Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa

Reviewed for us by Australian blogger Claire Hastings!

For those who aren’t in the blogger ‘line of business’ it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend that it’s not all just chill and relaxed sitting at the computer with the ideas just pouring like waterfalls. Even though it’s a fabulous job, one that I hardly consider a job given how strong my love for it is, it can be quite taxing. That is why, just like any other person in the world, every now and then, when I can take the time to catch my breath I am in desperate need of some quality alone time, far from everyone’s sight. I felt drained and truly needed to unwind and recharge my batteries, and I knew that just having a ‘staycation’ won’t cut it. I needed to make a break for it, so I did my research and found the Wolgan Valley resort to be the epitome of ‘what the doctor ordered’. I didn’t even think twice before booking a room and packing the bare necessities for my little alone adventure time.

Sweet Suite

I decided to stay in one of the Heritage Villas because they seemed to offer the kind of tranquility and a sense of sanctuary that I so needed in my worn out state of mind.

They did not disappoint, in fact, my expectations were exceeded. The interior is a mixture of contemporary and genuinely rustic design that results in a feel of being someplace super-modern but safe and secluded at the same time. I had my own fireplace, a deck and even a private swimming pool, which for me was the cherry on the sundae, given that I live for swimming, (call me a true Aussie, I’ll answer). 

Not to sound corny, but this place with its luxuriously rustic bathrooms, the gorgeous and humbling vistas and the kind of warmth that just envelops you made me feel like I was in a movie montage of one of those romantic movies where two lovers sit by the fireplace drinking wine on a blanket. It was so gorgeous I didn’t even mind being alone, I relished it.


When in Rome, or in this case in ‘serenity central’, a spa day was definitely not something I was going to miss. I was already replenished and rejuvenated by the very view from my bed (in which I slept better than I have in years), but who in the world would give up a chance for some pampering?

The interior follows the general modern-rustic theme, and the staff is so pleasant that they make you feel like you’ve known them for years. As an advocate for natural skincare and lifestyle in general, I was thrilled to find that they use completely organic products so I just put myself in the hands of the professionals and felt like I was in literal heaven. I frequently have massages, but the combination of the surroundings, the venue, everything, resulted in an out-of-this-world experience.


Although the resort offers such activities as horse riding, archery and conservation activity, to be honest, I was too lazy to partake in any of them, although the people that did seemed to have a blast. I’m not very dexterous, so trying to master horse riding wasn’t exactly on my bucket list – maybe next time. I spent my time in the gorgeous restaurants, sipping the finest wines, trying superb meals and being the embodiment of chill. I came to do so, and the resort delivered. I did hike a bit, it did wonders for my spirits (not to mention that it reminded me I needed to head back to the gym), so it was my own version of Wild, just downsized and way more luxurious.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, utter seclusion, romantic getaway, or simply want to reconnect with nature, in my experience, there is no place like Wolgan Valley. It literally everything a soul could crave, and I am beyond ready to tackle the real world and let the creative juices flow after an experience like this.


Lounge around all day in this mellow ensemble that you can easily pump up with metallic heels and a red lip come nightfall.



casual girls night



Frame skinny fit denim jeans
685 AED – mytheresa.com

Pierre Balmain gold mirror pumps
875 AED – 6pm.com

Hand bag
280 AED – styletread.com.au

Vanessa Mooney gold chain pendant
105 AED – zappos.com


Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!