Travel / Travel Guides

Weekend escape: 6 luxury hotels just outside of Sydney

At this point it's safe to say we could all do with a holiday. We've reached that time of year where it's not uncommon to be showing signs of burn out or to find ourselves languishing. For those of us in Sydney, there's little else that could take the edge off the past three months than a weekend escape.

Thankfully, every day we inch closer toward our double-vaccination goals. After spending countless hours daydreaming about potential holiday destinations, soon we'll be able to road test those fantasies. Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Probably. But here at RUSSH we'll be damned if the time to travel arises and we're still here cooking up an exit strategy.

So as the sweet-smelling perfume of freedom wafts into our scope, we've rounded up a list of the weekend trips (baby steps please!) that we'll be embracing once travel is back on the cards. Considering that we won't be able to wander too far, all of these destinations are just a short drive from Sydney.


One & Only, Wolgan Valley


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Just a three-hour drive west of Sydney and nestled in the expansive 2,800 hectare Wolgan Valley is Emirates One & Only resort.  Formerly a cattle station, Emirates snapped up the property in 2009, establishing it as a conservation reserve with a 30-year plan to return the land to its pre-colonial condition. As such, the resort itself takes up little over one per cent of its breathtaking location. And considering Wolgan Valley boasts the highest density wombat population, you're bound to meet one of Australia's furry friends at some point during your stay.

It's one of those unique places where what's on the outside counts just as much as the luxury lodgings within. And it truly is luxurious. Each villa contains its own private swimming pool, from which you can marvel the sweeping, distinctly Australian vistas.


Mountfield, Berry


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A sweet escape. Gather up your closest pals and scoot on down to Berry - the south coast's most memorable town - where Mountfield stands. This well-kept secret offers everything you need to unwind. Coming with four bedrooms (perfect for said friends), a pool table, a french indoor fireplace and an outdoor pool hugged by the surrounding mountains. Tranquil and secluded; this is a bubble of an entirely different flavour than the one you've been isolating in.


Mona Farm, Braidwood


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For many of us, especially those living in the city, weekend escapes provide the somewhat scarce opportunity to be immersed in nature. Tucked away in the heritage listed town of Braidwood, Mona Farm is the country interlude you've been craving. There are six different guest houses to stay in; each appealing to your cottage-core sensibilities. Ramble through the English-style grounds or take a lesson in fly-fishing, the choice is yours. And when you're done with the great outdoors (although we doubt you will be), there's an excellent collection of both International and Australian art peppered around the estate just waiting to be found.


The Siedler House, Joadja

Embarking on our first vacation after an intense period indoors should feel luxurious - because it is. And when the brief is luxury, where else do you go but a designer home? Arguably one of the most iconic homes from renowned Australian architect Harry Seidler's, Seidler House is the visual reset you need after staring at the same four walls for three months.

Built into a natural rock formation, the estate overlooks a deep gorge and offers panoramic views of Wingecarribee River, Joadja, Mittagong and Bowral. Here you'll find you're just about as buried in the natural world as it gets. Even the house is crafted solely from natural materials like local stone, Alta quartzite, Verde marina granite and Norwegian stone. You can house up to eight people and if the view isn't enough to keep you entertained for two days, the viewing decks, central pool and various sculptures will certainly rise to the challenge. Anyone that considers themselves a fiend for good design, should have Seidler House at the top of their getaway list.


Bannisters, Port Stephens


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Co-owned by the silver fox that is Rick Stein, Bannisters in Port Stephens will keep you fed spiritually and physically. Step into Stein's restaurant to tuck into local seafood. Think Stockton pippies and Nelson Bay tuna. Then fill your cup with a daily walk along the sand or by lounging poolside and plunging into a new book. Bannisters is the quintessential Aussie holiday and it's only two and a half hours north of Sydney.


Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa, Bowral

There's something inherently English about Milton Park Country House. Maybe it's just a trick of the name. Or perhaps it's the neat rows of hedges, tended to lawns and the ivy dressed in its' autumnal red. Whatever it is, Milton Park Country House is undeniably at its best in fall and spring. Those seeking a short but sweet escape from Sydney, will find a peaceful and romantic time in this Southern Highlands retreat. Dive into the spa, explore the lush gardens or pop over to the poplar lined streets of Bowral where you'll find quaint coffee shops, book stores and various antique delights.

Even though international travel is yet to be green lit in Australia, there's no harm in pondering your next overseas trip. To help you, we've compiled a list of 8 luxury hotels to stay in in Puglia, that is if Italy is on the menu.

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