My partner and I needed to get away for some long-awaited together time, and happened upon the perfect place in the form of Maleny Tropical Retreat. Although there are B and B rooms and large open-plan villas available here, we chose the self-contained "Tuban" cabin as a happy medium between luxury and affordability. While the Tuban cabin has all the seclusion a romantically-inclined couple could wish for, and luxuries such as spa, wood fire, TV/DVD and a very comfy queen bed, it also has a kitchenette (fry-pan, microwave, toaster, kettle) and a generous-sized fridge which allowed us to remain as self-contained as we wished during our four-night stay. Money saved on food meant more to spend on treats and luxuries in the Hinterland, of which there are many - the Flame Hill and Maleny Mountain wineries, Kenilworth Country Foods, spectacular drives throughout the Blackall Ranges... the list goes on.
However, simply relaxing on-site was also an extremely attractive option at Maleny Tropical Retreat. The cabin was set off the internal road and sheltered by well-established trees, and with a lovely wood fire going and DVDs from the Retreat's huge collection, there was every temptation just to stay put, sip wine and luxuriate like a king and queen. And if we wanted some activity, but didn't feel like driving, the Retreat's private frontage onto the crystal-clear rushing waters of the Obi-Obi Creek beckoned. It's truly a special feeling to find yourself alone in such a beautiful natural setting, to recline on a sunny patch of rock and realise that you aren't going to be disturbed by cars or walkers - nothing but birdsong, the roar of the creek and each other's company.
As for service, we found it to be exemplary. Ken, the proprietor, is one of those rare human beings with an easy gift for making people feel at home. We were carefully yet unintrusively looked after as if we were life-long friends. This special atmosphere extended to the breakfast table, where friendly conversations with other guests seemed to flow effortlessly. The food was fresh and carefully-prepared, and the fruit was exceptional - an obvious level of care taken in the choosing of superb-quality seasonal delights. Ken went out of his way to point out good local restaurants and attractions, and made sure we were aware of every detail which could make our stay more enjoyable. But if we wanted to simply retreat, nothing was pushed or hurried.
We could have stayed another week and barely noticed the passing of time. I'd recommend this little slice of Hinterland Heaven to any couple without hesitation. The beauty and friendliness which surrounds you works its way into your heart while you're there, recharging the most exhausted batteries and renewing romance for lovebirds of any age.
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