Hotels

Revealed: All the winners from Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Australian Hotel Awards

Are you already feeling a tad overwhelmed by industry news today?

Looking to find respite in a gallery of glorious hotel photos?

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Boy, have we got you covered.

Gourmet Traveller has unveiled its list of the best Australian Hotels, and it was a seriously stiff competition.

From urban havens to the best club sandwiches and everything in between, check out all the awards here.

Hotel of the Year: Paramount House Hotel, Sydney

“Old meets new. Bold meets beautiful. Cool meets class. And good taste trumps all. The one-time Pacific HQ of Paramount Pictures has emerged as the country’s most exciting hotel of 2018.

“A four-year renovation of the 1940s landmark has created a 29-room inn of poise and style, but also fun and games. In other words, Paramount House gets the balance of work and play just right.”

80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, NSW, paramounthousehotel.com

FINALISTS
Jackalope, 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, Vic, jackalopehotels.com
Macq01, 18 Hunter St, Hobart, Tas, macq01.com.au

Large Hotel of the Year: Macq01, Hobart

“Large hotels needn’t be predictable. Hobart’s Macq01 hotel, designed by heritage experts Circa Morris Nunn to resemble a riverside wharf, has a distinctive personality.

“It is Tasmania writ large in wood, steel and glass; a 114-room hotel that pours its island soul into every detail. The rooms, unusually generous in space and amenities (coffee machines, epic minibars), feature commissioned local art such as Troy Ruffels’ landscape photos and Duncan Meerding’s timber lampshades, and each room tells the story of a character from Tasmania’s past or present.

“Everything feels custom-made and handpicked for this inn beside the Derwent River.”

18 Hunter St, Hobart, Tas, macq01.com.au

FINALISTS
Grand Hyatt Melbourne123 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, melbourne.grand.hyatt.com
Park Hyatt Sydney7 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, NSW, sydney.park.hyatt.com

Boutique Hotel of the Year: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula

“It’s barely a year since the 46-room Jackalope landed like an alien spacecraft in the bucolic hills of the Mornington Peninsula. There’s so much to love about this wildly unconventional hotel, starting with its sumptuous rooms and suites, especially those with vineyard views.

“We also love the avant-garde art, bold furnishings and daring vision that distinguishes Jackalope from other boutique hotels. Its vineyard bistro Rare Hare often has a two-hour wait for tables at weekends and Saturday night stays are booked out months in advance.”

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, Vic, jackalopehotels.com

FINALISTS
The Langham Sydney, 89-113 Kent St, Sydney, NSW, langhamhotels.com
The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW, theoldclarehotel.com.au

Regional Hotel of the Year: Lake House, Daylesford

“Three decades ago, Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker saw the potential of the quiet central Victorian spa town of Daylesford and opened an ambitious restaurant and country house beside pretty Lake Daylesford. Since then, Lake House has set the benchmark for Australian regional hospitality and helped reposition the town as the state’s most indulgent destination.

“Lake House is continually evolving – expect revamped waterfront studios and a lake-facing horizon pool by year’s end – but it’s always defined by its gorgeous setting, smart service, indulgent treetop spa and destination restaurant.”

4 King St, Daylesford, Vic, lakehouse.com.au

FINALISTS
Halcyon House, 21 Cypress Cres, Cabrita Beach, NSW, halcyonhouse.com.au
Jackalope, 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, Vic, jackalopehotels.com

Best service: Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville

“There’s a lot to be said for the special brand of hospitality at small regional hotels, especially those with hands-on managers like Spicers Clovelly Estate’s GM Stephen McAteer.

“He’s an exemplar in the field of relaxed country hospitality, often greeting guests on arrival, offering them a prosecco on the lawn and a tour of the estate while dispensing tips about morning yoga classes, boules and bikes, or a nearby waterfall walk.

“Staff are cut from the same hospitable cloth; our request for a phone charger is met with, ‘I’ll bring it straight to your room!’ McAteer recently relocated to sister hotel Spicers Hidden Vale, but he leaves behind an impressive service culture.”

68 Balmoral Rd, Montville, Qld, spicersretreats.com

FINALISTS
Next Hotel Brisbane, 72 Queen St, Brisbane, Qld, nexthotels.com
Shangri-La Sydney, 176 Cumberland St, The Rocks, NSW, shangri-la.com/sydney

Best breakfast: Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach

“What could be more Australian than breakfast by the beach? At Halcyon House, the tastefully transformed surfer motel on Cabarita Beach in northern New South Wales, mornings are something to look forward to.

“At airy in-house restaurant Paper Daisy, days begin with a soundtrack of waves crashing beyond the pandanus grove and gifted chef Ben Devlin’s à la carte breakfast spread.

“There’s something for everyone, from coconut and chia pudding with honey and berries to toad in the hole with fried sourdough, egg and lonza. Add daily smoothies and well-made coffee for a morning to remember.”

21 Cypress Cres, Cabrita Beach, NSW, halcyonhouse.com.au

FINALISTS
Como The Treasury, 1 Cathedral Ave, Perth, WA, comohotels.com
Grand Hyatt Melbourne, 123 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, melbourne.grand.hyatt.com

Best pool: Elements of Byron, Byron Bay

“Adults-only pools are terribly elitist and may even violate UN conventions on the rights of children.

“But they’re perfectly acceptable as a complement to a pool of (almost) equal decadence that’s open to all guests, as is the case at Elements of Byron on Belongil Beach in northern New South Wales.

“The resort’s recent expansion added 99 two-bedroom rainforest villas and a separate adults-only pool to complement the existing 850,000-litre infinity lagoon surrounded by daybeds.

“The new pool’s key selling point, apart from its cabanas, is a swim-up tequila bar serving a dazzling range of very good agave spirits, as well as poolside snacks such as tacos stuffed with prawns, Tecate-braised brisket or butternut pumpkin. Way to make a splash.”

144 Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay, NSW, elementsofbyron.com.au

FINALISTS
The Johnson477 Boundary St, Spring Hill, Qld, thejohnson.com.au
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, 12 Darling Dr, Sydney, NSW, sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au

Best bar: TWR Bar in Crown Towers Perth

“The rather ho-hum name belies the glamorous nature of this bar. TWR, short for The Waiting Room, dazzles with its jewel-coloured furnishings, Moroccan-accented chandeliers and fluted marble in pinks and white.

“Acres of glass and an elegant terrace afford views over river and city skyline as bar staff prepare modern interpretations of classic cocktails alongside their own extravagant inventions.

“The list comes with a glossary introducing drinkers to the merits of salmon fat-washed Talisker 10 (as seen in their sriracha-spiked Holy Mary) and activated charcoal “to flush toxins and chemicals from the body”. Cocktail hour as detox session? Count us in.”

Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood, WA, crowntowersperth.com.au

FINALISTS
Elements of Byron Bay, 144 Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay, NSW, elementsofbyron.com.au
Islington Hotel, 321 Davey St, Hobart, Tas, islingtonhotel.com

Best bed: Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide

Almost all our favourite beds this year were made by AH Beard, the custom sleepmaker that has been producing mattresses since 1899.

With just one factory responsible for so many of our best nights in, it’s not easy to pick the Goldilocks option. What tipped our vote in favour of the Mayfair Hotel’s King Koil sleeper was not the fact that the hotel’s owner tried 30 beds before choosing this one, or that she had the South Australian supplier make this particular version – officially named the Mayfair Luxury Mattress – exclusively for the hotel.

“No, what convinced us was discovering one of our reviewers loved the bed so much, she ordered one for herself.”

45 King William St, Adelaide, SA, mayfairhotel.com.au

FINALISTS
Spicers Potts Point, 120-124 Victoria St, Potts Point, NSW, spicersretreats.com
Ovolo Inchcolm, 73 Wickham Tce, Spring Hill, Qld, ovolohotels.com.au

Best club sandwich: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula

“You would think, given this is our fifth year of rating hotel clubs, that we’d be tired of eating sandwiches stuffed with chicken, bacon and bits of salad.

“But each year at least one hotel kitchen presents a club sandwich that rocks the room-service menu. This year, that kitchen was at Jackalope, and it served our reviewer his best club sandwich ever.

“It’s called Drunk in Da Club (they love a quirky name at Jackalope) – an unholy marriage of drunken chicken, crisp chicken skin, pickled green tomatoes (made on site, with tomatoes from the garden), bacon jam and fresh lettuce on white bread, soft and fluffy but sturdy enough to avoid sogginess. Order one ASAP.”

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, Vic, jackalopehotels.com

FINALISTS
The Louise, 375 Seppeltsfield Rd, Marananga, SA, thelouise.com.au
QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise, Qld, qthotelsandresorts.com

Best minibar: Macq01, Hobart

“This is not a minibar. With 37 items on offer, it’s definitely a maxibar.

“Almost all products are proudly Tasmanian, for an island showcase as authentic as this Hobart hotel. The water is Cape Grim, while the beers are Boags, Cascade and Hobart Brewing Co. The wines are all local, as are the spirits (Sud Polaire, McHenry, Hellyers Road) and the snacks (Cadbury’s chocolate and Mountain Pepper beef jerky).

“But what we love about the Macq01 maxibar are the extra-thoughtful things – the thick woollen Mongrel scarf (two of our reviewers bought them), the Tasmanian Tea Company canisters, sunscreen and Panadol. Anything you might need for a stay in the Tasmanian capital.”

18 Hunter St, Hobart, Tas, macq01.com.au

FINALISTS
Mona Pavilions, 655 Main Rd, Berriedale, Tas, mona.net.au
QT Hotels & Resorts, qthotelsandresorts.com


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