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Spicers Clovelly Estate hotel review

Located in the rolling hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Spicers Clovelly Estate is a lush hideaway where you can forget the outside world.

Spicers Clovelly Estate is one of nine Spicers retreats across Australia, the vision of owners Graham and Jude Turner, who wanted to create boutique hotels that gave visitors something of their own childhood growing up in the South East Queensland bush. You’ll find each retreat nestled in unique parts of Australia, from the Great Dividing Range to the rolling hills of South East Queensland, the Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

The facts

Traveller: Shevonne Hunt
Room: Spa Suite
Address: 38-68 Balmoral Road, Montville
Date: July 2018
Best for: A weekend escape from the everyday hustle and stress of life

© Spicers Retreats

First impressions

Driving from Maroochydore airport, guests are led along winding roads through small paddocks and hills studded with lonely trees. You are literally leaving the busyness of city life behind you as you climb upwards towards Montville. Arriving at Spicers Clovelly there is a quiet in the air; the building resembles a stately European manor with beautifully managed lawns. its ambience sinks into you as you leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind.

The room

The manor has three rooms to choose from, as well as a French Cottage for larger groups elsewhere on the estate. The manor is designed more as a couples’ retreat, with rooms featuring king-sized beds and plush pillows to disappear into. Two bay windows offer sweeping views of the immaculate gardens below, while a large bathroom reveals an enormous square spa. All rooms are located on the top level of the cottage, and may not be suitable for those less mobile.

© Spicers Retreats

On my plate

The Long Apron is a hatted restaurant and definitely completes a stay at Spicers Clovelly. On arrival we had the Winter A La Carte Menu (three course), sourced from seasonally available fruit and vegetables, using locally sourced produce where possible. Each course was preceded by a consommé of corn, to cleanse the palate and entice your appetite (not that this was needed; the food was amazing!).

It is modern Australian cuisine at its best, with each course combining textures and flavours that were both surprising and delicious. I had Spanner Crab for an entrée and miso-braised eggplant, wild mushroom, tempeh and onion for main. Dessert was a mouth-watering combination of frozen mandarin, anazake, coconut and native mint. That night, we had the winter tasting menu, with five different meals. While we spent our entire stay eating, the sizes were perfect and we never felt over-full.

Spicers Clovelly dining

I wish I could take home…

The bay windows, with the sunlight streaming through and the bush outside. And the quiet. And the chef?

Spa life

Spa Anise is available at Spicers Clovelly, but there is also a spa located at its sister retreat just seven minutes away at Spicers Tamarind Retreat. We decided to check it out (and have a sneaky peak at the rest of the retreat). Spa Anise at Tamarind has a selection of massages available, including hot stone and pregnancy massage.

It’s set deeper into the rainforest than Spicers Clovelly, but the spa has a lovely, big lawn you can relax in and soak up the sun after your massage. It also has a mineralised spa that you can soak in and enjoy the views.

It was my husband’s birthday so we opted for a couples’ relaxation massage. I’m not sure I’d recommend the experience if you have a husband who tends to fall asleep during massages and snore, but it was so lovely I didn’t really notice.

Staying in

All I wanted to do was stay snuggled up in my bay window and read my book. But if you’re not a reader there is a TV with multiple movie channels, Wi-Fi if you need to get back on the web and a big king-sized bed to nap away the afternoon. You can stroll around the gardens, have a game of croquet or, in the warmer months, take a dip in the pool.

Stepping out

This retreat for me was all about hiding away from the world; I was there to rest, not necessarily take in the sights. But if you’d like to venture outside you can visit the nearby Spicers Tamarind resort and go for a walk near its waterfall. You can also head out to visit rainforest walks at Lake Baroon and the Obi Obi Gorge.

Where to find Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville

This article originally appeared in volume 31 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.