PRETTY BEACH HOUSE
By Rhiannon Taylor, October 2017
New South Wales is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful coastline and just under two hour’s drive from Sydney lies Pretty Beach, home to boutique hotel cum private residence Pretty Beach House. With only 4 villas, accommodating 8 guests in total, Pretty Beach House is less hotel and more a tailor-made luxury escape than one would expect to find in this sleepy little town.
Located in the quiet back streets of Pretty Beach, with only a tiny sign to signify it’s location, you embark up a long, windy driveway to the lodge, which is nestled atop a rock face and surrounded by bush.
Staff wait at the entrance in anticipation of your arrival, with champagne at the ready. Strolling through the lodge, you’re met with a space that draws on quintessential Australian charm with luxe, modern touches. The lounge boasts an oversized couch draped with cashmere throws, cushions subtly stamped “PBH” and shelves bursting with titles from Gelstaten and Taschen.
The lounge flows in to a bar that overlooks the kitchen pass and the lower level dining room. All communal spaces come with floor to ceiling windows that have views over a glimmering infinity pool and beyond to Pretty Beach.
Each villa is unique in layout and design. You may get a gleaming copper bathtub or a private plunge pool. All, however, are charming and feel like home, with record players (you can raid the vinyl library for classics from Frank Sinatra and The Beatles), linens by Busatti, custom scented candles and a complimentary mini bar equipped to make an evening cocktail.
The chefs are at your disposal and flexible depending on your mood. Dietary requirements are completely catered for from vegan to gluten free. Breakfast starts with a grazing tray of fresh pastries, house made bread, muesli and fruit. It’s incredibly sumptuous, however if you have room to spare you can get eggs cooked to order.
Lunch is a light affair with family-style share plates of antipasto, radicchio salad and melt-in-your mouth, pillow-perfect gnocchi in butter and sage sauce. It matches perfectly with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Central Otago as you watch the house goanna soak up the sun by the pool.
Dinner takes on a more formal format with a degustation menu. You can also choose to sit at the kitchen pass and engage in conversation with the chefs, whilst they cook. And if this all feels a bit too fancy, there’s a pizza oven for a wood-fired margherita! Pretty Beach House is yours to experience however you wish.
The lodge is a brilliant place to unwind and days can be spent in the shade under the tree that hangs over the pool. Or you can book in for an indigenous inspired massage at the spa, which is both incredibly spiritual and relaxing. Starting with a smoking ceremony to cleanse the body and mind, the feet are then bathed in water infused with Australian leaves and bush berries. This is followed by a massage that uses a flat palm technique to draw energy in to the body whilst releasing tension.
If you’re keen to explore there are plenty of walking tracks and beaches in the region. The lodge can arrange a guided walk for guests, with staff members who have a deep knowledge of the local area, pointing out significant aboriginal markings, secret lookouts and great swimming spots.
Nature and nurture aside, the biggest drawcard of Pretty Beach House is how it feels like your very own home. There’s no set time when you need to dine, there’s no schedule to adhere to and the service is seamless. Here, the pressure is off and you can soak up the tranquility of Pretty Beach.
THE TURN DOWN
ACCOMODATION CATEGORY: Private hotel meets guest house.
MINI BAR: Complimentary with your stay. Tea, coffee, chocolates, snacks, spirits and wine.
POOL/GYM/SPA: Some villas come with a private plunge pool, otherwise there's a central infinity pool overlooking Pretty Beach. There's a full-service spa offering unique treatments.
FEEL: Bush-luxe guest house.
LOCATION: Pretty Beach is a two hour drive from Sydney.
CHILDREN: Not under 15 years of age.
RATES: From $4000 per couple for two nights. Check for Winter specials.
GOOD TO KNOW: There is a minimum stay of two nights.
ROOM PICK: The Hideaway Pavillion is shielded by gum trees and gardens and has it's own plunge pool for the perfect romantic getaway.
RESTAURANT/BAR: The rate is inclusive of all meals and beverages, which is open at your leisure. Let guest services know upon booking your dietary requirements so the chefs can tailor a menu to your taste.
WIFI: Yes, great connection.
I stayed courtesy of Pretty Beach House.