The Luxe List 2009, Australia: Pretty Beach House, Pretty Beach

There’s no chance of feeling crowded or stressed at this luxury retreat, an hour’s drive north of Sydney. There are just three individual pavilions, set into the natural bushland with views over the bays of Brisbane Waters. Time moves slowly as you relax beside your private plunge pool listening to kookaburras and lorikeets chatter in the gum trees overhead, or walk through the national parklands to isolated Tallow Beach. Although no detail has been overlooked in the residences, it’s at the central sandstone homestead where all the senses are fully engaged. Italian chef Stefano Manfredi is in charge of the menu—homemade granola, fresh fruit, and clotted cream start the day; lunch might be pizza cooked in the wood-fired oven next to the infinity pool; and dinner consists of Italian classics matched to fine wines (83 High View Rd.; 61-2/4360-1933;; doubles from US$1,465, all inclusive).

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