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Como The Treasury, Perth

It’s not usually known for first-rate accommodation but late last year the Western Australian capital unveiled the country’s most stunning new hotel.

Como The Treasury is an inspirational reimagining of three grand colonial piles that have, at various times in the past 140 years, housed the GPO, Treasury and the WA cabinet.

This elegant urban resort, modelled on the “warmth and refinement” of a (super posh) Perth home, greets house guests with champagne and a sophisticated, adult approach to service.

Diners and drinkers are spoiled for choice; the pick of the eight offerings on site are rooftop fine diner Wildflower and the deliciously louche Thai joint Long Chim in the basement.


Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Notel, Melbourne

It’s the most talked about trailer park in Melbourne.

Six shiny Airstream caravans craned onto the roof of a laneway carpark and then fitted out with all the kit an urban-cool hunter could expect.

When they open in July (fingers crossed), Notel’s chrome caravans will feature smartly dressed double beds, en suites with full showers, in-room tablets and complimentary minibars in a top location for uncovering Melbourne’s secret street life.


Salamanca Arthouse, Hobart

It’s not exactly new but Salamanca Arthouse is still off the radar for most Hobart visitors.

Let’s fix that.

This historic Battery Point cottage with views across Salamanca to the Derwent River was built as staff quarters for the Marine Board.

These days, thanks to the good taste of artist-owner Genevieve de Couvreur, it’s a superbly comfortable city-edge sanctuary with two bedrooms, fab kitchen, artworks galore and a secret den lined with convict-cut sandstone and charcoal shag-pile.

Salamanca markets are a few minutes’ walk; the city’s on your doorstep.


Bannisters Pavilion, NSW

Once-sleepy Mollymook Beach on the NSW south coast can’t help but keep gentrifying.

The change in fortunes began when its beachfront motel morphed into a boutique hotel (Bannisters by the Sea) with a signature restaurant by British seafood guru Rick Stein.

New sister property Bannisters Pavilion lacks the sea views but has a rooftop restaurant and pool and 35 rooms – including two penthouses.


Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Ovolo, Woolloomooloo Sydney

You might remember it as the old Blue hotel at Woolloomooloo, or perhaps the Taj.

In its latest incarnation, Sydney’s most famous wharf hotel is Hong Kong owned and even hotter.

The new owners have put technology first and design a close second, which means guests are likely to spend their stay uploading shots of Ovolo’s cool interiors – and exterior views of harbour and gardens – to Instagram.

Book a table at one of the wharf-front restaurants for a very Sydney night of celeb-spotting.


Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The Old Clare, Sydney

The Old Clare is the latest outing by edgy Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng (196 Bishopsgate in London, Shanghai’s Waterhouse).

His painstaking conversion of the landmark County Clare pub and a breweries building next door has produced an idiosyncratic, 62-room inner-city hotel that’s been a buzzing success since opening in September.

The light-filled rooms feature textured floors of spotted gum, snuggly Waverley blankets and custom furnishings.

Many have views of the world’s tallest vertical garden at neighbouring Central Park apartments.

Within the six-level hotel you’ll also find a rooftop pool and bar, Jason Atherton’s Kensington Street Social and two of Sydney’s most acclaimed new eateries, Silvereye and Automata.


Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Spicers Suites, Brisbane

Spicers Balfour has been the hotel choice of discerning Brisbane visitors for years.

Now Spicers has opened the neighbouring Balfour Suites, an art deco mansion of eight rooms that combine period styling with contemporary necessities such as wi-fi and Bose sound systems.

There’s no restaurant on site but good food’s available around the corner in buzzing Brunswick Street or at the original hotel, just a few steps away, where the breakfast menu runs to chia-seed Bircher muesli and eggs with jamon.


Coming soon

Melbourne’s finally about to get its own QT, the eclectic hotel chain that’s shaking things up in Sydney, Canberra and Queensland.

The 188-room QT Melbourne will open in Russell Street in September with a rooftop bar, a restaurant conceived by Robert Marchetti and all the quirk of QT hotels.

Art Series Hotels is about to debut in Brisbane with The Johnson, an 85-room inn at Spring Hill with a 50-metre pool and interiors courtesy of Australian artist Michael Johnson.

When Crown Towers Perth comes on line in December, it will be the WA capital’s biggest hotel, with 500 rooms.

Up north, the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas has had a $40-million freshen-up courtesy of new Chinese owners.