I recently stayed at Lilianfels in the Blue Mountains and I must say that I was impressed. There were the occasional small things that could be improved, but that was generally more me nit-picking than anything major.
First, the location. Lilianfels is a short walk from Echo Point and the Three Sisters. Some rooms have a view into the valley, which I am sure would be amazing. Even the views on the other side of the hotel are rather nice. By close, the car park for Echo Point is attached to Lilianfels Park. This is across the road from the hotel. In essence, you only save a few meters if you drive.
Lilianfels takes up an entire block, and consists of several buildings, most of which are used for things such as the restaurant and the like. The hotel itself is a large modern ‘country house’ type building with lots of gables and looks amazing. Parking is available in front of the main entrance. The parking is a bit limited, but I am sure there is more available somewhere. There is also street parking available if the car park does fill up.
Check In was simple, although I was slightly surprised to be given a key. Yes, a real key. This is unusual these days. Most places have key cards, and I suspect that it will not be too long before this place upgrades too. We were on the first floor so took the lift up one floor. The lift looks elegant, and well maintained. We were given the option of paying for breakfast on check in. This would have been $28 per person, which is cheaper than the $38 per person for a cooked breakfast if you have not pre-paid. We declined as we were not sure we would be up in time.
Finding our room was a bit of a challenge. The corridors are a series of decisions. Left at the lift, then left again, then right then left and that is your room. The corridors are beautifully presented.
Getting into the room was great. The room is wall papered to match the curtains and the valance around the bed and the curtains. Actually, the walls are covered with the fabric from those items. The bed is a real double bed, and although it was slightly harder than I am used to was more than comfortable. The bed has a brass and steel bed head. A nice feature was the ability to turn all the lights on and off from bed. The air conditioner remote was next to the bed too, and was rather modern.
The air conditioner was quiet and warm as needed – just as required in the mountains in winter.
The bathroom has a sunken bath just large enough for two people. The spout swivels out of the way to make it easier on the second person. There is also a separate shower, although the shower head design makes it difficult to keep your hair dry without wearing a shower cap. It seems to be a bit high up the wall. The whole bathroom is marble which is a nice touch, and there are enough flat surfaces to put things.
They provided two towels per person, and they are nice and large. The two things that I would change would be to add under floor heating and a towel heater. Not that either were needed, but they would have been nice.
The big let down was the TV. Most modern places are moving towards plasma screens. Unfortunately at Lilianfels, we are left with a 53cm TV/VCR combo with separate DVD player. The picture on the TV was not great, even from DVD, indicating that the TV has seen better days. Even worse was the picture from free to air and cable TV. The picture needs improvements. There were no pay per view movies, but I must say that the provision of the DVD player was one of the reasons I chose this place. Basically, the TV needs to be upgraded.
In room dining was good, although the menu was a bit limited. My girlfriend has an allergy meaning that we needed to send her meal back when they added pepper to her meat. Even with a $10 service charge for room service, the room service prices are cheaper than the restaurant. A dinner for two without drinks cost $90.
On our second night we went to Darley’s which is in an old house on the property. It was really really nice. The house has separate rooms, so you may be able to ask for a separate room if you have a special occasion. I don’t know, but they seemed to have a can do attitude. I should warn you that the food is not cheap, and they have moved to a ‘two course minimum’. This is something that I do not really like. It is $85 for two courses, and $105 for three. The food was really nice, but do not go here if you want large portions. You will not be hungry afterwards but the portions are not large. Surprisingly, mineral water was not bad at only $5 for a 750ml bottle.
The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, and an indoor one too. There is a billiards room with full size table and a reading room with a collection of books. And to top things off, the ground floor lounge area has two open fireplaces.
Oh, and the rooms have solid walls so you tend not to hear other people in the hotel. This is a novel feature.
All in all, I loved my time at Lilianfels. It is worth the money, but it is not cheap.