A capital of culture, cuisine, and crocodiles, Darwin is located right at the tip of Australia’s Northern Territory. The city is teeming with untouched national parks, bucket-list opportunities, ancient Aboriginal traditions, and tropical charm.
Tourists are often lured into Darwin by its laid-back lifestyle, diverse wildlife, and picturesque scenery, only to be pleasantly surprised that it is also home to many street-side restaurants and bars, exquisite artistry, and a largely cosmopolitan flair.
Darwin’s hotels share a nod to the tropics through their gorgeous green environs and complement a pristine setting with luxury, modern comforts. From hinterland boutiques to palm-fringed resorts, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Darwin, Australia (in no particular order)…
1. Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront – a cool, hip and contemporary hotel perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Z’s
Boasting a supreme position inside the Waterfront Precinct, Vibe Hotel adds a colourful, contemporary accommodation experience to Darwin’s hospitality scene.
A five-minute stroll lands you right in the city centre, where you will be greeted by a plethora of new restaurants and bars. Catering to the youthful, trendy crowd, the on-site café is decked out in modern Indigenous patterns swirling with bright pinks and yellows.
The guestrooms are decorated with high-quality fabrics and artworks in an iridescent shade of light blue, creating a fresh, modern feel. If you’re lucky enough to bag a water-facing room, you can awaken to stunning views across the turquoise harbour, Stokes Hill Wharf, and manicured lawns.
- To book, check prices or availability for Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront
2. Darwin FreeSpirit Resort – a quirky, fun but also a laid-back resort that provides a carefree and relaxed vibe
Living up to its name effortlessly, a carefree vibe permeates this charming hotel, which is nestled within tropical gardens of swaying palms.
The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere sets the tone for a truly idyllic Darwin stay, and the essence of rejuvenation extends into the modern cabins, villas, and caravans.
This quirky, laid-back resort offers a shimmering outdoor swimming pool with an inflatable jumping pillow, which is dotted by cosy sun loungers positioned for optimum tanning.
Each self-contained accommodation features a kitchenette with a stovetop, microwave and refrigerator, as well as a whole host of trendy outdoor furniture on the private terrace.
- To book, check prices or availability for Darwin FreeSpirit Resort
3. H on Smith Hotel – a modern and trendy hotel with a funky edge in an unenviable location
Offering a convenient city-centre stay within walking distance of many shops, parks, and eateries, H on Smith is steeped in a modern, chic atmosphere.
The shared spaces are full of character, from the bright and tropical-themed D Restaurant and Bar to the stunning outdoor pool edged with beautiful flora.
A range of coffee table books is provided in the foyer, providing a quaint, homely feel. The guestrooms feature red, black, and white linen, while some offer sweeping views across the city.
The on-site restaurant defines its style as ‘modern Asian influence’, and is a nice nod to Darwin’s multicultural scene.
- To book, check prices or availability for H on Smith Hotel
4. Palms City Resort – a beautiful and elegantly styled accommodation surrounded by tropical gardens
Ranging from double rooms to private villas, Palms City’s accommodation offerings are nothing short of spectacular.
As you arrive at this nature-inspired boutique, you can take a peaceful meander through the manicured gardens that surround the villas, before cooling off in the free-form, tropical swimming pool.
The hotel is situated on the corner of The Esplanade and Herbert Street, which equates to buzzing city life on one side and sweeping views on the other.
If you stay in a villa you will be totally nestled within the tropical gardens, and you will have access to your own private deck with a table, chairs, and an electric BBQ.
- To book, check prices or availability for Palms City Resort
5. H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel – a funky city centre haven for enjoying Darwin’s main attraction
Catering to both corporate and leisure guests, this city centre oasis comprises of stylish studio rooms and up-to two-bedroom balcony apartments.
Situated in close proximity to Darwin’s main tourist attractions, H on Mitchell is the perfect spot to become fully immersed in the unique, vibrant culture of the city.
The hotel prides itself on its exquisite meal offerings, which can be relished during a relaxing breakfast, a quaint afternoon tea, a business lunch meeting, or a casual evening dinner.
The in-house Lizards Bar and Restaurant is a charming addition and offers an eclectic hub for a social gathering.
- To book, check prices or availability for H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel
6. Mindil Beach Casino Resort – a gorgeous award-winning design resort that brings harmony to your mind, body and soul
Mindil Beach brings an exceptional hospitality experience to the magnificent beachside gardens overlooking Fannie Bay.
Though situated minutes from Darwin’s CBD, at this unique casino resort you will feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle. An eclectic atmosphere radiates through the property’s award-winning restaurants and bars.
The on-site Lagoon Day Spa specialises in relaxation and rejuvenation experiences and is the perfect spot to bring your mind, body, and soul into blissful harmony.
This wellness space is inspired by the beauty and bounty of the surrounding landscape and ocean environment, and a bespoke collection of sublime iKOU rituals is offered.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mindil Beach Casino Resort
7. Club Tropical Resort Darwin – a new resort offering elegance and style both inside and out
Here we have Darwin’s newest resort, set just 200 metres from the breathtaking Lee Point Beach. Evoking an air of understated elegance, Club Tropical offers fully serviced guestrooms, apartments, and villas, catering to all types of traveller.
The property is adorned with spacious landscaped gardens and 2 salt-water turquoise pools. Within a short, peaceful stroll you will be in the heart of a coastal reserve where a pristine sunset draws each day to a close.
On-site, you can indulge in an al-fresco dining experience, or simply gather with family or friends and utilize one of the BBQ areas.
- To book, check prices or availability for Club Tropical Resort Darwin
8. Argus Hotel Darwin – an inviting hotel that offers a contemporary and luxurious style
Catering to guests’ every need, The Argus Hotel delivers an exceptional standard of service while showcasing the relaxed nature of Australia.
As an independently owned and operated business, the hotel adds a unique touch to its living areas. It is in these communal corners where intrepid travellers and business visionaries can get together and soak up an authentic Darwin charm.
The contemporary style accommodations reflect the city’s warm and inviting character while maintaining an air of luxury in a dazzling cityscape backdrop. At Argus, you can enjoy the added benefit of a delicious continental breakfast, spread out in the poolside dining area.
- To book, check prices or availability for Argus Hotel Darwin
9. Capitanos – fun, boutique accommodation with a youthful vibe re-styled to meet the needs of every traveller
Here we have a newly refurbished boutique in the heart of Darwin CBD. At Capitanos, your accommodation needs will be met with a variety of studios, all of which boast modern kitchenettes and are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities.
Despite a supreme downtown location, a stay here is just as replenishing as it is invigorating. As a guest, you can revel in a tropical charm in a courtyard setting as you take a dip in a beautiful outdoor pool.
You can then gather around the shared BBQ area with friends and cook up your own feast, before retreating to your pristine sanctuary and enjoying the entertainment offering of 115 FOXTEL Channels.
- To book, check prices or availability for Capitanos
10. The Tropical Sanctuary – a rural retreat for a quiet and relaxing stay
This stunning tropical escape radiates a true hinterland ambiance, and invites visitors to a world of understated luxury. The property features BBQ facilities, a garden, and a terrace, with a tranquil atmosphere set throughout all the cosy nooks.
Each guestroom comes in a black and white theme, topped with quirky décor and plush linens, while each window is like a framed picture of a lush landscape.
The country charm is beautifully contrasted in the bathrooms, which are draped head-to-toe in an ultra-modern look. The Tropical Sanctuary lies just over 10 km from Darwin centre, so if you have a car, you are truly provided with the best of both worlds.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Tropical Sanctuary
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam