A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at www.travelchook.com
Published December 14th 2014
How to Spoil Someone Special
Every now and then, it's nice to surprise someone special and take them on an experience they'll never forget. It's so much more fun to spoil yourself by sharing pleasures with someone else too. Giving a special experience as a present may be indulgent, but is also likely to transform into memories which bring countless smiles for a long time to come.
Here are my recommendations for the top three experiences around Brisbane that make magic happen:
1. The Opal Rasul Temple at Stephanie's Spa Retreat
This one is for all the lovers and dreamers out there. If you can imagine you and your loved one under a dome of sparkling stars indulging in mud therapy and tropical rain showers in a moody, steamy temple, reminiscent of something out of Istanbul, then you have just pictured the Opal Rasul Temple. Yes, it really does exist, and yes, it is in Brisbane. This temple is unique in the Southern Hemisphere, and has been enjoyed by some of the most famous celebrities in the world.
While it could be the most romantic time you've ever spent with your partner, it could also be the most memorable time you've ever spent with your mother or a couple of your best friends. Hidden away at Brisbane's Sofitel, the fabulous Stephanie's Spa Retreat offers packages such as a 'Romance for Two' and many more in the dreamy Opal Rasul Temple.
Opal Rasul Temple - Image Courtesy of Stephanie's Spa Retreat
Afterwards, you could always finish your day with dinner at the Sofitel Hotel's Thyme Restaurant with an interactive dining experience for two which includes international cuisine and live cooking stations.
Of course, if at the end of the day you are simply too relaxed and indulged to move, you could always just spend the night….
2. Seaplane Flight with Romantic Island Picnic
Who hasn't imagined a romantic picnic with someone special on the soft sands of a tropical island at one point in their lives? I confess I certainly have. The good news is that it doesn't have to be just a fantasy anymore. Cloud 9 Seaplanes offer scenic seaplane flights over the dazzling blue green Queensland coast where you will land on a romantic secluded beach for swimming, relaxing, building sandcastles or being totally loved up. A picnic rug complete with table, chairs and an umbrella will be set up just for you. No need to bring your own snacks either, because Cloud 9 Seaplanes supply a sumptuous seafood lunch complete with champagne, dips, fresh fruit and chocolates just for the two of you. They can also cater to your special dietary needs if given advance notice.
Once you've played, eaten, drank and soaked in the scenery, you'll leave in style as the seaplane returns late afternoon to fly you back along the stunning coastline. A number of different flight and picnic packages are offered. I suggest choosing the deluxe picnic package to ensure you have the seaplane to yourselves, a longer flight and extra food. The flights depart from Seaworld Resort on the Gold Coast.
Image Courtesy of Cloud 9 Seaplanes
3. Hot Air Balloon with Champagne Breakfast
There's something so serene and amazing about gliding over mountains and lakes in a hot air balloon with someone special. Floating high above forests and lakes in a big beautiful hot air balloon is often understandably described as 'unforgettable'. It's not just the balloon flight itself, but also the spectacle of watching these beautiful balloons as tall as high rise buildings dominate the sky. It could just be the best present someone ever receives.
Hot Air Brisbane and Hot Air Gold Coast take travellers on a breathtaking hot air balloon ride across the Gold Coast hinterland followed by a breakfast of eggs, bacon and fresh juices at Canungra Valley Vineyard.
I would recommend driving yourself (rather than getting a Brisbane transfer) and making a day of it if you want to explore the scenic rim. Following the bliss of ballooning and a freshly prepared breakfast, head up the mountain (Green Mountains) toward O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. From there you can take a leisurely stroll (or a serious mountain hike) through the magnificent rainforest and enjoy lunch in the mountain top café. On the way back down the mountain, I always try to stop at Mountview Alpaca Farm to see the adorable alpacas and enjoy a hot chocolate while admiring the spectacular valley views. I love stopping off here. Just check their opening hours first.
For those that don't want to make the one hour drive to the Gold Coast hinterland, Hot Air Brisbane includes transfers to the Gold Coast daily from Southbank, the city, Upper Mt Gravatt and Kangaroo Point.
Image Courtesy of Hot Air Brisbane
If it is simply too difficult to choose between options of hot air ballooning, island picnic with seaplane flight, or the sultry Opal Rasul Temple, try imagining the fun you could have giving someone the gift of all three experiences over three spectacular days. Now that really would be spoilt rotten!
Something to note about the Hot Air Balloon rides is that you usually have to meet the group at 4-5am so if you wanted to have a long day after the balloon ride you may be tired. But I've done it and it was incredible, definitely worth the early morning. Not super romantic though because you are in a basket full of people usually. :)