Two Australian Hotels Made This Iconic ‘Best Of’ List, and They’re Both in NSW

Ace Hotel Sydney rooftop

Two Australian spots, both in NSW, have made Condé Nast Traveler’s The Hot List 2023, published last week. If you’re not familiar with the list, it’s the travel publication’s pick of the year’s top hotel openings, most exciting up-and-coming destinations and coolest travel-related launches, including new restaurants, museums and cruises.

“Now in its 27th year, this curated collection is a labour of love for our global team, which spends the year researching, visiting and vetting the entries to bring you a definitive directory of places whose style, ethos and service set new standards for hospitality,” writes the publication.

One of the only two Australian spots to make the cut among the new hotels listed is the Ace Hotel Sydney. As CN Traveler puts it, the first iteration of the hipster-hotel brand in the Southern Hemisphere doesn’t disappoint. Located in Surry Hills, it features 257 rooms and two restaurants, Roam next to the lobby and Kiln, on the rooftop and helmed by chef Mitch Orr, across its 18 stories. It’s all housed in an early-20th-century building.

Ace Hotel Sydney
Image: Ace Hotel Sydney

“Revived by Australia’s most in-demand interior architects, Flack Studio, the former brick factory has kept its old bones — high ceilings and exposed brick and concrete walls — offset with one-of-a-kind furniture, art and bric-a-brac by the country’s best designers, artists and makers,” CN Traveler writes.

It describes its lobby, an homage to 1970s suburbia with a burn-range-and-tan sunken lounge, as busy with freelancers fueled by flat whites. By night, it says, the lights dim, DJs move in and olive-leaf martinis flow from the high-shine ochre-and-red marble bar, while the wine bar, Good Chemistry, is a striking mint-green terrazzo-and-tadelakt space that champions the natural-wine movement.

The only other Australian property on the ‘best of’ new hotels list is Osborn House in the town of Bundanoon in NSW’s Southern Highlands, two hours from Canberra and Sydney. Since the opening of Osborn House, a new crowd of movers and shakers have been heading for weekend jaunts to Bundanoon.

Osborn House
Image: Osborn House

“Surrounded by manicured gardens and giant pine trees, Osborn House, in its pretty palette of duck egg blue and soft greens, may look like another twee country estate – but behind its heritage-listed, shutter-front faced is an interior by former Soho House design director, Linda Boronkay, who has followed the tried and tested formula and transformed the space with the same clubby members’ house feel,” it writes.

The hotel has just 13 suites, some with four-poster beds, all with paisley print curtains and walls in rich shades of teal and navy, and nine rustic farmhouse-feel cabins, all with fireplaces and outdoor baths.

Osborn House
Image: Osborn House

Other hotels around the world to make the ‘best of’ new hotels include Alila Kothaifaru in the Maldives, Regent Phu Quoc in Vietnam and The Sanubari in Sumba, Indonesia.

In December 2022, Condé Nast Traveler released its The Gold List 2023 with its favourite hotels and resorts, as selected by its global editors and not necessarily new openings. Only one Australian hotel made it: Pumphouse Point in Tasmania.

“This lost-in-time forest frames moody Lake St Clair and the incongruous ArtDeco lines of a former hydroelectric pump station marooned offshore,” writes Helen Anderson, one of the editors of the Gold List.

Six of the rooms are in the property’s Shorehouse, while nearly all the others are in the three-story Pumphouse, which is connected to land by a 240m jetty. Condé Nast Traveler’s pick of the suites is The Retreat, which features Tasmanian-designed and handcrafted furniture and ceramics.

Related: This NSW Luxe Coastal Hotel Is an Ode to Glamorous Stays of the ’60s and ’70s

Related: See Inside Sydney’s Latest Luxury Hotel, Where Suites Start at $6400 a Night

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