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Best new luxury hotel openings in Australia and New Zealand

Best new luxury hotel openings in Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand have welcomed a raft of new five star hotels, private villas and luxury lodges in recent months.  Here, we’ve put together a collection of some of the hottest new luxury hotel openings in Australia and New Zealand.

Hottest new luxury hotel openings in Australia and New Zealand:

Hayman Island, Whitsundays

Hayman Island resort guest bedroom aerial of pool and spaAfter a two-year hiatus and $135m renovation program, Australia’s most iconic island resort has been refurbished, reimagined and rebranded to reopen as the InterContinental Hayman Island resort bringing a new era of luxury to the Whitsundays. Accessed by luxury launch, helicopter or seaplane from Hamilton Island, Hayman provides easy access to the outer reef, private sand cays and a range of exclusive reef experiences: from scuba diving adventures to fishing expeditions, scenic flights and sailing.

The 400-hectare private island resort offers secluded coves for snorkelling and private beaches for picnicking, as well as hiking trails and yoga sessions, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, tennis, basketball, squash, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and a collection of stunning swimming pools. From soulful and sensual spa treatments to the crafty and creative Kids Club, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is sure to have the whole family feeling thoroughly indulged. Similarly, the resort’s impressive culinary line up has something for every taste and occasion in a collection of beautiful resort settings.

166 contemporary guest rooms, suites and villas are spread over three accommodation wings: pool, beach and lagoon – all opening out to views of the Coral Sea beyond. The jewel in the Hayman accommodation crown, the new three-bedroom Hayman Beach House, enjoys direct beach access and 400sqm of privacy including indoor and outdoor dining and lounging areas as well as a private plunge pool. Or, for the Ultimate Indulgence – the whole of Hayman is also available for exclusive-use.

The Riley, Cairns

Riley Cairns Five Star Suite Pool Aerial and Waterfront Tower

Fresh and fun, cool and contemporary, the Riley is Cairns’ first new five-star hotel to open in 20 years. Stylishly good looks, thoughtful and playful amenities, a convenient waterfront location and a genuine commitment to sustainability throughout. 

Live the ‘life of Riley’ from the resort-style pool to the rooftop bar. The Crystalbrook Collection’s first Cairns property provides a choice of dining options, bikes for guest-use and decadent spa treatments in the Eleme Spa. The hotel’s 311 rooms and suites (in a range of different room categories with occupancies for up to 6 guests) cater to couples and families alike. (The Riley’s much anticipated Crystalbrook Collection ‘sibling’ properties – Bailey and Flynn – also due to open in Cairns in the coming months).

The Bungalows, South Mission Beach

Mission Bay Beachside bungalow exterior view and communal lounge

Two hours south of Cairns, three absolute beachfront villas offer a private escape from the rest of the world. Each of the free-standing air-conditioned bungalows can be booked separately, or together they offer an exclusive hideaway for families or small groups sharing the beautiful 5-acre property including a communal pavilion with lounge and dining area, a full kitchen, covered outdoor entertaining deck and a beachside swimming pool.

Each villa is provided with a gourmet hamper of breakfast goodies on arrival and guests may choose to self-cater or explore Mission Beach township’s local cafés and restaurants.

The coastal ‘cousins’ to Bedarra Island resort, the Mission Beach Bungalows offer an ideal overnight for guests transiting to the island by boat. The Bedarra Island resort transfers depart directly in front of the villas. For guests looking to stay a little longer there are bikes, kayaks and paddleboards available for guest-use as well as white water rafting on the nearby Tully River, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, fishing charters and island-hopping adventures right on the property’s doorstep.

Cabot Lodge – on the edge of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park

Cabot Lodge Exterior Private Veranda and Fiordland farmland New Zealand

An authentic working sheep farm experience with all the trimmings of a luxury lodge. 2000 acres of picture-perfect farmlands on the edge of the Fiordland National Park are framed by dramatic mountains and sparkling lakes, and provide the vistas from nearly every room in Cabot Lodge.

Accessed by private jet, helicopter or an equally scenic 2 hour drive from Queenstown, the journey to Cabot Lodge provides promise of the wonders to come.

Accommodating a maximum of just 10 guests in four luxury guest suites, each Cabot Lodge guest enjoys the luxury of seclusion and the genuine hospitality of a 5th generation sheep farming family. Experience life on a working sheep station with a range of on-farm experiences and explore the spectacular surrounds hiking, fishing, kayaking, star-gazing, jetboating, heli-touring and more.

The Elms of Lake Hayes – near Queenstown

The Elms of Lake Hayes private villa kitchen lakeside balcony and lounge room

Meet the Elms on Lake Hayes; a chic collection of three contemporary private villas perched on the shores of Lake Hayes only moments from Queenstown. The latest in luxe accommodation from the owners of Eichardt’s Private Hotel and Penthouse, each one showcases uninterrupted views and unlimited comforts. The two three bedroom and one four bedroom villa can be cleverly combined to create the ultimate luxury lakeside pad for multigenerational family get togethers and small groups. Generous lounges and living areas open to spectacular outdoor spaces with fireplaces and hot tubs.

There is a Land Rover at the ready to transport you to area’s adrenalin-fuelled adventures, a luxury launch to cruise Lake Wakatipu in style and helicopters to whisk you away on exclusive escapades in spectacular seclusion.

Pop across the road to enjoy a true taste of Central Otago (at the hatted Amisfield Winery restaurant), head into Queenstown where your tastebuds will be spoilt for choice or stay right where you are and let your private chef cook up a storm prepared exactly to your liking.

The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley

The Lindis exterior view of architectural design window luxury lodge and guest room

Ahh .. the lovely Lindis nestled in the Ahuriri Valley. Striking, sophisticated, sleek, stylish and sympathetic. The Lindis has been architecturally designed to disappear into the spectacular environment that it showcases from every stunning space. Outside, the landscape is wild and rugged, inside the lodge is warm and refined.

Each of the generously proportioned suites (just 5 in total at this stage) also enjoy a cosy indoor and private outdoor sitting area from which to enjoy the changing vistas across the valley.

Days can be spent exploring secluded corners of New Zealand’s South Island with a range of outdoor adventures: from horse-riding and fly-fishing, walking and 4 wheel-driving, bike riding or gliding* (*this is one for the bucket-list!). Return to the lodge in the evening to enjoy contemporary New Zealand cuisine, a fine glass of Kiwi-red by the fire and some of the most spectacular star-gazing on the planet.

Looking for further luxury accommodation inspiration ? read on for a collection of Australia’s Best Luxury Lodges for authentic Wildlife Encounters and some of our top Luxury Lodges for Wildlife experiences in New Zealand  or visit our guide to help you choose the right New Zealand luxury accommodation for you.

or contact the Southern Crossings design teams to tailor your perfect Australia New Zealand luxury vacation

and look out for more new luxury hotel openings in Australia and New Zealand.