An ambitious, brand new regional hotel has been awarded not one but three top accolades this year.
A stunning new vineyard property on the Victorian coast was tonight named Australia's Hotel of the Year at the annual Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide Awards during a glittering dinner at QT Melbourne.
Jackalope, the extraordinary marriage of a 141-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 awardfor its rooftop cocktail terrace with commanding city-skyline views.
As guests mingled over canapés including ocean trout tartare with witlof and chilli and sat down to giant wagyu tomahawk steaks wood-roasted in the Josper oven, the coveted gong for Best Club Sandwich was awarded to The Louise, in South Australia's Barossa Valley, for an unconventional version featuring prime regional produce. This year's 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, marked the launch of the 2017 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide - published with the June issue of GT (on sale 25 May). Inside the guide you'll also find reports on Australia's leading lodges and resorts, unique places to stay, super spas, restaurants with rooms (a new category this year) and the hottest hotel openings coming up in Australia.
Once again the guide has been produced with the support of Nespresso, whose coffee machines enhance the hospitality on offer at many of Australia's top hotels.
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 Club Sandwich: The Louise, Barossa Valley, SA
Best Minibar: Como The Treasury, Perth, WA
Engage with the guide and awards on social media, #gthotelguide
The 2017 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide is on sale Thursday 25 May.