The Best Hotels
Australia & the Pacific
In this part of the world, the greatest stays are hip, energetic locales that understand presentation and design, and have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends. But the best of the best in Australia, New Zealand, and greater Oceania go well beyond avocado toast and textured wallpaper—the hotels on this list respect their settings, curating guest experiences that explore the local culture and rugged terrain, sea, and sky–and practice smart ecological methods to sustain and preserve the natural, awe-inspiring environment that makes this such a unique corner of the world.
Rich & Famous
Taupo, New Zealand
Minutes from Huka Falls along the banks of the Waikato River, this stately lodge is a romantic, worry-free stay, with a breakfast, cocktail hour, and five-star dining experience that are all included in the price. Private hedged gardens, oversized modern fireplaces, and chandeliers; rolling manicured lawns; and jewel-toned interiors all make up this immaculate property, with attentive, warm service that’s quite literally good enough for the Queen of England (and a whole slew of other royals and celebrities who have graced the impressive guest list here). The hotel curates exceptional experience packages, which are just enough to pry you from your comfortable leather chair: private helicopter tours of nearby volcanoes, fishing for trout that you’ll later watch the chef prepare for you, guided art gallery tours, and cultural expeditions led by the Maori people.
Lon Retreat & Spa
Point Lonsdale, Australia
The astounding beauty of this peninsula—200 acres of land between rocky hills and ocean beaches—creates an experience that is luxurious and unique. Here, seven multi-roomed guest suites are laid out with extreme care, providing plenty of privacy and quiet, each designed with a different vibe and showcasing natural elements of the amazing property. At this adults-only retreat, privacy especially comes in handy at the spa, where you’ll be soaking in an oversized, bowl-shaped tub of locally-sourced mineral water, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and unspoiled views.
Paramount House Hotel
In Sydney’s hip Surry Hills neighborhood, this fun hotel is a hub for local creatives and visitors who want a glimpse into the lives of Sydney’s most fashionable residents. Rooms here have a repurposed feel, with recycled building materials and construction, but they’re also cozy—the type of room that feels great to come home to after a long day of sightseeing. Comfortable beds are outfitted in linen sheets and Seljak recycled wool blankets, while the shower and sink are stocked with Aesop products. The mini bar is stacked with hyper-local snacks and drinks. A movie theater, a rooftop health club with free yoga classes for guests, a semi-hidden basement bar, and a cafe serving quintessential Australian breakfast staples (and a killer flat white) round out the offerings at this boutique hotel that’s much more than a place to stay.
Wellington, New Zealand
This design-forward hotel has an eye for the glitzy and millennial, with plenty of metallic and gold-lacquered accents, mirrored surfaces, and blocky black-and-white decor. Rooms are spacious and accommodating, while the lobby resembles a contemporary art gallery with sophisticated lighting and museum-grade pieces. Every meal is an eclectic, fancy tea party at Hippopotamus–perhaps QT Wellington’s most raved-about feature—a restaurant enshrined in crystal chandeliers, mismatched parlor chairs, and looming stuffed peacocks—that serves a killer nouveau French menu. Take the fun decor, warm atmosphere, and attention to detail, and add the fact that you’re right along the harbor near Wellington’s best shops and museums, and you’ve got the perfect city stay.
Malolo Island, Fiji
Guests are ushered via speedboat or helicopter to this island resort of white sands, clear blue waters, and starry night skies, where spacious villas enclosed in private gardens have private pools. But it’s not all island hideaway here. There’s a wide range of activities, food and drink outlets, and day trips to choose from. Surf the reef breaks with the resort’s skilled instructors or indulge in all kinds of watersports; tour the gardens and farms and learn about the island’s many sustainability efforts; make visits to nearby small villages or other islands; or indulge in the creative, holistic treatments at the sprawling spa.