The best of the Northern Territory; boutique hotels and refurbished gems plus a few new places to stay.

Fresh out of the Wrapper

Toga Development / /
Medina Apartments & Vibe Hotel // Taking the shape of an oyster, Darwin’s new waterfront development may just be the stunning pearl the city needs to transform its image of a dusty pioneer outpost with few hot hotels, despite its rapidly growing population. Two new hotels, a funky Vibe and an apartment-style Medina, will soon make an appearance along the waterfront. Billed to become a lively hub for businesspeople, tourists and locals, we hope this pearl will add some extra sparkle to Darwin’s newfound lustre.
Kitchener Drive, Darwin City Waterfront,
www.waterfront.nt.gov.au, www.togahotels.com.au

Mantra Pandanas //
The newest addition to Darwin’s hotel scene is upping the ante with its chic and contemporary design. Almost sleek and minimalist enough to be Japanese but with a tropical feel throughout its 336 rooms, a lagoon-style pool, great views of the setting sun, the funky East Meets West restaurant and Endota Day Spa complete the picture. From $167,
Knuckey Street, Darwin, 1300 987 604, www.mantra.com.au

NT Rumour Mill //
1. As we went to print, a site in Palmerston’s CBD slated for a 200-bedder went up for auction. Delia Lawrie, NT Minister for Lands and Planning: “We’d like to see it sooner rather than later – and we would expect to have a hotel open by the end of 2010.”
2. Darwin’s old Frontier Hotel might make way for a new hotel soon, which could include 220 suites, 28 serviced apartments and 56 private apartments.

AT’s Top Five – not new, not refurbed, just our favourites

1. Voyages Longitude 131° // Unsurpassed tented luxury within sight of Uluru.
2. Bamurru Plains // Like we said last year: “No phones, no TV, no exceptions.” Wet and wild in Kakadu’s far north.
3. Voyages Kings Canyon Resort // Expensive, but the rooms with giant spas are well worth it.
4. Mantra Pandanus // Modern apartment-style digs in the heart of Darwin.
5. Peppers Seven Spirit Bay // A way out bush experience on the Cobourg Peninsula in Arnhem Land.

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