BEDS OF A FEATHER
Barry Oliver presents the first round of finalists in TheAustralian’s 2007 Travel & Tourism Awards
BEST LUXURY ACCOMMODATION
ABCDEFABIslington Hotel, Hobart: A small deluxe hotel with a long history, Islington was built in 1847; it has been lovingly restored to showcase its Regency architecture and is extravagantly decorated with artwork and antiques. Features include a mountain-view (Mt Wellington) pavilion, fine wine cellar, small day spa, extensive Andrew Pfeiffer-designed gardens and 11 sumptuous bedrooms with bespoke beds and marble bathrooms. www.islingtonhotel.com Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, NSW: This elegant European-style resort combines old-fashioned comfort — open fires, billiard room, deep tubs — with indoor and oudoor pools, health club and serene day spa. Darley’s, the signature restaurant, offers atmospheric dining in the original 1889 homestead. All guestrooms are individually decorated and reflect Lilianfels’s Victorian heritage. www.lilianfels.com.au Hyatt Hotel Canberra: This luxurious heritage-listed hotel has been restored to its original art deco charm. Features include marble bathrooms with deep tubs, fitness centre with gym and personal trainer, indoor pool (offering aqua aerobics classes), spa and sauna. Close to Parliament House and a popular gathering place for federal pollies and powerbrokers. www.canberra.park.hyatt.com Park Hyatt Sydney: With an eyepopping waterfront location in The Rocks, the harbour dominates life at this celebrated hotel. Most guestrooms come with Opera House and harbour views from the balconies. Facilities are designed to impress, from its airy restaurant and day spa to rooftop pool and handsome club bar. www.sydney.park.hyatt.com Sofitel Wentworth Sydney: Located in the heart of the shopping and central business district, a recent refurbishment has given this venerable hotel a more contemporary look, including a dazzling upgrade of the Garden Court restaurant. Facilities include a health club and day spa and conference space for up to 1100 delegates. www.sofitelsydney.com.au Voyages Longitude 131, Uluru, NT: This innovative wilderness camp of 15 elevated tents, where guests wake to private views of the sun rising over Uluru, has taken ecotourism to new heights. A white dome roof and flowing fabric give the illusion of camping but it’s really luxury all the way, from gourmet food to modern comforts.
BEST RESORT ACCOMMODATION
Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, Byron Bay, NSW: Five-star luxury rules at this charming resort set in 18ha of rainforest just five minutes south of Byron Bay township and a short walk to Tallow Beach. There’s a beautiful infinity pool, swish day spa and blocks of smart guest habitats. Guests are treated to all mod cons in a beautiful bush ambience. www.thebyronatbyron.com.au Cable Beach Club Resort, Broome, Western Australia: Set beside a 23km white-sand beach, this resort is 10 minutes from the heart of the historic pearling port. Spacious villas in Broome timber-and-tin style, Asian artworks and statuary, elegant suites and deluxe rooms are surrounded by
Cglossy tropical gardens. Dining choices include the award-winning Club Restaurant. www.cablebeachclub.com Hayman, Whitsundays, Queensland: This much-awarded island hideaway sets the standard for resort accommodation with 227 rooms, suites and penthouses (plus a private beachfront pool villa), all featuring terraces or balconies.
DIncludes several restaurants, children’s club and creche, and luxury spa with a full range of treatments and therapies. www.hayman.com.au Hyatt Regency Coolum, Queensland: There’s no shortage of activities at this 150ha resort: nine pools, seven tennis courts, a PGA championship golf course, gym and health and beauty spa are among the attractions. Add six restaurants, a wide range of accommodation styles and adjacent beach with sports club. www.coolum.regency.hyatt.com Peppers Bale, Port Douglas, Queensland: This up-market getaway, inspired by Southeast Asia’s pavilion accommodation, features sanctuaries ranging from one bedroom to four, all with plunge
Epools, poolside pavilion with day bed, LCD television, DVD player and sound system. Sassi at Bale offers fine dining with fresh regional produce and there’s a day spa to soothe away any remnants of city stress. www.peppers.com.au/Bale-Resort Sea Temple Resort & Spa, Palm Cove, Queensland: This stylish beachfront resort with its award-winning interiors has been designed with privacy in mind. Accommodation ranges from studio rooms and apartments to penthouses with rooftop spa, villas with private plunge pool and swim-out rooms opening directly to the resort lagoon. Wrap-around tropical gardens invite alfresco dining.
FEFBEST VALUE ACCOMMODATION
ABCDMajestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide: As the name suggests, this newly opened inner-city hotel boasts a talking-point rooftop garden with views to the Adelaide Hills. Close to the heart of restaurant, business and shopping precincts, its suite accommodation features king-size beds, luxurious bathrooms, large-screen TV with cable and on-demand movies. Culshaw’s restaurant specialises in beef raised on the property. www.majestichotels.com.au Medina Grand Perth: Entertainment, nightlife and Perth’s CBD are on the doorstep of this Medina flagship. All 138 apartments and studios feature kitchen, laundry and balcony. Guests can relax in the sauna, test the waters in the heated outdoor pool or work out in the well-equipped gym. www.medina.com.au Mercure Sydney: Attractions include an unusual rooftop pool as well as gymnasium, sauna, restaurant and two bars. The Mercure, an Accor hotel, is minutes from Sydney’s Central Station and features a range of stylish accommodation in 517 rooms and suites. Refurbished in 2005, the hotel has round-the-clock room service. www.mercuresydney.com.au Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia: Set in the Flinders Ranges in Parachilna (pop. 7), the Prairie Hotel claims to blend outback adventure with city luxury. Renovated rooms in the original part of the historic hotel have ensuites while executive suites feature a double spa. There’s even a swimming pool and the a la carte breakfasts include espresso coffee, fruit smoothies and muesli with stewed rhubarb. www.prairiehotel.com.au Stamford Grand North Ryde, NSW: Towering palms and shimmering waterfalls are a feature of this all-suite, resort-style hotel just 20 minutes from Sydney’s CBD. The 256 newly refurbished suites have garden, lagoon or waterfall views; most have balconies or terraces. Five-star accommodation is offered in the Premier Wing. There are two restaurants and guests can work off the kilojoules at the gym, heated indoor-outdoor pool or tennis court. www.stamford.com.au Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne: Stylish Vibe, with 163 bright and breezy guestrooms and six suites, boasts a handsome heritage facade and a coveted Little Collins Street address. There are five conference rooms plus an impressive ballroom with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, a ground-floor bar and contemporary restaurant on level two.
Cream of the crop: Clockwise from top left, South Australia’s Prairie Hotel; the Islington Hotel, Hobart; Hayman in Queensland’s Whitsundays; Lilianfels in the NSW Blue Mountains; Park Hyatt Sydney; Broome’s Cable Beach Club Resort; centre, the Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne