The view over the hinterland.
One of the rooms.
Mike, your host, cooks up a storm.
Leave the bustle and high-rises of Surfers Paradise and head to the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Just 17km from the bustle and high-rises of Surfers Paradise is Esconder Mountain Lodge. At 350m above the Gold Coast, it has a blend of Mediterranean, Indonesian and New Mexican influences, with a hint of Japanese, giving 180-degree views to North Stradbroke Island, Coolangatta and the mountain ranges of the Lamington Plateau. The air is crisp and clean, scented with eucalypt, and the local wildlife includes magnificently coloured king parrots, rosellas, bandicoots and goannas.
The white rendered walls, wrought iron, thatched roofing and terracotta pots of bougainvillea create a romantic, relaxing, tranquil and beautiful setting.
There are just three suites, each totally private, with a queen-size bed, luxurious ensuite bathroom, reverse-cycle air-conditioning, mini-bar and dimmer switches so you can set your own mood. Your private balcony has views to the Gold Coast, and watching the sun set and the buildings light up in the distance is magical.
There is a solar-heated swimming pool and the main living area has a billiard table, library, leather sofas, television and stereo, as well as photographs and mementos belonging to owners Morrie and Marjorie Walton.
Each night the sleek teppan yaki bar is fired up as Morrie prepares a barbecue feast with produce mostly grown on the property. He is the head cook at Esconder and can turn his talents to a variety of cuisines: Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Thai - and you can enjoy your meals al fresco under the grass-roofed Palapa.
One other appealing aspect of Esconder is that they have had guests in formal evening wear and that fits in perfectly, and at other times people choose to be quite casual and have dinner on the deck, being served wood-fired pizza and salad, a delicious Tapas, rendang curry or a choice of Thai cuisine.
Breakfast is a treat of fresh juices, fruit, cereal, farm eggs, bacon, ham, smoked salmon or pancakes. Sandwiches, cheese and fruit are available all day, as is tea and coffee. Esconder is licensed and has an excellent selection of wines, beer and spirits, but you are welcome to bring your own wine with you.
The bar area can also be turned into a dance floor with a minimum of fuss, complete with special lighting effects.
One of the many appealing aspects of Esconder is the amount of work the Waltons have put in. They have been involved in pretty well every part of the creation of this beautiful retreat, right down to turning building blocks into lamp bases and Aztec god statues.
If for some reason you want to explore the outside world, Tamborine Mountain and Sanctuary Cove are just 15 minutes' drive away, with Harbour Town (for shoppers) and Dreamworld just down the hill.