These exceptional venues make doing business a breeze...
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We asked our expert correspondents around Australia to nominate the hotels, conference venues, retreats, restaurants and meeting rooms that are best catering to corporate Australia. The criteria? Each establishment has to go above and beyond for the modern business traveller. Scroll on to see all the finalists, or click below now to vote now and enter to win one of two Acer laptops.
Best Hotel Finalist: Como The Treasury, Perth
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"Como places a premium on space and light – the smallest rooms are 50 square metres – and has eight on-site bars and eateries for easy meetings and entertaining."
Best Hotel Finalist: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
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"The address couldn’t be better: a golden tower lodged between Melbourne’s elite corporate strip, Collins Street, and the hip eating and entertainment hub of Flinders Lane."
Best Hotel Finalist: Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide
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"Opened two years ago in a 1934 Neo-Romanesque tower, the Mayfair blends the best of old and new. Heritage styling in its 155 rooms and 15 suites means no two are the same, though all feature custom mattresses and soundproof interiors in a blue-chip location in the bosom of Queen Adelaide."
Best Hotel Finalist: Next Hotel, Brisbane
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"It’s difficult to decide what’s most admirable about Brisbane’s business-friendly Next Hotel. The airport transfers by Tesla? The free minibar items? The fourth-floor “transit lounge” – with computers, sleep pods, lockers, showers and access to the outdoor pool and gym – for use by early birds and late flyers before check-in or after check-out?"
Best Hotel Finalist: Park Hyatt Sydney
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"The Park Hyatt’s impeccable harbourside location makes it the Sydney inn of choice for captains of industry, dignitaries and visiting megastars so the staff are adept at handling VIPs’ needs."
Best Place for Dinner or Lunch Finalist: Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Sydney
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"With spacious and seriously slick interiors by acclaimed designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb (we love the pick-up-sticks ceiling installation) and a relaxed vibe led by the buzzing open kitchen, this Sydney CBD venue is ideal for business dining."
Best Place for Dinner or Lunch Finalist: Grossi Florentino Grill, Melbourne
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"The business lunch is a time-honoured tradition at Grossi Florentino Grill; ditto the business dinner. On occasion, the first might even merge into the second, such is the sense of bonhomie at this top-end-of-Bourke-Street institution..."
Best Place for Dinner or Lunch Finalist: Otto Ristorante, Brisbane
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"Newbie Otto brings a dose of hearty Italian food and a corporate, linen-clad setting to central Brisbane, with show-stopping views over the Brisbane River from its fourth-floor position above Queen Street."
Best Place for Dinner or Lunch Finalist: Wildflower, Perth
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"A locally sourced menu (South West marron with river greens and brown butter emulsion; emu smoked over jarrah embers) brings plenty of interest to the proceedings, particularly for interstate or overseas visitors."
Best Place for Dinner or Lunch Finalist: Wildflower, Perth
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"Flash central Perth hotel Como The Treasury scores again with its rooftop restaurant, where spectacular views of the Swan River, St George’s Cathedral and Kings Park compete with a fit-out of glass and marble."
Best Place for a Breakfast Meeting: A. Baker, Canberra
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"It’s part café-restaurant, part bakery and the menu ranges from smashed avocado to broken-rice pudding and soba noodle broth with smoked pork and slow-cooked egg, seasoned with black garlic and chilli oil."
Best Place for a Breakfast Meeting Finalist: Brooke Street Larder, Hobart
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"With a location par excellence – it sits in a shed at the end of the Brooke Street Pier, jutting into the harbour, yet is close to central Hobart – Brooke Street Larder could rest on its scenic laurels but chooses not to."
Best Place for a Breakfast Meeting Finalist: Gowings Bar & Grill, Sydney
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"With the playful irreverence that is the hallmark of QT hotels and the menu smarts of food director Robert Marchetti, Gowings Bar & Grill (pictured at top) is a Sydney breakfast favourite."
Best Place for a Breakfast Meeting Finalist: Higher Ground, Melbourne
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"It’s not just breakfast at Higher Ground, the bigger-than-Ben-Hur production from the group behind Melbourne’s famed Top Paddock. It’s occasion dining..."
Best Place for a Breakfast Meeting: Post, Perth
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"Location counts and Post has the best in town: the franking room at the original Perth GPO. Now the in-house hotel diner at Como The Treasury, it’s on a (successful) mission with Como Shambhala menu options to prove that tasty and healthy are not mutually exclusive concepts."
Best Private Dining Room Finalist: Sean's Kitchen, Adelaide
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"Yes, it’s in the casino but it’s a world apart; cut from 19th- century bones, this impressive space (pictured at top) has been reimagined as a New York-style grill."
Best Private Dining Room Finalist: Pendolino, Sydney
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"It has an admirably flexible capacity (eight to 56), thanks to removable soundproof panels that can be used to manage the atmosphere of the dark and delightfully moody room."
Best Private Dining Room Finalist: Philippe, Melbourne
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"A colourful portrait of owner Philippe Mouchel’s mentor, Paul Bocuse, hangs on the wall of this so-Frenchy, so-chic private dining salon (which can accommodate up to 10 people) that’s removed in splendid isolation from the equally elegant main dining areas."
Best Private Dining Room Finalist: Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
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"The hottest ticket in town, Hubert brings fin-de-siècle class to private dining. Ornate, intricate and intimate, with warmth conjured from brass, leather and timber, it’s restaurant as stage show."
Best Private Dining Room Finalist: Vue de Monde, Melbourne
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"This ambient, theatrical room is geared towards maximum enjoyment of the spectacular 55th-floor views of Melbourne but the décor is no slouch."
Best Meeting Room Finalist: The HQ Room, East Hotel, Canberra
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"Designed for extended creative sessions and all-day off-sites, the room also has games. Seriously, though, aren’t you supposed to be working?"
Best Meeting Room Finalist: Paramount Room, QT Melbourne
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"Business rarely gets prettier in the CBD. The Paramount Room at Melbourne’s hip QT hotel is a hot-pink-carpeted private space with a rose-gold marble ceiling and a wall of windows letting in loads of natural light and views of buzzing Russell Street below."
Best Meeting Room Finalist: Boardroom, Como The Treasury, Perth
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"The Boardroom seats up to 20, has a built-in screen and complimentary wi-fi and features elegant décor with a serene palette that’s typical of the hotel."
Best Meeting Room Finalist: The Foxtrot Room, The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, Brisbane
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"The Foxtrot Room, designed for boardroom-style meetings of up to 12, has wi-fi, a podium and video- projection and videoconferencing equipment. The service is terrific and the hotel is a 15-minute walk to the historic Spring Hill Baths if you need to clear your head."
Best Boutique Corporate Retreat Finalist: Barnbougle, Bridport, Tas
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"Chartered flights from Sydney or Melbourne put the property in reach of execs seeking an isolated spot to recharge and stretch the legs. The main draws are the links golf courses, Lost Farm and The Dunes."
Best Boutique Corporate Retreat Finalist: Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, NSW
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"Corporates might think they’ve died and gone to Italy at this super-chic Med-themed hotel 15 minutes from Gold Coast Airport."
Best Boutique Corporate Retreat Finalist: Lake House, Daylesford, Vic
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"Lake House’s idyllic waterfront setting is just the beginning; add a fine regional restaurant, lavish spa and elegant accommodation and you have the makings of a motivational stay."
Best Boutique Corporate Retreat Finalist: Spicers Peak Lodge, Maryvale, Qld
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"The lodge doesn’t charge extra for exclusive use so execs can own the entire property – tennis court, 20-pax boardroom and breathtaking views – for a getaway where privacy’s assured."
Best Boutique Corporate Retreat Finalist: Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Arnhem, NT
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"Two hours’ drive from Darwin, next to Kakadu National Park, Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers a transformative Top End experience."
Best Conference Venue Finalist: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
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"It’s the Meryl Streep of venues, winning some 160 awards globally, including the coveted AIPC Apex Award 2016 for the highest client rating received by a convention centre."
Best Conference Venue Finalist: ICC Sydney
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"The newest, most dazzling nominee is this freshly unwrapped palace that soaks up three city blocks with three tiered theatres, 70 meeting rooms, Australia’s biggest ballroom and exhibition space and the largest kitchen in the Southern Hemisphere."
Best Conference Venue Finalist: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
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"It was the world’s first centre to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia and it achieved Gold EarthCheck Certification in 2016. Also – and you’d expect this from arguably Australia’s culinary capital – the food is rather good."
Best Conference Venue Finalist: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
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"There are more orthodox options in Canberra but imagine 80 delegates dining at the Sculpture Garden Restaurant as they take in the mist of Fujiko Nakaya’s Fog Sculpture."
Best Conference Venue Finalist: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
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"This hardy old dame in the city was Australia’s first purpose- built conference centre and, with her 2500-seat auditorium, 19 meeting rooms, six exhibition pavilions and adaptable ballrooms, she ticks all the planner’s boxes."
Best Large-scale Corporate Retreat Finalist: Elements of Byron Bay, NSW
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"Why can’t every workday start with yoga overlooking Cape Byron Lighthouse, Australia’s easternmost point? At Elements of Byron, a 22-hectare retreat on NSW’s Far North Coast, it can."
Best Large-scale Corporate Retreat Finalist: Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA
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"With Jacob’s Creek and St Hallett as neighbours and more than 100 cellar doors in the region, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort offers many compelling reasons to schedule an off-site here."
Best Large-scale Corporate Retreat Finalist: Pullman Bunker Bay Resort, WA
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"Pullman Bunker Bay Resort works hard to balance the best of the Margaret River region – stunning beaches and wineries, craft breweries and shredding surf breaks – with boardroom meetings (complete with ocean views) and team-building over lawn bowls and beach cricket."
Best Large-scale Corporate Retreat Finalist: Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas, QLD
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"The clincher? Two World Heritage sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest – are right on the doorstep."
Best Large-scale Corporate Retreat Finalist: Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, Yarra Glen, Vic
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"Vineyard views and wine-tasting are the perks of the job at this popular 70-suite retreat in the heart of the Yarra Valley."