World's best hotels named

Voted world's best

Several Australian properties have featured in Travel + Leisure's 2009 World's Best Awards readers' survey.

In the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region, The Langham Melbourne and Crown Towers, also in Melbourne, were ranked first and second in the best city hotel category. Shangri-La Hotel Sydney was third.

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa and Hayman Island were third and fourth in the best resort category but the big winners overall in this region were two New Zealand properties.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, both on the North Island, took out regional honours in the resort category and achieved the distinction of being named in the world's top 100 hotels, at 16 and 21 respectively.

The world's top hotel, according to T+L readers globally, is Bushmans Kloof in South Africa. The 2009 survey was the 14th in the series but the first time readers of the titles outside the US were able to vote.

Big night out with Waugh and Dior

CLARIDGE'S, the ultra-smart Mayfair hotel, is joining Christian Dior to create a dressing table service that, according to the hotel, arms you with the necessities for a glamorous night out.

The dressing table is set with four classic Christian Dior fragrances - Miss Dior, Diorella, Diorissimo and Dioressence - and a beauty kit of make-up essentials including a ruby red lipstick. (What other colour would you wear for a big night out?)

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There's also a cream silk Claridge's dressing gown personalised with your initials, marabou mule slippers (high-heeled ones with feathers of which actresses in films of the 1940s were so fond) and a rose-pink cashmere eyemask.

You also get a book by British author Evelyn Waugh and a cocktail from The Fumoir, the hotel's bar.

The package is £300 ($611) but only available if you are staying in the Linley and Claridge's suites. You don't get much change out of $1000 a night when you book into either one.

See www.claridges.co.uk.

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