Need to know
40 villas, including spacious two- and three-bedroom retreats ideal for group getaways.
11am, but flexible subject to availability (try not to leave, ever!). Check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $1824.50 (AU$2,455), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include gourmet breakfast, lunch, dinner, non-alcoholic beverages and selected regional wines and beer with meals, plus two daily on-site nature activities a person. Spa services, premium alcohol, minibar and room service cost extra.
A centrepiece of each room is a classy tome on Charles Darwin's adventures in Australia, open at the page describing his two visits to Wolgan Valley in the 19th century. There's a magnifying glass to fully appreciate the book's historic illustrations and binoculars on hand to see poetry, and evolution, in motion outside.
At the hotel
Swimming pool, tennis court, spa, sauna, steam room, gym, mountain bikes, DVD/CD library, free WiFi throughout, restaurants, bar, wine cellar, playroom. In rooms: private pool, flatscreen TV, movies on demand, DVD/CD players, preloaded iPod, minibar, coffee machine, binoculars.
Our favourite rooms
A modern take on Federation-style bungalows (with stained-glass door panels teamed with natural stone, timber and fabrics), all Wolgan’s villas sit demurely in a long, non-view-hogging line. Ask for one-bedroom Heritage Villas 17 or 41 at either end of the ‘street’ for maximum privacy. The three secluded two-bedroom Wollemi Villas and the sole three-bedroom Wolgan Villa sit up the hill closer to the lodge, affording greater wildlife-watching opportunities.
When you're tired of skinny-dipping in your own temperature-controlled inside-outside pool, lounge more decorously at the beautifully landscaped outdoor pool at the Lodge (heated from mid-October to mid-April).
Loose linens for the spa, pressed moleskins for riding and smart-casual ensembles for dinner.
Smoking is allowed on villa balconies and a designated area of the main homestead balcony. Rates exclude a 2 per cent surcharge for credit-card payments. Extra beds for over-12s are AU$600 a night.
Pets are not permitted, in order to protect native animals. See more pet-friendly hotels in Blue Mountains.
Welcome, with brilliant bespoke activities available, although Wolgan is more geared to grown-ups. Baby cots are free; babysitting costs AU$40 an hour. Cots for under-threes are free, and extra beds for children aged three to 12 are AU$350 a night.
Kids of all ages are welcome at this family-friendly resort, with bespoke nature-based activities available for children, but Wolgan is geared to grown-ups, so you might not want to get too distracted keeping an eye on the young ones.
Adventurous, outdoorsy but very well behaved types eight years old and upwards, but all ages are welcome.
The three Wollemi Suites have twin-bed-convertible second bedrooms, with rollaways adding extra flexibility. The sole Wolgan Suite also has its own kitchen and a third bedroom. Private pools are a little larger in these suites, too.
With a whole valley at their disposal, kids can run wild here, with bush craft and cooking, pony rides and stunt kite flying all on the dancing card. They can even have archery lessons. A range of nature-based activities have been developed for children, so they can make the most of the 7,000 acres of wilderness.
Every suite comes with its own pool and while there is no separate kids' pool, the main swimming area does have a child-friendly shallow end. Bring your own inflatables though, and be responsible for your own supervision; there's no lifeguard.
The resort expects children to adjust to an adult environment, out of respect for the privacy and enjoyment of all other guests. The smalls are welcome to eat in both restaurants, where à la carte options and the special children's menu should tempt, although dinner at the Wolgan Dining Room and Valley Bar must be taken between 6pm and 7.30pm if you have kids under eight in tow. After 7.30pm you’ll need to order room service back at your suite (extra charges apply), or book a babysitter if the adults in your party plan on eating at the main restaurant. That said, there's flexibility to arrange early meals prior to 6pm at the more informal Country Kitchen restaurant, open from 6am until 6pm. Child-pleasing dishes such as pizza, pasta, burgers and ploughman's platters should keep hunger at bay.
Babysitting is provided at AU$40 an hour, for a three-hour minimum; ideally book a day in advance.
No need to pack
Baby cots and high chairs are supplied by the resort.
Baby food and milk can be heated on request and a nice assortment of deliciously healthy packed lunches can also be arranged. If you opt for a Heritage Suite rather than the more spacious Wollemi and Wolgan Suites, extra beds for older kids can be added to suites for AU$350 a night (on request).
Wolgan prides itself on being Australia's first conservation-based luxury resort and is accredited by international group CarboNZero. Pastoral fencing has been removed, 200,000 indigenous trees have been planted and native wildlife reintroduced. Much of the hotel’s food is sourced from artisan suppliers within a 160-kilometre range, or grown in Wolgan’s own kitchen gardens.