Just because you’re heading down the coast, doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a stay in an old-fashioned motel that hasn’t been renovated since the 1970s. There’s plenty of stylish motels and hotels to stay on the NSW South Coast these days. Check out these options starting from Wollongong and heading south…
Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
The Novotel Wollongong Northbeach has for many years been one of the most luxurious accommodation options in Wollongong.
There’s no beating its location – right opposite North Wollongong Beach, which is patrolled year round. It’s also walking distance from some excellent cafes and restaurants, including the ever popular Diggies, plus offers multiple dining options onsite.
Rooms are large and modern, while bathrooms feature over-sized towels. Try to choose a room with ocean views. Or splurge on one of the suites, each with a balcony and some with panoramic views.
The Sebel Harbourside Kiama
The 4 1/2 star Sebel Harbourside is beautifully located in Kiama next to the harbour, just a short stroll from the famous blowhole and the many local restaurants. It’s a popular location for weddings and conferences, or just a weekend away.
Rooms are generously proportioned, all with king size beds and some with kitchenettes. There’s also the option of family rooms, with a king bed and two single beds accommodating up to four. Onsite is the bar and bistro Yves, serving up an extensive cocktail list along with ocean views.
Bannisters by the Sea and Pavilion, Mollymook
For a beautiful getaway on the South Coast, still close enough for a long weekend away from Sydney, look no further than Bannisters at Mollymook. One of the stand-out boutique properties along the coast, choose from not one, but two locations: Bannisters by the Sea and Bannisters Pavilion.
Bannisters by the Sea offers up panoramic clifftop views, along with the renown Rick Stein restaurant and an infinity pool and bar. While Bannisters Pavilion is a more contemporary property, complete with a rooftop pool and the Rooftop Bar and Grill, closer to Mollymook Beach. Choose between a range of rooms and suites, even pet-friendly options if booking directly.
The Isla, Batemans Bay
The recently opened Isla in Batemans Bay reimagines the old-school coastal motels of Australia. From the exterior it looks somewhat familiar, but with a modern touch of glamour. While inside you’ll find gorgeously finished modern rooms, complete with deluxe king size beds, Nespresso machines (with St Ali pods), smart TVs and rainwater showers.
Naturally there’s a swimming pool on site, along with a BBQ area and the Cantina, which is home to a luxury vending machine, complete with locally sourced beers, wines and cocktails. For the ultimate getaway with friends, share a two-bedroom Deluxe King Suite with your own private pool.
For a relaxed but stylish stay in Merimbula, look no further than the Hillcrest Merimbula. Situated on a hill above the town, this refurbished motel has a range of rooms, from king size to two-bedroom family rooms, and is highly rated by previous guests.
My pick of the rooms are the Deluxe Double Rooms, for their muted styling and top floor balconies. Don’t miss out on the hillside swimming pool, with its beautiful views. During the cooler months, curl up by the fire pit with a glass of wine.
Seahorse Inn, Eden
The charming Seahorse Inn is located just south of Eden, on the shores of Twofold Bay. Originally built by Benjamin Boyd in the 1840s, the inn fell into disrepair for many decades, and was only fully restored in 2006.
Fully refurbished, the boutique hotel contains 10 rooms, fitted out with modern amenities, but still with original details including hand-carved doors, stained-glass windows, winding staircases and attic bedrooms. Surrounded by manicured lawns, choose between ocean view and garden view rooms, most with balconies.
Alternatively, for the ultimate splurge, book the Captain’s Cottage. Only recently reopened, the studio cottage contains a king size bed, gas fireplace, your own private kitchen, double shower and a bathtub.