Review: Bannisters By The Sea Cements Itself As The South Coast’s Best Getaway

Eat, Play, Summer Guide, Travel / 1 December 2022

With panoramic ocean views, coastal chic interiors, an infinity pool and Rick Stein’s iconic seafood restaurant on site, Bannisters lives up to its everlasting hype!

With the sound of kookaburras singing and the smell of the sea breeze, we’ve never felt more at one with nature – and that’s exactly what a stay at Bannisters intends for their guests. Located in two quaint coastal towns of NSW, Mollymook and Port Stephens, both hotels promise a relaxing stay with luxury accommodations and Rick Stein’s iconic seafood restaurant on site.

We recently stayed at Bannisters By The Sea to see if it lives up to the hype – which it certainly did. The hotel sits atop Mollymook’s hills, allowing you to enjoy panoramic ocean views. The rooms follow coastal chic styling with luxury furnishings including MCM linen couches and indulgent touches such as Kevin Murphy body products.

There are many rooms to choose from depending on your needs, including Terrace Suites with ocean views and a private balcony, Family Suites with beds for the whole clan, and an eponymously named Collette Dinnigan Penthouse which has been designed by the iconic Australian fashion and interior designer herself. The penthouse features rich oak floorboards, an expansive deck, a light-filled living room with a fireplace and a deep bathtub, and even a Spa Retreat room with your own private spa bath.

During your stay, you have free rein to the crystal clear infinity pool that looks out onto the glistening ocean. The communal area is complete with sun loungers, umbrellas, and a Pool Bar allowing you to relax poolside with a cocktail in hand and a bite to eat. On the menu, you’ll find burrata, prawns, a selection of pizzas, shoestring fries, affogato, and all the essentials. We also suggest making the most of Bannisters’ Day Spa offering tension-release and hot stone massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.

The Rick Stein restaurant highlights fresh, local seafood in an iconic Rick Stein way – bursting with flavour and served aplenty. The menu features freshly shucked oysters from around the Shoalhaven, grilled Shark Bay scallops with coriander and hazelnut butter, and marinated tuna with a passionfruit, chilli, lime and coriander dressing. Moving onto larger dishes, the Risotto alla Torcellana with peas, broad beans and asparagus is the perfect vegetarian option. There’s also steamed whole snapper, Sri Lankan salmon curry with mango chutney and pilau rice, and Eastern Rock Lobster Thermador. To complement your dinner, you’ll find an Australian-dominated wine list with thoughtful wine recommendations from the sommelier if you go for the wine pairing.

Just a stone’s throw from Bannister’s By The Sea is Bannisters’ Pavillion with another collection of coastal chic rooms and a Rooftop Bar with sunloungers, yellow and white stripe umbrellas and cocktails aplenty. The food menu has a modern Australian focus with seasonal dishes including whipped ricotta and flatbread, salt and pepper calamari, prawn linguine, cheeseburgers and market fish. There’s also a sunkissed deck bar amongst the treetops for guests of The Pavillion.

Whether you stay in Mollymook or Port Stephens, the team hosts an unforgettable stay with friendly hospitality. Check out the rooms and book your next stay!