Six of the best suburban hotels around Australia

SAGE HOTEL MELBOURNE, RINGWOOD

This shiny new hotel perches above the revamped Eastland shopping centre in Melbourne's east. The shopping hub has recently been transformed from drab to spectacular, with an attractive outdoor courtyard surrounded by restaurants.

It's a great match for the Sage, which has been designed with a sleek ultra-contemporary look. The reception area extends into a big lounge space with views of the Dandenong Ranges beyond suburban rooftops. The adjoining restaurant, Partake, serves excellent, imaginative dishes, and there's an affordable bar menu.

Rooms are slick and modern, with simple lines and stylish furniture. Aside from its proximity to shops, the Sage makes a good launching place for exploring the attractions of the Yarra Valley.

From $152 a night, see nexthotels.com

WILLIAM INGLIS HOTEL

This luxury hotel has a distinctly equine theme, as it's located next to Warwick Farm racecourse in Sydney's south-west. Rooms are named after champion racehorses, and the hotel's artwork features elements of racing.

Guest rooms are decorated in light, earthy shades with touches of timber. If you have cash to splash, you can stretch out in the presidential suite, named after the famous champion thoroughbred, Black Caviar.

The hotel restaurant, the Newmarket Room, has a philosophy of "paddock to plate produce". The 1867 Lounge has a great whisky selection, and Heroic Cafe serves lighter meals.

For further relaxation, there's a 20-metre outdoor pool with fine views over the racecourse.

From $159 per night, see williaminglis.com.au

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THE CHEN

The Art Series hotels began in inner-city Melbourne, using famous Australian artists' work to give each property a distinctive look. Now that approach has extended to the 'burbs, with the opening of The Chen in eastern Box Hill.

The Chen shows off works by the Chinese-Australian abstract artist Zhong Chen. Rooms feature art books and colourful examples of the artist's work, framed by a decor of muted tones with the odd splash of pink.

The family-friendly in-house restaurant, Golden Lily, serves Shanghai, Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine, including yum cha.

A heated rooftop pool lends impressive sunset views of the distant skyline of the Melbourne CBD.

From $169 a night, see artserieshotels.com.au

SKYE HOTEL SUITES

As Sydney's second CBD, Parramatta is a hub of business, entertainment and dining, and this accommodation is well placed for the action. Situated opposite the Westfield Parramatta shopping centre and a short walk from Parramatta train station, it's handy for both leisure and business travellers.

The atrium lobby is an impressive sight, stretching up three storeys. Its unfussy modern style extends into the apartments, which are decorated in neutral tones and contain angular contemporary furniture.

The on-site restaurant, Husk Kitchen & Bar, is a light, airy space. There's also a 25-metre outdoor lap pool if you fancy a swim.

From $245 per night, see skyehotels.com.au

EATONS HILL HOTEL

In Brisbane's north, this hotel is well known for its live entertainment. If you fancy catching a music gig or live comedy while you're taking a break, this is the place. For a more laid-back excursion, the rural attractions of the Samford Valley are not far away.

 Accommodation ranges from king rooms to suites and a penthouse. The decor is contemporary, with timber panelling and colourful prints.

Dining is bistro-style with a focus on steaks, ribs and seafood, including a crispy-skin barramundi from Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory.

The pick of nine bars is the rooftop bar, with its treetop views. It's fair to say this isn't a quiet retreat, but a place at which to have a bit of getaway fun.

From $179 per night, see eatonshillhotel.com.au

RAMADA VETROBLU SCARBOROUGH BEACH

Why stay in Perth's CBD when you could be gazing over the Indian Ocean? This accommodation is located at Scarborough, a beachside suburb to the north-west of the city centre.

Guest rooms are bright modern apartments, with splashes of red and burgundy in their decor. Options range from the one-bedroom king rooms to  multi-bedroom suites to a choice of penthouses.

For dining, the accommodation presents a list of recommended nearby restaurants including The Local Shack, which features locally sourced ingredients.

The beach is the focus of holiday activities, for swimming or surfing; or for riding a bike above the foreshore.  The sunsets over the ocean are memorable.

From $140 a night, see ramadavetrobluscarboroughbeach.com

Tim Richards was a guest of Sage Hotel Melbourne.

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