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

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.

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

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


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


100 Bangalow Rd, Byron Bay, NSW 2481

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