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.
We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.
Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 25th June, 2017 and receive a Laguiole cheese knife set!
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We asked our favourite confectioners and cafe owners from around the country for their hottest tips.
You’ve got another chance at last winter’s sell-out drop from Four Pillars.
A bar for art’s sake pops up at Semi Permanent.
Attica chef Ben Shewry has been thinking about your buttocks, and wants to introduce them to an Australian design classic.
Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
Our June issue is out now, and it's all about breakfast. Pat Nourse kicks things off with his editor's letter.
Andrew McConnell’s Cantonese-inspired restaurant will become a classroom for a night during the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
A bloody good dinner for a bloody good cause.
There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet.
A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.
Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.
No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.
Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.
"This cake is the new religion at Flour and Stone, and never fails to send those worshipping it into a dream of billowy clouds," says Ingram. "It has come to many parties, including one where its name was changed to reflect the euphoric place it transports you to."