Kim’s Beach Hideaway: A Slice of Heaven In Toowoon Bay (NSW)
By Victoria Ugarte
Few resorts in the world embrace and transport you so gently and completely to a place where time seems to stand still as Kim’s at Toowoon Bay. Kim’s is located on the shores of a splendid horseshoe bay and Australia’s cleanest beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Just over one hours drive north of Sydney, the overwhelming sense of calm envelopes you the moment you park your car and walk under the canopy of ancient Norfolk Pines to reception.
The staff at reception are relaxed but extremely efficient, and the check-in was simple and brief. Within 10 minutes, all stress melted away as we were shown the premises and were accompanied to our bungalow type accommodation.
Accommodation at Kim’s is made up of Bungalows and Spa Villas spread along the beachfront or set beneath, between, or at treetop level in a forest of towering Norfolk Pines, all beautifully designed by award winning architect James Grose. The décor style is a luxurious and very tasteful “island chic”, with the warmth of natural timber and stone tiles providing a rusticity that is comforting. All Bungalows and Spa Villas feature either an indoor spa bath, or a private heated outdoor Jacuzzi. Some have a double shower or a shower temple. The more deluxe options may also include a private heated swimming pool, sauna and air-conditioning. All are luxuriously appointed with a library/ magazine selection, heating, ceiling fans, Japanese style gowns, a lovely lounge setting, and a Balcony with Outdoor table and chairs. Privacy is absolutely guaranteed. In fact the only sounds that you hear after you have entered your Bungalow or Villa are the birds chirping amid the sub-tropical gardens and the crashing of the waves on the shores of the magnificent golden beach.
If the accommodation and tranquil ambience fails to blow you away at Kim’s, then its intimate and legendary restaurant will. Thrice daily since 1886 the dinner bell rings, heralding that another meal at Kim’s is ready to be served. Guests are appointed their own table, which they return to for the duration of their stay, at the superb dining room that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Guests can gaze longingly at the sparkling water, frolicking dolphins and migrating whales as they enjoy the fruits of Kim’s superb cuisine.
All dishes at Kim’s are presented buffet-style, but that is where the similarities end in comparison to any other buffet you might have ever had. For over 100 years, family recipes have been handed down through the generations and are still lovingly handmade today. Such delicacies as quince paste, carrot marmalade, melon jam, pineapple jam and lime chutney are all made on the premises. They churn their own butter, bake their own bread, smoke their own salmon, bottle their own preserves and pickles, and home-make their own preservative-free ice-cream. Absolute freshness is paramount in the preparation of all dishes at Kim’s. They are one of the only resorts that are licensed to purchase fish directly from the local fishermen. It is cleaned and filleted on the premises to ensure superb quality and freshness.
Other gourmet delights include Aberdeen Kippers, Frangipani Pie, Queen Adelaide Pudding and Tasmanian Salmon baked in a rich red curry and served on a banana leaf. The seemingly endless array of salads and side dishes, desserts, fruit and cheeses tantalize the taste buds and makes one absolutely spoilt for choice. No matter how many times you come to the Kim’s dining room, or how long you stay, there is always something new in store. And what’s even better is that 3 superb meals are all included in your daily tariff.
A fabulous cocktail lounge with an open fireplace provides a very “chilled out” atmosphere for those pre-dinner drinks and hors d’oeuvres or after-dinner drinks. And the Pampering Place awaits you the next morning for that much-needed facial or massage treatment to complete the indulgence.
Kim’s has had plenty of time to make its mark. In fact, it is the oldest operating resort in Australia. Its history began in 1886, when a local seafaring trader named Capt. Frans Charlson built a slab-timbered kitchen-dining room with paths through the sand and bush to accommodation in the form of tents, and later timber cabins. The Captain planted about 100 Norfolk Pines in the area, including those along the beachfront, which protects Kim’s privacy today. In the late 1920’s two American brothers named McKimmin bought the business and improved the accommodation, changing the name to “Kim’s Camp” (from the name McKimmin). In 1944, a retired army colonel named Clive Loc Hughes-Hallet took over and shortened the name to Kim’s. He is remembered for shaping the original gardens and lining the cabins. And finally, the Strachan family has been involved at Kim’s since the 1950’s and they have worked consistently hard at maintaining the standards of excellence that this unique retreat is known for.
Kim’s is a private resort where very busy people can totally unwind and forget the world, or a place where lovers can meet and romance is rekindled. For some, it is a luxury hotel masquerading as ones own private beach house. Whichever it will be for you, a stay at Kim’s is a must, at least once in everyone’s lifetime. Having stayed at Kim’s twice over the past few years, I like to refer to it as my retreat into heaven.
Kim’s Beach Hideaway
Ph. + 61 2 43321566
Fax + 61 2 43331544
- KIMS – Best Hosted Accommodation 2007 and has just been nominated for 2008.
- Kims has been awarded winner of the Best Hosted Accommodation category at 2007’s The Australian Travel & Tourism awards.
- Kim’s is exclusive to adults and caters for small meeting groups of up to 22 people.