Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa

Picture this: upon the icy peak of Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, frostbite nibblin' at his toes, turns to Tenzing Norgay and goes, "Mate, this ain't a patch on Katoomba."

If Eddie and Tenzing had copped a squiz at the Blue Mountains with their peepers, they'd have chucked in the towel on the snow gear for a cheeky spa weekend faster than you can say "avo toast". And between you and me, Tenzing was well overdue for a bit of a pamper – I reckon an organic honey and avocado facial wouldn't have gone astray.

Regarding a bit of romance in the Blue Mountains, the Hydro-Majestic is usually the go-to for most folks from Sydney. But as much as I'm sweet on the old girl, she's getting on a bit. For a splash of luxury that'll knock your socks off, luxurious hotel Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa is where it's at.

Blue Mountains

It stands out because it's got all the charm of the grand old dames, yet it's spick and span and shiny as a new penny. Walk into the lobby, and it's like the place lights up. But the real deal at Lilianfels? You and your other half can get zonked – totally above board, too.

Here's the play: check in, then bob into their heated pool. Meanwhile, treat your missus to a hot poultice number at their Elemis Spa. They slap hot rocks on her for some reason that seems like magic and will set you back a pretty penny. After the "rock therapy," two staffers come in to give her a massage that'll have her melting like butter, ready to say 'yes' to just about anything.

Post-rock therapy, it's the same drill – she gets a massage that's pretty much a one-way ticket to cloud nine.

For grub, you're looking at Darley's Restaurant or Tre Sorelle (fancy name for Three Sisters), and then maybe a crack at billiards in the games room (who even knows the rules?) or a champagne soak in the spa bath in your room with a view over the Jamison Valley. Cap the night with a book by the fire or dessert in the lounge while some whiz on the ivories plays in the background.

The next day, why not have a crack at the high tea, or if you're feeling adventurous, drag your better half out for a bushwalk right out the back door?

The Blue Mountains are a goldmine for lovebirds.

As a scribbler, I love to rummage through second-hand bookshops. If that's not her cup of tea, there's no end of antique stores, Everglade Gardens to visit, or just a wander through Leura for boutique and deli stops. While she's making your wallet weep, you can park yourself on the "Seat for Bored Husbands" (it's a real thing).

Leuralla is a must-see with its toy and railway museum, stunning gardens and secret picnic spots – just comb your hair and flash a grin.

Blue Mountains Tour

For something sweet, hit up Café Josophans in the morning – they've got award-winning chocs (I've got one on lay-by). They've got a chocolate fountain that'd make Homer Simpson drool. Come sunset, why not nick off to Sublime Point Lookout with a picnic?

If picnics aren't your bag, lunch at Solitary Kiosk, with cracking views and comfy seats, is a winner.

The Katoomba Fine Art Gallery has some top-notch glassware for a bit of culture. And don't miss the Elephant Bean Café – the best sourdough in town, but you'll need to be quick. If your girl's into the veggie scene, take her to Niche Nosh for a feed.

If the spa hasn't thawed things out, maybe a trip to the Norman Lindsay Gallery for a bit of mischief will. It's a hit with couples, and you'll see more skin there than at a beach on a hot day. It could be just the ticket to add a bit of spice.

Wrap up a weekend at Lilianfels; she'll look at you like you're the next George Clooney, guaranteed.

If you're looking for a guided experience, consider booking a Blue Mountains Tour, which will take you through the national park's most breathtaking spots, starting right outside the backdoor of Lilianfels.

The Details

Where: Lilianfels Ave, Echo Point, Katoomba, NSW 2780

Damage to the wallet: Rooms start at 360 bucks.

Suites kick off from 435.

How far: Just a 1.5-hour trot west of Sydney.

Buzz them on (02) 4780 1200