The best places to stay in the Blue Mountains
Dedicated adventurers should head to the western foothills of the Blue Mountains and spend a night in the canvas cabin at Turon Gates. Finding this glamping spot will test all your navigation skills, but the luxe accommodation will swiftly banish the stress of getting there. Jump on the plush bed, take a steamy shower, whip up a DIY dinner on the outdoor cooking fire and chill out on the expansive deck overlooking the river below. BYO ice, and you can get a cheaper rate if you supply your own linen.
Since 1904, the Hydro Majestic has been an elegant sentinel on Sydney’s western border, perched on a precipice in the Blue Mountains suburb of Medlow Bath. There are 67 rooms that have been refurbished with old-world glamour, all the high-speed super convenient modcons and a dashing monochrome colour scheme. The plush suites have views across the hotel gardens and out towards the majestic Megalong Valley. You can take high tea in the illustrious Art Deco building or simply enjoy your grand surroundings.
If you’ve been dreaming of a night under the stars, but you’re the kind of royal baby who needs high quality linen to function, Bubbletent Australia is the answer. There are three self-catered tents to choose from, each overlooking a different aspect of Capertee Valley. All three offer total seclusion, which is not only pleasant but needed, since the central chamber of each dome has a 360-degree views out and in. Despite your proximity to nature, you’ll be sleeping on a very non-camping mattress, there’s a power board to charge your phone, a portable speaker, a refrigerator and a telescope for stargazing.
This refurbished, repurposed dairy farm sits just outside the town centre of Leura, offering a boutique B’n’B experience. The Old Leura Dairy now has six different accommodation options on site, from a cool shed studio for two to a sprawling barn house that can sleep up to 11 people. Each is fitted out with individual flair, but all rooms have that mismatched quaintness that you’re looking for in a rural escape. The owners have endeavoured to use recycled materials whenever possible in the renovation, and the shared outdoor hot tub, made from a converted milk vat, really seals the county style deal.
For more than 130 years, this elegant heritage-listed hotel has been a landmark in Katoomba. The impressive estate has an air of opulence that you can only find in venues that have endured three centuries of style. You’re sure to be impressed by the grand dining room, Art Deco stained glass facade, on-site cellar and deli, stables and splendid views. This old girl also has many a billiard room and lounge where you can socialise with fellow travellers before retiring to your room or suite, as well as two bars for holiday tipples.
This mountainside getaway is a great option for travellers who stress over organising their relaxation itinerary. Bar some flexible free time, this is an all-inclusive yoga retreat, so you’ll spend your Blue Mountains trip experiencing beautiful sunrises, gentle yoga classes, unusual meditation practices, massages, bush walks and veggie buffets overlooking a valley of eucalyptus trees and squawking cockatoos. Sticking to the program is up to you, and you’re free to simply chill in your modern twin room or wander to Station Street for a cuppa.
If it’s rejuvenation for a worn out body and mind that you’re after, Lilianfels Resort and Spa is the place to head. The retreat is set on the edge of a cliff overlooking the mountains and Jamison Valley below, a position that feels like it’s literally at the ends of the earth. Focus on some self care at the day spa, ease post-hike muscles in the heated pool, dive into the gourmet menus and wine lists at the venue’s multiple restaurants and bars, or simply chill in your plush room. There are 89 guest rooms and suites designed to reflect the old world glamour of building’s history as a 19th century summer home.
Meet like-minded travellers at this central backpackers' hostel. It may not have the glamour of some of the glitzier Blue Mountains accommodation options, but the Blue Mountains YHA has got all the essentials and a great atmosphere to create new bushwalking buddies. It has a communal kitchen and barbecue area, a cosy reading room with a log fireplace, a games room and plenty of sweet, sweet WiFi. You can bunk with your buddies in a share room, or splurge on private digs, with a few rooms even boasting an ensuite bathroom.
Now head south
Drive only two short hours south of Sydney and you’re in an adventure playground on the South Coast. Destination surfing spots, climbing cliffs, and coastal treks draw in those who relax by doing, but if you prefer to recline and dine, there’s fresh seafood, local produce and a burgeoning dining scene.