Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 25, 2021
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Budget beauties in Oz

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES Australia’s largest city has style to spare, as well as plenty of design hotels at distinctly haute prices. Enter Eight Hotels, a chain with a range of properties that are swank for a song and that make small accommodations seem a cut above. Their mid-range Diamant Hotel is set in Darlinghurst, near trendy Potts Point. It’s located a 10-minute walk from the style-conscious shops of Oxford Street, the café culture of Victoria Street, and the inventive Aussie dining of Woolloomooloo Wharf, which will also be the site of the city’s 17th art Biennale next May. Their Standard Room is petite but definitely chic, and includes a king bed, high-end linens, mosaic-tiled ensuite bathroom with swish toiletries, a 42-inch plasma TV, complimentary gym passes, free broadband access and free newspapers at reception. Doubles start at $130. (011-61-2) 9295-8888;

YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA Wine lovers in Melbourne know to head to the Yarra Valley, a picturesque wine region dotted with villages, antique centres, great restaurants and renowned wineries like De Bortoli. Nearby, three national parks and the rainforest-covered peaks of the Dandenongs are begging to be hiked. Smack in the heart of the region is the Healesville Hotel. This restored turn-of-the-century property has seven stylish rooms. All feature queen beds with crisp linens, handmade local soaps and coffee-making essentials. More than just a hostelry, it’s now the hub of a gourmet empire that includes a café, a gastro-pub with a charming beer garden with extensive wine selection by the glass, as well as a stellar restaurant, the Dining Room, which earned a string of annual honours. Doubles here start at just $89, easily half of what you’d expect. But there is a catch: the pristine bathrooms are down the hall, so pack a robe. (011-61-3) 5962-4002;

CAIRNS, NORTH QUEENSLAND The area around Cairns is the epicentre for vast extremes of natural beauty — from the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree Rainforest and the Atherton Tablelands — so there has never been a shortage of pricey lodges. Get the vibe on a budget by staying on a lush five-and-a-half-hectare estate at Zanzoo Retreat, 20 minutes from downtown Cairns. This 1870s Queenslander farmhouse has six rooms, including three suites with private bathrooms and sitting areas. All rooms have a patio or veranda, LCD TV, guest robes, handmade soap and air conditioning. A tropical continental breakfast is served daily, and guests have access to a large lounge, dining area and fully equipped kitchen to prepare other meals. Great for families, the property boasts a heated swimming pool and a rainforest-fringed freshwater creek, as well as complimentary use of a washer-dryer and an outdoor BBQ. Queen rooms are $105; suites are $140. (011-61-7) 4039-2842;

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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