The finest hotels across the vast regions of Australia and Oceania have an uncanny sense of place, whether that’s in a hip and central location or overlooking sweeping valleys or mountains, or maybe even just floating directly in the ocean. This region’s accommodations are famously relaxed yet intimate, laidback and chic, and never lose their sense of location, bringing the environment to the guest with niceties like floor-to-ceiling picture windows that roll completely open, indoor and outdoor baths, and one hotel even bottling its own volcanic mineral water.


COMO Laucala Island

Laucala Island, Fiji

The newly-opened COMO Laucala Island offers 25 residences in a range of different flavors. Whether guests prefer hilltop views of the fantastically colored surrounding waters or to have accommodations floating directly on the ocean, the resort has it.

Each of the villas is built using traditional Fijian construction with modern amenities like private infinity pools, indoor and outdoor baths, and fridges stocked with guests’ preferred beverages and snacks. Like many resorts in Fiji, this one is self-sufficient, even bottling its own volcanic mineral water, and serving guests honey harvested from its own apiary. In addition, the resort has its own 24-hour medical clinic, private airport, 18-hole golf course, and uniquely designed infinity lap pool set above a lagoon. Rates include meals and beverages (except for special vintages from the wine cellar) at the resort’s five restaurants and bars—that’s one for every five residences—in addition to in-room dining.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Wolgan Valley, New South Wales, Australia

For a luxury escape to the country, nowhere else compares to the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. Set within the sweeping Wolgan Valley, part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, this resort is an impeccable retreat from city life, immersing guests in the Australian landscape, despite being just a three-hour drive from Sydney. All accommodations are in private villas, each with its own fireplace, private pool, and veranda, designed with natural woods and sandstone to create a seamless transition from the outdoors to the inside. The room rate for each villa also includes all meals, centered around modern Australian cuisine made from locally-sourced and sustainable produce.

Sustainability and conservation are a huge tenet of Emirates One&Only, with the resort offering a range of initiatives to give back, including bushfire regeneration programs, citizen science wildlife monitoring, guided conservation walks, and environmental programs tailored for kids.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Boasting picture-postcard views of Mount Otemanu across the impossibly turquoise waters of the lagoon, the Four Seasons Bora Bora demands the use of every superlative. Accommodations are mostly arena-sized overwater bungalows with contemporary furnishings (most notably, bathtubs alongside floor-to-ceiling picture windows that roll completely open for oceanfront views) and direct access to the lagoon for swimming and snorkeling, complete with an outdoor freshwater shower.

Elsewhere on the property, staff can arrange everything from an excursion to plant coral in the resort’s coral garden to a private island dinner with a celebratory fireworks display. Spa-goers will be delighted to find views of lagoon fish lazily navigating the current from their massage tables set over cleverly placed windows in the floor of the overwater massage huts.

On-site restaurants serve up everything from Mediterranean to pan-Asian to Polynesian-style seafood—but the most lavish meals are buffet breakfasts with ice-cold coconuts served with straws, cake fresh baked with vanilla harvested on the neighboring island of Taha’a, poisson cru, the coconut milk raw fish salad which is French Polynesia’s national dish, and virtually anything else a guest might wish for.

Kauri Cliffs Lodge

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Located in a peaceful northern part of the Bay of Islands, far from the busyness of Paihia and even Russell, Kauri Cliffs offers laid-back Kiwi hospitality with a luxurious edge. Overlooking the white-sand beaches of Matauri Bay and the turquoise Pacific Ocean beyond, the 22 guest suites at Kauri Cliffs are surrounded by New Zealand bush, including the kauri trees that lend the resort its name.

Rooms have east-facing balconies–that’s looking out over the ocean–and have been designed by acclaimed New Zealand interior designer Virginia Fisher. Breezy coastal casual and rustic farmhouse elements combine to create a relaxing and intimate yet upmarket environment. Guests can take advantage of a spa, gym, swimming pool, tennis courts, a golf course (one of the highest ranked in the world), as well as proximity to the beach.

Kauri Cliffs is also conveniently located just a short drive to the main action of the Bay of Islands, including historic Waitangi–a must-visit for all travelers to New Zealand–and a slightly longer drive to the ancient kauri forests of the Hokianga region. Day guests are also welcome to dine at Kauri Cliffs and use the spa and golf course (bookings required).

QT Newcastle

Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

The QT Newcastle is not only the city’s newest hotel, but one of the hippest—this brand new luxury boutique hotel in Newcastle’s East End is the first regional property for the popular QT chain. The QT is a perfect blend of Australian heritage and modern style, built in the 113-year-old Scotts Limited and David Jones building, a historic property on Newcastle’s Hunter Street. Materials from the original site were repurposed in the hotel’s design, with the QT featuring exposed structural beams and heritage windows, along with a restoration of the building’s original and iconic clock tower.

Adorned in rich jewel tones, the lobby and rooms are inviting, light, and bright, with rooms featuring much-appreciated extra touches, including Dyson hair dryers, mobile app check-in, 24-hour room service, refillable bathroom amenities, and dog-friendly accommodations.

Jana Restaurant and Bar is a swank and moody dining spot with an emphasis on New South Wales food and wine, but be sure to pop up to the Rooftop at QT, a hip place for a nightcap with a huge collection of Japanese whisky, with all of the hotel’s dining venues committed to using locally-sourced ingredients.

QT Wellington

Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, is often praised for its quirky arts scene that has flourished despite (or perhaps because of?) the city’s bureaucratic governmental vibe. QT Wellington reflects the city’s artistic-yet-oddly-formal style that also doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Rooms come with colorful or graphic murals, statement lamps and furnishings, and other one-off design statements created by New Zealand artists. The on-site restaurants and bars–Hippopotamus, Hot Sauce, and the Lobby Lounge–are just as interesting, with chandeliers, velvet and Rococo-inspired furniture, and lots of artfully shaded corners.

Although guests might not want to leave at all during their stay, the QT Wellington is in a prime location, just across the road from the must-visit Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (“Te Papa”) and the Wellington Waterfront Walk. It’s also a short walk from happening Cuba Street, around which many of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and boutiques are set.