We checked into our accommodation at the Palais Royale Boutique Hotel. The hotel is a world heritage-listed historic property found in Katoomba, built in 1896, we were taken back in time with the beautifully stained lead light windows; gorgeous chandeliers and the warm fireplace was a must as it was super chilly outside.
We got changed into our swimmers, grabbed our towels and headed to the Japanese bath house; we were in for a surprise of total relaxation surrounded by the most beautiful manicured gardens any lady could ever dream of!
The history of baths in Japan began in the 6th Century with the introduction of Buddhist purification rituals. The custom was believed to cleanse the body and spirit to promote improved health using heat and steam.
This is why many temples in Japan have baths. Sento (bath house) culture is like taking part in a ritual from the history books where different classes were humbled and could meet with commoners on level standing.
We were greeted by our lovely host, who gave us our own pair of thongs to wear and take home with us, the reason for this is to keep the centre clean, but it is also a great offence to wear shoes from outside into the bathhouse.
As a part of the cleansing ritual, all guests pass through a foot bath to cleanse any unwelcome spirits from the outside world. Our host gave us a tour of the bath house with the rules of showering, before we started relaxing in the baths as this starts the cleansing ritual. There were so many baths to choose from, from outside to inside a cave, the baths were so relaxing and warm and ranged from temperatures of 34°C to 38°C. We also took full advantage of the herbal steam room.
The sun was starting to go down and the beautiful twinkling lights came on to make such a beautiful place come alive in the night time! It was so beautiful! This accompanied by the Japanese relaxing music playing, we were completely at ease. All the ladies said their skin felt so lovely and soft from soaking in the minerals in the baths. after a long day we made our way back to our hotel and had a delicious dinner in the restaurant and settled in for the night.
Spa day! This morning we woke up refreshed and chatted over breakfast about our beautiful experience the day before at the bath house, and how much we all wanted to go back! We got our things together and went to check out a Mother’s Day market in Katoomba; it was lovely wondering around looking at all of the handmade goodies the stallholders had to offer, our ladies even purchased some treasures to treat themselves… After all it was Mother’s Day weekend.
We had lunch before arriving at the Hamilton Day Spa. The lovely ladies working there were so warm and welcoming, we indulged in a half-hour relaxation massages and rejuvenating express facials followed by a scalp treatment; The travellers all looked so relaxed and were floating afterwards. As we were in Wentworth Falls, we ventured to check out the views and went for a nice walk to wake us up before heading back to the hotel to have some down time and freshening up before dinner.
Tonight, we headed to the Katoomba RSL for dinner; the staff were great, and the food was absolutely scrumptious.
Afterwards, we enjoyed watching a Neil Dimond tribute show, we had a few fans in our group of ladies and it was the topic of conversation for the next few days. We headed back to our hotel and enjoyed hot chocolates to warm us up.
The next morning, we went to Echo Point to see the Three Sisters. The ancient Aboriginal legend tells the tale of three sisters, Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo. These three enchanting girls lived in the heart of the Jamison Valley as part of the Katoomba tribe.
It was such a beautiful day with the bluest skies, although it felt like it was snowing somewhere close by, we were rugged up nice and warm. We got some lovely photos, met a celebrity (when in the Blue Mountains!), enjoyed some shopping and bumped into a group of geishas doing a photo shoot overlooking the beautiful views.
We headed back to Katoomba and wandered around the shops before getting ready for dinner. That night, we enjoyed Chinese at the Canton Palace, it was delicious!
The next day, we thought we would try something different for breakfast and went to the Carrington Hotel for a buffet breakfast. It was fantastic and the building was absolutely stunning, with its old historic charm, stained lead light windows and open fire places.
After breakfast saw us wandering through the Lost Bear Gallery; we had some artists on our ladies’ trip and they thoroughly enjoyed looking through the art gallery looking at some beautiful pieces of art and sculptures… We wish we could have taken them all home with us, they were stunning!
Today we were booked into a Fashion Accessory Workshop at Wild Valley Art Park, the ladies were wonderful and creative, they helped us make head band pieces, hair clips, brooches and all sorts of jewellery! It was so much fun, we were even super spoilt with a high tea with freshly homemade scones by the host herself! Wild Valley Art Park is situated on a lovely property surrounded by the host’s mosaic artworks in the gardens. We enjoyed work in a mud brick workshop with its rustic homely charm.
We worked up an appetite and headed to Leura Gourmet Cafe and deli for some pumpkin soup and yummy pasta, before looking around the shops…. After all, it’s not a ladies trip without the shopping! We shopped until we dropped!
As we had a late lunch, we decided we would have something light tonight. We grabbed some supplies from the supermarket and made yummy antipasto platters, with meats, cheeses, bread, crackers, dips, fresh figs, grapes and salad. What a nice way to celebrate our last night together with our new friends in front of the fire place.
We packed our bags on our final morning, said goodbye to one of our ladies before heading out for just a little more shopping and sushi for lunch. Finally, it was time to be heading back to Trusted Travel HQ – What a fabulous time away!