So, we’re not getting off this island anytime soon. And by island, we mean Australia.
But look on the bright side… no European summer escape this year means money in the bank to spend on a pretty special staycation closer to home!
Australia is fortunate to have a whole host of high-end hotels, resorts and lodges dotted around the country, so whether you’re after a city staycation, a waterfront venue or a more secluded getaway, there’s an option waiting for you.
Splurge your pennies on one of the most luxurious and often remote retreats, and see what all the fuss is about first-hand!
Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, NSW
If you want to get away from it all, including people on the mainland, then World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is your ticket. With a landscape reminiscent of Hawaii or Tahiti, but just two short hours’ flight from Sydney, Lord Howe is an island paradise of pristine beaches, soaring mountains, untouched natural vegetation, and just 300 locals. The island’s most exclusive retreat, Capella Lodge, is on many five-star connoisseurs’ bucket list. Perched above Lovers Bay, it has breathtaking views of the imperious mountain twins, the ocean and the reef, just out front.
Mt Mulligan Lodge, QLD
Going off the grid is what it’s all about at ultra-luxe country retreat, Mt Mulligan Lodge in North Queensland. One of the state’s newest all-inclusive properties, the lodge is the outback at its finest, where you can soak in the views of the 18-kilometre-long sandstone escarpment of Mount Mulligan from the comfort of your outdoor bathtub. With more than 28,000 hectares of private property and a maximum occupancy of only 16 guests at any given time, social distancing in style is guaranteed. Daily excursions such as 4WD safaris, fishing, sunset drinks and dining are all included at this tranquil resort.
Sali Salis Ningaloo Reef, WA
Looking to ditch the screen for something realistic? You can toss your mobile phone aside at this stunning location, as there’s no Wi-Fi for miles. Eco-luxe Sal Salis in the north of Western Australia is an all-inclusive resort offering an unrivalled experience – a string of five-star glamping-style beachfront tents tucked in right next to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. A true barefoot luxury experience in one of the most stunning locations on earth, this retreat balances natural beauty with top-end dining and daytime activities such as snorkelling and swimming with whale sharks and humpbacks.
Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW
Widely known as Sydney’s best luxury hotel, the grand Park Hyatt is usually booked out by the international jetsetting elite at eye-watering prices, compared to other hotels in the city; rooms can cost in excess of $1200 a night. However, right now, the doors are wide open to locals looking to book a luxury stay in town and take advantage of the quieter winter nights. If you know where to look, you can access rooms at half the going rate – for example a special rate as part of the Hyatt Prive program: $635 a night including breakfast, upgrade upon availability, early check-in, late check out and $140 worth of hotel credit. Find out more about accessing this deal here.
InterContinental Hayman Island, QLD
Seeking the sun on a tropical getaway? How about a trip to Hayman Island in the world-famous Whitsundays right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef? Your destination here is the iconic private island resort of InterContinental Hayman Island. After a $100 million makeover last year, this resort is positioned on a two-kilometre crescent-shaped beach, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and a pristine blue ocean. Splash out and stay in the three-bedroom Hayman Beach House, while dining at a different restaurant and bar each night. With five to choose from, when it comes to dining options you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Longitude 313°, NT
The most luxurious way to experience the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is undeniably from one of the luxury pavilions at Longitude 313°. The private 15-tent eco-resort is just a stone’s throw from the sandstone monolith that is Uluru. Nothing beats the red hue of the rock when the sun sets, best viewed from the Dune House which offers panoramic views and a convenient open bar for guests.
COMO The Treasury, WA
If you’re looking for an elegant, restful base from which to explore the wilder lures of Western Australia, COMO The Treasury in Perth never disappoints. A constant contender and winner for the best city hotel in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific – after one stay you’ll surely see why. Stay in one of the hotel’s stylish suites, make the most of the day spa, awaken your inner foodie with a dining experience at Wildflower on the hotel’s rooftop with views of the city and Swan River and, to top it all off, admire the architecture of the mid-19th century state buildings it occupies.
Saffire Freycinet, TAS
This coastal sanctuary takes the cake when it comes to luxury staycations in Australia. Tucked away on Coles Bay, with stunning views across to The Hazards mountain range and Freycinet Peninsula, this lodge blends seamlessly into the breathtaking, untouched landscape with its organic design. With their all-inclusive experience, you can enjoy a sensational night’s sleep in one of 20 private suites, after spending your days hiking, oyster tasting, dining, spa-ing and cosying up with complimentary drinks while watching the sunset through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Arkaba, Flinders Ranges, SA
When you think of a former sheep station, you don’t think of luxury. But that’s where Arkaba in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges will surprise you. Set on 60,000 acres of ancient outback, Arkaba is a private conservancy which immerses you in the story of the bush – its ancient geology and diverse wildlife. Located at the foot of the ranges, the luxury homestead is shared by just 10 guests, providing a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like dining under the stars. It’s worth noting, Arkaba has recently temporarily closed, but will reopen to guests in 2021. There will be a waiting list, so get in quick!
We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
Immanuel is editor of Flight Hacks, which helps Australians to travel in style without breaking the bank, sharing reviews, news and deals on Frequent Flyer credit cards, hotels, airlines and travel insurance. One of the most active Frequent Flyers in Australia, Immanuel earned and spent more than 3 million points in the 12 months pre-COVID-19, travelling 332,533-kilometres (equivalent to circumnavigating the globe 8.5 times) and taking more than 100 business and first-class flights to 28 different countries.