Read our writer's views on this property below
With its five-star facilities, the bed-and-breakfast tag drastically undersells the Terrigal Hinterland, writes Anna Anderson.
THE best thing about Terrigal Hinterland Bed & Breakfast is that it's not in Terrigal. And the second best thing is that it's not really a bed and breakfast.
The idea of Easter Show-like crowds thronging the popular beachfront and restaurant strip of Terrigal keep our expectations low.
Instead, we find ourselves 10 minutes away in a manicured, peaceful acreage above Wamberal. Not a stroller, skateboard or tattoo in sight - just a long curved driveway bordered by agapanthus and rolling lawn and one of the owners, Nevil Bracken, on hand to welcome us.
Nevil does the honours of showing us through our suite while cracking some very funny jokes and then disappears. This is when we first suspect the term "bed and breakfast" drastically undersells this pristine accommodation. It takes my ex-hotelier partner two minutes before he declares that "Serenity" (the other suite is "Joy") is more akin to a sleek five-star hotel than a B&B.
All the fittings and fixtures are top-notch, the room and entire property spick and span and the ambience very agreeable. We decide "retreat" is a better description.
Both suites have enormous and first-class en suites, sheltered terraces and a view over the lawns and across the hinterland.
We loll on our terrace before I'm drawn to the 15-metre pool and a sunbed snooze.
Had we been more prepared, we'd have used the complimentary pick-up, drop-off service offered by The Cowrie and Onda restaurants or even used the barbecue facilities on-site. Instead, we head to Terrigal and find every cuisine on offer. We opt for pizza at My Favourite Italian and dine al fresco. The pizzas are good, the people-watching is better.
Back at the retreat, we can't decide between an excellent selection of DVDs so draw the blackout blinds and drapes and sleep like babes.
Mornings at Terrigal Hinterland are a treat. Firstly you have the view, the birdsong and a heated pool long enough for some easy laps. But it's breakfast here that really counts.
A glass-sided lounge and dining area separates the suites from the owners' residence. That's part of the secret of success here; Terrigal Hinterland was purpose-designed as a bed and breakfast so there's a clear delineation between guest and hosts' quarters. It's in this light-filled dining room, overlooking the pool, that we meet Joan Bracken, the other half of our dynamic duo hosts. The Brackens' travels began decades ago and they've seen their fair share of top hotels, gleaning the best aspects for their own enterprise. A word of warning: don't fill up on the excellent fruit platter, juice, cereal or toast because the eggs are great.
With tips from Nevil and Joan, we head off to explore the beaches but once we find pretty Bateau Bay, we stay put. Later, we stop by Toowoon Bay and at Shelly Beach we find the classic beachside hamburger-with-the-lot at the Muchas Cafe. That burger alone is worth a day-trip from Sydney. A drink on the terrace with our hosts makes for a convivial evening.
We learn that most of their guests, many return customers, are couples needing some quiet time away while a few, like the doctor chilling out in the "Joy" suite, come to Terrigal Hinterland solo to unwind. Massage and beauty treatments in your suite can be prearranged and celebrations can also be catered for on-site.
We skip dinner and take a moonlit dip followed by a deep bubble bath in the spa. Then, wrapped in our robes, we watch the moon rise.
The writer was a guest of Destinations NSW and Terrigal Hinterland.
Where Terrigal Hinterland Bed & Breakfast, 2/31 Lea Avenue, Wamberal. (02) 4385 5354, terrigalhinterland.com.au.
Getting there Wamberal is about an hour from Wahroonga where you join the F3 Freeway and take the Central Coast Highway exit State Route 83. Continue to The Entrance Rd. At the roundabout take the Tumbi Road exit and then turn left onto Lea Avenue.
How much High season: Serenity Suite $280 a night (minimum two nights). Low season: $260 a night (minimum two nights). One night, $330.
Style statement An elegant retreat with a five-star hotel feel but far more intimate. Perfect for tending to jangled nerves and sleep deprivation.
Don't forget Swimmers and goggles and call ahead to book some pampering treatments.
Kudos Wheelchair friendly, including a ramp into the pool.
Shame about That spiky plant beside our terrace — ouch! It just needs pruning.
Take the kids Absolutely not — this is a grown-ups' getaway.