Anchorage hotel review, Port Stephens: A little bit of the Hamptons three hours from Sydney

Our rating

4 out of 5

THE PLACE

The Anchorage

THE LOCATION

The seaside hamlet of Corlette, which is near Port Stephens and around three hours' drive north of Sydney.

THE SPACE

Formerly Peppers Anchorage, this rejuvenated Port Stephens icon comprises eight low-rise accommodation structures that sit between the cliff side and the sea. The multi-million-dollar refurbishment by Andrew O'Connell of Altis Architecture embraces a Hamptons aesthetic with a neutral palette complemented by blues, teals and hints of timber and stone. There are two restaurants, the new Spa Lucca, a fitness centre, the swish Hemingway's Bar (which serves rare whiskies) and a dedicated Veuve Clicquot bar, which operates from the main pool which is lined by smart blue-and-white umbrellas. There is also an adults-only infinity pool.

THE ROOM

The Anchorage's 80 spacious guestrooms boast crisp blue and white interiors framing dreamy sea vistas. Rooms range from studios to one- and two-bedroom spaces. Each room has its own balcony or terrace, king-size beds with chunky knit throws, upscale French bathroom products and mini bar. Our Captain suite features a living room with powder room and sofa bed (for extra guests), separate bedroom with bathroom and freestanding bath. Located on the ground floor, the room spills out to a terrace and grass (ideal for those travelling with children).

THE FOOD

The resort offers two dining options: the Wild Herring and the Galley Kitchen, where breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner is served in a large light filled space with a wraparound terrace, perfect for soaking up the gorgeous views. There is also a casual poolside menu. The buffet breakfast offers fresh juice, eggs to order, and a selection of hot and cold dishes. The coffee could be better.

STEPPING OUT

Walk along the marina spotting dolphins and sea birds, take a dip in the calm waters of Corlette Beach and be sure to have a sunset drink at Hemingway's. Spa Lucca is a must: arrive early, don an Italian linen robe and take advantage of the hydro suite, which includes a jacuzzi and steam room. Signature facials use Sodashi products. . Afterwards kick back on the deck with a herbal tea before floating back to reality.

THE VERDICT

For a luxurious Hamptons-inspired sojourn with gorgeous beaches and luxe spa, the Anchorage can't be beaten. Best of all, you don't need to leave the country.

ESSENTIALS

26 Corlette Point Road, Corlette, NSW. From $299 a night for an Anchorage room including breakfast. See anchorageportstephens.com.au

HIGHLIGHT

Chocolate dipped strawberries and wine while watching the sun set over the yacht-dotted bay.

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LOWLIGHT

While staff were friendly, an offer of assistance with our bags on check-in would have been appreciated. Dining here is expensive: the food is perfectly acceptable but at high-end dining prices, you'd expect more. Kids' meals err on the pricey side at $20.

Sheriden Rhodes travelled at her own expense.