TripAdvisor's Best Hotels for 2016 (and where to have the same experience in Australia)

Proof that you don't need a passport for a spectacular getaway...

Drum roll please! TripAdvisor has announced the 25 hotels that topped the 2016 Travellers’ Choice awards. These award-winning stays are dotted around the globe – Tanzania, Brazil, United Kingdom, Fiji, Aruba – and are the crème de la crème of spectacular sleeps (there’s even a converted palace). We’ll let you in on a secret though: you don’t have to jet overseas to find incredible accommodation. To prove that it’s possible to have award-winning experiences closer to home, we picked a handful of the nominated hotels and found their Australian property match.

For a chic coastal sleep...

Swap Bellevue Syrene, Italy for Rockridge, NSW



Just as the glitterati of Italy head to Sorrento (the location of Bellevue Syrene) to catch some rays, the Sydney social set make for exclusive Palm Beach. And it's not hard to see why, with all that spectacular coastline to admire with an Aperol Spritz in hand. In similar style to its Italian counterpart, Rockridge isn’t your average coastal abode. Everything from the four bedrooms to the marble kitchen and luxe furnishings is on point, including the outdoor areas. A private back deck has sunloungers and panoramic ocean views, while the hammock is where you’ll read your latest book and the swimming pool where you'll indulge in lazy afternoon paddles. La dolce vita indeed.


For a grand dame...

Swap Casa Gangotena, Ecuador for The Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park, VIC



Old-world good looks, heritage character and elegant finishes: The Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park is one of the most recognisable properties in Melbourne. For all of its imposing architecture however, The Mansion Hotel is all contemporary comforts on the inside. It’s easy to settle in here, and it’s a good thing too because there’s plenty to do during your stay. Hightail it to the serene day spa for a facial or massage; visit one of the region’s world-class wineries; or make use of the hotel’s shared facilities, including the swimming pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court and library. The best part? There's no chance of altitude sickness slowing you down.


For living the island life...

Swap Tokoriki Island Resort, Fiji for East Bedarra Island Retreat, QLD



Packing for East Bedarra Island Retreat is much the same as if you were headed for Fiji. You’ll need SPF 30+, floaty sundresses, swimmers and a hat, but there’s one thing you can do without: your passport. East Bedarra Island Retreat is an exclusive paradise near Mission Beach. This is no resort though, so you won’t have to jostle for sunloungers or line up for the breakfast buffet. The open-air lounge deck is the retreat’s centrepiece and boasts a 3D cinema and views of the swimming pool and beach. With its beachfront perch and world-class features, it’ll come as little surprise that the two-bedroom retreat has been designed with couples in mind. Privacy is guaranteed, as are the castaway-inspired vibes.


For sun, sand and no interruptions...

Swap Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa, Grenada for Berkeley River Lodge, WA



Few views can match the one you’ll get from a poolside-perch at Berkeley River Lodge. A stretch of deserted beach and the too-blue water of the Timor Sea make this outlook hard to tear yourself away from. These uninterrupted vistas are just one of the perks of staying in this remote location on the Kimberley Coast. The Lodge is only accessible by air, so it’s safe to say this is an escape in every sense of the word. Villas have ocean or river views, and feature open-air ensuites, freestanding bathtubs, king beds and a verandah. A jam-packed list of activities is on offer for guests to make the most of, and days can be spent tackling guided hikes, casting a line on fishing trips or taking in the natural surrounds with a wilderness picnic.


For the call of the wild...

Swap Orange County Resorts Kabini, India for Jamala Wildlife Lodge, ACT



You don't need binoculars to have a wildlife encounter at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, you only need to take a bath or sit down at your dining table. The Lodge is part of the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra, and accommodations are built around, and right next to, animal habitats. There are three accommodation hubs, and each allows for a different experience. At the Giraffe Treehouses, you’ll have the chance to mingle and feed one of the resident giraffes, while the Jungle Bungalows have glass walls that connect guests with cheetahs, tigers, brown bears and lions. uShaka Lodge houses seven rooms; some have aquariums and windows looking out to lemurs and hyenas. A stay at Jamala Wildlife Lodge is like no other experience you’ll ever have – it may even leave you asking, "David Attenborough who?"


For a sleek city stay...

Swap Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa, Vietnam for Sky Loft, NSW



When you want a break from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s streets, you only need to look up – up to Sky Loft, that is. This sub-penthouse is part James Bond-worthy pad, part swanky city oasis. The interiors are what you’d expect from a high-flying stay – three bedrooms, sparkling ensuites, glowing chandeliers, marble benches and plush linens – but it’s the views that really steal the spotlight. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows gives guests uninterrupted vistas of Sydney’s skyline and iconic landmarks. Sky Loft is conveniently located in stylish Darlinghurst, so hip restaurants, cool bars and boutique shops are at your fingertips.