Weekend Getaways

Top 10 hotels for a city break around Australia and New Zealand

QT MUSEUM WELLINGTON

You couldn’t get a better location than the QT. Overlooking the harbour, it sits directly opposite the amazing Te Papa museum where you can encounter everything from dinosaurs and giant squid to forgotten episodes from Maori history. There is a similar sense of discovery at the quirky QT, which has a brain-bending art collection scattered throughout the hotel. Throw in free Wi-Fi and a great rooftop restaurant and you have a seriously inviting great weekend escape.

From $NZ300; qthotelsandresorts.com/wellington

HOTEL HOTEL, CANBERRA

Something old, something new, something repurposed, something blue: that could be the credo of this eclectic hotel, where every corner features unusual creations by local artisans. From handmade tiles and glasses to bedheads of salvaged oak, there is plenty to delight design buffs. Food fans will be equally taken with the in-house restaurant, Monster Kitchen; and if that’s not enough to keep you busy, the precinct also includes a cinema, wines bars, galleries and cafes.

From $265; hotel-hotel.com.au

MACQ01, HOBART

It is not open for another two weeks, but Hobart’s newest hotel promises to be a beauty. Tucked into the city’s historic waterfront precinct, each of the hotel’s rooms in inspired by a different colourful character from Tasmania’s past. You can even take a tour with one of the hotel’s storytellers to learn more about these local heroes. The generously sized rooms are equipped with all the necessary luxuries, and feature clean lines and contemporary artworks.

From $400; macq01.com.au

MATAKAURI LODGE, QUEENSTOWN

Talk about the best of both worlds. At Matakauri Lodge, you are just seven minutes away from all the action of Queenstown, yet cocooned in the comfort of one of New Zealand’s most luxurious lodges. After an action-packed day, you can retreat to this quiet haven. The stylish interiors lean more toward sleek urban bolthole than a rustic country getaway, but that spectacular view out the window – all dramatic mountains and tranquil lakes – is classic NZ.

From $NZ705; matakaurilodge.com

COMO THE TREASURY, PERTH

Next level service, elegant interiors and a sense of place – from the prints of Western Australian wildflowers to the rooftop restaurant showcasing the best local produce – are only some of the attractions at Como The Treasury. There is plenty of five-star spoiling on offer, whether you schedule some spa time or simply kick back with the free mini-bar in your oversized room. The hotel shares its heritage surroundings with an inviting lifestyle precinct, which lets you enjoy some of Perth’s best drinking, dining and shopping without setting foot outside.

From $445; comohotels.com/thetreasury

THE OLD CLARE HOTEL, SYDNEY

Explore a different side of Sydney at this high-style hub, tucked into a former brewery on the city fringe. High-concept design touches, such as lamps made of old car jacks (courtesy of hip London designer The Rag and Bone Man), sit alongside essential luxuries such as super-sized beds and marble bathrooms. Neighbourhood highlights include the cutting-edge White Rabbit Gallery and the quirky Glebe Markets. One of Sydney’s best eat streets, the Asian-themed Kensington Street, runs alongside the building.

From $299; theoldclarehotel.com.au

MAYFAIR HOTEL, ADELAIDE

If you haven’t been to Adelaide for a while, you’re in for a surprise. The city has had a major makeover. Old favourites such as the Central Market are still going strong, but the city now boasts lively laneways such as Leigh Street, Peel Street and Gresham Street, where buzzing bars and cafes are tucked into ornate shopfronts. It even has its own chic boutique hotel, the Mayfair, which channels an elegant 1920s vibe with its art deco interiors, pressed tin ceilings and suites designed for holing up in.

From $209; mayfairhotel.com.au

SPICERS BALFOUR, BRISBANE

Whether you like to start your day with soft-boiled eggs and toast soldiers or avocado toast teamed with quinoa, heritage tomato and pickled shallot, the best place to enjoy a Brisbane breakfast is on the verandah at Spicers Balfour. This intimate nine-bed hotel, housed in an elegant New Farm Queenslander, doesn’t just give great breakfast; it has the other end of the day covered too, with a glamorous rooftop just made for sunset drinks. From $279; spicersretreats.com/spicers-balfour-hotel

THE LANGHAM, MELBOURNE

The Crown complex may dominate the Southbank skyline, but it’s not Melbourne’s only five-star hotel with river views. The neighbouring Langham has the same enviable position without the non-stop action, which is just the way its guests like it. Old-school spoiling is the order of the day here, which means plenty of personal service, not to mention the best afternoon tea in town. Culture vultures will love the location, conveniently positioned for both the Arts Centre and the National Gallery.

From $280; langhamhotels.com/Melbourne

HOTEL DEBRETT, AUCKLAND

Go ahead, slip your shoes off. No, really. Those colourful carpets are as sink-into-soft as they look, and laidback luxury is what Hotel DeBrett is all about. With an eclectic design philosophy and a location in the heart of downtown, the 25-room DeBrett packs a big punch for a small hotel. You can dine at the in-house restaurant, enjoy a night cap at one of the hotel bars, or go exploring; some of Auckland’s best bars and restaurants are just a stroll away.

Robin Cole