• Sun. May 28th, 2023

Pinetrees Lodge on Australia’s Lord Howe Island named best hotel in South Pacific

Tripadvisor has named a sixth-generation family-owned hotel on a tiny Australian island as the best in the country – and the South Pacific.

Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island off the coast of NSW has taken out the title of ‘Top Hotel in Australia’ and ‘Top Hotel in the South Pacific’ in Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotel Awards, announced on Wednesday.

Lord Howe Island only allows 400 tourists at a time and is known for its pristine white-sand beaches and hiking trails.

The awards are now in their 21st year and name the highest-rated properties, according to guest reviews.

“The winners are calculated based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected over the 12-month period (January 1 to December 31, 2022) from travellers around the world on Tripadvisor,” senior communications specialist Alison Orren told news.com.au.

“We now have more than one billion reviews and opinions on the site. Quality and quantity matter, as they reveal the wisdom of the crowds and inform these lists.”

Pinetrees Lodge has been open to guests since about 1895 and is currently owned by Dani Rourke and Luke Hanson, sixth-generation family members of the original owners.

The property has more than 700 5/5 reviews on Tripadvisor.

It is not the first time the accommodation has taken out the award.

It most recently won it in 2020 (for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2019), but Ms Rourke and Mr Hanson said the hotel took a hit when the Covid pandemic came along.

“Pinetrees Lodge is a full-service hotel. We talk to our guests, carry their bags, deliver picnics, light wood-fired barbecues, guide our groups through hiking and swimming adventures, and serve beautiful food four times per day,” the pair said.

“Trying to limit the contact between guests and staff at Pinetrees went completely against the grain of what we do. We’ll never be a ‘contactless check-in’ kind of place.”

Ms Rourke and Mr Hanson said it was a “genuine relief” to go back to normal operations and start seeing positive reviews again.

However, they said they found their win “mind-boggling” given the “serious competition”, and thanked their “incredible” team.

An adults-only retreat in Palm Cove, Queensland came runner-up on both this year’s list of best hotels in Australia and best hotels in the South Pacific.

The Reef House Adults Boutique Tropical Escapes has a pool butler service, and on-site yoga and wellness classes.

While Australia did not appear on the list of top 10 world’s best hotels, the country did have some global success in other award categories.

Yarra Gables in Victoria was ranked number three in the world in the B&B/Inn category, and took out the top spot on the Australian and the South Pacific lists.

Top 10 hotels in the world:

1. Rambagh Palace – Jaipur, India

2. Ozen Reserve Bolifushi – Bolifushi Island, Maldives

3. Hotel Colline de France – Gramado, Brazil

4. Shangri-La The Shard, London – London, UK

5. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong – Hong Kong, China

6. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

7. Romance Istanbul Hotel – Istanbul, Türkiye

8. Ikos Dassia – Dassia, Greece

9. Ikos Andalusia – Estepona, Spain

10. Padma Resort Ubud – Puhu, Indonesia

Top 10 hotels in the South Pacific:

1. Pinetrees Lodge – Lord Howe Island, Australia

2. The Reef House Adults Boutique Tropical Escapes – Palm Cove, Australia

3. Tokoriki Island Resort – Tokoriki Island, Fiji

4. The Remington Muswellbrook – Muswellbrook, Australia

5. RACV Torquay Resort – Torquay, Australia

6. Kingsford Smith Motel – Brisbane, Australia

7. Element on Coolum Beach – Coolum Beach, Australia

8. Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort – Sigatoka, Fiji

9. The St Regis Bora Bora Resort – Bora Bora, French Polynesia

10. Little National Hotel Sydney – Sydney, Australia

Top 10 hotels in Australia:

1. Pinetrees Lodge, Lord Howe Island (NSW)

2. The Reef House Adults Boutique Tropical Escapes, Palm Cove (Qld)

3. The Remington Muswellbrook, Muswellbrook (NSW)

4. RACV Torquay Resort, Torquay (Vic)

5. Kingsford Smith Motel, Brisbane (Qld)

6. Element on Coolum Beach, Coolum Beach (Qld)

7. Little National Hotel, Sydney (NSW)

8. Zagame’s House, Melbourne (Vic)

9. Sovereign Park Motor Inn, Ballarat (Vic)

10. Mansi on Raymond, Sale (Vic)

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