Four Seasons Hotel Sydney jumped to the head of the class in Condé Nast Traveler US and UK annual Readers Choice Awards for the Top 10 Hotels in Australia and New Zealand for 2021.
The Rocks landmark property notched up a score of 99.52 to be rated number one in Australia and New Zealand – up from seventh in the region in 2020 – relegating last year’s leader, COMO The Treasury in Perth to second place, on a score of 99.43.
Dual QT Hotels in New Zealand placed third and fourth, QT Wellington (99.27) and QT Queenstown (99.22), followed by Langham Hotels sister properties back across the ditch, The Langham Melbourne (96.35) and The Langham, Sydney (93.9) in fifth and sixth.
Two fellow luxury Sydney properties were next, The Fullerton Hotel Sydney (93.5) and Paramont House Hotel (92.99), with Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill (91.09) in ninth and Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach (90.84) rounding out the top 10.
Paramont House Hotel was the only newcomer to the Top 10 this year, bumping out Lancemore Mansion Hotel Werribee Park.
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Bahram Sepahi, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, told LATTE: “We have been thrilled at the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our guests and travel partners following our room renovation, and the last year has been an opportunity for us to review our other offerings to further elevate the guest experience.”
“To be ranked the #1 hotel in Australasia by Condé Nast readers is testament to the resilience and creativity of our team, from world-class chefs and bartenders to meeting planners and concierges. I am so proud of the innovation they have shown in coming up with new ways to meet the needs of our guests – and exceed their expectations,” Sepahi said.
Condé Nast Traveler US and UK Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. More than 800,000 transatlantic readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe to provide a full snapshot about the places they can’t wait to return to next.
Divia Thani, Global Editorial Director, Condé Nast Traveler said: “As restrictions ease, it is clear that our readers have spent much of the last year and a half-dreaming about travel and planning future adventures. The diversity and vibrancy of our Readers’ Choice Award winners represent a desire to get back out into the world and experience the best of what the travel industry has to offer.”
Top 15 Resorts in Australia and the South Pacific
Condé Nast Travelers voted three Fijian resorts as placegetters in the Top 15 Resorts in Australia and the South Pacific for 2021 category. Number 1 was Kokomo Private Island Resort (99.63), then Nanuku Auberge Resorts Collection (99.39) and Namale Resort & Spa (98.35).
The Brando in French Polynesia was fourth with an even score of 98, ahead of Matakauri Lodge (97.48) in New Zealand, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort (97.35).
Flight Centre Travel Group’s Blue Mountains escape operating under the Spicers Retreat collection, Spicers Sangoma Retreat (seventh and 96.59) was one of only two Australian resorts in the Top 15, the other being Saffire Freycinet (ninth and 96.43) in Coles Bay, Tasmania. They were separated by Tokoriki Island Resort (96.56) in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands.
In 10th place was Conrad Bora Bora Nui (96.06), then Owen River Lodge (96) in Murchison, New Zealand, Turtle Island Fiji (95.62), Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (91.33), InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (90.86) and Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort (89.47).
Best Hotels and Resorts in the World
Leading Hotels of the World member property La Mamounia in Marrakech was awarded Best Hotel in the World for 2021. The Morrocan property was followed by Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, Raffles Istanbul, Relais Borgo San Pietro – Palazzetto (Rome), Badrutt’s Palace (St. Moritz), Hotel SP34 (Copenhagen), Baur au Lac (Zurich), The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Michigan Avenue Chicago and W Doha in the Top 10.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney was 32nd globally and just one of two Four Seasons branded hotels in the Top 50, alongside Four Seasons Philadelphia, which was 22nd. COMO The Treasury (41st and sixth time on the Readers’ Choice Awards) was the only other Australian property in the Top 50. View the full hotel list here.
Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, in Brazil’s picturesque and historic Bahia state, was the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Award winner for Best Resort in the World 2021. After it was Morukuru Family, De Hoop Reserve in South Africa; L’Horizon Resort & Spa in Palm Springs; Naladhu Private Island Maldives; Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming; Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador; Singita Sabi Sand in South Africa; Anantara Chiang Mai Resort; Royal Malewane in Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa; and Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, Paracas in Peru.
There were no resorts in Australia or New Zealand in the Top 50. Fiji’s Kokomo Private Island Resort (24th) and Nanuku Auberge Resorts Collection (40th) were the closest properties within the same zone. View the full resort list here.
Best Cruise Lines in the World
Condé Nast Traveler voters also weighed in on the best cruise lines in the world for 2021 across five categories – Mega Ships (Over 4,000 passengers), Large Ships (2,500-4,000), Medium Ships (500-2,500), Small Ship Line (Less than 500).
In the top spot in the Mega Ship Line field was Norwegian Cruise Line, then Royal Caribbean International in second and MSC Cruises in third.
Disney Cruise Line was the leading Large Ship Line, followed by Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and MSC Cruises in the Top 5.
There were 18 cruise lines in the Medium Ship Line field which was taken out by Viking Ocean Cruises. The Top 5 also included Crystal Cruises, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises.
Lindblad Expeditions was the top Small Ship Line for 2021 of 15 cruise lines. Behind it was Paul Gauguin Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Seven Seas Navigator), Seabourn and Windstar.
Viking scored a double win in 2021, also taking out the River Ship Line category. Also in the Top 5, were Tauck River Cruising, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Grand Circle Cruise Line and Vantage Deluxe World Cruises.
View the other cruise lines within each category here.
Top Countries in the World
The Readers’ Choice Awards also voted on the Top 20 Countries in the World for 2021, taken out by Portugal (94.1), then New Zealand (94.04), Japan (93.82), Morocco (93.41) and Sri Lanka (93.07) in the Top 5.
Australia was ranked 16th in 2021, with a score of 91.97. View the full Top 20 Country list here.
Aside from the best hotels, resorts, cruise lines and countries, Condé Nast Traveler readers also vote for the best cities, islands, spas, villas, tours, trains, car rentals, luggage, airlines, airports, tours, and villas. View all the 2021 results at cntraveler.com/inspiration/readers-choice-awards.
Lead image: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Full Harbour view