The much-anticipated annual Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide Awards were held last night, with a South Australian business taking home one of the coveted awards!
The top honour of the night went to a stunning new vineyard property on the Victorian coast, which was named Australia’s Hotel of the Year during a celebratory dinner for hospitality leaders at QT Melbourne.
Jackalope, the extraordinary marriage of a 143-year-old Mornington Peninsula homestead and prize winery with a strikingly modern 46-room hotel, was also named New Hotel of the Year and Regional Hotel of the Year in a triumphant trifecta for the $40 million development.
“I think MONA gave me the confidence that people would appreciate a daring, bold vision in this part of the world,” said Jackalope owner Louis Li, the 29-year-old Chinese-born entrepreneur. “Luxury should be defined by rarity.”
Host hotel QT Melbourne, which opened its doors in September last year, was named Large Hotel of the Year and also took home the Best Bar award for its rooftop cocktail terrace with commanding city-skyline views.
And the Best Minibar is the treasure trove of (free) quality drinks and house-made snacks at Como The Treasury in Perth.
The awards, presented by television personality and travel guru Catriona Rowntree before an audience of the country’s top hoteliers and travel industry figures, marked the launch of the 2017 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide – published with the June edition of Gourmet Traveller (on sale 25 May).
Sarah Oakes, Gourmet Traveller’s new editor, congratulated all 50 top hotels featured in Australia’s only national hotel guide.
“The boom in new hotel openings – about 120 projects on the drawing board right now – suggests the hotel industry is on a high,” she says. “And we’re very excited to showcase the achievements of such a dynamic industry that’s central to the lives of gourmet travellers.”
The 124-page handbook is produced by a team of reviewers from the country’s leading premium lifestyle magazine, who check in unannounced and pay their way.
Reviewers and editors compare their experiences to choose the nation’s top 50 hotels and the best performers in 11 award categories, from best minibar to best breakfast.
Other award winners at last night’s signature event include The Johnson in Brisbane (Best Pool), Grand Hyatt Melbourne (Best Breakfast), The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney (Boutique Hotel of the Year), and Halcyon House at Cabarita Beach in northern New South Wales (Best Service).
In addition to the nation’s top 50 hotels, the guide also lists: • Australia’s leading lodges and resorts • Unique places to stay • Super spas • Restaurants with rooms (a new category this year) • Stay tuned: The hottest hotel openings coming up in Australia
2017 GOURMET TRAVELLER AUSTRALIAN HOTEL GUIDE AWARD WINNERS
Hotel of the Year: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Vic
Large Hotel of the Year: QT Melbourne, Vic New Hotel of the Year: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Vic
Boutique Hotel of the Year: The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Regional Hotel of the Year: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Vic
Best Service: Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, NSW
Best Breakfast: Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Vic
Best Pool: The Johnson, Brisbane, Qld
Best Bar: QT Melbourne, Vic
Best Minibar: Como The Treasury, Perth, WA