The Best Resorts to Book in Australia

Relax by the pool or hit the waves at these sublime resorts around Australia
Relax by the pool or hit the waves at these sublime resorts around Australia | Courtesy of Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast / Booking.com
Photo of Tristan Parker
1 November 2021
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Let’s face it: these days you need more from your holiday accommodation than simply a roof over your head. Luckily, there are tons of resorts in Australia designed to boost your holiday to the next level and beyond. All-inclusive beach hotels offer rock-star treatment with fancy restaurants and spas, while simpler stays out in nature let you soak up Australia’s flora and fauna – and of course, there’s plenty in-between. Here’s our pick of the best resorts and hotels plucked from around Australia – bookable on Culture Trip.

Lizard Island Resort, for isolation and indulgence on the Great Barrier Reef

Lizard Island Resort airy large room with sea view designed in light colours with armchairs and a terrace
Courtesy of Lizard Island Resort / Expedia
Get up-close to the mighty Great Barrier Reef at this luxurious, all-inclusive venue – which is the region’s most northerly resort. The location on secluded Lizard Island is a big draw, yet so is the list of high-end amenities and all-inclusive perks – such as unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, an in-room minibar and use of stand-up paddle-boards and sea kayaks, allowing you to get out and experience the Reef. Accommodation includes villas – some with a private plunge pool – beachfront suites and garden-view rooms, all stylishly appointed and ultimately cosy. Diving excursions are available to book if you want to experience even more of the Reef’s beauty.

Qualia, for a heavenly location and facilities to match on Hamilton Island

Lounge area in a suite at Qualia in wood construction with sweeping sea views, open walls and an outdoor terrace with plunge pool
Courtesy of Qualia / Expedia
Framed by Hamilton Island’s coral and white sandy beaches, Qualia is blessed with a blissful setting. Luxury is weaved into everything here – from the painstakingly stylish guest pavilions, many with a private pool, and private golf buggies for exploring the island to the on-site fine-dining restaurants. However, you can order lunch at the poolside if you prefer. It’s almost easy to forget you’re staying in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, so remind yourself of its stunning natural beauty by booking onto a snorkelling trip or a guided bushwalk to learn more about the landscape.

Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa, for exploring nature near Daintree Rainforest

Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa outdoor pool with loungers, gardens and hot tub
Courtesy of Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa / Booking.com
This plush, five-star resort is tucked into a gorgeous nook of Queensland’s aptly named Palm Cove village. It’s a great spot for exploring the Great Barrier Reef or the truly epic Daintree Rainforest, or perhaps even whitewater rafting at nearby Barron Gorge. For something more relaxing, try a gourmet picnic on an idyllic sand cay – a small island – with a helicopter chauffeur. And that’s before you’ve even sampled what’s on offer at the hotel: spa bedrooms, penthouse apartments, a poolside lagoon bar, an organic-led restaurant with wines hand-picked by a sommelier, an extensive spa – with an even more extensive treatment menu – plus much more.

Orpheus Island Lodge, for intimate luxury on the Great Barrier Reef

Orpheus Island Lodge outdoor pool with decking and loungers beneath palms with views to sea and a small pier with a boat
Courtesy of Orpheus Island Lodge / Booking.com
Grab yourself a luxurious island getaway at this intimate retreat in the Great Barrier Reef. To retain an exclusive, personal vibe, there are only 14 suites here – all bright, airy and packed with welcome extras, like yoga mats and hi-spec sound systems. It’s an all-inclusive affair, so you can enjoy three gourmet meals every day, a minibar and other drinks – including local wines – plus use of motorised dinghies and sports equipment like kayaks and catamarans. As for the island itself, this is the stuff that beach dreams are made of with golden sands, palm-fringed coastline and crystal-clear waters – it’s all here.

Niramaya Villas and Spa, for a tropical getaway near Port Douglas

Niramaya Villas and Spa driveway and entrance with palms and triangular construction
Courtesy of Niramaya Villas and Spa / Booking.com
Swathes of lush greenery provide quite the welcome as you arrive at Niramaya, set just off the coast of Port Douglas in Queensland. The accommodation is just as impressive – made up of spacious, beautifully designed self-contained villas, each with multiple rooms and lake or garden views, some with spa facilities. There’s also a day spa offering treatments like hot stone massage and hydrating facials, a restaurant if you don’t fancy using your villa’s kitchen, plunge pools, saunas and tennis courts. You’re also minutes away from the beach – and there’s the chance to book trips out to Daintree Rainforest and around the Great Barrier Reef.

Crystalbrook Byron, for a rainforest retreat in Byron Bay

Crystalbrook Byron outdoor pool with loungers and lawns beneath thick forest
Courtesy of Crystalbrook Byron / Booking.com
Hidden away in 18ha (45 acres) of subtropical rainforest is this luxurious, nature-driven retreat in New South Wales. The theme continues within the rooms, which all offer views of the rainforest – including treetop suites with canopy views – and eco-conscious features. There’s an infinity pool and day spa for unwinding, plus an on-site restaurant focusing on local produce. When it’s time to branch out, take a shuttle bus or short drive to Byron Bay – where you’ll find the landmark Cape Byron Lighthouse, plenty of hip cafes and restaurants and surfing opportunities galore if you’re chasing waves.

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast, for beachfront scenes on the Gold Coast

Large pool with palms and a boardwalk at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast
Courtesy of Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort / Booking.com
As well as being set amongst tropical gardens and lagoons, this proudly upscale venue also boasts a prime beachfront location on the Gold Coast. A range of room options means you can choose anything from a simple-ish – yet still plush – garden terrace room to a deluxe spa studio. There are two on-site pools, but let’s be honest – most people will prefer to take a dip in the ocean, just metres away. If you choose to stick around the hotel’s Oasis Pool Bar, you can order ice cream and cocktails without even leaving the water.

RACV Torquay Resort, for road tripping on the Great Ocean Road

RACV Torquay Resort with golf course at sunset
Courtesy of RACV Torquay Resort / Booking.com
The location of this sprawling, modern hotel is a big draw for many. For starters, it’s set in a greenery-heavy part of Torquay, Victoria – meaning it’s at the beginning of the heralded Great Ocean Road coastal route. But even if you don’t get to explore all of the road’s 243km (151mi), you’ve still got the Victoria Surf Coast on your doorstep, packed with beaches and dramatic scenery – and first-rate surfing, of course. If surfing isn’t your thing, the hotel comes with an 18-hole golf course attached, plus tennis courts, a heated swimming pool and a spa with indulgent water treatments, like a Japanese-style deep tub soak to enjoy. Accommodation-wise, enjoy spacious and well-equipped rooms, some with views of the ocean or golf course.

The Islander Noosa Resort, for appreciating nature on the Sunshine Coast

The Islander Noosa Resort outdoor pool with loungers and palms and thatched cabana
Courtesy of The Islander Noosa Resort / Booking.com
Base yourself at this laid-back, tropical-styled resort and not only will you be on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – meaning you’ve got top-notch beaches on your doorstep – but you’ll also be staying in a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, demonstrating Noosa’s incredible diversity of local nature. Restaurants, cafes and bars are scattered all around you in the town of Noosaville, but there’s plenty to keep you entertained at the resort, including three pools – one of which is a lagoon pool – three spas and two saunas.

The Anchorage, for sublime spa days in Port Stephens

The Anchorage simple room in white with knitted blanket on a double bed and with three large windows overlooking a harbour
Courtesy of The Anchorage / Booking.com
Spoil yourself with some five-star treatment at this smart, high-end resort, which features all manner of indulgent options. When you’ve finished making the most of the acclaimed spa and the gleaming rooms, take time to enjoy the location on the Port Stephens waterfront, where you can watch boats come and go. You’re also steps away from Corlette Beach, which should put you in the mood for seeking out one of the region’s highlights – the towering, Sahara-like sand dunes. End the day with a stroll around the town and a nightcap from Moby’s Bar back at the Anchorage – which offers a dizzying list of high-quality whiskies from around the globe.

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