Bells beach house, Killcare Beach review: Weekend Away

Read our writer's views on this property below

The ultimate seaside pad at Bells Beach House, Killcare Beach.

THE SETTING

Killcare Beach has for years been the playground of well-known actors, painters, architects and billionaires. Bells Beach House is on Beach Drive, next door to the Killcare Surf Life Saving Club (KSLC) and just metres from the sand.

THE SPACE

It's a luxury four-bedroom, two-storey residence with a large lock-up garage, designed by Killcare architect Karen Burke about eight years ago. Bells' main property, Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, also last underwent an extensive refurb seven years ago. The beach house has two generous double bedrooms (one with en suite) and spacious bunk room (total of five single beds) downstairs, along with living/kitchen/rumpus area. Upstairs, enjoy the huge living space with open fire, formal dining and kitchen opening onto a shaded deck with beach views and wood-fire oven/barbecue area. The master bedroom is tucked away at the back of the top floor with king-plus bed, walk-in closet, sitting area and office facilities. Outside is a bungalow - a cosy granny flat with double bed, toilet and shower, plus sitting room.

THE KIT

Two 55-inch-screen (140 centimetre) televisions are above the fireplace upstairs (so sport lovers can watch two channels at once), and another TV is downstairs, with a fourth flat screen in the master bedroom. The professional-chef-standard kitchen includes crockery, glassware and basic cooking essentials (milk, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper and more) are provided, plus quality teas and coffee, the latter for the state of the art espresso machine. The pantry doubles as a fully equipped office, with telephone landline, fax machine, printer and copier and complimentary Wi-Fi. Bathrooms include Bells' bespoke rosemary-scented amenities.

COMFORT FACTOR

Interiors are by No Chintz owner Chrissie Jefferies, who picks up on Bells' blue and white colour scheme. But, overall, Jefferies' stylish neutral palate leaves the spectacular view to do the talking. This is the ultimate beach pad with elegant plush sofas you sink into and Egyptian thread counts fit for Cleopatra. It's the New Hamptons, minus the 24-hour flight.

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FOOD

All meals and drinks (except alcohol) are included in the nightly rate. A Bells chef will cook for you in the beach house - or enjoy complimentary transfers to and from Bells to eat at Chef Stefano Manfredi's fine dining restaurant. Make sure you check out the organic vegetable gardens at Bells - if Manfredi is around, you might even score a quick garden tour.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

Walks along the beach; five-minute drive to Hardys Bay shops - or head up to Bells day spa and pool. Go say hi to Enzo - the magnificent Maremma Italian sheepdog who guards Bells' 50 or so hens. Historic Bouddi National Park is a must, while Palm Beach is a 20-minute ferry ride away.

THE VERDICT

OK, so this pad ain't cheap. Far from it. But it comfortably sleeps eight adults and up to five kids. There are only so many homes ofthis meticulous quality and prestige situated on a world class eachfront just 1½ hours' drive from Sydney that you can rent year-round. Bells is a slick peration that strives to please. This is high-end value for money.

HOW TO GET THERE

Takes anywhere from 1 hour 20 minutes to two hours from Sydney's CBD depending on traffic. Turn off the Pacific Highway towards Gosford, then turn left to Woy Woy. Bells has great directions on its website.

ESSENTIALS

Bells at Killcare Beach House is on Beach Drive. Go to Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa at 107 The Scenic Road, Killcare Heights and you'll then be escorted to Bells. Phone (02)43497000, see bellsbeachhouse.com.au. Rates from $4800 a night for eight adults and up to five children (additional guests can be accommodated at extra cost).

The writer stayed as a guest of Bells.