From city stays to reef breaks, Crystalbrook proves you can have your dose of luxury and travel lightly too.
There’s nothing better than a long weekend away. From big sleep-ins to leisurely walks exploring new places, and the simple pleasure of sipping a drink al fresco as the sun goes down, long weekends aren’t just a break from routine, they’re a chance to soothe the soul and indulge in a little self-care. The good news? As well as being luxurious, they can also be sustainable. From spending the night at Crystalbrook Collection, which is focused on responsible luxury accommodation, to dining at farm-to-table restaurants to experiencing your surroundings in a way that gives back to the community, here’s where to do it.
Cairns is the gateway to both the reef and the rainforest of Tropical North Queensland. Here, Crystalbrook has three purpose-built hotels and resorts designed to meet the needs of different travellers: the lively Crystalbrook Flynn on the Esplanade with two glass-bottomed pools and three levels of restaurants and bars, the art-inspired Crystalbrook Bailey, and the luxe Crystalbrook Riley Resort, with its 1000 sqm pool and man-made beach.
Relax in the decadent pools of Crystalbrook Riley. (Image: TEQ)
When the heat rises in Cairns, there are plenty of places to cool off – including the dazzling hotel pools. Head out for a day of snorkelling and storytelling on the Great Barrier Reef with Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel. North of Cairns, swim, snorkel and float along a river through the rainforest with Back Country Bliss Adventures, or frolic under the cascades at Fairy Falls, one of a number of waterfalls found in the Hinterland
Float along the Daintree River with Back Country Bliss Adventures. (Image: TEQ)
Come nightfall, take in an experience on Country with Mandingalbay Indigenous Tours, before watching the sunset over the Coral Sea from Rocco, Cairns’ tallest rooftop bar. Indulge in new twists on classic seafood dishes with a side of rum at the newly opened tropical Calypso Club, or dine on produce-driven dishes, at the award-winning CC’s Bar and Grill.
Enjoy a tipple at Cairns’ tallest rooftop bar. (Image: TEQ)
See a piece of history reimagined, refreshed and renewed in Brisbane. The new Howard Smith Wharves lifestyle and dining precinct has transformed the Brisbane Waterfront, bringing a new chapter to the city. Wrapped along the waterfront and situated under the iconic Story Bridge, the five-star Crystalbrook Vincent brims with energy. Inside, you’ll find more than 500 artworks and prints lining the walls by artist Vincent Fantauzzo; outside, guests have stunning views over the Brisbane River to the CBD.
Relax in the arty vibes of Crystalbrook Vincent. (Image: TEQ)
Make the most of the warm weather by walking the waterfront to South Bank museums and art galleries, climbing the iconic Story Bridge with Story Bridge Adventure Climb, or rock climbing at nearby Kangaroo Point. Further afield, head to the West End or Fortitude Valley to explore some of the city’s best neighbourhoods.
Start your day at Mews, which has a seasonal all-day brunch menu, and end it by unwinding over cocktails from the buzzing rooftop bar Fiume, with views across the Brisbane River and CBD.
Swim at the hotel pool, or pop over to Fiume under the iconic Story Bridge (Image: TEQ)
3. Byron Bay
Everybody loves Byron Bay; but for respite from the crowds and a real investment in serenity, stay at the Crystalbrook Byron. Here, suites are located down a series of winding, open-air boardwalks, along which you’ll occasionally glimpse an echidna in the brush or a koala snoozing in the treetops on the way to your room.
Wander the winding, boardwalks of Crystalbrook Byron.
Cut through the bush to reach the shores of Tallows Beach, take a walk on the hotel grounds through over 18 hectares of untouched sub-tropical rainforest with Indigenous Elder Delta Kay, or tread the path uphill to the Cape Byron Lighthouse for whale, dolphin and turtle spotting. Those keen for a tipple can head to the hills to try the whisky and gin at Cape Byron Distillery or indulge in a pint at Stone & Wood.
Eat dinner at the open-air restaurant Forest, with a menu built around ingredients sourced within a three-hour drive; and a wine list featuring more than 30 sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines.
Indulge your tastebuds at Forest.
With its mix of coastal charm, industrial roots and growing reputation as a cultural hub, Newcastle is cool again. And the city’s first five-star hotel, Crystalbrook Kingsley, has been a big part of that. Revamping the iconic brutalist council building with design nods to the area’s mining history. Inside, the hotel’s approach is sophisticated and unique.
Book into the cool Crystalbrook Kingsley.
During the day, walk Newcastle’s break wall and head up to the Nobbys-Whibayganba headland, where the Lighthouse cottages have become an art space; enjoy high tea at Ms Mary, swim in the iconic ocean pools or walk the Bathers Way coastal walk. At night see a show at the Civic Theatre.
Swim in the iconic ocean pools. (Image: DNSW)
For dinner, take in the sweeping views from Roundhouse, a glass-encased rooftop restaurant stop Crystalbrook Kingsley serving modern Australian cuisine, or grab a cocktail at Romberg’s.
Grab a cocktail at Romberg’s.
From a former convent to a boutique hotel, Crystalbrook Albion offers guests a different experience of Sydney. With just 35 rooms and located in the thick of the hip Surry Hills bar and restaurant scene, the hotel is perfectly situated to explore the suburb’s designer boutiques, art galleries and theatres, including the unmissable Brett Whiteley Studio and Flinders Street Gallery. Catch a show at Belvoir Street Theatre and be sure to browse through the concentration of vintage clothing stores spread throughout the neighbourhood.
Enjoy the hip Surry Hills bar and restaurant scene. (Image: DNSW)
If you’re feeling hungry, grab a breakfast pastry (or two) from the hotel’s lobby, indulge in some Middle Eastern cuisine at restaurant Shaffa (conveniently located next door to the hotel), stop in for flavour-packed dishes at Bar Copains or dine on wood-fired delights at Firedoor.
Dine on wood-fired delights at Firedoor. (Image: DNSW)
Surry Hills has some impressive old-school pubs, from the Cricketers Arms to the Clock Hotel, but be sure to first grab a tipple from the Crystalbrook Albion G&T trolley each afternoon after five, heading up to the rooftop terrace to take in the sunset over the Sydney skyline.