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'Best of the best': Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats honoured in global awards

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Grateful guests are repaying the “mountains of hospitality” they encounter on the Sunshine Coast with rave reviews that are cementing the region on the world hotels map.

The 2022 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best awards categories reveals the most-loved hotels around the world, with 11 subcategories of accommodation, including three new ones: Out of the Ordinary Hotels, Hotels on the Water, and Mountain Resorts and Lodges.

Seven Sunshine Coast hotels have been recognised in the latest community-powered ranking by TripAdvisor customers – some in multiple categories.

The region dominated Experiential and Romance accommodation in Australia and has done exceptionally well in the world rankings in the 20th year of the hotel awards.

The Falls Montville.

One of the area’s boutique players that’s big on welcomes – The Falls Montville (Kondallilla Falls Rd) – won a swag of awards:
• Best Small Hotels World: The Falls Montville No.4, Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat No.15.
• Best Romance Hotels World: The Falls Montville No.3, Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat No.9.
• Best Mountain Lodges and Resorts World: The Falls Montville No.5.
• Best Small Hotel Australia: The Falls Montville No.1 (Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat No.2, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat No.7).
• Best Small Hotel South Pacific: The Falls Montville No.1 (Bli Bli House No.3, and Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat at Montville No.14).
• Best Romance Hotel South Pacific: The Falls Montville No.1 (Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat was runner-up, and Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat No.14).

In addition, Maleny’s Blue Summit Cottages won the award for Best B&B in Australia (Alaya Escape at Eudlo was No.5, and Avocado Grove at Flaxton No.14) and was named 23rd in the world in that category.

Element on Coolum Beach is flying the flag for beachside hotels in the awards.

Beachside, Element on Coolum Beach was named No.7 in the Best Hotel in Australia category and No.12 for the South Pacific.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the region offered one of the most enviable ranges of high-quality boutique accommodation in Australia.

“We have the perfect setting for luxury boutique hotels, B&Bs, lodges and self-contained accommodation, and the hinterland – with its spectacular scenery – is where they have excelled,” he said.

“There is undoubtedly a strong trend towards nature-based ‘rejuvenation’ and romantic holidays, and these awards highlight that our hinterland properties are constantly delivering memorable holiday experiences.

“It’s great to see so many of our accommodation properties featured in the ‘Best of the Best’, and we look forward to welcoming new additions like HOLA in Eumundi and Maleny Lodge in future awards.”

You never know who you might meet at The Falls Montville, including a tawny frogmouth chick.

Alan Dryden, of The Falls Montville, said he and his wife Aryna had been in Sydney when they heard the news of the awards and celebrated with “a couple of bottles of Barossa red and very nice French champagne with family”.

It was a double celebration because the Drydens were able to meet their 21-month-old grandson Freddie Wolf Dryden from New Zealand for the first time – kept apart due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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“We’ve actually featured in Small Hotels, Romance and Mountain Lodge (categories),” he said.

“I don’t think anybody else who’s won awards around the world in this Travellers’ Choice has been featured in three different types of category.

“So, that’s quite an accomplishment from our point of view.

“My wife Aryna, she’s got wonderful attention to detail and absolutely superb standards so I think that underpins the delivery of our experience.

Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat.

“Not only have we won these awards but … we’re the No.1 traveller-ranked property in the whole of Australia as we speak – whether small or large – on the live TripAdvisor platform right now.”

He paid tribute to the efforts of fellow hotel and resort operators around Montville in creating a pocket of excellence in the Coast hotel industry.

“Last year, Narrows Escape, one of our neighbours up here, was named the No.1 romance hotel on the entire planet,” he said.

“Blue Summit have excelled up here as well: they are the No.1 B&B in the country. What a fabulous operation.

“Overall, if you look at Spicers, Secrets on the Lake, Montville Misty View, Lovestone, Belles (At Montville), Montagues (Of Montville), Kondalilla Eco Resort, Lillypillys and several more top notch operators, Montville is the boutique accommodation capital of Australia.

Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat.

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Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award winners are among the top 1% of listings on TripAdvisor.

So, Element on Coolum Beach managers David and Susannah Hart are equally thrilled to have made the Best of the Best list once again and thanked guests for their support of the beachside address on David Low Way.

Guests voted with their computer mouse for Element on Coolum Beach.

“After taking out the top spot in 2021, we are proud to appear in the Top 25 again this year, taking out No.7 for Australia and No.12 for South Pacific, they said.

“This returns us to the Top 25 Best of the Best category.

“Thank you to all of the fantastic guests who share their holiday experiences, enabling us to receive such an honour.

“Our impressive team ensured the very best service was provided to our guests.

“We appreciate that memories last forever, and we look forward to seeing you again soon to create a few more in our slice of paradise in Coolum Beach, Queensland.”

To see all the 2022 winners in 11 subcategories, visit the website.

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