New hotels blossom

Sydney’s newest luxury hotel opens on February 1, and it is just one of several exciting new places to stay around the country, travel editor Winsor Dobbin reports.

There is a lot of hype swirling around the opening of Australia’s first Kimpton hotel in Sydney on February 1. The space formerly occupied by the Primus Hotel has been given a complete makeover and the promo blurb insists the Kimpton Margot Hotel will be the “city’s most exciting hotel development of the decade”.

Previous guests will remember how beautiful the building is with its 1930s vibe but the Kimpton, with celebrity chef Luke Mangan on board, promises a range of new experiences both for guests and anyone wanting to wine and dine. Kimpton Margot Sydney has a partnership with Lekker bikes and has mapped out the best of Sydney on wheels. Guests are free to just take some wheels and explore the city streets and nearby Hyde Park at their leisure.

Away from the bustle of Pitt Street are 172 spacious rooms and suites – most with bathtubs. The walls will feature whimsical wall art from global artists – close to 600 in all. The rooftop swimming pool is surrounded by a terrace, conference, and event spaces while Luke’s Kitchen will have a menu curated by chef Luke Mangan.

Cellar By Luke will highlight a unique wine experience, where guests can dine on daily culinary curations surrounded by walls of Australian and International wines. Sound like me. Also set amid the Art Deco decor will be the 1930’s-style The Wilmot Bar, which will offer a range of cocktails. 

Located in the heart of Sydney’s “south-side”, just down from the State Theatre and the QVB and close enough to be within walking distance to Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, Kimpton Margot Sydney is in a prime location. Rates will start from $350.

New in Melbourne is high-rise accommodation marking the debut of the Oakwood Premier brand in the Australasia region. 

Oakwood, which has over 60 properties worldwide, says the new landmark in Southbank is one of the tallest, single-purpose developments in Australia, soaring 140 metres and 40 storeys over the central business district with views of the CBD and the Yarra River, South Melbourne, Albert Park and Port Phillip Bay.

Oakwood Premier Melbourne now extends the Oakwood Premier brand presence to 10 major cities including Bengaluru; Guangzhou; Incheon; Jakarta; Singapore; Seoul and Tokyo.

The new property has 132 hotel rooms and 260 serviced apartments with fully equipped kitchens. 

On site, Fifth is an all-day dining destination offering modern Australian cuisine with a Pacific Rim influence. Other amenities include a Sky Bar, state-of-the-art fitness centre, three meeting rooms, two multi-purpose event venues, co-working space, games centre fitted with modern entertainment for those looking to play snooker or video games and two outdoor “green oases” just a stroll from Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Melbourne Market and Marvel Stadium.

For more information, visit Oakwood Premier Melbourne

The Whitsundays in Queensland have a new luxury hotel brand with the opening this week of the The Sebel Whitsundays Airlie Beach.

The property features 54 newly refurbished apartment-style guestrooms, including a selection of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom penthouses and a four-bedroom presidential suite that sound very, well, presidential. The resort, formerly known as Blue Horizons, has a 15-metre swimming pool and heated outdoor spa, fitness centre, and outdoor dining area with barbeque facilities.

Airlie Beach is the mainland hub of the Whitsundays and a popular starting point for tourists visiting the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands.

The Sebel Whitsundays Airlie Beach joins a network of more than 30 Sebel properties across Australia and New Zealand. In the Whitsundays, Accor also operates Mantra Boathouse Apartments Airlie Beach and Mantra Club Croc Airlie Beach.

Opening rates start from $275 per night in a one-bedroom apartment. To book, visit

The hottest address in Hobart right now is the new Tasman Hotel, part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection (pictutred top).

The Tasman showcases Hobart, a destination steeped in rich history and Australia’s second-oldest capital city.

There was some smart work in the lead-up to the opening with The Tasman snapping up some of the state’s key hospitality talent in chef Massimo Mele, sommelier Michael Fisher and bar manager Ronan Kavanagh. The building itself is a delightful blend of old and new – with a range of room styles to suit all tastes.

Centrally located within the restored heritage area of Parliament Square – overlooking Hobart’s historic waterfront – The Tasman is just steps away from the city’s famous Salamanca Markets, St David’s Park, and historic Sullivan’s Cove.

The Tasman is an elegant heritage reconstruction of former state government offices that brings together three eras of design: Georgian, Art Deco, and contemporary. The site contains buildings spanning 180 years.

The Tasman offers 152 guest rooms and suites and the hotel’s Art Deco rooms date back to 1937.

The 108 square-metre Aurora Suite has panoramic views of Hobart’s waterfront and city skyline as well as a massive entertainment terrace, perfect for hosting private events.

The Tasman features three distinct epicurean experiences highlighting and celebrating the best of Tasmanian produce and cuisine.

At Peppina, the hotel’s signature restaurant, renowned Tasmanian chef Mele combines his passion for championing local producers and quality ingredients, while Mary Mary is an intimate craft cocktail bar and spirit library and the Deco Lounge offers a refined space to enjoy afternoon tea or a light lunch in a setting that spills out onto a terrace overlooking Parliament Square.

For more information visit

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