No, Nightfall’s guinea-pigs are not the hairy little critters some keep as pets: they are our first glamping guinea-pig guests who, over the past few weeks, have generously offered feedback and a myriad of inspirational thoughts as they experience Nightfall’s new luxury camp on the edge of Lamington National Park.
As ‘glamping‘ hosts, Steve and I are the kind of people who want everything to be perfect straight-away. We’re learning the reality is all new ventures require a settling-in period. Like it or not, we are reminded these things take time, especially when you set the bar high. Fortunately our ‘Guinea-Pig’ Opening Feedback Special is keeping the process exciting. As we go about ironing out the lumps and bumps – adding detail to our luxury tents, beautifying along the way and sourcing forgotten elements – we’re also relishing the opportunity to include the fresh and unique perspectives, shared by guinea-pig guests.
We’re truly inspired by your ideas, including placing two vintage tin baths on the creek bank – what better than a steaming soak beside the crystal-clear white-topped rapids (naturally contamination will be avoided by avoiding oils or bubbles); coals to cook additional breakfast toast, should you desire; and a mud-map to guide guests to the secrets of Lamington National Park. We also chuckled at the suggestion to name one tent the ‘Tent House’, adopting the glamour of a Penthouse with extra treats and indulgences, perhaps appropriate to honeymooners and others on special occasion retreats.
(photo L to R: each tent sits in its own private forest clearing; enjoying the views; generous 62m2 of living space; looking in through the openable shower wall – and yes, the shower does have a wooden floor)
Tourism is a new for Steve and I. That’s good and bad. Tried and tested industry operational formulas are there for a reason, but we’re finding it’s helpful to not know too much, instead adopting a fresh approach. Nightfall is not a hotel – we prefer to think of it as sharing our little patch of Australian wilderness. We’re enjoying discovering the best and most personal ways to make our guests feel at home.
We’re also loving tailoring your experiences. Some guests prefer the most private of private retreats with picnics in the forest, secluded massages and romantic dinners, tucked-away on Nightfall’s intimate creek-side beach: yes, we do have fun setting that one up … picture a candle-lit table beside the creek with a personal wood fire. Carefully placed lanterns line the water’s edge, ensuring the flickering flames reflect in the moving stream and gently light the cliffs on the other side of the creek. For other guests, the Nightfall experience is more social: we enjoy the warmth of evenings by the communal fire and dinners together, swapping life experiences and bantering over who will have the last piece of Mum’s legendary pavlova. Steve’s fire-cooked organic fare is also proving a hit – wood-oven-roasted vegetables with rosemary lamb, wild cress salads and steaks seared over the flames are popular, so too is the locally-grown mango, sprinkled with brown sugar, grilled and served with ice-cream for desert.
It’s wonderfully rewarding to finally share Nightfall with guests. We think we have a pretty special spot and we love hearing others feel the same. The fresh perspective of newcomers is gold.
Until next time,