Here, five resort hotels that are worth the trip.
When you’re spending 14 hours on a plane just to get to your vacation spot of choice, expectations naturally run high. A disappointing weekend getaway can be written off as a lesson learned, but the stakes are higher when you’ve ventured all the way around the world. Your hotel has to bring its A-game.
That’s why, in Australia and New Zealand, our readers chose properties that truly wow. These resorts not only check off all the basics for a five-star stay — a prime location, impeccable service, and well-appointed rooms are a given — but also bring something extra-special to the table.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities.
Collectively, the resort hotels on this year’s list offer a cross-section of Australia and New Zealand’s best offerings. For foodies, there’s wine tasting at the Louise, a low-lying stone lodge in South Australia’s vineyard-studded Barossa Valley, where guests can blend their own vintage, sample fresh produce at the area’s farmers’ market, or even do a picnic breakfast with a family of kangaroos. In New Zealand, outdoorsy types can bed down at Matakauri Lodge, in the adventure capital of Queenstown. Its fresh, modern interiors and cinematic views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains are an indulgent way to cap off a day of whitewater rafting or hang gliding. “Such an incredible hotel — spectacular views from every room,” said one fan.
And, of course, there’s world-class golfing at the No. 1 property, the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. It’s No. 4 on the best hotels worldwide list this year, and with its polished rusticity and wealth of activities (sailing in the Bay of Islands, quad-biking on 90-Mile Beach) and indulgences for golfers and non-golfers alike, it’s easy to see why readers can’t get enough.
Read on for the complete list of this year’s winners.