If whisking your loved one away on an overseas jaunt isn’t quite feasible this year, there are plenty of ultra-romantic destinations right in Australia’s own backyard. From idyllic riverside retreats to the extravagance of Palazzo Versace, you can leave the passport at home this Valentine’s Day.
Theme: Secluded luxury lodge with to-die-for views
If you’re looking to really spoil your loved one this Valentine’s Day, look no further than the award-winning Saffire Freycinet. Located on Tasmania’s beautiful east coast at Coles Bay near Freycinet National Park, Saffire Freycinet is one of the world’s rare places where the juxtaposition of nature and absolute luxury allows guests to immerse themselves in the tranquility of natural surroundings including rolling hills and sandy beaches, before indulging in heavenly spa treatments and fine dining in the comfort of the hotel.
Just a 2.5-hour drive from Hobart, this stunning coastal paradise is home to Australia’s top luxury hotel. Think: chef-prepared multi-course degustations, once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as oyster shucking and winemaking and incredible celebrity-style luxury suites.
Theme: Chic heritage glamour in the heart of the city
Treat someone special to a romantic getaway in the city of churches. Rated the number one hotel in Adelaide by TripAdvisor, Mayfair Hotel represents the ideal marriage of traditional grandeur and modern convenience – offering chic and modern boutique amenities such as dreamy custom-made king-size beds housed in the grand splendour of a historic, heritage building complete with ever-watchful gargoyles.
After sampling the many temptations of Adelaide’s vibrant food and small bar movement (or simply enjoying a tipple or two while taking in the city views at the hotel’s rooftop bar), you can also indulge just moments from your room, with the modern take on classic hotel cuisine offered at Mayflower Restaurant and Bar – conveniently located within the hotel’s basement. The restaurant is led by skillful celebrity chef Bethany Finn and features the most decadent dessert trolley imaginable (which is sure to leave your Valentine’s Day experience on a sweet note).
Theme: Idyllic riverside retreat in an intimate setting
Wanting to escape the city for some Valentine’s Day R&R? The intimate Losari Retreat is home to just six luxury villas located within Western Australia’s romantic Margaret River region. Here you’ll be surrounded by 27 lush hectares of landscaped gardens that melt into spectacular National Park.
Be seduced by world-class wineries, gourmet dining options and sprawling white sand shorelines running parallel with crystal clear oceans.
These villas have been created with romance in mind with mood lighting, large king-size beds draped in high-end linens positioned beside eco fireplaces or capturing gorgeous countryside views. Most villas are equipped with a private jacuzzi where you can relax with a glass of wine overlooking the lake or gardens.
Theme: Instagram holiday heaven
Australia’s answer to the Hamptons, the ambience of Halcyon House is more akin to an exclusive members’ club than its humble beginnings as a sleepy beach town motel. If your partner is a keen Instagramer, this property will be a winner. You’ll feel as though you’re holidaying in the pages of a Vogue spread, and rightly so – seeing as Halcyon House is somewhat of a regular among the glossy pages of the fashion and lifestyle bible.
Located halfway between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, you’ll get a quiet and intimate beach setting with the same spectacular sandy shores and azure waters that the east coast is famous for. But you don’t have to take our word for it, Halcyon House’s accolades speak for themselves with an inclusion in Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious 2018 Gold List.
Theme: Tranquil sanctuary in Victoria’s famed spa country
Another staple on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List (are you sensing a theme here?), Lake House Daylesford is as picturesque as they come. Daylesford is a favourite amongst Melburnians who relish the fact a quick 90-minute drive lands them in scenic spa country with sprawling forests, hot springs and divine dining.
Lake House has expanded to fill Victoria’s insatiable appetite for chef Alla Wolf-Tasker’s multi-awarding winning restaurant which overlooks the area’s spectacular lake. There’s 34 luxury rooms, a state-of-the-art spa (hey, it’s Daylesford after all) with treetop hot tubs (hello, romance) and a hydrostorm shower.
Theme: Opulent designer extravagance
Crafted by one of the most legendary brands in the world, Palazzo Versace is considered the jewel of the Gold Coast. Situated in a premier location, this hotel boasts a spectacular waterfront setting with views of the Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast Broadwater, combined with unparalleled grandeur, stunning architecture, Italian furnishings, extraordinary service and an ambience of pure glamour.
This is the place where you can treat that someone special to the absolute best of the best. Palazzo Versace’s onsite restaurants have become famous in their own right. Vanitas was recently awarded two chef hats from the Australian Good Food Guide 2017, and the incredible seafood buffet held in Il Barocco has become a must-do for seafood lovers visiting the Gold Coast.
No detail has been overlooked at this spectacular, one-of-a-kind property, where everything in the hotel has a story. The magnificent chandelier in the foyer once hung in the State Library of Milan and was purchased by Gianni Versace himself, the marble floors were imported from Carrara and the Benedictine Monks in Italy, cutlery and china is from a limited-edition Versace line that has been imported from Europe, and the lagoon was created with white sand from Surfers Paradise and is consistently heated to a comfortable 25 degrees Celsius.
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