Relais & Châteaux has an Australian accommodation member again

Lizard Island Resort and its restaurant, Salt Water, join the presitigous collection

Relais & Châteaux has an accommodation partner in Australia once again, with Lizard Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef one of a dozen new members welcomed into the collection in the latest intake. The last dwelling in Australia which was aligned with Relais & Châteaux was The Louise in South Australia, a number of years ago.

Lizard Island Resort, a member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, is one of just five members in the luxury collective in Australia, the other four all being restaurants – Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Laura at Pt Leo Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, Hentley Farm Restaurant at Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley and, also new, Salt Water Restaurant at Lizard Island Resort.

Lizard Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef

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The Delaware North property comprises 40 rooms, suites and villas. In June 2022, Lizard Island Resort expanded its inventory with the opening of The House on Lizard Island, which takes luxury accommodation to a new level offering guests an opportunity to experience total seclusion from its private peninsula location.

Mark Leslie, General Manager, Lizard Island said the team at the Tropical North Queensland luxury lodge was thrilled to have been appointed to the esteemed Relais & Châteaux association.

“Relais & Châteaux brings together a global community of discerning travellers and diners, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more members from around the world to the natural paradise here at Lizard Island, with its wade-in access to the Great Barrier Reef, beach house suites and fine, island style dining,” Leslie said.

“We’re very proud that today, Lizard Island joins the collection’s 580 luxury hotel and restaurant members each recognised as among the best in the world,” he said.

Lizard Island Resort

“The Relais & Châteaux UNESCO-ratified vision to protect and promote the world’s culinary and hospitality traditions and equally to preserving local heritage and the environment aligns neatly with our operating philosophy here at Lizard Island.”

Relais & Châteaux also welcomed new members in Africa (South Africa and Namibia), the United States (Minnesota and Florida), Europe (Portugal, Italy, England and France), the Caribbean (Antigua) and China.

They include:

Curtain Bluff, Antigua-and-Barbuda, Caribbean

72 guest rooms (including 45 suites)

Curtain Bluff has two of its own beaches, offering guests exclusive access to golden sands and turquoise waters of the Carribean. Guest rooms are housed in a number of small, Caribbean bungalow-style buildings in the shade of coconut trees, with verandas or terraces facing the sea or directly on the sand. Some suites feature private swimming pools. Characteristic wooden furniture, rattan armchairs and colorful accent fabrics help create a relaxed tropical vibe.

Demi Restaurant, Minneapolis (MN), United States

22 covers

Housed in a former coffee warehouse, Demi is as accomplished as it is discreet. Chef Gavin Kaysen has curated a culinary experience designed to appeal to a demanding clientele that wants to combine highly original cooking with relaxed conviviality. He has deliberately broken with the codes of traditional gastronomy: twenty guests sit at a U-shaped counter, surrounding the kitchen team as it prepares menus of 7 or 11 dishes–depending on the evening. Accompanying wines are chosen on the basis of their capacity to surprise.

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key (FL), United States

30 guest rooms (including 2 suites)

A private islet covered in coconut palms, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa almost seems to float on the sea. A five-minute boat ride from Little Torch Key is all it takes to dock at the pontoon and embrace the tropical atmosphere of this small resort, exclusively for adults. Little Palm Island feels like being admitted to a hidden sanctuary. Thatched-roof bungalows accommodate 30 rooms and suites, all of which open onto nature through large bay windows. The hotel has been designed according to a ‘no news, no shoes’ formula, to promote genuine disconnections with real life.

Gmundner Lodge, Brack, Namibia

12 suites

The owner of the Austrian company Gmundner Keramik, the oldest European ceramics company (created in 1492), opened this lodge in 2022 as an autonomous and sustainable local project. Less than an hour from the capital, Windhoek, Gmundner Lodge combines exquisite refinement with unforgettable immersions in wild, unspoiled nature.

With a nod to the luxurious safari camps of adventurers from another era, its 12 suites are housed within large tents. Inside, expect teak flooring, Persian rugs, Chesterfield armchairs, four-poster beds wrapped in mosquito nets, and chests of drawers that resemble travel trunks. Bathtubs are found outside, on the terrace, promising sublime relaxation under the gaze of the animals that pass through these 14,800-acres of Kalahari savannah.

Silvan Safari Lodge, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, South Africa

6 suites

Sabi Sand, one of the largest private reserves in South Africa, is the evocative setting for Silvan Safari Lodge. This 160,000-acre estate, bordering the famous Kruger National Park, immerses guests in the heart of nature. The six suites of Silvan Safari stand out from the classic lodges of the region by their unique wooden architecture and elegant, bohemian décor. They open onto a large terrace with a swimming pool which seems to plunge into the bush and riverbed beyond. The lodge fosters a deep connection with its environment, playing a crucial part in conserving its unspoiled surroundings.

Hotel Vermelho, Melides, Portugal

13 guest rooms

Over a period of twenty years, Christian Louboutin, founder of the eponymous couture brand, has developed a passion for the south of Portugal, particularly the tranquility of the small village of Melides in Alentejo, ten minutes from the Atlantic coast. The designer has now opened Hotel Vermelho, a traditional property whose sky-blue façade is decorated with ceramics by sculptor Giuseppe Ducrot. They give a hint of an interior that is both baroque and joyful, with décor designed by Madalena Caiado.

Su Shien Valley, Sichuan, China

18 guest rooms (including 3 suites)

Neighbouring Tibet, the province of Sichuan is traversed by a mountain range older than the Himalayas. Its sharp peaks and mist-shrouded forests paint a picture of China far removed from the soaring skylines of Shanghai or Beijing: Su Shien Valley is found in a forested setting reminiscent of the ancient engravings of a thousand-year-old civilisation. This cradle of Taoism makes the hotel an ideal refuge for a spiritual retreat and an initiation into ‘the way’ of ancient China. The lodge houses 18 rooms and suites, each an invitation to Zen-like contemplation, with elegantly minimalistic décor–light wood, raw stone and fluid lines–in total harmony with the forest.

The Chelsea Townhouse, London, United Kingdom

36 guest rooms (including 11 suites)

Nestled in London’s prestigious Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, The Chelsea Townhouse has created 36 spacious rooms and suites across three neighbouring redbrick Victorian properties. They are part of an identical enclave of buildings surrounding Cadogan Gardens, one of a small number of private parks in the capital normally only accessible by residents with a key. However, in a highly exclusive arrangement, the hotel’s Drawing Room and select suites offer guests direct access to the leafy gardens. Meticulously restored, the hotel seamlessly blends British charm with contemporary elegance. With marble fireplaces, gilded mirrors, old engravings, plush carpet, and eclectic juxtapositions–an Art Nouveau pedestal table paired with an Empire dressing table, say–the decor evokes a cozy and quirky British style, making the townhouse feel like a particularly high-end guest house.

Hotel Balzac, Paris, France

58 guest rooms (including 24 suites)

The Champs-Elysées district welcomes a new destination: Hôtel Balzac. Under new owners, the establishment will reopen in June following two years of complete renovation. Two minutes from the most beautiful avenue in the world, at the corner of two quiet streets in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the Hôtel Balzac is located in an elegant building from the beginning of the last century. Some of the rooms and suites here offer views of the Eiffel Tower. After exploring the city, a Japanese spa provides a calming break, offering a hammam or a traditional massage.

Hotel Cappella, Colfosco, Italy

52 guest rooms (including 11 suites)

A discreet white property with blue shutters, typical of the Vendée region, is home to La Marine, the restaurant of chef Alexandre Couillon. This seasonal inn, located directly on the small port of Herbaudière, at the north-west tip of the island of Noirmoutier, has become something of a mecca for gastronomy. From his parents, the chef not only inherited a restaurant, but also their passion for the sea along with strong values of hospitality and respect for produce. He runs the establishment with his wife Céline, as Maître de Maison, and they have been rewarded for their work with both a Michelin green star and, since 2023, a third Michelin star. Guests wishing to stay the night will appreciate Maison Moizeau which adjoins the restaurant–its five rooms feature bright marine-inspired décor, polished parquet floors, white walls and natural materials, and open their windows onto the port and its boats.

La Marine, Noirmoutier, France

Gourmet restaurant, three stars and one green star in the 2023 Michelin Guide
La Table d’Elise – bistro
5 guest rooms

Head to the heart of the Dolomites, facing the mountains of the Sella massif, to discover Hotel Cappella, a family property with a unique character, where traditions of hospitality have been honoured for generations. This charming destination will delight winter sports enthusiasts who have only to step through the door to find themselves directly on the slopes.

In summer, breathe in the scent of flowers and admire the meadows as they bloom into life, or contemplate the region’s stunning panoramas during hikes or bike rides. Cozy rooms feature rustic yet chic décor that celebrates natural wood. Walking through Hotel Cappella’s corridors feels almost like visiting a museum, with countless paintings and original handicrafts on display–all sourced by the owners during their many travels in 40 past years.

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