From our jaw dropping coastline, World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island or inland to the world’s second largest canyon, these luxury hotels, lodges and boutique stays present the best of NSW in all its glory.
Craving a modern Australian beach experience? Look no further than boutique hotel Halcyon House. In the coastal village of Cabarita Beach, this retreat fuses the original architecture of a 1960s Aussie beach motel with modern Australian design. Expect luxurious, low-key interiors by eminent Brisbane designer Anna Spiro in each of the 21 individually styled guest rooms and modern Australian cuisine at lauded in-house restaurant Paper Daisy.
If Byron Bay, 40min drive south, is calling your name, Raes on Wategos offers discreet service, an award-winning restaurant and seven luxurious suites in a dreamy Spanish Mission style villa. There are many more luxury options to be found in this celebrity favourite – try Elements of Byron, Byron at Byron, The Bower or Blackbird.
Follow the Humpback Highway along the coast and drink in the region’s abundant natural beauty at boutique Bannisters Port Stephens. This retro motel has been reimagined as a luxury retreat for foodies. The 78-room property includes four Hamptons-inspired suites, a penthouse, and 50 rooms with dreamy sea vistas by designer Romy Alwill, as well as the inhouse Rick Stein restaurant.
Barefoot days surrounded by extended family more your style? Salt at Shoal Bay is the ultimate beach house and epitome of coastal luxe across the road from arguably Port Stephens’ most beautiful beach.
Perched high on an escarpment among ancient angophoras and native eucalypts overlooking Bouddi National Park, Pretty Beach House embodies understated luxury. Sleeping just eight guests in luxury pavilions, expect plush interiors, bespoke pieces and artwork, private plunge pools, impeccable service and modern Italian cuisine by renowned chef Dean Jones.
Sister property Bells at Killcare nearby offers five star Hamptons style accommodation, a restaurant helmed by culinary director Sean Connolly, day spa and lap pool. Or stay in coastal luxe inspired apartments or a four-bedroom beach house with pool at the Boathouse Patonga.
Suspended theatrically on a volcanic headland is Dovecote where passing whales, dolphins, and the Pacific Ocean are showcased by immense frameless windows and an infinity pool in the show stopping four-bedroom, four-bathroom Headland House. The two-bedroom Escarpment is a more intimate yet no less luxe affair with plunge pool and views for days. Also nearby is Soul of Gerringong. Originally designed as a luxe seaside guesthouse, it’s morphed into the ultimate high-end beach house and is yours exclusively.
Just north of Nowra is Bangalay Luxury Villas, 16 gorgeous private villas tucked between national park and the Shoalhaven golf course. You’ll find two more luxurious Bannisters properties in the village of Mollymook – Bannisters by the Sea (with another in-house Rick Stein restaurant) and Bannisters Pavilion.
Set on 4,000 jaw-dropping acres of pristine natural wilderness within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley offers the eco adventure of a lifetime. There are ranger programs, field trips in all-terrain vehicles, luxurious suites plus a world-class spa and restaurant to boot.
The burgeoning food and wine town of Orange meanwhile, is home to the Byng Street Boutique Hotel where old is cleverly interlaced with new. While the traditional façade of the 1896 ‘Yallungah’ homestead sits proudly out front, to the rear is a striking juxtaposition by Sydney’s Mayoh Architects which melds sympathetically with its historic roots.
If high-end glamping sounds like your thing, Sierra Escape in Mudgee has three stylish eco tents set on a 280 acre property offering showstopping views and one of the best bathtubs in the country. In the Capertee Valley on the edge of the Blue Mountains, Bubbletent lets you sleep under the stars in complete comfort and seclusion.
Slip into island mode at the chic Asian inspired Arajilla Retreat on the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, 600km from Australia’s east coast. Check into one of 12 elegant suites tucked among a lush forest of kentia palms and ancient banyan trees. Explore the island on one of the resort’s free bicycles (the island’s main mode of transport) or catch a fish and the chef will cook it for you. Lord Howe is also home to renowned luxury property Capella Lodge. With just nine superlative suites, it’s the island’s most exclusive address.
NSW’s most unique luxury stays
Looking for a five-star stay with a difference? These one-of-a-kind properties will make for an unforgettable holiday.
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