A restored 19th-century home in the leafy Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon is now the centrepiece of new luxe hotel, Osborn House. The 1892-built heritage-listed home, located two hours’ drive south-west of Sydney and not far from Morton National Park, has been transformed into 15 suites. An additional seven self-contained cabins have been built on the property, each offering a fireplace and a balcony bathtub.
Osborn House is the creation of Adam Abrams, who is behind Sydney’s private floating harbour party, The Island, and the Matteo restaurants. His ambition for Osborn House is to “reimagine the boutique hotel experience in Australia”.
To do that, he spent seven years bringing the hotel to life, with a focus on melding quirky but sophisticated design with topnotch dining, relaxing spa treatments, and outdoor pursuits that let guests explore and appreciate the location.
“As soon as you turn into the driveway and emerge from a tunnel of century-old pines to the entry courtyard, you are transported to a different world; a complete retreat where every detail has been considered,” described Abrams in a statement.
The hotel has a spa with four treatment rooms, a 25-metre lap pool with a retractable roof, a tennis court, gym, and a sauna and steam room with a cool plunge. There’s a restaurant called Dinah’s and a bar called George’s (referring to the 19th-century wife and husband of the Osborn family, after which the property is named), both with an outdoor terrace with views of the national park.
Executive chef Segundo Farrell, who has worked with Argentinian celebrity chef Francis Mallmann, has looked across the globe to create a menu that includes dishes such as roast chicken for two, house-made potato gnocchi, empanadas, a beef burger, salads and more. He’s gone very local, though, when sourcing the ingredients – most produce comes from the verdant Southern Highlands region, such as honey from Mussett Holdings, ducks from Tathra Place Free Range and tomatoes from Wollumbi Estate.
To create his vision, Abrams recruited the former lead creative at artistic members’ club Soho House, London-based designer Linda Boronkay. She collaborated with interior designer Alan McMahon from Sydney-based Mac Design Studio, which specialises in boutique hotels. Abrams’s partner is another Sydney hospo person, Eddie Levy (Matteo, Lobo, Kittyhawk).
“We want [the guests] to feel as if they’re spending time at a luxe family home in the Cotswolds countryside with our history, quirks and the privacy of the hilltop location all helping to take them a world-away-from-their-worlds,” Levy said in a statement.
The walls are decked in works by artists including Brent Lukey, Vicki Lee, Rob Brown, Sarah Maple and Kate Vella. Jai Vasicek was commissioned to create pieces for Osborn and will be the first artist-in-residence later this year. The team has also paid close attention to audio ambience – Flight Facilities’ Hugo Gruzman has created playlists for every hotel experience, from a soak in the tub to a drive around the area.
A cooking school will be added to the property in 2022.
Rates range from $660 per night for suites to $1045 for cabins, inclusive of full breakfast and complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar. From Tuesday March 15, Osborn House welcomes non-guest bookings for George’s and Dinah’s.