Winter is coming.
Scrap that, winter is well and truly freezeyabitsoff here! There’s only one thing for it… rug up, light the fire, crack open that bottle of red and plan your 2016 winter escape.
We’ve found some of the best weekend getaways to help you make the most out of winter.
The Byron at Byron
The winter chills do very little to dampen Byron Bay’s beatnik charms, particularly when ensconced in the tranquil surrounds of resort and spa Byron at Byron. Reignite your inner zen with a special mid-year package which includes an upgrade to one of the resort’s Superior Suites, alongside 10% off all spa treatments. Check in and bunker down with a complimentary in house movie, popcorn and bottle of wine before catching some zzzs and waking up refreshed to enjoy morning yoga, followed by a full breakfast buffet for two at their renowned eatery The Restaurant. Namaste, baby.
Winter Warmer Package: $357 per night
Primus Hotel Sydney
Escape to another time and place without leaving the confines of Sydney with a trip to the brand new, five star Primus Hotel Sydney. Located smack bang in the middle of the city, the Art Deco inspired venue is offering a special Weekend Escape package until the end of September. Spoil yourself with a buffet breakfast for two at all day dining restaurant The Wilmot, then make it rain with a $100 Food and Beverage credit to be used as you wish (we recommend putting it towards a deliciously decadent Primus High Tea). With complimentary internet and discounted valet parking, your every need is catered for.
Weekend Escape Package: $499
Bannisters at Mollymook
If breathtaking surrounds and top notch service are your thing, then Bannisters at Mollymook is a must. Offering luxury accommodation overlooking the ocean, their Warm & Toasty package has been specifically designed to keep you smiling throughout the colder months. Snuggle up with a warm mug of Willie Smith organic cider upon arrival, and enjoy $100 credit to spend at Bannisters Rooftop Bar and Grill during your stay. Two nights accommodation, a $50 spa credit and a delicious cooked breakfast each morning will have you raring to go for a weekend of beach walks, free bike hire and perhaps even a spot of shopping.
Warm & Toasty Package: $620 for two nights
Biota Dining & Rooms
Nordic style cuisine is having a hot minute right now, and Bowral’s Biota is one of the reasons why. Billed as a restaurant with accommodation, the onus here is on the food—and boy do they do it well. Head Chef and Director James Viles is the mastermind behind the restaurant’s wildly imaginative seasonal menus, crafted using the ingredients of the landscape and paired with a range of unusual boutique wines. Book in for an all inclusive weekend package and indulge in a six-course tasting menu followed by a night in one of 12 boutique suites. Finish off your stay with a tasty hot brunch the next morning before heading out to explore the Southern Highlands’ rural charms.
Stay & Dine Weekend Package: $285pp
Echoes Boutique Hotel
Just an hour and a half from Sydney, the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains comes alive in winter with a host of magical events such as Yulefest celebrations and this month’s Winter Magic Festival. Escape the madness of the city with a stay at the luxurious Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, and unwind with a range of luxury treatments at the onsite day spa before whiling away the evening with local wines and produce at Echoes Restaurant and Bar. Located at the edge of the Jamison Valley and offering breathtaking views of the National Park from every room, the 20% discount on stays of two nights or more on offer throughout winter is bound to sweeten the deal.
Winter Escape Deal: 20% discount on stays of two or more nights throughout winter
Bondi Beach is famous for a reason, but the wall-to-wall tourist crowds it attracts in the warmer months can be annoying. Savvy visitors should head down during winter for a taste of the real Bondi, and check in for a night or two at QT Bondi. Sitting within the new Bondi Pacific Complex, the luxury boutique accommodation is made up of extra spacious studios and fully equipped holiday apartments positioned just stumbling distance from the iconic beach itself. Sign up to QT’s free-to-join Priority Guest Rewards program to receive discounted rates plus free WiFi during your stay, and put the extra pennies towards a few hot toddies by the ocean.
Rates vary. See website for details.
Spicers Vineyards Estate
A mecca for food and wine lovers, the Hunter Valley is home to over 100 vineyards, and is much lauded for outstanding local produce such as gourmet cheeses and fine chocolate. Experience a true taste of the region with a stay at Spicers Vineyard Estate, a luxury estate set in sprawling vineyards in the heart of Pokolbin. The hotel’s friendly staff will be happy to help you organise various activities such as wine tours, golf or even a scenic hot air balloon ride across the Valley, although the lure of the gorgeous onsite facilities (including an elegant day spa and award winning restaurant) might make leaving the comfort of the estate just that bit too hard.
Seasonal packages available. See website for details.
Lovers of design have been flocking to Canberra’s Hotel Hotel in their hordes since it opened its doors in 2013, and for good reason. Deliciously hip without being try hard, the eco-friendly concept is hidden away on the second floor of Canberra’s pineapple shaped Nishi building within the city’s arts and culture precinct of New Acton. With an focus on sustainability (think concrete, reclaimed timber and biodegradable keys), each of the 68 rooms are uniquely designed, showcasing the works of many local artisans and creatives. Plan the ultimate romantic escape with a night in one of the Meandering Rooms, equipped with tubs for two, double rain showers, huge, spot lit beds and mini bars packed full of regional produce and local wine.
Seasonal packages and multi night discounts available. See website for details.
Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel
Surrounded by lush National Park and picturesque bays and beaches, the multi award winning Bells at Killcare is a true gem on the New South Wales’ Central Coast. Made up of 25 pretty cottages and Hamptons style suites, crisp winter days will be spent bushwalking and exploring the coastal cliffs, while cosy evenings will see you nestling by the fire with a bottle of red. The boutique hotel is currently offering a Winter Stay Mini Break, meaning you can enjoy three nights accommodation for the price of two, including daily cooked brekkie at One Chef Hatted Manfredi at Bells restaurant. Winter never felt so good.
Winter Stay 3 Pay 2 Mini Break from $740 for three nights.
de Russie Boutique Hotel
There’s nothing quite like an escape to the country, and if that’s what you’re after, Orange will serve you well. Located in fertile Country New South Wales, the city is known for drop dead gorgeous scenery, sprawling parks and delicious local produce. Book in at de Russie, Orange’s only boutique self-contained apartment hotel, and kick back for a couple of days with long leisurely walks, gallery visits, wine tasting and a trip to the local farmers markets. Stock up on fresh ingredients and local wines then cook up a storm at your weekend home away from home. De Russie’s apartments are suitable for groups of various sizes, making this one a great choice for families.
Various accommodation options available. See website for details.
The Hunter Valley’s lesser-known little sister, Mudgee is fast making a name for itself in its own right. Set amongst rolling hills and lush farmland just over 260km north west of Sydney, New South Wales’ second biggest wine region is steeped in history, boasting some of Australia’s finest heritage architecture and numerous award-winning wineries. Unsurprisingly, the region is growing in popularity among wine connoisseurs and greenhorns alike, so grab a carload and head up for the weekend before the secret is out. There’s heaps of great accommodation options available, but our favourite has to be 5-star self-catering hilltop hideaway Horizon Mudgee, featuring 360 degree views across the valley, cosy fireplaces, a swimming pool, entertaining areas and even a helipad! If you’re gonna do it, do it right.
Daily and weekend rates vary. See website for details.
Ski In Ski Out Chalets
We couldn’t talk about winter escapes without including the snow! Ski In Ski Out are some of the best located chalets in Thredbo offering accommodation right on the slopes. With an option of chalets available (most have jacuzzis and fireplaces) it’s pretty easy to see why these are some of the most sought-after places in which to get your ski bunny on. If you can drag yourself away from these luxury suites, head into town for some great eats and drinks at one of the various bars, cafes and restaurants.
Various accommodation options available. See website for details.
Looking for more things to do in Sydney this winter? Try these top winter adventures.
Image credit: The Byron At Byron