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Adventure then rest

Notel Melbourne Best New Hotel Openings Australia Airstream

Wild Five: New Australian Hotel Openings

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Is it just me, or are there some fiendishly cute new hotels popping up all over this sunburnt country right now?! Ok, it’s winter, but you get my point. The fiance keeps having to remind me that we have our wedding coming up, or I would have already booked into a few of these beauties. So, whether you are looking to head to the snow, a nondescript Melbourne rooftop, Byron (which is a damn fine idea at this time of year), the foodie hub of Eastside Sydney or down to that Hobart place that’s so hot right now (OK, I don’t mean that at all literally, Hobart be chilly, I meant so ‘cool’ right now, there you go), these are some new boutique lodgings to put on the radar. Yours, not mine, I have a wedding coming up. The Bower, Byron Bay What do you get when you mix Manhattan and Byron Bay? Everything we ever wanted?! This new opening in everyone’s fave part of far northern New South Wales …

Cornwall Summer (Part 1): St Mawes, Penzance and the Minack Theatre

I’ve wanted to go to Cornwall for a long time, but as I approached, I realised I knew so little about what to expect. I didn’t know there would be cliffside theatres with sharks basking in aquamarine water below, or that there would be wildflowers in abundance, pirate bays and bars, accents with an endearing drawl at their strongest, modern hotels opposite centuries old buildings where seafarers have been raising tankards of ale for centuries. All this I didn’t really know. Our introduction was via St Mawes, where to arrive at the coast we found ourselves driving down one of the steepest and surely narrowest streets I’ve ever driven on (in a manual – eeeee!), so by the time we parked I was frantically looking for an alternate exit route, gulping at the thought of terrifying(ly embarrassing) hill starts. When I took a few deep breaths and looked around, I saw an endearing seaside village, where every building was white-washed, only the roofs differed in colour, and only a little. Two hotels draw a sophisticated …

Dorset Days: Lyme Regis (+ River Cottage Canteen), England

A day that starts with the natural wonders of the Jurassic Coast and ends with a pastel sunset on pastel houses by the sea is one to make you see the world through (English) rose-coloured glasses indeed. While navigating the winding country roads of Dorset is a challenge (I hadn’t driven a manual for some time, and this was a pretty rubbish re-introduction I must say – ha!), it is also a delight if you can veer your eyes off the road. Patchwork green farmlands with hedges of stone and tree, foxgloves lining the narrow roads, and the most fairy tale of cobblestone villages you could imagine – moss covered and with roofs made of straw – at times I almost expected Peter Rabbit to dart in front of the car. Hungry (probably from expending all the energy from my last meal by clenching the steering wheel tightly and despairing over two way streets with only one lane), we head direct to the seaside on arriving in town to find some grub. The beachfront footpath …

STAY: Hotel Hotel, Canberra

Staying in a killer hotel can really lift a trip into another realm. An experience in itself, Hotel Hotel in Canberra’s New Acton Nishi precinct did just that. I wanted to move in. On check-in, we were upgraded by an enthusiastically friendly and helpful concierge. I had been quite keen to check out the colourful ‘Creative Room’ style, but who says no to an upgrade (especially when the larger room included a work space and I had to do a phone interview on arrival with the creative director of Enlighten Festival)!? One thing that strikes you as you walk from lobby to hallway to room is the aesthetics of the materials used – such as concrete and reclaimed timber – which point to the eco sensibilities behind the design. The spacious (if somewhat cavernous) room was a mixture of earthy, Australian (love the Indigenous art), and contemporary with pops of colour in the shaggy stool and hanging light. I did my interview peering out the room window on a central garden that the building wraps …

Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Denmark

How does one readjust after a wild, multi-day jaunt in a muddy campsite at Roskilde Music Festival? By checking in to a stylish design hotel, with beds like fluffy clean clouds, of course! It’s about balance, people, b-a-l-a-n-c-e. I had been daydreaming about shacking up in this hotel, located in Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter, long before we arrived in Europe, after spying it in the (essential) Copenhagen Style Guide by Anna Peuckert & Søren Jepsen (of wonderful blog 12 HRS fame). And boy did I think of it when in the dirtier-than-thou campsite at Roskilde (don’t get me wrong, just the 3 1/2 hour set by Neil Young was worth that experience alone – and don’t get me started on PJ Harvey, At the Drive In, Grimes…more on that at another time). So when we showed up at the hotel, probably not looking exactly like the kind of clientele they are used to (I had a red wine stain down the front of my ripped jeans), we were ready to dump our bags, were dying for …

The Atlantic, Byron Bay

Verandas with cushioned swinging cane chairs, a custom built bocce court of sand and a camp chair-lined fire pit in the yard. There’s an air stream camper you can hire by the wood-lined lap pool. The white walls, stylish minimal furnishings and green spaces make it a genuine place of rest. It is quiet. Oh, and it’s right in the heart of Byron Bay, a mere minute’s walk from the beach. I think this is my favourite hotel in Australia. The Albatross rooms had recently opened at The Atlantic when I first caught an online glimpse of the hotel. With a tropical aquatic seafaring-style theme complete with Moroccan tiled private courtyards and outdoor shower, my heart was aflutter which I think had an immediate reaction down to my keyboard finger because I booked right away. While lazing on our private courtyard in a swing chair (or was it on the daybed?!), reading the perfectly curated little leaflet guide to their recommended places in the area (such as Folk Byron Bay), I knew I had arrived …

Haweswater Hotel, Lake District, England

Filling up our tank on a day driving around the Lake District, the service attendant asks where we are staying. “Haweswater Hotel”, we tell him and he looks surprised. “That’s a great spot”, he says “it’s where us locals hang out on our days off”. Skymie and I exchange a smirk. Originally, I questioned whether staying by a reservoir in a district of lakes was the wrong move, but the website made it look so damn peaceful and pretty that I couldn’t resist.  Once checked in, we discovered it was also in a quiet little hikers paradise, with the start of some spectacular walks just down the road (you can read about our first short wander here). In an English summer the sun stays up until late in the evening, so our first dinner was by the bright windows of the dining room. The interiors were modern country with deep grey blue walls, mounted with a deer head or two. This wasn’t exactly to Skymie’s tastes as he’s vegetarian (I was also for a very long …