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Solo travel: what women want

There is nothing quite as wholesome and soul-soothing as taking some much-deserved ‘me time’. Whether it be a five-star dinner and a glass of red in the company of your favourite book, a hike through the rainforest, or a weekend away to do all of the above and more, Australians are twigging to the benefits of solo travel – and it’s women leading the charge.

Successful women in their 30s and beyond with a high disposable income are opting to enjoy time on their own. The freedom of choice, desire for personal growth and some quality R&R are just some of the reasons solo travel is on the rise.

 

Spicers Peak Lodge

Spicers Peak Lodge pool with a view

While women still love travelling overseas, experiencing everything from African safaris to seeing the northern lights in the Arctic, they are also seeking out long and luxurious weekend breaks closer to home.

Spicers Peak Lodge general manager, Felicity Sharwood, has seen a sharp rise in women booking solo holidays during the past year.

“They have (typically) done a lot of international travel, but some are getting to a point where they also want three or four days away where they can drive or catch a domestic flight,” she says.

“We’re all time-poor these days, so getting two or three weeks off at a time can be quite difficult. They love having the ability to travel somewhere you feel like you can completely stop and relax.”

Starry Night Nocturnal Tour

Spicers Peak Lodge under the Milky Way

Felicity says proximity to a major city is one of the key requirements for the demographic, with Spicers Peak Lodge’s location at Maryvale, two hours’ drive south-west of Brisbane, making it an appealing option.

Rest assured, there’s nothing lonely about solo travel with Spicers Retreats. While some luxury resorts feature private villas where you could not see anyone else for a week, Spicers Peak Lodge has an inviting communal lounge where guests can mingle, should they choose to do so.

“Our main lounge is designed as somewhere to come and sit and read a book and speak to other guests,” Felicity says. “All our guests are really interactive. They love chatting to each other. It does feel like it’s someone’s home and you can happily sit in the lounge and talk.”

The all-inclusive retreat, which accommodates up to 26 guests at any given time, offers the choice of dining in at The Peak restaurant, as well as room service. So, if a night in wrapped in a cosy robe sounds like heaven, the chefs can bring dinner to you.

Spicers Peak Lodge

Spicers Peak Lodge’s loft area

“We have a large collection of coffee table books and magazines at all Spicers properties, and many solo guests like to read during dinner, or they are happy to sit and take in the atmosphere,” Felicity says.

“Our team is very friendly. The chef delivers the dishes and has a chat with diners. If guests have met during group activities during the day, they will sometimes ask to join tables together.”

Solo travellers especially love the on-site day spa, Spa Anise, and for good reason. With three treatment rooms and an extensive spa menu including massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps, it’s no surprise guests sometimes opt to spend a whole day there.

Spa Anise at Spicers Peak Lodge

Travelling alone means there’s no one watching the clock and awaiting your return, so if the Ultimate Body Ritual appeals – all three indulgent hours of it – you can sign up with a clear conscience. What bliss.

“We have so many treatments, guests often book in for something different every day during their stay,” Felicity says.

Encounters with nature are also high on the list for many Spicers Peak solo travellers.

The chance to stride out into the beautiful scenery, breathe the fresh country air and be alone with one’s thoughts is a luxury many women are keen to tap into.

Spicers Peak Lodge

The Highland Cattle of Spicers Peak Lodge

Guests can also sign up for an activity, like a guided one-hour hike or a chef’s meet and greet by the campfire. Happily, there is no minimum number of participants required for activities to go ahead.

“There’s nothing worse than going to a lodge and an activity has a minimum number and nobody else turns up,” Felicity says.

Other activities well suited to solo travellers include coffee making classes, cocktail making workshops, gin appreciation courses, and cheese and wine tastings. Guests can also book private experiences such as three to five-hour hikes, or the half or full-day Spicers Explorer tour, which is tailored depending on guests’ fitness level and interests. It might include a combination of hiking and 4WDing on the 8000-acre property, or focus on sightseeing, wildlife or history.

Spicers Peak Lodge

The northern lookout at Spicers Peak Lodge

Felicity says solo travellers enjoy Spicers Peak Lodge because it caters to a range of demographics, not just couples, and they often return time and time again.

“All of the solo travellers we have had have returned at some point,” she says. “We have one lady who comes four times a year.”

Words by Angela Saurine

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