Salt at Shoal Bay | Port Stephens

A luxe, coastal getaway with a whole lot of insta-appeal

Location & Chill


First Impressions

When we first saw Salt at Shoal Bay, it was exactly how I pictured it. So often, in the world of social media, people post the best angles, and when you arrive, you’re disappointed. With Salt, it instantly met my expectations, and then some. 

Assuming Salt was booked out, we had phoned Lauren Charge (owner of Salt at Shoal Bay) to say that we were in town and asked if she knew of any accommodation. Fortunately for us, Salt had availability, and the manager, who was so friendly and welcoming, was at the property, getting it ready. And then Lauren appeared. Lauren had literally driven up from Newcastle where she lives to help turn the property around for us, how is that for service! From the moment we met, I knew I had made a friend for life.

As you know, I’m all about how a property makes you feel, and Salt gives you a good feeling, from the minute you arrive.  

The House

Salt at Shoal Bay has three self-contained accommodation in the one house. We stayed in Salt 2, which is located on the ground level. As you arrive, you are greeted with a small balcony area which leads into the kitchen which has soft blue cabinetry. From there, you find an open plan kitchen and living area, which has a very calming effect.

Straight away, the kids discovered the games that were stored in a gorgeous timber chest. And then they found the second living area/tv room – ideal for a family, but especially for our stay as it was pouring with rain.

Down a hallway are four bedrooms; three of them share the main bathroom, and the master bedroom has an ensuite. The master bedroom’s window opened up to the waterfront, and although there was not a full view, to me it’s not always about seeing, it’s about knowing that it’s there and smelling the salt air.

The Styling

The styling was gorgeous. Using my 70/20/10 rule, it was 70 per cent coastal, 20 per cent organic with a final 10 per cent of scandi thrown in. The guestrooms were calming, the living areas were inviting, and the property has a cohesive feel. 

Some of my favourites were the Sarah Ellison sofa that looked amazing and was so comfortable. I loved the wall lights in the kitchen that at night time, looked divine. The slab shaper basins in the bathrooms were just perfect. And I loved that in the guest room there is a view to a garden courtyard!

We loved

Our stay at Salt was so relaxing. It felt like at Salt, time stopped, leaving us to feel like we had been away for a week instead of two nights.

I loved the window at the side of the kitchen that framed the view out to the water. It was perfectly designed. And as the former Marketing Manager for VELUX skylights, the way the bank of skylights in the kitchen flooded the space with natural light, was a standout for me.

Ben loved the fireplace, where he really appreciated the amount of work that had gone into the project and the workmanship. Tully and Koah, my younger two boys, thought it was pretty cool that they had a view to the garden courtyard, which they called their magical garden. And my older two boys, Marley and Archie, who have become quite the travel reviewers, both gave Salt a big thumbs up (and they enjoyed having their own queen-sized bed).

The Neighbourhood

The vibe of the area is that of a quiet seaside village. We had lunch at the Country Club, which was only a short walk (or in our case, a drive). It was school holidays so there were activities on for the kids, which was great for Ben and I, who could have an adult conversation uninterrupted … winning! 

We could see the bay outside, but as the weather was not on our side, we didn’t venture out, but next time you will find us down at the beach! We also took a short relaxing drive to Nelsons Bay, where we had a complimentary coffee at In-house Kitchen. I did a spot of shopping while Ben had a massage, and the boys devoured ice cream.