Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, Blue Mountains, New South Wales
It is barely a three hours drive (or a 45 minutes helicopter ride) from Sydney, yet Wolgan Valley situates you in the same silent, epic terrain that moved Charles Darwin when he stayed at the homestead here in 1836. Now part of a resort, naturally a stay today sublimates you with a level of luxury that Darwin probably never imagined we would evolve to. As part of this Emirates Group resort, the homestead, built in 1832, has been restored to become a dining area with a provedore-style Country Kitchen and dining room that stocks the best of local produce. Surrounding it are 40 new-built freestanding luxury suites that use sandstone and timber to recreate an Australian country style that houses locally crafted furniture and a double-sided fireplace. The private outdoor lap pools, of course, are just one of the very-now luxuries that have been added into the mix. The spa offers more suites with full glazed-window views out across the valley, while the Wolgan Suite encompasses remote bush bliss. Set in a secluded section of this resort conservation area, this homestead-style suite has two bedrooms with ensuites as well as a gourmet kitchen and quarters for private staff.
Each suite is stocked with two mountain bikes to explore the hidden places within these dramatic chasms.