I read about Wolgan Valley ( Emirates One and Only) in a travel write up from a broad sheet paper in the UK. The seclusion and beauty of this place about 4 hrs drive out of Sydney appealed to me as a lone traveller seeking luxury and space to reflect on where I am at in my life . Yes it is expensive , but I was never going to stay there for longer than 3 days. Every penny spent being here from my hard earned savings was absolutely worth it. So this is my story about not feeling out of place at what is known to be one of the best places to stay in Australia.
I had arranged a car hire from Sydney to Wolgan Valley, including sat nav ( you will need it). As you come into the Blue Mountains you might think “ not far now”. You would be wrong ! The Blue Monutain range runs for a very long way – it took 2 hrs to get to them but you need to add on another 2 hrs before you reach Wolgan Valkey. You have really got to trust your sat nav as there is no indication along the route that you are heading towards Wolgan Valley. Wolgan Valley runs to 7000 acres of conservation land taken over by Emirates from local farmers. The landscape is incredible and will take your breath away!
Arrival to the periphery of the resort sees you parking your car in a parking area ( my little Honda hire car parked along side Porsche’s , Range Rovers and 1 Ferrari was pure genius!). Your bags are taken out of your car and transferred to a jeep that will then transfer you to the main resort. Bar staff driving the jeeps there are no other cars allowed in the resort area at all. The drive is about 10 minutes and enroute you will see a lot of kangaroos, maybe a few wombats or a platypus ( as we cut across a pure water spring ).
At main reception you are greeted by staff who have taken the trouble to welcome you by name and take you to your villa. You have the option of walking (5-10 minutes max) or of getting into a small solar driven golf style transfer vehicle. I chose the walk. It enables you to get a grasp of your surroundings straight away.
I think the pictures says it all about the Heritage Villa I stayed in. Sublimely clean, and being an all inclusive resort it has an extraordinary high end minibar . The villa also has its own pool big enough to do laps in. The villa is suitable for two and they do offer bigger villas for family groups.
The villa has everything you could need, from high quality super fast internet connections ( your phone is unlikely to work outside of the resort), luxury sodashi and Ku products , factor 50 sunscreen, a ruck sack to carry provisions you might need when out walking or cycling ( every person has a Trek mountain bike at their villa plus helmet). I think the bed which is huge is possibly one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in, the linen was all extremely high quality and everything about the villa was just perfect.
Make sure you bring a good pair of walking shoes if you like to explore. The terrain is undulating and some of the mountains require some dexterity and sure footing ( but you don’t have to climb anything if you don’t want to). I went out exploring with my camera and a beautifully prepared packed lunch in my ruck sack. I spent 4 hrs or so walking the 16 km route but there are much shorter ones you can choose to do. The hotel will kit you out with a radio should you experience any problems en route. I think I must have taken photos of every kangaroo ! I learnt in a heritage trail guided tour how to determine a kangaroo from a wallaby, why wombats do what they do as well as coming to understand the philosophy of what Emirates are trying to achieve at the resort. Matt ( the guide) has an extensive and so highly impressive knowledge of wildlife and vegetation in the area. He studied biology and the environment for his degree. It was clear that he loves what he does and we had a bit of bartering at the end of the trek about what constitutes one of the most beautiful animals on the planet. He showed us the local baby possum s on the recently renovated homestead farm ( from the late 1890 or so) . I might have to acquiesce to his view – I thought sloth he thinks possum!
What’s not to love? 💕
Eating at the Emirates is an experience in itself. The menu is short but what they offer will suit all tastes and preferences whether you eat or don’t eat meat. Everything is organic and probably most likely from their vast gardens. Care is taken in the way they cook food to the way they present it. I had tried their tasting menu – a few pictures of beautifully plated and delicious food
Snapper chowder with caviar
. There is also an amazing spa at the resort. I chose to have a 90 minute body massage and a facial the following day.
Again in beautiful surroundings overlooking the mountains and ofcourse many kangaroos
I felt positively energised and relaxed simultaneously during my stay at Wolgan Valley. The resort lives up to its hype and it’s the staff who make it really top notch ( all locals who are passionate about the eco resort, about the environment and people). If you can afford to go , GO – you won’t be disappointed !