News, Culture & Society

Visit Guestlands: A piece of Italy just outside Sydney’s CBD

The global pandemic has thrown a globe-sized spanner in the works for Australians who tactfully use their five weeks of annual leave a year to travel overseas. 

Many have been left starved of experiences you can really only get in Europe, Asia and the Americas, alleyways rich with history and food that tastes of generational recipes passed down.

Peter and Jenny Guest are two such Aussies who find life’s simple pleasures in travelling abroad, and they too were forced to cancel their plans after Covid settled Down Under in early 2020.

But instead of waiting for the international borders to open and jetting off to their beloved Italy they opened their own Tuscan-inspired ‘village’ just 40 minutes drive from Sydney’s CBD – and set to work running their own boutique hotel in their backyard.

But instead of waiting for the international borders to open and jetting off to their beloved Italy they opened their own Tuscan-inspired ‘village’ just 40 minutes drive from Sydney’s CBD

The property boasts a gorgeous lap pool

Guests can relax by the pool or take a dip

Surrounding the property is a dam with incredible foliage, including a rose-dotted archway, a life-sized chess set and a large swimming pool

Guestlands, as it is known, is comprised of four European-inspired villas set between a crooked cobblestone walkway with a trattoria for communally gathering for ‘happy hour’ each night.

Surrounding the property is a dam with incredible foliage, including a rose-dotted archway, a life-sized chess set and a large swimming pool.

Guests would be remiss for thinking they weren’t in the Italian countryside with a red Vespa propped up against a burnt orange painted wall and red and white checked tablecloths at every turn. 

‘It took three-and-a-half years to build Guestlands alongside our contractors, which is an offshoot from the main house that we live in,’ Peter told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We wanted extra space for our kids and eventual grandkids to be able to stay at our place but it made sense to rent out the villas until then.’

Opening officially at the end of 2020 the site has been flush with bookings ever since, with customers leaving rave reviews about the consistently topped up mini bar and friendly service.

Guestlands, as it is known, is comprised of four European-inspired villas set between a crooked cobblestone walkway with a trattoria for communally gathering for 'happy hour' each night

Guestlands, as it is known, is comprised of four European-inspired villas set between a crooked cobblestone walkway with a trattoria for communally gathering for ‘happy hour’ each night

'Guestlands really has to be experienced to be believed. The level of detail that has gone into every aspect of the property is stunning,' one man wrote of his stay

A spread made in the gardens of Guestlands

‘Guestlands really has to be experienced to be believed. The level of detail that has gone into every aspect of the property is stunning,’ one man wrote of his stay

‘Guestlands really has to be experienced to be believed. The level of detail that has gone into every aspect of the property is stunning,’ one man wrote of his stay.

‘Pete and Jen were an absolute delight and really made everyone feel at home while sharing their stories of Guestlands and the surrounding gardens which are so picturesque.

‘Not a single negative, a truly memorable experience.’

‘The love, care and attention to detail that Pete and Jen have put into Guestlands immediately transports you to a small Tuscan village in the Italian countryside with the warm hospitality to match,’ another said.

‘A stunning BnB with beautiful sprawling gardens, there are so many moments where you feel you’re in another world. From communal happy hours on their rooftop terrace overlooking the street to making breakfast in the La Trattoria in the morning as the sun peaks through the woodframe windows to making pizza for dinner in their woodfire pizza oven in La Cabana it’s so hard not to fall in love with the charm of the place.

Fashion labels like Byron Bay brand Arnhem really put Guestlands on the map after shooting their campaigns along the cobblestoned street - with the private village cropping up in a number of magazines

Fashion labels like Byron Bay brand Arnhem really put Guestlands on the map after shooting their campaigns along the cobblestoned street – with the private village cropping up in a number of magazines

A self serve breakfast and happy hour complete with an antipasto platter are included in each person's stay, with access to the 'sunset bar' and pool

A self serve breakfast and happy hour complete with an antipasto platter are included in each person’s stay, with access to the ‘sunset bar’ and pool

‘I proposed to my partner here. It was our plan to be in Europe travelling Italy two years ago before the world changed. Guestlands was the way to bring Italy to Sydney. A place worth visiting, with wine, music and love in abundance.’

Fashion labels like Byron Bay brand Arnhem really put Guestlands on the map after shooting their campaigns along the cobblestoned street – with the private village cropping up in a number of magazines.

A self serve breakfast and happy hour complete with an antipasto platter are included in each person’s stay, with access to the ‘sunset bar’ and pool.

One of the most treasured parts of the experience is how easily Peter and Jenny integrate themselves into the village, making it feel like guests are having dinner with family rather than total strangers.  

One of the most treasured parts of the experience is how easily Peter and Jenny integrate themselves into the village, making it feel like guests are having dinner with family rather than total strangers

One of the most treasured parts of the experience is how easily Peter and Jenny integrate themselves into the village, making it feel like guests are having dinner with family rather than total strangers

‘We’re already booked out for weekends until March next year,’ Peter said.

‘We’ve actually booked ourselves a trip back to Italy in the summer of 2022.’

To stay in one of the four villas will set you back $690 per night mid-week or $750 per night on the weekend, with a two-night minimum stay required.

Despite overseas travel now possible for NSW residents, if you’re wanting to skip past the endless Covid tests and rigorous rules it makes sense to head to Guestlands for a relaxing Tuscan sunshine-filled stay.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk