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Oliver Grand

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

See the review on the Oliver Grand websiteNovember 2013

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat (CCRR) is a remarkable rainforest retreat for couples who love adventure or those who simply want to relax together on a weekend away. With a choice of airports that you can fly into, this quintessentially Australian slice of heaven is easily accessible from all the main cities. For us we flew into the Gold Coast and within an hour, after driving through some beautiful landscape of sugar canes, fields and mountains, we arrived in the rainforest retreat. Everything about this place is luxury Aussie style – laid back, intimate with nature. Your hosts provide you with all the information when you book in, but once they escort you to your bungalow, although you can call on them at any time, it's just you, your partner and nature.

We stayed in the Satinash glass bungalow perched in the rainforest canopy, a luxury tree house for couples to play in. With glass walls, a large verandah with a BBQ, a huge jacuzzi and bed, a TV in the living room and bedroom, and another verandah at the back with an outdoors shower (if you're lucky enough to be here whilst it is raining, I would suggest the piping hot shower outdoors – this is truly one of life's simple but fun luxuries), outdoors with only the inhabitants of the rainforest looking on. I think the privacy is a standout feature of the retreat. Even when you go to grab a DVD (a selection of 700 to choose from for free) you do not see another human being either staff or guests. It's a truly private retreat with all the bungalows and lodges isolated from one another.

The sights and sounds of the rainforest surround you with a choice of rainforest walks at your doorstep. If you do like walking, I would highly recommend taking the Lookout route which takes you up to a breathtaking view of the valley below and through to the coast. Another unmissable activity has to be the short walk down to the hammocks and swimming holes at the natural creek springs. Floating in the crystal clear creek waters, invigoratingly fresh with the sounds of the rock waterfall, I truly felt alive when I hopped out with my skin and hair never feeling so good. The natural creek is the answer to a 5 star resort's pool. However, if you do crave swimming pools, there are 3 larger lodges with their own private decks and pools.

The great thing about CCRR is that you can either cater for yourself or be catered for. The food here had a lovely home cooked quality which drew on renowned local produce of the region. Tucking into a haloumi and cashew nut vegetable curry with sticky date pudding and a traditional beef stew with potatoes and peas and cheesecake, the food emphasised the laid back feel of the place. Each bungalow has a fully functional kitchen with everything you need to create your own culinary delights – a perfect place for a cooking feast. Note readers, I would suggest bringing lunch and nibbles along (we stopped at Murwillimbah on the way through to the retreat). The BBQ on the verandah is definitely a great feature – show off your skills boys and relax over a BBQ with your lady.

Another highlight of this couples orientated retreat is the romantic packages on offer – whether you're wanting to simply romance your lady or even propose, your hosts can organise anything. You may be led down past the glow worms to a rainforest surprise by the fig tree or if you just head out for a walk, you return to a bungalow lit with tea candles, a table set for dinner, a dozen roses, chocolates and champagne, or anything else personalised for your partner. This is traditional romance at its best and I challenge any woman to resist this.

OG says:
You don't even have to leave your room to experience the sheer wonder of the Australian rainforest at CCRR. Whether you're an adventure loving couple or you simply just want to escape back to nature, this is a place for you. The sheer beauty of this remarkable rainforest will refill you with wonder and delight, and of course romance. With several romantic packages to tailor for special moments like proposals, weddings and anniversaries, and the moments that are just because, this is romance in the rainforest at its best. The perfect escape for those couples who are comfortable with each other's company and are looking for pared back luxury in their commune with nature.

See the review on the Oliver Grand website

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