Growing up in a ‘travel’ family, Dave’s passion for travel has literally been his life’s work. Some say he has an ‘unhealthy’ obsession with hotels—the more gorgeous and luxe, the better. If there’s a fancy hotel amenity, lurk or perk worth accessing, Dave already knows about it and, most importantly, who to ask and how to get it.
After spending time within other areas of the Australian travel industry, Dave joined the family business, Goldman Group in 1996 to help it scale and diversify. Goldman Group's Travelcall assists their clients in booking local, domestic and international high end itineraries and experiences.
“Travelling regularly from a very young age, my siblings and I became attuned to hospitality and service, how it worked, what was good in one place, yet not so great in another. How remarkable, it seemed at the time, that staff at our favourite hotels might recognise us and welcome us back. Today, even still, experiences like that push my buttons. That ability for a service provider (like ours) to nurture long-term relationships with its customers that feels like 'family'.
In this city guide, Dave Goldman shares all of his recommendations for the best luxury stays, places to eat & see that NSW has to offer.
Dave Goldman's NSW luxury travel suggestions
Byron Bay is arguably one of the most popular NSW holiday destinations, with beautiful luxury stays, eats & sights to see. Located in the North of NSW, Byron combines the perfect feel of beach, bush & land.
Left image: The Bower, Byron Bay. Right image: Byron Bay Lighthouse
- Mez Club - Beautifully decorated with traditional details, you are transported to the Mediterranean. With delicious share plates, you are spoilt for choice with an abundance of tasty ingredients. A must try is the haloumi.
- Combi - Healthy treats never tasted so good. Try their famous Acai bowls, which you have likely seen all over instagram.
- Raes on Wategos - Located on the exquisite Wategos Beach, Raes combines the best of Australian cuisine with nods & accents towards of the Mediterranean.
- Beach Suites - Overlooking Byron Bay’s Main Beach, Beach Suites offers a range of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom stylish boutique studios and large airy apartments. With personal service, beachfront access and a central location, the spacious, residential-style suites are ideal for longer stays and perfect for families.
- The Bower - The Bower is Australian beach style, reinvented - combining the barefoot ambiance of Byron Bay with the with the discreet and effortless elegance of New York luxury, boutique accommodation. A former motel on Bangalow Road, the reimagined site is now a relaxed, palm-filled compound featuring accommodation offerings for all experiences: The Bower Studios (pictured), The Bower Cottage, The Bower Barn and The Bower House.
- Elements of Byron - Families and adventure lovers are certainly welcome at this expansive hotel. Elements of Byron has over 200 free standing studios and villas and just as many activities to enjoy.
- 28 Degrees - Located only a few minutes’ walk away from Byron Bay’s main Jonson St, 28 Degrees is well-situated for all your needs. There are four beautifully designed rooms to choose from depending on whether you prefer lighthouse views or a plunge pool for ultimate relaxation.
- The Farm - Dine, tour & wander, The Farm has it all.
- The Byron Bay Lighthouse - The most Eastern part of Australia, with views as far as the eyes can see (you may even spot a whale).
Just 1.5 hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is the ultimate local getaway for Sydneysiders to enjoy escaping the city for a few days. With picturesque landscapes & walking tracks to wander, the Blue Mountains is always on the top of our lists.
Left image: One&Only Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains. Right image: The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains
Eat: Silk's Brasserie - the perfect place to stop for a luxurious feeling, intimate restaurant setting.
- Spicers Sangoma Retreat - Named after the Zulu word for healer, and cocooned by the majestic Blue Mountains, Spicers Sangoma Retreat offers complete rejuvenation and true reconnection. The idyllic weekend away for a peaceful and intimate escape, all gourmet meals and beverages are included as well as the premium mini-bar replenished daily. Luxury Suites range from Tented to the Chief Suite (pictured) - all thoughtfully designed to create a relaxing environment that exists in harmony with nature.
One&Only Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains - Australia at its finest, Wolgan Valley is a family-friendly conservation retreat in the Greater Blue Mountains region. Nestled amongst 7,000-acres of protected wilderness and surrounded by two national parks, it comprises 40 freestanding Federation-style villas, all with spectacular views and private swimming pools.
See: The Three sisters - This natural wonder is at the top of our list, a must see destination when visiting the blue mountains
Far North Coast
Just under the Queensland border & above Byron Bay, you will find some quieter, more tranquil places; Cabarita Beach, Kingscliff & Lennox Head to mention a few. With expansive beaches, luxury stays & places to discover, we love the far north for luxurious holidays all throughout the year.
Left image: Paper Daisy at Halycon House, Cabarita Beach. Right image: Norries Head, Cabarita.
Eat: Paper Daisy at Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach - I adore this award-winning aesthetically pleasing Paper Daisy restaurant at Halcyon House. This hatted farm to table restaurant boasts serene sea-side dining, lovely interior design, and great locally sourced food and drinks
Jason Barratt leads the kitchen at Paper Daisy with sophisticated simplicity, producing dishes that are satisfying, thoughtful and deeply memorable. My favourite meal here is breakfast which you can have served at the pool. A must.
Stay: Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach - Since opening its arched doorways a few years ago, Halcyon House has redefined the Australian beach getaway. The acclaimed furnishings are seaside chic, while striped loungers add a Hollywood-heyday touch to the teak-lined pool and simple coastal cuisine in Paper Daisy has earned the restaurant one Chef’s Hat.
See: Norries Head - A place too beautiful for words, where the lush green cliffs meet the crystal clear water.
Just a stones throw from Sydney, the Central Coast is perfect for a weekend away & with so much to see, each time you visit you will find a new place to explore.
Left image: Spoon Bay, Wamberal Lagoon. Right image: Pretty Beach House, Central Coast.
- The Wild Flower Bar & Dining - Explore all the fresh and seasonal dishes Wild Flower Bar and Dinning has to offer. Their menus are designed from from the flavours of the Mediterranean & Morocco, with chic casual dining at the heart of this restaurant.
- Rick Stein at Bannisters - Fresh seafood and wine lovers are sure to fall in love with Rick Steins at Bannisters. Incredible locally sourced ingredients cooked simply defines their signature style, that leaves every bite bursting with flavour.
- Pretty Beach House, Central Coast - Situated 90 minutes drive north of Sydney, Pretty Beach House is nestled into the Bouddi National Park. A quintessentially Australian home-away-from-home, the property is dotted with private guest Pavilions, while the Main House features a spectacular dining room, guest lounge/library, open bar, wine cellar, outdoor pool and poolside pizza oven for casual al-fresco dining. All dining, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, a considered selection of fine alcoholic beverages and wi-fi are included.
- Bells at Killcare, Central Coast - Located just outside of Sydney, Bells at Killcare is a destination country-coastal boutique hotel featuring a standout chef's-hatted restaurant. Seaside Cottages, Suites and Villas have been created in a style reminiscent of the Hampton's, with a palette blues, bleached linens, driftwood walls and wide striped awnings.
See: Bouddi National Park - Beautiful vantage points & secluded beaches to explore.
Every shade of green covers the hills in the beautiful Hunter Valley. The NSW wine capital is only 3 hours from Sydney & boasts some of Australia's most superb wine. With any vineyards to visit & beautiful luxury stays, the Hunter Valley is a must visit location on our Luxury NSW guide.
Left image: Hunter Valley Vineyards. Right image: eRemo Restaurant, Hunter Valley
Eat: eRemo Restaurant at Spicers Guesthouse - Multi-hatted executive chef Cameron Matthews, executed his vision for eRemo Restaurant (Italian for 'greedy' apparently) almost two years ago at this upmarket modern Italian diner in the Hunter Valley that unashamedly embraces Nonna's favourites. I had one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time!
Stay: Spicers Retreats, Hunter Valley - Featuring 12 luxury suites, a private vineyard, day spa and Restaurant Botanica, Spicers Vineyards Estate (pictured) is an intimate Hunter Valley retreat. Nearby, recently revitalised Spicers Guesthouse comprised 49 guest rooms on over 40 acres of grounds overlooking the surrounding mountain ranges and neighbouring vineyards.
See: Brokenwood Winery - Brokenwood is one of Australia’s most renowned wine labels and their new cellar door is the largest in the Hunter Valley wine region. With a range of experiences that can appease the foodie or wine lover - there is sure to be something for everyone.
"While the future of travel remains unclear in a new coronavirus world...one trend is likely to ring true...where social distancing is a way of life rather than a concerted effort." CNN Travel.
No truer is this 'way of life' experience than with the ultimate privacy, space, luxury and comfort afforded by staying in a private home or villa.
Travelcall works with Australia's best private home managers, whose portfolios include some of the country's most beautiful homes in equally so locations: such as Sydney's Palm Beach sunrise.
Choose to be fully self-sufficient or enjoy a full-service stay with on-site staff and servicing; allowing time to relax, unwind and ponder your newfound appreciation for 'social distancing'.
For more information and to keep up to date with all of the best travel hot spots, follow Travelcall.
Images Via: The Tailor, iCentral Coast, Delicious, The New Castle Herald, Vogue, The Bower, Mountain Whispers, The Guardian and Dave Goldman.