A polo field, views of a listed national park, and a Wagyu farm are not things you expect to find at your average hotel, but Beechmont Estate is far from average. Its Paddock Restaurant sits at the centre of 75 acres of undulating expanse, where the greenery and scenery feel more like an English estate than Aussie bushland. Snugly deluxe cabins fan out over the rolling landscape, private sundecks and potbelly stoves at the ready. After a day immersed in ancient rainforest or spent scaling mountain peaks, return to spot native wallabies and watch the sun set over horse paddocks. If it all sounds rather extraordinary, well, that’s because it is.
Get this when you book through us:
A glass of wine or a beer each on arrival at the Paddock Bar
Check-out 10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £254.52 (AU$494), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include breakfast. Friday- and Saturday-night stays are subject to a two-night minimum.
The Paddock Restaurant is wheelchair-accessible and one of the cabins has been adapted for mobility-impaired guests. Wheelchair-accessible transportation is also provided between the two.
The Beechmont Estate closes on Mondays and Tuesdays.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, sunset terrace, outdoor fire-pits, e-bikes to borrow, gift shop, free parking. In rooms: wood-burning stove, tea- and coffee-making kit, free organic chocolate and spring water, minibar with local produce and drinks, TV, Salus bath products and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
The Luxury Pavilions live up to their name, with an abundance of space creating gloriously self-contained seclusion. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide cinematic panoramas over the surrounding scenery, or you can draw the drapery and snuggle into the lounge corner, with its crackling fireplace and plump-cushioned sofa. What’s more, a deep window-side soaking tub provides the promise of bathing à deux while gazing over the rolling hinterland.
There’s no pool at Beechmont Estate, though you can find numerous swimming holes and waterfalls dotted around nearby World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park.
With a comprehensive menu of facials, massage, scrubs and wraps to pick from, the Beechmont Estate spa is the place to take your relaxation to the next level. All products are certified organic, with ingredients such as Australian sandalwood and vanilla to leave you all a-tingle. The two treatment rooms can also be combined for couples’ sessions.
Beechmont is six to eight degrees cooler than the Gold Coast and has the second-highest rainfall in Australia – a good excuse to get cosy fireside – so pack accordingly.
Free bikes are available for guests’ use, and weekly yoga sessions are held early on Saturday mornings overlooking the polo field.
The Estate welcomes guests aged 14 years and older.
An eco-forward ethos extends to every corner of Beechmont Estate’s operations. A large solar farm means 100 per cent of daytime energy is sun-sourced and all water used is harvested from rainfall. Everything that can be composted is, single-use products are eco-friendly and recycling is done religiously. For each guest, a donation is also made to projects that help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
A sunny terrace provides the perfect spot over warmer months. When temperatures drop, plump for a table close to the big open fireplace and bask in the glow of the crackling logs.
The cuisine might be haute but, in true Aussie form, the mood is distinctly casual here. A polo shirt would be a cheeky nod to the hotel’s equine past.
The Paddock restaurant sits at the heart of things at Beechmont Estate, with its elevated position and wraparound windows affording spectacular hinterland views while you eat. Behind the award-winning restaurant is UK-born chef Simon Furley, who concocts locavore-friendly food with a focus on regional and sustainable produce, some harvested from the kitchen’s own garden. So that little is wasted, smoking, curing and fermentation ride high on the lunch and dinner menus, with highlights such as coal-cooked, dry-aged steak and pickled fish in broth. ‘Cheese from down the road’ even features as a dessert.
The hotel’s cocktail bar forms part of the airy open-plan Paddock restaurant and serves a long list of expertly mixed drinks, cold beers and wines, with an emphasis on Australian tipples. The Sunset Terrace makes the ideal place for pre-dinner fizz and, afterwards, you can plonk yourselves in front of the roaring fire for a warming nightcap.
You should be seated for dinner by 8pm.
There’s no room service, though you can order a picnic hamper to enjoy on the grounds of the estate or to take with you on an excursion into the surroundings beyond.
Beechmont Estate sits on the edge of World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park in South East Queensland, around 100 kilometres south of Brisbane.
The nearest place to fly into is Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta, just under an hour away by road. Flights are mostly domestic or regional, with some connections to Europe and the rest of the world. Around 90 minutes’ drive away is Brisbane Airport, which also offers flights direct from North America. Transfers to and from all airports can be arranged through the hotel.
Car hire is easy at either airport and the best option if you’re planning your own exploration of Queensland's hinterland. Beechmont Estate also has secure, 24-hour parking for all guests free of charge.
If you really want to arrive in style, helicopter transfers can be arranged through Elite Helicopters or Bekaa Air.
Worth getting out of bed for
When you have one of Australia’s oldest rainforests practically on your doorstep, in the form of neighbouring Lamington National Park, walking any of its numerous nature trails should be on your holiday’s must-do list. You can arrange private guided hikes, from easy two-hour circuits to day-long treks through hidden gorges, soaring mountains and cooling waterfalls. The more intrepid can opt for self-guided walks around the Binna Burra section of the park, with detailed maps and suggested routes doled out at the front desk. E-bikes are also free to guests who’d rather explore on two wheels. Or if you’re hankering after a bird’s-eye view of the scenery, you can opt for either a white-knuckle tandem hang-gliding flight or a more placid early-morning ride in a hot-air balloon, complete with a Champagne breakfast.
If you’re thinking of eating out, brace yourself for a bit of a drive. One restaurant that is worth the road time is Blume, found in the small Scenic Rim town of Boonah. It serves dishes created exclusively with produce from local suppliers, beautifully presented in a seven-course tasting menu that changes with the season. The Barn is another pleasant spot to eat, located in the neighbouring town of Mudgeeraba. It’s an eco-forward eatery with sustainable vegetable gardens and a menu centred around Italian cooking.
If you find yourself in neighbouring Beechmont village and in need of a caffeine hit, pop into the Flying Bean Cafe. It’s a simple roadside coffee shop with a big sunny terrace, breakfast and lunch menus, and seriously impressive views over the Numinbah Valley.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be popping out for the local nightlife, though there are a couple of decent drinkeries worth a visit. One is the Tamborine Mountain Distillery, the third-oldest distillery in Queensland, which still produces a broad range of liqueurs and spirits. Its distinctive Tudor-style building is the tasting room, where you can sample a selection before a tour of the stills. If vino is more your tipple, the nearby Witches Falls winery is one of Queensland's finest. Book yourself a tasting experience for a six-pour guided session, or just kick back with a chilled bottle overlooking the scenic vineyards.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hinterland hotel in the Scenic Rim and unpacked their Tim Tams and Tamborine Mountain liquor Tim Tams, a full account of their outdoorsy break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Beechmont Estate in Queensland…
Just getting to Beechmont Estate, tucked deep in Gold Coast hinterland, means experiencing one of Australia's most spectacular drives. The road snakes through lush rolling landscape of verdant meadows flanked by swathes of dense forests, the occasional blink-and-you-miss-it village blurring past. The Scenic Rim setting of this blissfully remote retreat is aptly named, and the hotel’s collection of snug-luxe cabins provides front-row seats to its wonderfully soul-soothing landscape. Its 75 acres of grounds are punctuated by polo fields and horse paddocks, and dotted with magnolia trees and marsupials. Venture over the crest of one of the undulating hills and you’ll find the marvel of a 22-million-year-old volcano and the start of Lamington National Park. There’s a whole lot to discover here, from dozens of ancient rainforest trails to waterfall-fed swimming holes. But first, relax and take some time to explore the estate’s impressive wine list and top-notch dining for a culinary journey of this rather special corner of Queensland.