The hustle and bustle of busy Sydney can sometimes make you feel burnt out. If you're starting to feel tired and run down, it's a sign you need to get away. A short weekend escape from the city is ideal to recharge your energy levels.
Less than two hours drive north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a luxurious retreat located right on the beachfront of beautiful Toowoon Bay. Kims Beachside Retreat is over 131 years old and is famous for its unique location and history. The retreat was originally built back in 1886 when a local seafaring merchant Captain Frans Charlson put up some simple tents along the shoreline and started hiring them out. Eventually, timber cabins were built and improvements continued over the years into what is now 34 luxury beachfront bungalows and spa villas.
My partner chose our weekend escape accommodation as a surprise for me. I had no idea when we were driving up the coast as to where we would be staying. I expected he had booked an Airbnb place. I was absolutely delighted and impressed when we arrived at the famous Kims Beachside Retreat.
We parked inside the top level car park and made our way down the timber walkway to the main reception. The timber walkway is hemmed in either side by tall bamboo and gives a feeling that you are entering a tropical rainforest.
The reception staff were so friendly and professional. We had originally booked a garden villa but as they knew from my partner it was to be a romantic getaway, they had decided to surprise us with an upgrade to a Bungalow with an outdoor spa. The bungalow was set right at the end of a row of bungalows which gave us even more privacy. The inside was spacious and luxurious and had a lovely outlook.
Our weekend booking included a seafood buffet for two and breakfast each day. Drinks and canapés were being served in the main building bar area from 6.00pm and we were fortunate there was also live music booked. The bar looked lovely all lit up at night. It felt like we were on a tropical island sitting outside enjoying the warm evening sea breeze.
Of course, we overindulged in the fresh seafood and could hardly fit in any of the hot food or desserts. Thankfully, we had booked a two-night stay. We vowed to be smarter on our second night to allow space for the hot dishes and desserts.
It was so lovely to wake up early to the sound of birds singing in the pine trees and the waves rolling onto the beach. Guests were enjoying the spectacular morning view while indulging in a delicious breakfast buffet.
Again, the buffet was fabulous. Plenty of variety, bacon, eggs to order, pancakes, cereals, fruit and I particularly enjoyed the different bread varieties, butter and honey. I had to go back several times for more!
Feeling the threat of a carb coma, we decided it would be best to walk off our breakfast feast. The beachfront in front is calm and ideal for swimming, further past the rock ledges is a surfers dream with undulating waves rolling against the shore.
It really was my type of weekend, a room with a view, luxurious, outdoor spa, plenty of great food, stunning ocean views, pristine beach for swimming and a feeling of total relaxation. Another bonus is if you want to get away from the sound of children, this retreat is Adults only! I didn't want to leave!
Check out the website for more details and room rates. Yes, it is a luxury retreat so you can expect the prices to reflect the standard. Personally, I feel that this option compared to staying a night in a 5-star Hotel in the city is preferable for what is included and the location.
One week at 'Kim's Camp' as it was known then, was where 'my other half' and I spent our honeymoon in February 1967. Last year while visiting TOOWOON BAY I took a stroll through the grounds of Kim's Resort. WOW what a transformation from the fibro shacks on the beach to how it is today. The dining options for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner was an eyeopener for two young marrieds. How I would love to go back and reminisce and enjoy the tranquility and the foods.