We were guests of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
You know the sign of a good escape?
That you’re plotting a return before you’ve even set off for home.
We’d only arrived on the mountain at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat 24 hours before but that’s the magic of the place.
It was my first visit to O’Reilly’s and Mr SY had not visited since a day trip as a kid. Both of us could not believe it had escaped our collective radar up until this recent visit.
For more than 100 years the O’Reilly family has offered accommodation in what is now the World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
When we mentioned to friends where we were heading for the weekend, the first thing those who had visited mentioned to us was the windy trek up the mountain to reach your destination.
Naively, I thought to myself … how windy could it really be?
Turns out it can be very windy – 35km of windy.
You could tell which cars on the road are familiar with every hairpin turn. They had more of a Monaco Grand Prix approach to the journey.
Me? I urged Mr SY to please keep to a school-zone speed, preferably hugging the side of the mountain as tightly as possible.
Occasionally he humoured me.
Moving right along … people happily make the trek up and down the mountain to breathe in the clean air, trek the 160km of trails and connect with nature.
Me? They had me at the Lost World Day Spa.
I loved looking at all that beautiful nature … from beside the fireplace in the spa’s relaxation lounge.
Yes, I’d happily take in nature’s bounty from this position all day long, excepting when face down experiencing the Signature Skin and Body Therapy.
I’m not going to lie, those two hours were something else.
My therapist took me from broken to bliss, starting with a foot soak and scrub before moving on to a back massage, scalp treatment and facial.
There was snoring. There was drool. There was a resultant inability for me to lift myself up off the treatment bed.
This Spa Rat had found a new spiritual home.
Many, many more things got the Lost World Day my Spa Rat tick of approval.
For starters, this spa uses one of my favourite skincare ranges in its treatments – Australian luxury chemical-free range, Sodashi. The products keep on delivering on your skin days after your treatment. They are luxe and effective – especially in signature Sodashi treatments.
More ticks from me in the spaciousness of the spa. The rooms all have views over the valley.
The aforementioned lounge is roomy.
I’ve been in relaxation lounges the size of a kids’ bedroom and somehow half a dozen people in ill-fitting white robes are supposed to feel comfortable hanging in there before and after a treatment. It just doesn’t cut it.
Not here. So much space.
This Spa Rat was one very happy and blissed out girl.
So what were the boys up to while I was otherwise engaged?
Blissing out their way, that’s what.
What I love about O’Reilly’s is that there are activities for everyone – or you have the option to very little.
Staying in the luxury villas definitely lends itself to the latter.
These are the newest of the accommodation options at O’Reilly’s and there are two or three-bedroom options available with either a rainforest or valley view … from the jacuzzi on your private deck.
Two families could easily share a three-bedroom villa. There were definitely girls’ weekends happening in villas around us during our weekend too. You can self-cater, chill out in front of the fire, read books and generally solve the problems of the world without leaving your home away from home.
Should you wish to venture out, those walking trails will help counter-balance any Champagne and cheese consumption.
We justified the 10-minute walk up to dinner in The Dining Room in the main lodge as reason to indulge.
For the activity-minded, the glow worm tour and the Birds of Prey show are musts. The guides make these activities. They are characters with so much passion and so many stories to share, it’s impossible not to be caught up in that.
Oh, O’Reilly’s you’ve got a little piece of our hearts.
So, have you got an O’Reilly’s story to share? Visited lately?
For more information about O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, visit www.oreillys.com.au