Love at first bite at Spicers Sangoma Retreat

Newly renovated, Spicers Sangoma Retreat is a peaceful haven with plenty to offer, not least of all the memorable cuisine, writes Gary Allen.

August saw the relaunch of Spicers Sangoma Retreat, following a six-month, multimillion-dollar refurbishment. The eco-retreat is a haven of eight suites in the Bowen Mountain township of New South Wales’ Blue Mountains and about an 80-minute drive from the CBD.

As part of the refurbishment, two new Escarpment Suites were constructed, designed by the original Spicers Sangoma architect with a view to keep the design language consistent across the property. In addition, the property now comprises three Bush Suites and a Lodge, Chief’s and Tent suite, plus a lounge and dining space, outdoor space with fire pit, infinity lap pool, tented spa and sauna.

 The open-plan suites at Spicers Sangoma Retreat have been designed to exist in harmony with the natural surroundings, with large windows revealing the bush setting beyond. The Escarpment, Bush and Chief’s suites each comprise a lounge area, private balcony and bathroom with two-person Philippe Starck bathtub. The Escarpment Suites are the largest option, while the two-level Chief’s suite offers an upstairs bedroom with panoramic views and a private plunge pool. The Bush Suites feature African-themed décor, and The Lodge Suite is located in the main lodge with a north-east outlook and has a separate lounge area.

Tent Suite Interior

 

We spent the night in the Tent Suite, which was glamping at its best. Beneath the canvas canopy was timber flooring, a king-sized bed, freestanding bath and even a large crystal chandelier. Relaxing on the lounge in front of our wood-burning stove in the evening, with the sounds of nature all around us, was a spectacular way to end the day. And just as wonderful was an early morning bath in the giant tub with the sliding doors wide open looking out onto the bushland.

Spicers Sangoma Retreat is an all-inclusive getaway, with dining taken care of by head chef Sam Hardinge. The menu features dishes made from fresh, organic and locally sourced seasonal produce. Dinner is a set menu of four courses that changes each night, and guests can dine out under the stars during the warmer months. After my first bite of the main course – a slow roasted braised pork neck with chili fennel, red shiso, and buffalo milk – I did something I have never done. I jumped up and walked straight over to the kitchen to tell Sam that was the best thing I have ever tasted – in my life! I’m not exaggerating. I would drive to Sangoma for just one bite of that pork – it was absolutely incredible.

When not relaxing or indulging in a meal or massage treatment, guests can embark on nature walks, mountain biking and visits to nearby Blue Mountains attractions. For something a bit different, how about a bird’s eye view of the Blue Mountains? Book a helicopter flight with Sydney Helicopters and they will pick you up on the helipad located on the lawn at Sangoma. We spent nearly half an hour soaring over the treetops checking out rivers, valleys and waterfalls – it makes you realise just how vast the area really is.

 

The open-plan suites at Spicers Sangoma Retreat have been designed to exist in harmony with the natural surroundings, with large windows revealing the bush setting beyond.

Stay here

Rates start from A$1099 per night.
spicersretreats.com/spicers-sangoma-retreat

 

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Weather to go

The Blue Mountains have a cool climate. The summer months (Dec-Jan) are mild to warm and are relatively wet, with the average temperature of the lower mountains sitting at 29°C. In winter (Jun-Aug) the weather is cool and dry, with the average day temperature of around 16°C. However the temperature generally drops 2°C with every 300m increase in altitude. The higher you go the cooler it gets!

 

 

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