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Defining a boutique hotel is simple: it should be intimate and stylish, have fewer than 100 rooms and be located somewhere unique. While the definition is easy, finding the best boutique hotels in Australia is something that requires a bit of research. It all comes down to style, décor, service, attention to detail and that special something that can sometimes be hard to define. You’ll find all these things and more at these Australian boutique hotels.  

Best boutique hotels in Tasmania

Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair, Tasmania

On the shores of Lake St Clair, you’ll find the Pumphouse, an industrial relic from an early 20th-century hydro project that was left to the elements then reimagined into a luxury hotel called Pumphouse Point. This is a hotel that delivers on style, comfort, and romance, all located in a landscape that could be from a John Glover painting. There are three different accommodation options to choose from, each of them unique. There is the Pumphouse on Lake St Clair, the Residence on the shoreline, and a hidden nook called the Retreat. Which would you choose? Rest assured, they’re all worthy of a night or three.

Pumphouse Point the Retreat
Pumphouse Point the Retreat

The Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania

Hailed as an architectural masterpiece that fuses history with a contemporary design and original artworks, the Henry Jones Art Hotel was considered the must-stay hotel in Hobart (and Australia overall) in the early 2000s. However, it has recently faced serious competition, somewhat ironically from its sister hotel across the road, MACq 01. In response to this hotel’s ‘sibling rivalry’, the Henry Jones Art Hotel underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade that transformed it into the place to stay in Hobart once more. Featuring stunning rooms and suites that overlook Hobart’s docks, this hotel has all your wants and needs covered including amazing dining on offer at Landscape Restaurant located on the ground floor.

The ultra stylish Landscape Restaurant at the Henry Jones Art Hotel
Landscape Restaurant at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart

Best boutique hotels in Victoria

Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria

Occupying a 1930s warehouse, the Adelphi Hotel meets all the necessities of a boutique hotel with only 34 rooms and loads of style. At the Adelphi Hotel, you will quickly realise this hotel has a focus on designer décor and style with a quirky touch or two. From furry seats in the rooms to its rooftop pool and cool bar, this hotel is designed to impress. Add in a location in the centre of Melbourne and you have all you need for an Instworthy stay in the heart of the city.

Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne
Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Victoria

This destination hotel sits in the small hamlet of Dunkeld, at the southern end of Grampians National Park. With a travel time from Melbourne of around 3 hours, you might wonder, “Is it worth the time?” but your taste buds will be screaming “Yes!”. Home to the multi-award winning Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel restaurant, the Royal Mail Hotel offers something for everyone from passionate foodies to those in search of romance or simply a luxe getaway. Consisting of three categories of accommodation from a modern contemporary hotel to romantic blue stone cottages and a neighbouring homestead, you’ll find plenty of country charm and soft rural décor combined with modern furnishings but the big drawcard is the dining. You – and your stomach – will want to return here again and again.

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Victoria
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Best boutique hotels in South Australia

The Franklin Boutique Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia

This is perhaps one of the smallest and cheapest boutique hotels in Australia, but it’s also one that’s filled with charisma and loads of authentic charm. The Franklin Boutique Hotel is located in the now trendy West End of Adelaide and is an original 1855 heritage hotel that’s now a gastro pub and cool contemporary hotel. Featuring only seven rooms, this tiny boutique hotel certainly packs a stylish punch, with rooms in different shapes and sizes due to the historic nature of the building. The deluxe rooms feature queens beds, the superior rooms have kings, and the spacious premium rooms have super kings. But best of all, all of them have vintage features that are still visible in many rooms with ornate fireplaces, ceiling roses, and picture rails highlighted with some modern extras and modern bathrooms decked out in simple black and white.  Sit on the deck with an eclectic mix of chairs with a wine or beer in hand and soak in the mix of old and new in the city’s heart.

The Franklin Boutique Hotel, Adelaide
The Franklin Boutique Hotel, Adelaide

Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Mount Lofty House is a heritage building with a legendary reputation for socialising and entertaining. Built by parliamentarian Arthur Hardy in 1852, the stately venue was renowned for Gatsby-esque parties where anything could happen (and quite often did). These days the architecturally stunning building is widely regarded as one of South Australia’s best hotels and dining venues. Located only 15 minutes from Adelaide, Mount Lofty House offers guests the style and charm of the old world but with an all-modern fitout. With numerous room options including some with views of the valley and vineyards plus the added bonus of a 3 hatted restaurant, Hardy’s Verandah, there’s little reason to leave.

Mount Lofty House
Mount Lofty House Bar, Adelaide

Best boutique hotels in Western Australia

Premier Mill Hotel, Katanning, Western Australia

From a 1890s flour mill, power station and cordial factory to a stunning boutique hotel, the Premier Mill Hotel delivers on style, decor and ambience and incorporates its heritage in innovative ways. There is a choice of unique rooms including what was once an old grain silo, complete with exposed, rough-hewn timber walls, the Packing Room with floor-to-ceiling windows or the Purifying Rooms with vaulted ceilings and original machinery features. The signature Boiler Rooms, which offer a more modern, pared-back aesthetic are located on a mezzanine next to a three-level atrium with the mill’s original cast-iron steam boiler on display. This stunning heritage hotel will have you feeling comfortable thanks to its modern bathrooms, beds and facilities. Add a stylish pub, the Cordial Bar, and dining in the Dome Café and you have all you need for a memorable stay.

Premier Mill Hotel – Katanning
Premier Mill Hotel, Katanning

Samphire Rottnest, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

This beachside boutique hotel has a stylish beach club vibe that blends beautifully with the island itself. With modern Scandinavian beach-chic decor, Samphire Rottnest offers a luxe beach escape with stunning views of the beach from the Signature Beachfront rooms with Poolside rooms overlooking the resort-style pool. There’s a private guests only euro-styled lounge area with sunchairs, umbrellas and lounges for some serious chill time. Dining is available at nearby restaurants such as Lontara Restaurant, Hotel Rottnest or Isola Bar e Cibo Italian. Keep an eye out for the island’s quokkas, sip some wine and chillout at one of Australia’s most famous island escapes.

Samphire Rottnest - Rottnest Island
Samphire Rottnest, Rottnest Island

Best boutique hotels in the Northern Territory

Cicada Lodge, Katherine, Northern Territory

When you visit Nitmiluk Gorge in the Northern Territory there is no need to rough it. High above the Katherine River, you will find Cicada Lodge, an 18-room boutique accommodation option located less than three minute’s walk from the gorge. It is 100 per cent Indigenous-owned and reflects the spirit and culture of the local Jawoyn people. Each evening the clink of glasses and the sound of animated conversation blend with the sounds of the bush as guests at Cicada Lodge enjoy a complimentary cocktail hour with fine Australian wines and canapés featuring native ingredients. Cocktail hour can be as convivial or romantic as you wish, depending on where you sit. The contemporary design of Cicada Lodge blends in with nature and allows it to shine.

Cicada_Lodge, Tiana_Templeman
Room at Cicada Lodge

Longitude 131, Yulara, Northern Territory

This stunning central Australian property has incredible views of Uluru framed perfectly on the near horizon. If you wish to take in the ancient monolith of Uluru and want luxury as well, then go no further than Longitude 131 as this luxury lodge takes glamping to the next level. The tents are more like luxurious suites and the view of Uluru from your room will have you reaching for your camera (and your friends howling with jealousy if you post on Instagram). If you can smell the scent of melting plastic, that might be your credit card. Longitude 131 is one of the most expensive luxury lodges in Australia. However, it is arguably worth every cent.

Longitude 131 Uluru Dune Pavilion Lounge
Longitude 131 Uluru Dune Pavilion Lounge

Best boutique hotels in Queensland

Gambaro Hotel, Brisbane, Queensland

Gambaro Hotel is ready to kick off your romantic getaway with or without the football crowds. The hotel is located a short stroll from Suncorp Stadium and is in the heart of the action on game days. I know what you might be thinking – football isn’t romantic – but this hotel certainly is. If your partner is a sports fan, Gambaro Hotel on game night is as sexy as it gets, and not just because of the modern, dark and stylish décor. With a choice rooms and suites – think king-size beds, rain showers, and balconies – you can sip Champagne, beer or wine and watch the parade of passers-by. Kick off your romantic stay before or after the game, perhaps with an aphrodisiac-inspired meal of oysters downstairs at Gambaro’s famous seafood restaurant. Game on.

Gambaro Hotel, Brisbane

Inchcolm By Ovolo, Brisbane, Queensland

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…” This classic line from Casablanca comes to mind with a cocktail in hand at The Inchcolm Bar at this unique hotel. Ovolo Inchcolm has art deco style and soft-edged glamour and conjures up the thrill of a dangerous liaison in the signature Thomson Suite. With its four-poster king bed, free-standing bath and impeccable art deco styling, all you need to bring along is your own handsome gent or femme fatale. To get into the swing of things, swan down from your room in the historic elevator and order a martini during the cocktail hour. If you book directly on the hotel website, your first libation is free.

Ovolo Inchcolm Reception
Ovolo Inchcolm Reception

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Best boutique hotels in New South Wales

The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, New South Wales

The original head office of Carlton & United Breweries is now The Old Clare Hotel, a 62 room boutique hotel incorporating Art Deco design details, 70s-style furnishings and decor with a modern twist. The Old Clare has been given a makeover that truly captures the class and style of the building and seamlessly brings it into the modern era. The choice of rooms include the basic Kent Rooms with a king bed, the classic Connell Rooms with high ceilings, vintage designer furniture and modern bathrooms and the signature C.U.B. Suite which is the former Carlton & United Breweries’ boardroom. Here you’ll find original timber panelling, parquetry floors, cornices and the restored executive men’s washroom. Located on the ground floor, the Art Deco pub has been restored to its former 1960s glory and the modern Australian Automata restaurant has got your dining covered.

The Old Clare Hotel C.U.B. Suite
The Old Clare Hotel C.U.B. Suite, Sydney

Crystalbrook Albion, Sydney, New South Wales

Crystalbrook Albion is part of the Crystalbrook Collection and offers a stay that makes you feel more like a local than a tourist. This heritage-listed hotel was originally acquired by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and turned into a convent. After later being purchased by Crystalbrook, it was transformed into a stylish 35-room boutique hotel in 2018. With its innovative design, funky furnishings, quirky art, home-away-from-home vibe and location in trendy Surry Hills, Crystalbrook Albion is the epitome of cool. Add a rooftop garden and lounge area for evening drinks and you have a great way to kick off an amazing Sydney stay that swaps the city for an urban cool vibe.

 Crystalbrook Albion Surry Hills Sydney
The Crystalbrook Albion Surry Hills Sydney

Disclosure: The writers seek out interesting boutique hotels wherever they are in the world and enjoy hearing the stories behind them.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.