Two hours from Sydney, and just 40 metres from famed Seven Mile beach, the Bangalay Villas offer a quintessential Australian beach holiday.
Bangalay Villas are stylish, approachable and authentically Australian. The villas offer the newest and most spacious, upmarket accommodation in the Shoalhaven Heads area, but the vibe is relaxed, coastal and unmistakably Australian.
*This post as first published in 2021, and has been updated October 2021 with food and beverage changes.
Overall rating: 9/10
There are 16 stylish, fresh, apartment-style villas 40 metres from one of Australia’s best beaches.
There’s an elegant swimming pool, and a smart, upmarket restaurant, Bangalay Dining, with food carefully created and crafted by chef Brent Strong, and a host of fabulous wines and cocktails on offer. There are even bikes on site to ride to the local pub.
The Location 9/10
The 1.5 hour drive from Sydney airport (2 hours from Sydney) is an easy one, and there are plenty of places to visit in the surrounding areas including pretty Berry, a 15 minute drive away, Gerringong, and Nowra are 20 minutes, and Huskisson, 40 minutes and Kiama, 30 minutes.
The Southern Highlands is 1.15 hour away for your next stop.
The whole venue sits next to Shoalhaven’s Seven Mile Beach on one side, and is uniquely protected by towering sand dunes, ensuring there is limited wild weather in winter. The other side overlooks the well maintained Shoalhaven golf course, with Australian native trees and bushes around.
It’s a formula for peace, tranquility and relaxation.
Service & Facilities: 8/10
There’s nothing better than starting the day with a morning walk or run along the beach, or a cool dip in the ocean. At Bangalay this can be followed with a barista made coffee, and a la carte breakfast in your speedos with sandy feet.
Days can be spent poolside, or lounging in a huge villa fireside for winter, or on the deck overlooking bushland or the golf course all year round. Perfect for reading a book, chatting to your partner or family, and unwinding.
The restaurant provides another location both indoors and outdoors to enjoy a coffee, a wine or just to hang out.
The Native Tasting (see below) and Bangalay Dining Oyster Experiences offer a fun way to immerse in the best of the local produce.
Bikes on-site are a pleasant way to ride to the local pub or Chinese restaurant, or just to mosey around and explore the surrounding area.
Activities close by include horse riding, private surfing lessons and expeditions on the water where dolphins are often seen. There are local art galleries, and Nowra has street art worth seeing.
The Djiriba Waagura cultural walks in either Nowra or Huskisson are a game changer and as informative as they come for families or anyone wanting to learn more about ecotourism and the history of Australia.
Three wineries in the vicinity, Coolangatta Estate, Mountain Ridge Wines, and Two Figs Winery, offer wine tastings and some do food. Berry is a 10 minute drive with an array of food venues, a great pub and multiple shops.
Plus the car park has convenient charging stations for electric vehicles.
The Rooms 9.5/10
Everything has been carefully thought through within the luxury villas at Bangalay.
There are 16 spacious, modern apartment style villas, 14 self contained one bedroom villas and 2, two bedroom villas.
All villas are white, with blackbutt floorboards and flooded with natural light and have fully equipped kitchens, underfloor heating in the bathroom, and a rainfall shower.
Ceilings are high and sliding doors at one end of the villa open to a balcony, overlooking the golf course, and surrounding bush and garden.
The interior design showcases the best of Australian timber, artefacts and style. All have a fire, and are fully heated and cooled.
There is even a washing machine and dryer as well as a dishwasher.
Food & Drink 9/10
Simon Evans, the hatted Wollongong chef is passionate about local ingredients and about botanicals.
Shoalhaven sourced fish and beef are on the menu. Vegan and vegetarian options are available, including a vegetarian food flight.
There is a fabulous Native tasting menu on offer, which is priced at $90 a head, and includes 3 cocktails, a glass of local sparkling and 4 bites of food, which are local taste sensations. It includes explanations about local produce, cooking techniques and botanicals.
Gourmet Picnic Hampers
Food is Asian influenced, and shared style. The current menu includes 5 spice crisp fried rolls wagyu beef, smoked chicken cigars with lemon myrtle and aioli, and larger dishes such as Pork Tonkatsu ramen served in a tonkatsu broth with slow poached egg, pork neck nori and seasonal veg. The menu will change as covid-19 restrictions ease.
The mandarin and almond cake with a roast honey cream and mandarin jam is incredible.
The cocktails are a highlight of the food service, as the staff are creative, and passionate, and the focus is on natural, local ingredients. The Salt Bush Margarita, Green Ant Gimlet, Wattleseed espresso martini and Lemon Myrtle Pina Colada are just some of their exceptionally creative creations.
The staff are excellent and were happy to match cocktails with dessert on request ( we couldn’t get enough of them). And in-room dining is available.
Who is behind it
Gorgeous couple Michelle and Tom Bishop grew up in the area, but left for Sydney many years ago and decided to come back to create Bangalay Luxury Villas, wanting to bring more people to the area and show it off.
They are passionate about the local community and are on-site most days. They love their guests.
Bangalay is the accommodation many Sydneysiders have been hoping for for years. Close to the beach, spacious, modern, immaculately clean and comfortable.The venue has passionate staff, excellent cuisine, is priced appropriately, and is quintessentially Australian.
Insider Knowledge: The golf course opposite is public so you can easily get in for a game. You can ride horses on the beach from the nearby riding school. A fabulous beautician can be called in for hair, make-up and spa treatments.
Renae’s World readers have an exclusive offer using the code RENWORLD when booking directly here (for the next 12 months), which includes a 15% discount on the room rate which includes breakfast. This is cheaper than any other rate you will find online. Don’t miss this one.
Who should Stay here: Couples, families.
Who shouldn’t Stay here: I can’t think of anyone who would not love it.
Location: 1.5 hours from Sydney airport.
Best culinary delight:The Native Tasting Menu
The Highlight: Being 40m from the beach.
The lowlight: No bath in the bathroom.Renae Leith-Manos