You came, you clicked, you checked out a LOT of beautiful accommodation this year. From quaint country cottages to luxe beachside retreats, you couldn’t get enough of Australia’s best boutique stays. We’ve been crunching the numbers to find out which properties really got you clicking this year, and have rounded up 10 of the most popular. Already visited them? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. Haven’t stayed at them yet? We think we just found your New Year’s resolution for 2016…
If you’re looking to explore the chic beach style of Perth’s Cottesloe, you need a chic beach pad to match. Cottesloe Beach House Stays offers a range of boutique stays that tick all the necessary boxes, from the big stuff (perfect locations, architectural and interior design) right down to the finer details like luxurious linen, mod cons, barbecues and laundry facilities. Many of the properties also come with extras like ocean views, WiFi and cable TV, so you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your taste and budget.
We know you love a hard-to-find gem, so it’s no surprise that Harts Farm has made this list. Tucked away on a secluded property on the Mornington Peninsula, there’s only one suite available at a time, which means you’ll have this architecturally-designed villa all to yourself. Outside, take in the views of the dam, vineyard, olive grove and rolling hills, before heading inside to indulge in the lush linens, freestanding tub and inviting daybed.
Set right on the beachfront, surrounded by turquoise waters and white sand, this private paradise takes romance to the next level. And as if its unforgettable setting wasn’t enough, the eco-friendly East Bedarra Island Retreat also has all the trimmings you would expect of a world-class hideaway. The centrepiece is the open-air covered lounge deck with a 3D cinema overlooking a stunning natural swimming pool and private beach, so you can watch movies with the islands and stars as the backdrop.
If there was ever a perfect property from which to watch the sun rise over the Southern Ocean, it’s Points South by the Sea. Just 10 minutes from Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, these cottages offer 180-degree views from every room. When the blue waters become too enticing to resist, take the track down to the private beach and dive straight in. Later, curl up in front of the wood fire or soak up the sun on the comfy daybed.
Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is a collection of tranquil sanctuaries set in a 250-acre rainforest reserve that’s surrounded on three sides by a World Heritage-listed national park. These hideaways have each been architecturally designed to immerse you in eco-conscious luxury. You can choose between six different styles of accommodation, ranging from the Creek Side Cabins up to the Luxury Mountain View Lodges with plunge pools. Each has polished timber floors, panoramic glazing and pitched roofs that lend an incredible sense of space and light.
Leader Reef in Victoria’s High Country is a winner in more ways than one. It was designed with both function and fashion in mind. The result? A contemporary enclave set in Bright’s stunning mountainous surrounds. The house is incredibly flexible, with two separate sections that can be closed off from one another. This layout makes Leader Reef ideal for families; the kids can play or sleep in one area, while the parents kick back in another. The pool and large outdoor deck will be a hit too.
Seaside glamour has found a new home on the Sunshine Coast: Mooloolaba. Oceans Mooloolaba Beach sits right in the heart of this buzzing hub. You can choose from two-, three- or four-bedroom apartments or penthouses. Every accommodation is superbly appointed – think full marble bathrooms, luxury fittings and gorgeous furnishings – and has sweeping ocean views. Naturally, the swimming pool is excellent. The resort boasts some other luxe facilities too, including a wading pool for little ones and a movie theatrette for adults.
Love the outdoors but don’t love the idea of sleeping mats and camper stoves? Head for Wilderness Retreats at Wilsons Promontory, a string of glamping tents sure to convert even the most reluctant camper into a nature-lover. The safari-style tents give guests the chance to experience all the Prom has to offer – bushwalks, ocean swims, wildlife encounters – but also provide plush beds, ensuites, hot showers and private decks.
The self-contained stays from Port Stephens Luxury Apartments are located in two incredible resorts. A handful of the apartments can be found at the Pacific Blue resort at Salamander Bay. The swim-in and swim-out apartments available mean you can pad around your digs barefoot and don’t even have to worry about putting on flip-flops to go for a swim. Plus, the resort has a Japanese steam room, gym, tennis courts, day spa, restaurant and bar.