Australian luxury hotels opening their doors this year welcome guests to an oceanfront paradise, historic buildings, city escapes and more. Packing yet?
Towering over the city, one of Australia’s tallest skyscrapers houses the new Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, set to open early this year.
This will be the country’s highest hotel – a fact that’s made perfectly clear to all upon arrival, when guests enter the building from street level and subsequently zip up to the 80th floor in high-speed elevators. Stepping out into the lobby, guests will undoubtedly be mesmerized by the heart-swelling vista over Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra River and the best views the garden city has to offer, spreading out far below.
The West Side Place is a four-tower, mixed-use project that will include residences, other hotels, restaurants, retail spaces and more. The Ritz, with its 257 rooms and signature amenities – destination bar, world-class spa for bespoke treatments, fitness center, vitality pool, sauna – tops Tower One and sits below the lobby level, from the 62nd floor on up. All rooms and spaces feature this view.
Guests can enjoy signature dining experiences in both restaurants and bars or peruse the library bar, whiskey in hand. After strolling through Federation Square or taking care of business in the city, retreat skyward to the infinity pool for a swim at the top of the world.
Le Méridien Melbourne
Taking its place within the vibrant Melbourne arts, fashion and design scene, Le Méridien will make its debut in early 2023. The brand brings the chic design and Parisian-esque je ne sais quoi for which it’s known the world over.
Behind its art deco façade, the 12-story property houses 235 guestrooms featuring bold mid-century-inspired interiors. The lobby – or as the hotel calls it, Le Méridien Hub – is a coffee house by day, cocktail bar by night. Whether it’s cappuccinos or cosmos, patrons will sip to a soundtrack from French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague, who have curated the music for the Melbourne location as well as all Le Méridien hotels across the globe.
For light fare, both the 70-seat M Salon bar and 50-seat Latitude Bar can be reached just off the lobby. An all-day restaurant, fitness center with a heated swimming pool, 210 square meters of event space and a roof terrace round out the hotel amenities.
But it’s the location – and the eclectic energy of Melbourne itself – that make this property a standout. Sitting in the heart of the city, the hotel is surrounded by art galleries, live music venues, the uniquely Melbourne pedestrian laneways and more. Get ready to explore one of Australia’s great cosmopolitan centers.
The heritage-listed Department of Education building in Sydney’s Sandstone Precinct will soon get a second life as a hotel, opening in March 2023.
Designed in Edwardian Baroque style, it first served as a government office in 1915. Today, 192 spacious and light-filled guestrooms span eight levels within the building, which celebrates the Australian panorama through its interiors and design. A landmark, steeped in history and made modern.
Unique to Capella is their signature space, the Living Room. Guests are invited to wander in, explore and look over all manner of items inside – art, intriguing artifacts discovered during hotel restoration, a curated collection of books. Capella Culturists are on hand to help visitors connect with the local way of life, whether through lively discussion about a singular objet d’art or securing a reservation at a top-notch restaurant in the wider city.
The interior of the hotel offers a uniquely Australian mood, with an indoor green wall teeming with nearly 70 species of local flora. The on-site restaurant, Brasserie 1930, highlights the best in the continent’s produce direct from farmers and growers. Each dish is prepared through age-old cooking methods – curing, smoking, fermenting, preserving and pickling. The original architect, George McRae, is honored by the McRae Bar. Think Victorian-era drinking den, the hotel says, a lounge inspired by the glamor of days gone by. Pop in for a cocktail and become a part of the hotel’s storied history.
Rising from the Sydney skyline, the wave-like silhouette of the W Sydney easily draws one’s eye. Sleek and shining, the imposing glass structure is part of Darling Harbour’s The Ribbon development and will also include an IMAX theater and retail spaces.
Open to guests in late 2023, the hotel houses 585 guest rooms over 25 floors, a two-story rooftop bar, a heated infinity pool, spa, gym and an all-day dining restaurant.
Carve out a night to hang out in the Living Room, a buzzing cocktail-and-cuisine gathering spot for which W hotels are known. Each one draws on the locale’s sense of place for décor and theme. Don’t skip the brand’s signature Wet Deck – a pool deck that’s the perfect place to take in magnificent views of the water just below.
The hotel’s central location makes access to the surrounding city a snap, sitting within walking distance of Sydney’s bustling pedestrian malls and iconic Chinatown.
Southern Ocean Lodge
After the bushfires of 2020 devastated the original Southern Ocean Lodge, the rebuilt version will welcome guests back in the second half of 2023. Much, but not all, of the spectacular property – nicknamed SOL 2.0 and the newest star in the Baillie Lodges portfolio – remains the same. The string of 25 luxury lodges perched atop the coastline’s cliff tops have been reoriented to offer even better views of the frothy waves below. For the ultimate experience, the 640-square-meter ultra-premium Ocean Pavilion suite presents guests with a panorama of sea and sky and includes an outdoor terrace with a pool.
SOL 2.0 sits at the remote southwestern edge of Kangaroo Island, less than an hour by ferry from the mainland. It was – and remains – a champion of environmental sustainability. The new property is powered by hybrid solar and battery infrastructure that uses 25 percent less energy than the former site. The rebuild made use of local materials – limestone and recycled timber in particular. And some of the lodge’s biggest draws are its bespoke adventures and abundant activities, from kayaking to hiking, that bring guests up close to the region’s pristine natural world.
The wild ocean offers chances to see dolphins, seals and whales. In and around the undulating grasses, scrubby mallee and other regional vegetation is where you’ll find koalas, wallabies and, of course, kangaroos. The local celebrities outnumber the island’s humans by more than 10 to one.
After discovering what Thoreau called the tonic of wildness, head to SOL’s renowned spa. A wooden boardwalk guides guests a short stroll from the lodges to a secluded, cliff top outpost. Island-sourced products – honey, eucalyptus, lavender – feature in the treatments, each designed to help guests recharge while being embraced by nature. Whether you’re booking massages or not, pop out to the spa’s outdoor deck and take in the epic surroundings. It’s paradise discovered. You may never leave.