Where to stay in the Blue Mountains: a guide to the best areas and accommodation for all budgets

We spent five years in Sydney visiting the Blue Mountains at least once a month and we never got bored. It really is one of the most wonderful places in Australia for a hiking trip or just a cosy relaxing weekend away.

Whilst a day trip to the Blue Mountains is fun, nothing is better for unwinding than staying for a night or two in this spectacular area. However, finding accommodation can be a tricky thing to do with a lot of options spread across multiple areas.

Depending on what you are looking for, we have the place for you.

Where to stay in the Blue Mountains: Accommodation and Hotels by area

To make it easier, we’ve split all the accommodation choices by location and put together the pros and cons for each place.

Katoomba Accommodation & Leura Accommodation

Katoomba and Leura have the lion’s share of hotel options with the most famous tourist sites being in this area. It has a good selection of luxury and budget hotels and guesthouses as well as the best restaurants in the area.

Staying in Katoomba means that you have the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Scenic World and multiple hikes all within walking distance, so you won’t have to bring a car (although if you want to do a lot of exploring that is still recommended). You can simply get the train to Katoomba and then walk or get a short taxi ride to your accommodation.

The downside is that the majority of options are within the town and won’t have that rural feel you’d like in the mountains unless you are in the luxury end of the market.


Luxury - Lilianfels

The pick of all the hotels in the Blue Mountains is Lilianfels, a place that is luxurious and right in the heart of the action. Set just metres away from the Three Sisters, this hotel has it all; comfort, mountain views and location. It is also home to a fine-dining restaurant which gets rave reviews. Even if you can’t stay the night treat yourself to a special dinner at Darley’s. Joe’s brother and wife ate here when they visited us and gave it a huge thumbs up.

It isn’t cheap, but it is the best luxury option in the area.


Luxury - Fairmont Hotel (M Gallery)

The Fairmont in Leura is an M Gallery hotel, so you know the standard and quality you’ll be getting. We love the lobby here which has panoramic views of the valley ahead. It has a fireplace and comfortable chairs, making it a great place to retreat on a cold winter’s day!

The rooms are modern and great for resting up if you’ve been hiking. The hotel is set on a golf course which has the occasional kangaroo as well! There are quite a few walking trails which begin from the hotel itself which was a big drawcard for us.

Unfortunately not all rooms have a view, ours didn’t, and it was the one disappointment for this hotel. Opt for a room with a stunning mountain view if you can.


Mid-Range - Metropole

The Metropole is a decent choice in Katoomba. The rooms are cozy, warm and clean with en-suite bathrooms. The hotel has a lot of character in that creaky old kind of way. It’s the opposite of modern but we actually found it quite fun to stay somewhere a bit different.

It’s very central and walking distance from the restaurants in town. The only drawback is that parking can be limited.

Still, it is a good option, especially if you snag one of the discounted deals they offer.


Budget (with private en-suite rooms as well) - YHA

The YHA was regularly our go-to accommodation when we just wanted a cheap overnight for doing some hiking at a weekend. We liked it because you could get a private en-suite room here pretty cheaply and be in the middle of Katoomba. You also have access to a kitchen and it is a five minute walk from a supermarket so you can keep the costs down. It’s exceptionally clean and the showers are great. We’ve also stayed in the rooms with shared bathrooms which are also spotless.

If bad weather sets in there’s both a movie room and a huge common room with playing cards and a fire.

The drawbacks are that the rooms are pretty uninspiring and the beds are smallish for two people, but for an overnight stop it is a good option. It has dorm beds for backpackers as well.


Budget - Echo Point Motor Inn

If you have a car and want to be as close to the Three Sisters as possible, then the Echo Point Motor Inn is the place to stay. The rooms are basic and what you expect from a motel, but they are immaculately clean.

We’ve stayed here a few times and it does the job as a cheap and convenient place to stay when exploring Katoomba. If you fancy seeing the Three Sisters lit up at night this is a good option too because you are just a few minutes walk away.

The breakfast isn’t great so we’d advise skipping that and heading into town.


Self catering option - Ironstone Views

This is the house that we booked as a surprise for Joe’s parents when they came to say. We chose it for the views and we weren’t disappointed. it allowed us to cook all our meals in the well equipped kitchen and it also had a huge jacuzzi bath.

There’s a BBQ on the terrace and a cosy fire if you’re visiting in winter. The downside to this place which didn’t come across in the photos was that some parts of it including some furniture was a bit tired. Overall we all really enjoyed it though and would recommend it if there are at least four of you to split the cost.


Wentworth Falls Accommodation

Wentworth Falls doesn’t have all of the eateries of either Leura or Katoomba, though it is just a very short drive away. What it does have is exceptional walks in spades. Even if you’re not a walker the views from the various lookouts are spectacular. If you want to be in a very quiet area with access to some of the best tracks in the Blue Mountains this area is a great choice.

Whispering Pines Chalet and Cottages - Apple Blossom Cottage

The Whispering Pines have rooms as well as cottages scattered around the Wentworth Falls area. We stayed with my parents in Apple Blossom Cottage and found it really cute and cosy. There is a full kitchen so we could self cater and three decent sized bedrooms.

It doesn’t have the views of Ironstone Views in Katoomba but it did have a lovely cottage feel. We highly recommend it for anyone looking for a homely Blue Mountains Cottage to stay in.

It is also minutes away from some of our favourite walks in the area, including the National Pass. As with Ironstone this is a good option if there are at least four of you staying.


Mountainside B & B

This is the B & B that we could never get in to and believe me I tried many times! I wanted to stay the moment I saw a photo of the bath tub with a view. Judging by the reviews from others if I ever get in there it will have been worth the wait.

If you manage to book this place please let us know how it is : )


Blackheath Accommdoation

If you’re looking to hike around the Grose or Megalong Valley, then staying in Blackheath is a great option. It still has a couple of restaurants without being as busy as Katoomba.

Hanging Rock - Blue Mountains Hotels

Luxury - Hydro Majestic

The Hydro Majestic is one of the most famous hotels in the Blue Mountains and you couldn’t pick a better location to put a hotel! Located on the edge of a cliff overlooking the beautiful Jamison Valley, the views from here are stunning.

It has been recently refurbished, but the hotel does get a lot of mixed reviews. Some people love it, others struggle to justify the prices. We’d say this one is all about the views and we would advise only picking it if you snag a good price. They also offer afternoon tea which friends of ours enjoyed.


Budget - Blackheath Motor Inn

Blackheath Motor Inn is one of the best budget options in the whole of the Blue Mountains, with nice and cosy rooms at a great price. Although it is near the road, it is very quiet in the rooms and a great option for anyone wanting to explore this part of the Blue Mountains.


Megalong Valley Accommodation

The Megalong Valley is a bit further away from the main sights in the Blue Mountains and it does have a rather windy access road. We’d say this makes it a great choice for those who are looking to relax in the area but not necessarily do loads and loads of activities, unless you don’t mind the extra driving.

What you get in return are exceptional views in a really rural area and the chance to see lots of local wildlife. We’ve seen kangaroos, wombats and black cockatoos here. It’s a good place to have the option to self cater as there aren’t many places to eat nearby, although there is a lovely tea room and winery.

It is also one of the best places for a rental or cottage in the Blue Mountains.

Foys Folly

This place is a real find. We stayed here when Joe’s parents came to stay for the second time (they fell in love with the mountains too!) It is absolutely stunning, with a large open plan living and dining room with exceptional mountain views. It was the perfect place to celebrate “Christmas in July” (something Australians love doing as December is the hottest time of the year) and one of our favourite rentals in the Blue Mountain.

There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms (one ensuite with a large stand alone bath). We woke up to the sound of the kookaburras laughing and had breakfast outside watching the eagles swoop around the mountain tops. Of all the self catering options we’ve mentioned, this is our favourite.

If you haven’t booked before with AirBNB we can give you $45 AUD off your booking at Foy’s Folly!

Omaroo - Megalong Valley

If you’d like to stay in the Megalong Valley but need more than the two rooms that Foys Folly offers then Omaroo is another good choice. We stayed with Joe’s brother and family and the kids absolutely loved the huge amount of land they had to play in. Hide and seek went on for hours!

The house itself is cosy with exceptional views. It’s quite isolated so if you want to feel like you’re in your own little piece of Australia then it’s a great option. The stars were wonderful.

They did however charge extra for linen and towels which we thought was a bit tight!!

If you haven’t booked before with AirBNB we can give you $45 AUD off your booking at Oomaroo Cottage!

Further afield

The Blue Mountains covers a huge area and you can find real wildnerness once you go past Blackheath and Katoomba. It will require a lot more effort, but you’ll get a very different feel for the Blue Mountains.

Luxury - Wolgan Valley - Emirates One & Only

Marketed as one of the top hotels in Australia, Wolgan Valley is not just any luxury accommodation in the Blue Mountains, it is ultra luxurious. This is a once in a lifetime kind of place with a price tag to match. As it is tucked deep into the mountains, many people choose to arrive by helicopter instead of taking the windy roads!

Combining luxury with your own beautiful stretch of nature, Wolgan Valley is a pretty special place. You’ll see kangaroos hopping on the lawns of the property with a backdrop of the iconic mountains. Charles Darwin visited in 1836 and was taken aback by the sheer grandeur of the Wolgan Valley (the property claims that Darwin’s Great-Grandson believed that Charles Darwin started his theory of evolution in the Blue Mountains, not the Galapagos!).

The combination of history, stunning natural beauty and luxury make a stay here unlike anywhere else in the Blue Mountains. Food is included in the price.

We almost booked this once when the price dropped dramatically for the following night so keep an eye out for last minute bookings. In the end we didn’t stay although it is on our bucket list! A friend of ours has stayed though and said it is just as wonderful as it looks in the pictures.


Budget - Jenolan Caves House

Jenolan Caves is a magical area and a place that has captured the imaginations of even the likes of Queen Victoria. The best place to stay if you want to stay overnight - and maybe see a platypus - is the Jenolan Caves House.

This property is historic and maintained a lot of its character. The rooms are of a traditional style, and whilst it may not have all the facilities of a luxury hotel, it is a good option for an overnight stay. It’ll mean you can explore the area once the daytrippers leave.

We stayed in a room with a shared bathroom (which was exceptionally clean) and found it was a great option. We peeked into the ensuite rooms and literally the only difference was the bathroom, the sizes were exactly the same and the rooms were twice the price!

As well as being on the doorstep of the famous caves there are plenty of nearby walking tracks. It also has a pretty good restaurant on site (for dinner, we weren’t fussed about the breakfast).


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Are you planning a trip to the Blue Mountains? Which is your favourite area? Let us know in the comments below!

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