LILIANFELS BLUE MOUNTAINS SPA RETREAT IS A REVITALISING HAVEN FOR YOUR BODY AND SOUL. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE TRANQUILITY OF NATURE WHERE YOU CAN RELAX AND REJUVENATE AMIDST THE PRISTINE BEAUTY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WILDERNESS SURROUNDED BY THE BREATHTAKING VIEW AND FORESTS OF FRAGRANT EUCALYPTUS. A VISIT TO LILIANFELS SPA IS LIKE RETURNING HOME TO ONESELF.
WORDS BY KRIS ABBEY, PUBLISHING EDITOR SPA LIFE MAGAZINE
I’ve driven through Katoomba countless times, but I’ve never taken the time to stop and see what’s on offer. Less than two hours drive from Sydney, it never seems quite the right place for a pit-stop when you’re on a longer journey. Yet this proximity also makes it the ideal place for a quick getaway.
I am here to visit Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa. It feels great to have left the thick traffic, heavy air and fast pace of the big smoke behind, now replaced by open roads, country air and a relaxed amble. Time has slowed time down and I feel like the pace of my heartbeat has slowed with it.
Don’t expect ultra-modern décor here at Lilianfels. The five-star hotel is housed in an historic country mansion and everything about it smacks of olde world charm, which I really love. It’s comfortable and welcoming in a familiar, country way.
Set on two acres of manicured gardens overlooking some of the most spectacular scenery in the Blue Mountains, my first inclination is to explore the glorious surrounds. You can step out from the back garden onto a walking track that leads to either Echo Point or the Three Sisters. Both walks are absolutely breathtaking! Leave the iPod at home and enjoy the bush sounds of local fauna, from frogs to birds, with quite a few unfamiliar melodies in between.
When you get back, you can swim in the pool or sit by the fire, depending on the temperature outside. I swim in the pool, then relax in the garden. You never tire of the view – a living postcard and pure Australia.
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast and another walk through the mountains, I hit the Spa. I decide to continue with the ‘slow down time’ theme and opt for a 90-minute anti-ageing facial, the Wrinkle Correcting Ritual ($205).
The Spa is quite, well, intimate. Initially I feel a little claustrophobic, as there is little natural light and I’m a fan of open space and wide windows to let the outside in. But this feeling is fleeting as once I hit the table, eyes covered… I couldn’t care less.
The treatment uses the French brand Payot, designed to stimulate cell renewal and give the skin a more even texture and radiant glow. The treatment begins with a thorough cleanse, followed by an amazing exfoliating massage of my face, neck and décolletage. Then the bit I always enjoy – hot towels to wipe off the cream. With a nice clean face ready to soak up all the goodness, I’m good to go… off to sleep!
It’s not often I fall asleep during a treatment, because I usually want to savour every delicious moment, but all the trekking in the crisp mountain air, combined with the soothing touch of my therapist, has sent me to la-la land. I awaken as a cool masque is applied to my eyes, having totally lost track of time. Ah that’s right, I don’t have to be anywhere, just be here in the present… relaxing. As my eyes are enjoying the masque, I receive a luxurious scalp massage.
The brochure explains that this dynamic anti-ageing facial treats the structural causes of cutaneous ageing. Micro-abrasion exfoliation visibly smooths the surface of your skin, stimulating cellular renewal. This treatment gives the effect of diminishing lines and leaving your skin instantly brightened.
So I look in the mirror and, sure enough, I do look younger. And I certainly feel younger too. Nothing beats a short escape with some down-time. All the products in the world can’t turn back time like a trip out of town for a day or two.
Lilianfels is a great escape for a quiet, romantic getaway, or an indulgent weekend with the girls, or if, like me, you just need to take some time out for yourself.