Dave talks with Sarah Oakes after the Gourmet Traveller Awards Top Hotels 2018

A new boutique hotel at the heart of Sydney’s most exciting inner-city neighbourhood has been named Australia’s Hotel of the Year in the fifth annual Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide Awards.

Paramount House Hotel, in a 1940s warehouse in Surry Hills, shares space in the former Australian headquarters of Paramount Picture Studios with a well-established café, an
art-house cinema, a health club, co-working space and, coming soon, a highly anticipated restaurant and bar. The 29-room hotel was designed to give guests “a sense of place”,
says co-owner Russell Beard, “something that doesn’t feel generic and offers a real slice of the area”.

“It takes a village to make a great hotel,” wrote GT’s panel of expert reviewers. “Paramount House Hotel’s unique appeal lies in the strength of the building’s creative community and the immediate neighbourhood.”

Another newcomer, the wharfside Macq01in Hobart, was named Large Hotel of the Year, and also took home the Best Minibar award for its “maxibar” of proudly Tasmanian products.

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The award for Boutique Hotel of the Year went to the wildly unconventional vineyard-lair of Jackalope, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. It was also awarded the coveted gong for Best Club Sandwich for a novel version featuring drunken chicken, pickled green tomatoes and bacon jam. And the pioneering Lake House, in the Victorian spa town of Daylesford, won Regional Hotel of the Year.

The awards are part of the 2018 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide featuring the nation’s top 50 hotels – published with the June issue of Gourmet Traveller, on sale today.

Sarah Oakes, Gourmet Traveller’s editor, congratulated all 50 top hotels featured in Australia’s only national hotel guide. “We’re seeing more hotels championing local makers and produce, and thinking hard about how to connect guests with the neighbourhood,” she said. “We’re excited to showcase the new ideas and achievements of a dynamic industry that’s central to the lives of gourmet travellers.”

The guide is produced by a team of reviewers from the country’s leading food and travel magazine, who check in unannounced and pay their way. Reviewers and editors compare their experiences to choose the nation’s top 50 hotels and the best performers in 11 award categories, from best minibar to best breakfast.

A new award this year, for Best Bed, went to Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide. Other winners were Halcyon House at Cabarita Beach in northern New South Wales (Best Breakfast), Spicers Clovelly Estate on the Sunshine Coast hinterland (Best Service), Elements of Byron in Byron Bay (Best Pool), and Crown Towers Perth (Best Bar). (See the full list
of award winners below.)

In addition to the nation’s top 50 hotels, the guide also lists Australia’s leading lodges and resorts, and the hottest Australian hotel openings coming up.

2018 GOURMET TRAVELLER AUSTRALIAN HOTEL GUIDE AWARD WINNERS

Hotel of the Year: Paramount House Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Large Hotel of the Year: Macq01, Hobart, Tas

Boutique Hotel of the Year: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Regional Hotel of the Year: Lake House, Daylesford, Vic

Best Service: Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville, Qld

Best Breakfast: Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, NSW

Best Pool: Elements of Byron, Byron Bay, NSW

Best Bar: TWR, Crown Towers Perth, WA

Best Bed: Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Best Club Sandwich: Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Best Minibar: Macq01, Hobart, Tas