The Alure Stanthorpe glamping experience is breathtaking and indulgent, taking camping to luxurious heights. Mother and daughter team, Ruth and Marion Carrick extend warm country hospitality in Queensland's unique Granite Belt region.
Alure Stanthorpe casts its spell from the moment it becomes visible. Set on a 50 acre property just outside the township, accommodation here is in the form of two villas and a tent. Beyond the garden rises the very impressive and large tent, complete with front and back decks and large glass sliding doors, to capture the rural outlook.
Guests may well find themselves holding their breath in anticipation as they slide the doors open - and then catch their breath as the interior is revealed. An inviting four poster bed and a sumptuous gold couch (complete with several plump gold and red cushions) create a fabulous first impression. But there's so much more luxury to discover. Looking up, a chandelier swings gently in the breeze and lamps throw soft light across the room and onto the canvas walls of the tent.
A large widescreen television is strategically placed so that guests can watch it from either the bed, the couch or lounge chairs. An entertainment system is provided with several CDs - something for most music tastes. A diverse range of DVDs are also supplied for guests' use.
The fully equipped kitchen includes hotplates, induction/convection microwave, automatic espresso machine, dishwasher and full sized fridge. Yes, we are still in the tent. There's no midnight run to the amenity block here. A cleverly designed ensuite provides his and hers vanities, a shower and toilet. After a lamp lit shower (complete with beautiful L'Occitane toiletries) guests can slip on a complimentary robe and slippers and simply relax and enjoy the indulgence.
Just when it seems the discovery tour is over, on the rear deck guests will find an impressive BBQ, outdoor lounges, an intimate dining setting and ......... an outdoor, heated spa. Relax in the spa and marvel at a night sky full of stars whilst sipping on one of the regions fine wines.
Then if the night air is a little chilly, don't worry - between the fireplace and the electric blankets nobody will feel the cold. A reverse cycle air conditioner ensures guests' comfort throughout the seasons. And here, the four seasons are experienced, with the changing colours of autumn being the most obvious and gloriously picturesque. Be sure to pack a camera as the countryside surrounding Alure Stanthorpe is beautiful, as is the entire Granite Belt. Large granite boulders with the late afternoon sun making them glow are a sight to be seen – and photographed.
A breakfast hamper is included in a stay at Alure and provides guests with a delicious range of breakfast options. Home-made bread, berry compote and jams from the Bramble Patch, croissants, Alure's own cereal and granola and bottled water. 4Real milk, Suttons' apple juice, yoghurt and butter are in the fridge, ready for use. The only decisions to make are where to start and where to enjoy the first meal of the day.
At the other end of the day, the front deck is a beautiful spot to enjoy a Granite Belt wine and locally produced nibbles. Keep an eye out for grazing kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, hares and local birdlife. Relax and soak up the serenity as the sun dips below the horizon.
A glamping experience at Alure Stanthorpe is definitely one to be savoured and bears no resemblance to camping as most would know it. Yes, the window flaps still need to be rolled up and down and guests do sleep under canvas, but that's about where the likeness stops. This is definitely "glamping" - very glamorous camping. Spoil yourself and your someone special with a romantic and luxurious escape from reality at Alure Stanthorpe, where glamping equals 5 star indulgence. Special occasions, chef prepared meals, tours, massages and more can be prearranged at time of booking.
Nice to know: Alure Stanthorpe also has two luxury, private villas - one being pet friendly. And yes, pets are also indulged. They enjoy: their very own bathrobe (of course), plush cocoon bed, food and water bowls and a gift bag of toiletries & gourmet treats. What more does a pet need? Conditions apply - please see website.
Need to know: The villas and tent are all situated to provide privacy for guests. A maximum of three couples are at Alure Stanthorpe at any given period. Alure Stanthorpe is not suitable for children.
Top 6 Must Do things to do nearby (if you can tear yourself away from Alure):
1. Stop off at Sutton's Juice Factory and Cidery. Indulge in their famous apple pie, served with spiced cider ice cream and pure whipped cream. But be warned – the serving is large and can be shared between two. Do a little sampling, take home some delicious apple juice and pick a bag of crispy, sweet apples from the orchard.
2. Visit one of the many wineries in the Granite Belt region. There are so many to choose from, it's impossible to single out any one.
3. Call in to Washpool Farm and stock up on natural body care products. The soaperie handcrafts luscious soaps made from goats milk and organic coconut milk, in a wide range of scents that make it difficult to choose just one. A visit here is a real treat.
4. Enjoy a ploughman's lunch at Stanthorpe Cheese and stock up on locally produced items to compliment drinks at sunset. Artisan cheeses here are made from the milk of pure bred Jersey cows.
5. Make a booking at the Queensland College of Wine and Tourism's Varias Restaurant, where the best in local produce is prepared and served by hospitality students. This is a first class dining experience, set in a purpose built and architecturally designed facility. Prices here are very reasonable for such a high quality dining experience and won't blow the holiday budget.
6. Take a walk along picturesque Quart Pot Creek or for more energetic walks, explore Girraween and Sundown National parks.
By Sandy Ludinski
Must Do Brisbane.com was a guest of Alure Stanthorpe