At such an easy distance from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is one of our favourite weekend destinations—packed out with ancient forests, epic hikes, breathtaking scenery, and buckets of fresh mountain air. Now, we’ve got a whole new reason to hit the M4 and head out west: a brand-new boutique hotel, complete with sprawling garden-to-plate restaurant.
Opened in mid-December, Kyah in Blackheath is a reimagined motor inn (yes, yet another motel makeover, following in the footsteps of coastal gems like Sunseeker in Byron and Halcyon House in Cabarita).
Before now, this style of boutique accommodation in the mountains has been slim pickings—even despite the region’s proximity to Sydney. MKD Architects have redesigned the 70s era motel into a plush 46-room mountain retreat. Throughout each of the hotel's three wings, which are named Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo after the Three Sisters, you'll find blush pink archways, Art Deco-inspired furniture, and plush velvet drapery. It's Palm Springs meets the mountains.
Choose from roomy king suites, two-bedroom suites, spa suites, family rooms, and extra-spacious family suites—each with its own individual access, complimentary WiFi, smart TVs to stream your own content, and a minibar filled with local goodies like craft beer by Katoomba's Mountain Culture and cookies from Whisk and Pin.
Set across two acres at one of the highest points in the Blue Mountains, Kyah features a tennis court, steam room, fireplaces for wintertime, vegetable gardens, one of the Southern Hemisphere's oldest cherry blossom trees, and a sprawling 170-seat on-site restaurant, Blaq.
A destination in its own right (it is also open to non-hotel guests), Blaq is helmed by executive chef Mate Herceg and the mood is strictly local, seasonal, and sustainable. "We really do have an abundance of sensational produce in the Mountains to choose from and I want to showcase that as much as possible," Herceg explains.
"If a shift in a weather pattern means a particular vegetable becomes available sooner than I had expected, I want to be able to take advantage of that. The majority of our suppliers are located within an 80km radius of Kyah and that’s important to me."
On the menu at Blaq, for breakfast, you'll find things like a Croque Madame worth travelling for, stacked with Berkshire smoked leg ham, gruyere cheese, fried egg, and bechamel sauce. At dinner, it's the five-hour pork shoulder ragu we'll be writing home about. And, when the weather cools off, we reckon Blaq's blueberry cobbler served with rum ice cream and meringue will make the perfect winter dessert.
The drinks list follows the same local-first philosophy, with cocktails showing off spirits from Karu Distillery at the foot of the mountains and a wine list made up of 100% NSW wines. Created by consultant sommelier Andres Aragon (Bert’s, Trippas White Group), the list covers a little of everything from the Hunter through to Gundagai, Canberra District, Hilltops, Rylstone, Orange, and more.
Bookings for Kyah are now open. Book your stay here.
Image credit: Steven Woodburn
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