What do you expect when holed up high in the wild Blue Mountains overlooking a million hectares of untamed bush? Champagne chilled to perfection, of course. The clever minds behind Chalets at Blackheath understand this. They’ve taken the cabin-in-the-woods concept to a new level of luxe at this cluster of romance-ready huts. The four chalets dial-up the snug with wood-burning stoves and soaking tubs overlooking the eucalyptus-scented surrounds. Together with luxury-hotel heights of comfort come an unwavering commitment to the natural environment, too. So you can pop your cork safe in the knowledge your stay here is as sustainable as it is swanky.
10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £684.49 (AU$1,300), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include a full continental breakfast.
The resort has flat wide paths suitable for wheelchairs and three of the four chalets have ramp access. Showers also have wide access.
At the hotel
Communal fire pit, loaner e-bikes, concierge, library, yoga deck. In rooms: Kitchenette, coffee machine, wine fridge, free non-alcoholic minibar, veranda with barbecue, drawer with free snacks, wood-burning fireplace.
Our favourite rooms
All four chalets are identical, with the only real difference being the location and landscaping surrounding each. The higher-numbered cabins sit deeper in the forest, so if you want that extra feeling of remoteness plump for number four.
Don’t forget this is the highest point in the Blue Mountains, so prep for the possibility of snowfall over winter months; though for summer stays, remember there are bathable waterfalls nearby.
Together with six more chalets, plans are afoot to build a spa and indoor magnesium pool.
A rollaway bed option for kids aged six-and-over is available at an additional cost of AU$140 night.
Impeccable. Waste minimisation initiatives include zero disposable bathroom products, plus recycling, composting, and drinking water filtered onsite. Rainwater is also collected for washing, and is stored to help protect the wider area from bushfire.
Wander out onto the deck with your morning coffee.
Robed or disrobed – who's going to see?
Although there’s no restaurant here, an impressive spread is served up each morning for breakfast in the library. Wake up to freshly baked sourdough loaf, quiches, croissants, fresh fruit, cold cuts, and four types of muesli and granola. Cloudy apple juice is sourced from a local orchard and you can take your pick of health shot, either for an immune system boost or to aid digestion.
There’s no bar per se, though a small selection of local wines, champagnes, spirits and soft drinks are available from the library until 9pm.
Breakfast runs from 7.30am to 10am.
They offer a full drinks service to your chalet, as well as in-room cheese platters and charcuterie boards. You can also pre-order a barbecue pack from the local butcher to sizzle on your terrace’s Weber grill.
The chalets are located a few kilometres from the town of Blackheath on the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales.
The nearest airport is Kingsford Smith (Sydney) Airport, at around an hour-and-a-half away by road, which has numerous domestic and international connections.
The Blue Mountain Line runs directly from Sydney Central train station to Blackheath and takes a little over two hours. From here cabs can be arranged in advance for about AU$20.
It’s less than two hours’ easy driving from central Sydney with A-roads most of the 115 kilometres. There’s free parking at the hotel, as well as a charging station if you fancy going electric.
The hotel is planning a helipad where guests will be able to land directly onto the site. Check in advance before you book your chopper (Sydney Helitours can fly you in from their base at Sydney Airport.)
Worth getting out of bed for
With the lodge located on the edge of Blue Mountains National Park, you have a vast Unesco-designated playground practically on your doorstep. Ramblers can connect directly to the track that forms a two-and-half-hour route that loops around the Grand Canyon – considered to be one of the top trails in the Blue Mountains. Less than 10 minutes of forest stroll takes you to the gobsmacking vistas afforded from Evans Lookout point, and further along the path you’ll find the dramatic Beauchamp Falls. You can even have a dip if you’re feeling brave. Most of the trails are cycleable, too, so grab a loaner e-bike and you can cover some serious mileage.
Of course you can happily stay put, too, and forest bath among the sounds and scents of the chalets’ immediate surroundings. There’s a large wooden deck, perfect for your morning stretch, as well as yoga and meditation sessions. It tends to be where the local marsupials like to hang out too, so you might have to share the spot with a ‘roo or two.
The lack of a restaurant on site is more than mitigated by an excellent choice of dining options in nearby Blackheath. One of the closest, and most highly recommended, is Blaq just a five-minute drive away. The menu stands out for its laser-like focus on hyper-local and homegrown ingredients, conjured into colourful dishes by award-winning gastro-talent. For more exotic flavours from faraway lands, Cinnabar Kitchen is a deservedly popular spot further in town; their sizzling Jamaican prawns are a showstopper. If you fancy something treat-y, The Wintergarden in nearby Medlow Bath offers a choice of high teas in a rather refined setting with cracking views over the Megalong Valley.
There’s a veritable cluster of decent cafes right in the heart of Blackheath. Most eye-catching is the Victory Cafe, set in the art deco Victory Theatre building. It’s an open-daily antique centre, too, where you can have a nose around two floors chocka with vintage curios. And Hounslow has a top range of speciality coffees, alongside chais, turmeric lattes, hot-chocolates… And, a menu intriguing enough to keep you around for lunch, with the likes of spanner crab with avocado, citrus, tomato concasse and a Virgin Mary granita; a bacon and egg roll with kewpie mayo and homemade pear chutney; and goat's cheese halloumi with honeycomb and lemon.
If you’re after a little local nightlife, your best bet is heading south to Katoomba. At the top of buzzy Katoomba Street is Station Bar, a keeping-it-real institution famed for its long-as-your-arm list of Australian microbrewery ales, woodfired pizza and regular live jams. Just along the main drag is Aunty Ed's Restaurant and Bar, a fabulously quirky haunt bursting with colour and retro knick-knacks.
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 these luxe cabins in Blackheath and unpacked their Tim Tams and emu oil, a full account of their bush adventure break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Chalets at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains…
Looking around at the soaring eucalyptus trees that form this thick and fragrant forest setting, it’s hard to picture the scene when in 2019 a bush fire devastated the site – and an eco-lodge with it. The new owners called in a crack team of local conservationists and bush reclaimers to help restore, regenerate and relaunch the retreat. Guiding the project from the start were a pair of principles: luxury and sustainability. And the result is indeed a winning marriage of the two.
The experience starts with champagne check-in at the multi-purpose ‘library’. The sunny space serves as a breakfast room, too, where wraparound windows frame the surrounding woodland. En route to your chalet you pass a fire pit and indigenous edible garden – containing just some of the 80-plus species of native flora thriving again on the 17-acre site.
And hidden amongst it are the four chalets. Each is a beautifully crafted, self-contained cabin where rammed-earth wall – compacted mud, clay, hemp, and local stone – sits alongside luxurious Frette Italian linen; limestone bathrooms sport deep soaking tubs and twin rainwater-fed showers; wood-burning stoves and fully-stocked wine fridges help crank up the romance. You’d be forgiven for lingering a while. Besides, those million hectares of neighbouring Blue Mountains aren’t going anywhere…