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...
This is Sydney’s original luxury hotel, located in the heart of the city close to high end shopping, Sydney Harbour and the NSW Art Gallery. Enjoy elegant guest rooms with French amenities and sumptuous Sofitel MyBeds. Dine in the Garden Court Restaurant or enjoy cocktails in the newly refurbished ‘60s inspired bar, Soirée Lounge. Escape to Sydney with the So Suite Package at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. The Deal: So Suite Package from $695 per room per night, including: • Two nights’ suite accommodation • Daily breakfast • Welcome amenity on arrival • Return airport transfers • 30-minute massage per person...
Following a multi-million dollar refurbishment Sofitel Brisbane Central offers a new level of luxury accommodation. Inspired by French finesse and local heritage, the hotel’s 433 rooms and suites exude style and sophistication. Experience Sofitel’s inspiring savoir-faire and enjoy the new era of hotel luxury. Located in the heart of Brisbane it makes the perfect escape with the So Suite Package* The Deal: So Suite Package from $595 per room per night, including: • Two nights’ suite accommodation • Daily breakfast • Welcome amenity on arrival • Return airport transfers • 30-minute massage per person To book visit sofitel.com or call 07 3835...
Situated in cosmopolitan Broadbeach, stay in luxurious accommodation that’s close to magnificent beaches, savvy shopping, cafes and the monorail to Jupiter’s Casino. Enjoy contemporary guest rooms featuring breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean or Gold Coast Hinterlands, award-winning dining in Room81 restaurant or unwind in one of two magnificent heated pools. Escape to the Gold Coast with the So Suite Package at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach. The Deal: So Suite Package from $625 per room per night, including: • Two nights’ suite accommodation • Daily breakfast • Welcome amenity on arrival • Return airport transfers • 30-minute massage per person...
Located at the Paris-end of Collins Street, the hotel offers luxurious rooms from level 36 featuring breathtaking views of Melbourne. Enjoy contemporary dining and outstanding views of No35, the cosmopolitan cocktails in The Atrium Bar on 35 or the sumptuous afternoon teas in Sofi’s Lounge. Escape to Melbourne with the So Suite Package at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins. The Deal: So Suite Package from $605 per room per night, including: • Two nights’ suite accommodation • Daily breakfast • Welcome amenity on arrival • Return airport transfers • 30-minute massage per person To book visit sofitel.com or call 03 9653 0000...
Alissa Jenkins heads to the latest luxury digs in Surfers… Well, she will if she can find it It’s a rocky start. Lapping up and down The Esplanade of Surfers Paradise, shouting my best Lara Bingle “Where the bloody hell are ya?” impersonations at the GPS, my introduction to the newest Sea Temple hotel is not as smooth as I’d hoped. This is the third addition to the Sea Temple kingdom in Australia, a brand that so far has relied on the pillars of resort-style luxury and seclusion to tempt guests – and I’m curious to know just how they’ve...
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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- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- Dream road trips: Esperance to Perth (via Margaret River)
- Dream road trips – Perth to the Pilbara (return)
- Ultimate Escapes: WA’s Great South West Edge – wine, white sand & wilderness
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #23 a beachy road trip in WA’s South West
- Ultimate Escapes: Queensland’s Wet Tropics
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
- Get lost in style in the Northern Territory
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT