And the winner of the Best Accommodation prizes in Australian Traveller’s 2016 People’s Choice Awards are…

1. Best boutique hotel: QT Sydney, NSW

Why you love it… QT channels a certain character and flair showcased by its quirky décor and embellishments, and staff that come dressed in costumes with a theatrical twist. Even the elevators are worth getting excited about with music being played in accordance to the number of people riding them (lonely riders may hear All By Myself).

Our hot tip… Book yourself into spaQ where you will be educated in ‘the art of unwinding’.

If you love this, your next boutique stay should be… Tryp, Brisbane, Qld. A colourful design hotel in the hip cultural quarter of Fortitude Valley.

You also rate… Spicers Balfour, Brisbane, Qld / the Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart, Tas / Alex Hotel, Perth, WA / The Olsen, Melbourne, Vic

2. Sexiest hotel pool: Palazzo Versace, Surfers Paradise

Why you love it… The Palazzo Versace is opulent in every sense of the word. Part of the hotel’s ‘Water Salon’, the 63-metre pool is lined with a white sandy beach (shipped in from Surfers Paradise) and cabanas with custom-made Versace daybeds from which to sip glasses of Champagne. Tough life.

You also rate… qualia, Hamilton Island, Qld / One&Only, Hayman Island, Qld / Crown Towers, Melbourne, Vic / Lake Argyle Resort, WA

3. Best luxury hotel or resort: qualia, Hamilton Island

Why you love it… When our readers dream of luxury you consistently dream of qualia, a pocketed-away oasis on your favourite island, Hamilton Island. And we don’t blame you: this exclusive resort is coveted for its beautifully designed pavilions that have breathtaking views of the turquoise Coral Sea from private plunge pools. Read about our qualia experience here: qualia: An intimate relationship.

Our hot tip… Ask staff to organise a drop-off by speed boat to a secluded beach; all you need is your cossies, a gourmet picnic, and a two-way radio to arrange your pick-up.


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If you love this, your next luxury stay should be… Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, NSW. World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island boasts not only some of the most striking scenery in Australia, but one of its most exquisite luxury lodges: Capella Lodge is sophisticated and understated all at once.

You also rate… One&Only, Hayman Island, Qld / Palazzo Versace, Surfers Paradise, Qld / Crown Towers, Melbourne, Vic / Saffire Freycinet, Tas

4. Most romantic escape: qualia, Hamilton Island

Why you love it… We are experiencing déjà vu. Surrounded by tropical gardens with a dreamy outlook to the Coral Sea, a divine day spa and exquisite dining options, this exclusive adults-only accommodation is the epitome of romance and relaxation.

Our hot tip… Book a spa treatment for two and then make the most of your pavilion by ordering in a chef-prepared platter, some Champagne and watch the sun set from your deck. Isn’t it romantic?

If you love this, your next loved-up escape should be… Lizard Island, Queensland. An hour north of Cairns, this national park island is surrounded by incredible reefs and indescribably pristine water, along with a luxurious all-inclusive resort that ensures lovebirds need only worry about each other.

You also rate… One&Only Hayman Island, Qld / Cradle Mountain, Tas / Hunter Valley, NSW / Saffire Freycinet, Tas

5. Best value hotel chain: Accor

You also love… Best Western / Mantra / Hilton / Holiday Inn


With so many worthy finalists nominated by our very own AT readers, don’t miss out on finding out where all these amazing places are!

Best Getaways Finalists

Best Experiences Finalists

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