Sometimes the most stressful part about getting away is getting there.
That’s why we love a ‘staycation’.
Kooindah Waters is located within 45 minutes of just about anywhere on the Coast and only 90 minutes from Sydney, meaning there is hardly any time to get sick of travelling before you’re enveloped by the pristine grounds of the luxe Wyong resort.
Whether there’s a big birthday, babymoon or boys’ weekend on the horizon, Kooindah, and its lush green grounds, offers a pretty backdrop for any special occasion.
The 4.5 star Mercure resort is home to a championship Ross Watson and Craig Parry designed 18-hole golf course (for the lads), Endota spa (for the gals) and a modern Australian restaurant and wine bar.
Kooindah’s Endota day spa lives up to its name – apparently Endota is an indigenous word for ‘beautiful’.
Treatment rooms labelled with soothing adjectives such as ‘calm’ and ‘clarity’ promise a blissful afternoon inside their cocoon-like spaces.
Kathy, a remedial massage therapist from Yarramalong with fingertips as soft and silky as rose petals, performs a heavenly massage and facial that starts with a lemon foot soak and ends with a veritable feast of vitamins and nutrients including no less than eight organic treatments from restorative calandula and cocoa butter to hydrating avocado and rosehip oils and a moisturising mask with omegas 3, 6 and 9 plus vitamins C and E.
Run by Coastie mother and daughter duo Janice Vinton and Michelle Simpson, the spa is an added indulgence for guests but also caters to locals with mid week specials.
After a facial feast, it’s time for a few courses in Karinyas, Kooindah’s fine dining restaurant overlooking the rolling greens and wetlands of the picturesque par 72 course.
Offering cuisine above and beyond what you might expect at a golf club, executive chef Paul Molan’s menu includes tasty morsels such as tandoori battered prawns with cucumber yoghurt; seared lamb with couscous, tortilla crisps, baba ganoush and Harissa yoghurt; and deconstructed cheesecake.
It’s the kind of hearty, tasty food that sees most plates return to the kitchen scraped clean.
While the restaurant caters to a lot of hungry golfers, it’s also geared at big group celebrations or intimate dinners for two.
The neighbouring wine bar, with its cosy fireplace and couches, boasts mostly Australian wines including drops from King Valley, the Hunter and South Australia.
As you’d expect from any Accor property, the towels are fluffy, the sheets are crisp and the living areas are spacious.
The only sounds in the morning are the sweet tweets of birds and the odd thwack of a golf club as dawn golfers tee off on the course.
With the 80-plus rooms located on the fringe of the green, most rooms come with a view overlooking the course and its pristine wetlands.
From the ground floor balcony of the one-bedroom apartment, it’s an instant immersion in nature with fairywrens flitting about in the grass and ducks gliding by in the nearby waterway.
Sun up promises a challenging day on the green or for non-golfers, a tempting breakfast buffet ranging from pastries to pancakes and even potato gems.
Perusing the papers with a Nespresso in one hand, a croissant in the other and a blissful day ahead – whether that means fun on the green, indulgence in the spa, pottering about the grounds or exploring the region with its combination of countryside and coast – is what relaxing weekends are all about.
Coastal Chic Tip: Mind the mozzies in the evenings and don’t forget to book ahead for golf and spa time