Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals
Media Center


Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat named best in the world in 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards
Tripadvisor announces annual ‘Best of the Best Hotels’ with four NEW categories

AUSTRALIA, 12 May, 2021 – With a year’s worth of pent-up travel demand on the brink of bursting as travel bubble slowly emerge, Tripadvisor®, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, today announced its annual Travellers’ Choice® Best of the Best Awards for Hotels, giving people the inspiration they need to finally turn their daydreams into real trips.


The biggest win for Australia this year goes to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, winning #1 Most Romantic Hotel in the World. Nestled in 7 acres of rainforest, 6 beautifully designed, self contained pavilions are surrounded by birdsong and the tranquility of the ancient rainforest, making it the perfect romantic getaway for couples. The other Australian property that made it to the World’s Most Romantic Hotels list is the Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat, ranked #3.


The overall #1 Hotel in the South Pacific this year goes to Tokoriki Island Resort - who also made it to #25 in the World list, as well as #5 in the South Pacific’s Most Romantic Hotels list.


Every year, Tripadvisor combs through the millions of reviews from its global community of travellers to surface the hotels that people raved about most, and this year is no different. Even during the pandemic, travellers continued to discover, book, and give feedback on places to stay, both near and far. Despite significant disruption to the hospitality industry in 2020, hotels around the world found new ways to dazzle guests and deliver top-of-the-line service.


“From COVID-19 to bushfires and floods, 2020 was definitely the year of weekend getaways and domestic staycations in Australia. This year, with travel bubbles in place and more on the way, we’re all excited to finally get back to travel. Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best awards celebrate the best hotels around the world - big, small, romantic and more, inviting travellers to get inspired and start planning their epic return to travel once it’s safe again,” said Tripadvisor spokesperson, Jane Lim.


New year, new categories

In addition to the much-loved categories of hotels and B&Bs that Tripadvisor typically awards, an exciting change for 2021 includes the introduction of four brand-new categories, taking the total to 10. New this year are the Hottest New Hotels (properties that opened in July 2019 or later), Top Rooftop Hotels, Safari Stays and Picture-Perfect Hotels (properties with gorgeous photos on Tripadvisor).


Top 10 Hotels in Australia for 2021

  1. Element on Coolum Beach - Coolum Beach, Australia

Travellers rave: “Fantastic apartments, fantastic location, fantastic week. We ended up extending our stay for a few extra nights as we were having the best time.”

  1. Kingsford Smith Motel - Brisbane, Australia

Travellers rave: “This is more 5 star boutique hotel than motel, the wonderful hosts Lorraine and Trevor manage to combine luxury with homeliness and a huge dollop of inclusiveness to top.”

  1. Beach Club - Hamilton Island, Australia

Travellers rave: “Location was heaven and enjoyed sitting in our balcony taking in the views. The ambiance was so relaxing and nothing was too much trouble for the well trained staff”

  1. Korte's Resort - Rockhampton, Australia

Travellers rave: “Enjoyed a very comfortable and relaxing night in this excellent resort.”

  1. Quest Sale Serviced Apartments - Sale, Australia

Travellers rave: “Great service and friendly staff. The apartments are clean and tidy and well maintained. A breeze to stay.”

  1. Treasury On Collins - Melbourne, Australia

Travellers rave: “Great location, friendly and helpful staff, walking distance to most of downtown. Rooms were spacious and clean with all the amenities of a 5 star hotel”

  1. MACq 01 Hotel - Hobart, Australia

Travellers rave: “An amazing facility showcasing the heart and soul of Hobart.”

  1. Julie-Anna Inn, Bendigo - Bendigo, Australia

Travellers rave: “The rooms and facilities are spotless and well maintained. I couldn't recommend the Julie-Anna any higher.”

  1. Quest Ipswich Serviced Apartments - Ipswich, Australia

Travellers rave: “Friendly, clean and helpful, I would stay here again in a heartbeat.”

  1. Ovolo Woolloomooloo - Sydney, Australia

Travellers rave: “Great rooms overlooking the harbour, super close to the city but at the same time away from the hustle and bustle.”


2021 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotels by Category:



Australia #1

South Pacific #1

Top Hotel

Best hotels overall

Element on Coolum Beach

Tokoriki Island Resort (Also #25 in the World)

NEW! Hottest New Hotel

Opened July 2019 or later

No AU list – world only

(Highest ranking AU hotel: Little National Hotel Sydney at #21)

No SP list – world only

(Highest ranking SP hotel: Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable at #14)

NEW! Best Safari Stay

Properties with safari features

No AU list – world only

(No AU winner)

No SP list – world only

(No SP winner)

NEW! Top Rooftop Hotel

Hotels with the best rooftops

No AU list – world only

(No AU winner)

No SP list – world only

(No SP winner)

NEW! Picture-Perfect Hotel

Hotels with gorgeous photos

No AU list – world only

(No AU winner)

No SP list – world only

(No SP winner)

Best Small Hotel

Less than 30 rooms

The Falls Montville

(#1 in Australia, #1 in the South Pacific and #3 in the World)

Best Romance Hotel

Majority of reviews from couples

Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat

(#1 in Australia, #1 in the South Pacific and #1 in the World)

Best B&B

Limited to B&B

Blue Summit Cottages

(#1 in Australia, #1 in the South Pacific and #15 in the World)

Best All Inclusive

Limited to All-Inclusive properties

No AU list – world only

(Highest ranking AU hotel: Saffire Freycinet at #9)

No SP list – world only

(No SP winner)

Most Saved Hotel

Highest volume of “saves” on Tripadvisor

No AU list – world only

(No AU winner)

No SP list – world only

(Highest ranking SP hotel: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora at #7)


To see all Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotel winners for 2021, across all subcategories, visit:



2021 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotel winners are determined based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings posted on Tripadvisor between 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2020 specific to each award subcategory, as well as an additional editorial process.


Tripadvisor is proud to serve a broad and diverse community of travelers from all over the world. As such, Tripadvisor reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any property, business or point of interest listed on Tripadvisor for an award based on additional factors that reflect Tripadvisor corporate policies and values. For more details on Tripadvisor’s awards policy, see here