This is the occasional part of my job that I’m kind of embarrassed to talk about. You see, the whole purpose for the jaunt to Tasmania—and as quickly as we were in and out, it was just that: a jaunt—was for the opening of this uber-swank resort. A place that in my wildest dreams, I would never be able to afford. And yet, I get to stay there all the same and call it “work.”
I’d been hearing whispers about Saffire since its early days of production, so I was stoked to be among the few who got to check it out right when it first opened. One of the big benefits of what I do ($1500-a-night rooms aside) is getting to be the first on the scene.
I know very little about architecture, but it doesn’t take a design guru to figure out that this establishment is a marvel of art. The undulating pattern of the stone-and-timber edifice is meant to mimic the pattern of the waves lapping up on the shore.
There are 20 stand-alone suites, so the resort never has more than 40 guests at one time. (Though kids are welcome, this is more of a couples retreat than a family getaway.) Bedrooms channel the overall effect of the resort, with floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize the natural light. And if you’re worried about not being able to sleep, have no fear: Of course, the designers thought of everything. Every possible panel is covered by a shade that comes down with the easy push of a button right beside your bed.
If I were a writer (oh wait…), this is where I’d want to sit and ponder life, while penning my next bestseller.
The food was divine and is the sole reason I gained five pounds in that one week (I only wish I were kidding). After a few days, we collectively began referring to our new bellies as “the Tasmanian Tube.” The chef Hugh Whitehouse enjoys celebrity status on the mainland—he’s like Australia’s answer to Tyler Florence—and is about as down to Earth and likable as they get. Each meal is a journey for the senses—gah, how cliche does that sound? But totally true. Even breakfast arrived in multiple courses.
All that while, you enjoy views such as these.
There’s a full-stocked bar and lounge area just across the way, where you can serve your own libations when the mood strikes. And if ever there were a time when I wanted to be a cigar smoker, it was then, as they also had a fine selection of Cubans. (Don’t worry, I maintained my “never smoked a cigarette or cigar” MO anyway.)
But that’s not even the best part. Saffire is the only resort situated on the southern part of the Freycinet Peninsula, among protected park with a front-row view of the Hazard Mountains. Meaning you get this beach—ironically called Muirs Beach (SVV and I married on California’s Muir Beach)—and little stretch of heaven all to yourself.
All outdoor activities (aside from boat rides) around the resort are included in the price, as is a spa treatment for each guest. Don’t worry: I took advantage of that (duh), as I was rubbed down and scrubbed thoroughly with real bits of sapphire dust. And ladies, while I have no photographic evidence to prove such, I should add that the (predominantly male) suit-clad staff is quite easy on the eyes. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.
And then I returned to Earth, and reality isn’t quite as sweet. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.