Pittwater, Sydney, floating holiday home rebuilt after fire
The fact that eight years of passionate work literally went up in smoke could defeat the most tenacious dreamers.
But for the couple who opened Lilypad, a floating luxury villa moored in Pittwater off glamorous Palm Beach in Sydney’s northern beaches, in 2018, the fire that destroyed it in 2020 made them dream more strong.
“It took us all these years of hard work, designing, securing the site, meeting all the required technical specifications, etc., so that we could have a registered commercial charter vessel. Losing it was devastating”, says Chuck Anderson, co-owner of Lilypad. who, along with his wife, Ashlea Watkins, had already planned to do more floating accommodations.
So when they had to start over, they “knew we wanted to come back, but we didn’t want to go back to where we were. We wanted to come back with something bigger and better”.
The result is Lilypad Mark Two, docked in the same place, but amplified on its predecessor on all fronts. Think of a cross between a superyacht and a tiny house – but not so tiny. It has a bedroom on the mezzanine – as is the case with small houses – but the kitchen, for example, is larger than many apartments and is equipped with a Vintec wine fridge.
The bathroom is also no ordinary boat or tiny house latrine, and there is an infrared sauna as well as an outdoor shower and a private diving and mooring platform.
Lilypad’s foundation is a pontoon base with catamaran-style underwater mechanisms for stability and strength. Anderson’s inspirations stem from a background in marine engineering, as well as a childhood dotted with family boating vacations spent criss-crossing Pittwater.
The durable pitched-roof living room has a Mediterranean and Pueblo aesthetic, and comes with glamorous inclusions and chargeable additions. Gourmet meals and a bottle of champagne are offered, but you can, for example, bring a chef on board as well as a masseuse. For more noise, check the box for a seaplane arrival.
Lilypad can accommodate two people – and it’s already seen a marriage proposal or two – but it’s also capable of seating 12 for a seated meal or 18 for a standing function.
Anderson says there’s a booking for a “getaway wedding” on the books. Too bad for those who are missing from this guest list.