Australia, you’ve come a long way, baby. Travellers are now spoilt for choice when it comes to chic accomodation. From the capital cities to beautiful regional towns, we’ve got six of the best-designed and stunningly furnished hotels in the business.
The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney
The Old Clare Hotel is a 62 room boutique hotel in the hip city-fringe area of Chippendale. It’s the beautiful brainchild of a marriage between hotelier Loh Lik Peng and Sydney architecture firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. On the site of two historic buildings – an old pub and the Carlton United Breweries offices – it has undergone a restoration of the greatest sensitivity. Historic features have been retained and the results is luxury Art Deco hotel meets Victorian brewery.
The furnishings in each room are an exquisite mix of vintage pieces and contemporary luxury. The rooms on the lower levels feature exposed brick, concrete and timber panelling, while the top level has lofts with a more contemporary feel.
Meanwhile, The Old Clare Rooftop Bar & Pool is a stylish place for a summer cocktail, with the Sydney city skyline for company.
The Alex, Perth
Over on the West Coast, The Alex boutique hotel in Perth is a paean to the brilliant use of colour. Designers Julienne Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke of Sydney-based design studio Arent & Pyke have created a fresh look with a bold and beautiful palette. With stunning but comfortable furnishings, the hotel has the feel of a home away from home.
This ambience is increased by the communal tables in both the lobby and restaurant. Nothing builds a sense of camaraderie like breakfasting with your fellow guests! A suite of caned Prague 811 chairs, designed in 1925 by Josef Hoffman for Stendig, surround the communal table pictured above.
Gambaro Hotel, Brisbane
Opening its doors in 2014, the Gambaro Hotel on Brisbane’s Caxton Street is also home to a famous seafood restaurant of the same name. It is also only five minutes walk from Suncorp Stadium, the city’s most important sporting venue. The award-winning hotel is luxurious and intimate, furnished with decadent classicism.
Now managed by the TFE Hotels Collection – which represents beautiful, one-of-a-kind properties in Australia, The Gambaro features plush furniture in warm, inviting tones, creating a feel of old school luxury. The marbled bathrooms in muted tones are perfect for a relaxing break.
Hotel Hotel, Canberra
Hotel Hotel in Canberra is a quite extraordinary place. Described as a “collaboration between designers, artists, artisans and fantasists” it is designed not just a hotel but also a place to foster cultural and artistic creation.
There are 68 rooms, all individual. While they are all underpinned by comfort, they also have an emphasis on the handmade and curiosities. Half of the rooms look onto the lake and the bush, while the other half face onto an internal atrium with tree ferns rescued from Tasmanian forests that were scheduled for clearance.
The furniture is mostly reclaimed and the vast majority is Australian. With heated bathroom floors and Aesop products, it has the feel of an arty, luxurious Australian shack.
Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach
One of the most buzzed about hotels of the current moment, Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach is truly like no other. Located in the tranquil surfing town of Cabarita, NSW – half way between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay – the decor and furnishings boast an exquisite attention to detail.
The gorgeous symbiosis of textiles is a major part of the magic. Brisbane-based textile designer Anna Spiro spoke at the 2017 Decor + Design show about her approach; a riot of patterns with a cohesive strain of vivid blue. Taking three years to come to fruition, the stunning interiors are chic coastal perfection, overlooking one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches.
The Lake House, Daylesford
No list would be complete without the iconic Lake House in Daylesford, Victoria. Established in 1984, it has set the bar high when it comes to luxury boutique accomodation. With serene, breathtaking views over Lake Daylesford and the artsy town of Daylesford, this perfect weekender is only and hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne
The Lake House restaurant is a stalwart of The Good Food Guide, featuring a playful menu and fresh, seasonal produce. Furnished with comfortable elegance, think Country Style magazine meets French provincial. It is purpose-built for long lunches, its soft banquettes strewn with cushions in rich jewel colours.
If you’re furnishing a hotel or property and looking for inspiration, don’t miss The Australian International Furniture Fair and Decor + Design show this July. Co-located at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, the two shows will feature over 250 exhibitors from across the Australian furniture and soft furnishings landscape. Subscribe now to be notified when registration opens; entry to the exhibition is free for trade visitors.