The Calile Hotel, Brisbane, Queensland © Sean Fennessy
12 of Australia's coolest boutique hotels
Some of the most unique retreats Australia has to offer, from urban escapes to beachside sanctuaries.
By Bonnie Jackson
Australia’s boutique hotels are as incredible as the destinations in which you’ll find them. Head to Sydney to find a waterfront oasis, or visit Tasmania for charming estates. These stylish stays are more than just a place to rest; they’re destinations in their own right.
Here are 12 of the country’s most enticing boutique hotels.
Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel
Where: Watsons Bay, Sydney
Sitting right on the water in the exclusive suburb of Vaucluse, Watson’s Bay Hotel gives you views of Sydney’s glistening harbour from a beautiful Hampton’s-style retreat. Meander downstairs to enjoy drinks and seafood at the hotel’s beach club, or venture a bit further. You’ll find some of Sydney’s best beaches nearby, including the hidden beach of Parsley Bay.
The Old Clare
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. Enjoy a cocktail overlooking the city before heading out into the bustling hub of Chippendale, which is home to great dining options at Automata, Barzaari and Olio.
Nestled right in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre, QT is the perfect stay for those who want to be a part of the action. QT is home to one of Melbourne’s best bars, Secret Garden, as well as modern amenities with an industrial edge. Enjoy a drink on-site before heading to one of the city’s best restaurants. Izakaya Den, Chin Chin, Garden State Hotel and Supernormal (to name a few) are all within walking distance.
Where: South Yarra, Melbourne
United Places is a hotel some might describe as very, well, ‘Melbourne.’ Its entrance is hidden down a laneway, and each of the twelve suites is decked out with designer furnishings – most of which are locally hand-made. If that’s not enough, personal butlers are available 24/7 to accommodate guests' every need. Just minutes away you’ll find the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria and French bistro France-Soir.
The Calile Hotel
Where: Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
Located in the heart of Fortitude Valley, the breezy, pastel-hued Calile Hotel has an atmosphere that instantly invokes a holiday state of mind. Decompress at the hotel’s day spa, relax by the pool and enjoy modern Greek bites from Hellenika restaurant. You’re on the doorstep of Brisbane’s nightlife, so head out for a cocktail at Alfred & Constance, Finney Isles, and Savile Row.
The Henry Jones Art Hotel
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. You have Hobart just outside your suite, so venture out to extend your art experience at MONA, wander through Hobart's historic waterfront or head to the local Salamanca Market.
Where: Howden, Tasmania
Situated on the serene shores of Tasmania’s North West Bay, Villa Howden is the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern luxury. Set on manicured gardens, this estate overlooks the water and feels secluded, despite it being just a 15-minute drive from Hobart. It’s also the perfect base for exploring the Tasmanian wilderness. Climb Mount Wellington, about a 30-minute drive away, for sweeping views toward Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula.
Midnight Hotel – with its moody interiors, seductive Midnight Bar and European eatery Braddon Merchant – is an impressive inner-city stay. And 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 grand bell tents contrasting the red sand of Australia’s outback. 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.
Set in a heritage-listed Art Deco building, the Mayfair is a mix of old-world luxury and modern glamour. There’s a buzzy rooftop bar, 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 you can easily walk to some of Adelaide’s best shopping areas.
COMO The Treasury
Como The Treasury has been transformed from historic government building into an understated escape with king-size beds, oversized windows and sky-high lap pool. Enjoy dinner at the rooftop restaurant before stepping directly out into Perth’s city centre to enjoy a cocktail 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. Meander through the local markets and enjoy an afternoon beer at Little Creatures, then grab dinner at one of Fremantle’s best restaurants including Moore & Moore, Bread in Common and Manuka Woodfire Kitchen.