Who doesn’t love a last-minute weekend getaway?
With Queen’s Birthday weekend fast approaching, now is the time to get that last-minute escape locked in, and if you’re seeking inspiration, we’ve got plenty.
Whether you’re craving romantic vineyard walks, a secluded beach experience or the lap of exaggerated luxury, we’ve rounded up ten ultra-stylish stays in Australia and New Zealand, so get booking and start packing!
Lindenderry at Red Hill – Victoria
This luxury 40-room boutique hotel is ideally positioned to soak up the best of Mornington Peninsula. Only an hour away from Melbourne, Lindenderry at Red Hill has recently beenrefurbished to feature stunning new interiors that fuse European country style with an Australian twist for a home-away-from-home. The five-star Halliday wines and farm-to-table dining amongst 34 stunning acres of gardens and vineyards is all it takes to feel an entire world away.
Halcyon House – New South Wales
Located in Cabarita beach, Hampton-style retreat, Halcyon House consists of a beachfront pool and terrace, 19 rooms and two luxury two-bedroom suites designed by Anna Spiro. Its restaurant, Paper Daisy, is headed by one of Australia’s most promising chefs, Ben Devlin. Here, your mini holiday could include a luminous spa experience, a decadent dinner with paired wines, a private beachside yoga or a surfing lesson, and let’s not forget a gourmet Paper Daisy picnic hamper lunch and an Audi A1 to venture out and explore northern New South Wales.
Azur Lodge – Queenstown, New Zealand
If you wish to stretch your long weekend a day or two longer, maybe you should consider heading to beautiful Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island. Just five minutes from the downtown area, perched upon a hilltop Azur Lodge boasts spectacular panoramic views of the mountain ranges and Lake Wakatipu. There are nine private villas, uniquely designed to allow guests to absorb the incredible surroundings in chic luxury and total privacy. In Queenstown, it’s easy to go from one thrill to the next, explore diverse landscapes or find a place of tranquillity and calmness, and the Azur team is incredibly passionate about sharing their hometown magic.
Thousand Lakes Wilderness Lodge – Tasmania
This wilderness lodge is immersed in a barren and raw alpine environment, where the air is super fresh and clean, and the silence inspiring. Just 90 minutes from Launceston and two hours of a stunning drive from Hobart, Thousand Lakes Wilderness Lodge offers a unique wilderness experience in the Tasmanian Central Highlands and World Heritage Area. Smell the crisp air, feel spongy moss underfoot, taste the fresh stream water, touch the ancient dolerite boulders and witness the wildlife and ever-changing weather.
Lake House – Daylesford, Victoria
Nearly 35 years ago, chef Alla Wolf-Tasker opened a 40-seat, weekend-only destination restaurant called Lake House in Daylesford, Victoria. Since then, it has evolved into a boutique hotel, but its still the food at this award-winning restaurant that many people make the trip for. Expect to find a seasonally-led menu of locally sourced produce, free-range meats, locally caught fish, house-made charcuterie and beautiful cheeses. For the full experience, you can’t go past the tasting menu.
There is a variety of accommodation styles on the property, but if you’re after total luxury and indulgence, check into the luxurious Spa Villa, complete with open fireplace, and your very own private sunken hot tub and day bed.
Rees Queenstown, New Zealand
Centrally located to four superb ski fields, The Reese Hotel Queenstown is a sophisticated five-star hotel that offers a variety of spacious and luxurious accommodation. All accommodations feature terraces showcasing spectacular alpine views across Lake Wakatipu to the Remarkable Mountain range. The many exceptional features at The Rees Hotel include a library of rare books and art, courtesy shuttle to/from Queenstown town centre, a fully-equipped gymnasium, electric car-charging station and its own private beach and wharf accessing jet-boat and water taxi services.
Bells at Killcare – New South Wales
Located on Bouddi Peninsula on the NSW Central Coast, Bells at Killcare seamlessly blends luxury, elegance and sophistication. The cottages, suites and villas are set amongst lush gardens, landscaped like a fairytale with blossom trees, walking paths, brooks and ponds. Interiors are styled with superb attention to detail, with each accommodation boasting designer Ralph Lauren furnishings, luxury bathrooms and state-of-the-art technology. Expect the tension of the city to melt away from the moment you arrive.
Gaia Retreat & Spa, Byron Bay – New South Wales
Overlooking the vast green valleys of the Byron hinterland, Gaia Retreat and Spa is Australia’s most awarded boutique lifestyle retreat. Gaia, meaning ‘Mother Earth’, is all about reconnecting with nature and restoring the natural balance between mind, body and soul, with bespoke wellness journeys tailored especially to you. Gaia Day Spa is at the heart of the Gaia experience, where exceptional therapists and healers draw on holistic principles to offer a truly nurturing and enriching experience that will lull you into a state of deep relaxation. Now, isn’t that what a long weekend should be about?
The Glasshouse, New Zealand
Just North of Auckland, nestled within 25 acres of private, gated peninsula jutting out in the pristine blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, The Glasshouse is a subtropical coastal haven. Its setting and architecture promote a sense of space with its sprawling floor to ceiling glass walls, invoking unity with the lush surrounding forest of ancient Pohutukawa trees. This is a destination that has the ‘wow’ factor, which you can enhance by choosing to arrive by helicopter with private pick-ups from all New Zealand airports.
Helena Bay, NZ
In the northeast corner of New Zealand’s North Island lies Helena Bay Lodge. Its five elegant villa suites enjoy three kilometres of pristine coastline, four private beaches, many intimate coves and a 25-metre outdoor heated infinity pool overlooking blue waters where dolphins often gather. Water sports, hiking and mountain biking are offered and if you do land a fish – it could end up on your plate. Dining is an adventure with head chef, Michele Martino, who serves fabulous dishes in the dining room, library, or on the terrace, where you can also enjoy sunset drinks around the outdoor fire pit – the impressive cellar has more than 1,000 bottles of rare and interesting wines, including some of New Zealand’s best drops.