The Best Hotels to Book in Darwin, Australia, for Every Traveller

H on Smith Hotel has excellent facilities, including a relaxing pool and a delicious restaurant
H on Smith Hotel has excellent facilities, including a relaxing pool and a delicious restaurant | Courtesy of H on Smith Hotel /
Laura Hampson

Darwin sits at the very top of Australia, meaning few tourists make the trip north, but for the lucky few who do, they are quick to discover its many splendours. As it’s the gateway to the beautiful Northern Territory, we recommend booking in for at least a week in the area to explore the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, the Mary River wetlands and the winding rivers in Litchfield National Park – be sure to watch out for the crocs. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Darwin, bookable on Culture Trip.

1. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Darwin, for a place in the shade


An outdoor pool with sun loungers and a poolside dining area with the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Darwin rising behind
Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Darwin /

If ever a hotel on the Darwin Esplanade was appropriately named, it’s the DoubleTree by Hilton. With tropical gardens and the beachside Bicentennial Park across the street, you’ll have no trouble hiding from the sun under shady trees. Book a room for harbour views and a suite for pool close-ups – all share sandy, neutral tones. Looking for something between sunkissed and swallowed up in the shade at this hotel in Darwin? Dining al fresco on the sun-soaked terrace at the on-site restaurant splits the distance between the pool and another order of chips.

2. Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront, for wandering around the wharf

Serviced Apartment

The shaded outdoor pool at the Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront with sun loungers on one side
Courtesy of Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront /

Save the typical hotel stay for another Aussie adventure, and claim your studio by the waterfront at Adina Apartment Hotel. Aside from a lovely lagoon view, the location puts you in the thick of the waterfront action. If your kitchenette can’t mitigate your hunger pangs, you’ll find fresh oysters on the wharf faster than you can shuck them. You could pay to park overnight, but you’d do just fine on your two feet.

3. Elsey on Parap, for more room to relax

Serviced Apartment

The contemporary exterior of Elsey on Parap, with balconies, parking and greenery all around
Courtesy of Elsey on Parap /

Close enough to the beach to feel like you’re on holiday yet just outside the CBD (Central Business District) to give you a taste of local life, these apartments are ideal for extended-stay travellers. Home-like living comes into play when you see how much space these one- and two-bedroom apartments have. Fully gourmet kitchens, dedicated dining areas and large furnished balconies will unwind your cramped legs from even the longest long-haul flight in economy. Forgotten your suntan lotion? You’re opposite the Parap Village shopping precinct.

4. Palms City Resort, for a tropical oasis


The outdoor pool at Palms City Resort with sun loungers adorned with colourful pillows and palms in the background
Courtesy of Palms City Resort /

Tropical bungalows and villas at this esplanade-front resort may have you mistaking this Darwin hotel for a crash pad in the Caribbean. Set foot onto the wooden deck of your covered terrace, fire up the electric barbecue and sip a piña colada until you forget which time zone you’re in. The indoor spa bath in the Sunset Villa is extraordinarily tempting, but if you can hold back your booking finger for just a moment, you won’t regret waiting to snag the Palms Villa with an outdoor hot tub and hidden oasis.

5. Argus Hotel, for Aboriginal art


The shaded outdoor pool at Argus Hotel with a cascading water feature
Courtesy of Argus Hotel /

You’ll love the outdoor pool with a cascading water feature at this modern hotel near the Darwin waterfront. After a swim, take a 20-minute walk over to the lush George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. Back at the hotel, smart rooms are decorated in various shades of grey; some even have Juliet balconies overlooking the CBD. The standout feature is the Aboriginal artwork adorning the walls; each piece comes from the nearby Merrepens Arts in Nauiyu Nambiyu.

6. Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront, for coastal cool


A balcony with tall white tables, one topped with a cocktail, overlooking the wave pool next to Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront
Courtesy of Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront /

In a prime position overlooking the waterfront, this Vibe Hotel outpost makes a case for the coolest accommodation in the area. Its colourful interiors are eclectic, and it’s a short walk to the celebrated Deckchair Cinema, where you can watch films under the stars during the dry season. Water-facing rooms are favoured, although all are light and airy with light woods and pops of blue, and you can escape the heat in the covered outdoor pool, local beer in hand.

7. Darwin City Hotel, for total relaxation

Boutique Hotel

A contemporary living room in an apartment leading to a balcony at Darwin City Hotel
Courtesy of Darwin City Hotel /

Behind its glass-fronted geometric facade, Darwin City Hotel hides a laid-back interior, which suits a hotel a short walk from Lameroo Beach. Take your pick from neutral-coloured hotel rooms and apartments, with the latter adding kitchens and balconies overlooking the city. Within walking distance of the Crocosaurus Cove and the Darwin Entertainment Centre, this family-run boutique hotel also houses a splash-worthy, walled outdoor pool and an in-house spa doling out reflexology and massages, not that you should be stressed.

8. H on Smith Hotel, for New World wine lovers


The sleek restaurant at H on Smith Hotel with wide-open windows overlooking the outdoor pool
Courtesy of H on Smith Hotel /

Designed and built by Territorians (Northern Territory residents), H on Smith Hotel sits in the very heart of the CBD, with spacious rooms in foodie chocolate and coffee tones. Oenophiles will love the selection of Australian and New Zealand wines that pepper the menu at the on-site restaurant, which pair perfectly with the pan-seared local barramundi. Next door, the expansive outdoor pool is fringed by lush gardens, and spending so long in your swimwear may entice you to work out in the rooftop gym, if only for the views.

9. Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel, for high-rise heaven


A contemporary one-bed guest room at Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel with dark-red armchairs and water views
Courtesy of Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel /

A contender for having the best views in Darwin, this hotel stretches 27 floors into the city skyline inside the CBD. Choose from a low-key-coloured hotel or apartment-style room; some come with a harbour view. Cool off at night in the outdoor swimming pool, illuminated by neon lights, or order a wagyu rump steak straight to your room from the on-site restaurant, the OAK.

10. Quality Hotel Darwin Airport, for a short stay

Airport Hotel

The free-form outdoor pool with shaded sitting areas and colourful potted plants at Quality Hotel Darwin Airport
Courtesy of Quality Hotel Darwin Airport /

Just a five-minute drive from the Darwin International Airport, this is a great choice for those with limited time to spend in the city – there’s a free shuttle to and from the airport. Bucking the boring airport hotel tag, you’ll find charming wooden beds and tropical art in the spacious rooms, each with a balcony overlooking the free-form outdoor pool where you can sip a cool, crisp local beer. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the park next door – it’s home to a football stadium, a rugby park and the Darwin Golf Club.

Nick Dauk contributed additional reporting to this article.

For more options, discover our guide to the best apartment rentals in Darwin and book now on Culture Trip.

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