With a year’s worth of pent-up inspiration under your belt, now is a great time to take advantage of TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards for Hotels…
Each year the platform combs through the millions of traveller reviews to surface the hotels that people raved about most. Even during the pandemic, travellers continued to discover, book, and give feedback on places to stay around the country.
Despite significant disruption to the hospitality industry in 2020, hotels around the world found new ways to dazzle guests and deliver top-of-the-line service. Here are the top 10 around Australia…
Situated just a couple of headlands from Sydney Harbour’s best-known architectural icons, the Ovolo resides on Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo Bay. Housing high-end restaurants and plush apartments, the teal-trimmed Edwardian façade stands loud and proud among its neighbours.
Featuring a kitsch, contemporary design with cloud-comfy beds and patterned headboards, the hotel aesthetic is undoubtedly shiny. Another great cornerstone of the Ovolo experience is the freebies – free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free mini bar, free self-laundry and a free gift tote with snacks on arrival.
Downstairs, the in-house restaurant Alibi provides a naughty and nice combo of glamorous cocktails and a healthy and fresh plant-based menu conceived by chef, restaurateur and global plant-based dining pioneer, Matthew Kenney.
Travellers say: “Great rooms overlooking the harbour, super close to the city but at the same time away from the hustle and bustle.”
If you want self-catered convenience then the Quest Ipswich offers it via upscale serviced apartments.
Located one kilometre from the CBD towards Amberley, Quest offers 64 rooms spread across three levels. Apartments range in size from studios to one or three-bedroom apartments, with spacious and airy living areas, tasteful décor and fully self-contained kitchens.
The rectangular outdoor swimming pool is lined with an outdoor entertaining area and barbeque, cementing it as perfect place to explore Queensland’s oldest provincial city.
Travellers say: “Friendly, clean and helpful, I would stay here again in a heartbeat.”
The heart of Central Victoria (and one-time richest city in the world) has been alluring people from across the globe since the 1850’s gold rush. These days, Bendigo has been reinvented as a cultural and foodie hotspot – which will soon become apparent after a night spent at Julie-Anna Inn.
The inn is run by two families, the Slattery’s and Thurgood’s, and is located just outside of Bendigo’s business district. In fact, it sits opposite the postcard-perfect Lake Weeroona.
The property has 33 stylish, recently renovated rooms all with courtyard access and views of the impressive outdoor pool. Staff also provide plenty of local Intel, with handy Bendigo recommendations on offer via their Instagram.
Travellers say: “The rooms and facilities are spotless and well maintained. I couldn’t recommend the Julie-Anna any higher.”
Checking into MACq01 – located on the traditional lands of the Mouhenneener people – provides an immersive portal into Tasmania’s Indigenous history. This slickly designed five-star hotel on Hobart’s waterfront is Australia’s first storytelling hotel; designed to bring Tasmania’s fascinating people and places to life.
The hotel has 114 rooms matched with 114 unique character tales that give visitors insight into the island state’s storied past – convicts, sailors, beekeepers and Indigenous trailblazers among them. Inside, the raw, minimalistic style suggests a Nordic influence. But in fact, the architecture is modelled off the shipping shed that was demolished to make way for the hotel.
Travellers say: “An amazing facility showcasing the heart and soul of Hobart.”
Anyone who has grown fatigued by cookie-cutter high-rises will find the Treasury on Collins a breath of fresh air. Set in a heritage-listed building that dates back to 1876 (it originally housed the Bank of Australasia), the original two-storey building has been refurbished and slightly elevated in more recent years when it was transformed into apartment-style accommodation.
Generous floor plans range from the 40-square-metre plaza suites to 85-square-metre two-bedroom apartments, granting a great sense of space in each of the 95 suites and apartments. Downstairs, Bank restaurant still has the old teller windows dotted throughout.
Travellers say: “Great location, friendly and helpful staff, walking distance to most of downtown. Rooms were spacious and clean with all the amenities of a 5 star hotel.”
Sale is one of Victoria’s most historic port cities and Quest Sale provides the perfect place to base yourself for a weekend of exploring. Located in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw from the action of Foster Street and on the doorstep of the Sale Botanical Gardens, Lake Guthridge, the historical Swing Bridge and Sale Golf Club.
The property offers 53 serviced apartments, including one, two and three-bedroom apartments that are ideal for families and larger groups. There are kitchen and laundry facilities and plenty of natural light. The studio rooms provide the perfect alternative to a traditional hotel, as they boast a kitchenette and work desk and all guests have access to the 24/7 gym, swimming pool and barbeque area.
Travellers say: “Great service and friendly staff. The apartments are clean and tidy and well maintained. A breeze to stay.”
Part colonial, part country, and part contemporary, the ‘Rocky’ as the locals call it, is a treasure trove of discovery. Those looking for a base camp are clearly drawn to the charm of Korte’s Resort.
The four-star resort’s 97 rooms veer more towards homeliness than hotel styling. Bedroom and bathroom furniture is simple but comfortable, and the outdoor patios are generously sized and private. The resort’s star attraction is the massive swimming pool. Find guests sprawling alongside it in the Queensland heat at most hours of the day.
The Oasis Restaurant is licensed and serves breakfast and lunch daily, with an a la carte menu in the evening. You don’t leave Korte’s (or Rockhampton) without a steakhouse meal – being the beef capital of Australia, and all.
Travellers say: “Enjoyed a very comfortable and relaxing night in this excellent resort.”
When you’re forking out the big bucks to stay on one of Australia’s most luxurious islands, it all comes down to one thing: location, location, location. With its infinity pool overlooking Catseye Beach, this adults-only, boutique oasis is what Hamilton Island postcards are made of.
It’s a perfect option for those craving a holiday without the rug rats, or those who don’t want to be surrounded by everyone else’s kids. Guests can choose from 57 luxurious and beautifully-furnished rooms, each with its own en suite bathroom, choice of king or twin-single beds, and private terrace or balcony. Opt for an ocean-view room.
There’s also the Beach Club restaurant and lounge for secluded beachside dining. It’s romance on steroids – which is exactly what you’d expect from Hamilton Island.
Travellers say: “Location was heaven and enjoyed sitting on our balcony taking in the views. The ambience was so relaxing and nothing was too much trouble for the well-trained staff.”
Kingsford Smith Motel describes themselves as “your friendly four-star accommodation” and we can’t help but agree. Hosts Lorraine and Trevor have cultivated a space that doesn’t skint on style, with impressive rooms that are fitted out like a traditional hotel space.
There are six types of rooms, all boasting soft linens, a desk, dining table, en suite with bathroom amenities, TV’s, Foxtel and Wi-Fi – which, for motel prices, is pretty impressive. Kingsford Smith Motel features a salt water in-ground pool, which is the perfect activity to enjoy in those sub-tropical Brisbane temperatures.
Travellers say: “This is more 5 star boutique hotel than motel, the wonderful hosts Lorraine and Trevor manage to combine luxury with homeliness and a huge dollop of inclusiveness to top.”
Coolum is considered something of a locals’ secret; the Sunshine Coast suburb is tucked away from the well-earned hype of Noosa and is all the better for it. It oozes coastal chill and boasts a down to earth vibe – a perfect escape for families to surfers, golfers and quiet travellers in search of a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the neighbouring seaside suburbs.
And where do they choose to stay? The Element on Coolum Beach. The resort features 49 luxury one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom self-contained apartments and sub penthouses that all feature spacious balconies. The grounds are centred on a huge, resort-style swimming pool, complete with floating lilos and sun lounges.
Travellers say: “Fantastic apartments, fantastic location, [and] fantastic week. We ended up extending our stay for a few extra nights as we were having the best time.”