The boutique Emporium Hotel features sleek contemporary appointments in large suites with views over Brisbane's West End and out to Mount Coot-tha, or over the Brisbane River. Cool earth-toned suites have the latest in-room automation and entertainment technology, including Bose audio systems and a high-definition 55-inch mirror-finish TV, plus a deep modern lounge chair to take it all in. Sleep on a plush, king-size Sealy Dynasty Series bed, complete with a ful pillow menu. The large en suite bathroom has a switch glass window between the room and bathroom, a glass-enclosed marble shower with standard and rain showerheads, spa bath, white marble double vanities and a separate toilet room. Enjoy free high-speed Wi-Fi, a mini bar, and tea and coffee facilities that include an espresso machine. On the 21st floor, take a dip in the captivating infinity pool overlooking the South Bank Parklands.
Heron Island Resort
Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Heron Island Resort is the sole hotel accommodation on Heron Island. Saunter from your room to the beach, where you can dive right in to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Designed for travelers to unplug and connect with nature, all rooms are free of televisions, telephones and Wi-Fi, although internet service is available at the bar, restaurant and reception. Spacious and comfortable rooms are located on North Beach, within earshot of the island's birdlife-filled Pisonia forest. Filtered through the lush natural vegetation, your view overlooks the reef from your outdoor terrace. Clean, simple decor includes cool tile floors, bright whites offset by deep marine blue bedding, wood ceilings and photographic art gracing the walls. Rooms have en-suite bathroom with a shower, ceiling fans, beach towels, tea and coffee making facilities and a refrigerator. Enjoy meals in the casual waterside restaurant with expansive views over the reef, or simply take it in while dining outdoors on the veranda.
Daintree Rainforest, Australia
Follow in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough who stayed at the
Heritage Lodge Resort while filming The Life of a Plant. The seclusion of the lodge's cabins nestled in the world's oldest rain forest is broken only by the call of birds or the passing of a musky rat kangaroo. Just 20 comfortable cabins inhabit this peaceful stretch of the wild Daintree along Cooper Creek, a pure crystalline waterway that is dotted with pristine swimming holes as it winds from the mountains to the sea. The lodge was lovingly renovated by owners Vicki and Alan Bidwell, and it retains a sense of family-run intimacy and friendliness. Individual cabins are enveloped in ferns, vines and palms, and have queen-size beds, en suite bathrooms and private balconies from which you might spot an endangered tree kangaroo, cassowary, bandicoot or tree frog. Air conditioning and a ceiling fan keep you comfortable, along with coffee and tea makings, a small refrigerator, TV and DVD player. Start the days overlooking the creek as you enjoy a tropical open air breakfast complete with fresh baked bread, homemade jams and special Daintree Tea. Round out the evening with tantalizing 5-star meals in the modern Australian style, featuring local ingredients savored under flaming torch and candle light.
Kakadu National Park, Australia
This luxe safari-style camp in the savanna bush features stilted tent-style bungalows with unobstructed views over a floodplain that teems with birdlife and other animals. Bamurru Plains is the perfect spot from which to explore Australia's wild bush in absolute comfort and understated elegance, with nature taking the front row seat while you're out of range from Wi-Fi or cell service. Mesh, semi-transparent screens serve as the walls on three sides of your bungalow, offering the most immersive experience with wildlife and wilderness. Beds are supremely comfortable, with organic cotton linens and a pillow menu, and spacious en suite bathrooms have high pressure showers. In addition to corrugated iron and lantern lighting, the decor reflects the region’s earlier indigenous, hunting and pastoral history with buffalo horns, explorer’s maps, Aboriginal art work and fish traps, and historic photos that show the area's heritage. Each room has a cold water thermos, local flora and fauna reading materials and species list. After days spent exploring the bush, the main lodge provides an oasis of tropical calm with comfortable wicker sofas, a well stocked library, an infinity pool and sprawling deck. Meals feature local ingredients, and the bar offers all the perfect accompaniments for a spectacular sunset. The camp was consciously built to minimize its impact on the environment. Sustainable measures include solar-generated hot water, solar electricity generated by an array of 240 solar panels, organic cotton linens that are hung to dry without ironing, locally produced and chemical-free soaps with native herbs, an absence of plastic water bottles and a commitment to environmental education through active interpretation and debate.
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