Appropriate accommodation is a huge consideration when planning travel, and where you stay can really make or break a trip. It’s now often quite difficult to tell what a property is actually like from the web – we have stayed at some shocking properties which look amazing online, and like-wise have missed out on amazing stays at places which don’t have their online marketing quite up to scratch.
As such, to help you out, we will post accommodation reviews recounting our experiences from each different place we stay so that you know what’s hot and what’s…well…not! All of the below accommodation reviews are truthfully written by us, based on our experiences – we do not accept guest blogs for this section.
I’m loving the explosion of glamping in Australia; the availability of luxury accommodation in picturesque natural surrounds. I’m talking tents with real beds, cozy decor, and all of the amenities of home. I’m talking luxury cabins offering secluded wilderness with a hot tub.
From barns and cabins, to tree houses and caves, glamping is a way to connect with your surroundings without having to rough it. And with incomparable access to nature, “glamorous camping” is the newest Australian craze. Tucked inside mountains, scattered along white-sand beaches, unique structures with an amazing backdrop are beginning to pop up everywhere.
Located in the beautiful East Gippsland region of Victoria, one glamping site is particularily worth noting. Situated in lesser known Nungurner is a unique rural homestead; a contemporary vacation cabin nestled on 50 acres of stunning countryside. Just over three hours east of Melbourne, this property provides the perfect setting to retreat, relax and rejuvenate, and is the ideal base for exploring everything East Gippsland has to offer.
No visit to Australia is complete without a road trip. From coastal journeys and outback adventures, driving is one of the best ways to see this great Southern land.
Driving Australia can be easy on most routes, but you do need to be prepared for the distances. Once you find yourself outside the main cities, much of Australia is very spread out, and towns can be few and far between. So prior planning is essential, especially when it comes to choosing overnight stays to break up the trip.
For those traveling between Melbourne and Adelaide, we recently stayed at Horsham International Hotel which was the perfect overnight stopover for this route.
In 1931, Airstream began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.
85 years later, when it comes to spotting one on the road, no other travel trailer comes close to the classic, instantly recognizable “silver bullet” look, and after decades of touring the roads and campsites of America (and the world), the Airstream has gone from being an oddity to a true American icon.
For those who have ever wanted to spend a couple of nights in an iconic Airstream travel trailer, a new glamping experience awaits you on Australia’s NSW South Coast. Having come a long way since Wally’s first design, modern Airstream trailers now resemble a luxury home.
The Crimson Rosella’s are forced to scatter as a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets decide it’s their time to feed. They descend upon the bird feeder we’ve packed with seeds, sending the two Rosella’s into a fast retreat. A sudden burst of vivid plumage and squawking fills the air. The Lorikeets have first pickings here. They have their run of the rainforest and make sure every other bird knows it too.
Over the past few years, Mike and I have been fortunate enough to experience our fair share of sensational accommodation. Think plush penthouse suites in Las Vegas where the range of in room amenities is so excessive it will fulfill every wildest dream. Or an intimate boutique loft apartment in New York. Think a decadent hotel built atop ancient Incan ruins in Peru. We recently also stayed in a room which came with a zoo!
Suffice to say, we have slept around quite extensively when it comes to luxury rooms. And it as such takes something truly exceptional to wow us to our core. Who knew it would be our first experience glamping, in the Australian bush no less, which would leave us both in absolute awe.
There’s something to be said about experiencing the world, though being able to travel with the comforts of home. It’s walking barefoot along a windy beach and at the end of the day having access to a laundry for your sandy clothes. It’s waking up and having the freedom to cook your own eggs, without the need to make yourself decent for other guests.
While you may not think twice about these kind of things on a short vacation, it’s these little luxuries in life that a full time traveler craves, and why we were so taken by our recent Wollongong stay.
My 6am alarm hadn’t yet sounded, though I woke quite abruptly. I could have sworn I was woken by the intense sound of a lion roar. Though that was surely a ridiculous concept. I wasn’t in Africa – I was in a luxury four poster canopy bed in Australia’s national capitol. It must have been a vivid dream.
Though as I began to doze off again I suddenly had the feeling we were being watched. And as I pulled back the curtains I was stunned by what I saw. We were in fact being watched. There was a Giraffe peering in from outside our room.
If you’ve ever dreamed of an intimate experience with African animals, Australia has the lodge for you. While there are a number of zoos that offer overnight sleepovers, Jamala Wildlife Lodge takes the concept to a completely different level.
Denali National Park is Alaska’s most popular land attraction, though it’s almost impossible to experience everything the park has to offer in just one day. Most visitors choose to stay 3 or 4 nights, we chose to stay for 5, though when you find yourself wanting to spend multiple nights in Alaska’s wild interior, the question then becomes, where do you stay?
Alaska.org advised that “90% of visitors choose a Denali hotel near the park entrance because it’s convenient, less expensive, offers a variety of lodges from luxurious to rustic, is near the national park visitor center, and is within easy access to transportation and interpretive bus trips along Denali Park Road and a variety of recreational activities and Denali excursions.”
Sound enough logic for us! We as such checked into The Lodge at Denali Park Village.
Vancouver Island and its beautiful city of Victoria would be our introduction to Canada as we made our Pacific Coast Voyage from San Diego to Anchorage. We had heard so many wonderful things about the Garden City that we had to make time for a stop on our itinerary. The city is sprinkled with beautifully landscaped parks, a lively and entertaining harbor, abundant history, and great weather. Even after just a few short hours we were already captivated by its charm.
It isn’t always easy for a destination to live up to its hype, however Victoria is one of a very few which did not disappoint. What we weren’t expecting however was the delightful introduction to Delta Hotels & Resorts which is based in Canada from coast to coast.
We were not expecting such a young and modern feel from Victoria after having heard so much of its long history and old world charm, however Delta Victoria brings the city up to date with every modern convenience that is a must in today’s day and age.
With over 100 years of history and a guestbook which includes the names of Kings, Queens, Emperors, and much of the Hollywood Elite, the Fairmont Empress in Victoria B.C. reigns over the city like the mightiest of any Monarch. With it’s famous green ivy walls symbolic of Vancouver Island’s rugged wilderness that surrounds the city, you are greeted with pure royal elegance once you step through its doors.
I have always dreamed of what it would be like to be Queen. Which little girl hasn’t. I would switch lives with Kate Middleton in a heartbeat, and I live vicariously through the decadent lives of the world’s most famous royals through various shows which grace the small screen.
I have taken my fair share of castle tours, Windsor, Buckingham, Neuschwanstein, and although these give you a glimpse of how the royal families have lived and continue to live, they fall short of giving you the feeling of being treated as a royal. Enter the Fairmont Empress.
In an age where there are a stealth of technology powering our daily lives, it’s essential for our sanity to find the ability and the time to unplug. And unplugging the laptop to retire to a chair with your iPad in hand doesn’t count. Nor does switching off the phone to then reach for the TV.
Unplugging completely means convenient access to hot mineral-spring pools and massage therapists instead of WiFi. Or waking up to the sound of waterfalls splashing through moss-softened gorges instead of the stressful vibrations of your phone. It means spending time hiking, fishing, or kayaking as a replacement for your televisions, radios and cells – all modern distractions which would otherwise take away from the deep, clear, glacier-carved lake right outside your door. With limited internet, television and telephones, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State is the ideal place to ditch the electronics and connect with the natural environment instead.
After having returned from the Olympic Peninsular completely rejuvenated and refreshed, we have put together this complete guide to an unplugged vacation in Olympic National Park; where to stay, where to go, and what to do.