Kims Beach Hideaway is the oldest operating resort in Australia. It was founded in 1886 by Captain Frans Charlson who ran a clipper from Sydney to Norfolk Island. He named it The Camp.
In the 1920s it was purchased by the American McKimmins brothers and inspired by their surname, they renamed the retreat Kims Camp.
A retired arm colonel, Clive Loc Hughes-Hallett, took over in 1944, shortened the name to Kims and set about shaping the gardens and sprucing up the cabins. Since the 1950s, four generations of the Strachan family have been responsible for making Kims the perfect getaway.
It's all about unwinding and reconnecting, and the minute she arrived, Kelly Landry could see why Kims has been around for so long.
Nestled into the shores of Toowoon Bay on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Kims offers a choice of 15 beachfront or rainforest bungalows and spa villas, each in its own private setting. All have an indoor spa or heated outdoor jacuzzi. Some have a double shower or shower temple. The cream of the crop is the Deluxe Beach Spa Villa which has a salt water heated pool, indoor spa and Balinese day bed. Wherever you stay, it's five-star all the way.
Every day since 1886 a ship's bell announces breakfast, lunch or dinner is being served. All meals are included in the tariff and continue Kims five-star standards.
Fruit and vegetables have been purchased from the same farm since 1947. Seafood comes straight from local fishermen.
They churn butter, smoke salmon, bake bread and make all preserves, chutneys, dressings and preservative-free ice-cream. There is an excellent selection of premier wines for your pleasure.
Kims is an adults-only hideaway and there are no strenuous activities. Indulge in a massage, stroll along the beach and read on your private sundeck as the lapping waves provide gentle background sounds.
In the 1930s a railway line was used to transport coal for use in boilers and stoves. It's still there and is used to carry guests' luggage.
A mast set in the gardens is a reminder of Kims' long connection with the sea. Along with the Australian flag, they fly the national flag of international guests. Just another lovely touch.
Toowoon Bay, an hour north of Sydney.
Kims Beach Hideaway Garden Bungalow starts at $245, Rainforest Bungalows $295, Beachfront Bungalows start at $315 and Deluxe Beach Spa Villa $715. All prices are per person a day, based on two adults. Full buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
Prices correct at August 12, 2010.
For further information
Kims Beach Hideaway
16 Charlton Street
Toowoon Bay 2261
Ph: (02) 4332 1566