Is there anything more romantic than being swept off your feet and whisked a world away? We might not be able to go far right now, but we can take a step back in time at these beautiful hotels where it’s all about bringing the old world glamour back to life in serious style.
COMO The Treasury, Perth, WA
Bells ring out across Cathedral Square, drifting up from St. George’s Cathedral, past the colonnade of Corinthian columns, through the French doors of the Juliet balcony, to drift softly across to the bed. It’s a fairytale peal you’d expect to hear in the cobblestoned streets of Europe, not the heart of Perth’s CBD. And therein lies the beauty of COMO The Treasury. Housed in the 19th century State Buildings, and lovingly restored a few years back in a multi-million dollar restoration, it is a study in understated elegance that’s perfect for honeymooners or newlyweds looking to hide away from the world. Step inside the achingly elegant front door, stroll the arched corridors, trail your fingers along the wooden balustrade of the steel staircase and open the front door (yes, it is a front door) to your oversized room. You won’t want to leave.
The grand Victoria façade of this boutique hotel might speak to decadence, but it’s all about paired back opulence inside. Rooms are white and bright, with touches of light oak wood, creamy drapes, lowline grey daybeds and beautiful golden sandy stone floors in the bathroom (heated Travertine tiles) that are a totally different kind of decadence. In Heritage rooms looking out over Cathedral Square, the bathroom has its own French doors, and a full-size tub that would be criminal not to use.
It’s tempting not to leave your room, and with an all-inclusive mini bar (craft beer, juice, sparkling water, jars of chocolates, cookies and nuts), you won’t need to for a while. But the hotel’s award-winning Wildflower restaurant was made for special occasions. Local produce is transformed under Executive Chef Kim Brennan’s touch, add some sparkling wine from Margaret River, and you’re all set. If you’d prefer a lower key meal with your special someone, there’s Post, newly focused on light, modern Italian fare or Petition Kitchen where top notch Australian fare is served in a moody, industrial chic space. Petition Wine Bar & Merchant is perfect for a pre or post dinner drink, but you can also grab a bottle straight from the shelves of its ‘library’ to take back to your room. It’s also worth carving out time for a visit to COMO Shambhala Urban Escape – the hotel group’s wellness experiences are world famous, and here you get to indulge in a massage, yoga session or facial inside the original vault of the building.
Lilianfels Resort and Spa, Blue Mountains, NSW
You can’t get any more old world than the dining room at Lilianfels in the Blue Mountains. The high-end boutique hotel’s Darley’s Restaurant is famous for serious silver service. Get your partner to dust off their tails or tux (okay, a jacket and tie will do, but where’s the fun in that?), whip out your padded headband (again, not compulsory) and get ready for a decadent affair surrounded by chandeliers and plenty of gold finishing. Three course meals with a focus on local produce is the name of the game – in winter a table by one of the open fireplaces is ideal, and in summer a window seat looking out at the bushland is always a winner.
Primus Hotel, Sydney, NSW
If you love shopping at The Strand or walking through the Queen Victoria Building, make a beeline for this beautiful Art Deco hotel tucked into the corner of Pitt and Bathurst Streets in Sydney’s CBD. The heritage listed building opened to the public as the Primus Hotel five years ago, and wowed us all with its dramatic ground floor – eight metre high rosy marble columns, gilded bar and low line velvet arm chairs are just the beginning.
The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne, VIC
If you’ve ever dreamed of descending a staircase Disney Princess-style, this is the spot for you. Melbourne’s grand old dame has stood bold and beautiful on Spring Street since 1883, and has hosted too many celebrities and politicians to count. The Hotel Windsor’s famous Afternoon Tea service is all about fine china and petit fours, suites and rooms are a study in old world chic with just the right amount of chintz to make your heart swell, and that staircase; it is the stuff of wedding photo dreams.
About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.