A boutique property with a history as a health retreat dating back to the 19th century, Osborne House has been redesigned as a luxury hotel in Australia’s Southern Highlands
Words by Emily Martin
Images by Alan Jensen
LONDON-BASED designer Linda Boronkay, of Linda Boronkay Design Studio, has teamed up with Sydney-based Mac Design Studio, led by Alan McMahon, to deliver a luxury hotel in the New South Wales Southern Highlands in Australia. Together they have transformed the original 1892 historical guesthouse to deliver Osborn House – a five-star boutique accommodation in a glorious forest setting.
The hotel features a number of premium dining and drinking experiences.
The boutique property, which opened in February, features 15 super luxury suites and seven newly constructed free-standing luxury cabins, each with a fireplace and balcony bathtub. The retreat is situated in established gardens above the picturesque village of Bundanoon, with spectacular views to neighbouring Morton National Park.
Boronkay and McMahon sought to curate a space that would offer guests a long-lasting experience. ‘Just like a certain song or fragrance can have an incredible emotional impact on us, we believe design has the same power to evoke positive memories and feelings,’ explains Boronkay.
Each of the suites enjoys a balcony and a fireplace.
Situated two hours from both Sydney and Canberra, the property has hosted holidaymakers since the 1890s, welcoming guests off the train when Bundanoon first became a popular holiday destination.
The new hotel includes wellness facilities, which acknowledge the property’s former life as a health retreat: ‘Solar Springs’, with a 25m lap pool, a state-of-the-art spa with four treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, cool plunge and gym. Osborn House aims to build on a rich legacy of leisure, tapping into its affluent history and the privacy of its hilltop location to create instant escapism for guests.
Boronkay and McMahon’s designed interiors are an eccentric interpretation of its past. One of the greatest attributes of Osborn House is the sheer diversity of the suites and accommodation. You could return to the hotel on multiple occasions and enjoy an entirely different experience by staying in a different suite.
‘Each space in the main house feels so unique, it’s quite inspiring,’ says McMahon. Both he and Boronkay wanted to stay true to the original architecture of Osborn House, to reinstate something that was authentic. ‘There was a fine balance of what to keep and what to add, ensuring we were stripping back the original building only to where it was absolutely necessary,’ adds Boronkay.
The designers have achieved a ‘home away from home’ aesthetic
All suites enjoy glorious garden and forest outlooks. There are multiple premium dining and drinking experiences, including an outdoor terrace restaurant, a formal dining room, Dinah’s, and a bar lounge, George’s.
‘One of the successes of this job is that we got to inform every aspect of this project from day one’, says McMahon. The level of detail and intimacy when it came to what we could contribute to, everything from the lighting right down to cutlery and pool towels – it’s a really rare opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience.’