Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair. Image: Stu Gibson.
Want a holiday experience that’s truly Instagram-worthy? Don’t settle for a generic hotel that’s a total yawn-fest; get out of town to a secret hideaway with your loved one for the ultimate weekend getaway. Think chic coastal locations, stylish summer cottage or perhaps take a private water transfer to reach your secret destination in style.
These options won’t break the bank, but with a little creativity you can sit back and relax in some pretty special digs, recharge the batteries and enjoy a unique holiday experience.
Treat yourself and indulge in one of these secret stays.
1. Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach
The secret might already be out about this one. Halcyon House opened in spectacular style earlier this year and saw instant popularity with celebrities and those in the know. Set in the idyllic seaside town of Cabarita Beach, the boutique hotel offers 21 individually styled rooms and suites. The impressive makeover is the brainchild of some fabulous Brisbane women, sisters Siobhan and Elisha Bickle, with the interiors styled by Anna Spiro resulting in a riot of colour and texture. It’s beachside chic, designed for long lazy days poolside.
2. Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
Put this one at the top of your bucket list. This unique and luxurious hotel is what dreams are made of. Choose to either sleep overwater in the Pumphouse or comfortably in the Shorehouse and embark on days filled with outdoor activities such as canoeing, bushwalking and fishing, or simply relax fireside with a glass of wine. This new boutique hotel is booking out fast, so you’ll need to plan ahead to secure a room.
3. A Summer Cottage, Byron Bay
Surf’s up! If you love Byron Bay, you’ll love this summer cottage. Light, bright and sunny, it’s a stylish and comfortable three-bedroom house with the beach within walking distance. Live like a local and wander to nearby favourite The Top Shop for a green smoothie and then hit the beach!
4. Highfield House, Launceston
Haven’t been to Launceston recently? Take a mini-break and explore the Tamar Valley wine trail for amazing wine and produce. Stay in style at Highfield House, a modern bed and breakfast that’s not “death by doily”. The interiors are gorgeous and you can even purchase many of the items online, as the owners also run famed Melbourne interiors store Raine & Humble.
5. Coppersmith Hotel, Melbourne
A visit to Melbourne will have you spoilt for choice when it comes to chic boutique hotels, but have you heard of this newbie? Coppersmith Hotel is a slick 15-room boutique hotel complete with rooftop retreat, gastronomic bar and dining room. It’s luxury on an intimate scale and you won’t want to leave!
6. The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, Brisbane
The New Inchcolm is our top pick for a luxurious hideaway in Brisbane. After an $8 million refurbishment, the décor is lush and plush and our hot tip is to book a Loft Suite for the real rock star staycation experience!
7. East Hotel, Canberra
Visit the new capital of cool… Canberra! It’s the new place to be for the hipster set, with its thriving restaurant and bar scene including hotspots such as Temporada from Ben Willis (owner/chef of Aubergine) and chef Chris Darragh. Joe’s Bar at the East Hotel is worth stopping by for an aperol spritz or two before you head upstairs to lay your weary head to rest.
8. The Longhouse, Hunter Valley
We love the cool minimalist lines of The Longhouse. Originally designed and built by architecture students, this longhouse is set amongst Chardonnay grapes on a 25-acre vineyard. Industrial materials like concrete contrast with the warmth of timbers (and a cosy fireplace) to give a sleek, modern feel and a great base from which to explore the Hunter Valley wineries.
9. The Pines, Kiama
The Pines offer a combination of cool coastal holiday and rural getaway, just minutes from the Kiama township and located on a working dairy farm. Stay in the gorgeous three-bedroom cottage that’s straight out of Country Style, partake in a tour of the farm and even help feed the calves. Live like a local and head to The Brooding Italian to keep caffeinated during your idyllic seaside stay.
10. Calabash Bay Lodge, Berowra Waters
This one’s so secret you’ll need to hop in a boat to reach your luxury digs for the night! Grab your besties and escape to luxury at the cool, calm Berowra Waters, just 40 minutes north of Sydney. By day, laze on the sunny decks or jump from the private pontoon for a spot of swimming; by night, enjoy a private dinner prepared by a Michelin-trained chef.