Cradle Mountain Lodge offers luxury in the wilderness. Image courtesy of Cradle Mountain Lodge. Source: Supplied
TWO Australian tourist spots have grabbed “top 10” accolades in Lonely Planet’s first ever collection of the world’s best places to stay.
Sydney Harbour YHA has snared second spot in the travel guide’s Best Value list, and Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania is fifth in the “Extraordinary” category.
Lonely Planet authors around the world nominated places to stay in three categories before an expert panel selected the winners.
The resulting list of top hotels takes in accommodation from the United Arab Emirates to the Ukraine and from budget to high end.
In the extraordinary places to stay category the top three hotels were Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India; Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana and Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy.
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge grabbed its top 5 placing, just behind Qasr Al Sarab, UAE.
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
Writer Anita Isalska says a stay at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge “plunges you into the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness, with luxury that feels as organic as your surrounds”.
“Wildlife is best viewed from an outdoor hot tub. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be exhausted by long hikes in the national park and even I enjoyed Cradle Mountain’s dramatic weather. But the thrill of spotting echidnas and pademelons from the silky waters of a private hot tub is hard to forget.”
An incredible desert getaway, the Mihir Garh. Picture: James Kay / Lonely Planet. Source: Supplied
Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India
“Few hotels are created without compromise; Mihir Garh is a rare example. This is not just a unique place to stay; it’s a shrine to the artistic and architectural traditions of Rajasthan in general and Jodhpur in particular.” – James Kay
Planet Baobab is named after the trees surrounding its thatched huts. Image courtesy of Uncharted Africa Safari Co. Source: Supplied
Visitors enjoy the view from the top of Prendiparte B&. Image courtesy of Prendiparte B&B. Source: Supplied
Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana
“I visited Planet Baobab on a two-night side-trip from the Okavango Delta. Seeing lions in that bleached-out landscape was certainly memorable and I loved the lodge’s Afro-funk decor.” – James Bainbridge
Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy
A medieval high-rise turned romantic hideaway, the Torre Prendiparte is unlike anywhere else you’ll ever stay. For you don’t just get a room here, you get an entire 900-year-old tower. – Duncan Garwood
See all Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Extraordinary hotels and read more about them
In the Best Value category Sydney Harbour YHA was pipped for top spot by The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa, with the Inkosana Lodge in Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa taking third.
A warm welcome is guaranteed at The Backpack. Image courtesy of The Backpack. Source: Supplied
The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa
The Backpack remains a hip, vibrant hangout, where you can play pool in the courtyard, drink local beers in the bar and organise a trip to the bushveld or a stint in a local township program. – James Bainbridge
Amazing views top off the attractions at Sydney Harbour YHA. Image courtesy of Sydney Harbour YHA. Source: Supplied
Sydney Harbour YHA
Location, view, bargain rates, history, friendly staff? It’s hard to say exactly what makes this one of the best hostels in the world so it’s probably wisest to say everything. The location, in the Rocks, is second to none, with narrow pub-lined streets offering stop-you-in-your-tracks glimpses of the harbour. Which brings you to the view from the hostel itself. – Cliff Wilkinson
Inkosana Lodge is nestled in glorious scenery. Image courtesy of Inkosana Lodge. Source: Supplied
Inkosana Lodge, Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa
“I have goose-bump moments when I sit on Inkosana’s lawns at dusk watching the dramatic cloud formations over the rugged peaks, while listening to the birds or songs that echo across the valley from the local villages (oh, and if it’s tunes you want, Inkosana is located near the Drakensberg Boy’s Choir, which gives performances in summer)”. – Kate Armstrong
See all Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Best Value hotels and read more about them
Australia missed out on a listing in the Eco resorts top ten, with Lapa Rios in Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica taking top honours.
Bulungula Backpackers in South Africa claimed second spot, with Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania, in third.
Sunrise in the jungle at Lapa Rios nature reserve. Picture: Lizzie Shepherd / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images Source: Supplied
Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica
“I encountered three species of monkey within an hour of arriving at Lapa Rios – nature owns the freehold here; humanity has a short-term lease.” – James Kay
Bulungula Lodge offers traditional accommodation owned in partnership with the local community. Image courtesy of Bulungula Lodge. Source: Supplied
Bulungula Backpackers , South Africa
“Days are spent on coastal walking trails, in a canoe, or doing nothing at your own pace. Nights are spent gathered around the firepit craning your neck at the Milky Way, wondering how you could ever leave.” – Michael Grosberg
Visitors stay in tree houses at Chole Minji. Image courtesy of Chole Minji. Source: Supplied
Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania
“Chole’s mangrove forest, colourful village, superb sunsets and lazy island pace were a wonderful immersion into life on the Swahili coast.” – Mary Fitzpatrick
See all Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Eco retreats and read more about them