Sam Smith is crooning ‘Stay with me’ and with one glance around our suite, we’re thinking hell yeah! “You’re all I need”. This is the weekender equivalent of having an one night stand which you’ve inconveniently fallen in love with and will want to stay forever. Total bummer.
Privately owned for many years, Sangoma has been on the lips of the who’s who list and off the radar for most. A change of ownership means Spicers Retreats have made it theirs…and now yours.
Only ninety minutes from Sydney, it’s isolated from the modern world in the Blue Mountains. Seductive, sexy and anyone who loves design will be drooling all day and night. Is it a bowl of tantalizingly delicious lemons or art? This isn’t like staying in a hotel, it has a culture and rhythm all of its own. Starting from when you first arrive into the main lodge, where you’re met with “Darling you must have a glass of champagne!” Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Champagne, shows their attention to detail. It’s one of the many moments to come – we don’t mind if we do.
A quick tour shows us around the main living area; the ridiculously oversized sofas on the upper level are perfect for reading, an outside deck begs us to soak up the afternoon rays, lounge by the pool or grab a sauna. We can be as social or anti-social as we like. This is a resort, nestled in nature with an ethos ‘Our Luxury is Green, Not Gold”. From the solar panels on the roof, filtered still and sparkling water through the Acquachiara system to supporting supporting SoapAid. Wonderfully, there are too many social purpose initiatives to list here.
We are in the Escarpment Suite, the songs of bellbirds echo across the mountains. Its land meets forest – cedar wood, black metal, leather and copper interior design cocoon us from reality. Oh and that Philippe Stark double bath is calling. How wonderful that they donate any slippers left behind to a local charity supporting homeless women. The all inclusive bar has treats such as Mumm champagne and thoughtfully chosen treats from local suppliers such as Whisk & Pin muesli and rocky road.
The hanging chair outside is begging for a chill n’ swing session on our private wooden deck, as is the record player with a few LP’s for the budding DJ. The babbling brook from below just adds to the sense of rhythm.
Its nearly dinner time, we could do wine tasting but heck! we have snagged a massage. So we crunch over the pebbles in the twilight to an illuminated tent set away from the main lodge. No meditation app is needed here. Ironically all the sounds are real. Which is kind of… well.. weird? Liar birds, natural spring water rushing downwards over pebbles to the gorge, insects buzzing, birds chirping. It’s all too perfect. This is where heaven and earth blend together for half an hour.
Dinner doesn’t disappoint thanks to Head Chef Will Houia who has honed a fierce respect for local, organic and sustainable produce through a 14-year career (Michelin starred Relae in Copenhagen , plant-centric three-hatted Roots & Auckland’s inventive Pasture). This food is locally inspired and sourced with partnerships such as the Australian Marine Conservation Society “The Good Fish Program”. Its a degustation menu, so you dont need to stress/choose. We start with a fun play on lollipops! A daikon and mushroom duxelle duo is served with a bowl of fun friends – onion taco and semi dried tomato. Oohs and arrhs go out to brocolli pappardelle. Ter-darh! there’s no pasta, the cooking technique has created a new found respect for this brassica. Next up is elegant bonito (not flakes) but elegantly presented with horseradish, followed by chicken breast covered in a golden doona of sweetcorn. Continue to desert or onwards to your kingsize bed and the delicous notes of a woodfire snooze.
We wake up to an optional mediation session which we join, then onto breakfast. There isn’t just one reason why this place is special. It’s intimate, rare and spiritual. It’s a continuum of luxury and care for you and the planet, which make this hideaway remarkable. It’s a place we want to share, but then…you may wish to keep it your special secret.
Spicers Sangoma Retreat
70 Grandview Lane, Bowen Mountain NSW 2753
Photos by Spicers Retreat