There’s the formidable touch of Australia’s foremost interior alchemist, Tamsin Johnson, for one. That recognisable Johnson jooj can be seen from Suite to Cellar Bar, articulated via unhoned travertine, sculptural shell scones, Sisal rugs, rattan and a wrought iron chandelier sourced from an antique fair in Parma, Italy. Or the Lucy Folk-designed towels and staff uniforms, her sunny aesthetic presiding joyfully on beds and bodies alike. Or perhaps it’s the undeniably delicious waft of Santa Maria Novella products emanating from the Moroccan-style Spa below.
That 1960’s Argentinian facade, with its curved undulating white walls, remains the same, but the new Raes has done something remarkable in these strange, travel-less times: it’s plugged the veritable hole of international travel; of lush European escapades, of wine-soaked sunsets, of blissfully untethered moments. So much so, you’re left wondering, Capri who?
Surfacing from a lockdown a little worse for wear and with a severe case of wanderlust, a stay with Rae (and the gang) was just what the travel doctor ordered. Suite 7 was my home for the night, those famous wooden louvers opening out onto a vista worthy of any European postcard.
But unlike a trip to Mykonos, a trip to Raes is without the long-haul flight, language barrier, questionable service and YSL Tribute-trodden sand. It’s unequivocally the most blissfully luxurious thing you can do in Australia (and the people-watching is on par with its beachy European peers).