One sure way to re-engage with travel in the brave new post-lockdown world is to stray not too far from home. For Sydneysiders, that's fortunately going to be entirely possible with a clutch of exciting hotel openings set for the city and, NSW more widely.
It starts with Aiden Darling Harbour (aidendarlingharbour.com.au) opening on December 1. Set in a remodelled 1930s Art Deco building, the boutique arm of Best Western Hotels and Resorts has 88 rooms, some with a balcony and outdoor furniture, along with (back inside the room) Sleepmaker beds and Dyson Supersonic hairdryer.
The original bricks and framework remain of the eight-storey building first used for cereal storage and then a variety of businesses including the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Guests can explore the neighbourhood with hotel e-bikes. Rooms start from $249 a night.
Across town, in Surry Hills, the casually cool Ace hotel group will open its first Australian property (acehotel.com/sydney) in early 2022.
Born in the USA, with hotels from Palm Springs to Brooklyn, communal spaces are a signature of the brand and the city property will be no different with custom joinery, lighting and furniture. Rooms from $249 a night.
For roadtrippers, The Surf Yamba (thesurfyamba.com.au) is a seven hour drive or, if you prefer, a one-hour flight. Overlooking the town's main beach, it opened in September. The 12-room, boutique hotel with distinctive curves representing the classic ocean liners of the 1930s, features Italian terrazzo tiles, art by Macedon Ranges artist Elizabeth Barnett and bathrobes by Australian linen designer Bemboka.
From the rooftop terrace and plunge pool, guests have uninterrupted views of the ocean. Rooms from $295 a night.
And, finally (for now) just for couples, the Tawillah Milton Luxury Retreat (tawillah.com.au) has opened in the Shoalhaven Region, three hours south of Sydney. The converted dairy and stables with king bed, luxe linen and slow combustion fireplace set on 10 hectares has sweeping views across the historic village of Milton and the Budawang Ranges and is a five-minute drive to Mollymook beach.