5 of the Best Places to Stay in Bowral For an Ultra Luxury Weekend Escape

An evening view of Bowral, in the Southern Highlands of NSW, to showcase the best accommodation in Bowral.

Nestled in the picturesque Southern Highlands of New South Wales, just a short drive from Sydney, Bowral has a history as rich and complex as its verdant landscape. From its Indigenous roots to its colonial past and beyond, Bowral is a town with a story to tell.

The local indigenous people, the Gundungurra, called this area “Biowal,” meaning “large highland valley,” which is pretty spot on as far as descriptions go. European colonisers arrived in 1817 and adopted a modified version of the name; Bowral.

By the mid-1880s, Bowral had quickly become a popular holiday destination for wealthy Sydneysiders looking to escape the summer heat. The town’s fresh air and pristine scenery soon drew a crowd of artists, poets, and writers, who flocked to Bowral to soak up the inspiration.

Among the town’s most famous visitors was none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who famously penned his Sherlock Holmes tale “The Valley of Fear” while staying in Bowral. It’s said that he was inspired by the town’s dark, mysterious forests, which were the perfect setting for one of his signature whodunnits.

But it wasn’t just artists and writers who loved Bowral. In the early 1900s, the town became a favourite among the sporting elite, who came to train and compete on the town’s excellent golf courses and cricket pitches. In fact, it was here that Sir Don Bradman, widely considered the greatest cricket player of all time, honed his skills as a young man.

Today, Bowral is a vibrant and charming town that combines its rich history with modern amenities and a thriving arts and culture scene. Visitors can explore the town’s stunning gardens, take a stroll down historic Bong Bong Street, or indulge in some of the region’s world-renowned wines and gourmet cuisine. Whatever your interests, Bowral is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re looking for somewhere ultra-lux to rest your head and get away from the chilly Highlands air, Bowral has several offerings hailing from its historic popularity with tourists from the state capital.

Peppers Cragieburn House

Originally built in the 1920s as a country retreat, Peppers Craigieburn House offers a tranquil escape for travellers seeking a picture-perfect getaway.

With 72 guest rooms, including suites and cottages, and a range of on-site facilities such as a restaurant, bar, tennis court, and indoor swimming pool, Peppers Manor House is the epitome of country house chic.

Exuding historic charm and elegance, the property is a popular venue for weddings and events and is frequently named one of the top hotels in the country.

Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa

Originally built in 1910 as a private residence, this impressive property has been converted into a world-class hotel offering 47 guest rooms, suites, and cottages, along with a range of amenities, including a day spa, indoor swimming pool, tennis court, and restaurant.

The hotel boasts opulent decor, antique furnishings, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is nestled within indulgent gardens.

As far as Australian country houses go, Milton Park is one of the biggest and the best. American Express Travel and Gourmet Traveller Magazine have named it in their top ten luxury escapes.

Berida Hotel


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Located just minutes from the Bowral High Street, Berida Hotel will have you feeling a world away. Originally built as a private home in 1925, the luxurious stay boasts 46 rooms and suites, an open-fire guest lounge, and is home to the European restaurant, Bistro Sociale.

Berida Hotel also packs in a health club with an indoor heated pool, a sauna, and a spa. You can also treat yourself to a full pamper at the day spa, Sculptress. Plus there are tennis courts and a gym to ensure you earn all that luxury treatment.

Links House Hotel

The upscale Links House is a boutique country hotel pairing 1920s charm with modern comforts and luxuries. It was built in 1928 as a country guest house and stays true to its roots as a secluded getaway for weekend visitors.

Links boasts the slightly dubious honour of being the first Australian hotel to feature ensuite bathrooms. It’s worth noting that they have since been updated. They’re endlessly accommodating with pet-friendly policies, fully-stocked mini bars in each room, and a complimentary hot breakfast included in the stay.

You can either dine out at any of the top restaurants that Borwal has to offer or dine in at Ethos, headed up by acclaimed chef Jason Hughes. Ethos takes inspiration from the local region and serves a rotating menu of seasonal and sustainable dishes.

The Rift Estate


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This place has to be seen to be believed. A grand Victorian Italianate mansion rising from historic gardens at the base of Mount Gibraltar, The Rift Estate is one of the most beautiful country homestays out there.

Combining European heritage with rustic country chic, The Coach House on the estate sleeps a maximum of 13 people across six bedrooms. It’s a great choice for a significant weekend away with friends and comes fully loaded with a chef’s kitchen, an al fresco entertaining area, and large fireplaces to keep you warm in the winter.

Hopewood House


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Pitching itself as “the most exclusive historical wedding venue in the NSW Southern Highlands,” Hopewood Estate is Jane Austen fairytale magic at its finest.

Established in 1884, the main residence is bursting with Gatsby energy, boosted by the stunning gardens and arbour walk in its surroundings.

But getting in won’t be easy. The place is almost exclusively used as a wedding venue and is available to book by appointment only. Sleeping 22 people, it’s either the perfect spot for an intimate wedding or a bougie splurge between you and 21 other people you can convince to shell out on it. Staying here does make you part of the rich history of the house though, so might be worth alerting the group chat about this one.

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

Related: 10 NSW National Parks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of But Should Know

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