Perfect score: Australian resort named world's best

Does the perfect hotel exist? Voters in the 2012 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards think so, naming Qualia on Hamilton Island as Best in the World and Best Resort in the Oceania region.

The luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef scored 100 out of 100 for its rooms, service, food, location, design and activities and is the first Australian property to be voted No. 1 and only one of four properties in the survey's 25-year history to be judged perfect.

The survey of 46,476 people nominated more than 1300 winners (a minimum number of responses is required to be eligible for an award) in categories of cities, islands, cruises and airlines.

Set among eucalypts on the island's northern-most tip, the resort has a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:1 and 60 pavilions with views of the surrounding Whitsunday Islands and Coral Sea. The resort's luxurious Beach House has a 10-person dining area, pool and separate guesthouse.

Chairman of Hamilton Island Enterprises Sandy Oatley says the award is testament to the original vision for Qualia when the island was purchased nearly 10 years ago.

''It [the vision] was to create a luxury oasis that maximised the sheer beauty of the idyllic location with a standard of service that was uniquely Australian, yet that would meet and exceed the expectations of the most discerning travellers from around the world.''

The resort plays host to an outdoor performance by the Australian Ballet and the annual sailing regatta Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Also on the Conde Nast Top 100 list Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Maldives was No.2 with a score of 99.6, and No.3 the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland, New Zealand 99.2.

Australia was also well represented in the awards' Top Cities in the World list, with Sydney coming in at number 6. The surprising number one was the US city of Charleston, North Carolina, with Cape Town, Florence, Bangkok and Vancouver rounding out the top five.


Qualia Pavilions cost from $975 a night and include breakfast, non-alcoholic beverages, two-seater golf buggy, chauffeur service and return airport/marina transfers. The Beach House will set you back $5000 a night in high season.

The resort also rates highly on TripAdvisor, the world's most popular travel review site, with the vast majority of the 305 reviews giving Qualia a five-out-of-five score.

Read: A gourmet getaway at Qualia

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