The Business Travel Guru takes a break from his usually hectic schedule to kick back and relax at Australia’s newest and most talked about luxury resort Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa located in Australia’s Blue Mountains (190Km from Sydney).
Wolgan Valley is a bit more than your average resort with it occupying 4,000 acres,costing approximately $130 million and taking 8 years to build, this is a resort like no other having said that it is not in your face either, its tasteful luxury that keeps the environment and the local economy true to heart.
Picture 1: Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Main Homestead and Swimming Pool
Transfer to Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
Apart from the usual scenic chuffer driven min bus transfer, the resort has its own helipad providing for a luxury 45 minute transfer from Sydney’s Mascot Heliport, one way rates for the helicopter transfer for two Passengers plus luggage start from AU $1660.
I was not lucky enough to get a helicopter transfer neither the less the chauffeur driven mini-bus transfer was a great scenic experience, first heading up into the Blue Mountains and then down into Wolgan Valley where the resort is located.
Arrival at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
Arriving through the main gate we pass the helipad that I mentioned earlier and a little later we reach the resorts security check point and guest car park, seeing the security check point and gate you cannot help but fell that you are about to enter some place very special.
As we arrived at the main homestead where reception is location our small group of Journalist met by the reception team and guided inside for check-in. While everything was being organized at reception we were offered a glass of Australian sparkling wine juice or mineral water, after the long journey I could not resist a good glass of sparkling wine.
Stepping into reception for check-in I got my first sense of the resort and how extraordinary this place really is, the reception area is only small but everything about it was refined luxury, from the smell of wood manating from the logs that make up the feature wall behind reception to the perfect stone walls and luxury leather chairs.
Picure 2: Reception area at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
Tour of the Main Homestead
On arrival our group was given a tour of the main homestead that includes reception the main dining area, private function rooms, an RM Williams retail outlet and The Country Kitchen which is Wolgan Valley Spa & Resorts more casual all day dining area.
Picture 3: The dining room in the main Homestead at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
Lunch at The Country Kitchen
Following the quick tour we sat down for lunch at The Country Kitchen, where we were lucky enough to have lunch with the resorts General Manager Mr Joost Heymeijer, Joost had a lot to say about the resort as he has been with the resort since its inception stage, one of the very interesting facts he told us about how one of their philosophies is to purchase in season product that are within a 100 Km radius of their location this ensures the freshest of produce while also supporting the local economy, another interesting fact is that on a daily basis the resort resorts bakes it own bread roasts its own coffee beans.
Anyway enough talk how was lunch? I had a beef burger made with local beef on that bread that had been baked just a few hours earlier and it was tasty! The Burger along with the local wines made lunch quiet a special occasion.
Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa call them suites but calling them this is a big understatement, I mean how many suites that you have stayed in have a private 7 Meter swimming pool, a fireplace and shower complete with skylight?
Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa has a total of 40 suites 36 Heritage Suites, 3 Wollemi Suites and 1 Wolgan suite, each of the 40 suites is individually named; the Heritage Suite I stayed in was suite number 34 with the name Red Gum
Picture 4: One of the 36 Heritage Suites
Wolgan Valley Heritage Suites
There are 36 Heritage Suites at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa and even though these are the base suite they truly impress.
Before heading out to Wolgan Valley I did my research and had seen pictures of the suites on the resorts website, however when stepping into my suite for the first time I was awe struck by first the size, quality and attention to detail of every aspect of the suite. For a start there is that wonderful double sided fireplace set in stone that conveniently heats both the lounge room as well as the bed room.
Picture 5: The Lounge Room and Bedroom inside a Heritate Suite
The features of the Heritage Suite that really impressed me was the bed room with the most comfortable and luxurious king size bed I have ever slept in (If my schedule was not so tight I might have made more use or it) as well as the bathroom, all as I can say it’s a bath room fit for a King, with his and hers vanity areas, ultra modern shower with skylight and separate bath, finally a separate room within the bathroom for the toilet.
Picture 6: Heritage Suite Bedroom
Picture 7: The 2.5 X & 7 meter private Swimming pool in my heritage suite
Picture 8: The Bathroom of my Heritage Suite
Picture 9: Heritage Suite Luxury Shower Complete with Skylight
Entertainment options in Heritage suite include two LCD TVs (1 in Bed room other in Lounge room) with International TV Channels, CD and DVD Player, and IPod/iPhone dock so you can listen to your own music.
All suites include two mountain bikes that I used on a few occasions to get up to the main homestead and various other locations for my scheduled activities.
The main features and details of the Heritage suite are as follows:
- 83 square
meter (total internal area)
- 1 bedroom and Lounge room
- Private 2.5 X 7 meter temperature controlled swimming pool and pool deck
- Double sided fireplace (one side in the bedroom other side in the lounge room)
- Walk in Dressing room
- Huge Bathroom with his and hers vanity areas
- Separate bath and shower
- Shower complete with skylight
- Complimentary high speed internet access
- King-size bed
- Nespresso Coffee Machine
I was lucky enough to get a peek at one of the resorts 3 Wollemi suites, these suites are more than double the size of the Heritage suite measuring 201 square meters. The Wollemi suites also features 2 bedrooms, separate dining and lounge areas as well as a larger swimming pool measuring 4 X 7 meters, the Wollemi suites also feature a larger veranda at 131 square meters.
Picture 10: The Dining Room Inside a Wollemi Suite
Unfortunately I was unable to take a look at the Wolgan Suite as it was occupied by guests however the suites stand out features are the 4 X 7 meter swimming pool, private gourmet kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms each with ensuite, as well as a third guest room or private staff quarters.
The Wolgan Suite has a total internal area of 245 square meters
Timeless Spa and Massage
After spending a little while relaxing in my suite it was time for my complimentary massage, I booked in for the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, but before the massage I relaxed in the tranquil Timeless Spa Relaxation area, before my Spa Therapist met me to confirm the massage that I was booked in for and to discuss what I was looking for from the massage.
All that I can say it was one of the best 60 minute massages I have ever had the skill of my spa therapist was second to none, my only wish was that I had booked in for another hour.
4X4 Tour of the Resort
Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa occupies 4,000 acres of land in the Wolgan Valley and one of the best ways to see the native wildlife is with a four wheel drive tour of the resort, during our tour we saw large numbers of kangaroos, Wallabies and Wallaroos, a large array of bird life as well as a snake, we were not lucky enough to see a Wombat.
Dinner at the Main Homestead
Following the 4X4 tour our group met up at the main homestead for dinner with Mr Joost Heymeijer, the dinner was a spectacular 4 course meal, starting with a glass of white wine then progressing onto an asparagus with poached egg dish.
Second course was a duck pate dish, and for my main course I selected the beef steak dish and finally for desert it was a raspberry and peach tart with lemon sorbet, Yum!
Picture 11: Asparagus with Poached Egg
Picture 12: Peach and Rasberry Tart with Lemon Sorbet
All of the meals were in a league of their own and prepared to perfection. What is important to note here is that the asparagus was grown in the resorts vegetable garden, picked fresh earlier that day, now you cannot ask for anything fresher than that.
During the evening with the dim lighting and the smell of the fireplace I could help but appreciate the ambience of the main dining area, it has the feeling of grandness, yet not making you feel out of place, a kind of all-inclusive grandness.
Back to the Suite
This is the first opportunity to spend any good length of time in my suite, and an opportunity to sample the complimentary bottle of wine that was in my suite on arrival. I took this opportunity to get a few more snaps for this article, and then relaxed in each of the rooms (bottle of wine in hand) to get a feel for the place and then headed to bed for one of the best night’s sleep I have had in a long time.
Picture 13: Complimentry Bottle of Australian Red Wine in my Heritage Suite
Waking up a 6 am to catch up on some work I was almost about to skip breakfast and get straight into my mornings scheduled activity, however I changed my mind and I am glad I did as it was my favorite meal of the trip.
I sat down for breakfast on the first floor of the main homestead looking out toward Wolgan Valley’s picturesque escarpments, breakfast was a real treat starting with a selection of fruit with muesli and a bread basket along with the main dish which was smoked trout with poached egg (and Hollandaise sauce) on a bed of potato roesti. My order was totally mouth watering, and if I was not so full from the bread and fruit I might have ordered another. Finally the freshly roasted coffee was divine, just what I needed to kick start the day.
Picture 14: Breakfast smoked trout with poached egg (and Hollandaise sauce) on a bed of potato roesti
The second activity I signed up for was the guided bushwalk which took us along a creek that runs through Wolgan Valley then along the foot hills of Donkey Mountain. On the bushwalk we saw a large array of native bird life and animals. Our guide was a walking encyclopaedia of the area and the plants and animals that inhabit it. The bush walk was a great experience one which I highly recommend to anyone staying at Wolgan Valley Resort & spa.
Prior to checking out the resorts General Manager and Executive Chef Dwane Goodman provided a guided tour and lunch at the 1832 Homestead, which is the original homestead that was built back in 1832 on this former cattle station. When the resort was purchased this homestead was derelict and close to collapse, the decision was made to save it and restore it to its former glory. The restoration process cost around $2 million to complete but I have to say it’s money well spent. It’s also interesting to note that there is evidence that in around 1836 the homestead was visited by Charles Darwin.
Picture 15: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa 1832 Homestead
2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley
PO Box 390
Final words and thoughts on the resort
After a visit to Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa you cannot help but admire both the passion all the staff have for the resort the environment on which it is in as well as support of the local economy, it is truly inspiring and something you rarely see from a luxury resort of this scale.
Price and Value for Money
Even though the going rack rate for this resort in close on AU $2,000 per night this is an all inclusive rate that includes all food/drinks (local wines & beers and soft drinks with meals) and activities (including daily massage) so you are getting very good value for money.
If you are looking for somewhere very special for a Honeymoon or to celebrate an anniversary, special occasion or just to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke then Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is highly recommended by the Business Travel Guru, you won’t be disappointed.
The only thing I was unhappy about was the fact that the stay was only one night and being so busy and I did not get a chance to go for a dip in my suites private swimming pool, now just need to find the time and a good excuse to get back there again this time for a private visit and not for work.
Note I have found special rates for Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa for as low as $1450.
The Business Travel Guru stayed as a Guest of Emirates Wolgan Valley
Resort and Spa