Osborn House, Bundanoon, Southern Highlands: Privacy and exclusivity the priority at new NSW lodge

When Sydney's Adam Abrams and Eddie Levy, in collaboration with developer Lawrance Ryko, decided to create the kind of boutique luxury experience they felt was missing on their national hotel scene, they didn't mess around when it came to design.

They went straight to the person whose work started the worldwide trend of new-generation club lodgings being the preferred digs of those who value privacy and exclusivity, giving their brief to London-based designer Linda Boronkay, formerly the lead creative at the string of members-only lodgings, Soho House.

Collaborating with Sydney-based Mac Design Studio (clients include Qantas and Sheraton), Osborn House was born in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Occupying an 1892 heritage-listed property between Bundanoon and Morton National Park, Osborn House aims to be a relaxed retreat meets playful guesthouse, the kind of place you'd imagine the Mitfords – or Beckhams – might get away to.

"We want guests to feel as if they're spending time at a luxe family home in the Cotswolds countryside with our history, quirks and the privacy of the hilltop location all helping to take them a world away from their worlds," says Adrian Levy.

The property comprises 15 suites in the original house and seven new self-contained cabins that feature fireplaces and outdoor bathtubs.

Decked out in European sourced vintage furnishings and decorative objects, each space is unique.

Guests have access to wellness facilities that include a 25-metre lap pool, luxurious spa and gym.

Dinah's restaurant and George's bar, both with terrace views over the national park, feature Latin American fire cooking while championing regional produce and ingredients from the kitchen garden.

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Between them, Abrams and Levy have helmed several successful Sydney venues, including The Island and Kittyhawk.

From $660 a night. See osbornhouse.com.au

EXCESS BAGGAGE

Dublin has gone Bloomin' mad over the 100th anniversary of Irish writer James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses. Starting this month and running for a year, centenary celebrations include films, installations, art, recitals and performances honouring the writer, Ulysses' central characters Leopold and Molly Bloom, and the Dublin they inhabited. See ulysses100.ie

Sunrise hot air ballooning means early starts, but guests at Mansfield's luxury farm stay, BullerRoo can now roll straight from their bed to the basket. Operator Global Ballooning will launch from the beautiful property with stunning views over the Barwite Valley as an upgrade on a two-night package that includes an hour's balloon flight and a champagne breakfast by local chef Megan Knapp. From $1295 a person for two. If you would like to upgrade from public to a private flight, it is $352.50 a person extra for two people or $252.50 a person extra for up to four people. It is also possible to add a fifth person for and extra $595. See bullerroo.com.au; globalballooning.com.au

Postponed due to COVID, the inaugural Mundi Mundi Broken Hill music festival is rescheduled for April 21-23 with a lineup headlined by Paul Kelly. Like its sister event, the Birdsville Big Red Bash, the Mundi Mundi festival is dog-friendly. It's on at Belmont Station, 35 kilometres north of Broken Hill, and there'll be a second edition of the festival in August, featuring Jimmy Barnes and Missy Higgins. See mundimundibash.com.au

Travelmarvel's just-released 2023 Europe program includes itineraries on its three new river ships, the Polaris, Capella and Vega. They'll sail the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, and those lucky enough to inhabit suites will find electric slide-down windows that open to a French balcony to enjoy the sights al fresco. See travelmarvel.com.au

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