Winning! Australia’s World-Beating Resorts



Tasmania’s Saffire Freycinet (above), a luxury hotel with spectacular water and mountain views, was named Best Boutique Hotel in the World at the prestigious World Boutique Hotel Awards in London last week.

The family-run resort was established in 2010 in Freycinet National Park on Tasmania’s east coast, overlooking Great Oyster Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula and The Hazards mountains.


It has already won a swag of local design and architecture awards because of its location within the Freycinet National Park but this is the first recognition at international level.

‘We are very humbled; it’s something we went into without any preconceptions and to have won is lovely,’ said Justin King, the hotel’s general manager. ‘Freycinet offers what we call ultra-luxury and we offer the guests the complete package. We don’t want people wanting for anything and we want everyone to be comfortable.


‘We have won a few national awards but this is the first international recognition. It is a beautiful building and surrounds but this award demonstrates how important the team is.

‘We have 90 people at the hotel who are just on cloud nine. The service element is the real distinction to be recognised for.’

The hotel has 20 suites. As well as a breathtaking location – the floor-to-ceiling glass windows give unparalleled views out to sea and over The Hazards – guests can relax on sandy beaches, take walking trails through the lush forest and use quad bikes.

Big bonus – there is $1million ship to take them out on the Freycinet Peninsula.


Last but certainly not least is the premium spa, which was nominated in the World Luxury Spa awards this year.

Spa Saffire’s three retreat rooms overlook the inspiring landscape and reflective pools. Treatments have been designed exclusively for Saffire by celebrity facialist Marionne De Candia and Dr Jean Laing, doctor of chiropractic and bodywork therapies and founder of LaGaia skincare.



Olivia Newton-John’s Gaia Retreat and Spa in Byron Bay, NSW, is celebrating two awards – Australia’s Leading Boutique Hotel and Australia’s Leading Spa Resort at the 2014 World Travel Awards in New Delhi, India, for the second consecutive year.

Receiving these honours by an award program that is regarded as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by The Wall Street Journal comes at a time when Gaia has just upgraded to accommodate a new top end range of boutique retreat accommodation with their new Komala Villas. Gaia has also recently launched its own Certified Organic Skincare Range Retreatment.


‘I am so thrilled that Gaia has received this prestigious award, it’s truly an honour to be recognized,’ says Olivia Newton-John, Gaia Director. ‘I’m so proud to share this with my fellow directors, Gregg Cave, Ruth Kainin and Warwick Evans, as well as our entire staff. Gaia has become my personal sanctuary and I am grateful for our wonderful healers and therapists – our family – who have all helped make our dream a reality by creating an unforgettable experience for our guests.’

Adds Gregg Cave: ‘To receive highly respected awards is one thing, but to receive two of the World Travel awards two years in a row is an amazing honour to our dedicated team at Gaia – they bring heart to work each day and I am truly grateful for this blessing!’


Each of the new luxurious Komala Villas offer seclusion, privacy and tranquil indoor, outdoor living with a large private deck, daybed kabana, saltwater infinity plunge pool and private treatment area.


The Retreatment organic skin care range captures the healing spirit of the indigenous Byron Bay hinterland reflecting the true essence and meaning of Gaia -spirit of Mother Earth. Drawing from the local extracts and many Australian natives the Retreatment range absorbs naturally into the skin, nourishing and regenerating to restore youthfulness and vitality. 



Spafinder Wellness 365 announced the winners of the inaugural global Wellness Travel Awards earlier this month, presented at a press event held at the World Travel Market in London.

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Tallebudgerah, Queensland, took out a coveted Crystal Award, that honours top wellness travel destinations on six (habitable) continents.


It put Gwinganna in the sparkling company of fellow crystal award winners:

Africa: La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco)

Asia: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan (Bali, Indonesia)

Europe: George V Paris Four Seasons (Paris, France)

North America: Canyon Ranch (Brand-Wide, US)

South America: Lapinha Spa (Lapa, Brazil)

The new awards reflect the significance of the US $494 billion worldwide wellness tourism market* and are the first to honour destination spas, hotels, resorts and retreats around the world dedicated to offering experiences and environments that leave visitors healthier when they check out than when they checked in.

An elite panel of 26 travel and wellness industry journalists and experts nominated 373 locations for the awards; consumers across the globe then cast votes for the nominees. Online voting took place June 18-September 19, and those nominees that received the most votes were named winners.


Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer of Spafinder Wellness, Inc noted wellness tourism grew 74 percent faster than global tourism overall (12.7 percent versus 7.3 percent) between 2012 and 2013.


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