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Escape The City At Boogie Woogie Beach House In Old Bar

By Sophie Webb

Want a NSW beach holiday that combines food and destination: where you can party to live music, eat like a king, stumble upstairs to your designer room, then wash away any evidence in the surf over the road the next morning? 

Introducing Boogie Woogie Beach House in Old Bar; 3.5 hours from Sydney on the NSW mid-north coast.

A couple of young Sydneysiders have taken their love of great bands, dining out, art, and poured their hearts, souls (and some serious purse) into making theirs the kind of hotel they'd love to visit. 

"We had run out of room in our home to fit all the merchandise we had collected," laughs co-owner Jenny. 

"Two years ago we saw it. An old back-packers with a cafe underneath. We moved in and started renovating."


Fewer than 100m from the beach, the slick hotel offers modern, luxurious rooms for a happening weekend away, or truly comfortable stopover, at beer prices.

Perhaps best of all, the entertainment comes to you, every Friday night and Sunday lunch, gratis. Just downstairs at Flow, acoustic gigs by local and international bands offer jazz, rock and blues.

Special priced events such as Diesel, The Audreys, Mick Thomas and The Celibate Rifles have sold out, and now, a room of one's own at Boogie Woogie Beach House with its private verandah overlooking the stage makes the venue all the more compelling.

Fans can catch the show, stay up late, and in the morning take a dip in the ocean and come back for a slap-up big breakfast.

As jolly punters climb the white-striped stairs from Flow Bar up to Boogie Woogie Beach House, where a wall-sized picture of The White Stripes hangs, there are huge grins and slow nods all around. 

To add to the vibe, across the road is well-known surf beach Old Bar. 


"When the Celibate Rifles heard about Boogie Woogie they phoned us," laughs co-owner Stephen “Doss” Doessel, 46. "They asked if they could stay and play a gig, as they wanted to go surfing."

What's more, from Old Bar, it's an easy day trip to Crowdy Head, Black Head, Seal Rocks and South West Rocks. 

Looking for an adventure as well as a great location, Doss - who has a background in finance and sales - was stoked to find this place and immediately contacted his business partner, David Craig. "It was just yes. I didn't even have to think," says Dave, 37.

But BWBH is not any old country B&B. The aesthetic here is unique, hip, luxurious and clean-lined, with touches of vintage. Fancy drapes, thick black carpet and custom artsy cushions give it a posh finish.

And for music lovers, each of the five rooms (another four are slated) is inspired by music and has its own bespoke bathroom, tiled in a special tribute to a musician. So far, there’s Nick Cave, Dave Grohl, Ziggy Stardust, ‘Satchmo’ (Louis Armstrong), and a nod to the now antiquated mix tape. 


Steve and Dave have clearly hit the right note, because music fans are clamouring to shower and sleep in the "room" of their idol.

"People cry and gush," says Doss, of the reactions of guests when fronted with a bathroom tiled with the massive face of their hero.

"We're not Hard Rock Cafe: more music-inspired than music-themed," says Canadian-native David, a former art director who has a serious passion for art and music. 

True, there's not a signed guitar in sight. What there are instead are beautiful books, bespoke artworks and hand-painted song lyrics tied in with the themes. 

Boogie Woogie Beach House is a finalist in the 2016 NSW Tourism Awards. The Peoples Choice Award is now open for voting to vote click here.

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