Our intrepid team of travellers has checked in to check out the finest hotels in the country for the Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide, with the kind support of Nespresso.
If you've been dreaming of an indulgent hotel escape, here's a tip: hold off until June. That's when we'll publish the second annual Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide, featuring our hand-picked selection of the best pillow-fluffed beds in the business.
We can't give too much away yet, but expect a strong showing by Queensland, which has about half a dozen new entries in the 2015 guide. Brisbane leads the northern charge with a spate of openings, including a techno-fabulous downtown high-rise and a character-filled heritage pile in central Spring Hill.
The guide also has desirable new addresses to add to your black book in Sydney, Adelaide, the Blue Mountains and the national capital, which continues to innovate on the accommodation front.
Our band of tireless reviewers has crisscrossed the country in pursuit of exceptional stays, checking in unannounced and paying our way. Rest assured, each has taste-tested the breakfast buffet, photographed the minibar contents (truly), quizzed the concierge and run a discerning eye over every aspect of amenity and design before collapsing into their rented beds… but not before first scrutinising the pillow menu and appraising the linen.
Through this rigorous testing process we've narrowed an impressive national field down to 50 of our favourites, located in beauty spots from Margaret River to Montville. The guide will profile all 50 in frank and fun reviews that tell readers the essentials, from comfort factors to the brand of bathroom products; which rooms to book, and which hotel kitchen crafts the most delicious club sandwich.
There are honourable mentions, too, for Australia's most lavish lodges and resorts (welcome back, Lizard Island), as well as wraps of the most soothing hotel spas, a curious collection of unique places to bunk down, where to check in for an extended stay and what new names to look out for in the year ahead. In a new feature, GT rounds up the nation's best budget hotels.
And, because we can't resist giving credit where it's due, there will also be awards. Check in with us next month to see who wins top honours as Gourmet Traveller's Hotel of the Year, and who gets our vote for most impeccable service, most impressive breakfast, the warmest welcome and the best selection of minibar mood-enhancers. All the fundamentals of a memorable hotel stay, at your fingertips. So, whether you fancy a hinterland homestead or a brash beach blowout, bright lights or night skies, we've got experiences to suit every mood and occasion.
We'd love to hear what you think about our choices. From 28 May, let us know your thoughts about our award winners on our website. Simply by voting for your favourite hotel you can go into the draw to win a trip to the UK.
The 2015 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide has been made possible by the generous support and sponsorship of Nespresso. It will be published free with our June edition of the magazine, both in print and on iPad.
Vote and win
From 28 May, vote online for your chance to win a trip to London thanks to boutique hotel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith and British Airways. You and a friend will travel in style enjoying British Airways' Club World premium service, and stay seven nights in the UK's finest boutique hotels from Mr & Mrs Smith's hand-picked collection.