From relaxing couples’ spa trips to family whale-watching getaways, these luxury hotels are so comforting they’ll make winter’s chill seem like a distant memory
InterContinental Hayman Island
Escape the chill at this idyllic destination of swaying palm trees, turquoise water and high-end accommodation. Following a $135-million investment and reopening under the InterContinental name two years after Cyclone Debbie forced its closure, Hayman Island by InterContinental has 166 rooms, suites and villas on offer, located across three wings and hugging the pristine coastline of the island. The Residences, meanwhile, are a collection of luxury private residences that are available to rent for those who want to experience a more private piece of paradise on Hayman Island. Perched on the hilltops of the island overlooking its iconic bay, the residences have full access to all the resort’s facilities.
Guests can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Whitsundays, spending their mornings indulging in ocean-facing Pacific restaurant’s five-star breakfast buffet before flitting between sun lounging by the iconic Hayman Pool, wellness treatments at the onsite Hayman Spa and snorkelling day tours out on the Great Barrier Reef.
Bookings made this winter season before August 5th for stays until September 30th, 2019 are now up to 30 per cent off, so what are you waiting for?
Elements of Byron
Byron Bay, NSW
Byron Bay is one of the country’s favourite (and busiest) beach towns in summer, but when the crowds thin and temperatures begin to ease, Byron Bay really comes into its own, with a more relaxed, local feel while still offering plenty to see and do. Not to mention, June to November is whale-watching season, so you can sit and enjoy a beachside breakfast while spotting humpback whales as they migrate down the coast, or take in the ocean views from one of Byron’s many hikes and trails, like the Cape Byron walking track.
Elements of Byron is one of the area’s newest luxury resorts, and has been making quite the splash with its luxurious villas and large pavilion that was architecturally designed to mimic the surrounding sand dunes. The reception, restaurant and bar open on to a large infinity lagoon pool, accompanied by cabanas and thatched swinging chairs, and there is an adults-only pool for those looking for some peace and quiet away from the kids. Osprey Spa is an impressive addition to Byron Bay’s spa and wellness scene, and the First Light Club offers sunrise yoga every day throughout winter, which is complimentary for hotel guests. Namaste to that.
Injidup Spa Retreat
Injidup Beach, WA
Injidup Spa Retreat is a welcome sanctuary located on the walking track above spotless, pristine Injidup Beach in Western Australia’s southwest. Each of the 10 self-contained two-bedroom units has heated stone floors, a kitchen, laundry, dining and sitting room and a fireplace; while glass bi-fold doors open to a private deck with a barbecue, plunge pool and unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean to take full advantage of those famous WA sunsets.
The minibar is stocked with premium regional wines, gourmet cheeses, homemade cookies, granola, and bread and jam, all provided by local gourmet cafe Merchant and Maker, and when it’s time for a rub-down you’ll have the renowned spa just a few steps away. As beautiful in winter as it is in summer, WA’s southwest is characterised by some of the country’s most gorgeous beaches along with a slew of award-winning wineries replete with Hatted, gourmet fare.
Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore
Palm Cove, QLD
Located 25 minutes north of sun-soaked Cairns and just metres from the beautiful esplanade of Palm Cove, direct beach access is just the beginning of a spa escape at Alamanda, where the backdrop is as therapeutic as the spa treatments themselves. From an age-defying facial to an indulgent five-hour cleansing of body, mind and spirit, Alamanda has you sorted if you’re looking for a holiday where wellness and self-care are a top priority.
Alamanda also caters to families, making it an ideal destination for kids on winter break. With family-friendly pool zones, an extensive game room and an exclusive animal-sightseeing package, there is something for all ages. Plus, if parents want a private date night, the resort boasts professional babysitting services.
Byron Bay, NSW
From Killan Falls and the Cape Byron Lighthouse to Crystal Castle, Blackbird is surrounded by 360-degrees of beauty, but with an adults hideaway as beautiful as this, you may not actually want to leave to see any of it. The brand new boutique property’s interior showcases Moroccan tiled bathrooms with naked copper fittings, lavish King size beds with Egyptian cotton linen on burnished concrete floors, unique reclaimed timber cabinetry and warm birch ply panelled walls. And while the neighbouring views are breathtaking year-round, the sauna and magnesium mineral infinity pool are even more relaxing during the calm winter months. Framed by acres of green rainforest, guests can wade in the water overlooking Cape Byron, Mount Chincogan and the Pacific Ocean.
Lake House Daylesford
Whilst only a short stroll from the village of Daylesford, the picturesque hotel sits amid six acres of beautiful country gardens that extend down to Lake Daylesford and provide guests with immediate access to the lake shore and the Wombat State Forest beyond.
Lake House Daylesford’s iconic restaurant boasts numerous accolades, making it a prime destination for food and wine lovers. Guests can additionally indulge in a tennis match, a soak and massage in the Salus Spa, a signature cocktail in the Argyle Library Bar or even a masterclass in the Cooking School. Sculptures and artwork from many of the region’s top artists adorn the surrounding gardens, while extensive outdoor terraces overlook the lake shore. The Lake House continuously offers special events such as hands-on cooking classes, art exhibitions and wine lunches.
Orpheus Island Lodge
Great Barrier Reef, QLD
The majority of Orpheus Island’s rain falls between January and March, so the weather will be dry and warm with cooling breezes from the southeast trade winds for the winter months, making it the perfect time to visit. From August onwards it is also manta ray and humpback whale season in the waters off the island.
The island’s snorkelling and diving are world class and the lodge itself boasts motorised dinghies to let travellers explore the neighbouring 11 kilometres of coastline, or embark on a day trip to nearby Hinchinbrook Island, Australia’s largest island national park. Head out to the fringing reef for a half-day fishing expedition and then grill your catch over an open fire in a secluded cove.
Orpheus Island is ideal for those seeking a relaxed atmosphere in an ultra-private setting. The lodge only accommodates up to 28 people, meaning you’re getting an unspoilt tropical paradise in the winter, but only if you book your room soon.
In the coastal New South Wales town of Mollymook, the winters are just as pristine as the summers. A touch over three hours south of Sydney, this quaint beachside town draws visitors with its sweeping two-kilometre beach, seaside golf courses and migrating humpback whales.
Bannisters by the Sea, which began life as a classic beach motel, has been upgraded to a chic 34-room oasis. Its suites and penthouses are particularly luxurious, with ocean views and plush touches like spa baths, fireplaces and wraparound balconies. The two Collette Dinnigan penthouses are standouts with oak floorboards, hand-printed textiles, custom marble bathrooms and classic Australian surf photographs on display.
Just down the road is Bannisters’ sleek second venture, Bannisters Pavilion, which opened in 2015. The style here is more cool and contemporary with charcoal tones, soft-hued timbers, Scandinavian-inspired furnishings and contemporary artwork. The highlight is a cantilevered rooftop pool, which hangs over the entrance.