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
NSW finalists, by region: Central Coast
NSW finalists, by region: Newcastle
NSW finalists, by region: North Coast
NSW finalists, by region: South Coast
NSW finalists, by region: Snowy Mountains
NSW finalists, by region: Blue Mountains
NSW finalists, by region: Lord Howe Island
NSW finalists, by region: Hunter
Australian Capital Territory
ACT finalists, by region:
SA finalists, by region: Adelaide
SA finalists, by region: Adelaide Hills
SA finalists, by region: Barossa
SA finalists, by region: Limestone Coast
SA finalists, by region: Kangaroo Island
VIC finalists, by region: Melbourne
VIC finalists, by region: Great Ocean Road
VIC finalists, by region: Spa Country
VIC finalists, by region: Peninsula
QLD finalists, by region: Brisbane
QLD finalists, by region: Gold Coast
QLD finalists, by region: Sunshine Coast
QLD finalists, by region: Whitsundays
QLD finalists, by region: Central Queensland
QLD finalists, by region: Tropical North Queensland
WA finalists, by region: Perth
WA finalists, by region: Australia’s Coral Coast
WA finalists, by region: Australia’s South West
WA finalists, by region: Australia’s North West
NT finalists, by region: Darwin
HotelsCombined (hotelscombined.com.au) is the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform.
Just for a bit of fun, I thought I’d list the top food trends of the moment:
- Coconut products – coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut yoghurt. Did you know you could even get coconut vinegar and coconut sugar?
- Fermented foods – are sell outs at our local markets, but I’m starting to see it pop up in the popular press with recipes for people to try making them at home.
- Bacon wrapped foods – including plaited bacon covering roasts and eggs wrapped in bacon ‘muffins’.
- Whole roasted cauliflower
- Grass-fed meat – because it is healthier for you and healthier for the animals. It’s starting to appear in the major supermarkets.
- Drinking out of glass jars and old-fashioned milk bottles. Now selling in Kmart.
- Boutique coffee roasters
- Sugar-free diet. Lead by Sarah Wilson and her I Quit Sugar books.
- The paleo diet.
- Watercress is the new kale. Recently topping a super foods list.
Ghee and lard, intermittent fasting and making your own alternate milks just missed out. I’ve also noticed pineapple motifs are becoming popular.
What food trends have you noticed recently?
Photo by Jan
Here is a list of some of the Australian based Paleo and primal food bloggers and websites:
Photo by Jan
Here’s our super long list of paleo and primal food in Australia.
Tip – Just ask your local butcher if the meat is grass fed? And how it is finished? We were surprised to find grass fed meat is often not advertised.
- Almond butter – Macro – Woolworths
- Chocolate – look for sugar free brands – Lindt 85%, Green and Blacks 85% – Woolworths, Coles, IGA
- Organic dates – Coles but not Woolworths
- Coconut milk and cream with no additives/emulsifiers etc: Ayam-brand coconut milk in the Asian section. There is also an organic line. – Woolworths.
- Coconut yoghurt: Coyo
- Grass fed meat – Aldi, Coles, Woolworths
- Organic shredded coconut, Macro-brand: Woolworths
- Chocolate, coconut sugar etc – Loving Earth
- Free range chicken – Coles and Woolworths
- 180 nutrition protein powder
- Paleo Hero – muesli, bars and supplements
- Grass fed butter – Mainland Butter and Anchor butter and Westgold
- beef jerky – Geronimo Jerky
- Organic coconut oil
- Nuilife coconut oil
- Spiral Foods coconut oil
- Various – Honest to Goodness
Adelaide and South Australia
- Meat – organic/grass-fed etc: P&O organic butchers, located in the city in the David Jones basement in Food Glorious Food, and also on Magill Road. The Magill Road one is far more useful if you are looking for the more ‘uncommon’ parts of meat.
- Coconut Oil – available in several places in and around the Central Market, but for the best value/selection I go to Goodies and Grains in the Central Markets (Gouger St side).
- Coconut Flour – order it through the health food store in Burnside Village.
- Spices/nuts/dutch pressed cocoa/agave nectar – Goodies and Grains in Central Market
Brisbane and Queensland
- Grass fed beef: Super Butchers have a wide selection of grass-fed beef.
- Grass fed meat: Meatcart – Online butchers
- Queensland Natural Beef at Toogoolawah have grass-fed beef, lamb and pork
- Gympie St Terrace Butchery is the place to go. You can even order nitrate free bacon before hand. It’s all grass fed and local meats.
- My Butcher in Duke St also stock some pretty darned nice beef
- Eumundi has an organic butcher as well
- Northey Markets – stock ‘bath’ milk
Canberra and Australian Capital Territory
- Coconut flour: Healthy life, Woden Westfield. IGA Deakin
- Griffith shops has an organic butcher
- Mountain Creek Whole Foods
- Nut Shoppe at the Fyshwick markets good for coconut flour and oils and nuts
Melbourne and Victoria
- Supplements and stock Wicked Whey (choc) and Naked Whey (unflavoured), which are good, clean, locally-made, grass-fed whey protein products – Great Earth
- Kefir – Polish deli at Vic Market
- Rendina’s Butchery in Balwyn stock a huge range of organic, bio-dynamic and free-range meats, including homemade smallgoods (and are lovely people).
- The Vic Market is great with loads of super fresh organic veggies, nuts and spices, and the Chicken Pantry in the shop section sells free range and some organic poultry and game. McIntosh’s sell organic coffee beans.
- Cherry Tree Organics in Beaconsfield are butchers selling their own organic/bio-dynamic lamb and beef as well as pork, chicken and smallgoods. They also have vegetables and some fruit and order bath milk for anyone who likes to take milk baths. They also stock True Organic butter and cheeses.
- I get coconut flour, flakes, and a couple of different brands of oil from Go Vita Berwick
Perth and Western Australia
- Free range eggs – Wanneroo markets, local IGAs have Kalbarri eggs
- Pork Crackle- there’s a local brand called Alan’s Pork Crackle, based in Maddington, you have to hunt down which local IGAs or Farmer Jacks stock them.
- Spices, alternative flours, chia seeds etc – Wanneroo markets.
- Coconut flour – Health Kick stores have Nui brand, can ask them to order it in
- Coconut oil – Health Kick stores and some Friendlies Chemists have them too.
- Cocoa powder Green and Blacks- Health Kick stores
- Grass Fed Beef at Subiaco’s farmer’s markets and frozen raw cows milk
Sydney and New South Wales
- Grassfed beef: Hudson meats in Surry Hills is almost exclusively grass fed. Additionally, I just asked my local butcher, Michael’s Meats (very well priced, in the Surry Hills shopping village) whether his meat was grass fed and he said that almost all of it is. Additionally, Eveleigh Markets near Sydney University on a Saturday grass fed beef stall (Green Hills Organic).
- grassfed beef, lamb and goat from farms in Bowral – Sydney Meats, Farm Fresh to your Door
- Fivefingers in Sydney City. They are Australian priced though so cost way more than in the USA. Excellent customer service!
- Kefir grains, coconut yoghurt and macadamia butter: About Life in Bondi Junction, Sydney
- Enoki mushrooms – Paddy’s Markets mushroom stand for $1.50 a bunch. Asian Thai-kee IGA above China Town Paddy’s Markets has the same enoki for $1.90
- Coconut/palm sugar: Thai kee IGA above Paddy’s Markets in Chinatown. They have all the dried seaweeds (and some fresh (frozen) too.
- The Free Range Butcher, Sydney
- the Grass Fed Butcher, Balmain markets
- Nitrite free bacon: Sam the Butcher, Bondi Rd, Bondi.
- Spaghetti squash: Norton St Grocer in Westfield, Bondi Junction
- Real sauerkraut: the Russkis Deli on Bond Rd, Bondi
- Adam’s Quality Meats in Gerringong, NSW has only grass-fed beef and lamb.
- Supplements – iherb.com – the best place to buy affordable vitamins
Please leave a comment below if you have anything to add or would like your company to be listed.
Here’s a list of the top 49 essential cookbooks as voted for on Food52.com are as follows in order of most votes:
What is on your list of essential cookbooks?
Here’s a list of some of the most famous producers of the world’s finest chocolate. MC means that they have been given the title master chocolatier.
My favourite chocolate is Camille Bloch. We had little squares of the Swiss chocolate as favours at our wedding.
Who is your favourite chocolate producer?
The United States of America
Here are some of the herb seed sellers in Australia:
I’ve been doing some research on keeping chickens in our backyard. We are allowed six fowls according to the Brisbane City Council:
Household premises with a total area of more than 800 square metres can keep up to 20 fowl, including ducks, geese and peacocks without a permit.
If your residential premises has a total area less than 800 square metres you can keep up to six fowl.
Poultry sheds must be set back at least one metre from a dividing fence.
I’m pretty sure we will just keep chickens as Matt says ducks and geese are really messy. I was expecting to see something in the law about not allowing roosters.
I’m tossing up between Australorps which Jackie French raves about – they are good layers and make good eating. They are docile, great mothers and are good if you have children. Better yet, they are an Australian breed so they are adjusted to our climate. Silkies will leave your vegetable beds alone and make excellent pets for kids. They are placid and tolerate being handled. We eventually decided on three Australorps, so that we’ll have enough eggs for ourselves and some extra to sell or give away.
- chook house, which includes weatherproof shelter and a perch
- nest and laying box
- dummy egg
- organic feed, eg from Country Heritage Feeds
- shell grit and dirt
Jackie French suggests growing the following plants for chooks:
- Avocado trees
- Chilacayote melons
- Fruit trees
- Grains and maize
- Potatoes (cooked)
- Tree lucerne
- as well as sweet potato, pumpkin, arrowroot, chestnuts, honey locust, taro, yams, kumara, jerusalem artichoke, and chokos.
Others have suggested comfrey and herbs to repel lice and intestinal worms, including feverfew, tansy, rue and wormwood. It’s ideal to plant these around the chook house.
- Backyard Poultry Naturally – Alanna Moore
- Chook Book – Jackie French (excellent)
- Healthy Free Range hens – Neil Christensen
- How to Care for Your Poultry – New Zealand Lifestyle Block
- Keeping Chickens – An Australian Guide
I love this video by David Wolf on how to care for your teeth.
Next time you get your teeth checked look for a biological dentist or a holistic dentist.
If you think you might need fillings make sure you ask for someone who does mercury (amalgam) free fillings.
A good biological dentist will remove any existing mercury fillings safely using a rubber dam and dispose of them correctly. Make sure they have a follow-up protocol.
Your teeth are alive, so look after them.
Here is a list of some of the biological dentists I am aware of:
New South Wales
- Dr Gregory Gibb, Auckland
- Dr Mike Godrey, Bay of Plenty
Please leave a comment below if you have seen any other holistic dentists and can recommend them.
If you are passionate about this subject, you can visit:
Australians for Mercury Free Dentistry
I decided to expand our selection of fruit trees in our backyard. Unfortunately, I didn’t own any useful gardening books on fruit trees, particularly ones that would help me decide which fruit trees are suitable for Brisbane’s climate and are less than 5 metres so that I can cram in a ton of different trees.
Fruit trees for Brisbane
Here’s my mega list of fruit trees suitable for Brisbane:
- acerola cherry
- apples, dwarf sub-tropical (Golden Dorsett , Tropical Anna, Tropical Sweet)
- avocado, dwarf
- barbados cherry
- blueberries (Sharp Blue – self-pollinating and low chill)
- crab apple
- custard apple
- dragon fruit
- longan (protected from birds and possums)
- macadamia (pot)
- mandarin, dwarf (freemont)
- mango, dwarf
- mulberry, dwarf (red shatoot)
- native raspberry (scrambling bush)
- nectarine (low chill)
- orange – washington; Lanes late; Valencia and red ruby;
- persimmon (but you’d need to prune it to under 5m)
- sea grape tree
- thai apple
Thank you to the knowledgeable people on the Brisbane Local Food ning who helped to compile this great list of small Brisbane suitable fruit trees.
I’d love to hear if you are successfully growing any other fruit trees in the Brisbane area?
If you live outside of Brisbane, you may like the list of trees for a suburban food forest.