Rick Stein’s empire is coming to Port Stephens

Rick Stein’s iconic luxury hotel Bannisters will be cementing itself in Port Stephens later this year

Continuing his love affair for the coastline surrounding Sydney, Rick Stein and general manager of Bannisters Port Stephens Pete Bacon have announced a takeover of the rundown Salamander Shores hotel in Port Stephens to make room for another boutique Bannisters hotel and of course, a brand new Rick Stein restaurant.

With the project set to come to life later this year, diners and holiday-goers have plenty to look forward to, according to Bacon. “We’ll be offering barefoot luxury in Port Stephens. We’re really excited about the changes we’re making. It’s going to be spectacular when it’s done,” said Bacon to the Port Stephens Examiner.

Bannisters Port Stephens will have up to 80 boutique rooms on offer, including six luxury suites and a penthouse.

With Rick Stein onboard, we can expect yet another award-winning restaurant that heroes local seafood. Stein will be making the most of local king prawns, flathead, bream, whiting, calamari and oysters at the rear of the hotel just above the tavern which is the only open aspect of the Salamander Shores today.

However, the historic Salamander Shores building won’t become entirely unrecognisable: to create a Hamptons feel throughout the establishment, architect Tony Freeman and interior designer Romy Alwill have opted to keep the structure of Salamander Shores but adapt the facade to create a retro look to match the infinity pool and cocktail bar.

Bannisters Port Stephens will be a luxurious extension of Rick Stein’s empire which spans across multiple continents. The location of the new Bannisters branch means Sydneysiders are spoilt for choice having not one but two Rick Stein establishments just hours from home.

Salamander Shores has since been partly demolished and is currently under construction (Image: Port Stephens Examiner)

“It’s another beautiful stretch of New South Wales coastline, like Mollymook. When we saw the [Port Stephens] landscape from the lookout above Nelson Bay we were filled with a sense of excitement to see an almost continuous vista of bays, headlands, peninsulas and the open sea beyond,” says Stein of his new feat. Overlooking the Karuah River, most rooms will have waterfront outlooks while others will offer bush and forest views.

The overhaul of Salamander Shores alone is expected to have cost $7 million.

For more on what the New South Wales coast has to offer, check out our Secrets of the South Coast.

(Featured Image: Bannisters by the Sea, Mollymook/Broadsheet)