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Venue Crush: Beachside Bliss at Bannisters Port Stephens

For a weekend escape with all the trimmings, you can’t beat a stay at Bannister’s Port Stephens. Here’s why this stylish seaside retreat should be your next weekend getaway.

Redefining the concept of a quintessential coastal getaway, Bannisters Port Stephens is the region’s must-book beachside boutique, offering guests a taste of stylish seaside living. 

Transformed from an iconic ‘60s resort into a swanky boutique hotel, this chic Soldier’s Point bolthole – the creative work of Romy Alwill and architect Tony Freeman – effortlessly captures the coastal charm of Port Stephens, perfectly packaged into a modern hotel that oozes retro charisma.

A gastronomic getaway – when celebrity chef Rick Stein takes the helm, you know you’re in good hands – with breathtaking views and slick, coastal-cool interiors that bring the outdoors in. This beachfront escape promises so much more than a weekend beside the sea. 

There’s no better time to visit than now with the recent launch of their summer menu boasting some of the freshest seafood in the country paired with locally sourced seasonal ingredients including passionfruit, oysters and blue swimmer crab. In signature Stein style, the fresh, quality produce sings when expertly paired with simple ‘no fuss’ flavourings. But there’s nothing simple about the explosion of flavour that makes it to the plate.

Rick Stein at Bannisters Port Stephens

The Passionfruit Tuna, Coriander and Green Chilli is a crowd favourite, served raw, with the sweet and citrus perfectly balanced with fresh green chilli and herbaceous coriander. Or you can’t go past the Singapore Chilli Crab Stir-fried with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander which is one of Stein’s personal favourites. Make sure you don’t wear white for this one as it’s made to eat with your hands – the messier the better!

Bannisters Port Stephens: The Rooms

Boasting a range of plush rooms and suites that offer ocean and parkland vistas, Bannisters Port Stephens is a haven of rest and relaxation. After a $15 million refurbishment, the well-appointed rooms now look the part, thanks to Romy Alwill’s designer touch. Using a fresh palette of cool tones, with a pop of pastel, each room has a simplistic charm that let the views do the talking. With 29 Paperbark rooms, 49 Ocean Deck Rooms, two Studio Rooms, four Luxury Suites and one glorious Penthouse, Bannisters Port Stephens delivers accommodation that allows guests to truly relax in style.


An effortless combo of beachy styling and sleek contemporary furnishings, these rooms come with bags of style. But it’s the serene views of the surrounding Kookaburra and Koala habitat that make these designer digs a total sell-out.

Studio Room

A cool, contemporary studio space complete with a gigantic king size bed and scenic views that stretch out towards the distant Yaccaba and Tomaree headlands.  Pure bliss.

Ocean Deck Room

A home away from home where the views take centre stage. Available across all four floors of the hotel, the lower floors provide garden decks and direct beach access, whilst the upper level rooms boast panoramic ocean scenes. Better still, this room category is dog friendly, so your furry companion won’t have to miss out.

Luxury Suites

Relaxed luxury set over 50sqm; Bannisters’ Luxury Suites are the epitome of indulgence. With a separate bedroom and living area alongside a balcony or garden space, these suites truly allow you to settle into holiday mode.


The ultimate indulgence, Bannister’s Penthouse is a one-of-a kind experience. The open living, oversized deck and natural light-filled living room give guests the space to sprawl out in style.

SITCHU LOVES:  For added opulence, the Penthouse bathroom boasts beautiful treetop views, so you can take a dip and let the sound of crashing waves wash over you, as you drift off into blissful serenity. Now, that’s what we call a holiday. 

Bannisters Port Stephens: The Spa

Pampering with a trendy Palm Springs vibe, Spa Bannisters ticks every beauty box. With five rooms and an extensive list of seasonal treatments that are tailored to the body’s changing needs, the spa uses the best in organic Australian skincare, like Miranda Kerr’s KORA ORGANICS. Treat yourself to the ‘After Sun Treatment’ incorporating natural healing Aloe Vera to soothe sun-soaked skin, or for added decadence, enjoy a mani and mimosa poolside.  We guarantee you’ll leave feeling relaxed and totally rejuvenated.

SITCHU LOVES: For complete indulgence, opt for the Rejuvenate experience – two hours of head-to-toe pampering with a cleansing body wrap, massage and soothing facial. Trust us, you won’t regret it! 

Bannisters Port Stephens: The Restaurant

Inspired by their renowned Mollymook restaurant, Bannisters Port Stephens is also home to Rick Stein at Bannisters – the celebrity chef’s signature restaurant. Working closely with head chef Mitchell Turner, Rick Stein heroes locally sourced seafood and pairs his delicacies with his own wine, created in collaboration with Hunter Valley winery Brokenwood. 

Bannisters Port Stephens: The Terrace

Sitting pretty on the pool deck, The Terrace Bar offers casual all-day dining for guests that want a bite with their swim. Although relaxed, expect the quality of restaurant dining. For an afternoon snack, the Bannisters Burger or Linguine Vongole packed with fresh clams, white wine, chilli and parsley, sure to hit the spot.

SITCHU LOVES: The chimichurri scotch fillet and Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato are a match made in two-course heaven. 

Bannisters Port Stephens: Cheeky Dog

Newly opened Cheeky Dog is Bannisters Port Stephen’s take on the humble gastro-pub. Decked out with natural furnishings, exposed brick walls and a sleek, neutral palette, this stylish bar is equal parts relaxed and vibrant. With a beer garden, bistro and sports bar all under the one roof, the Cheeky Dog takes patrons from day to night. Serving up a Mediterranean-influenced menu, big on sharing plates, you can expect to dine on delicious pizza and antipasto, while sipping on a negroni or two.

SITCHU LOVES: To celebrate the opening of Cheeky Dog, and to enjoy all the precinct has to offer, book a one night getaway package that includes: a food and beverage package at Cheeky Dog; accommodation at Bannisters Port Stephens; continental breakfast at Rick Stein at Bannisters; and complimentary additions such as wifi access, daily newspapers and Netflix in your room. Tempted much? Find all the details here.

Bannisters Port Stephens: The Neighbourhood

Just under three-hour’s drive from Sydney, the picturesque coastal town of Port Stephens ticks every box on your holiday wishlist. Sporting a variety of beautiful beaches, including Soldier's Point with its calm, crystal clear waters, and Box Beach – a local hangout for surf enthusiasts – this sunny coastal haunt promises endless sandy adventures. 

But it’s not just the crashing surf swells drawing in the crowds, there are endless outdoor activities to keep you entertained. From whale and dolphin watching, to bikingsand boarding and snorkelling, Port Stephens is a magical coastal playground, where you can switch off, get swept up in the natural surrounds and take a break from the daily grind.

SITCHU LOVES: Take a sunset seaside stroll by camel – an unforgettably unique way to soak up Port Stephens’ stunning beachfront vistas. 

Bannisters Port Stephens
Rooms from $230 per night
147 Soldiers Point Road, Soldiers Point

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