While the fire that engulfed and destroyed the luxe Lilypad houseboat in 2020 was devastating for owner-operator Chuck Anderson, it also had a silver lining.
“We now have the opportunity and ability to not only bring back what we had but refine and evolve the experience,” Anderson told Broadsheet last year when he had announced a new Lilypad was in the works.
Now Lilypad II is floating on the waters near Palm Beach, in Sydney’s northern beaches (about an hour from the CBD) – and it’s officially accepting guests.
Like the 2018 original, the houseboat is solar-powered, has an onboard wine cellar (with Veuve Clicquot, Glenmorangie whisky, and a range of wines), an off-site chef who prepares lunch and dinner, breakfast from nearby The Boathouse, and a private boat to explore the pockets and inlets of calm Pittwater.
“This time around we’ve gone in a completely new direction, with a very different colour palette and overall style, as well as some big luxury inclusions,” Anderson told Broadsheet last year.
While its predecessor resembled a Scandinavian boathouse, Lilypad II is leaning into a Spanish and Mediterranean aesthetic, with earthy tones and natural finishes. “Inside we have continued the timeless, luxury styling with … curves and arches, all finished in an incredible natural tadelakt-style render,” says Anderson. “We’ve designed and crafted our own furniture pieces to continue the natural lime-plaster feel throughout, so the detail and finishes are somewhat minimal yet incredibly considered and luxurious at the same time.”
The opportunity to make better use of the space meant they could add a sauna. “To be able to have a sauna with a view like no other and then dive straight into the ocean will be an experience in itself,” he says.
The pad sleeps two, and accommodation includes meals, champagne on arrival and transfers to and from the villa. It’s stocked with stand-up paddle boards and fishing rods, so you can make the most of the surrounding waters before snuggling up after dark in front of the open fireplace – there’s even wi-fi and Netflix.
For an extra fee you can enjoy an onboard massage and transfers via Sydney Seaplanes. If you’re staying for several nights, there’s a daily housekeeping service and afternoon tasting plates delivered directly to the villa, and you can have four mates hop aboard to enjoy the luxe surrounds between 8am and 5pm.
Rates start at $1950 per night and include transfers and meals.