Lilianfels, Blue Mountains review: One last baby-free hurrah

Read our writer's views on this property below

Expectant couples are going on babymoons to enjoy a final peaceful fling, writes Kate Cox.

A man is proposing to his girlfriend at the table next to us.

They are sharing cheese and champers and radiating joy that fills the cosy room with a warm and fuzzy vibe and makes all the other diners feel that they've taken part in something special.

Not that Darleys, the two-hatted Blue Mountains restaurant famed for its history, old-world charm and moreish food, really needs it.

Our Friday night meal - twice-baked goat's cheese souffle and milk-fed lamb; crisp duck confit and Mandagery Creek venison, at $78 for two courses - is the perfect start to our "babymoon", a new initiative for mums-to-be from Lilianfels Resort & Spa in Katoomba.

Think peanut butter and banana sandwiches from a special "Crave No More" room service menu, special pillows, a preggers massage - and the sumptuous meal at Darleys.

Apparently, there's a bit of a trend for expectant couples to have one more peaceful fling before two becomes three: enter the child-free holiday, or babymoon. A growing number of resorts and destinations are offering special packages tailored to the needs and interests of parents-to-be. It's all about relishing the sleep, relaxation and raunch before the tears, tantrums, dirty nappies and sleepless nights.

It's a sign of the state of our hectic lives that this trip was booked through quickbeds.com and we arrived just a couple of days later. Happily, it did the trick in forcing us to stop, take a step back and enjoy our pregnancy.

And Lilianfels is a great place to prepare for baby onslaught. For starters, it's calm and soothing. There's a cool book and games room with - yes, truly - quality reads. Staff are polite but not overbearing. The grounds are spacious and sumptuous, with a pool to wallow in. There are lots of kid-free activities in the local area. Think bushwalking, rock-climbing, four-wheel-driving. Or browsing antiques stores or maybe just an arranged picnic in the grounds and an in-room massage.

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There's also that essential unwinding tool: a spa. Although - while I'm sure the spa is usually fabulous - my experience was more Fawlty Towers than luxurious escapism.

When I arrived, there was a lady taking time out after falling victim to some sort of gas leak in the changing rooms.

Rather than assure me all was well, staff banned me from the "toxic" rooms and suggested I "fill out a complaint form at reception" when I enquired as to the safety of the spa.

Oddly I hung around for the treatment, only to find the facialist was overly chatty and a little opinionated (people with more than one child are selfish, television is bad, politics is grim). And so on until the talk overshadowed the treatment (for the record, it was a $175 organic Kuush Facial).

Still, it was a minor glitch on a care-free, cuddly, childless weekend - and I'd be back in a heartbeat.

The writer was a guest of quickbeds.com and Orient-Express Hotels.

TRIP NOTES

Staying there

Babymoon rates at Lilianfels start at $399 a night, including full breakfast, welcome gift (a cute, baby-sized monogrammed bathrobe), discounts on treatments at the spa, late checkout and a discount voucher for a return visit. For bookings, see quickbeds.com or phone 1800 002 333.

Other babymoon destinations

Kims Beach Hideaway, Terrigal; Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast; Huvafen Fushi, Maldives; Mandarin Oriental and W Hotel, New York.