With our travels in Australia, after the ‘big smoke’ of Sydney, we looked for a little downtime to experience some of the Aussie bush, so we decided to head up the coast to Queensland; specifically, the Sunshine Coast which is approximately 90 km north of the state’s capital, Brisbane. We looked to stay somewhere boutique-y, off the beaten track, with great food, so Spicers Retreats ticked all those boxes. In fact, we struggled to pick our favourite of their 13 boutique properties (not all in Queensland) – each being unique, set in natural surroundings with a focus on award winning dining experiences. Ultimately, we settled on the Hinterland rainforest where Spicers have two properties: the villa style accommodation at Tamarind Retreat in Maleny, and the European inspired Clovelly Estate in Montville. The ultimate decision came down to our love of Thai food, with Tamarind offering a one chef hatted Thai restaurant.
From the moment we arrived for our two-night stay we totally took to the laid-back vibe. Our accommodation was comfortable and modern, with mini kitchen, separate lounge and a private deck with a cedar hot tub with fantastic views across the Hinterland. We “hiked” to the local Gardners Falls at the back of the property (less than a 5-minute walk so not a serious hike, but far enough that the staff advised we wear closed toe shoes to protect our pale European skin from the deadly Aussie bush), we cooled off in the refreshing hotel outdoor pool and enjoyed a delicious Thai menu for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was a more traditional fare, equally tasty. The restaurant was closed on a Monday so the staff prepared a picnic basket (at an additional fee) that we enjoyed in the gardens. Speaking off, the staff were amazing (especially Lyndsey in reception and Ty in the restaurant) and we weren’t too put off by the local lizards that greeted us for breakfast each morning (the locally sourced banana bread is sublime!).
Their second local property, Clovelly Estate, is about a 10-minute drive away, so whilst we didn’t stay here we did take advantage of the complimentary shuttle bus to venture one evening to sample the delights of the two chef’s hat restaurant ‘The Long Apron’.
Here are a few images from our stay. We will be writing separate blogs on each restaurant – they were so good they deserve their own moment on Planet Elldrew.
88 Obi Lane South, Maleny, Queensland 4552