From a farm-to-table gastronomy experience at Merlot, Lancemore Milawa, to an adults-only bohemian oasis in Byron Bay, nothing says true romance like a weekend away with your beloved. In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, T Australia editors share their go-tos for an unforgettable couples retreat.
Eat Your Feelings at Lancemore Milawa
Situated in Victoria’s painterly mountain ranges, at the gateway to the King Valley, Lancemore Milawa is the ultimate high country escape – boasting 40 rooms and suites, a pool and sprawling gardens. This Valentine’s Day, Lancemore’s onsite dining outpost Merlot Restaurant is hosting a four-course degustation dinner. Hosted by Chris Cochrane and his dedicated team, this special evening promises an unforgettable culinary journey curated by the restaurant’s executive chef Sasi Suprimaniam. Indulge in dishes such as Tasmanian scallop ceviche, chicken ballotine and tiramisu from $120 per head, or go all out with paired local wines for $180. lancemore.com.au.
Embrace Total Disconnection at Sal Salis, Ningaloo
Nestled amongst the sand dunes 50m from the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef, Sal Salis’ safari-style eco tents sit in harmony with the surrounding landscape. With no wifi or phone reception, let your full attention turn to the world’s largest fringing reef – home to more than 500 species of colourful fish, 250 varieties of coral formations and reef sharks. After a day spent exploring, dine on fresh, seasonal, locally sourced produce, served overlooking the expansive reef at the lantern-lit group Lodge. salsalis.com.au.
An Adults-Only Retreat in Byron Bay
With a focus on community, wellness, and sustainability, the luxurious Swell Hotel – 16-room adults-only boutique oasis – embodies the laidback spirit of Byron Bay. Offering communal spaces, retro surfboard borrowings, an infrared sauna, and an ice bath, Swell provides a sanctuary for like-minded travellers, while the thoughtfully designed rooms feature earthy hues and plush materials, ranging from garden view to poolside, hideaway rooms, and a two-bedroom suite. A commitment to locally sourced and sustainable practices extends to its food and beverage offerings, resulting in a couple-ready haven where luxury meets relaxation. swellhotel.com.
A Romance-Ready Oasis on the Apple Isle
Tailor-made for romance and perched on the ocean’s edge in Swansea, Piermont Retreat’s residences overlook the cinematic Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s North East Coast. Less than an hour’s drive from Wine Glass Bay, book your escape in one of the hotel’s luxury suites, or camp out for a week in a self-contained cottage. Piermont’s on-site restaurant, Homestead, celebrates seasonal regional produce, and if you’re lacking cheese and wine supplies, duck into the venue’s cellar door and charge it to the room. piermont.com.au
Put on the Ritz in Melbourne
Are you ready to take your relationship to new heights? Check in to Australia’s tallest hotel – Melbourne’s luxurious Ritz-Carlton on the CBD’s Lonsdale Street. Featuring 257 rooms and suites across 80 storeys, the hotel boasts panoramic views over Port Phillip Bay and the Bolte Bridge and stylish, residential-inspired interiors featuring custom leather and velvet furniture, hand-made glass panels, bespoke light fixtures, marble bathrooms, rain showers and oversized bathtubs. A heated indoor infinity pool and pool deck overlooks the city, with guest amenities such as a spa, restaurant and intimate library bar for late night rendezvous. ritzcarlton.com.