A coastal town just a two and a half hour drive from Sydney, Port Stephens is known for its 26 golden beaches, a vast blue bay and many beautiful inlets, with local wineries and alfresco waterside dining in close promixity.

And now Port Stephens can add internationally renowned luxury hotel brand to the bill, with prominent British chef and TV presenter Rick Stein opening Bannisters in late 2018.

Occupying the beachfront site of the former Salamander Shores at Soldiers Point, the 4.5-star hotel will feature 80 rooms, including four luxury suites and a penthouse. Fifty rooms will have bay views over the Karuah River with the remaining rooms offering forest and bushland outlooks.

TV chef to unveil luxury hotel in regional NSW

Bannisters Port Stephens has been designed to make the most of its position and unimpeded views. The lofty, double-height lobby opens onto a huge infinity pool with pool bar. The food offerings will include a pub for casual dining and pizzas as well as a signature restaurant by celebrated chef and TV presenter, Rick Stein.

Bannisters by the Sea and its sister property Bannisters Pavilion, both in Mollymook on the NSW South Coast, have become favourite destinations for Sydneysiders, Canberrans and international visitors, many of whom are drawn to the barefoot luxury on offer and Rick Stein's cuisine.

Pete Bacon, general manager, says the Port Stephens expansion was a no brainer. "There is so much potential in the Port Stephens area and it is a natural progression for us to take a formula that works and replicate it."

The design team for the Mollymook properties, including architect Tony Freeman, interior designer Romy Alwill and landscape designer Will Dangar, will once again be weaving their creative magic at Bannisters Port Stephens.

Stein is particularly excited about the local produce the restaurant will use. "The abundance of top quality seafood is a massive attraction as is the proximity to the Hunter Valley's wineries. I will be working closely with Head Chef, Mitchell Turner designing a menu featuring local king prawns, Yellowfin bream, flathead, calamari and school whiting, not to mention the fabulous oysters."

Bannisters Port Stephens is scheduled to open late 2018.

TV chef to unveil luxury hotel in regional NSW