Cinemas, refurbished mansions, wine cellars, ten-pin bowling alleys and stunning views are just a few of the features of the new breed of luxury retirement villages across Australia.

These villages are challenging stereotypes about retirement living and reflect the increasingly eclectic and aspirational tastes of the modern downsizer.

Downsizing.com.au has put together an updated list of current and proposed retirement villages which include spacious and modern apartments - many with views - along with communal facilities which would not be out of place on a first-class cruise ship or resort.

New South Wales

Completed in early 2021, and containing 33 two and three-bedroom premium residences, The Rose by Moran is located at Wahroonga on Sydney’s North Shore. It's set on the site of one of the area’s best known stately heritage homes, ‘Rosemorran’.

An outdoor terrace at one of the apartments at Rose by Moran

Part of the ‘by Moran’ brand - a new luxury independent living venture by Provectus Care Managing Director, Dr Shane Moran - The Rose by Moran offers impressive communal amenities including a concierge service, club room and bar, dining room, library, music room, spa, infrared sauna, gym, pool, conservatory, wine cellar and cinema. 

The wine cellar is temperature-controlled and includes its own tasting area and lockable wine storage areas for residents.  

The residences include “high-luxe” touches such as quartz benchtops, brass or chrome finishes, and Miele and Fisher & Paykel appliances throughout kitchens and laundries. The project has been styled by interior design firm Coco Republic.

To top it off, The Rose by Moran is pet-friendly - a desirable option for many buyers. 

As of May 2021, only a few apartments were left for sale.

The stunning renovated Federation mansion at Rose by Moran
Taste the perfect drop at the communal temperature-controled wine cellar at Rose by Moran

Palm Lake Resort Tea Gardens is set across more than 23 hectares of land at Tea Gardens on the State’s mid-north coast.

The resort’s grounds have been inspired by impressionist artist Monet and feature manicured gardens and provincial bridges over lakes, embellished by Monet’s signature water lilies. 

The resort also includes a 60-seat luxury cinema with tiered seating, undercover bowling green and even its own ten-pin bowling alley.

Palm Lake Resort Tea Gardens, which currently has two new homes plus seven pre-loved homes available for sale, ensures privacy with enclosed courtyards, extensive and spacious landscaping between each home, and under-roof alfresco areas.

Prices at Palm Lake Resort Tea Gardens range from $690,000 to $1.1 million, with a deferred management fee also in place. 

Ten pin bowling alley at Palm Lake Resort Tea Gardens
Cinema at Palm Lake Resort Tea Gardens

Marston Living Beacon Hill is a boutique 32 unit retirement village is nestled among bushland but at the same time offers breathtaking views of Dee Why Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches (the beach is around ten minutes' drive away).

The village also boasts all the comforts of a modern resort including a luxurious pool, gymnasium, sports lounge, community kitchen, library, visiting hairdresser, cinema, hireable dining hall and an outdoor barbeque area.

Marston Living Beacon Hill
Indoor pool at Marston Living Beacon Hill

Stockland's Cardinal Freeman Retirement Village, at Ashfield, is close to all the cosmopolitan attractions of Sydney’s inner west and also includes lush features including restored heritage gardens and a café overlooking the village green. The state-of-the-art clubhouse includes an indoor heated-pool, gym, billiards room, bar, lounge and ballroom. 

With an active social calendar for residents, lifestyle is in the limelight, according to Mark Maybury, Village Manager at Cardinal Freeman.

The retirees that come through are looking to transition to their next stage in life without losing any of the comforts and quality that they’re used to,” Mr Maybury said.

The project, which was completed in mid-2019, has a number of smart apartments which include fall detection monitoring and voice-activated appliances. 

Cardinal Freeman Village
View from an apartment at Cardinal Freeman village

Victoria

The Grace is a 79 apartment, 18 storey retirement village based at South Melbourne which was completed by Australian Unity in July 2019.

As of April 2021, The Grace had one, two and three bedroom apartments available ranging from $660,000 to $4,950,000 (for the penthouse). All apartments in the building have views of either the CBD skyline or Albert Park Lake.

Apartments in The Grace enjoy stunning views
Apartments in high-rise retirement village The Grace enjoy stunning views

At The Grace, facilities include a piano lounge, bar, private dining room, indoor pool, spa and steam, cinema and gym. Additionally, every second floor has a themed clubroom.

Boutique cinema at The Grace
Boutique cinema at The Grace

The Grace also has a magnificent rooftop terrace with great views of the city and Albert Park Lake, and there’s a great clubhouse in the basement for visiting grandchildren that includes activities such as a table tennis table and foosball.

Australian Unity general manager of residential communities Beverly Smith said The Grace was “noted as a showpiece of retirement living given its cutting-edge innovation and design”.

Drummond Place is another Australian Unity village which is based at Carlton and opened in May 2017. It’s a nine storey building that contains 90 apartments.

As of April 2021, Drummond Place had a handful of apartments remaining, with prices ranging from $780,000 to $835,000 – all are two bedroom, with either two bathrooms or one bathroom and a powder room.

Drummond Place has a large dining and lounge area, a private dining room, library, activity room, gym, cinema and a lovely rooftop terrace.

The rooftop terrace at Drummond Place
The rooftop terrace at Drummond Place

Australian Unity general manager of residential communities Beverly Smith said Drummond Place had been designed by renowned architecture firm Fender Katsalidis.

“The apartments are light filled, open and really comfortable,” Ms Smith said.

For a lot of people that have come from considerably larger houses it's a really great design for them to feel like they are living in a beautiful home.”

Ardency Kennedy Place is a luxury nine-level retirement village being constructed by Lendlease on the site of the former Nine Network studios in Bendigo St, Richmond.

It will include one, two and three bedroom apartments and three bedroom penthouses. The penthouses will feature 2.9m high floor to ceiling windows which capture panoramic views across Melbourne. 

Once complete in late 2022, the project will include a rooftop terrace and community garden, a communal lounge with a fireplace, billiards table and baby grand piano, a 30-seat private cinema and a wellness centre with an indoor heated swimming pool, gym and yoga and pilates studio.

Part of the proposed communal lounge at Ardency Kennedy Place
Part of the proposed communal lounge at Ardency Kennedy Place

It is a lifestyle offering in a truly unique neighbourhood that will support a vibrant, diverse and multi-generational community,” said Nathan Cockerill, Managing Director, Retirement Living, Lendlease.

Bolton Clarke's Europa on Alma, is set to open in Spring 2021 at St Kilda. It will be a boutique, five floor development of only 81 apartments.

Communal spaces will include an entry foyer, dining room, gymnasium, a Skyroom atrium and deck with city and district views, arts and crafts studio, cinema, consulting rooms library and central courtyard gardens. A concierge will be on hand to assist with day-to-day needs.

Proposed entry foyer area at Bolton Clarke's Europa on Alma

The apartments start at $480,000 and include timber flooring, Miele appliances, a kitchen island bench with honed stone and video intercom security.

Gold Coast

The Esperance is proposed new premium waterfront retirement living community at Hope Island on the Gold Coast.

Apartment at Hope Island's Esperance will enjoy water views
Apartment at Hope Island's Esperance will enjoy water views

When constructed, it will deliver around 300 deluxe apartments and villas with more than a hectare of green space featuring lush landscaping and a boardwalk running the full length of the village’s 150 metres of prime water frontage. Future plans include dedicated aged care living options and ground floor retail spaces.

The first stage will feature 76 apartments ranging from spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom residences to spectacular three-bedroom penthouses with sweeping water and island views. Prices start at $550,000.

Exclusive recreation amenities will include a cinema, bar, café, library, private function and dining rooms, and outdoor barbecue and entertaining spaces.

Health and wellbeing will be well catered for with an indoor therapy-focused swimming pool, indoor/outdoor resort-style pool, gym, yoga and Pilates studio, hair and beauty salon, health and wellness spaces, and outdoor exercise lawns for activities such as yoga and tai chi.

Separately, national retirement living provider Living Choice has been given the green light to build a $160 million retirement community with 219 luxury apartments at the major Gold Coast club which is home to the Titans national rugby league team.

Living Choice Parkwood will be based within The Club at Parkwood Village and will include one, two and three-bedroom apartments overlooking a lake, championship 18-hole golf course and the Titans training field.

Apartments at Parkwood will have great golf course views
Apartments at Living Choice Parkwood will have great golf course views

Living Choice co-owner Ian Tregoning said the facilities at Living Choice Parkwood would be 'world-class' and would include an indoor heated swimming pool, bowls green, tennis court, pickleball courts, auditorium with dance floor, cinema, gymnasium, art and craft studio, library, wellness rooms, outdoor BBQ area, workshop and boardwalk with extensive lawns.

Canberra

The award-winning Greenway Views site sprawls across 3.7 hectares and will eventually contain 317 premium apartments. 

Following the sale and completion of 200 first stage apartments in May 2020, Greenway Views’ operator LDK has commenced marketing 117 apartments across two buildings in the project’s second and final stage. 

Proposed new bar and restaurant area at Greenway Views
Proposed new bar and restaurant area at Greenway Views

Apartments range in size from studios to three bedrooms, with some also having study areas.

LDK has just released a series of artist’s impressions to illustrate what’s on offer in this Stage Two construction which is currently underway. 

These impressions show the modern fittings and stylish design of the proposed new 80 person restaurant, bar and cafe space, which will look out over a picturesque duck pond and stream.

They also give a glimpse into the apartments’ design, including the focus on spacious open plan living, maximising sunlight and views and understated yet sophisticated finishes.

Proposed new second stage apartments at Greenway Views

All apartments have been designed to capture views of the village’s lush natural surrounds, including the beautiful Brindabella mountain range or Greenway Views’ very own babbling brook. Studio apartments start from $595,000 and three bedroom plus apartments from $1.2m.