Nestled among the gum trees with sweeping views across the bay and birds in full song, one can’t help but relax upon entering the oasis lobby of Port Stephen’s newest hot spot. Just a short drive north of Newcastle our winter retreat is far enough from home to bid farewell to reality but close enough to disappear for a short while and not be missed.
Our midweek getaway is Bannisters Port Stephens, a gem of a hideaway for those looking for the ultimate in luxe accommodation and culinary delights. Bannisters is a name synonymous with coastal chic and relaxed seafood dining, made popular by its South Coast namesake.
Bannisters Port Stephens is a relative newcomer to the Northern NSW Coast but one that is already living up to its formidable reputation. Since opening in September 2018, the hotel has played host to some fabulously fashionable parties and has become the place to go for Novocastrians looking to unwind and dine in laidback luxury.
The hotel has a distinctly cool, ’70’s vibe to it and upon entering the lobby one feels as though they could very well be anywhere in the world. It’s exotic but without pretence and the infinity pool is beyond inviting, regardless of the weather. One could easily image sipping cocktails while gazing out to sea or wrapped in chunky knits during the winter months with a glass of red and a good book.
The soft ocean breeze brings with it a feeling of peacefulness and the yachts bobbing on the ocean below are mesmerising. Begin your night away with a bottle of champagne at The Terrace overlooking the sea before a night of fine dining at Rick Stein’s famous seafood restaurant. The restaurant continues with the ’70’s glam interiors and the huge bar is spectacular.
As far as seafood goes, one can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, with all produce locally sourced. True lovers of freshly caught seafood and a great wine list will be in foodie-heaven and the desserts are equally to die for.
After dinner, order yourself a little nightcap and snuggle into bed for an evening of Netflix and a well-earned rest before waking to the sound of kookaburras calling in the new day. Before you go, make sure you take a sunrise stroll through the gardens and down to the beach. There’s a lovely jetty to walk along, greeting the early-riser fishermen before you head back for a hearty breakfast to kick start your day and return to reality.
Getting there: Bannisters Port Stephens is a 30-minute drive from Williamtown Airport or 50 minutes from Newcastle.
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