Simone Ramjee

Coastal Charms Aplenty: Discover Shoalhaven's Top Boutique Getaways From Coast to Coast!

100 beaches and 16 pristine white sand shores at Jervis Bay; nine wineries; a foodie trail; artisan providores, speciality boutiques; and plenty of adventure to be had. Welcome to the region of Shoalhaven. 

If you're someone who appreciates design, aesthetics, and a touch of luxury in their accommodations, then Shoalhaven's boutique hotels will not disappoint. Each hotel is thoughtfully designed with its own unique style and personality, making for a truly immersive experience.

From modern beachside hotels to quaint countryside retreats and villas to luxury camping in treehouses, there is a boutique hotel concept to suit every taste and preference. So prepare to be charmed and captivated by the stunning interiors, innovative architecture, and attention to detail that these hotels have to offer.

The Shoalhaven region comprises 49 charming towns and villages. It's just a two-hour drive south from Sydney or two and a half hours north from Canberra through Sutton Forest and Kangaroo Valley.

In this guide, we will take you on a journey to uncover Shoalhaven's hidden finds—the top boutique hotels that will elevate your stay in this stunning coastal region of New South Wales, with its stunning beaches, pristine waterways, and charming towns. So pack your bags and get ready to explore and indulge in the ultimate boutique hotel experience with Locay's top recommendations.

Cupitt's Estate Villas

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For those seeking a luxurious and culinary retreat, the South Coast of New South Wales harbours a treasure: Cupitt’s Estate. It beckons not just as an idyllic getaway but stands proudly as a sanctuary for wine and epicurean enthusiasts. Amidst the verdant landscapes, Cupitt’s Estate merges the worlds of viticulture, craft beer, gourmet dining, and music events. 

The estate’s spirit is embodied by Wally Cupitt, the master vintner whose expertise brings to life the celebrated cool-climate wines. Each bottle narrates the story of the region's terroir and becomes a harmonious accompaniment to the delectable dishes curated in the restaurant. Yet, while the wine and cuisine capture the essence of Cupitt’s, there's another dimension to this South Coast villa.

Amongst the cow-dotted paddocks and enveloped by masterfully curated gardens are 10 luxury accommodation villas that redefine rustic sophistication. Here, country charm reigns supreme. The villas offer a sleek interior design with timber walls that frame stunning artworks from Gallery Alchemy in Milton. They come replete with amenities that ensure each stay is an encounter with comfort and style. The pièce de résistance for four of these luxurious villas is the enchanting bathtubs located on private balconies, offering an immersive bathing experience under open skies—a perfect emblem of country indulgence at its peak. The villas carry the promise of restful slumbers on koala king beds, convenience in the form of kitchenettes, and intimate lounges. 

Cupitt’s Estate Villas is a destination that shouldn't just be visited but experienced in its entirety. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, visitors to this hidden nook on the South Coast are bound to leave with rejuvenated souls and a refined palate, longing for their next return to this haven of indulgence.

Located on the stunning South Coast of New South Wales, Ulladulla is a picturesque town that offers a perfect mix of natural beauty and rich history. With its pristine beaches, waterfront markets, scenic walks, whale watching, and abundance of watersports activities, it is an ideal destination for those looking for a laid-back coastal escape.

Only a mere three hours from Sydney and even less from Canberra, Ulladulla is the perfect coastal escape. Cupitt's Estate stands as a jewel in the crown of the Shoalhaven region, encapsulating the area's spirit and providing a gateway to nearby Milton and Mollymook's villages.

Bangalay Luxury Villas

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A luxurious retreat in Shoalhaven Heads is a place where you can escape the hustle of everyday life in the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Bangalay Villas, where luxury meets the serene beauty of the South Coast. Just two hours from Sydney, this coastal haven offers an unparalleled retreat experience set against the pristine backdrop of a coastal national park and the rolling greens of the Shoalhaven Heads golf course.

Each of Bangalay's 16 luxury villas is an oasis of calm and comfort, where guests can enjoy scenic garden or golf course views. Revel in the warmth of your personal fireplace or bask in the sunshine on the north-facing deck—a perfect space for contemplation or casual relaxation. Those seeking to escape the ordinary will find refuge amidst this perfect symphony of nature and refinement.

The destination is a perfect retreat all year, where guests can enjoy a heated swimming pool, a well-curated gift store with unique finds and mementoes, and exceptional dining experiences at the acclaimed onsite restaurant, Bangalay Dining.

Expect expansive interiors that are elegantly furnished for maximum comfort with climate control, air conditioning, and ceiling fans. A sun-drenched private deck is kitted with plush outdoor furniture, a fully-equipped kitchen, a Nespresso machine with eco-friendly coffee pods, in-villa laundry amenities, and a luxurious bathroom featuring underfloor heating perfect for those winter nights and opulent Aspar skincare products. Family travellers are well looked after and receive complimentary cots and high chairs. 

Environmentally conscious amenities like electric vehicle charging stations and mobility aids for hire ensure accessibility for all guests.

With multiple awards to its name, Bangalay Dining is a testament to the grandeur of regional cuisine. Here, the menu is infused with a bounty of native Australian ingredients, curated into dishes that are creative yet elegantly simple, designed to showcase the authentic flavors of the ingredients.

Bangalay's gourmet picnic hampers can be arranged if you are wanting to escape and go to one of the local beaches or picnic spots; however, make sure you pre-order your hamper 24 hours in advance.

One of the main drawcards of Shoalhaven Heads is its stunning beaches. The main beach, known as Seven Mile Beach, stretches for miles and is perfect for swimming, surfing, and enjoying a day in the sun. The beach also offers opportunities for fishing and boating. 

For those looking to connect with nature, Shoalhaven Heads has several nature reserves that offer hiking trails, birdwatching, and picnic areas. The Shoalhaven Heads Coastal Reserve is a must-visit for its stunning views of the ocean and unique flora and fauna.

The town's location at the mouth of the Shoalhaven River provides plenty of opportunities for river adventures. Visitors can go kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding along the calm waterways, or take a boat tour to explore the river and its surrounding mangrove forests.

Shoalhaven Heads is also known for its delicious, locally grown oysters. Visitors can book a tour of an oyster farm to learn about the cultivation process and even taste freshly shucked oysters straight from the source. Home to several award-winning wineries. Visitors can take a tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample some of the region's best wines. 

Paperbark Camp

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Tucked away in the peaceful bushland of Jervis Bay, Paperbark Camp is the ultimate destination for luxury camping. A serene escape that redefines camping for adults seeking tranquility and luxury amidst nature. At Paperbark, the blend of untamed bush and secluded comfort is evident from the gently rustling eucalyptus down to the rich scent of paperbarks.

Paperbark Camp's African-inspired canvas safari tents are not your run-of-the-mill camping experience. These deluxe, king, and deluxe king tents are set thoughtfully among the towering trees, perched above the ground to secure privacy and harness the cool sea breeze. Each tent serves as a secluded haven with wrap-around decking, outdoor furniture, polished hardwood floors, solar-powered lighting, and luxurious linens to add to the opulent camping experience. 

Indulge in a freestanding bath or a steaming hot shower in your private, open-air en suite. Equipped with handmade soaps and lotions, plush gowns, and the ability to create a candlelit oasis, Paperbark Camp turns living in the wild into a tender, romantic adventure in your own bespoke treehouse. 

With an Advanced Eco Accreditation, Paperbark Camp indulges guests without compromising the environment with the absence of air conditioning, TVs, bar fridges, and traditional power points in tents. Inherent wifi limitations further encourage a digital detox, immersing guests in the raw beauty of their surroundings.

The Gunyah, or 'meeting place' in Aboriginal, stands as the camp's vibrant heart. This architecturally unique treetop dining room morphs with the seasons, opening for alfresco dining in the warmer months and offering a cosy fireside retreat in colder times. Whether it's a candlelit dinner, an afternoon cocktail, or a peaceful lounge with a book, The Gunyah is crafted for memorable moments.

A stay at Paperbark Camp might be the pause you need to sleep in, savour a leisurely breakfast, or unwind with a deck massage (reservations recommended). However, for the more active soul, Paperbark presents a plethora of adventures. Traverse through walking trails, ride a bike through scenic routes, or take the Paperbark Challenge and canoe to Huskisson. Two award-winning microbreweries and a bayside town await discovery just a pedal away.

The beautiful venue welcomes celebrations such as weddings or functions as it transforms into an inspirational space perfect for corporate retreats or intimate gatherings.

Situated a mere 2.5-hour drive from Sydney, Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay stands as a luxury camping destination that invites you to awaken to nature, refined.

Bannisters by the Sea

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When it’s time to trade the daily grind for the sounds of the crashing waves of a seaside retreat, Bannisters by the Sea at Mollymook beckons. Situated on top of a dramatic clifftop, this 34-room boutique hotel is more than a luxury destination—it’s an immersion into a world where the coast meets understated elegance.

One step onto the sun-drenched deck surrounding the infinity pool, and you’ll understand the allure. The breathtaking panoramic views across the azure Pacific Ocean blend seamlessly into the horizon. It’s a sight that turns leisurely laps into a mesmerising experience and makes you linger longer at the classic pool bar, sipping cocktails that taste like the summer sun.

Rick Stein's acclaimed restaurant at Bannisters by the Sea becomes more than just a meal; it's an unforgettable fine dining adventure. Each dish tells the story of the sea, with the freshest local seafood artfully prepared and presented. Awake to the tantalising aromas of a continental buffet breakfast—a herald to a new day of indulgence, which is indulgent yet included in your room rate.

The day spa at Bannisters is a serene sanctuary designed for relaxation and rejuvenation. Choose from an array of treatments and unwind in a steam room that envelops you in warmth and wellbeing. The cabana draws the outside in, promising a sensory retreat that refreshes mind, body, and soul.

Every element at Bannisters by the Sea oozes sophistication and style, especially the designer penthouses. Collette Dinnigan and Cameron Kimber lend their iconic touch to spaces that echo with elegant nostalgia and offer a gracious nod to the region’s rich history.

Just three hours south of Sydney and two hours from Canberra, Mollymook is your canvas for escapades cast in coastal splendour. With its celebrated surf beaches and local restaurants, the world at Mollymook combines the joys of the ocean with the finesse of the fairway. Golf aficionados will admire the manicured courses with ocean vistas, and the beach will attract those looking to ride the waves or merely bask in the sun.

Driving to Mollymook is an adventure of its own, marked by the breathtaking views of the Grand Pacific Drive. The nearby towns of Ulladulla, Milton, and Narrawallee enrich the narrative of this coastal jewel with their unique charm and attractions.

Bannisters Pavilion

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Choosing the perfect accommodation is crucial, and Bannisters Pavillion offers an experience distinct from its sister property, Bannisters by the Sea, ensuring a getaway that leaves you revitalised. 

Whereas Bannisters by the Sea stands proudly on the headland with sweeping ocean views as its signature offering, Bannisters Pavilion provides a contrasting experience. Located in the bustling heart of Mollymook, it's a stone’s throw from the beach, perfect for guests eager to soak up the sun on golden sands or take a leisurely stroll along the pristine shoreline.

Bannisters Pavillion caters to the contemporary traveller. Relax in one of the 33 classic rooms, or opt for the pet-friendly accommodation option. The penthouses offer an open plan, spacious setting, oak floors, and limestone bathrooms, offering an exclusive balcony for a private coastal retreat. The Pavillion positions itself as the go-to hub for guests looking to intertwine luxury stays with local adventures.

Revel in the luxury of the rooftop pool, where relaxation meets panoramic vistas—a perfect complement to your stay.

Indulge in a culinary excursion at the Rooftop Bar & Grill. With two special tables accommodating those with pets, dining becomes a shared joy.

Best of all, both Bannisters properties are separated by a mere 800 meters, and guests of Pavilion can easily access Bannisters by the Sea with a courtesy car, allowing an enriched experience of both sites effortlessly. 

Bannisters Pavillion is just a short and scenic 3-hour drive from Sydney and a stylish 2.5 hours from Canberra.

Wildes Boutique Hotel Kangaroo Valley

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The Wildes Boutique Hotel is in the idyllic setting of Kangaroo Valley.  Merging luxury with the pristine wilderness, this exclusive hotel is your gateway to both relaxation and adventure.

Upon entering the 26 boutique rooms and suites, guests are greeted with spacious interiors. Each room offers a serene view of the courtyard, the historical village, or the breathtaking mountainous landscape. With luxurious amenities at your fingertips, every night promises a peaceful slumber.

There is an onsite restaurant and pool, as well as conference and event facilities for special gatherings, and is in a strategic location in the heart of Kangaroo Valley Village.

On site, you will find the village bistro offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a specially curated menu that showcases local produce and flavours. Bookings are highly recommended. 

Stepping outside the refined comforts of the hotel and immersing yourselves in the quaint charm of Kangaroo Valley Village, you will be surrounded by rich heritage and local producers; explore art galleries; partake in the monthly farmers' market held on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 9am - 1pm or indulge in delicacies from the village delicatessen.

The area offers so much for art and adventure seekers. A must-visit is the Pioneer Village Museum and historical sites; enjoy kayaking and canoeing on the majestic Kangaroo River; or take a cliff-edge walk and mountain bike trail ride; and for culinary seekers, you can drop into a local vineyard, brewery, or visit Valley Cheesemakers, the home of cheesemaking workshops in Kangaroo Valley.

However, you haven't been to Kangaroo Valley until you have made it to the renowned Kangaroo Valley General Store and Newsagent. Your go-tos for everything from local crafts to weekend essentials. Committed to supporting the community, it's a treasure trove for locally sourced goods, and everyone knows the General Store! 

It's just over two hours from Sydney and two and a half hours from Canberra.

Worrowing Jervis Bay

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Worrowing Jervis Bay stands as a testament to tranquility and natural beauty amidst the vast landscape of a histroic 250-acree estate. 

This unique coastal farm, located a stone's throw away from the world-renowned pristine white sands of Hyams Beach, offers guests an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the serenity of Jervis Bay.

Worrowing Estate's rich history is palpable in every corner of the property. The homestead itself exudes a sense of time-honoured charm, complemented by picturesque paddocks, rolling hills, and serene dams. Amidst this scenic backdrop, guests can discover an array of retreats and beachside locations that marry the estate’s rustic heritage with modern living requirements. 

Stepping away from the conventional hotel setup, Worrowing Jervis Bay prides itself on providing secluded, self-contained lodging that bolsters the sense of a private escape. Each setting, whether nestled in the coastal bushland or perched near the seaside, affords guests their own personal sanctuary with all the comforts of home. They blend effortlessly into the environment while offering self-check-in capabilities, ensuring personal convenience and privacy. 

The accommodation is ideally suited for couples, families, and groups and the repurposed sheds and ornate formal gardens set the scene for unforgettable weddings, functions, and events. 

A short detour from the property lies the surreal beauty of Jervis Bay’s beaches, national parks, and quaint villages. The powdery white sands of Hyams Beach are notably just four minutes away, providing seamless access to some of the cleanest shorelines in the world.

Even without one's own vehicle, reaching this secluded paradise from Sydney is manageable. Visitors can opt for a scenic train and bus route or select a more direct shuttle service. Or if driving is more your thing it's under a three hour drive from Sydney. The choice of travel adds to the experience, with each route showcasing the South Coast's stunning landscapes and vineyards, serving as a prelude to the Worrowing experience.

Motel Molly

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In the heart of the South Coast's picturesque landscape lies Motel Molly—a sanctuary where Moroccan flair meets Mediterranean vibes, minutes away from Mollymook's pristine shoreline. It's not just your run-of-the-mill accommodation; it's a seaside odyssey combined with curated luxury, cocooned in a quaint coastal town renowned for its verdant golf courses, epicurean delights, and surf-kissed beaches.

At Motel Molly, each corner is a testament to its thoughtful design—a charming expressway to a serene lifestyle inspired by Moroccan aesthetics and coastal simplicity. The interior palette speaks to those who seek solace and artistic beauty, with colours that soothe the soul and spark creativity.

The experience transcends the standard hotel room, offering personalised retreats that meld comfort with sophistication. Guests are treated to Moroccan-style sunken baths—a rarity that elevates relaxation—while the hand-selected Mediterranean tiling and handmade imported ceramics seamlessly blend artistry with function.

Whether you're escaping for a romantic weekend, planning a family vacation, or seeking a solitary harbour, Motel Molly rises to the occasion with versatile accommodation options. Choose from one and two-bedroom apartments tailored with a kitchenette, living area, and private balcony for personal space with all the conveniences of home. Select top-floor rooms offering expansive ocean views, ground-level apartments with direct access to lush garden patios, or indulge in a spa suite. Families will love the split-level, three-bedroom apartment layout, which spans two levels for added privacy and space.

Cherish the quiet moments on balconies overlooking gardens entwined with vibrant bougainvillaea or soak in the panoramic vistas of the boundless blue sea.

Motel Molly's allure is not limited to its walls. Step outside and find yourself within the vibrance of Mollymook’s beach culture. You can spend your days lounging by the pool or grilling at the BBQ area within the outdoor cabana, meandering through olive groves and manicured gardens, reflecting on the scenery, or losing yourself in a book, or venture beyond and explore Mollymook. From food and wine delights to nature walks, fishing spots, and a haven for wellness with local spas.

Only three hours from Sydney and under three hours from Canberra, making it the perfect weekend escape. 

The Berry View

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When it comes to finding a distinctive escape on the NSW South Coast, The Berry View Motel, which underwent a renovation and reopened in 2023, isn’t just a place to stay; it’s an immersion into an era of style and nostalgia.

At the heart of Berry, a quaint yet vibrant town buzzing with history and modern allure, stands The Berry View, a boutique motel that transports visitors to a bygone era of elegance and panache. The structure, an embodiment of a mid-century drive-in motel, has been meticulously restored to its 1950s glory, with a sprinkle of Palm Springs' luxurious vibe to complement the atmosphere.

Offering thirteen distinct rooms, each one is a tribute to the timeless design trend that is mid-century modern. The attention to detail is palpable, as the motel flaunts perfectly curated decorative elements. From bespoke lighting fixtures amidst the modernist decor to velour single-seater sofas, every nook within The Berry View is Instagram-worthy and envelops you in a cocoon of designer cosiness.

Catering to all sorts of travellers, from the love-struck couple seeking a romantic retreat to the adventure-loving family, The Berry View assures comfort for every need with its versatile room configurations. The offerings range from intimate queen settings to family-friendly rooms with queen beds and bunks, all without compromising the immersive, retro style.

Berry, only a two-hour drive from Sydney, presents itself as a township rich with heritage, and The Berry View stands amongst landmarks such as the Berry Courthouse and Berry Museum, each narrating a story through their late-19th-century designs. In harmonising its historic charm with modern-day comforts, the town invites visitors to explore its trendy boutiques, indulge in local culinary delights (the famous doughnut van is a must), and enjoy the vibrant pub scene.


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A secluded luxury property that lies within the vast beauty of Kangaroo Valley, the barranca is a sanctuary that offers an unparalleled connection with nature. With four villas named Ferndale, Willow, Banksia, and Jacaranda, each stay promises a unique mix of luxury and rustic charm.

A masterpiece of architecture, Ferndale is a luxury four-bedroom villa for up to eight guests. Surrounded by rolling hills and facing an awe-inspiring escarpment, it provides an enchantingly private retreat. With a fully equipped kitchen, the outdoor facilities are as impressive, with an outdoor fire pit, a large terrace with a gas BBQ, and an inviting lounge area—not to mention the outdoor shower—offering ample opportunities for leisure and relaxation.

Sister to Ferndale, Willow mirrors the essence of barranca with its unrivalled views and architectural magnificence. Ideal for groups of up to eight guests, Willow elevates the experience of disconnecting from modern distractions and reconnecting with the serene bushland. A fully equipped kitchen is just the beginning. Here, leisure finds its place under the stars around the fire pit or while lounging in the expansive outdoor area.

With its impeccable luxury for up to four guests, Jacaranda is an exquisite escape. It represents the ideal balance between cosy country living and chic architectural design, set among stunning escarpment views. Guests can indulge in an outdoor fire pit, perfect for watching the sunset and whileing away the evening in style.

The intimate charm of Banksia lies in its recently renovated space, designed to blend harmoniously with its stunning surroundings. Sleeping up to four guests, this villa is an intimate getaway embraced by nature. With creature comforts and a fully equipped kitchen, it is the alfresco dining area and outdoor fire pit that truly anchor the Banksia experience.

Staying at any of the barranca villas comes with thoughtful touches—complimentary tea, coffee, fresh eggs, bread, milk, and select condiments upon arrival. Luxury bathroom products by 'Leif' add an extra layer of pampering to your stay.

barranca's heart and soul lie in its immersive natural setting. Engage with the land on marked trails, ranging from gentle walks to challenging treks suitable for all fitness levels. Discovery awaits around every corner, whether meeting Shire horses or navigating through the untouched bushland.

Rejuvenate with barranca's spa services. Treat your senses to an aromatic foot bath, a botanical scrub, tailored massages, and revitalisation for tired muscles and skin. Conducted either in the comfort of your villa or immersed within nature, it's an experience designed to reduce stress and anxiety, truly capturing the essence of relaxation that barranca promises.

If you want to add something unique to your stay, the team can arrange a bespoke dining experience departing from barranca, Kangaroo Valley, with Touchdown Helicopters flying you to Crooked River for a delicious three-hour lunch via Hampden Bridge, Fitzroy Falls, Belmore Falls, Carrington Falls, Kiama, Gerringong, and Crooked River.

Located only two hours from Sydney, this makes it the perfect weekender! You can experience the property by renting just one of the villas, or you can take over the entire accommodation for a group or family stay, making it the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion or a reunion. 

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