117 best hotels in Australia based on customer feedback


HotelCombined has released a list of the finalists in their first hotelier award for Australian hotels based on customer feedback.

The Recognition of Excellence Awards identifies the top, independent Australian hotels in each state and regional holiday area for outstanding customer satisfaction. Finalists are among the best hotels (by location) for customer service, with results compiled from detailed analysis of the website’s customer feedback.

The Awards are based on a range of criteria including:

  • Quality and consistency of guest reviews
  • Customer ratings
  • Absence of recurring or unresolved issues
  • Social media engagement on blogs, forums and social media posts

All of these hotels are placed within the top three percent of hotels worldwide.

Finalists and winners are representative of the highest standards in the industry, averaging 9.7 out of a possible 10 points – compared to the industry standard of 7.2.

The hotels are listed below by state:

New South Wales

NSW finalists, by region: Sydney

State Region Hotel name
NSW Sydney Adge Apartment Hotel
NSW Sydney Tara Guest House
NSW Sydney Darcys Hotel at Homebush
NSW Sydney Sydney Establishment Hotel
NSW Sydney Verona Guest House

NSW finalists, by region: Central Coast

State Region Hotel name
NSW Central Coast Avoca Valley Bed and Breakfast
NSW Central Coast The Acreage Bed and Breakfast Central Coast

 NSW finalists, by region: Newcastle

State Region Hotel name
NSW Newcastle Brezza Bella Bed & Breakfast Newcastle
NSW Newcastle Stockton Beach Holiday Park
NSW Newcastle Newcastle’s Bed & Breakfast
NSW Newcastle Chaucer Palms Boutique Bed & Breakfast
NSW Newcastle Everton Apartments

 NSW finalists, by region: North Coast

State Region Hotel name
NSW North Coast Anchors B&B
NSW North Coast The Villas of Byron
NSW North Coast Santa Fe Luxury Bed & Breakfast
NSW North Coast Ballina Manor Boutique Hotel
NSW North Coast Beaches International

 NSW finalists, by region: South Coast

State Region Hotel name
NSW South Coast Snug Cove Villas
NSW South Coast Huskisson Bed and Breakfast
NSW South Coast Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages & Spa Retreat Kangaroo Valley
NSW South Coast Sails Luxury Apartments
NSW South Coast Kiama Harbour Cabins

 NSW finalists, by region: Snowy Mountains

State Region Hotel name
NSW Snowy Mountains Jindy Inn

 NSW finalists, by region: Blue Mountains

State Region Hotel name
NSW Blue Mountains Melba House
NSW Blue Mountains Edgelinks Country House
NSW Blue Mountains Katoomba Manor
NSW Blue Mountains Broomelea Bed & Breakfast
NSW Blue Mountains Valley of the Waters B&B Wentworth Falls

 NSW finalists, by region: Lord Howe Island

State Region Hotel name
NSW Lord Howe Island Capella Lodge
NSW Lord Howe Island Arajilla Retreat

 NSW finalists, by region: Hunter

State Region Hotel name
NSW Hunter A Room with a View Bed & Breakfast Hunter
NSW Hunter Nelson Bay Bed and Breakfast Hunter
NSW Hunter Thistle Hill Guesthouse Hunter
NSW Hunter Splinters Guest House Hunter Peaceful Palms B&B

Australian Capital Territory

ACT finalists, by region:

State Region Hotel name
ACT Canberra One of a Kind Apartments

South Australia

SA finalists, by region: Adelaide

State Region Hotel name
SA Adelaide Casavino Luxury Villas
SA Adelaide Bellevue Bed & Breakfast McLaren Vale
SA Adelaide Peppercorns Bed and Breakfast
SA Adelaide North Adelaide Heritage Cottages & Apartments
SA Adelaide Seawall Apartments Adelaide

SA finalists, by region: Adelaide Hills

State Region Hotel name
SA Adelaide Hills Amble at Hahndorf
SA Adelaide Hills Hahndorf Oak Tree Cottages
SA Adelaide Hills The Haus Studio Apartments

SA finalists, by region: Barossa

State Region Hotel name
SA Barossa Barossa Pavilions
SA Barossa Whistler Farm B&B
SA Barossa Lanzerac Country Estate

 SA finalists, by region: Limestone Coast

State Region Hotel name
SA Limestone Coast Mid City Motel Mount Gambier
SA Limestone Coast Colhurst House
SA Limestone Coast Alexander Cameron Motel and Apartments

SA finalists, by region: Kangaroo Island

State Region Hotel name
SA Kangaroo Island Stranraer Homestead Bed & Breakfast Kangaroo Island


VIC finalists, by region: Melbourne

State Region Hotel name
VIC Melbourne Hilltop Studios Margaret River
VIC Melbourne Caroline Serviced Apartments
VIC Melbourne Moulton Park Cottages
VIC Melbourne Woolrich Historic Garden Accommodation
VIC Melbourne Tuck Inn

VIC finalists, by region: Great Ocean Road

State Region Hotel name
VIC Great Ocean Road The Camperdown Mill – South West Victoria
VIC Great Ocean Road Farmhouse Flat
VIC Great Ocean Road Cape Nelson Lighthouse
VIC Great Ocean Road QDOS Arts Treehouses
VIC Great Ocean Road Warrnambool CBD Townhouses

 VIC finalists, by region: Spa Country

State Region Hotel name
VIC Spa Country Town View Guesthouse
VIC Spa Country Pendower House
VIC Spa Country The Manse

VIC finalists, by region: Peninsula

State Region Hotel name
VIC Peninsula Flinders Hotel
VIC Peninsula Mornington Bed and Breakfast


QLD finalists, by region: Brisbane

State Region Hotel name
QLD Brisbane Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments
QLD Brisbane Emporium Hotel
QLD Brisbane Number 12 B&B
QLD Brisbane The Collingwood
QLD Brisbane NICHE Small Luxury Hotel Springfield Lakes

 QLD finalists, by region: Gold Coast

State Region Hotel name
QLD Gold Coast The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat
QLD Gold Coast Allisee Apartments Gold Coast
QLD Gold Coast Rainbow Bay Resort
QLD Gold Coast 2nd Avenue Beachside Apartments
QLD Gold Coast Ocean Sands Resort Gold Coast
QLD Gold Coast Ambience Apartments On Burleigh Beach Gold Coast

QLD finalists, by region: Sunshine Coast

State Region Hotel name
QLD The Sunshine Coast The Mirage Alexandra Headland
QLD The Sunshine Coast Coolum Seaside Apartments
QLD The Sunshine Coast RACV Resort Noosa
QLD The Sunshine Coast Sandy Beach Resort Noosa
QLD The Sunshine Coast Noosa Riviera Resort

 QLD finalists, by region: Whitsundays

State Region Hotel name
QLD Whitsundays Pinnacles Resort
QLD Whitsundays Mirage Whitsundays
QLD Whitsundays Coral Sea Resort Airlie Beach

QLD finalists, by region: Central Queensland

State Region Hotel name
QLD Central Queensland 1770 Getaway
QLD Central Queensland Emerald Motel Apartments
QLD Central Queensland Gladstone Central Plaza Apartment Hotel
QLD Central Queensland Empire Apartment Hotel Rockhampton

QLD finalists, by region: Tropical North Queensland

State Region Hotel name
QLD Tropical North Queensland Kookas Bed & Breakfast
QLD Tropical North Queensland Bellevue at Trinity Beach
QLD Tropical North Queensland Frangipani Bed & Breakfast
QLD Tropical North Queensland Balboa Holiday Apartments
QLD Tropical North Queensland On the Wallaby Backpackers Lodge

Western Australia

WA finalists, by region: Perth

State Region Hotel name
WA Perth Manuel Towers
WA Perth Durack House Bed and Breakfast
WA Perth Burns Beach Bed & Breakfast
WA Perth Lazy River Boutique Bed and Breakfast
WA Perth COMO The Treasury

WA finalists, by region: Australia’s Coral Coast

State Region Hotel name
WA Australia’s Coral Coast Ningaloo Bed and Breakfast

 WA finalists, by region: Australia’s South West

State Region Hotel name
WA South West Prideau’s of Margaret River
WA South West Rosewood Guesthouse
WA South West Riveresque Hotel Margaret River
WA South West Bushy Lake Chalets
WA South West A Vintners Retreat Bed and Breakfast

WA finalists, by region: Australia’s North West

State Region Hotel name
WA North West Broome Town Bed & Breakfast
WA North West The Billi Resort
WA North West Bali Hai Resort & Spa
WA North West Moonlight Bay Suites
WA North West Blue Seas Resort

Northern Territory

NT finalists, by region: Darwin

State Region Hotel name
NT Darwin Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites
NT Darwin Quest Berrimah Apartments
NT Darwin H 105 Mitchell Hotels & Apartments


TAS finalists

State Region Hotel name
TAS Hobart Apartments on Star Hobart
TAS Hobart Islington Hotel
TAS Hobart Corinda’s Cottages
TAS Coles Bay Freycinet Retreat
TAS Swansea Wagners Cottages

HotelsCombined (hotelscombined.com.au) is the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform.

5 Things to Do in Germany with an Aussie Man


With Germany through to the next round at UEFA Euro Cup and hot favourites to win the football tournament you might be tempted to find out more about this beautiful European place. Germany is an amazing multicultural country which is steeped in history. The people are reserved but welcoming. If you need to convince your boyfriend or husband to travel to Germany on your next holiday, I’d like to tell you about the five best things to do which will appeal to an Aussie man:

  1. If your man is anything like mine, his first priority will be to unwind from his flight with a beer. Book a brewery tour with one of the many well-known German companies depending on what type of beer he prefers. Some of my personal favourites are Erdinger – the world’s largest wheat beer brewery, Holsten in Hamburg which is known for its pale larger, or Löwenbräu in Munich – a popular choice at Oktoberfest. German beer is strictly regulated and brewed based on a traditional recipe and fermentation technique which leads to a distinct aroma and taste you are sure to enjoy.
  2. While in Germany your man may want to hire a German car he’s always wanted to drive, like the latest model Audi, BMW, Porsche or Mercedes-Benz and test it to the limits on the Autobahn. Here you’ll find no federally mandated speed limits. Before you leave Australia he can practice his driving skills on the latest Need for Speed or Gran Turismo video games which are based on real autobahn tracks.
  3. Print off some Google maps and take a self-guided walk along the remains of the Berlin Wall. This famous concrete structure has mostly been torn down, but the trail remains popular with walkers and cyclists. You’ll find information panels along the way to highlight each area. The best place to start is at Checkpoint Charlie which was designated as the single crossing point for the Allied forces. Then follow the trail to see the Schlesischer Busch Command Post. Make sure you stop at the East Side Gallery where you can see over 100 murals, graffiti artworks, slogans and tags. This is the ideal place to practice your selfies. Then find out about the gristly history of Niederkirchnerstrasse and finally end your trek at Berauerstrasse.
  4. You may like to take a guided tour around the Olympiastadion in Berlin, which was originally built for the 1936 summer Olympics. It is Germany’s largest stadium and regularly hosts international football matches and rock concerts. Learn about it’s amazing history through a multimedia guide of the stadium and park. Usain Bolt broke the 100m and 200m world records at this stadium. It was here that Jesse Owns won the long jump in the Olympics and was the first male African American athlete to gain a sponsorship deal (with Adidas).
  5. Germany has the second most decorated Michelin star restaurants in the world. You will fall in love the hearty and healthy food. The country is well known for their traditional sausages with a phenomenal 1,500 different types which contain only the best meat as allowed by law. Eat your way through wursts of all kinds, pork knuckles, dumplings, spätzle and potato frites. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a slice of authentic Black Forest cake soaked in kirsch.

I hope you find some inspiration from these tourist activities which are unique to Germany. These ideas may help to persuade your better half to book some tickets.


Hervey Bay food spots

Humpback whale

Big M and I went off to Hervey Bay for a few nights. We went mainly to go whale-watching. Our big mistake was choosing a cruise based on the “gourmet lunch”. It was a lovely lunch, but we hardly ate any for fear of the sea-sicknesses! Lots of whales, but make sure you pick a large vessel for your whale-watching experience.

Holidays are always a good excuse for eating out, so we tried a number of the local restaurants.

The first night I had “Lamb shanks and vegetables” – normally nothing to write home [or blog] about, except the waif-thin waitress said, “I often have the shanks after work, but I can only manage one!”. I replied that I’d had some help from Big M. Then she said: “Just imagine, in the old days they used to be considered dog food!”

There were two food spots we would recommend. “Gringo’s” do excellent and affordable Mexican food. Big M had the nachos, and I had two tacos with Mexican rice. They can adjust the chilli level to your liking, or in my case leave it out.

The other place we enjoyed was “Arkarra” restaurant and Balinese tea gardens. There is a lovely walk around the lagoons with plenty of wildlife (mainly birds) to look out for. Big M had the “club sandwich”, and I had “calamari with sweet potato spiral fries”. Both were good, so….

Lambs Fry

We decided to visit again for breakfast. I was in an adventurous frame of mind and decided to try the “Lamb’s fry and bacon with onion gravy”. Big M had “scrambled eggs and bacon”. Lamb’s Fry is usually liver, and maybe other pieces of offal. Its robust texture goes well in pies. I really enjoyed it, although perhaps a little too overpowering for breakfast regularly.