Hayman, Whitsundays, Qld: A past Travel & Tourism Award winner, Hayman remains the evergreen standard bearer for Australia's growing resort industry, its iconic lagoon pool instantly recognisable, its beachfront locale unbeatable. hayman.com.au.
Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast, Qld: One of the country's best integrated resorts, located beachfront only 25 minutes from Noosa, Twin Waters guarantees guests will never be bored, offering a championship golf course, day spa and, for action fans, a fun circus school and fleet of Segways (two-wheel, all-terrain vehicles). twinwatersresort.com.au.
Quay West Resort Bunker Bay, WA: WA's Margaret River and the southwest are hot to trot in 2010, according to Lonely Planet, and the Quay West resort claims a dress circle seat, tucked in bush above lovely Bunker Bay, with many suites offering direct beach access. mirvachotels.com.
Sea Temple Resort & Spa, Port Douglas, Qld: Perfectly positioned on Four Mile Beach, this elegant resort has broad appeal, featuring a spectacular 18-hole links golf course, day spa and accommodation to suit couples and families alike, from hotel-style studio rooms to a private three-bedroom beachfront villa. mirvachotels.com.
Shangri-la Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, Qld: With views over Marlin Marina and well sited for reef excursions or checking out the city's restaurant scene, the Shangri-la affords the kind of well turned-out rooms (each with private balcony) only a $35m redevelopment can deliver. shangri-la.com
Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Qld: Gold Coast glamour is your calling card at this centrally located resort where knockout views vie with outstanding facilities that include an alluring private saltwater lagoon and Australia's largest teppanyaki restaurant. marriott.com.
Best resort accommodation (under 100 rooms)
Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, Byron Bay, NSW: Only five minutes from Byron and a short walk from Tallow Beach, this acclaimed resort, and last year's category winner, offers contemporary digs in a rainforest setting with daily yoga classes and a serene day spa underscoring the property's mellow vibe. thebyronatbyron.com.au.
The Elandra, Mission Beach, Qld: Plush day beds afford postcard-perfect views over Dunk Island and the Coral Sea from the pool deck of this stylish property where the individually decorated guestrooms have a pared-back international flavour more commonly associated with the best Asian resorts. elandraresorts.com.
Kewarra Beach Resort, Cairns, Qld: You could be Robinson Crusoe checking into a bungalow at this charming privately run resort, so remote does it feel, tucked between rainforest and sea, yet only minutes from Palm Cove (30 minutes north of Cairns) and providing easy access to the Reef and Daintree. kewarra.com.
Pinctada Cable Beach Resort & Spa, Broome, WA: Wrapped around a glamorous swimming pool, and flagship of Marilynne Paspaley's small hotel group, the Pinctada features bright and breezy guestrooms with private balconies or courtyards, a fantastic day spa and a restaurant where the signature dish has a special lustre: spiced, sauteed pearl meat. pinctadacablebeach.com.au.
Qualia, Hamilton Island, Qld: This talked-about resort commands stunning Whitsunday views from 60 elegant, freestanding pavilions (many with plunge pools) set on the secluded northern tip of the island and celebrating a distinctly Australian style of luxe. qualia.com.au.
Quay West Resort & Spa Falls Creek, Vic: Situated at the base of the main ski run, with charming valley views, this highly contemporary, apartment-style resort hotel has the apres ski scene ideally covered, providing day spa, stylish restaurant and bar and hot tubs on most apartment balconies. mirvachotels.com.
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