Swanfels B&B; retreat, R on the Downs, is officially opened by mayor Ron Bellingham, pictured here with owners Doug and Liz Phillips.
Swanfels B&B; retreat, R on the Downs, is officially opened by mayor Ron Bellingham, pictured here with owners Doug and Liz Phillips. Jenna Cairney

Locals embrace retreat

THE grass in the Swanfels Valley has never been mowed as vigilantly as it has in the lead-up to the grand opening of a new bed and breakfast retreat on Swanfels Rd at the weekend.

R on the Downs has evolved into something of a neighbourhood project, with owners Doug and Liz Phillips striking up a fantastic rapport with locals keen to show off their piece of paradise.

At the resort's opening on Saturday resident Lance Clarson showed people around, pointing out his house from the large balconies that border the retreat.

“It's been interesting watching it grow,” he said. “I hope it takes off.”

Contrary to speculation, R on the Downs is not SDRC mayor Ron Bellingham's retirement plan. In his official opening he quashed that rumour, although he said all the tidy blocks of land surrounding the resort made him feel he should go home and do some mowing himself to keep up with the neighbours.

“I thank Doug and Liz for their confidence and investment in this area,” Cr Bellingham said.

“It deserves to prosper.”

The Phillips family bought the land seven years ago and constructed two guest cottages.

Now the luxury guest house is finished and open for business.

As for the “R” the owners say guests could make up their own minds about what it means.

“For some it will be romance, for others it will be rest or recreation,” Mr Phillips said.




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