Top 10 Design Hotels in Australia and New Zealand

Published on: November 30th, 2016

Last modified: January 21st, 2022

Whether you’re looking for quaint and cosy, quirky and bold, or breathtakingly opulent, the accommodation you choose can make your holiday one to remember. Here are our top ten picks of places to stay while you’re in New Zealand and Australia.



The collection of award-winning villas at Annandale near Christchurch in New Zealand offer guests the pinnacle of design excellence. From the glass and exposed stone of Seascape which overlooks the ocean, and the remote rural Shepherd’s Cottage, to the beach house Scrubby Bay and the welcoming Homestead – each villa is unique, luxurious and designed for a memorable stay.

Split Apple Retreat luxury retreat lodge accommodation near Nelsons Abel Tasman National Park

Split Apple Retreat

High above Tasman Bay in New Zealand, the elegant Split Apple Retreat was built around the owners’ collection of Asian art. The most obvious style influences are Japanese with the ocean facing rooms, Fuji and Lotus, offering guests a tranquil haven, complete with private gardens and granite baths. Health and overall wellness play an important role at the retreat, so kick off your shoes and breathe in the fresh sea air.



Nestled between the rocky outcrops of the Banks Peninsula in New Zealand’s South Island, this Victorian home was built in 1895 and has since been exquisitely restored. The classically elegant suites at Otahuna feature ornate fireplaces and antique furniture. When not relaxing in their suites, guests can explore the beautiful gardens which were originally planted by the planters at Kew Gardens in London.


Hulbert House

This luxury villa in Queenstown, New Zealand offers the perfect balance of charming Victorian elegance and modern comfort. Hulbert House’s six suites all have their own design, but each is equally opulent. The décor, furnishings and fabrics are highly detailed and lavish.


Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses

Standing 10m above the ground, the luxury tree houses at this extraordinary ecolodge are what make Hapuku in New Zealand special. Created by a family of architects and builders, the treehouses overlook the lush grounds and the snow-dusted Kaikoura Mountain Range in the distance.


COMO The Treasury

Clean lines and neutral tones make the contemporary COMO The Treasury a luxury oasis in the historic heart of Perth, Australia. The ornate hotel is serene, elegant and refreshing, with high ceilings, handcrafted furnishings  and stunning views of the city and Stirling gardens.

Adelphi Melbourne Lobby

Adelphi Hotel

This unique boutique hotel in Melbourne is industrial chic at its finest. The one-time warehouse which dates back to the 1930s was redesigned by a team of architects. Colours and textures are bright and extravagant, and bold artworks adorn the walls and hallways. Quirkiness meets opulence at Adelphi Hotel.


Saffire Freycinet

Inspired by its surroundings in spectacular Tasmania, the architecture of Saffire Freycinet echoes the colours, waves, sea creatures and sand dunes of the peninsula. The spacious, luxury suites feature Tasmanian timbers and designer touches, with views out across the bay.


Southern Ocean Lodge

This contemporary haven perched atop the cliffs on the coast of Kangaroo Island is superbly luxurious. Southern Ocean Lodge’s light and airy modern suites look out onto the surrounding bushland and the ocean. Large windows and natural materials make the lodge a calming oasis for guests to recharge.


Silky Oaks

Nestled in the tropical North Queensland Daintree Rainforest, this riverside lodge is made up of a collection of beautiful treehouses. Guests can enjoy the lush surroundings from hammocks on their balconies, or luxuriate in the elegant tropical interiors of their suites. Silky Oaks is pure paradise.