Over the past decade these 12 luxurious lodges and hotels have changed the where and the way people stay in Australia
Pretty Beach House, NSW Central Coast
During its two-and-a-half-year hiatus, the recently reopened Pretty Beach House has been restored to its former beauty, and then some.
The house sits up high on an escarpment nestled among angophoras and gum trees, overlooking the pristine beaches of the Bouddi National Park. It is the epitome of understated luxury in all of its Australian coastal glory.
Its refurbishment has seen a complete rebuild of the main guest house and an additional pavilion was added; the house now sleeps an intimate number of eight guests.
The interiors are simply lovely in earthy tones to reflect the tranquil location, with premium soft furnishings and bespoke pieces (multi-million dollar Australian art by the likes of Sidney Nolan, for instance).
Three of the four pavilions have their own private plunge pools; the penthouse suite its own spacious verandah with a day bed and gas fireplace overlooking the escarpment.
Service is impeccable, but relaxed, with the aim to make guests feel like they’re at home (a very plush home, that is).
Meals are all taken care of by multi-award-winning chef Dean Jones, with his signature modern Italian cuisine.
Partake in a private cooking class, taste the rare and fine wine in the cellar, indulge in spa treatments, or leave the cosy cocoon of the house for a while and explore the surrounding Bouddi National Park with a guided hike, mountain bike or luxury yacht.
You can even hop on a helicopter and head to the Hunter Valley for some wine tasting there. Because nothing feels more like home than a private helicopter tour, right?
Originally published in the Australian Traveller, June/July 2015