From heritage homes to converted breweries, Australia's most memorable hotels have one thing in common: a sense of style.
Australia's best boutique accommodation is never predictable. Whether you opt for a Melbourne hotel filled with museum-quality art, or a Canberra hideaway that showcases handcrafted design, these inviting properties offer a one-of-a-kind experience.
Ovolo Nishi, Canberra
Ovolo Nishi's striking cantilevered staircase has been a hit on Instagram, but this design-driven hotel also has plenty of other eye-catching features, from bedheads made of salvaged oak to felt-covered walls. The in-house restaurant, Monster Kitchen, is one of Canberra’s most exciting places to eat, but the lively entertainment precinct that surrounds the hotel also offers a good choice of drinking and dining venues.
The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney
Housed in two converted brewery buildings in the inner city neighbourhood of Chippendale, the cutting-edge Old Clare Hotel appeals to visitors who want to discover a different side of Sydney. Nearby attractions include the internationally acclaimed White Rabbit Gallery and the colourful Glebe Markets, while foodies can choose between the in-house restaurants and a rich selection of atmospheric Asian street stalls nearby.
Ovolo, Woolloomooloo, Sydney
When it comes to location, the waterfront Ovolo Woolloomooloo is hard to beat. The hotel is built into a heritage-listed wharf next to Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden, just a short stroll from the Opera House. Ovolo Woolloomooloo also scores highly for its sense of fun, with playful decor that features bold colours, goldfish prints and retro video games. Some of Sydney's best-loved restaurants are located in the same building.
QT Melbourne, Melbourne
Melbourne is often described as Australia's most European city, so it’s appropriate that QT Melbourne has a distinct European feel. The quirky QT hotel group is known for its cheeky sense of humour, so don’t be surprised if the elevator petulantly asks “Where are you going?” as you leave. Other QT trademarks include the intriguing art installations scattered around the hotel, and superb all-day dining.
The Olsen, Melbourne
Located on ever-lively Chapel Street, The Olsen showcases the work of one of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, John Olsen. Part of the Art Series hotels, The Olsen features an original mural in the lobby and museum-quality prints in the rooms. Olsen himself stays at the hotel whenever he visits Melbourne, so you may even bump into him in the lobby.
Spicers Balfour, Brisbane
With its semitropical climate and unhurried feel, Brisbane is one of Australia’s most laid-back cities, and at Spicers Balfour they take relaxation seriously. From leisurely breakfasts on the frangipani-fringed veranda to complimentary sunset canapés at the rooftop bar, there are plenty of opportunities to unwind. The hotel has just nine rooms and never feels crowded. If you feel like venturing out, the best of the city is within walking distance.
The Mayfair, Adelaide
At Adelaide’s Mayfair Hotel, it’s all about big city style, with a 1920s New York vibe that includes elegant Art Deco interiors, pressed tin ceilings and a swooping central staircase. The sleekly decorated rooms have supersized beds and bathrooms, with toiletries courtesy of Australian boutique brand Apelles. Some of the city's best bars and restaurants are just a short stroll away.
The Islington, Hobart
Hobart’s charm lies in the meeting of old and new, with heritage buildings rubbing shoulders with cutting-edge galleries. The Islington captures that dual personality perfectly. With just 11 rooms divided between a historic sandstone townhouse and a contemporary glass and steel extension, set into 0.4 hectares (one acre) of gardens, the Islington is known not just for its stylish interiors, but also for its personal service and its superb meals.
COMO The Treasury, Perth
At COMO The Treasury, the key word is indulgence. Spread across three elegant former government buildings, the rooms have high ceilings, oversized bathrooms complete with full-length tubs, rainforest showers and heated stone floors, as well as free mini-bars and Wi-Fi. Guests can unwind in the spa or the rooftop lap pool, but an even bigger draw is the extraordinary range of in-house restaurants, from the authentic Thai street food of Long Chim to the elegant rooftop restaurant, Wildflower.
H Hotel, Darwin
H Hotel on central Darwin's Smith Street brings a dose of contemporary style to the Northern Territory's quirky capital city, with signature headboards and bold pops of colour. If you enjoy waking up to a view, ask for a room overlooking Cullen Bay. The hotel also has a rooftop gym and an inviting pool, which is a great place to work off the meals that you will enjoy at Smith Street's inviting restaurants.
Spicers Potts Point, Sydney
Potts Point has become increasingly popular for visitors over recent years due to its convenient location a stone's throw away from Sydney's city centre. Spicers Potts Point in Victoria Street is one of the newest boutique hotels on the block, though the building itself is far from new with original marble fireplaces, restored floorboards and a heritage facade. This 20 room, five-star stay even offers room service from several of the nearby restaurants.
Paramount House Hotel, Sydney
Located in the former headquarters of Paramount Picture Studios in trendy Surry Hills, Paramount House Hotel is a mix of heritage and new. Exposed brick walls and wooden beams give the rooms a rustic feel while the minimalistic decor adds a touch of class. Some of the rooms even have sunny alcoves adorned with indoor plants and large windows that allow a flow of fresh air throughout the room.
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