Last week Matt and I visited Spicers Clovelly Estate for two nights of Sunshine Coast Hinterland goodness. It was one of those stays where you can feel yourself relaxing, unwinding and slowing down. The Clovelly tag line is ‘relaxed luxury’ and I really can’t think of a better way to sum it up than those exact words. It’s a place where you breathe deeper, sleep longer, eat better and smile more.
Watch my video review of Spicers Clovelly Estate and take a look at what I got up to at the retreat and the surrounding areas. The aim of this video was to show you around and, hopefully, inspire you to visit too. The wonderful thing about all the Spicers properties is that their luxury tag doesn’t mean they exclude people. Instead, their aim is to give everyone a taste of luxury and make every guest feel welcome and be treated like a King or Queen during their stay… even if you have mis-matched luggage and wear tracksuit pants everywhere (me).
It takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to get to Clovelly from Brisbane’s CBD. It’s nestled in the lush, green Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the drive up is a fun one. Once you get off the highway you drive past the towering trees lining Steve Irwin Way, winding you past Australia Zoo and scenic mountains toward Landsborough. If you’re keen to try a fantastic pie, be sure to stop in at Buck’s Bakery on your way through. Clovelly sits along Balmoral Road, high up in Montville.
The great thing about this area is that it’s incredibly beautiful and picturesque. As you drive along you continuously see stunning views, cute cafes, antique stores and other places that you just want to pull over and explore. You can spend a few hours wandering through Maleny, trying different coffee shops, looking at artwork, digging through op-shops or stocking up on some cheese platter essentials. It’s just a lovely part of the world, a place that oozes with a slower pace of life.
The Eumundi Markets spring up on Wednesdays and Saturdays and it’s a quick 35-40 minute drive to get there, with plenty of roadside fruit stalls, nurseries and other cool places to stop at along the way. If that seems a little too far for you, the Maleny Markets also pop up every Sunday, selling plants, arts, crafts, collectibles, fresh produce and everything else in between. Of course, any trip to this region isn’t complete without a stop at the Maleny Cheese factory. Work your way through some delicious samples, then stock up for later.
Everything about the rooms have been well thought out and carefully curated to make you comfortable. The beds are huge and incredibly cosy, with bigger than average pillows you can’t help but melt into. The sheets and blankets on the bed are so warm and snuggly, you can’t help but get a great sleep. In terms of size, the rooms are fantastic, offering plenty of space to spread out with all your stuff and move around easily. The bathrooms are seriously luxurious, with under-floor heating so your tootsies don’t get cold and a big shower you won’t want to get out of. As with all Spicers properties, you’re stocked up with Appelles products which smelly yummy and feel great on your body and hair.
Each room has a mini-bar stocked with goodies and booze as well as some nibbles, tea, coffee and fresh milk. You’re also supplied with a fabulously fluffy robe and slippers, which you should definitely wear the entire time you’re in your room. There are a few different room types to choose from, ranging from the Estate Suites and Spa Suites through to the stand-alone French Cottage. The rooms really do have a luxurious, yet really comfortable and plush, French feel to them. They not only look great, they’re incredibly functional and comfortable too.
There’s lots to see and do at Clovelly. I recommend sleeping in and enjoying a slow start to the morning then taking a stroll around the property, a visit out to the small waterfall onsite and viewing deck with views to Lake Baroon. You can wrap your soft and snug Bemboka throw, from your room, around yourself and sit in the soft afternoon sun near the pool (which is probably too cold for a dip during winter).
We had a beautiful window bench seat in our room, the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. You can also play a game of boules and croquet on the lawn, if you prefer. For the ultimate in relaxation, book yourself into Spa Anise for a decadent facial or insanely relaxing massage. Foodies can also take part in a cooking school class at nearby Spicers Tamarind with Head Chef Cameron Matthews. Cooking lessons from a two-hatted chef? Yes, thanks.
Dining and Entertainment
The food is where things get interesting… and by interesting, I mean delicious. On-site restaurant, The Long Apron, is an absolute must-do dining experience, whether you’re staying at Clovelly or just looking for somewhere to have an incredible meal. This two-hatted restaurant serves up incredibly creative food that will knock your socks off. Head Chef Cameron Matthews and his team take fresh, local, seasonal produce and turn it into delicious meals you won’t soon forget.
We were treated to the 5 course degustation and it was everything we’d imagined it would be. Starting with an amuse-bouche to remember, combining ingredients we would never think could go together, to create insanely tasty and intriguing bites. Moving through the courses it felt like everyone was as good, if not better, than the last… making it impossible to choose a favourite! The meal isn’t just dinner, it’s a dining experience that makes you feel privileged to be part of it.
If dinner weren’t enough, the restaurant also serves an incredible A La Carte breakfast for guests daily, included in your stay. The breakfast menu is far from basic and what’s great about it is that you aren’t fighting with 100 other hotel guests at a buffet breakfast. You’re treated to absolutely delicious food in a relaxed environment, spoiled with great coffee, fresh juice and beautifully prepared meals. With only a handful of other guests there too, you can’t help but feel special. Also on offer are absolutely delicious home-made French scones which are served with fresh jam and cream. They go perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea, next to the fire on the big, comfy couches in the main lounge and dining area.
Spicers Clovelly Estate has to be one of the best spots for a winter getaway to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The surrounding area is picturesque and awe-inspiring, with horses and cattle nibbling by the side of the road, incredible views of the Sunshine Coast and surrounding mountains and lush, greenery all around you. Even in winter, as the leaves are a crunchy bright red, trees stripped bare and pine cones scattered all around, it’s beautiful.
A visit to Clovelly leaves you feeling pampered and relaxed, you can’t help but feel reconnected with yourself and the world around you. It’s time out from busy home life, a chance to recharge and unwind, to be taken care of and made to feel special. As with all Spicers properties, one of the best things about the place is the staff. Everyone, from the front desk team and restaurant staff through to the Head Chef will give you a big smile and stop for a chat. You can just feel that they love their jobs and where they work, it comes across in the way they speak to you and how nothing is ever too much trouble. It’s what separates an average hotel stay from an exceptional one and it’s something Spicers have in spades.
I loved our stay. It left me with a big smile on my face and a huge sense of overwhelming relaxation. I felt completely at ease the entire stay and would happily have stayed longer. This is the kind of place I will tell my friends and family about and openly share as a favourite of mine. I recommend it as the perfect getaway for couples looking for a break and time to reconnect and relax.
Spicers Clovelly Estate // 36-68 Balmoral Road, Montville // 1300 252 380
Phoebe Lee is a writer, award-winning blogger and travel lover sharing helpful travel tips, insight and reviews for regular people. Follow her adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.