Eat, drink and sleep your way from Tassie to Sydney to Gold Coast and more at the best new hotels, restaurants and bars in Australia of 2022.
The last few years had been hard for the hotel and hospo industries, but the land Down Under came back in fine form, as Aussies would say. From major luxury hotel openings to hip new city hotels and trailblazing restaurants, chefs and bars, Australia’s diamond talent is sparkling bright once again. These were the best new openings across Australia for 2022, the year the world started traveling again.
BEST NEW HOTELS AND RESORTS IN AUSTRALIA 2022
Ace Hotel Sydney
Occupying a historic building in the heart of Surry Hills, this edgy, LGBT-friendly U.S. brand is the hotel that Sydney’s been craving. Described by designers Flack Studio as a “deep homage” to Australia, the 257-room stay is peppered with contemporary indigenous art and its public spaces are heaving with non-guests day and night. No surprises that beautiful rooftop restaurant Kiln won Best New Restaurant of the Year in the recent Good Food Guide Awards. Order the smoked butter and anchovies on Jatz and alfonsino crudo with tomato jelly and peach and you’ll see why chef Mitch Orr is currently one of most talked about chefs in Sydney.
acehotel.com/sydney; doubles from A$349
Kimpton Margot Sydney
Another brand making its debut in Australia is this luxe pet-friendly IHG hotel housed in a heritage building in the CBD. In this elegant, Art Deco-inspired 172-room stay, guests can hop among the rooftop pool and bar, nightly wine tastings, weekend brunches and a restaurant helmed by celebrity Aussie chef Luke Mangan.
kimptonmargotsydney.com; doubles from A$302
The Langham, Gold Coast
Set on the beachfront at Surfers Paradise, this vertical resort has 169 rooms and suites, and 170 serviced apartments housed within the center towers of the Gold Coast’s dazzling Jewel development. Both its 20-meter indoor pool and the white sand-fringed outdoor lagoon pool offer ocean views, plus there’s a swim-up bar, a stylish sun deck for people watching and afternoon tea served in the Palm Court.
langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/gold-coast; doubles from A$539
The Strand Hotel, Sydney
The Harbour City has plenty of rooftop flex, but it’s never properly leveraged it until now. Among a slew of new venues offering lofty open-air spaces is this newly renovated 99-year-old pub and hotel in Darlinghurst. A collab between Ksubi co-founder George Gorrow (The Slow, Bali) and Public Hospitality Group, this Paris-inspired boutique bolthole has just 17 rooms, a bistro and a rooftop bar serving French snacks and cocktails.
www.strandhotel.com.au; doubles from A$199
The Louise, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Fresh from an A$3-million facelift under new owners Bailie Lodges, this understated lodge is the latest member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia portfolio and features 15 suites with views of the vineyards among Barossa Valley. Expect invite-only access to tastings at Tscharke across the road, a complimentary mini bar, an infinity pool and seasonal produce at its famed restaurant Appellation.
thelouise.com.au; doubles from $A1600
Silky Oaks Lodge
Bailie Lodges has been busy. This riverside eco-lodge in Queensland’s World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest reopened in December 2021 following an A$20-million reimagination. Among its extensive renovations are open-air, contemporary interiors punctuated with timber and scattered with indigenous art and palettes that evoke the ancient flora and fauna outside. Meals incorporate native Australian ingredients such as finger lime and Davidson plum.
silkyoakslodge.com.au; doubles from A$2,600 for minimum two nights
BEST NEW RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN AUSTRALIA 2022
Aster Bar, Sydney
InterContinental Sydney has just emerged from an A$120-million refurb. And for the first time in its 30-year history, the rooftop bar on its 32nd floor is open to the public, provided they make a reservation ahead. This glam, Art Deco-style drinking spot offers 270-degree views of the city and both indoor and outdoor spots for sipping palomas and martinis.
sydney.intercontinental.com/dining/aster; A$150 par deux
Pellegrino 2000, Sydney
Fresh from the success of their Pott Point’s French-forward Bistrot 916, acclaimed chefs Daniel Pepperell and Michael Clift opened this punchy neighborhood Italian trattoria in Surry Hills this year on a city’s bated breath. Here, the iconic cuisine incorporates both traditional and modern techniques, and highlights include ravioli di gamberi and quail saltimbocca.
pellegrino2000.com; A$180 par deux
Modern Middle Eastern fine-dining in a sexy, curvaceous space in Martin Place, where diners gather in plush booths and you could spend hours perusing the wine list. This share concept is headed by Egyptian-born executive chef Paul Farag and the fresh-baked puffy flatbreads are giving those at iconic Totti’s a run for their money. The lamb’s neck shawarma—which arrives with garlicky tahini, chermoula and pickled bits and bobs—is already the stuff of legend.
aaliarestaurant.com; A$180 par deux
Oncore By Clare Smyth, Sydney
London-based Michelin-starred chef Clare Smyth’s imaginative fine-diner has only been open a year, but it’s already made history. The first and only British female chef in the world to hold three Michelin stars in the U.K. just recently become the second chef in history to hold both three Michelin stars and three Good Food Guide hats. Expect playful, precise and artfully presented degustation with a price-tag to match its pedigree and Crown Sydney setting.
crownsydney.com.au/indulge/oncore-by-clare-smyth; $A350 for tasting menu
The Tasman Hobart’s signature restaurant is set in a sandstone dining room, with chef Massimo Mele’s modern Italian menu at centre stage and a wine list that straddles both Italy and the Apple Isle. Tasmanian produce is the star of the show, elevating house-made pasta with fresh crayfish and antipasti of fresh oysters, pickled sardines and baked scallops.
peppinarestaurant.com/our-menus; A$190 par deux
Will St, Perth
Bali-based chef Will Meyrick retreated to Perth during the pandemic, and good thing he did. Western Australians now have their own slice of Meyrick magic in this contemporary restaurant, which marries local produce with his signature pan Asian flair in the tune of char siew pork hock and Davidson plum and mandarin pancakes.
willstreetperth.com; $A110 par deux
Arguably Melbourne’s most talked about the arrival of 2022, this concept by young chef Ross Magnaye gives Filipino cuisine a wood-fired, modern Australian twist. This is Pinoy cuisine like you’ve never seen it: over fire and irreverent. You must eat the fast-food inspired McScallop (Abrolhos scallop, crab fat sauce, papaya pickle on a sweet bun).
seraikitchen.com.au/menu; $A150 par deux
Smith & Daughters, Melbourne
Having pioneered the meat-free movement in Melbourne, chef Shannon Martinez has moved her vegan concept to a huge new space in Collingwood composed of a deli, restaurant, boutique supermarket and wine bar. Head here for truly delicious meat-free tricks that could change how we eat, including charcoal chicken made from seitan and dairy-free blue cheese loukoumades.
smithanddaughters.com; A$95 for set menu
Sushi Room, Brisbane
The Hellenika and SK Steak & Oyster crew are behind this slick Japanese fine-diner at The Calile hotel. Described by its architects as “a Bond villain’s lair,” the stone-and-timber space lays the groundwork for some seriously decadent food from head chef Shimpei Raikuni, such as caviar totoro rolls and lobster tempura.
sushiroom.com.au; $A140 for set menu
Exhibition Restaurant, Brisbane
Tucked away in a basement, this is a degustation-only experience for just 24 diners from former Joy chef Tim Scott. Choose from alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks pairings, order a premium version of the tasting menu and sit back and prepare to be wowed as nine snacks arrive under your nose, followed by dishes based on what’s available that day. Nope, there’s no official menu.
exhibitionrestaurant.com/menu; from $A150 for set menu