Accommodation review: Eden Farm Escape, Bilpin, Blue Mountains
For when you're yearning for a bit of a tree change but don't want to travel far from the big smoke.
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Eden Farm Escape details
- Where: 13 Hanlons Road, Bilpin
- When: 20-22 January 2021
- Room type: Stavannah studio cabin
- Guests: 2 guests
- Cost: $300 per night + $80 cleaning fee
- Book: Eden Farm Escape
Stephanie Yip's review, in short
- My star rating: 5/5
- Cost: Mid-range for the region
- Location: Well located just off the main street in Bilpin
- Check-in/out process: Simple, zero-contact process
- The room: Modern and spacious with cosy extras for a romantic getaway
- Food: Not-applicable – all cabins have a fully equipped kitchen
- Facilities: Swimming dam, horse riding lessons, chicken coop for fresh morning eggs and pet-feeding every morning
Down a tree-lined dirt track, past paddocks of ponies, horses, alpacas, donkeys and goats is where you'll find a series of cabins known as Eden Farm Escape.
It's a luxurious farmstay in the Hawkesbury fit for couples and families alike who are searching to recharge their batteries and reconnect with nature.
For a Sydneysider, it's one accessible off-the-grid style staycation, being under 90 minutes drive from the city. And being part of a small township, you don't have to stay more than a few days to feel refreshed and satisfied that you've seen and done it all.
At least that's how it was for us when my husband and I took two days off to explore this beautiful bushland part of Sydney.
All up, there are five self-contained cabins at Eden Escape, ranging from a two-person studio to three-bedroom homes that can sleep up to eight.
The smallest cabin, Stavannah (pictured above), which is where we stayed, is $300 a night with an $80 cleaning fee and can sleep up to two. This calculates to $190 per person for one night.
On the other end of the scale the largest cabins, Clancy and Raven (pictured below), will set you back $650 a night with a $180 cleaning fee. These can sleep up to eight, which gets it down to $103.75pp for a one-night stay.
While the numbers might sound a little high, particularly for a couple, these prices actually sit in the mid-range for Bilpin homestays. According to Airbnb, standalone cabins for two cost around the $278-$312 per night.
Factor in the quality of the cabins, which are pristine, modern and equipped with a fully functioning kitchen, fireplace, bedding and blankets, you're definitely getting your money's worth.
Bilpin is not large by any stretch of the imagination and Eden Farm Escape is right in the heart of it.
It's metres off the main road (Bells Line of Road) where a small smattering of stores are, including bakery The Grumpy Baker (which is owned by the family behind Eden Equine) and High Hopes Roadhouse.
Once you've ticked those off your list, you need only drive a few minutes down the road to visit the local cideries Bilpin Cider and Hillbilly Cider Shed, famous food haunt Pie In The Sky, fruit farms where you can pick the produce when it's in season, and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden where you can wander amongst flower beds and through forests.
The check-in/check-out process:
Similar to many homestays, Eden Farm Escape offers a no-contact check-in process. You'll be given instructions before and during your stay on how to do this, but trust us, it's super easy.
In short, when you arrive, you'll buzz the intercom to get through the gates. Then, follow the signs to the cabins. This will also give you a tour of a good chunk of the farm grounds.
Your key will be waiting for you in a locked box at the door. You should be given the PIN to this before you arrive.
In your cabin you'll find a buzzer. This will let you in and out of the gates throughout your stay.
When you leave, simply lock the cabin key back in the box at your door and drop your buzzer into a box by the gates.
Being only two of us, we stayed in the studio cabin Stavannah. It's perfectly made for two with a queen size bed, open kitchen, lounge area and a generously sized bathroom.
For anyone with mobility issues, Stavannah is the only disability-friendly cabin on the farm.
Although the accommodation has been around for years, the cabin itself felt fresh and new. Polished wooden floorboards meet floor-to-ceiling windows that soak up the light and atmosphere of the bush surrounds.
The decor is a mix of dark wooden furnishings and soft textiles with blankets and throws scattered around to keep you warm in the evenings and add to that "cosy feeling".
There's a fireplace with wood (which we didn't use as it was summer) and a TV connected to Foxtel.
Sadly there is no Wi-Fi. But, there is a strong signal, so you can use your own mobile data to log in to streaming services such as Netflix. Or you can simply stay off the grid. That choice is yours.
What we especially loved about the cabin was the wrap-around deck. There's seating out the back which faces away from the other cabins, giving you that ultimate sense of peace and privacy.
You can choose to sit back and shoot the breeze or, if you're well stocked with food, fire up your gas barbeque and have a romantic dinner on the deck.
As a homestay, there is no in-house dining. Your closest option is The Grumpy Baker up the road but this is only open during the day.
So if you want to eat in your cabin you'll have to buy groceries. Basics are available at The Grumpy Baker, but for more options and later opening times head down the road to the IGA in Kurrajong.
Whatever you do though, don't bother buying eggs. Those are supplied fresh by the farm's chickens, whose coop you're free to pick from and is only a short walk from the cabins.
There are so many activities at your fingertips at Eden Equine you could literally spend your whole holiday within its borders.
Most are geared at families, though there's nothing stopping couples from getting in on the action too.
During hot summer days, you can dip into the freshwater dam to cool off or jump in the boat for a romantic paddle across.
Those who can peel themselves out of bed early enough can join in the daily animal feeding. It happens at around 9am at the animal farm outside the cabin area and gets you into the pens to feed the animals, including chickens, donkeys, cows, alpacas and goats.
It runs for around an hour giving you ample time for the animals to warm up to you and to get to know their names and personalities.
Lastly, if you'd like to meet the horses up-close, guests get first dibs on horse riding lessons. They start at $65 for a half-hour and are best booked ahead. Otherwise, you can say hello to them in the paddocks as you explore the farm, which is what we did.
Eden Farm Escape is a luxurious farmstay that's ideal for a romantic off-the-grid getaway with no agenda in mind, or a family getaway with enough outdoor activities to tire the kids out.
Stephanie and her husband stayed at Eden Farm Escape as guests of the property.
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