Australia is prized for its pristine beaches and laid-back lifestyle, with its coastline ripe with opportunities for hotels and resorts to embrace those ocean vistas and immerse their guests in the great outdoors. From coast to coast, here’s our pick of the best coastal hotels in Australia.
Southern Ocean Lodge
Southern Ocean Lodge reopened on Kangaroo Island’s South Coast in December 2023, following a complete rebuild, four years after the 2019/2020 fires destroyed the property. The lodge has been reimagined, preserving the original footprint while incorporating enhancements based on guest preferences. The new iteration of the property is designed for a new generation of travellers to Kangaroo Island, with a focus on environmental sustainability and adaptation to changing climatic conditions. Offering uninterrupted views of the Southern Ocean and coastal wilderness, the lodge highlights the use of local and regional produce at its dining venues.
The reconfiguration of Southern Ocean Lodge includes twenty-three suites oriented towards the southeast to maximise views of the Southern Ocean and coastline. Each suite now features private decks, EcoSmart fireplaces and bathtubs. Additionally, the property has introduced an ultra-luxe Ocean Pavilion, serving as either a four-bedroom owner’s residence or two separate two-bedroom suites for families and groups. The Great Room terrace has been upgraded to include a wet-edge pool, while the Southern Spa has expanded to offer three treatment rooms, a gym, a sauna, and hot and cold plunge pools. The spa menu emphasises rejuvenating treatments and personalised itineraries highlighting local experiences.
Halcyon House is an award-winning beachside hotel in the heart of Cabarita Beach on the Tweed Coast of northern New South Wales. Located on the beachfront at Halcyon House, guests can spend their days sipping cocktails poolside and relaxing at Halcyon Spa. The boutique hotel was designed by renowned interior designer Anna Spiro and is characterised by her signature eclectic, maximalist aesthetic – every guest room within the hotel is distinguishable from the others.
Halcyon House consists of 19 guest rooms, two two-bedroom suites and one one-bedroom suite. The beachfront pool and terrace are lined with pinstripe daybeds and are only a stone’s throw away from the shoreline of Cabarita Beach. The service at Halcyon House is bespoke, with personal handwritten notes left in the bedrooms and a turn-down service that ensures maximum comfort for each guest. There is also a hatted restaurant, Paper Daisy, headed by one of Australia’s most exciting chefs, Jason Barratt, where professional yet personal service and industry-leading food and drink offer the ideal setting for a seaside holiday.
Tonally in tune with the dunes of Western Australia, 2023 Gold List Award winner Sal Salis is a sustainable luxury property where the outback, reef and ranges intersect. Located on the Northwest Cape of Western Australia, Sal Salis is set in an aesthetically striking landscape where the arid coast contrasts with pristine ocean waters. Sals Salis comprises sixteen safari-style tents dotting the coastline of Cape Range National Park. The accommodation at Sal Salis embodies a ‘wildlife luxury’ aesthetic, with each tent spaciously designed with private decks, an ensuite and framed sea views.
Located on the doorstep of Ningaloo Reef, Sal Salis is designed around three fundamental principles: Sal Salis prides itself on luxurious accommodations, a profound connection to the land and a commitment to minimising its ecological footprint through sustainable practices. The camp’s construction is above ground level to protect the flora and fauna, power is generated by solar, and water usage is carefully managed to avoid weed growth and eradicate any waste material that escapes the surrounding ecosystem.
Qualia is located on the northernmost part of Hamilton Island, surrounded by the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef and boasting panoramic views across the Coral Sea and Whitsundays. Guests of Qualia have access to an array of exclusive amenities, including a luxury 55-foot motor yacht meticulously crafted by Palm Beach Motor Yachts specifically for the enjoyment of Hamilton Island visitors. Additionally, the resort features a spa offering rejuvenating treatments such as facials, massage therapy, yoga, meditation, and outdoor tropical Vichy showers. For those seeking adventure, helicopter flights over Whitehaven Beach to the private Heart Island helipad are also available. Qualia sources and serves only the freshest local and international produce at the Pebble Beach and Long Pavilion restaurants.
The accommodation at Qualia comprises the Leeward Pavilions, Windward Pavilions, Sunset Pavilion, and the Beach House, which is reserved for guests seeking a more secluded stay and is perfect for friends or family. Each guest room offers a private hideaway with tropical bushland and sea views. The Windward Pavilion offers private plunge pools, and the exclusive Beach House features a 12-metre infinity pool, two bedrooms, spacious living quarters and is tucked away with north-facing views.
Located on the northernmost island of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island offers secluded accommodation amidst powdery white beaches and National Park surroundings. The resort features 40 guest rooms designed to integrate with the island’s natural beauty. Options include the Beachfront Suites with expansive balcony, offering glimpses through the trees to the tranquil turquoise waters of Anchor Bay and Sunset Beach, and a path straight from balcony to beach. The Gardenview Suites are most suitable for families and a stay in one of the Oceanview Villas offers seclusion and sweeping beach views, a wraparound sundeck and a private plunge pool.
Set against the pristine backdrop of the sea, the resort’s private pool is lined with wooden decking and cushioned loungers and is surrounded by palms. Lizard Island’s Essentia Day Spa specialises in body polishes, couples’ treatments, and invigorating massages. Guests are encouraged to disconnect from the outside world, as the island lacks mobile phone coverage and reliable internet access, allowing for a truly relaxing experience. With 24 pristine ivory-white beaches to explore, Lizard Island attracts adventurous ocean enthusiasts seeking diving, fishing, and snorkelling opportunities.
Capella Lodge, situated on Lord Howe Island at the base of Mounts Gower and Lidgbird, offers sprawling ocean views, subtropical reefs and rolling green pastures. The lodge’s contemporary architectural design mirrors Australian beach houses, featuring a high cantilevered roof and floor-to-ceiling windows. Nine island-style guest suites offer a relaxed, barefoot luxury vibe designed to reflect Lord Howe’s natural environment.
The dining experience at Capella Lodge emphasises local and regional produce served in a light and sophisticated style, with an emphasis on freshly caught fish and ingredients from the lodge’s kitchen garden. At the Capella Spa, a menu of rejuvenating treatments also embraces Lord Howe’s natural environment and features an Australian-made alkeme spa care range in a lofty setting among the swaying Kentia palms.