Between those plunge pools and that very social roster of events (Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Great Barrier Feast, yearly performances by the Australian Ballet…), it was never going to be any other stay: qualia, the darling of Australian luxury, just can’t put a foot wrong. Though neither can our other finalists, to be fair, and voting was neck and neck between them.
Take number-two contender, Tassie’s Saffire Freycinet – last year’s winner in our Best Hotel category, the retreat had just won ‘best boutique hotel in the world’ at time of press. Tough competition. Meanwhile, we’re delighted to see New South Wales’ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa join the ranks for the first time – having recently joined the One&Only brand, we have no doubt it’ll be popping up on more radars in future; certainly One&Only Hayman Island’s recent renovation has had a similar impact, with the island retreat coming in at number four. And, at number five, Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge rounds out a group that is truly worthy of this list.
Runners-up: Best Luxury Resort
2. Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
3. Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, NSW
4. One&Only Hayman Island, Qld
5. Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA