The wind is blowing so hard I think I may get swept away and never come back. It’s unseasonably windy and cold in a way that’s novel and enjoyable. I bundle myself into my thick coat, zip it up and make a beeline for the front for. The foyer at Lilianfels is grande, evoking an old-world vibe that’s immediately warm and comfortable.
It somehow manages to be dark and cosy, but still warm and beautiful. The more I look around, the more it starts to feel Kris Jenner may have used this place as inspiration for her own home (not that I have ever watched any episodes of Kardashian television). We’re welcomed by the front desk staff, given our room key and directed toward the elevator.
Opening the hotel room door I feel like I’m stepping inside Colonial England. The room is spacious, with plenty of spots to sit. The bed looks ridiculously comfy, adorned with plump white pillows and a very cosy comforter. Everything about the place oozes old-world luxury and it’s completely different to anywhere else I have ever stayed before, from the vintage decor to the attention to detail in the fittings.
It takes around 90 minutes to get from the heart of Sydney to Lilianfels. We found the drive really easy, driving south to Apex Espresso Bar in Gymea for breakfast then heading West toward Katoomba. When we were researching the Blue Mountains, as first-timers, we weren’t really sure where we should stay. Turns out, Katoomba is the perfect place to base yourself for a few days.
It’s close to main attractions like the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Scenic World and Waradah Aboriginal Centre. You can also make the 1-hour drive to the Jenolan Caves quite easily too. We had a car and found it easy to buzz around town and get to the places we wanted to see. The main town area has supermarket, bottle-shops and some great little stores to explore.
There are some fantastic spots in Katoomba to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner, including a few great cafes, pubs and cool local spots. We enjoyed the amazing gourmet buffet breakfast at Lilianfels, with plenty of really great options for vegetarians and gluten-dodgers too. I can also personally vouch for the coffee – top notch!
When it comes to dining, the on-site restaurants are legendary. Darley’s offers views across the Jamieson Valley and serves up 2 and 3-course meals or degustations. The food here is second to none, using local, seasonal produce to provide gourmet Modern Australian fare you won’t forget. Similarly, Echoes offers stunning views of the Blue Mountains and offers up sensational meals perfect for a memorable dinner. Both are a very, very short walk from your hotel room door, making them the perfect spot for a special dinner.
Walking through the grande hallways at Lilianfels, looking out the huge windows overlooking the escarpments and sitting by the toasty-warm fireplaces in the sitting rooms, I start to realise that this is a place where the stay is an experience. A lot of hotels you check-in and check-out, begging not to notice anyone else has ever stayed there before you. But at Lilianfels, it’s different. Each guest adds to the tapestry of the hotel’s rich history and you can’t help but feel like you’re part of something pretty cool and very unique. It’s glamorous and luxurious and all the things you imaged the vintage-glam world was.
If you’re planning a trip to the Blue Mountains and you’re unsure where to stay, Lilianfels is a perfect place to start. It offers luxury accommodation with an old-world glam you can’t help but love. It has a relaxing, indulgent atmosphere, a haven for food-lovers and wine devotees. It’s the perfect place to curl up in bed with a good book or soothe your tired body after a big day spent hiking and exploring the Blue Mountains and surrounds. I’d recommend it as a great escape for couples, in particular, as it has a really romantic, dreamy air.
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Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.