Spend the night in the latest, greatest and most fabulous new stays in the country.
The Brisbane hotel scene just continues to grow: the first Westin in Queensland is open, with 299 guest rooms offering sweeping views from its prime position in the heart of the city, and a roster of health and wellness offerings, including a two-floor wellness centre, signature restaurants, two bars and resort-style facilities.
Opened: November 2018
Location: 111 Mary St, Brisbane City, QLD
Occupying a prime spot at the end of the iconic waterfront boardwalk in Cairns, Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort has presented the Queensland city with a fresh take on hospitality. Its 311 rooms and suites, most with balconies, are stylish and contemporary, and there’s a lagoon swimming pool with private man-made beach, spa, fitness centre, restaurants and a rooftop bar.
Opened: November 2018
Location: 131-141 Esplanade, Cairns, QLD
Spicers Retreats has added a second Hunter Valley property to its portfolio of luxury escapes: Spicers Guesthouse Retreat.
An 18-month, $20-million refurbishment has resulted in the historic property it’s housed in now offering 49 rooms, including a four-room standalone cottage, state-of-the-art conference facilities, large-scale event spaces and a private dining room with a stacked-stone fireplace and a spectacular floor-to-ceiling wall of wine.
Opened: November 2018
Location: 555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin, NSW
From its plum position on the constantly buzzing Campbell Parade, Hotel Ravesis has been providing gracious boutique accommodation for years. But while the exterior of the 1914 building had a pretty pick-me-up back in 2016, along with the on-site bar and restaurant, the revamp of its 12 rooms and suites was only unveiled this year.
The wait was definitely worth it though. Under the guidance of interior designer Carina Hicks, each has been given a sophisticated new focus, while at the same time echoing the property’s laid-back beachside setting.
Furniture pieces from Australian makers VELA Living and MCM House are offset with luxurious fabrics – tactile velvets and exuberant retro patterns – and arresting gold finishes. Walls are hung with works by local artists and vintage images of beachside playgrounds in the 1970s.
Other elements to get a refresh, courtesy of Killanoodle Design, were the mini bars (think bespoke gin blends, Italian mints and Marvis toothpaste)and in-room purchases – the green and pink tote bag is a must-have!
Opened: April 2018
Location: 118 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW
Personalisation is the buzzword in travel right now, and there’s nothing more personal than picking your own room at a boutique hotel.
The Collective, located in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Camperdown, doesn’t allocate rooms upon booking but allows guests to wander between them until they find something they like from among the 39 individually designed rooms that have been created by seven designers and 13 different artists; if the door is open then it’s up for grabs.
Opened: May 2018
Location: 9-13 Marsden St, Camperdown, NSW
Having opened its doors when Paul Keating was still prime minister (1994), Sydney’s venerable Sheraton on the Park was ready for a revitilisation ahead of its 25th anniversary, which is what it got in the form of a $40 million overhaul of its 510 guest rooms, 48 suites and Sheraton Club Lounge.
Interior designer Joseph Pang has combined modern design with classic elegance to give rooms a sophisticated residential feel, using lots of wood and leather layered in a calming colour palette of celadon and warm greys.
Opened: August 2018
Location: 161 Elizabeth St, Sydney, NSW
The newly refurbished Novotel Darling Square in Sydney is influenced by the nearby Chinese Garden of Friendship, and provides hop, skip and a jump access to the best dumpling restaurants in Chinatown and the buzz around the newly emerging Darling Square neighbourhood.
The 230 guest rooms have been made over, with shots of restive colour and fittings in tactile wood and leather, while downstairs the new lobby bar and restaurant serves up a menu abundant in fresh produce and healthy options.
Opened: February 2018
Location: 17 Little Pier St, Darling Harbour, NSW
A collection of 1960s grain silos on the banks of Launceston’s Tamar River have been reborn as Peppers Silo Hotel. Derelict for decades, there are now 108 guest rooms including 52 inside the original silos.
The hotel has also worked closely with Guide Dogs Tasmania to employ a Canine Ambassador, Archie. The black Lab lives at the hotel and helps concierge staff greet guests and deliver the morning newspapers.
Opened: June 2018
Location: 89-91 Lindsay St, Invermay, TAS
Located in the ACT’s cool-climate wine region, Abode Murrumbateman’s 50 light-filled studio rooms offer city style in bucolic rural surrounds.
The property has a guest lounge, the Abode Pantry, stocked with food, snacks, a selection of Canberra region wines, and a kitchen where guests can use local produce they’ve bought
while out and about (and there are bikes available for exploring).
Opened: March 2018
Location: 57 Rose St, Murrumbateman, NSW