Our stay at
Jay Jay's Fairlight Maison
Anytime I mentioned we were going to stay at Jay Jay's Fairlight Maison in Sydney, lucky ones who have stayed before would say "you're going to LOVE IT!"Goodness. Were they ever right! It was everything previous guests said it would be and more.
We arrived a little late to Fairlight, as we had spent the afternoon and evening exploring Sydney. It had been fourteen years since we had last visited the city, so we were a little swept up by the iconic Sydney Harbour.
Opening the door to Fairlight Maison is like opening a thoughtfully wrapped gift with other gifts inside. Each time you unwrap one layer, you are surprised with another layer ...and another ...and another. The lights had been left on for our arrival which gave us the dramatic effect of unveiling each room of this heritage sandstone home. The iconic living room greets you as soon as you enter. Adorned with artifacts Jay Jay has collected over the years, Fairlight Maison is a true treasure.
We made our way into the french European inspired kitchen. We were surprised to learn that the kitchen had been renovated over 20 years ago! It could have been completed yesterday - it's timeless.
Traditionally, these old sandstone homes have few windows and are a bit dark. To solve that problem, Jay Jay and Paul added a skylight and a glass floor to bring natural light into the old world dining room on the main floor and the dramatic show stopping bathroom on the second floor. OH MY GOD! The bathroom! It's incredible! I can't put it into words. I could have spent hours soaking in the tub overlooking the blue pool in the courtyard outside. It's the perfect place for a princess to get ready for her day.
As we went up the stairs, we discovered the antique warm olive lounge with an eclectic collection of art, trinkets, heirlooms, books, and a spiral staircase to increase your curiosity.
But before we took the bait, we found the iconic bedroom with long ago art and photographs, relaxed linens, and an ornate patina mirror. We immediately dropped our bags and knew we'd found our resting ground. Just before we cozied in, we had to check out what was in store for us up the intriguing spiral transparent staircase.
On this third floor, we rose to a loft with a the second bedroom. Again, the character continues with the slopped ceilings, stone chimney column, and wooden plank floors. Of course, Jay Jay brings it all together with her carefully selected art and bed linens.
Jay Jay's style is a true maximalist - if there's an opportunity to tell a story, she will take it. It feels like you are staying in a well travelled Parisian princess's domicile. Patina, well-worn, luxury, and old and new characters hold a strong presence here. Staying at Fairlight Maison is a one of a kind experience. If you'd like a little taste, check out this Reel. Or if you'd rather take a full tour, check out this Live.
We spent four amazing nights at Fairlight Maison which gave us so much time explore the area. As I mentioned earlier, we went into Sydney when we arrived. Luck would have it, we were there when Vivid - a night light art installation - was on. So we spent our first evening dining at Whalebridge next to the Sydney Opera House in the Sydney Harbour admiring the show.
When we travel, we love to find the best places to eat! Luckily, we had some great recommendations from Jay Jay and our société members. Since Fairlight is located in Manly - a beachy suburb/town of Sydney - we were able to have a local experience. We went to Hugo's for a seaside cocktail before heading to The Little Viet Kitchen for a warm bowl of authentic Pho.
On our last night we ventured back into the city - which is actually a really fun voyage. You take a fifteen minute walk down to the pier and a twenty minute ferry into the Sydney Harbour. We went to Palmer & Co. for a secret speakeasy cocktail before heading around the corner to Mr. Wong's for an exquisite culinary experience. Highly recommend!!
The difference with Jay Jay and her Fairlight Maison is that you can see that every special piece in her house has been personal selected and loved by her. It's been brought home and positioned in just the right spot, which creates a unique emotion for her guests that can't be replicated.
This is a must visit. This is a must swap.
Thank you Jay Jay and Paul for taking such great care of us!
Members of The Hosting Société can swap their bespoke property with Jay Jay- no cash exchanged - just fellow hosts swapping places for their own enjoyment.
Don't have a property to swap but still want to stay?