Leura, Blue Mountains, Australia
"The Dairy offers a fresh alternative to the traditionally fusty Blue Mountains weekend getaway from Sydney, with six cottages - some original, some added - dotted among rambling gardens. Each cottage is unique, with antique furnishings; slow-combustion stoves, organic breakfasts and fresh flowers add to the bucolic air.
Who goes: Hikers and Sydneysiders seeking fresh mountain air. Top tip: The Jewel in the Dairy's crown is the Straw Bale House (sleeps 11), made from around 80 per cent recycled material. Must-do: Gawp at (the really very blue) Jamison Valley. Downside: It's a short drive from the area's best restaurants and vistas (but that means no tourist buses - perhaps no bad thing)."
"A five-minute drive from the attractive town of Leura, near the famous Three Sisters rocks, this former dairy is now home to six beautiful, characterful cottages of various shapes and sizes. Some are converted from the old dairy buildings, others made from scratch, to create a wonderfully atmospheric mix of luxury, comfort and individual style.
Rooms range from one-bed studio to the five-bed Straw Bale House. Everything is fun and original - a spa made from the old milk bath, the shelves upended crates, a milk pail turned into a sink - but done with some attention to detail (log fires, terraces, plenty of books, DVD/CD players and great kitchens).
There's no restaurant but each cottage comes with gourmet mueslis, fresh bread, fruit and all the basics you need to make yourself a wonderful breakfast. Plus there are plenty of great restaurants on the doorstep.
We like the beauty and unique character, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere and real home-from-home feel. However, some rooms have attic bedrooms - romantic until you need the loo in the night. And there are no facilities (no spa or gym) and no views of the mountains."