The check-in routine at Clovelly Estate sets the bar high. First, a personal welcome from the manager. Then a flute of prosecco – on the lawn, in the shade of the jacaranda – while staff explain the many ways you could spend your time here: boules or a bike ride, morning yoga or afternoon spa session, and apéritifs beside the fire pit. With hinterland surrounds this stunning, it almost feels like a bonus when the comfort levels and service standards are so impressive. Expect spacious marble bathrooms, some with double showers and spa baths, pretty linens, cute nooks and light-filled, French-inspired interiors. Plus smart food and wine.
Breakfast is an indulgent affair of stacked rye pancakes with caramelised banana and celeriac ganache, say, or the full catastrophe served on the terrace with barista coffee and serene garden views.
There are nine hectares of grounds to explore; at the very least take a 10-minute stroll at sunset to the Lake Deck pavilion for golden views through the treetops to Lake Baroon. Return here for morning yoga.
The Long Apron is a destination in itself, serving five-course tasting menus or fixed-price three-course à la carte. Both start with smart snacks and progress to cured scallops, perhaps, or Angus skirt steak with tendon puffs and parsnip crisps. A new room-service menu is available during restaurant hours.
Dress up for blood-orange Negronis on the terrace in summer, or by the fire pit in winter. The minibar yields surprises: a mini Collet Brut, Heathcote shiraz, and Ortiz anchovies and crackers among them.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.