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Bannisters Pavilion, Mollymook, NSW

Joanna Hall

Where Is It: Mollymook, NSW.

Why Go: It’s a full service resort with elegant accommodations, rooftop dining, and added perks courtesy of its nearby sister property, Bannisters by the Sea.

Best For: Stylish couples seeking a relaxed-yet-elegant romantic getaway with all services.

Three Things We Loved: The spacious penthouse, the rooftop pool with views, the cuisine.

The Ultimate Factor: It has it all - a fabulous beachside location with plenty of ocean breezes.


Bannisters by the Sea has become not only a NSW South Coast icon in recent years, but is also synonymous with elegant Australian resort stays at their best. Besides enjoying an idyllic location in the beach haven of Mollymook, it's also an ideal weekend trip away from Sydney at just a three hour drive, especially suiting couples seeking a romantic getaway with fine dining and spa experiences to add to their lineup of must-dos. So when the luxury boutique hotel brand announced it was opening a second property close by, called Bannisters Pavilion, both media and luxury travel lovers became somewhat excited. The big question: how would this new incarnation differ from the original?

Bannisters Pavilion opened in December 2015, with 32 stylish guest rooms and two luxury penthouse suites. It is set back from Mitchell Parade and Beach Road, just 900 metres from Bannisters by the Sea, with a stunning backdrop of impressive eucalyptus trees. Featuring an ultra-modern and stylish decor, highlights include a gorgeous rooftop deck featuring a pool, a bar and a grill. Like its sister property, it's also well located just steps from Mollymook Beach, while being an excellent spot for a variety of activities, from bike riding, golf and beach walks to local wine tasting, should you be able to tear yourself away from your luxurious accommodations. Children are also welcome.

The Accommodation:

Bannisters Pavilion has 32 standard rooms, called Pavilion Suites, and two huge penthouses. The Pavilion Suites have a lovely decor blending bespoke furnishings with designer touches, including dark carpeting, whitewashed walls, lots of warm beech wood, and unusual art works. They come with a king-sized bed and a balcony, some with oversized bathrooms featuring a full size bathtub, all with high ceilings and adjustable lighting, and some interconnecting which is ideal for families. The two huge 149-square-metre penthouses are akin to a home away from home, both coming with a single bedroom; one faces the eucalyptus forest at the rear, and the other features a double sided fireplace. Each penthouse has an open plan lounge and dining area, a modern kitchenette and comes with bespoke fittings, as well as a 47-square metre outdoor terrace. Both connect to a Pavilion Suite should additional accommodation be required for friends or children.

Where We Stayed:

Our home for our stay was Penthouse 203, which takes in the view of the forest at the rear of the building. It is a beautifully lit and generous space, with contemporary detailing and beach-inspired, rustic overtones, and styling which includes oak floors, fresh whitewashed walls, and bathrooms highlighted with natural limestone. The penthouse has an open plan dining and living area on entry, with a separate sleeping area, walk-in closet and bathroom, and a kitchenette with a day room/office lit with a skylight. The front door opens into the open-plan living and dining area which features a beech wood dining table and eight director-style canvas and wood chairs, and two long fabric couches, one in off-white and the other in an earthy brown, both covered with plush matching cushions. To the left there is a kitchenette which comes well equipped for simple cooking, with two small fridges including one which doubles as a mini-bar, a microwave, a DeLonghi coffee machine, an electric kettle and toaster and plenty of utensils. The day room/office has a long day bed covered in cushions, a wall mounted TV and a desk.

Back in the living area, the coffee table has some lovely picture books, while unusual furniture pieces include varnished, real tree trunk side tables, black and white artwork, a leather hammock chair and a long wall which is opened by an artificial fireplace with a gas fire, and a huge wall mounted TV above it. All the TVs come with Foxtel channels as well as DTV. The balcony is long with a marble floor; at the living area end there is a table with six chairs, and at the bedroom end, there is a cute small table with two chairs. The simple decor extends into the bedroom which has a huge king sized bed with crisp white linens, and another wall mounted TV with a DVD player, with lovely beach inspired artworks. The open closet has plenty of drawers and hanging space and a floor to ceiling mirror, leading into the spacious bathroom which has granite tiles on the floor, a huge open shower, a vanity area complete with Appelles toiletries such as body wash and shampoo, and a huge bath which easily accommodates two.

What Else Is There:

Bannisters Pavilion is a full-service resort in its own right, with a highlight being the dramatic, suspended rooftop pool. Also on the rooftop is a restaurant featuring food inspired by Mediterranean, Southern Californian and Mexican cuisines, complemented by seasonal cocktails, craft beers and an Antipodean-focussed wine list. There is also a lively bar. Click here for our full review of the bar and grill. However, as a guest of Bannisters Pavilion you have access to the facilities at its sister property up the hill, including a courtesy van which can be organised to take you up and back. The first night we stayed it was extremely wet, so this was a much appreciated perk! Up at Bannisters by the Sea, and a must-do for any stay, is dinner at Rick Stein’s. It's a brightly coloured venue with sweeping beach views, which you can enjoy either from the inside or al fresco depending on the weather. Click here for our full review of Rick Stein At Bannisters. There's a small, full service day spa with four treatment rooms and a couples' therapy room featuring a sunken jacuzzi, and a range of treatments from facials to massage. There's also a triangular infinity pool situated on the edge of the property making the most of those views, with sun loungers for relaxing, and a casual bar.

The Verdict

Bannisters by the Sea is one of those properties which is often mentioned by discerning travellers, and it's likely that its new sister property, Bannisters Pavilion, will grow the same loyal following. Our spacious penthouse accommodation, combined with those fabulous pools and fine dinning at both properties made for a memorable stay. With the beach at your doorstep, and those sea breezes, it's a romantic getaway at one of the prettiest holiday destinations in NSW.

We’re giving away a two-night escape to Bannisters Pavilion - click here for more info or to enter, and good luck!

Bannisters Pavilion is located at 87 Tallwood Avenue, Mollymook, NSW,, 02 4455 3044.

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