When the Langham Group took over Sydney's landmark Observatory Hotel in 2012, and then closed it for a major makeover midway through last year, no one knew quite what to expect. Now we do. Langham took a $30 million wrecking ball to the Observatory's 21-year-old interiors to create a precious gem of a hotel that is remarkable for the imagination behind its transformation, the precision of its finishes, the attentiveness of staff, and the effortless comfort of guestrooms and public areas. This is a hotel with real personality, too, from its inner harbour views to the bold Australian art adorning its walls (including no fewer than seven Sidney Nolans). The Observatory is dead. Long live the Langham.
Our handpicked band of hotel aficionados has checked out beds
across the land for our annual GT Australian Hotel Guide
supported by Nespresso. Here, Kendall Hill reveals the
Welcome to the 2015 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Awards, a celebration of the best in our annual audit of the country's most desirable accommodation for our Australian Hotel Guide.
And it has thrown up some gems this year, thanks in large part to all the new openings countrywide.
We pillow-tested the cream of the new crop and ended up with a dozen new entries from Brisbane to Adelaide. We didn't include any of them simply for novelty's sake. Each, in its own characteristic way, extends and enhances the appeal of the Australian accommodation scene.
Every address in this year's guide is there because we think it's special, and because we think you should know about it. This is our gift to our readers - a little black book of the best beds in the business.
Alongside hotels we also reveal our favourite lodges and
resorts, the most luxurious spa experiences, and our pick of the
country's unique places to stay. If you need somewhere to bed down
for an extended period, we've got you covered. And if you're on a
budget, we can help you there, too.
Our tireless band of hotel inspectors has worked hard on your behalf, checking in around the country to determine our top 50 addresses. For us, a great hotel experience offers full-service accommodation with exceptional facilities, notable food, defined service, a covetable location and, of course, a great night's sleep.
The fruits of their labours are contained within the guide's 124 pages. Our very favourite experiences are listed here. Make a mental note of the winners to call on when you plan your next getaway. Pick up the June issue of Gourmet Traveller, on sale now, for your copy of the 2015 Australian Hotel Guide.