Adventure

A Definitive Guide To Australia’s Best Luxury Hotels

Taking time out is best done right: In luxury hotels, without compromise. Thankfully, these days you don’t have to go too far to find it. Accommodation choices for domestic decadence are only improving by the season here in Australia. Indulge in our state-by-state lookbook of some of the country’s best luxury hotels, and get inspired for your next getaway.

Victoria

The Windsor Hotel

Photo: The Windsor Hotel/Facebook

The Windsor is slated to become the city’s first six-star accommodation facility (no matter the fact that no official category exists).

Among the modern trimmings, the revamped 279-suite hotel will be adorned with a three-level Presidential Penthouse with private lift access, a spa, and outdoor terraces overlooking Parliament House. Not that Melbourne’s grand icon isn’t deserving of all the attention – built in 1883, the Windsor predates London’s Savoy, the Ritz in Paris, and Raffles in Singapore.

111 Spring Street, Melbourne, 3000

QT

QT Melbourne Photo: QT Melbourne

QT is a new design-driven, high-end boutique hotel located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Eccentricity and innovation fuses with accommodation decadence here, an invigorating and vibrant hotel experience encompassing 188 luxe suites, two vibrant in-house restaurants, an uber-chic rooftop bar and (for the sweet tooths) an artisan cake store. Arguably Melbourne’s freshest and most definitive standard in urban art hoteling.

133 Russell Street, Melbourne, 3000

The Olsen

The Olsen, Melbourne. Photo: Art Series Hotel Group The Olsen, Melbourne. Photo: Art Series Hotel Group

Jewel in the eye of the upscale Art Series Hotel Group, The Olsen has become a prime magnet for South Yarra’s fly-by-night glitterati, a premier boutique setup encompassing 224 luxury suites with walls and lobby beautified by the imagery of revered landscape artist John Olsen. A cultural infusion, as well as one of the most sought after accommodation spots in the state.

637-641 Chapel Street, South Yarra, 3141

Jackalope

Photo: Jackalope/Facebook

When a fresh hotel takes out three gongs in the 2017 Gourmet Traveller Hotel Awards (including Hotel of the Year), one pays attention. Tasmania’s eclectic MONA inspired the vision behind 29-year-old entrepreneur Louis Li’s Jackalope: a $40 million art hotel set on pristine vineyard acreage in Mornington Peninsula’s Merricks North. Jackalope’s 46 designer dens are billed as “a delicate interplay between the ideal and surreal,” with luxury at every trimming and turn. Premium never looked this good.

166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North, Mornington Peninsula, 3926


New South Wales

Byron at Byron Resort and Spa

In case you needed one more excuse to choose Byron Bay as your next getaway refuge, Byron at Byron Resort and Spa ought to seal the deal. Set among 45 acres of sub-tropical forest, the resort maintains an air of decadent isolation while remaining conveniently close to the town centre. The in-house spa packages and complimentary yoga will extend that decadence meter to unparalleled levels of release.

77-97 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay

Halcyon House

 

A golden strip situated halfway between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, Cabarita Beach’s Halcyon House is a nod to the Australian beach motels of yesteryear, fused with a chic, modern aesthetic. Encompassing the best of the northern NSW coast, this a stunning boutique hotel located just a minute’s walk from the Cabarita sands, offering exciting, individually designed suites in a laid-back, luxury setting.

21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach, 2488

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

Photo: Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa/Facebook

The Emirates-bankrolled One & Only imprint has built a reputation for delivering some of the most sought after luxury accommodation facilities in the world. Its Wolgan Valley outpost located in the Greater Blue Mountains just three hours drive from Sydney is up there with the most impressive luxury hotels in Australia. Charles Darwin was particularly taken by this property and its homestead on a visit back in 1836. A modernised extrapolation of the heritage site, Wolgan Valley has come a long way since: a colonial time capsule, and an internationally acclaimed regional treasure.

2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains, 2790


Queensland

Qualia

Photo: Qualia

To label Qualia simply ‘world-class’ fails to reflect the nigh-on otherworldly perfection of this revered Great Barrier Reef icon. A sentient adults-only experience, rejuvenation comes from simply looking at pictures of this resort. Qualia’s lavish suites overlooking bushrocks and eucalypt, not to mention the yachts and teal waters of the shimmering Whitsundays, are pure food for the soul.

20 Whitsunday Boulevard, Whitsundays, 4803

Bedarra Island Resort

Photo: Bedarra Island Resort

If you’re truly keen to disappear, then Bedarra ought to run high on your escape list. A privately owned resort island off the Queensland coast in the heart of Family Islands National Park, Bedarra is an all-inclusive offshore haven, a brand of luxury designed for those who love to laze in style. Beachside twilights, sweet seclusion, and stunning turquoise waters await.

Bedarra Island, Mission Beach, 4852


Australian Capital Territory

Ovolo Nishi

When did the Australian Capital Territory get this cool? (We’re thinking, perhaps, not long after Ovolo Nishi entered stage right). Adorned with clay-rendered walls, salvaged oak beds and overhead rain showers, each of its 68 suites are uniquely designed according to four categories: Cosy, Original, Creative, or Meandering.

NewActon Nishi, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra, 2601


Western Australia

COMO the Treasury

This 48 room contemporary hotel in Perth’s newly revitalised historic heart redefines urban luxury in Western Australia. A class act all the way, COMO The Territory is corniced suites with balconies, in-house restaurants, a bar, lounge and library making it a luxe and elegant choice for the Western Australian wanderer.

1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth, 6000

Berkeley River Lodge

Photo: Berkley River Lodge

On the Berkeley River overlooking the Timor Sea, Berkeley River Lodge’s luxurious white villas dotted across scorched dunes is a scene-stealing vision. Accessible only by air, you’ll be leaving civilisation well and truly behind with this trek to the remote Kimberley. But fret not: modern comfort awaits – an incredible fusion of ‘barefoot’ luxury and wild disconnect. Suffice to say, nothing like this exists anywhere else on the planet.

Berkley River, The Kimberley, 6740


South Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge

Photo: Great Southern Lodge/Facebook

Located on a rugged, secluded cliff-face in South Australia’s eco-diverse Kangaroo Island, Southern Ocean Lodge is a multi-award winning lodge featuring 21 exclusive, bespoke-furnished suites with spectacular views of the Southern Ocean. The praise frequently directed at Southern Ocean Lodge is beyond justified – this one ought to command the bucket list.

Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote, 5223

Arkaba Station

Photo: Arkaba Station/Facebook

Wild Bush Luxury Resorts made a lasting contribution to the South Australian tourism scene when it refurbished Flinders Ranges’ heritage Arkaba Homestead. And by ‘exclusive’, we mean exclusive. Only 10 lucky visitors at a time get to experience this rich, pastoral estate set on 60,000 acres of spectacular private wildlife conservancy. The nexus of Australian bush ecology and high-end luxury.

Old Wilpena Road, Hawker, 5434


Tasmania

Saffire Freycinet

Photo: Saffire Freycinet

Not long ago Tasmania was routinely overlooked for the tourism menu of the mainland. Today, the southern island is vibing with cultural drawcards like MONA’s Dark Mofo Festival and world-class accommodation choices. Leading the pack is Saffire Freycinet, an immaculate modern resort overlooking the dramatic Hazards Mountains and sparkling waters of Great Oyster Bay. Restorative, unforgettable, next-level luxury.

2352 Coles Bay Road, Coles Bay, 7215


Northern Territory

Longitude 131°

Longitude 131° is a balanced equation: equal parts romance, eco-friendly bush wanderlust, and uncompromising rustic luxury. Facing dramatic Uluru on the edge of the UNESCO protected Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Longitude 131° makes for a deeply enchanting red-earth experience. For next-level luxury, opt for the architecturally designed premium Dune Pavilion, replete with private plunge pool for balmy, red desert afternoons.

Yulara Drive, Yulara Northern Territory, 0872


(Lead portrait image: Halcyon House / Lead article image: Longitude 131)

This article originally appeared on The Upsider.