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Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa

In 2007, Emirates Hotels & Resorts purchased a 4,000-acre site in Australia’s Blue Mountains with the intention of building a resort-cum–conservation project. Two years later, the new Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa—which is based on Emirates’ Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and Al Maha resort in the Middle East—delivers on both fronts. At the heart of the resort, which opened to guests in October in a picturesque setting 45 minutes northwest of Sydney by helicopter, Emirate restored a circa-1832 homestead once visited by Charles Darwin. New buildings bordering the homestead mirror its design and house 40 contemporary suites. The bushland surrounding the guest rooms was previously used for cattle grazing, but Emirates is repopulating the area with native flora and fauna including flowering eucalyptus trees, flying foxes, and wonga pigeons. Activities at Wolgan Valley include guided nature walks through the bush and feasts of Coffin Bay oysters in the dining room. Rates Suites from $1,800 to $5,000 per night for the Wolgan Suite which accommodates up to six guests.

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Photo by Janos Grapow