Love Stories: Phoebe & James

Morris EscapesTeam 3·14 Feb, 2024

Meet Phoebe and James. If you’ve visited any one of our luxury lodges, there’s a chance you may recognise these friendly faces. Currently acting as the general managers of Beechmont Estate in the Gold Coast hinterland, James and Phoebe have worked at each of Northern Escape Collection’s lodges at one time or another over the past five years.

This husband and wife duo first met in 2013 whilst working at a hotel in Port Macquarie on the New South Wales coast. Phoebe was working during her university holidays and was set to return to her studies, but destiny had other plans. After meeting James and hitting it off, she decided that she didn’t want to be away from him and stayed working at the hotel. Fast forward five years and the pair married in 2018 at the very same hotel where they first met.

In late 2018, Phoebe and James joined Morris Escapes as Sous Chef (James) and Food and Beverage Attendant (Phoebe) at tropical island paradise, Orpheus Island Lodge on the Great Barrier Reef. The couple’s dedication and talent meant that within a few months, Phoebe was promoted to restaurant manager, and together they worked through COVID until they reached the next milestone in their love story, purchasing their first home together in 2020.

After a brief break Phoebe and James returned to the collection, first to Orpheus Island Lodge where James was promoted to head chef before taking on general manager roles at Daintree Ecolodge in the World-Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. Not long after, James and Phoebe welcomed their firstborn, a little boy named Luca, into the world in 2023.

After spending some precious time together with their families, they embarked on a new chapter venturing into the Queensland outback to take on the responsibility of managing the luxurious Mt Mulligan Lodge – with little nine-week-old Luca in tow.

Phoebe, James and Luca at Mt Mulligan Lodge

“We are so fortunate to be able to have Luca full-time in the office with us. He has always been surrounded by lots of different faces, he can sleep through anything and is the best team mascot. He absolutely loves the attention of all the staff. At Mt Mulligan he goes by the name Baby Boss.” Phoebe says.

Mt Mulligan Lodge closed for renovations over the 2023/2024 wet season which bought the pair a little further down south to Beechmont Estate where they’ve spent the past four months working as general managers in the heart of the Scenic Rim.

“We love being a part of people’s lifelong memories, it’s what drives us to be better every day in the work we do,” Phoebe says.

“I think having the backgrounds that we do in food and beverage in the hotel industry really helps us to be able to support our team to create the best experiences possible for our guests.”


Phoebe, James and Luca will return to Mt Mulligan Lodge for the re-opening in late March.

“Mount Mulligan is such a beautiful sacred place. We believe it’s one of the best luxury lodges in Australia, and we’re excited to keep pushing the property forward and exceeding guests’ expectations whilst indulging them in a truly immersive experience” James says.

“We are looking forward to heading back out to Mulligan; it holds a special place in our hearts, and to get to raise Luca in that environment is truly amazing. He already has a fascination with ATVs and helicopters and all the staff are looking forward to seeing him after a few months since the closure.

“We can’t wait to welcome guests back to the property and show them this spectacular part of the country.”

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