Picking a hotel for your wedding night can be a little stressful.
We wanted somewhere that was luxurious and comfortable. Somewhere with sprawling views of the bush and sky, yet easy to get to our wedding venue on the cliff face above the Leura Cascades. I also wanted a place where I’d never woken up with a cranking hangover before – one of the hazards of getting married in an area where you hold your yearly catch up with your university friends.
I’d been dying to try out the Lilianfels Resort & Spa, a multi-award winning 5 star resort with world-renowned gardens and views. It’s one of the upper end (and priced) hotels.
And what better occasion to stay at a resort like Lilianfels than our wedding?
Accommodation and Facilities
The furnishings in the foyer and restaurant are classic and reminiscent of a more traditional era. Yet they’re also simple, and with minimalist elegant touches like leadlight windows and crystal chandeleirs.
This style is echoed in the rooms. The furnishings are soft and tasteful, in tones of pink, lilac and green. Small accents like the Wedgewood wallpaper, and thick, plush carpet, exude class and taste.
We stayed in the Deluxe Valley View Room. It was on the smaller side, but with our reception and ceremony at a restaurant in Leura, we really only needed the room to sleep in.
The King sized bed was, without a doubt, the comfiest hotel bed I’ve slept in. It’s the softest bed to sink into, but provides firm support.
The marble bathroom had a separate shower and bath. The bath, unlike most hotel rooms, is a full sized bath – and I understand North Nomad enjoyed a relaxing whiskey in it before our wedding! The bathroom stocked the divine smelling and feeling Appelles Apothecary toiletry range – which uses native oils like Blue Mailee Eucalpytus and Australian lemon myrtle. In retrospect, I wish I’d bought some of the range that was for sale in the downstairs foyer.
The facilities are impressive: a heated indoor pool, an outdoor infinity pool overlooking hedged gardens, tennis courts, a billiards room, a library, and a gym.
Broadband and wifi are also available. This may not seem important on your wedding night, but when you have breakfast planned with your large family the next day and you live overseas, wifi is the easiest way to contact them.
Location and Views
Lilianfels overlooks the Blue Mountains National Park – blue gum trees, honeycomb and burnt orange mountains and and an endless expanse of blue skies. Aside from the natural beauty, the resort has two acres of manicured gardens on its grounds.
The view from our room was pretty, though somewhat obscured by the flyscreen and the size of the window. But the lack of view shouldn’t be an issue when you’re staying in the Blue Mountains. If you don’t experience it outside, you’ll miss out on the fresh bush air and the smell of the eucalpytus trees.
In terms of convenience, Lilianfels is in the perfect position. It’s a short walk to The Three Sisters, and less than a $10 cab ride into Leura and Katoomba. The resort also provides parking.
Staff and ambience
This is not the sort of luxury resort that is stuffy and uptight. The staff are charming and conversational. The vibe is friendly and relaxed. And this is comforting when you’ve got one of the most important days of your life ahead of you.
Hugh and Sue check us in, and check us out. They seem genuinely delighted that we’re getting married and remember to check with us the next morning how the ceremony and reception were. And of course, tell us we have to come back for our first anniversary – which would be lovely to check out the gardens, pool, and spa!
Meals and drinks
Not only is the resort multi-award winning, it also houses the multi-award winning restaurant, Darleys. Our wedding and reception was at Solitary on Cliff Road, so we didn’t have the chance to check out the much reviewed Darleys.
But, I think I had three canapés at our wedding and that was about it. So I woke up at 5am (hanger beats out sleep with me) and cracked into the mini bar for a sparkling water and some chips. North Nomad managed the same when he woke up around 8am.
Would we stay here again?
The infinity pool and the gardens were beautiful, but I got a mere glimpse of them at 6am on the morning of our wedding, and not the chance to use them. I really hope we get the chance to stay at Lilianfels again, and in summer so we can take advantage of the gardens, and some outdoor drinks by the infinity pool!
Location & Contact Details: Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa, 5-19 Lilianfels Avenue, Katoomba, NSW, 2780
Australia Tel: +612 4780 1200
Getting there: If you’re coming from Sydney’s CBD, you can take the horror that is Parramatta Road and the M4, then enjoy the Great Western Highway traffic pp to the mountains. Theoretically it’s the quickest route. It’s also free. I just really detest the M4. From the CBD, I take the Lane Cove Tunnel, the M2, the M7 and then exit onto the M4 and the GWH. If I have time, I exit the M7 at Richmond and take the beautiful, scenic Bells Line of Road up to the mountains.
Check In & Check Out: 3pm and 11am.
Cost: We had the Deluxe Valley View Room for Friday and Saturday night, coming in around $968. I understand that Wotif shares reasonable deals and packages for Lilianfels.
NB: The photographs in this review are from the Lilianfels Resort & Spa website.
You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica over at Google.