It’s the difference between great and exceptional, that thin line that separates the memorable from the unforgettable. As seasoned travellers we are always looking for that one-off, perfect travel experience – a destination so exceptional that it’s in a league of its own. Over the past 20 years The Tailor has visited some of Australia’s most exclusive luxury properties. Here we present the crème de la crème, five outstanding Australian luxury lodges that deliver the very finest – whether that’s food and wine, service, sports facilities or spa treatments.

 

All of the properties profiled below are certainly located in beautiful parts of Australia – our list includes Kangaroo Island, the Blue Mountains, Tasmania and Central Australia – but they also have a “wow factor” that sets them apart from the rest. Perhaps it’s a futuristic building design, like that of Saffire, an exceptionally grand dining room, think qualia, or a jaw-dropping ocean view such as that enjoyed from every suite at the immaculate Southern Ocean Lodge.

But there is another important quality that they all possess – a special sense of place, an ability to somehow capture the essence of their location, providing a powerful link between the guest and the natural environment.
Collectively these five properties distil the essential beauty and wonder of Australia – from coast to coast, from temperate Tasmania and tropical far north Queensland.

One moment you could be horse-riding in the Blue Mountains, the next flying over the Bungle Bungles in the East Kimberley or gazing in wonder as the sun rises over Uluru (Ayers Rock), the world’s most famous monolith. A Super Lodge is not just somewhere comfortable to stay for a few days; it offers total immersion in a new, exotic and beguiling landscape. Which one will you choose?

1. Saffire Freycinet

“Although the architecture is bold and modern, the real hero remains the stunning ocean and mountain views. Saffire is pitched at the top end of the market, with world-class cuisine, a luxurious modern spa and a high level of service.”
The Daily Telegraph (London)

A favourite with honeymooners, adventure seekers and foodies alike, Saffire is Tasmania’s most awarded luxury resort. The stunning property on Freycinet Peninsula is celebrated for its bold architecture, delicious food and range of outdoor pursuits. The property offers just 20 suites, a luxury spa, library, in-house restaurant and bar, fitness centre and private beach access. Suites are handsomely decorated in natural earth tones and equipped with king size beds, freestanding baths, kitchenettes and private decks. Guests enjoy a wide choice of free activities, such as foraging tours, mountain biking, kayaking and quad biking.

saffire night

2. Southern Ocean Lodge

“As you step into the Great Room, a cathedral of light and space, it’s easy to see why Southern Ocean Lodge turns people to jelly. There is something truly audacious about the design of the building, which is said to ripple like an ocean wave along the unblemished limestone cliffs above Hanson Bay.”
Traveller, The Sydney Morning Herald

Voted the fourth best hotel in the world, yes, the world, by respected American travel magazine Travel + Leisure, Southern Ocean Lodge is regarded as one of the most prestigious luxury lodges in Australia and Kangaroo Island’s jewel in the crown. The stunning architect-designed cliff top property enjoys panoramic coastal views and provides a world-class cuisine and service. The property consists 21 luxurious suites, each with uninterrupted views of the Southern Ocean. Facilities include a futuristic central meeting space, luxury spa, gift shop and expansive outdoor deck. Guests can join a number of private escorted tours which showcase the island’s native wildlife (think koalas, raptors, sea lions, echidnas and kangaroos) and its vibrant food and wine scene.

southern ocean lodge

3. Longitude 131

“In the vast scrub plains and dunes that stretch out from Australia’s most iconic natural sight, Uluru, a small cluster of white tents breaks up the wilderness. This is Longitude, one of the most dramatically located camps in the world, with just 15 luxurious tents, elevated above the dunes, each situated to give a widescreen view of sunrise over the rock.”
The Times (London)

Longitude 131 is an award-winning luxury wilderness camp overlooking Uluru (Ayers’ Rock), Australia’s much-photographed giant monolith. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge famously stayed here in 2014. Enjoying splendid isolation amidst dramatic sand dunes, these 15 air-conditioned pods command panoramic desert views. Each air-conditioned “tent” is individually decorated and superbly equipped with luxurious bathrooms, rustic furniture and specially chosen memorabilia. The property includes a fine dining restaurant, a central meeting space (Dune House), library, viewing deck and swimming pool. Guests can choose from a wide range of guided walks, indigenous tours and outdoor dining experiences.

longitude 131

4. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

“It’s thrilling to get so close to kangaroos, wallabies and gorgeously sleek wallaroos, with their dark grey fur. They are very elegant – like the aristocrats of the animal kingdom – and gather in mobs across the hills. I count at least 50 of them.”
The Guardian

To experience the Blue Mountains in complete luxury look no further than Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, an immaculate eco-resort surrounded by a 7000-acre nature reserve. This eco-sensitive resort consists of a grand central homestead and 40 free standing suites – all with separate living and bedroom areas, a verandah and private swimming pool. Most of the suites are one-bedroom, but four larger suites are also available. Facilities include the One&Only Spa, with six treatment rooms, a fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool. The resort also offers a number of guided walks and wildlife spotting safaris. Children of all ages are welcome.

Wolgan Valley

5. El Questro Station

“The Homestead at El Questro is one of Australia’s most exclusive holiday addresses. Mention of its name will raise eyebrows and elicit gasps of envy from Sydney to Darwin. Staff are far too discreet to reveal the identities of famous visitors, but in Kununurra you’ll hear talk of Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue.”
The Daily Telegraph (London)

Outback grandeur, frontier adventure and world-class facilities: the iconic El Questro Homestead has it all. Located in the magnificent Kimberley Ranges, in the northwest tip of Australia, this historic property is perched on the side of an escarpment overlooking the Chamberlain River. Surrounded by tropical gardens, the homestead offers eight air-conditioned rooms and one suite. Guests enjoy a range of guided tours, superb onsite facilities and chef-prepared meals. Guests can choose from a stunning range of station activities, including horse-riding, guided walks, scenic flights and 4WD fishing expeditions.

el questro
Bio pic of The Tailor

About The Tailor

Founded by Drew Kluska in 1988 on a platform of excellence and authenticity, The Tailor offers discerning travelers the opportunity to visit the Australia people only imagine in their dreams. In conjunction with hand-selected destinations and hosts, an entirely different personality of Australia is revealed. This is a side of Australia the majority of Australians do not even know exists. The Tailor has an enviable list of past travelers and was named by National Geographic as one of 2009's "Best Adventure Travel Companies On Earth." It has also been recognized by the 2008 Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine Awards as the "Best Tourism Innovator" and as one of the "The top 50 travel experts you need to know worldwide" by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller UK. The company has been featured in many other leading international publications such as Travel & Leisure USA, Elite Traveller USA and Vogue.
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