How to have the perfect winter escape at Newcastle's fanciest hotel

Looking for a low-fuss but luxurious weekend away? Newcastle's Crystalbrook Kingsley hotel holds the answer.

Crystalbrook Kingsley
Crystalbrook Kingsley will make your Newcastle stay unforgettable. Photo: Crystalbrook Collection

For some of us, there's just no sugarcoating it: winter kind of sucks. Gone are the long beach days, the sun is down way too soon, and when you're freezing in your badly insulated Sydney apartment by 7pm, you find yourself going to bed just to feel warm again.

This year, given I was in not place to afford a Euro hot girl summer, I made a pact to myself: this winter was going to be one of mini getaways or staycays. If I was going to be cold or miserable all winter long, I'd at least be doing it under the guise of having little trips away to look forward to, weather be damned.

Which is how I found myself a lovely 2.5 hour train ride away in the city of Newcastle.

When enjoying these cheeky weekends away, one thing I look forward to the most is staying in a nice hotel and fleetingly feeling like a fancy lady, instead of someone freezing faster than Jack after the Titanic sunk. Now that I'm 33, with a disposable income and no dependents, I can treat myself a little better than the hostels I put up with in my 20s. Another thing I like to look for now that I'm older and my frontal lobe has developed is what the hotels I stay at are doing for the community and climate they serve.

Enter the Crystalbrook Collection, a franchise of sustainable hotels and innovative hospitality across Australia, with restaurants to die for, beds you'll never want to leave, and a mission to serve you responsible luxury while making you feel like a posh jet-setter. And while you're living your fanciest hot girl winter life, you can rest assured that you're doing it with a lighter footprint too.

Newcastle's Crystalbrook Kingsley. Photo: Supplied
Newcastle's Crystalbrook Kingsley. Photo: Supplied

In previous travels, I've stayed at Crystalbrook in Cairns and Brisbane (you could say I'm a converted fan), so when it came to my somewhat wholesome and somewhat slightly debaucherous weekend in Newcastle, it was an obvious choice to stay at Crystalbrook's Kingsley hotel. The 5-star hotel is a renovated, sustainably-led building with a rich history, and the first luxury hotel to grace Newcastle.

Located in a prime area, not far from the Honeysuckle precinct, the tall circular building is hard to miss. Inside, it boasts 130 rooms with rainforest showers, soft king beds, in-room tablet controls, Nespresso coffee machines, and funky robes. Outside of your room, there's the stylish bar and cafe downstairs, but upstairs is where the magic happens with a fancy rooftop bar perfect for date night, that leads into the elegant restaurant Roundhouse where you may just have one of the best feeds of your life.

Eating at the rooftop restaurant Roundhouse is a must. Photo: Crystalbrook
Eating at the rooftop restaurant Roundhouse is a must. Photo: Crystalbrook

Crystalbrook is a leader in the Aussie space when it comes to innovation and sustainability, leading the charge to help everyone travel with a lighter footprint.

Each hotel from the Crystalbook Collection is purpose-built with its own personality and design, so one stay is never the same. And the company stands by what it states: It's possible to have a 5-star experience without breaking the bank and while also doing your bit to implement responsible practices that are harmonious to the environment.

From partnering with EarthCheck for more sustainable tourism to implementing Climate Calories across their restaurants so guests are not only eating a delicious meal but can rest easy knowing they’re mitigating environmental impacts, Crystalbrook is ticking many boxes when it comes to making a difference. The rooms are decked out with glass water bottles, there are friendly reminders to reuse towels, and the robes are freshly laundered instead of being discarded or replaced.

You can live your best robe life at Crystalbrook Kingsley. Photo: Crystalbrook
You can live your best robe life at Crystalbrook Kingsley. Photo: Crystalbrook

If you're new to Newy or just want a weekend away that's low-fuss but luxurious, Kingsley will welcome you with open arms.

Having a cocktail at Romberg's rooftop is a must (I recommend The Handshake, a mix between a pina colada and margarita) and follow it with dinner at The Roundhouse, where you'll be tempted to sample a little bit of everything on the menu.

The hotel does a breakfast add-on, but you can also book a High Tea at Ms Mary downstairs, where you can indulge in a selection of mini sandwiches, scones, cakes, fresh fruit, and a glass of sparkling on arrival.

high tea at crystalbrook kingsley
Indulge in a high tea during your stay at Kingsley. Photo: Crystalbrook

Whether you're checking out the sights of Newcastle, beach strolling, or catching up with friends after, the perfect way to top off your winter stay is back at Crystalbrook's winter dining domes, situated out the back of the hotel. For two hours you'll be fed a European-style menu of winter warmers, with a shared cocktail jug, and a mini iced dessert cocktail to finish. To top off the winter wonderland experience, there's also fake snow, a communal fireplace, and if you want to stay set in your dome with your friends, options to play your own music and get served extra cocktails at an additional cost. And don't fear — you will be fed well. Trust me. don't eat lunch that day.

Luckily then your room is right upstairs to fall into a food coma and relax into luxury — or, as we've said... the rooftop bar is always just a quick elevator ride away. You take your pick, but Crystalbrook Kingsley won't be a place you forget any time soon.

Find out more at Crystalbrook's website, and check out Crystalbrook Kingsley on Instagram here. Yahoo Lifestyle was the guest of Crystalbrook and their product partners.

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