Ever since Graham "Scroo" Turner built his Flight Centre travel agency empire, he and his wife, Jude, have never stopped building. Their trait has extended to their ever-expanding spin-off Spicers brand of luxury Queensland and NSW-based resorts and retreats.
When the centrepiece, a century-old homestead at Spicers Hidden Vale at their almost 5000-hectare property in the scenic Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane, burned to the ground in April last year, guess what the Turners immediately decided to do? Rebuild.
A faithful replica of the early 20th century homestead, surrounded by restored Queenslander-style cottages, is due to reopen towards the end of the year. It will be the new home of Homage, Spicers Hidden Vale's Good Food Guide-hatted restaurant, helmed by talented head chef Ash (no incendiary puns intended) Martin.
Meanwhile, the Turners have also been building new accommodation, namely five new luxuriously-appointed timber cabins at Spicers Hidden Vale, just over an hour from Brisbane.
Each of the stylish cabins sport separate spacious king-sized bedrooms and separate living areas with a stone fireplaces for those surprisingly chilly south-east Queensland interior nights.
The piece de resistance may be the outdoor bath on a private deck located off the generous indoors' ensuite, home to a double shower room. It's the perfect place, along with the sunny verandah, to commune with the mobs of roos that tend to assemble at the day's beginning and end.
Spicers Hidden Vale is offering a special "spring escape" deal from $474 per night for a two-night stay including luxury accommodation, daily a la carte breakfast, a chef's spring tasting menu for two on one night and a signature seasonal cocktail for two. See www.spicersretreats.com
Anthony Dennis stayed as a guest of Spicers Hidden Vale.