The Ten Best Luxury Getaways from Sydney
Sydney is blessed with loads of dreamy destinations ideal for blissed-out breaks with your partner or posse.
Current COVID-19 restrictions may affect your regional travel plans within NSW. Sydneysiders who live or work in seven Local Government Areas cannot leave metropolitan Sydney. You can stay up to date with the developing COVID-19 situation in Sydney, as well as current restrictions, at NSW Health.
There are times to be sensible, and there are times to treat yourself. If you fancy the latter right now, you're in luck — Sydney is blessed with heaps of dreamy destinations within a stone's throw. As long as you have the credit card to back it up, of course.
We've rounded up ten of the best luxury hotels, resorts, villas and stays in New South Wales — from architectural masterpieces and luxe vineyard escapes to next-level beach houses and seven-bedroom dream homes that'll fit all of your mates. But be prepared to splash some cash, these retreats are in a class (and price point) of their own.
EMIRATES ONE & ONLY WOLGAN VALLEY, BLUE MOUNTAINS
This eco‐friendly resort is surrounded by all of the things you know and love about the Blue Mountains: endless greenery, wilderness and misty mountaintops. And you can take it all in while experiencing the utmost luxury that Emirates One&Only's 7000 acres have to offer. The resort's villas each offer a private swimming pool, veranda and fireplace. The property's grounds also include a communal swimming pool, a tennis court, spa, sauna, steam room and an array of outdoor experiences. If that isn't enough, there's a restaurant boasting seasonal menus, a wine cellar and a bar — pouring 1832 Wolgan Gin, which is distilled locally.
CAPELLA LODGE, LORD HOWE ISLAND
If you're taking the trip to Lord Howe, why not stay in the island's most opulent resort? At Capella Lodge, you don't need to choose between mountain, lush rainforest or striking ocean views — this super-luxe hotel offers all three. The boutique accommodation has been operating for over a decade and has become an Australian icon, especially after its recent $4 million facelift. Views include the island's twin peaks, Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird, along with pristine Pacific Ocean coral reef. In summer months, cool off in the onsite pool, or take a short walk down to the nearby beach. You can also enjoy one of the many long hikes in the region, followed by a relaxing treatment at the hotel's spa.
SEIDLER HOUSE, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
Seidler House is one of Australia's great architectural masterpieces — thanks to famed architect Harry Seidler. But did you know that you (and all of your closest friends) can actually book a stay here? The four-bedroom, futuristic-looking home is dramatically built into the cliff's sandstone rock formation and offers unobstructed views across the Southern Highlands. Expect sweeping vistas of the Wingecarribee River gorge, with plenty of balconies, patios and viewing decks to enjoy those views. Other key features include an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue and wood fireplace. Plus 150 acres of private gardens and two kilometres of river frontage to explore. And it's located a short 90-minute drive from Sydney, so is great for a weekend away with your fanciest mates.
PRETTY BEACH HOUSE, BOUDDI NATIONAL PARK
Located within the gorgeous surrounds of the Bouddi National Park, the Pretty Beach House is not your average waterfront stay. As the name suggests, the resort is set above the escarpment of Pretty Beach and is located just 90 minutes north of Sydney. The exclusive retreat is home to just four villas, which include bayview split-level pavilions and treetop penthouses — each of which features separate king-sized bedrooms, log fireplaces and sandstone flooring. Then there's the main house, which offers guests unfettered access to an open bar, wine cellar, outdoor infinity pool and poolside pizza oven. Indoors, there is an open-plan kitchen, an expansive dining room, a huge sandstone fireplace and a library, all of which are yours to enjoy to the fullest.
MONA FARM, BRAIDWOOD
Mona Farm's luxurious yet homely farm is the perfect excuse for an out-of-town holiday. Located a three-hour drive south of Sydney in the town of Braidwood, the property is part luxury farm stay, part nature retreat and part art gallery. The country estate offers six historic farmhouses that have been luxuriously revamped by Australian architecture heavyweights. Beyond the accommodation, over 20 Australian and international sculptors have installed works throughout the gardens and grounds, giving the natural surrounds a modern appeal. And it really is a working farm, with Scottish Highland cattle, English Wiltshire Horn sheep, Wessex Saddleback pigs and Clydesdale horses all sharing the land — and platypuses, long-necked turtles and rainbow trout sharing the lake.
BANNISTERS, PORT STEPHENS
Bannisters Port Stephens is one opulent escape. The resort overlooks the Soldiers Point beachfront and offers 80 Hamptons-inspired suites — four of which are super-luxe one-bedroom suites with expansive ocean-view balconies and one of which is the over-the-top penthouse. A few of the rooms are also dog-friendly, with easy access to outdoors and walking distance to Wanda Beach. Other onsite indulgences include a seafood-heavy restaurant by an acclaimed Chef Rick Stein, a terrace bar with an infinity pool and a beer garden. These rooms understandably book out quickly, so be sure to plan in advance.
BENDOOLEY ESTATE, BERRIMA
The 200-acre property that makes up Bendooley Estate doesn't just offer a cellar door — it's also home to a luxe restaurant, an alfresco cafe, an outpost of the much-loved Berkelouw bookshop and an extravagant cottage stay. Located in gorgeous surrounds just 90 minutes outside of Sydney, the estate's cottages are perfect for a quick escape out of the city. Choose from up to three-bedroom layouts, each of which offers lakeside, valley or stunning vineyard views, which brings us to the added benefit of being able to fully enjoy the cellar door's wines without having to drive home. The winery serves up some of the best drops in the Southern Highlands, and also boasts a large fire and daily lunch service.
BLACKBIRD, BYRON HINTERLAND
Blackbird takes bed-and-breakfast to a new level, with its three high-end pavilions, views across the Pacific Ocean and tropical landscape. Each one-bedroom villa accommodates two guests and offers a large verandah, a Moroccan-tiled ensuite with a freestanding bathtub, a king-sized bed with Egyptian cotton linen, a fireplace and an outdoor barbecue. There's also a ten-metre magnesium mineral pool on site, and you'll receive complimentary champagne and local produce on arrival, plus breakfast each morning. Set on acres of rainforest in the Byron Hinterland, this is a retreat for nature-lovers. Heaps of outdoor activities are within easy access of your doorstep, including kayaking, mountain-biking and bushwalks, and the secluded spot is great for star gazing. Grab a few mates and book out the entire resort for a truly special getaway.
WHITEVALE ESTATE, HUNTER VALLEY
A rather extravagant country retreat, Whitevale Estate will show you a whole new side of Hunter Valley. Drive down a tree-lined driveway to reach this expansive home, which fits you and up to 17 of your nearest and dearest. The open plan space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with native bushland views, a vaulted lounge area with wood fireplace, galley kitchen, large leather sofas and a separate games room with a custom pool table, bar fridge and tele. Then there's the outdoor kitchen, which comes complete with another huge concrete table, a five-burner barbecue, a built-in esky and an adjoining in-ground pool. The seven bedrooms and six bathrooms include a master suite that features a herringbone-tiled hydro spa bath, marble walk-in rain shower, double vanity and expansive walk-in dressing room. It's safe to say you'll be fighting over this room.
SUNDARA BEACH HOUSE, SOUTH COAST
Just steps from Werri Beach, Sundara Beach House is a two-storey retreat that is as luxurious as it gets. Its seven bedrooms sleep 14 people and feature stunning ocean, farmland views. The house is decked out with top-notch facilities including the ten-metre heated saltwater pool with a spa and adjacent Weber barbecue, a detached games room with a pool table and bar, and two lounges — one of which includes a fireplace and large windows that offer regular dolphin and whale sightings. For things to do when you're not in the lap of luxury, check out the nearby Gerringong town centre, which boasts award-winning restaurants, cafes and wineries. The oceanfront property is also five minutes from the Kiama Coast Walk.
Top image: Pretty Beach by Anson Smart for DNSW.
Published on May 14, 2021 by Marissa Ciampi