Having been voted a finalist for the past two years, we’re so glad to see this underrated gem finally take out the title. With over 50 hotels and resorts across the country, there was an even smattering of votes for the various properties, a testament to the Mantra stamp of consistent quality. And with a distinctly four-star feel, the brand has proven that affordability needn’t mean compromising on style and functionality. “It’s luxury on a budget,” as one reader put it, with “amazing facilities” and “best value for money” to boot. Nice. Finalists First-time finalist Mercure is this year’s runner-up for...
Quentin Long asks just what the 'race that stops a nation' means to Melbourne's psyche. I have a theory that the Melbourne Cup is largely responsible forMelbourne’s identity as our most sophisticated city. Forget the tennis, the F1, the Boxing Day test and the AFL grand final, those are all times I wish I was in Melbourne. Tuesday is the day I really wished I was a Melbournian. And it’s not only because it’s a public holiday in Victoria, we all bludge the afternoon off with office parties anyway. No other Australian city has a day when the entire populace frocks up and celebrates as one. Yes,...
First there was Australia’s newest luxury hotel brand, Pullman. Now Pullman has launched Australia’s newest luxury hotel spa brand, Vie Spa. Found in five resorts across the country so far (Pullman Sea Temple Resort & Spa Port Douglas, Pullman Sea Temple Resort & Spa Palm Cove and Pullman Cairns International, all in Queensland; Pullman Resort Bunker Bay in Western Australia; and Quay West Resort Magenta Shores, New South Wales), Vie is a real crowd-pleasing kind of retreat – there is something here for everyone. Die-hard spa-goers will love the high performance facials using Pevonia products, or for the naturalist there’s the organic iKOU,...
It’s not all about what’s on the plate for Melbourne’s Best New Restaurant of 2013. Clementine Ford is served. Having spent some of my formative years imprisoned in boarding school, the idea of an early dinner has never sat well with me, so it’s with some trepidation that I claim my 6:30pm table at Pei Modern, the only time available this weekend. The romantic dinner I’d envisaged gives way to images of eating in conspicuous silence, both of us too afraid to speak lest our whispered sweet nothings reverberate off the walls in a booming echo. But I’m pleasantly surprised to enter the...
The Como Hotel is once again the new kid on the Chapel Street block – and just in the nick of time, writes Georgia Rickard. Bruce Springsteen. Kylie Minogue. Michael Buble. Robbie Williams. Since The Como’s grand inception some 22 years ago, it’s played host to visiting rock stars, Hollywood royalty and the movers and shakers of the globe. But I can also exclusively confirm that the Como was visited by one less glamorous guest, back in its heyday: a wide-eyed, 13-year-old me. I had begged and nagged and beseeched my mother for a shopping trip to Melbourne; staying at...
Ibis You love the low-price deals and great value offered by Ibis Hotels, awarding the brand first place. As part of the global Accor Hotels chain, Ibis has over 50 properties across Australia, which were consistently credited for their central locations. In particular, Ibis Darling Harbour was frequently mentioned for its stunning views of the harbour and for being within short-walking distance to local attractions, while Ibis Brisbane was a favourite for its central location close to Queen Street Mall. Obviously Ibis’ regularly low prices also played a role in earning votes, but as many readers pointed out, so did...
Australian Traveller's first-ever Readers' Choice Awards for 2011; results for Best Affotdable Hotel Brand in Australia. THE WINNER: NOVOTEL This global hotel brand is part of the Accor Hotels stable. Novotel has 400 hotels and resorts in 58 countries, but the ones our readers love the most are Novotel Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast, Novotel Palm Cove, Novotel Brisbane and Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour. While the AT team would consider some of these properties more mid-range than affordable (most are over $200 a night), it seems our readership isn’t too badly off, even when they’re on a budget. But...
Ever run into an old friend you haven’t seen in years and been amazed by how fabulous they look? That’s exactly how Tiana Templeman felt when she returned to the Sofitel Brisbane after a multi-million dollar makeover. (to The hotel, not to Tiana.) * Like all AT reviewers, Tiana visited the Sofitel Brisbane anonymously and paid her own way (although, since it was her birthday, hopefully her husband Trevor paid). She advises catching the Airtrain from Brisbane airport to arrive directly underneath the hotel at Central Station. This saves spending wads on a taxi and getting caught in traffic. It’s...
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