February 7, 2005
On arrival, you are greeted as a dear friend making a return visit. The hotel is not so large that you spend endless minutes trekking long hallways. My room was a five minute's walk from the dining room used for breakfast and lunch and also the wonderful lounge. My room, #203, all in rose and white, was perhaps a bit too frilly for my husband, but I certainly enjoyed it. The rooms vary in size and decor. We had a fine view of the valley, a generous seating area with a table and chairs for room service, a desk, and a fully stocked minibar. Of course, we also had a television! All the fittings and linens were high-quality. Everything was planned for your comfort and happiness. Even the overhead lights and thermostat had bedside controls.
The large bathroom has a massive soaking tub and a walk-in shower with plenty of room to set up for a relaxed bathing experience. The provided soaps and shampoo were wonderful but not overly perfumed.
There are many planned activities at this hotel, including guided walks through the rain forest at the bottom of the valley and wine-tastings. The entire health club, pool, and spa are luxury-class, as one would expect from a hotel that is one of the Orient Express group.
We had several great meals at the hotel, which I will write up in a separate entry. Although the village of Katoomba is nearby, you could do very well by having all your meals in the hotel.
A special pleasure for us were the evenings we spent in the lounge enjoying great Australians wines, including some of the best port wine in the world. The atmosphere of fires burning in the marble fireplaces, comfortable sofas, and kind, but not invasive service made us feel very much as if we were at home. We also had a light meal in the lounge one afternoon, as the views out over the valley from that location are outstanding.
I truly love this hotel and plan to make a return visit soon. At about two hours out of Sydney, it is easy to get to by train, bus, or private car. I think it would be a great place for a honeymoon.
For more info: www.lilianfels.com.au
From journal Luxury in the Blue Mountains