Prominent British chef and TV presenter Rick Stein is taking his boutique hotel Bannisters concept to Port Stephens – a coastal region north of Newcastle – later this year.

The 80-room hotel, Bannisters Port Stephens, will open in the former Salamander Shores beachfront site at Soldiers Point. It will be designed by architect Tony Freeman with the help of interior designer Romy Alwill and will include luxury suites and a penthouse. Fifty rooms come with bay views over the Karuah River, as well as vistas of forest and bushland.

Stein is known for his seafood restaurant in the English town of Cornwall, and for being a culinary David Attenborough of sorts thanks to his television shows (including Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey and Rick Stein, A Cook Abroad: Rick Stein’s Australia), which takes viewers on food journeys across the globe. His always-enthusiastic commentary informs audiences about the nuanced flavours and produce available around the world.

As with Mollymook’s Bannisters by the Sea, his forthcoming hotel has the potential to make Port Stephens a dining destination. The hotel will house a “pizza pub” and a more formal signature restaurant by Stein, where he will work closely with head chef Mitchell Turner. The menu will include local king prawns, Yellowfin bream, flathead, calamari, school whiting and oysters. “The abundance of top-quality seafood is a massive attraction,” Stein has said in an official statement, “as is the proximity to the Hunter Valley’s wineries.”

A lofty lobby will open onto an infinity pool and bar. “It is a natural progression for us to take a formula that works and replicate it,” says general manger Pete Bacon.

Stein adds: “[Port Stephens] is another beautiful stretch of New South Wales coastline, like Mollymook. My wife Sas has long been a lover of the Port Stephens area, and even stayed in the old Salamander Shores hotel when she was 19.”

Bannisters Port Stephens is slated to open later this year.

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