10 OF AUSTRALIA'S COOLEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS
Some of the most unique retreats Australia has to offer, from urban escapes to beachside sanctuaries.
Australia’s boutique hotels are as incredible as the destinations in which you’ll find them. These stylish stays are more than just a place to rest; they’re destinations in their own right. Here are 10 of the country’s most enticing boutique hotels.
Where: Vaucluse, Sydney
Sitting right on the water in the exclusive suburb of Vaucluse, Watsons Bay Hotel gives you views of Sydney’s glistening harbour from a beautiful Hampton’s-style retreat. Watsons has a space for every occasion from conferences, corporate gatherings, launches, meetings and more. Meander downstairs to enjoy drinks and seafood at the hotel’s beach club, or venture a bit further. Mixing work and pleasure is the Watsons way, and the beautiful beachside venue offers no end of fun pursuits for groups to share: beach volleyball, stand-up paddle boarding, whale watching and wine tasting, to name a happy few. You’ll find some of Sydney’s best beaches nearby, including the hidden beach of Parsley Bay.
Where: Chippendale, Sydney
Built in the old sites of a brewery and pub, The Old Clare has been lovingly restored to create a quirky, industrial-style warehouse with reclaimed furnishings, exposed brick, and a rooftop pool and bar. There’s a variety of event spaces in the building for small meetings to gatherings of up to 100, including the rooftop bar – have a cocktail overlooking the city before heading out into the bustling hub of Chippendale, which is home to great dining options for groups at Automata and Olio.
Nestled right in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre, QT is the perfect place to stay for those who want to be a part of the action. There hotel has four event spaces with capacities from 17 boardroom-style to 60 standing, plus QT is home to one of Melbourne’s best bars, Secret Garden. Enjoy a drink on-site before heading to one of the city’s best restaurants. Chin Chin, Garden State Hotel and Supernormal (to name a few) are all within walking distance and each has private dining or event spaces available for groups.
Where: Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
Located in the heart of Fortitude Valley, the breezy, pastel-hued Calile Hotel has an atmosphere that instantly invokes a relaxed state of mind. From small-group meetings to poolside launches and conventions, Calile Hotel throws the cookie cutter out the window to create tailored event options for any number of people, from a handful to 500 attendees.
During downtime between incentive outings or conference sessions, groups can decompress at the hotel’s day spa, relax by the pool and enjoy modern Greek bites from Hellenika restaurant. You’re also on the doorstep of Brisbane’s nightlife, so if there’s a gap in the schedule, encourage your group to head out for a cocktail at Alfred & Constance, Finney Isles, and Savile Row.
Former jam factory turned boutique hotel, Henry Jones Art Hotel is Australia’s first dedicated art hotel. Inside, you’ll find modern artworks, exposed brick walls and wooden ceiling beams. The stylish spaces can be adapted for events ranging from intimate meetings to larger-scale conferences for 100-plus delegates. You have Hobart just outside the suites, so groups can venture out to extend their art experience at Mona – if it’s not already on the incentive program – wander through Hobart's historic waterfront or head to the local Salamanca Market.
Midnight Hotel – with its moody interiors, seductive Midnight Bar and European eatery Braddon Merchant – is an impressive inner-city stay. Located on the mezzanine level, all conference and event spaces and private boardrooms feature floor to ceiling windows, affording ample natural light and views to the surrounding neighbourhood. Because of its position in the eclectic suburb of Braddon, a tour of the neighbourhood is a must-do. Sample a craft beer at local microbrewery Bentspoke, spend an afternoon exploring Lonsdale Street and experience culinary creativity at its finest at eightysix, one of the city's top eateries.
Where: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Longitude 131° is an iconic luxury desert basecamp with spectacular views of Uluru. More wilderness pavilion than hotel, Longitude 131° is an unforgettable experience, with 16 grand bell tents contrasting the red sand of Australia’s outback. Groups can dine under the stars at Table 131°, unwind with native ingredients at the spa and take part in immersive cultural experiences like art classes and guided walks around Australia’s most famous rock. Explore the protected cultural and natural landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with vehicle options for up to 16 guests. An experience of immersive art installation, Field of Light laid out in front of Uluru is also a must.
Set in a heritage-listed Art Deco building, the Mayfair is a mix of old-world luxury and modern glamour. There’s a selection of elegant rooms perfect for events as well as the buzzy rooftop bar HENNESSY, which can also be hired exclusively, delicious buffet breakfasts and some top-notch Art Deco styling. It’s located in the epicentre of the city’s growing bar and restaurant scene, and delegates can easily walk to some of Adelaide’s best shopping areas.
Como The Treasury has been transformed from historic government building into an understated escape with king-size beds, oversized windows and a sky-high lap pool. Various event spaces can host anywhere from eight seated through to 120 for a cocktail function. Alternatively, after your event, groups can enjoy dinner at the rooftop restaurant Wildflower before stepping directly out into Perth’s city centre to enjoy a nightcap at The Flour Factory, Bar Lafayette, or Helvetica.
Where: East Fremantle, Perth
Sitting on the banks of the Swan River in Perth’s suburb of East Fremantle, the Tradewinds Hotel offers laidback luxury with a nod to a bygone era. Fully refurbished interiors open out into the bustle of Fremantle. A wide range of rooms and spaces make Tradewinds Hotel the ideal place for events for larger and smaller groups. Once you’re done, meander through the local markets and enjoy an early evening beer at Little Creatures, then take your group to dinner at one of Fremantle’s best restaurants including Moore & Moore, Bread in Common and Manuka Woodfire Kitchen.