Local Escapes

16 Of The Sunshine Coast’s Best Hotels To Check Into In 2023

By Isabel Croker – who loves morning run clubs as equally as she loves negronis and tiny snack plates

While Brisbane and the Gold Coast are often the go-to getaways for a cheeky weekender, the Sunshine Coast should be next on your must-visit list. World-famous beaches, top-tier dining and incredible cultural experiences are all at your fingertips. The Sunshine Coast punches well above its weight when it comes to dishing up the best, but don’t just take our word for it—it’s time you paid this coastal gem a visit.

Of course, whether you’re here for a vacay or just a relaxing staycay you’ll need a place to rest your head. From coastal chic hotels to luxe rainforest escapes, we’ve done the hard work for you and slept around to give you this ultimate list of the Sunshine Coast’s best hotels. 

essence

a large hotel pool space

The Sunshine Coast has just scored its first new resort in years, and it’s bringing a breath of fresh air to the picturesque Peregian Beach. The only high end resort in the unspoilt Peregian Beach, essence is a new take on coastal resort luxury, seamlessly blending laidback beach vibes with its elegant design. Nature runs through the veins of essence, with the design mix of the three-storey 32-room boutique hotel and collection of 20 architecturally-designed beach homes all centred around the UNESCO-listed Biosphere that serves as the property’s backdrop.

The first-of-its-kind resort emulates casual luxury—from the magnesium pools to the 80-person wedding space to the private dining room for that extra-special occasion. essence champions local creatives and businesses, with popular Peregian Beach restaurant Outer Square serving the hotel’s food and beverage offerings and original Sunshine Coast artworks throughout the resort. Book here. 

Peppers Noosa

Noosa Heads

peppers noosa hotel

If you’re after a prime location, nothing touches Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas. Just a stone’s throw (a 500 metre stone’s throw) away from the bustling hub of Hastings Street, this top-notch hotel offers you a choice of either a resort room, where you’re located in the heart of it all or a villa stay, where you’ll be hidden away in the lush serenity of Noosa National Park.

Spend your days lazily floating in the free-form swimming pool, pamper yourself at the onsite Stephanie’s Ocean Spa, or indulge at the freshly renovated Park & Cove restaurant. Peppers Noosa is one of the best Sunshine Coast hotels that won’t break the bank. Book here.

The Crocodile Hunter Lodge 

Beerwah 

When you try to imagine a luxury weekend away, Australia Zoo probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind—but that changed mid-last year with the opening of The Crocodile Hunter Lodge and onsite Warrior Restaurant & Bar, the iconic zoo’s new accommodation and dining option. Sleeping over and dining at Australia Zoo? Yes please. 

Now, you can pair a local getaway with your visit to the croc, emus and koalas, thanks to the new rustic one and two-bedroom cabins and  right next door, which have been paired with getaway necessities like a heated infinity pool and of course, a delicious dining spot. The brand new one-bedroom cabins opened at the end of 2022  and feature a king-sized bed, stone bathtub, kitchen, lounge area and verandah, not to mention unlimited access to Australia Zoo for the duration of your stay. Book here.

Motel Caloundra

Caloundra

a modern hotel bedroom

Situated centrally in the heart of Caloundra’s arts and culture precinct, the new boutique Motel Caloundra boasts nine sophisticated rooms and is decked out with luxe interiors—lush king beds, modern finishings, and outdoor balconies—that will have you wanting to never leave your room. 

Brought to life by Andrew and Lucy Pink (the maestros behind Loea Boutique Hotel and the heritage Maleny Lodge) and Maeva Hospitality, Motel Caloundra is seriously levelling up the Sunshine Coast’s eco-accommodation game. Through the installation of a rooftop solar panel bank, the boutique motel aims to be able to operate via a solar and battery system, making it powered by purely renewable energy sources and the Sunshine Coast's first net-zero energy hotel. Book here.

Oceans Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba

Setting a new standard for luxury accommodation on the Sunshine Coast, Oceans Mooloolaba offers a five-star experience like no other. Picture this: stunning ocean views, salty ocean breezes, waves crashing just metres away and everything within walking distance. Yes, that is what awaits you at Oceans Mooloolaba.

This boutique beachfront hotel emulates coastal chic luxury in every aspect of the building—from the neutral palette to stone and marble finishes to cutting-edge technology. This is certainly one you’ll want to save up for, but we promise it’s worth the splurge. Book here.

Sofitel Noosa

Noosa Heads

Would you really expect a roundup of the Sunshine Coast’s best hotels not to include the Sofitel? In classic Sofitel style, Sofitel Noosa draws inspiration from local culture and tradition while celebrating innovation and the French art de Vivre to offer a one-of-a-kind, luxurious coastal hotel experience. Located on Hastings Street, there are a variety of room offerings and the hardest choice you’ll have to make is choosing between a river view or an ocean view. It’s tough, we know.

In each room, natural textures and a soothing palette of colours take inspiration from Noosa's rich cultural heritage and beachside locale. You’ll also be spoiled for choice with five food and drink offerings, from modern Europe flavours at Noosa Beach House Restaurant, to swim-up drinks at Water’s Edge Pool Bar. Book here.

Element On Coolum Beach

Coolum Beach

a penthouse in coolum beach

Location, location, location. A commanding presence just metres from Coolum Beach, Element on Coolum Beach is the best of the best when it comes to stylish accommodation. The recently-renovated hotel showcases 49 one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom self-contained apartments and sub-penthouses.

Voted as Tripadvisor’s Travellers’ Choice 'Best of the Best' for three years running, Element on Coolum Beach boasts an onsite day spa, heated pool, sun lounge facilities, BBQ area and nine speciality stores and restaurants. There’s no disputing that this is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best hotels. Book here.

Seahaven Noosa

Noosa Heads

Seahaven Noosa resort

It’s no secret that Noosa is one of Queensland’s, if not Australia’s, favourite holiday destinations, but one of its better-kept secrets is Seahaven Noosa. These direct beachfront apartments are situated on iconic Hastings Street but are private enough that you can relax on a couple’s getaway, a sneaky babymoon or even a solo escape without feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of Noosa.

If you don’t want to be picking sand out of your swimmers for days to come, float around in the three magnificent heated pools, before cooking up a storm at the scenic beachfront BBQ area. Book here.

Ocean Views Resort

Caloundra

We’re just going to come right out and say it. There's more to the Sunshine Coast than Noosa and if you don’t visit Caloundra, you’re missing out. Ocean Views Resort is one of Caloundra’s most popular hotels and we love that everything is within walking distance.

The 47 holiday-let units all boast a balcony and you’ll have access to the resort’s heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, gym, rooftop terrace and BBQ area. Ocean Views Resort might not be boasting the luxe AF finishings of some of the Sunshine Coast’s more boutique stays, but for affordability and convenience, you can’t go past it. Book here.

Tingirana

Noosa Heads

a blue and white deck chair at a hotel overlooking noosa beach

When you want to roll out your door and immediately land upon bustling Hastings Street or glance out your back window to Noosa’s Main Beach, Tingirana is your number one Noosa accommodation choice.

Whilst location is a huge drawcard for Tingirana, the Hamptons-styled suites provide maximum satisfaction with their coastally-appointed furnishings and large beachfront balconies. And, for the moments you aren’t keen on getting sand between your toes at Noosa’s Main Beach, the 20-metre pool will gladly take you in. Book here.

Spicers Clovelly Estate

Montville

spicers clovelly estate

If you’re enchanted by the picturesque European-chic of Provence but only have a weekend to spare (and frankly, can’t afford the international flight), luxury property Spicers Clovelly Estate has all the charm of an escape to the south of France. Nestled in Montville, you’ll find this stylish, beautiful retreat flanked by an award-winning restaurant.

Ancient fig trees, jacarandas, magnolias and gardenias surround the French provincial-inspired main house, while the French cottage, spa suites and estate suites each highlight different features of the property: from spectacular hinterland views to private terraces and picture-perfect gardens, every part of the property is truly something special. Sumptuous but never ostentatious, Spicers’ elegant but contemporary furnishings and facilities are uber-luxe, with plush linens, marble bathrooms and even the option of an evening bath butler at your fingertips. Book here.

RACV Noosa Resort

Noosa Heads

Voted ‘People's Choice Award' for Best Accommodation in Queensland for three years, and taking out a spot among Tripadvisor’s ‘Top 25 Hotels in Australia’, RACV Noosa Resort is one of the best Sunshine Coast hotels.

This top-rated hotel offers a variety of spacious and stylish accommodation options, with 52 one-room suites, 78 two- and three-room apartments and 26 multi-storey three-bedroom villas. No matter if you’re heading to Noosa for a romantic couples getaway, a girls’ trip or a family holiday, RACV Noosa Resort has got you covered. There’s also a soothing spa retreat onsite, a buffet terrace area and a casual restaurant, perfect for post-beach day meals. Book here.

Narrows Escape

Montville

This cosy, hidden rainforest retreat that’s nestled in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland was officially named as Tripadvisor's Most Romantic Hotel in the World in 2021, so we obviously had to let you know about it. Nestled in the lush surrounds of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Narrows Escape has long been one of our favourite spots for a weekend getaway, so we can see why it took out the top spot as the most romantic hotel in the world.

With only eight cabins hidden among the trees, here it’s all about getting back to nature, and enjoying some alone time with your plus one. Each of the villas comes with all the essentials, including a fireplace, double spa bath, kitchenette and hammock on the balcony overlooking the rainforest—and some level it up with a heated plunge pool. Book here.

Mantra Sirocco

Mooloolaba

Mantra Sirocco Mooloolaba is throwing up all the goods and we’re here for it. This hotel breathes coastal chic. With expansive beachfront views, open-plan rooms and spacious balconies, everything is designed to pay homage to the star of the show—the beach, obviously. Take your pick from two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom apartments and penthouse suites, which all come equipped with self-contained kitchens and private balconies. Book here.

On The Beach Noosa Resort

Noosa Headsthe view from Noosa's best accommodation

You’ve walked along the boardwalk down from Noosa’s picturesque National Park, stopped for a quick dip in the ocean, grabbed a coffee and find yourself back at On The Beach Noosa Resort. This idyllic beachside resort is, as the name suggests, literally on the beach and we couldn’t think of a better way to lounge around this summer.

With fully-equipped luxury apartments for both couples and families, spa balconies and rooftop views, your end of day drinks couldn’t go down any better. At this five-star central location, the only thing left to do is eat and drink your way through Noosa’s best restaurantsBook here.

Bli Bli House

Bli Bli

Mixing old world elegance and modern comforts with a whimsical twist, when booking your next vacay to the Sunshine Coast, you can’t go past Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat. The five-star boutique B&B hotel was named Tripadvisors’s Most Romantic Hotel in Australia in 2020 and the Best Small Hotel In Australia in 2019, so that speaks volumes.

The six luxuriously furnished guest suites feature Victorian-style interiors adapted to a modern contemporary aesthetic and decadent touches are prevalent throughout the hotel. Bli Bli House is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best hotels, for that *extra* special occasion. Book here.

Don't feeling like kicking back in the lap of luxury? Get back to nature at the Sunshine Coast's best camping spots.

Image Credit: essence, Sofitel Noosa,  Tingirana, Element on Coolum, Spicers & Narrows Escape

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