Romantic escapes

Romantic escapes

Holidays to fall in love with

Ah, romance. It’s inspired epic poems, public declarations of love and Jackie Collins novels. It also kickstarted a whole new type of luxury holiday: the romantic getaway.

So what makes a romantic escape? Red roses, handmade chocolates, chilled sparkling wine and bubble baths for two? You really only need two things: you and your partner. But let’s be honest, those other elements wouldn’t hurt, and neither will staying in the kind of accommodation where love is definitely in the air. Think secluded bed and breakfasts, chic villas and beach huts tucked away in tropical gardens.

That’s exactly what you’ll find here: 17 boutique properties, all perfect for those with romance in mind. The properties are scattered all over the country, so treating your partner to a getaway for two is as simple as jumping in the car. So whether you’re marking an anniversary, celebrating Valentine’s Day, searching for the perfect place to propose or just looking to spend time curled up on a couch, you’ll find a property for you. Don’t forget to download that Barry White playlist before you go!

Basia Mille Vineyard and Luxury Accommodation, Gippsland

If you can’t get to Italy anytime soon, this Tuscan-style property in Gippsland, two hours from Melbourne, makes a pretty good alternative. Even the name is made for romance – Basia Mille is Latin for ‘a thousand passionate kisses’. There are three luxurious apartments to choose from, but the real selling point here is the view, which takes in the property’s 11-acre vineyard and olive grove, the waters of Waratah Bay, the islands of Bass Strait and the peaks of Wilsons Promontory. To really spoil your lover, book the premier apartment, Luscious, which has a king bed, bath and views to Corner Inlet.

Blue Ocean Apartment, Palm Beach

From morning walks to sunset picnics on the sand, beach breaks are the stuff that romantic holidays are made of. And while the Gold Coast may conjure images of massive high-rise apartments and mega resorts, you can still feel the love (without the crowds) by heading to a quieter part of the coast. The beachfront Blue Ocean Apartment in Palm Beach, between Currumbin and Burleigh Heads, is a private property boasting ocean views from its two bedrooms, two balconies and resort facilities including a lagoon pool with spa, barbecues, tennis court and direct access to the beach.

Coral Street Cottage and Silver Street Studio, Perth

Historic Fremantle is one of Perth’s most artistic communities, and there’s no better place for creative couples to immerse themselves in Freo’s boho vibe than this eclectic cottage and studio. Originally a fisherman’s cottage dating back to the 1890s, the recently restored Coral Street Cottage is set on a leafy street with French doors opening to a picturesque courtyard garden. Silver Street Studio is just around the corner, an artist’s studio made from old church limestone and wharf timbers that brims with rustic charm. Unique features like a meditation room and balcony with clawfoot bath add a magical touch to the property.

Dragonfly Lodge, East Coast Tasmania

A slice of east coast paradise is all yours at Dragonfly Lodge, a wonderfully secluded property built into the side of Rocky Hills. Its perch gives you uninterrupted views of Freycinet Peninsula – that’s Wineglass Bay straight ahead – and offers the perfect setting for peak romance. You might choose to spend a chunk of your time reclining in one of the loungers on the deck, glass of bubbles in hand and charcuterie plate within arm’s reach. Swansea is just up the road, so you can stock up on local goodies like strawberries, chocolates and oysters before settling in back at the Lodge.

Finches of Beechworth, High Country

This luxury bed and breakfast could be the very definition of a romantic escape. Finches of Beechworth is a heritage-listed building that has been beautifully transformed into a collection of lavish suites. To earn extra brownie points, book the Deluxe King Suite. It’s a private space tucked away from the other suites and boasts a plush pillow-top bed that will be hard to leave (but then again, you might not want to anyway). Don’t forget to pack your most stylish swimmers too, because the solar-heated mineral pool will beckon for languid laps or paddles with your partner.

Glass on Glasshouse, Sunshine Coast and Hinterland

An extraordinary romantic escape needs an extraordinary setting, right? Glass on Glasshouse in the Sunshine Coast hinterland won’t disappoint. The three glass pavilion cottages have been designed by award-winning architect Norman Richards with the kind of fit-out that will guarantee you’ll be staying in the lap of luxury. All the spaces in the pavilions are showstoppers, but the bathrooms are true highlights – especially those freestanding double spa baths that come complete with waterfall and stunning views. You could whip up a feast in the kitchen, but if cooking isn’t your thing then make for the fine-dining establishments nearby.

Lake Daylesford Country House, Daylesford

It’s hard to find a destination more romantic than Daylesford. With its rolling hills, lavender farms, award-winning restaurants and spas, this chic town less than 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne is made for couples. And while you’re there, it’s hard to find a more enchanting place to stay than Lake Daylesford Country House. All four ensuite bedrooms in this late 19th-century villa have spas, log fires and private balconies, but if you want to venture out of your room there’s also an elegant dining room, rooftop deck and even a boules court.

Lake Wendouree Luxury Apartments on Grove, Goldfields

Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, Ballarat makes a convenient destination for couples who don’t want to spend too long on the road. That’s not the only perk of this corner of Victoria, however. Another is Lake Wendouree Luxury Apartments on Grove. This block of six freshly renovated apartments is set just metres back from its namesake, Lake Wendouree. Each of the apartments has two bedrooms (so there’s room for you and then a little bit extra) and a sleek, modern bathroom. Snag one of the ground floor apartments to be treated to a private courtyard.

Ocean Retreat, East Coast Tasmania

Looking to treat yourself? The penthouse at Ocean Retreat will deliver on every single expectation you’ve ever had of a romantic escape. The suite sits above the main house and is luxuriously indulgent – expect contemporary architecture, a waterfront setting and no-expense-spared kit. Chances are you won’t know what to enjoy first, but a dip in the come-hither plunge pool should be high on the agenda. It’s heated, too, so it can be enjoyed any time of year. But if you prefer your soaks hot and steamy, make for the penthouse’s ensuite – it has a deep tub and heated floors.

Primo Cottages, Heart of Country

To foodies in the know, Mudgee in central NSW offers a wealth of artisan producers, top-notch vineyards and incredible eateries. And who better to discover them with than your beau? Primo Cottages is the ideal base to explore the region. The cottages have been superbly renovated – one was built in the 1890s and the other in the early 1900s – and a spell here is bound to feel like a comfortable stay at a close friend’s house. Past the front door, there are bicycling tracks, parklands and the town centre with cafés, restaurants, galleries and shops. Of course, if you’re reluctant to leave the warm confines of your cottage, that’s totally fine too.

Raffles Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast and Hinterland

The beautiful beaches, tropical hinterland, warm weather and laid-back lifestyle make the Sunshine Coast a natural choice for a romantic getaway. While many loved-up couples head straight to Noosa, we love Mooloolaba for its pristine beach and nearby shopping, dining and activity options. Raffles Mooloolaba, just a short stroll from the beach and the cosmopolitan foreshore, makes a great base for couples with its spacious, well-appointed apartments. Light-filled living, dining and kitchen spaces are only the beginning, with most apartments also offering an indulgent double spa bath. Still want more? Opt for a rooftop apartment with its own entertainment area and barbecue.

Rivendell Cottages, Gippsland

A stay in Bag End Cottage at Rivendell might just be the quirkiest romantic getaway you’ll ever take. You might even be tempted to make a permanent move. The biggest surprise is the huge bedroom, which is a converted water tank. It doubles as a temperature-controlled wine cellar too – who doesn’t love sitting up in bed with a fine drop? Pull up a patch of carpet by the fire and settle in for a chess tournament. Outside there are even more hints that this cottage isn’t like others: think a tandoor oven, hot potato oven and Weber barbecue. The shady verandah has hanging chairs and a spa sits in the gazebo.

Sejala Beach Huts, Misson Beach

Sometimes you want to be in the centre of the action, and sometimes you want to be anywhere but. If you’re leaning towards the latter, Sejala Beach Huts offers a truly secluded hideaway. These arty pads are set among beautiful tropical gardens just seconds from the sands of the stunning Mission Beach. Think bright, colourful interiors; shutters, fans and air-conditioning to keep you cool; and luxurious extras like L’Occitane toiletries, monogrammed cotton bed linen and fluffy beach towels. While away lazy afternoons with a good book in the hammock on the verandah, or take a dip in the private solar-heated pool.

The Mansion Hotel and Spa, Melbourne

One thing’s for sure – you’re never going to run out of things to do on a city break, especially in Melbourne. From theatre to sports to a world-class dining scene, the Victorian capital is Australia’s events hub and a guaranteed good time. But if you want somewhere that’s close enough to enjoy the action while still providing a quiet retreat at the end of the day, head to The Mansion Hotel & Spa in Werribee Park. Just 30 minutes’ drive from the CBD, this historic property was recently named ‘Australia’s Most Romantic Hotel’ in the Luxury Travel Gold List Awards.

The Old Church Byron Bay, Byron Bay and Surrounds

Flowers, chocolates, teddy bears… there are the predictable old Valentine’s Day standbys, and then there are the more unexpected experiences, like The Old Church Byron Bay. Lovingly renovated over eight years, the original building has been transformed into a unique retreat complete with cathedral ceilings, peaked windows, a huge chef’s kitchen, separate games room and deck overlooking the picture-perfect garden. To up the indulgence factor of your escape even further, head to nearby Harvest Café for a romantic meal for two or book a couple’s massage at Olivia Newton-John’s Gaia Retreat, which is just four minutes’ drive from The Old Church.

The Traill, Margaret River

It’s one of Australia’s most iconic food and wine regions, so there’s no better place for a foodie couple to take an indulgent gourmet getaway than Margaret River. The Traill’s two penthouse apartments are located in the centre of Margaret River town, with the area’s famous wineries, restaurants and cafes all on the doorstep. The first apartment, Deco, offers elegant style and muted tones set off with original art deco pieces and French doors leading to a large terrace. The second, Marine, is a contemporary nautical-themed space with a private courtyard. Spa ensuites and gourmet kitchens complete these luxurious penthouses.

Wallaby Ridge Retreat, Gold Coast and Hinterland

Whether you’re looking for candlelit dinners, movie nights spent in or hand-held bushwalks, Wallaby Ridge Retreat in the foothills of Tamborine Mountain will sort you out. The staple ingredients for romance – flowers, chocolates, sparkling wine, dinners – can be arranged on request too. The Retreat features three self-contained suites, but Silky Oak takes the gong for most romantic and is very popular with newlyweds. Mornings will start tucking into the incredible breakfast baskets stocked with homegrown produce and hand-gathered eggs, or even a champagne breakfast in a hot-air balloon. When the sun goes down, make for the hilltop spa – the only things to disrupt your serenity will be the resident wallabies.

Red roses. Candlelit dinners. Bubble baths. Cosy nights spent in. Sounds like the dictionary definition of a romantic getaway, right? For good reason – all the above are sure to make hearts race and temperatures rise. There’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter loved-up escape, though, because your idea of romance probably isn’t the same as your best friend’s, your work colleague’s or the barista who makes your latte every morning.

Just like any holiday you take with your beau, a romantic getaway should be a reflection of you as a couple. It also happens to be your opportunity to seriously treat yourself, whether it’s splashing out on a swanky suite, hightailing it to a day spa or spending your days winery-hopping and feasting on gourmet treats. Sound like something you could get on board with? We thought so.

That’s where this Romantic Getaways guide comes in. It’s a collection of 17 handpicked properties, dotted right across the country, all offering the ideal escape à deux. There are secluded beach huts with private tropical gardens, picture-perfect cottages, luxurious B & Bs and accommodation you’ll find very hard to leave.

But wait, there’s more. Because the guide is all about making booking your romantic getaway a breeze, some properties still have availability for Valentine’s Day (otherwise known as the Most. Romantic. Day. Ever).