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Australian Hotels

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In a world that’s always interruptive Elysian offers that rare chance let go of life’s pressures and relax: to simply slow down immersed in a natural idyllic island setting like no other. If you’re looking to escape the crowds this summer, then you could do no better than focus your mind, body and spirit towards the upcoming launch of Elysian, a new Whitsundays retreat located at Paradise Bay on the southern tip of Long Island.…

Checking in to Little Albion: More than a decade ago, during the launch years of Essentials, we were mightily impressed by the creative fit out, friendly service and bountiful amenities that encompassed Canberra’s then new Diamant Hotel, a class offering designed by Paul Fischmann’s 8HOTELS Group. Ahead of his time, Fischmann had unwittingly championed the beginning of a luxury small-hotels movement that today sees every man, woman, chairperson and international entrepreneur chomping at the bit…

It’s Brisbane’s time for a turn in the spotlight, with a welter of stylish new hotel openings that play with Queensland’s past and deliver a gentle dig in BrisVegas’ ribs – all in the best taste. W Brisbane BrisVegas is bling, and bling is good. Upmarket, free-spirited hotel brand W returns to Australia with a bang, on the banks of the Brisbane River. The river lent its indigenous story to the design, with Brisbane’s river…

In a city never shy of flaunting her charms, new hotels flirt with the glittering waterscape through their views, art and locations. We step inside the hot new digs. West Hotel Barangaroo Skirting the fringe of Sydney’s waterfront Barangaroo precinct, the new West is your base for the city’s prestigious arts events: the hotel is within walking distance of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Theatre Company. The concrete jungle outside gives way to a…

It is a most beautiful and dramatic location for a hotel. Perched on the edge of Macquarie wharf in the heart of Hobart is the new MACq 01. Built on the footprint of a historic wharf shed, MACq 01 is sympathetic but not sycophantic in its tribute to the district’s maritime architecture. Formed concrete, bare wood and dark glass are the materials. The dark waters of Sullivans Cove are the foreground, the fishing boats moored…

Finally, a new Melbourne hotel, comfortable, clean and designed with jazz lovers in mind – it’s our kinda joint! Truly a much-needed addition to Melbourne’s ageing collection of poorly maintained mid-tier hotels, Jazz Corner Hotel’s rooms offer a timely breath of fresh air.  Fresh-faced young staff, all smiles in their cute red berets, manage the check-in counter of the hotel’s tiny foyer and eatery. Beer, Wine and Calzone is an Italian restaurant and bar serving…

Bethany Finn understands essence of fine dining hospitality like few others. Having crafted perhaps Australia’s finest classic British- and European-influenced dining menus for Adelaide’s 5-star Mayfair Hotel, she’s an executive chef with a rare talent. Her level of customer care and focus is a positive driving force; around her, the wait staff are elevated by her warmth, humour and focused leadership. She’s vivacious, sharp-witted, and her energy is infectious. As a diner in the hotel’s…

The drinks menu of Limes Hotel’s rooftop bar reads ‘Scandal on the 5th floor’ and features a collage of tongue-in-cheek images married with quirky cocktail names and vintage graphics. Here an intimate crowd of Brisvegas fashionistas are decked out to the nines in clean white slacks and Havanas (the boys) and one piece Deborah Harry-inspired jump suits for the ever-so-hip ladies – ultra glamorous when paired with some designer shades. Appealing on this hot summer’s…

QT Resort Falls Creek celebrates the ‘warmth of cool’, featuring a mixture of vintage and modern accents and a thoughtful new colour palette including smoky greys, silvers and neutrals that mimic the silvery stands of Alpine Ash and delicate mountain snowgum views. Spotted touches of colour add to the modernist fit out, notably in public spaces including the innovative Bazaar Marketplace restaurant and the ‘New-York-cool’ Stingray Lounge. Hotel rooms are kitted out with retro chairs…

Lolly Pop, Lolly Pop: It’s difficult to read that expression – is she lost in a sea of intoxication or is she working up to a siren-like hypnotic gaze of enticement? Either way, I think the eyes have it. She’s a pop art masterpiece with luscious red lips and skin painted with a confectionary of dripping colours by Melbourne’s Barry Drinan on commission for the Adelphi Hotel. Affectionately named Lucy by the hotel’s tight-knit and very…

Salvaged from a near death-by-doily demise, Victorian-era B&B Finches of Beechworth has recently been given a new lease on life – re-imagined, redesigned and fully renovated. Over a period of six months, new owners Margo Maller and Peter Brygel have together transformed the B&B into an artfully-cool luxurious six-room contemporary boutique gem. Exploring the now decadent and somewhat eccentric spaces within Finches is a pleasing experience. The reinvigorated modern-meets-baroque interiors feature grand 1800s French gilt…

At the unassumingly named ‘Number 5’ guests don’t have to work at finding the perfect view. On the contrary, they are forced to stop, kick back and relax as they fully enjoy the 270-degree view of Mount Buffalo in front, the Buckland Valley stretching out below and the peaceful forest behind this airy contemporary chalet. One wall of the living room is entirely taken up with panoramic sliding patio doors that invite the imposing surroundings…

Desperate for respite from city peak traffic and the concrete maze, I could not have been more excited checking in to the Panoramia Villas, the new project born of the success of Red Ramia Trading and Café Fez. Only four kilometres from the centre of Myrtleford in North East Victoria, these two villas feature, as I happily discovered, interiors exquisitely furnished down to the last plush detail with individual pieces selected by the Ramia family…