If you ask us, the only thing that could make a beautiful hotel or resort better is if it’s got an amazing restaurant – luckily, Australia is blessed with plenty of great options. Foodies, you’re going to want to add a stay at these incredible spots to your travel plans…
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Halcyon House, NSW
A once-shabby roadside motel has been reborn as a gorgeous beachfront boutique hotel in little Cabarita, fast outpacing passé Byron Bay, the it-town that ate itself. Chef Ben Devlin spent a spell at Copenhagen’s temple of gastronomy, Noma, before returning home to the Land of Oz and taking the reins at Halcyon House’s arty, surf-chic eatery, Paper Daisy (pictured above). Enjoy a creative menu of sharing plates that make the most of fresh local produce, like locally grown coffee beans. The rooms, masterfully decorated, are exxy, but the sea views are priceless.
Jackalope Hotel, VIC
A spectacular Edwardian house, a vineyard, a hotel, two restaurants and a cracker of a bar (called, hilariously, Flaggerdoot), this gorgeous boutique joint is the height of urban chic plonked in the middle of exceptionally beautiful wine country. Think pared-down Scandi style with log piles, exposed brick, polished floors and wood-fired ovens. The hotel’s fine diner, Doot Doot Doot, draws from the onsite kitchen garden to create, contemporary fare, while the relaxed Rare Hare plays with smoke and fire. Delicious, delovely, delightful. Get a room.
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A jaw-dropping ‘bush sanctuary’ on the northern tip of Hamilton Island, qualia redefines luxury. Shimmering turquoise waters lap soft sandy beaches, providing an idyllic backdrop to this spa resort. Award-winning chef Doug Innes-Will presents modern fine dining with an emphasis on local seafood in the candlelit Long Pavilion. At the more relaxed Pebble Beach restaurant guests can enjoy Pacific Rim cuisine. In July the resort hosts the Great Barrier Feast, hosting top chefs for a series of masterclasses.
The Lake House, VIC
More than three decades have passed since chef Alla Wolf-Tasker asked local farmers to produce vegetables for her Daylesford restaurant. Today, her philosophy is echoed across the state, and the chef has earned legendary status. The Lake House is the extension of her vision, a waterside restaurant with 33 suites where foodies can rest after a feast. There’s a cooking school and a blissful spa, too.
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Capella Lodge, NSW
If this is paradise lost, we don’t want to be found. Lord Howe Island’s Capella Lodge sits in an impossibly romantic setting: jagged mountain peaks, spindly pines, palm-fringed beaches and crystal clear ocean. The landscape is pure Jurassic Park, but Capella Lodge is pure luxury, all bleached wood and glass, wide open vistas, frangipani trees and endless night skies. Chef Cooper Dickson’s pretty plates feature rocket flowers, oxalis and nasturtiums, and produce is fresh and local, harvested from local gardens. Rooms are serene, with rainshowers and plunge pools. Spend your time exploring the island or just lie on the beach in the lap of luxury.
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Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, NSW
This gorgeous country retreat in the famous Blue Mountains fuses urban chic with a rustic sensibility. Inside, it’s squashy sofas, natural stone, wooden floors and contemporary Federation-style suites with their own pool, while outside it’s panoramic views, gum trees, kangaroos and 7,000 acres of wilderness. Lunch in the relaxed Country Kitchen with communal tables and leather banquettes, and enjoy dinner in the impressive Wolgan Dining Room, offering organic produce, six-course tasting menus and a first-class wine list.
Looking for a dreamy place to stay in Australia? Find the perfect spot here