Published: 26 August 2015 by: Ginny Cumming
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Readers Kyle and Rachelle Hayter head to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for a romantic getaway.

Our loved-up roving reporters

Kyle Hayter (36) and his wife Rachelle (37) have been married for eight years, and live in Kallangur, Brisbane with their two daughters, Taylah (7) and Ava (5). They met when working for the same company, but these days Kyle is a production supervisor for Lite n’ Easy, while Rachelle is the front desk coordinator for Brisbane Airport Corporation. They’ve been together for nine years, and shared their first holiday together all those years ago, at Narrows Escape. The couple fell in love with the retreat – so much so that they got married there 14 months later. They’ve returned almost every year since then for their wedding anniversary, only skipping for the births of their daughters. Their latest trip to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat – their sixth – was to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary.

The retreat

The multiple award-winning Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat offers a charming getaway in Montville, the cultural heart of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The property is situated near Lake Baroon and is home to just six pavilions, with expansive windows, verandahs and skylights all framing the beautiful rainforest views outside. Each pavilion features a double whirlpool spa bath, log fire and designer furnishings, as well as free high-speed Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen and TV, DVD and stereo. There’s also a saltwater rock pool, BBQ and movie library, plus you can book a massage in your pavilion or just wander the forest trail.

Peace, seclusion and romance are the keywords here, and you need never leave the privacy of your rainforest haven. Delicious home-cooked meals and BBQ hampers can be delivered to your pavilion for dinner, while breakfast hampers are augmented by fresh, warm croissants every morning.

On top of all this, guests will find a welcome platter in their fridge, plus there are chocolates, fresh flowers, lovely bath products and other little surprises in every pavilion.

The reaction

Set in a rainforest, Narrows Escape is quiet and secluded, with beautiful, tranquil views,” says Kyle. “It’s like no other place. The first time we came here we were immediately hooked – the cool air, the scent of the rainforest and the smell of log fires seemed to cast a spell. There’s a running creek and loads of wildlife, including birds and sugar gliders, and with the early morning mist and the sunlight sneaking through the trees, the views are forever changing. We never stop enjoying the sights and sounds at Narrows Escape.”

The design

There are six pavilions at the retreat: Kookaburra, Wagtail, Butcherbird, Rosella, Whipbird and Dove. We’ve experienced five of them so far, and this time around stayed in Dove. Each pavilion has recently undergone extensive refurbishments, and each is as wonderful as the next. They all boast double spa baths, log fireplaces, rainforest views, flat screen TVs, free high-speed Wi-Fi and Nespresso coffee machines. If it wasn’t for the outside wonders, you’d never want to leave.”

The food

On arrival we received a welcome plate consisting of local cheeses and an amazing breakfast hamper consisting of locally grown fruit, homemade jams, free-range eggs, bacon, milk, fruit juice and more. Along with these scrumptious supplies, hot croissants were delivered daily to our cottage. Dinner options at Narrows Escape are fantastic, and include seafood platters and BBQ or dinner hampers. We opted for two dinner hampers: Mediterranean chicken, and chicken-and-sweet potato curry. They were delivered piping hot to our door, and served with garlic bread, rice, salad and dessert. Absolutely delicious.”

The weekend

Our weekend began with a quick stop at Maleny Mountain Wines, where we picked up some local wines for the weekend, plus a few bottles for family and friends back home. From there it was only a short drive to Maleny Cheese, a multi-generation family-owned business. With such a wide variety of cheeses it was tough to settle on just a few: if you visit, make sure you try the buffalo dip and vintage cheddar. Our final destination before arriving at Narrows Escape was the main street of Montville, where our first stop was The Glasshouse Bistro. This place is a real find, with lovely staff and delicious food – it’s ideal for a light lunch or late breakfast. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us that we buy our wedding anniversary gifts in Montville, a place we consider “ours”. An attempt to track down that sometimes elusive eighth anniversary gift – pottery – was successful, thanks to the help of A Country Lane, a beautiful store that specialises in gifts, handmade crafts and Christmas decorations (yes, even in the middle of the year). We went home with quite a few extra parcels in the boot of our car.

“Shopping done, we headed to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, our beautiful home away from home. Mark and Joanne Skinner (the owners), and Kevin and Jenny Santin (the on-site managers) are so welcoming and helpful, yet remain at the perfect distance to allow couples the privacy and seclusion they’re seeking. It’s what makes Narrows Escape our most favourite place. Mark and Joanne have always been gracious hosts – they could not have been any more help at our wedding, and years later even managed to keep my re-proposal to my wife secret. It was great to see both couples again – nothing has changed, and the genuine love they have for Narrows Escape is one of the main reasons we start the countdown to our next visit from the moment we check out.

Our room was stocked with complimentary port and chocolates, as well as bottled water from Montville Mist Springwater (located just across the road. We spent the rest of our weekend making the most of all of the features at Narrows Escape, including the swimming pool and nature trail, all topped off by romantic in-room massages and slipping in to the bathrobes that offer maximum relaxation and snuggling opportunities.

This was our sixth visit to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, but it’s so special that we know we’ll keep coming back for many years to come.”

The details

Address: 78 Narrows Road, Montville, Sunshine Coast, Queensland 4560, Australia

Telephone: +61 7 5478 5000 

Discover more: Narrows Escape

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