A 140-room hotel is set to open near the harbour on Honeysuckle Drive in 2020. But for now, the pick of the traditional accommodation options is the airy guestrooms, some with ocean views, at Novotel Newcastle Beach (hotel.qantas. com.au/novotelnewcastle). Step outside the light-filled foyer and explore the bars and restaurants along King and Hunter streets, as well as the beach and foreshore.
What the city does particularly well is boutique accommodation. Airbnb property Hayes House (qantas.com/stay) is a luxurious three-bedroom Victorian home filled with local treasures, including Clay Canoe ceramic kitchenware, photos by James Stephenson and toiletries from Savant Apothecary. It’s an easy walk to the cafés and shops on Darby Street, Cooks Hill.
Nearby is Flourish on Bull, a stunning loft-style apartment with a dramatic arched window, located above the studio of Flourish Interior Design (flourishinterior design.com.au). Its new sister apartment overlooking the Cowrie Hole near Newcastle Beach is just three metres from the water.
Also in Cooks Hill is Pappa Sven’s Summer Cabin (pappasven. com.au), which is owned by Libby Helinski, who lived in Sweden for a year and now runs Scandinavian homewares store Pappa Sven, a short walk away. The charcoaland-white weatherboard cottage is fitted out with Nordic textiles and furnishings and has had its “authentic Swedish-ness” verified by the ambassador of Sweden to Australia, Pär Ahlberger, who stayed here with his wife, Hélène.