“Would you like a glass of champagne?” asks Jeff as he pours two generous glasses of Pol Roger Brut Reserve. We arrived no more than five minutes ago and are already seated in the sun-drenched Library Room of the Best Australian Boutique, Hotel, Villa or Lodge, according to Luxury Travel Magazine’s 2018 Gold List, enjoying a glass of bubbles and gazing over the infinity pool and out to Broken Bay. Life is good at Pretty Beach House.

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Words by Shylie Rimmer

The Location

After an almost-vertical climb, the wild eucalypt-fringed road opens to an unassuming sandstone entranceway nestled in the treetops of the Bouddi Peninsula. A smiling man signals for us to park by the front door. “Welcome to Pretty Beach House,” says Jeff, introducing himself as he takes our bags.

Radiating exclusive seclusion, this ultra-luxurious Central Coast guesthouse gives reconnecting with nature a whole new meaning. Located a short 90-minute drive from central Sydney—or a 20-minute ferry trip from Palm Beach—Pretty Beach House is the close-to-home retreat you’ve been searching for.

The Space

Sitting alongside luminaries of the Luxury Lodges of Australia—including Saffire Freycinet, Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley, Southern Ocean Lodge and El Questro in The Kimberley—the opulent playground of multi-shade timber, aged leather, local sandstone and grey linen accents that adorn this oasis praise the many high-profile guests and world-class luxury seekers that have been hosted here.

“The sandstone is all locally sourced from Gosford Quarry,” explains Jeff as he notices my piqued interest in the country décor seemingly created entirely from natural elements.

The always-burning fire that sits as a dining room centrepiece fills the property with an apt scent of smoke, complimenting the rustic timber floorboards and feature wall of chopped sanded tree logs. Though perhaps the most commanding feature of all is the endless vista of surrounding eucalyptus trees, vibrant green hills and pristine waters that enclose the peninsula – all seen through the glass walls of the main house.

Check out the incredible Luxury Escapes deal for Pretty Beach House.

The Pavilions

With a maximum of eight guests at any one time, each of the four pavilions sit secluded in the natural landscape – though just a short walk from the main house – and boast high-end amenities and interior décor worthy of its own designer catalogue.

As we walk out of the main house’ side door, down the stone steps that loop around the back and along the wooden pathway that’s paved through the towering trees, The Hideaway Pavilion comes into sight. This massive, stand-alone retreat boasts 140sqm of indoor-outdoor living that showcases the finer things in life.

A spacious outdoor back terrace with a bold green backdrop of endless trees is decorated with deck chairs, a sheltered double day bed and a heated plunge pool that is a welcomed treat all year around.

The luxury doesn’t stop at the door. Inside you’ll find a romantic, one-bedroom hideaway with a plush king size electric massage bed, sleek wood-burning fireplace, large couch, working desk and a kitchenette with a stocked bar of spirits, teas and coffee. To the left, you’ll enter a huge walk-in wardrobe that leads the way to a bathroom with heated tile floors, double vanities, a luxe two-person shower and a striking cast iron slipper bath with view over the outdoor pool and hills beyond.

Ornate touches—like stylish tree log tables, customised copper candles, personalised leather-cased notepads and lavish Bouddi shampoo, conditioner, soap and bath salts—dot every corner of this hilltop sanctuary and don’t go unnoticed.

The Food

“We get a lot of four or five-night stays and they will never eat the same thing; not for dinner, not for lunch,” says Jeff proudly as he serves us our first breakfast course and we chat about the five-course degustation dinner with paired wines we had the pleasure of experiencing the previous night.

Pretty Beach House is an all-inclusive guesthouse; I’m talking all food and all top-shelf spirits and wines included in the price. With five-course dinners, three-course lunches and two-course breakfast—all matched with your choice of beverage—you won’t even be able to look at the afternoon grazing table of cheese, meats and treats left out for those who’d love a snack.

“The lunch and dinner menu change every day,” says Duncan Kemmis, one of three rotating chefs at Pretty Beach House. With highly-tailored menus that showcase the very best of Australian produce—as well as their own herb garden—with dishes like housemade gnocchi with bone marrow, mushroom and crisp prosciutto, and Tajima wagyu rump cap with cauliflower puree and roast Jerusalem artichokes paired with a Barossa shiraz, a daily-changing menu is much of an anticipation.

As I tear a bite off arguably the best croissant I’ve ever had, Jeff mentions that “Nikki from Zimbabwe makes all the pastries.” Nikki is the pastry chef at the sister property Bells at Killcare—where Pretty Beach House makes all their freshly-baked breads, pastries and cakes—and is somewhat of a baking goddess if you ask me.

Check out the incredible Luxury Escapes deal for Pretty Beach House.

The Surrounds

Take a dip in any of the seven pristine beaches and secret bays in the Bouddi National Park or hike along stunning coastal and bushwalking trails, where you’ll have views along the NSW coastline as well as back towards Palm Beach and Sydney.

With three surrounding walks immediately accessible from the guesthouse—Tallow Beach, Box Head and Lobster Beach—this adults-only, laidback escape is one for the nature-loving epicureans. For those who love a little more adrenaline, private mountain bikes can be borrowed for a day out exploring the striking New South Wales coastline.

Getting There

Luxury car transfers from a Sydney hotel or Sydney airport can be arranged at an additional cost. If you prefer to arrive in style, seaplane transfers can also be arranged.

The Verdict

The intimacy and exclusivity of Pretty Beach House is unparalleled and despite its status, remains unpretentious and incredibly inviting. Impeccable is the only word that sums it up: the ambience, food, service and presentation. It is an experience that should be had by all, at least once.

Check out the incredible Luxury Escapes deal for Pretty Beach House.

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