Having just had the honour of being the first couple to ever be married at the Lyola property, my wife and I thought offering a review was the least we could do.
As our wedding was a simple, immediate-family-only event, Lyola's owners, Jane and David, were more than willing to oblige. You see, Lyola is more a family home than a business venture. Lucky for us, it happens to have 2 pavilions situated there too! Our wedding, therefore, was literally held in the gardens of the family home. We held the ceremony under a beautiful old tree with a stunning valley backdrop at our backs. As there are no 'official' grounds/areas for a celebration/event, we were glad that our 9-person affair was happily and easily accommodated.
Following our wedding and subsequent reception in Montville (please see my review for Gypsy's Table restaurant), everyone returned to their normal lives, while the wife and I eagerly returned to Lyola.
As part of our 5-day honeymoon, we upgraded our package to include several extras - a gift voucher for Colin James delicatessen in Maleny (cheese lovers, do yourself a favour and head on in!), a massage for us both (thanks Sue!), a complimentary meal at one of 3 local restaurants (we chose The Terrace, see our review), and also a complimentary cheese platter. The platter sadly consisted of one solitary cheddar and is, thankfully, our only minor complaint.
Lyola has 2 pavilions on offer, namely Hide and Seek. Logically, Seek is located atop the mountain while Hide resides below, nestled discreetly in the lower trees/shrubs. As one's wedding is a day of limitless highs, it seemed apt that we spend our time in Seek, a decision we grew to appreciate.
The pavilion itself is wonderful; the layout is that of one large, open room which encompasses a sitting area/den (surrounded by glass sliding doors that truly maximise the glorious views), a small dining table and kitchenette, discreet fireplace and, of course, the large (comfy) bed. The only other room is the attached bathroom/toilet. This amenities area has a very open-plan shower (be careful or you'll wet the adjoining toilet roll!) and a large, 2-person spa (again with a sizeable window section which allows for the view).
The open and inclusive layout of the pavilion, although initially daunting, quickly becomes one of its greatest assets, especially for couples. Thing is, it allows you to be together without needing to be engrossed in the same activity. Although my wife may have been playing cards on the bed while I was reading in the sitting room, we were still only metres apart and quite able to converse.
Another unique feature of Lyola is Jane and David's efforts to ensure privacy and independence. Having stayed in other premises over the years, we'd become accustomed to the daily knock on the door as room service/housekeeping arrived. At Lyola, however, this does not occur. Rather, we liaised with the owners via handwritten notes, or by simply wandering the 30 metres to their house. Using this method, we efficiently sourced fresh towels and linen as required. Even firewood was simply a case of topping up from the stockpile as it was needed. Where this initially struck us as odd, we grew to love this aspect of our time at Lyola. It truly felt like the pavilion was our home and we came and went as we pleased! We probably spoke to Jane and David on 2 separate occasions during our entire stay, and both of those were deliberate interactions. Beyond that, you have your own roadway, your own parking and, best of all, your very own pavilion!
Another nice treat is the fresh bread which is baked and delivered to your door at 8am each day. Again, with privacy in mind, there is no knock on the door; rather, the hot loaf is placed in a bread basket outside for collection at your leisure.
To sum things up, Lyola is a truly wonderful place. Only 15 minutes' drive from Maleny centre, so away from the tourist mecca without being too far. It is inviting, peaceful and very private. Best of all, the rates are quite affordable. To highlight the fact, I can tell you that we've already booked for next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the outskirts of Maleny yet hidden away from the village hustle and bustle is Lyola Pavilions in the Forest. Nestled amidst rainforest and enjoying spectacular views, Lyola offers guests a chance to escape, de-stress and unwind by taking in the soothing sounds of mother nature... Two secluded pavilions, fondly referred to as Hide and Seek, designed by award winning GOMANGO Architects offer you every creature comfort. From your own indulgent hideaway, sit back listening to water tumbling over mossy bolders within the depths of the rainforest while watching magnificent sunsets across the valley below. Pamper yourself by taking an aromatherapy spa before curling up in front of the fire to watch a classic movie or listen to your favourite relaxing CD. Stroll down to the rainforest with a good book and recline on comfortable chairs set on a wooden platform overlooking the stream below. Spoil yourself soon at Lyola, it's where the little things count... ... more less
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