Bannisters at Port Stephens

Described as having “preserved the bones of an iconic retro motel and built in its place a vibrant four-star hotel experience in a classic destination” Rick Stein’s Bannister hotel brings a sense of luxury to the small coastal town of Port Stephens on the Central Coast of N.S.W

The newly opened Bannisters, is the third in the series of boutique hotels and Restaurants for Rick Stein and his business partner Peter Cosgrove, following on from the Mollymook venues Bannisters by the Sea, and the Pavilion.

Much like the previous two hotels, Bannisters has been repurposed from what was originally on the site, ‘The Salamander’ built 50 years ago in 1968. This one-of-a-kind location allowed for the Bannisters ethos of restoration to be brought through, seen in all their hotels from the interior design and architecture, to the landscape design and architecture.

The design teams from both the Mollymook properties have let their creative energy flow onto the Port Stephens property, including architect Tony Freeman, interior designer Romy Alwill and landscape designer Will Danger.

Their newest creation features undisrupted views of the Karuah River which can be enjoyed from the 80 guest rooms, including 4 luxury suites and a penthouse to top. Entering into the double height lobby, you are greeted with the infinity pool including a pool bar. The dreamlike interior design of the lobby is followed through into the restaurants and landscape design, including multi-textural terracotta and navy blue tones, brass fittings, Japanese wallpaper, cane chairs throughout as well as the use of natural timber elements, a nod towards the coastal location of the hotel.

Stepping out into the pool area, guests are thrown back into the history of the site and greeted with millennial pink armchairs and striped umbrellas, with sun lounges positioned to make the most of the view.

As we into summer, I definitely know where I’ll be planning a midsummer trip.