Hotels looking local
Hotels looking local
Earlier this week, independent review website TripAdvisor released a list of the top hotels in Australia and around the world, as determined by the reviews and opinions of millions of TripAdvisor travellers around the globe.
Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, took home three top domestic awards: Best Hotel for Romance in Australia, Top Small Hotel in Australia and Top Luxury Hotel in Australia.
I was lucky enough to check in to the property myself a couple of years ago, and can understand why travellers constantly rave about it. For me, the lodge stands out because it celebrates the location. The design is all about blending in to the windswept fauna that creeps along the cliffs on the blustery southern coast of the island; meals utilise produce such as Liguiran honey and South Australian grain-fed beef from neighbouring farms; the minibar is stocked with cheeses and wines from the Adelaide hills; and experiences and excursions are designed to educate you about the native flora and fauna.
In an age when so many hotel chains maintain cookie-cutter design and service standards, it’s refreshing to arrive at a place and have absolutely no misconceptions about where you are and why.
Thankfully, a growing number of hotels and resorts around the world are celebrating the star features of their location. Some of my favourites include:
The ACE Hotels group collaborates with local creative types when building a new property, be it in London, Palm Springs or Los Angeles, the site of their newest hotel. Set downtown, the hotel comes with its own 1600-seat theatre – how Hollywood is that? – as well as local Rudy’s toiletries and Pearl+ soaps; some suites even come with turntables and acoustic guitars.
The Milestone in London is as British as they come. Guests are welcomed to their room or suite – many of which come with views of Kensington Palace – by a soap butler, delivering a mindboggling selection of the finest soaps and balms to enjoy in your bath. Kippers are on the menu for breakfast, and afternoon tea comes with all the trimmings: a selection of loose-leaf teas (including HRH’s favourite, Darjeeling), homemade shortbread, fruit tartlets and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
At Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa, installations by local artist Geoffrey Armstrong decorate the suites that comprise the Earth Lodge, a sanctuary sculpted into a hill. An outdoor boma is crafted from tree roots, cowhide rugs line the floor, and you’ll also find impala on the menu. There are intimate safari excursions to experience African wildlife and local guides lead you through villages to meet community members.
There are plenty of other examples, and many of them are in Australia and New Zealand. So next time you’re planning a holiday, ditch the soulless high-rises and find a property with plenty of local character.
The full results of the TripAdvisor survey are below.
Top 10 Family Hotels in the World:
1. Cavallino Bianco Family Spa Grand Hotel, Ortisei, Italy
2. Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
3. Club Med Egypt – Sinai Bay, Taba, Egypt
4. Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
5. Limak Arcadia Golf Resort, Belek, Rukey
6. Club Med Palmiye, Kemer, Turkey
7. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
8. Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
9. Floridays Resort Orlando, Florida, United States
10. Hotel Ritta Hoppner, Gramado, Brazil
Top 10 Family Hotels in Australia:
1. Peppers Broadbeach, Broadbeach, QLD
2. Moorings on Cavill Avenue, Surfer’s Paradise, QLD
3. Meriton Serviced Apartments World Tower, Sydney, NSW
4. Jack & Newell Cairns Holiday Apartments, Cairns, QLD
5. Xanadu Holiday Resort, Main Beach, QLD
6. Ashmore Palms Holiday Village, Ashmore, QLD
7. Amalfi Resort, Busselton, WA
8. Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort, Cairns, QLD
9. Ocean Beach Resort and Holiday Park, Umina Beach, NSW
10. Treasure Island Resort and Holiday Park, Gold Coast, QLD
Top 10 Budget Hotels in the World:
1. Castlewood House, Dingle, Ireland
2. Desert Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs, United States
3. Lauriston Court Hotel, Llandundo, Wales
4. SeaCoast Inn, Hyannis, United States
5. Oriental Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
6. Jade Hotel, Hue, Vietnam
7. Asena Motel, Dalyan, Turkey
8. Gateway Motel Picton Accommodation, Picton, New Zealand
9. Ilaia Hotel, Punta Arenas, Chile
10. Dar Hafsa, Fes, Morocco
Top 10 Budget Hotels in Australia:
1. Morwell Motel, Morwell, VIC
2. La Costa Motel, Bilinga, QLD
3. Best Western Lazy Lizard Motor Inn, Port Douglas, QLD
4. Ashmore Palms Holiday Village, Ashmore, QLD
5. Moorings on Cavill Avenue, Surfer’s Paradise, QLD
6. Vintages Accommodation, Margaret River, WA
7. Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort, Cairns, QLD
8. Paradise Links Resort, Port Douglas, QLD
9. Country Roads Motor Inn, Gayndah, QLD
10. Pink Flamingo, Port Douglas, QLD
Additional Select 2014 Winners:
Top Luxury Hotel in the World – Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Franschhoek, South Africa
Top Luxury Hotel in Australia – Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA
Best Bargain Hotel in the World – Castlewood House, Dingle, Ireland
Best Bargain Hotel in Australia – Morwell Motel, Morwell, VIC
Best Hotel for Families in the World – Cavallino Bianco Family Spa Grand Hotel, Ortisei, Italy
Best Hotel for Families in Australia – Peppers Broadbeach, Gold Coast, QLD
Best Hotel for Romance in the World – The Place Luxury Boutique Villas, Koh Tao, Thailand
Best Hotel for Romance in Australia – Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA
Top Small Hotel in the World – Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Franschhoek, South Africa
Top Small Hotel in Australia – Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA
Best B&B and Inn in the World – Bindon Bottom B&B, West Lulworth, England
Best B&B and Inn in Australia – Underground Bed Breakfast, Coober Pedy, SA