The New Australian Hotel Openings We Can’t Wait to Visit

From a sun-soaked 19th-century winery farmhouse to a dune-flanked Rottnest Island resort, these are the best new hotels to book in the just-reopened Oz.

G'day? We'd say so. After having closed its borders to the outside world in March 2020, Australia is finally reopening. And, after two years of being starved of Aussie sunshine, we're first in the queue for a flight down under. Keen to reacquaint ourselves with the county's wave-kissed sands, stretching summers and free-flowing friendliness, we've rounded up all the low-down on the freshest new stays that opened while we were locked out.

Whether you're looking for a design-led dream stay or a sun-dappled rural retreat, these are the addresses to book now that Oz is back in business.

Return Trip: Our Pick of the Best New Australian Hotels

Bedroom at the Ace Hotel Sydney
Image credit: Anson Smart


Ace Hotel Sydney

Sydney, New South Wales

Everyone's favourite mid-century maestro is launching down under. The first Ace Hotel south of the equator isn't quite ready to go (you'll be able to book from May), but, as one of Australia's biggest openings this year, we're adding it to our must-visit list. Unsurprisingly, the first Ace on Aussie soil is located in Surry Hills, the leafy stomping ground of Sydney's creative set. You'll find the group's signature modernist lines and playful use of hyperlocal references at work in all 264 bedrooms in this revamped old brick factory. Expect a colour palette that channels the sun-kissed colours of Australia's cinematic landscapes - all ochre carpets reminiscent of red deserts and eucalyptus-coloured sofas - and custom-made furniture by Surrey Hills artisans, alongside classic Ace Hotel touches (hello, acoustic guitars).


47 Wentworth Ave, Sydney, NSW 2000

Bedroom at Hotel Ravesis, Bondi Beach, Australia


Hotel Ravesis

Bondi Beach, New South Wales

Venturing into the pastel-accented interiors of this Bondi beauty, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd wandered into an influencer's private nirvana: every corner of the intimate Hotel Ravesis offers an Instagram-worthy shot, from its shell-pink arched windows framed by banana-yellow curtains to the Love Hearts-toned selection of sofas and zany headboards. With a prime location on the corner of Campbell Parade, it's one of Bondi Beach's few beachfront hotels. Book an oceanview room to make the most of your Juliet balcony, then spend days padding across Bondi's golden sands and practising your kickflips at the nearby skate bowl, before heading to the hotel's first-floor balcony for a sunset tasting of chef Peter Streckfuss's seafood menu. Insider tip: the Sydney rock oysters and kingfish crudo are a heavenly match for the Yarra Valley pinot gris.


118 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

Lounge at the Couch House, Hillenvale in South Australia
Image credit: Jonathan van der Knaap / @jvdkphoto


The Coach House at Hillenvale by Hither & Yon

McLaren Vale, South Australia

When we heard that the viticulturist brothers behind the regeneratively farmed Hither & Yon winery had opened rooms at their McLaren Vale vineyard, it shot straight to the top of our wish list. Richard and Malcolm Leask's commitment to making theirs South Australia's first carbon neutral wine brand had already caught our attention, but the rugged elegance of this serene retreat has us longing for sun-soaked evenings spent on the decked terrace, a bottle of their throaty shiraz to hand, enjoying the uninterrupted views of rolling arable land grazed by sheep - and the odd kangaroo. Situated between the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, the secluded Coach House has been smartly dressed in a fresh country aesthetic. A second property, The Homestead, is set to open later this year. Expect a rambling 19th-century farmhouse that sleeps 10 guests.


194 Cut Hill Rd, Kangarilla, SA5157

Bedroom at Osborn House, NSW, Australia


Osborn House

Bundanoon, New South Wales

Fresh from masterminding west London's Soho House design, Linda Boronkay has switched White City for Australia's Southern Highlands, dreaming up effortlessly chic interiors for this fresh-out-the-blocks 22-key stay. Just two hours' drive from Sydney (that's practically next door in Aussie distances), the intimate homestead sits in the quaint 1930s holiday retreat of Bundanoon, a perennially popular weekend stop for well-heeled Sydney residents. We can't wait to join bushwalkers making tracks to the majestic Fitzroy Falls, before loosening tired limbs in the hotel's sauna. The general vibe? Rustic Oz, refreshed - think characterful features and hand-sourced vintage furniture paired with bohemian rugs and red velvet sofas. For dinner, head out to find the stone cottage-ensconced Eschalot in nearby Berrima, whose elegant European plates have been sending appreciative whispers along the eucalyptus-lined roads.


96 Osborn Ave, Bundanoon, NSW 2578

The beach at Samphire Rottnest on Rottnest Island, Australia


Samphire Rottnest

Rottnest, Western Australia

With a prime position on the ivory sands of Rottnest Island's Thompson Bay, this airy 80-room stay is an architecturally striking new landmark on the West Aussie coast. We're not ones to normally seek out resort-style stays, but Samphire is radiating strong secret-Ibiza vibes. Interiors are dreamy, echoing the island's sun-bleached shorelines, with generously sized bedrooms all dressed up in jute, taupe-toned linen, pale-wood panelling and polished concrete floors. We'd happily laze away days beside the pool, sipping rum-spiked coconut water, but to ignore the dune-ridged isle just a stone's throw from your doorstep would be a mistake. Lying 18km off the Perth coastline, Rottnest is a protected nature reserve, home to gangs of rowdy sea lions and famously playful quokkas. Indulge your inner adventurer on a hiking tour across dazzling sands, catch waves at Strickland Bay, then take a seat at the hotel's Lontara restaurant for island scallops and a glass of blushing rosé.


1 Bedford Ave, Rottnest Island, WA 6161

The Blue Water Motel, Kingscliff, Australia


Blue Water Motel

Kingscliff, New South Wales

Lounging on a serene stretch of the New South Wales coastline, this Kingscliff stay has recently been tastefully tarted up with a fresh lick of paint. It's not the first motel in the area to be revamped, but - shh, whisper it - it's our favourite refresh. With a cream Cadillac parked out front and striped pastel-blue awnings to match the walls, guests can expect to be swept along on a fully pumped nostalgia trip down Highway 101. Inside, designer Jason Grant has reconstituted the 1950s-Americana mood by pairing retro motel touches with his signature Aussie take on coastal cool. Rooms have noticeably off-white walls and mustard-yellow accents, offering warmth in a sea of beachy hues. You'll also find individually selected artworks by emerging creatives in each of the 17 suites, with colourful prints hanging alongside humorous curios (case in point, the Olivia Newton John record). The result? A breezy stay that doesn't take itself too seriously and that fits effortlessly into the surrounding neighbourhood (and we don't think the decorative pelicans in the lobby would disagree).


129 Kingscliff St, Kingscliff NSW 2487

A bedroom at Warders Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia
Image credit: Matt Crawford


Warders Hotel

Fremantle, Western Australia

After hearing rumours of a new urban polestar, we're making Perth's free-spirited neighbour our first pit stop when we touch down in West Australia. Squeezed between Swan River and the Indian Ocean, the low-fi port town of Fremantle harbours waterside breweries, laid-back eateries and a game-changing recent hotel opening. Set in a quad of diminutive limestone cottages, with a buzzy restaurant downstairs, there's a decided nod to heritage in the otherwise crisp-cut interiors at this chilled-out stay. Original features, like the old building's timber bones and grey stonework, have been neatly slipped between dusty blue panelling, exposed copper piping and mid-century furnishings. On the walls, the imagined lives of 1850s women are captured in original artworks by local artist Tessa McKay. Ponder their tales over an evening aperitivo at the navy-washed bar, then head out to explore Fremantle's sultry nighttime geography.


19-29 Henderson St, Fremantle, WA 6160

A bedroom at The Calile Hotel in Brisbane, Australia
Image credit: Sean Fennessy


The Calile Hotel

Brisbane, Queensland

We know, we know: Brisbane's peachy palace was a pre-pandemic opening. But The Calile had barely flung open its gorgeous doors before our plans to permanently resettle in this ice-cream-coloured modernist castle were rudely put on ice by the dreaded C-word. Hence, we're adding it to this list, and heading straight to Heathrow for the first flight bound for Brisbane to check into our pistachio-green suite inside the seven-story brutalist building. Interiors-wise, we're swooning. The Calile pairs a smorgasbord of textures du jour (think cork, concrete and brushed brass) with pastel pops, swooping architectural flourishes and acres of marble, fast-tracking the urban retreat into the running for Australia's most-snapped stay. Grab your shades, flop onto a lounger by the Insta-famous pool and order a Basil Highwall. This was worth the wait.


48 James St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006

A bedroom at Elysian Retreat


Elysian Retreat

Whitsundays, Queensland

Locked down in our London flats, glaring out at a rain-dashed sky, our wildest daydreams looked a little like Elysian Retreat. We'd barely had a chance to scope out the 2019 revamp of this pioneering eco-friendly resort before closed borders left us stuck 15,000km further than we'd like to be from its off-grid location. But that's all changed now. Lolling on the Edenic sands of Long Island's southern tip, the secluded Elysian takes just 20 guests at a time. Ensconced on a three-hectare site and hemmed between amazonite waters and emerald rainforests, the family-owned operation is a study in sustainability, being fully solar-powered and near-militant in curbing excessive use of water and power. These initiatives don't dampen the fun, though: a light footprint ensures activities such as snorkelling, paddling and enjoying treatments at the on-site spa get you back in step with the natural world without irrevocably changing it. Bookmark this as a post-pandemic indulgence you sorely deserve.


Long Island, Whitsundays, QLD 4801

Bedroom at The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney
Image credit: Nikki To


The Old Clare Hotel

Chippendale, New South Wales

Housed in a former brewery in Sydney's inner-city Chippendale neighbourhood, this 69-room crash pad is switching up the modernist monopoly that's long dominated Aussie hotel aesthetics. The Old Clare is a design chimera - half a tribute to the building it occupies, half an avant-garde experiment in post-Instagram interiors - and we're here for it. Superking beds take pride of place in contemporary split-level rooms, while heritage wood panelling lines grandiose suites. Industrial equipment hangs from crisp-white loft walls, with photographic prints filling unplastered stretches. It's a marriage of contradictions, knitted together by luxe bathrooms and homely in-room offerings (think artisan candles and a quirky mini bar). Our two Aussie cents? It's a refreshing development in the country's hotel scene - and an Old Fashioned from the downstairs bar will ease your appreciation of the vision further still.


1 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW 2008

The Sunseeker, Byron Bay
Image credit: James Tolic


The Sunseeker

Byron Bay, New South Wales

Sporting Byron's salt-tossed surf aesthetic, The Sunseeker motel pays nostalgic tribute to this eminent beach enclave. "Low-key" and "laid-back" are descriptions applied to many Aussie beach stays, but in the case of this 2021 opening, we're happy to concur. Nestled within a thick cocoon of tropical gardens, The Sunseeker's colour-splashed retro bungalows, tiki-inspired pool bar and relaxed coffee kiosk (housed inside an old caravan) serve up golden, Tulum-like vibes. Founders Jess and Dave Frid have made it their mission to celebrate Byron's creative community by utilising a circle of craftspeople to provide bespoke furnishings and unique curios in each of the spacious family suites and retro rooms. The result? A dizzying, collage-like whole that balances a lo-fi surf shack ambience with high-octane eclecticism. Trust us, it works.


100 Bangalow Rd, Byron Bay, NSW 2481

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