Best Australian luxury hotels: Six of the best

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No ifs, no buts, no bull. A luxury hotel should be opulent, thrilling and have a wow factor that elevates it above the rest. Lots of hotels and apartments claim to be luxe but when you arrive you find it's more 'Fawlty' than fabulous.

Star Ratings Australia ensures your stay lives up to the hype with a double-edged assessment system. The Star Ratings symbol is a mark of quality determined by more than 200 criteria and the Traveller's Ratings are aggregated assessments from past guests who have rated the property or posted a review on more than 100 websites. Together, they represent the most complete and accurate accommodation evaluations available.

InterContinental Hotel, Sydney

A magnificent hotel from a luxe stable, the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney's CBD is the perfect base from which to explore the Harbour City. The Intercon – as it is known to its many satisfied friends – offers 509 rooms and 28 suites, all lavishly–appointed and superbly serviced.

The three restaurants and bars on the lower floors are housed within the sandstone facades of the 1851 Treasury Building and the heritage is maintained inside. Relax with a cocktail on the top floor wraparound terrace overlooking the harbour before enjoying an a la carte or degustation meal at 127 dining. And if you've booked a room or suite with a Harbour view you can watch the evening show as the city's waterway twinkles below.  

Explore local Sydney icons such as nearby Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Botanic Gardens and The Rocks or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take in a show at the Opera House and join a dance class at the Sydney Dance Company. The possibilities – and fascinations – of the Emerald City are endless.

Star Ratings: 5 Star

Star Ratings Traveller's Rating: 9.1/10

(2016 Star Ratings Australia Gold List award)

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www.icsydney.com.au 

The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, Brisbane

Our Travellers' reviews rated The New Inchcolm the best in the country and it's not hard to see why. A clever design layered over a preserved heritage façade and an art-deco threshold with modern elegant finishes throughout makes this impeccably-presented hotel one of Australia's most intriguing boutique accommodations.

The sumptuous rooms, lofts and suites and the funky design touches of the hotel may make it hard to leave but the central Brisbane CBD location demands you do. Check out the retail therapy at nearby Queen Street Mall or get cultural at the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre and QPAC Museum. Then it's back to the Inchcolm for a drink at the stately Socialites Bar and an a la carte or five or eight course tasting menu dinner at the Australian Good Food Guide Chef's Hat-Awarded Thomson's Reserve restaurant.

Star Ratings: 5 Star Hotel

Star Ratings Traveller's Rating 9.4/10

(2016 Star Ratings Australia Gold List award: Australia's #1 Hotel)

www.inchcolm.com.au

Coconut Grove, Port Douglas, Queensland

A truly exclusive and luxe accommodation of 33 spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments in the beautiful tropical north Queensland town of Port Douglas, about an hour north of Cairns. Modern and stylishly finished with natural stone, satin bench tops, metallic painted artworks, premium furnishings and a light colour palette to complement the surrounds, Coconut Grove is configured for relaxation and entertaining. All master bedroom ensuites have large spa baths, plush robes and L'Occitane products, while the balcony and penthouse level apartments both have private plunge pools and the penthouse level also boasts a huge rooftop terrace with a full outdoor kitchen.

An ideal base from which to explore the Daintree Rainforest or the Great Barrier Reef, Coconut Grove is also within walking distance of Four Mile Beach and just around the corner from Port's Macrossan Street, where cool boutiques, superb restaurants and bars await.

Star Ratings: 5 Star

Star Ratings Traveller's Rating 9.3/10

(2016 Star Ratings Australia Gold List award)

www.coconutgroveportdouglas.com.au

East Hotel and Apartments, Canberra

In case you weren't aware, Canberra is the new the capital of cool and no one does it better than East Hotel and Apartments, located between the vibrant hubs of Manuka and the Kingston foreshore precinct. Featuring large bathrooms, fully-equipped gourmet kitchenettes, laundries, balconies and an eco-friendly design, East is also renowned for its art and service and the friendly concierges will point out their favourite watering holes, shops and restaurants. Kids can borrow an X-box with up-to-date games, help themselves to the lolly jars, watch a movie or play in the cubby room.  

Jump on a bike and explore the nearby National Gallery, Manuka Oval and pool and the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets and then grab a drink at Joe's Bar and dinner at the literary-themed Muse restaurant, which has an old style book shop attached.

Star Ratings: 4.5 Star

Star Ratings Traveller's Rating 9.4/10

(2016 Star Ratings Australia Gold List award)

www.easthotel.com.au

Crown Metropol, Perth

Stand tall ... Crown Metropol Perth.

Situated on the banks of the Swan River just ten minutes from the CBD, Crown is a luxe experience for both business and holiday travellers. Top-end restaurants and bars, 24-hour casino, a theatre and the excellent Isika Day Spa are just some of the facilities that make Crown Metropol a go-to accommodation option when visiting the golden west. The recently refurbished rooms and suites boast natural light, high-tech entertainment systems, plush furnishings, executive desks and spacious bathrooms.

The bucolic Swan Valley food and wine region is just half an hour away or you can head into town and discover the botanic masterpiece Kings Park overlooking the river and city, the Northbridge entertainment and gallery precinct, the Bell Tower and Perth Zoo. Take a ferry to bohemian Fremantle or idyllic Rottnest Island for a quokka selfie, tour the riverfront by Segway or bike and return to Crown for a relaxing dip in the resort-style pool before drinks and dinner.

Star Ratings: 5 Star

Star Ratings Traveller's Rating: 8.8/10

(2016 Star Ratings Australia Gold List award)

www.crownhotels.com.au/crown-metropol-perth 

RACV Torquay Resort, Torquay, Victoria

RACV Torquay Resort.

RACV Torquay Resort.

The brag-worthy address of 1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay is where you'll find this amazing golf, beach and spa resort between Torquay and Jan Juc surf beaches, just 75 minutes from Melbourne or 40 minutes from Avalon Airport. The resort is set on the Torquay Golf Course and boasts ocean views and direct beach access, as well as a family-friendly restaurant, Day Spa, indoor pool and children's playground.

Pick up some cool beach wear at Surf City Plaza and don't miss the Australian National Surfing Museum - the world's largest surfing and beach culture museum. Check out world-famous Bells Beach, home to the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing Classic or head out on the Great Ocean Road passing through the Otway Ranges and along the Shipwreck Coast.

Star Ratings: 5 Star

Star Ratings Traveller's Rating 9.4/10 [Outstanding]

(2016 Star Ratings Australia Gold List award)

www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/racv/resorts/RACV+Resorts/RACV-Torquay-Resort

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