10 quirky stays to make your luxury getaway even cooler
When it comes to holiday bucket lists, it’s all about the unforgettable experience we’ll have when we arrive. It's the original details that stick out in our memory of adventures had. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a selection of awesome getaways with a unique point of difference – be it an interesting backstory, stunning location or amazing design. You won’t find any cookie-cutter hotel suites among this lot.
Aquila Barn, Wynyard TAS
As the name suggests, Aquila Barn is an old hay barn beautifully converted into a sophisticated home on the spectacular landscape of northwest Tasmania’s Table Cape. This unique, eco-friendly, on-farm retreat encourages blissful timeout amongst nature. Its award-winning design includes big picture windows that capture the farmlands sloping away to the sea, so you’re connected to the outdoors even while cosy inside. Secluded on a hilltop and surrounded by a vast acreage, this one-of-a-kind escape is incredibly peaceful.
Morgantis, Eganstown VIC
Another unique spa country escape just outside of Daylesford, Morgantis is a stunningly restored 19th century homestead. The original façade remains, though step inside and it’s all spacious, modern luxury. Our favourite spots here are the cocooning sunroom, perfect for morning coffees and afternoon lounging, and the outdoor entertaining area with its wood-fire pizza oven for whipping up al fresco meals enjoyed against the backdrop of an ornamental lake. Pick up a few bottles of the region’s excellent cool-climate wine and settle into the ultimate country retreat.
Library House, Hobart TAS
A union of creative minds has brought this incredible haven in West Hobart to life. Conceptualised by an author and a musician and executed by an award-winning architect, Library House really is something else. An elegant 19th century home in front, contrasts with to striking modern design at the back. Rose filled gardens contain apricot and apple trees, raspberry canes and herbs – and you’re welcome to whatever is in season. The real treat, however, waits inside; the views are stunning, the fittings luxurious and the book collection impressive (curated by writer and owner Heather Rose). The literary theme runs throughout the house, as each room is named after a favourite novel.
Wilderness Island, Wilderness Island WA
Wilderness Island is a remote atoll on the eastern fringe of the Exmouth Gulf. As the only habitation in this rich marine environment, you are treated to total seclusion. This is one of Australia’s most unique remote experiences, offering a window into a natural world of unparalleled beauty. There are just five tent cabins available; each sits on the headland a short stroll from the water’s edge. You’ll spend days swimming, snorkelling, fishing and wandering the empty beach, and nights cooking up the daily catch and dining under the stars.
Elvenhome Farm, Weegena TAS
Surrounded by the rolling hills of Tasmania’s Mersey Valley, Elvenhome Farm seamlessly blends eco design with its gorgeous natural setting. On a five-acre plot transformed into fruit orchards and kitchen gardens, this biodynamic space is the brainchild of Graham Swinsburg. His passion for green living inspired him to share the experience through a farm-stay retreat. Wander the grounds with your host to learn the features of sustainable building design and how to grow healthy crops of your own (or how to keep your herb planter from wilting). The cottage interiors feature polished bamboo floors, bohemian wall tapestries and wild flowers, and the sun-drenched patio will ensure you get your fix of vitamin D. This is a wholesome haven like no other.
Planetrees Lodge, Stanley VIC
Settled on five acres of immaculate gardens in the historic gold-rush town of Beechworth is Planetrees Lodge. Retired architect Genevieve Milham has made this place her passion project, with stunning results. The standout of this High Country home is the 16-metre ‘natural swim pond’, an infinity edged pool set within a lily covered lake complete with rock features and relaxed decking. This is truly a one-of-a-kind design, and the perfect spot to kick back in summer. When you’re tired of wading, play on the full-length bocce pitch, read in the hammock, or forage in the impressive veggie garden for dinner ingredients. Inside, you’ll rest within cool log-lined walls in luxe mountain lodge style.
The Art House, Newrybar NSW
Part heritage cottage, part art space, The Art House isn’t your average Byron Bay getaway. The works dressing the walls are courtesy of The Channon Gallery – located a 40-minute drive away towards Nimbin – and are an ever-changing display of local, indigenous and contemporary art. No matter where you sit on the art appreciation spectrum, be it a novice or long-time art enthusiast, the likelihood of one or more pieces catching your eye is high. The good news is that all works around The Art House are for sale, giving you the chance to take home a souvenir much more striking than a magnet or dust-collecting memento. Art House has something for cooks too, with a garden teeming with vegetables and herbs available to guests to use in their meal prep.
Banubanu Wilderness Retreat, Bremer Island NT
Bragging rights; here you come. Banubanu Wilderness Retreat is one of the most isolated getaways in the Beautiful Accommodation collection, and it is for that reason that makes it impossible to go past when talking spectacular stays. Located on Bremer Island off the coast of Arnhem Land, Banubanu is a string of eco-friendly bungalows and cabins that see no more than 16 guests staying at the retreat at one time. As well as the opportunity for a healthy dose of R&R, guests can take up the opportunity for fishing excursions and cultural encounters with local Aboriginal communities. Comb the beach during the day, stargaze at night, or mingle with your fellow travellers in the Robinson Crusoe-esque lounge and dining area.
Howard’s Hill, Boneo VIC
Feel like horsing around? You need to hoof it to Howard’s Hill. This re-furbished barn has all the calling cards of its past life; timber beams, corrugated iron, stable-style doors, high ceilings, and a warmth that will instantly make you feel more relaxed. The eclectic décor is pretty cool too, with brightly-coloured cushions and furnishings, a ping-pong table and plenty of equine-themed accents. The barn is set on 30 acres of Mornington Peninsula bushland, so forget about formality and kick off your shoes on arrival. Take a seat on the master bedroom’s balcony, or underneath the umbrella on the sun-blessed deck to start the getaway vibes. Don’t forget to say hello to the resident horses, and guests can bring along their own pooch or horses too. Giddy-up.
Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat, Warooka SA
Although Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat was originally designed as an artist’s retreat, you don’t need to be a native with paints or clay to book in for a visit to this country dwelling. Encouraging guests to tap into their inner creative is the name of the game here, so Ballara offers all-inclusive accommodation packages that boast a range of activities that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Morning meditation and sun salutations will be on the agenda for yogis, or budding painters can perch themselves at an easel for a sketching or oil painting session. Photography and cooking classes are also available. Whichever you choose, inspiration won’t be hard to find: simply look around the 1900s retreat (much of the original furniture is still scattered throughout the house) or point your peepers across the backyard towards the ocean.
To get to your next luxury stay even faster, take a peek at our collection of getaways you can book now.