MY BIRTHDAY ROAD TRIP & RELAXATION STAYCATION
Back in September, I headed on a two-night road trip to the beautiful South West for a luxury staycation. The destination? Empire Retreat and Spa in Yallingup. The reason? Well, first of all, we went to shoot photos for the Empire website and second, I managed to time it with my birthday. Given the state of the world in 2020, I was SOOOOOOOOOO lucky to have a non-lockdown birthday, let alone one this special.
So how was it? Honestly, it was pure bliss from beginning to end. I am so happy to recommend Empire as a beautiful destination for your Australian South West escape. And it truly felt like an escape. Surrounded by stunning bushland, Empire is located on a farm property with peaceful views in all directions. More on that below.
EMPIRE SPA RETREAT YALLINGUP
Empire Spa Retreat is located in Yallingup, a three-hour drive south of Perth in Western Australia. Yallingup is known for its beautiful beaches, complete with regular whale sightings. It is nestled into a hillside and attracts surfers worldwide. Yallingup means ‘Place of Caves’, as it sits above an extensive cave network in the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. Among the many things to do in the area, exploring the Caves, hiking, surfing, swimming, fishing, and landscape photography are always popular options.
If, like me, you are really ready to rest, relax and soak up natural bushland beauty from a serene and quiet spot, Empire Spa Retreat is the spot for you. An adult destination, Empire is designed to take you out of the hustle and bustle encouraging relaxation. Situated on 265 acres of bushland, farm pastures, and Empire Estate Vineyard, Empire is certainly an escape.
With each of the eleven guest rooms being architecturally designed to ensure complete privacy, it isn’t even common to see another guest during most of your stay. The private suites and villas are built around an original farmhouse that was created from timber and stone all found on the estate. Connected by a lush garden-lined timber boardwalk, the suites and villas are considered for privacy.
THE DELUXE BALCONY SUITE
During our stay, we checked into one of the stunning Deluxe Balcony Suites. Offering a private balcony with an outdoor shower overlooking bushland, the views were unforgettable. Each suite is appointed with a king bed, dining setting, and luxury bathroom including a stunning minimal bathtub. This REALLY drew me in. As those lockdown / stay at home weeks rolled into months, I’d been really longing for a bath. Needless to say, we don’t have one at home, so checking into Empire, I made sure to soak as often as I got a chance to.
THE DECOR IS DREAMY & READY TO SHOP
Given Empire are known for their incredible homewares, furniture, and decor, the retreat is dotted with stunning decor at every turn. All of which can be purchased at one of the many Empire Homewares stores across Perth and in the South West at Dunsborough.
The main farmhouse offers a cosy fireplace to enjoy a game of snakes and ladders, cards or chat. Outside a large deck area with ample seating is another spot to hang out, enjoy the sunset and beautiful views. Following the path down to the lawn area, find swing seats, a sauna, and walk down to the olive grove. Or simply curl up in the villa with a bottle of Empire Estate wine and a good book.
BREAKFAST AT EMPIRE RETREAT
Breakfast is included in the main dining room each morning with beautiful hot breakfast options, juices, a range of pastries, fruit and more. Plus, a cup of coffee and a view that is too good to miss. Personally, I woke up to witness the beautiful colours of the sunrise over the bushland. So I was eager for breakfast in the dining room early each morning.
THE EMPIRE SPA
If you want to truly relax even further, the popular Empire Spa on site is just beautiful. Book well in advance as this spot is open to guests and day-spa visitors, and it books up fast. Using beautiful Sodashi products, the spa offers facials, body and massage treatments.
WOULD I STAY AGAIN?
Truly a stunning retreat in every sense of the word, I adored Empire. The two nights were blissful. We created a lot of content, some of which you see here. However, if you want more, be sure to follow Empire Retreat on Instagram. It’ll definitely get you thinking about a lovely relaxing stay. Don’t we all deserve a special break? I think so!
Thank you again to Empire for allowing us to experience the stunning villa and grounds. Pictured above is an insight into the Luxury Villas and shared spaces. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time! Such a lovely birthday and yes, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
DON’T MISS THE STAYCATION VLOG
Want to see more? You are in luck because I vlogged the road trip with plenty of insights into this stunning one of a kind retreat. The vlog is up on my YouTube channel here now, make sure to subscribe for more to come. In the video, I also have recommendations of local wineries, restaurants, and chocolate spots to stop at in the area. Plus a few of my favourite places to explore during your stay.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARIO RECCHIA AND JENELLE WITTY