. While most of the villas are for couples, several are family size and we saw larger groups having a great time. I enjoyed a weekend, and would have happily stayed longer, so the next time you’re in Sydney doing business; get out of town!