Today (November 24, 2014): Top 10 most luxurious hotels, resorts & lodges in Australia.
Australia, also known as Oz or the land Down Under, seemingly has it all. With cosmopolitan cities like Melbourne and Sydney, magnificent beaches, virgin rainforests, and the unforgiving Outback, it does not fail to impress and guarantees the trip of a lifetime. The famous landmarks of the Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock (Uluru) are on every tourist’s bucket list, which – most likely – includes spotting some of Australia’s intriguing wildlife as well, ranging from utterly cute (penguins, koalas and wallabies) to extremely dangerous (crocs, sharks, and snakes). But go off the beaten track in the absolute desolation of Kakadu’s wetlands and the unspoiled wilderness in Tasmania, and you will discover what Oz is really about. I hereby present you my top 10 of the best hotels, resorts & lodges in Australia, that should be on the bucket list of every discerning traveler when visiting Down Under.
There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Australian hotel, resort or lodge in the comments section, or take my poll below!
Bamurru Plains is located just to the west of Kakadu National Park on the Mary River floodplains, a 2.5 hour drive or 30 minute flight from Darwin. A profusion of bird and wildlife are on the doorstep of a unique bush lodge that brings a touch of style to the discovery of a remote and beautiful wilderness. The lodge is the perfect place to look for wallabies, dingos, wild pigs, water buffalo, and crocodiles.The private safari suites are an ideal place to relax and romance, and all come with an extremely comfortable bed, high pressure shower, and deluxe linens. During the heat of the day the cooling waters of the infinity pool beckon and later the lounging deck is the ideal place to watch wildlife graze through the camp. An expert chef conjures up delicious meals, peppered with local ingredients.
- Hotel website: Bamurru Plains
Qualia’s distinctive style combined with its intuitive service makes it a luxurious resort on world-class standards. The resorts sun-drenched location on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island provides the ideal location to appreciate the passing beauty of each day, with a choice of 60 extremely private individual pavilions, many of which have a private plunge pool and natural touches like outdoor showers. Facilities include two serene pools, a fitness centre, a library, private dining room, two bars and restaurants exclusive to in-house guests, offering fine, fresh and innovative food by the Executive Chef. Guests may indulge and unwind at the stunning Spa qualia, or play at Australia’s only island championship golf course, the Hamilton Island Golf Club, with stunning 360 degree views of the Whitsunday Islands from every hole.
- Hotel website: Qualia Great Barrier Reef
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and sunset cruise).
Longitude 131° is a transcendent experience of discovery, located in the spirited heart of Australia. Facing majestic Uluru, the lodge commands spectacular views of the outback icon and World Heritage listed wilderness of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Crouched in the lee of a red sand dune and set among desert oaks and spinifex, the safari-like pavilions of Longitude 131° are dwarfed by the majesty of the landscape. Delve into the foundation of Anangu culture and explore this irresistible land and the stories of the traditional custodians. Luxurious and unfettered, Longitude 131° will make your senses come alive. And for the foodies: the lodge’s restaurants is amongst the best Down Under.
- Hotel website: Longitude 131°
- Other top 10 accolades: Longitude 131°also features in my top 10 list of the world’s most exclusive wilderness lodges.
- Review: click here to read my review of Longitude 131°.
Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa is located in a stunning riverside location adjoining one of the oldest living rainforests the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park, and is an ideal base from which to explore Far North Queensland. The Lodge has elegantly furnished interiors and spacious open lounge areas, bar, reading rooms with reference library. All accommodation retreats, located in Riverhouses and Treehouses, have wall to ceiling windows leading to spacious balconies with lush garden, rainforest or river panoramas. The advanced eco lodge comprises the renowned open sided Treehouse restaurant offering fine dining in scenic surrounds and the highly lauded Healing Waters Spa. The resort’s spectacular location offers opportunities for rainforest walks, complimentary use of canoeing and mountain biking equipment, swimming and sunbathing, all close at hand.
- Hotel website: Silky Oaks Lodge
Seated majestically on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, Park Hyatt Sydney perfectly personifies contemporary harbourside luxury with its coveted location between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Reminiscent of an exclusive harbourside residence, Park Hyatt Sydney offers intimate surrounds with architecture, art and design that reflect the Australian landscape. Highlights include 155 spacious guestrooms and suites with contemporary interiors and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to private balconies, some with stunning views of the Opera House. There’s a lot to love about Sydney’s most luxurious hotel, but the jewel in this hotel’s crown is the outdoor rooftop heated swimming pool, with spa, private sun-deck and cabanas. This is one very special place to swim, with sweeping views of the Harbour and city. Lie back on a poolside lounge and pinch yourself because you’re not dreaming.
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Sydney
- Other top 10 accolades: Park Hyatt Sydney also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most spectacular hotel rooftops, the world’s most spectacular rooftop pools, the world’s most luxurious large city hotels, the world’s best luxury hotels, and hotels loved by celebrities.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in and late check-out).
- Review: click here to read my review of the Park Hyatt Sydney.
Located a short flight from Australia’s east coast and celebrated as the pinnacle of luxury on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, Capella Lodge rests atop romantic Lovers Bay, at the foot of the imperious mountain twins rising dramatically above. An inspired architectural design welcomes spectacular views of the ocean, reef and mountains into the Lodge. Capella’s nine contemporary island-style suites are designed to complement Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment. Inspired by the carefree spirit of the authentic Australian beach house, suites feature lavish king beds, beach-chic furnishings and generous decks: this is barefoot luxury at its best. Fine dining in the Lodge Restaurant showcases a bounty of local seafood and fresh regional produce. Guests can also unwind in the petite Capella Spa with its menu of signature treatments for complete relaxation.
- Hotel website: Capella Lodge
Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is set amidst the stunning scenery of the rugged Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, enjoying inspiring views of the dramatic scenery. The resort is built around a fully restored homestead and nestles within its own private conservation and nature reserve. Encompassing 40 free-standing luxury suites, each with its own private terrace and swimming pool, the resort was built using today’s cutting edge technology and yet perfectly echoes the original heritage architecture, allowing it to blend seamlessly with the vastness and dramatic beauty of the Australian bush. The Timeless Spa experience is second to none and offers a broad selection of holistic therapies from around the world. Since 2015, Emirates has appointed One&Only Resorts, one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands in the world, to manage the highly acclaimed luxury resort.
- Hotel website: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in, and late check-out).
Tasmania is a wild and diverse frontier on land and in its coastal waters, and Saffire Freycinet complements its grandiose surroundings instead of competing with them. Overlooking just 20 intimate suites is the main building; reminiscent of a bird in flight or stingray gliding across the seabed, the organic roof is constructed of curved Tasmanian wood, and sits atop huge windows looking out to the low-lying brush and coast. Sure, the view is great from your patio, but you’ll be encouraged to meet nature close-up. Explore the white sand beach in search of mussels, book a helicopter dining tour, take out a mountain bike in search of marsupials, or soak up some local cooking know-how.
- Hotel website: Saffire Freycinet
- Other top 10 accolades: Saffire Freycinet also features in my top 10 list of the world’s most exclusive wilderness lodges.
Southern Ocean Lodge is Australia’s first true luxury lodge, offering a unique and exclusive travel experience on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Floating atop a secluded cliff on a rugged stretch of coast, the lodge commands peerless views of the wild Southern Ocean and pristine surrounding wilderness. Come face-to-face with sea lions, kangaroos, and koalas at South Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, called “Australia’s Galapagos” for its abundant wildlife. The lodge’s 21 eco-chic luxury suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the incredible view, sunken lounges that are perfect for relaxing, sandblasted limestone floors, and furnished outdoor terraces.
- Hotel website: Southern Ocean Lodge
- Other top 10 accolades: Southern Ocean Lodge also features in my top 10 lists of the most spectacular hotel bathrooms in the world, the world’s most exclusive wilderness lodges, and the world’s most expensive hotels.
Located in the heart of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and set against the backdrop of the Coral Sea, Hayman Island – Australia’s iconic private island resort – is the northernmost of the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland. After a six month refurbishment of $80 million dollars by the One & Only Hotel group – one of the most luxurious hotel brands in the world – the resort reopened in July as the One&Only Hayman Island, making it one of the best new luxury hotels of 2014. The resort’s stylish elegance reflects the harmony with the astonishing surrounding natural beauty. One&Only reduced the room inventory from 210 to 160, arranged into Beach, Pool and Hayman wings, with almost half now configured as suites, villas or penthouses. Redesigned spaces and restaurants, new adult and family experiences, and the unrivalled One&Only service standards to Australia were also introduced by the legendary hotel group.
- Hotel website: One&Only Hayman Island
- Other top 10 accolades: The One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most exclusive private island resorts, the world’s best family hotels, and luxury hotels with spectacular helipads.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and one island escape for two).
- Review: click here to read my review of One&Only Hayman Island.