SPICERS TAMARIND RETREAT, MALENY, SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND
This tranquil place is just what the soul required after a busy convention on the Sunshine Coast, with tiredness and adrenaline ebbing away with every kilometre that we meander up into the cooler climes of the Glasshouse Mountains, just 40 minutes away. Birdsong greets us and a traffic jam of trees wave hello in the breeze. The retreat has 22 rooms in 14 villas dotted around the leafy haven. I am in a Luxury Falls Villa that feels so private that when I sit in my outdoor hot tub on the deck I feel as if it is just me, looking out to the trees alongside the creek listening to the soft splashes of Gardners Falls. After my tub I turn on the wood-burning fireplace, and relax in the lounge room, which is a separate space. The bedroom, at the other end, contains a king-size bed with feather topper that I disappear into and hope to live in forever. That wasn’t to be and shortly after I was enjoying canapes around the outdoor fire pit before testing out the hanging egg chairs under the spectacular fig tree that are so popular with loved up couples and Instagrammers. A highlight is the incredible dinner in the much-feted, and deservedly so – Tamarind Restaurant. While the restaurant is set in an airy outdoor pavilion with beautiful views over the grounds, I find it hard to take my eyes off the array of dishes that appear before us. The perfect blend of flavours sing on the tongue, and I wish we were staying longer, to allow us to try more dishes – and more desserts – as well as trying the Anise Spa.