Hotel in Pristine Lord Howe Island Tops List of Best Hotels in South Pacific

Hotel in Pristine Lord Howe Island Tops List of Best Hotels in South Pacific
Looking out to Mount Lidgbird from below the Get Up Place on Mount Gower on Lord Howe Island. Monday August 7, 2017. The group of oceanic islands of volcanic origin are world-heritage listed. (AAP Image/Julian Drape)

A sixth-generation family-owned B&B has topped the best hotel in the South Pacific and in Australia, according to the travel website Tripadvisor.

Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island was named “Top Hotel in Australia” and “Top Hotel in the South Pacific” in Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards, released on May 24.

The Awards list, now in its 21st year, examined over a 12-month period from the data of over 1.5 million hotels, identifying the highest-rated hotels based on guest reviews. Winners are determined according to the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings posted on Tripadvisor as well as an additional editorial process.

“It’s clear that our community ventured far and wide in the last year: Our 10 subcategories encompass winners from 37 regions around the world and include a wide range of amazing places to stay,” Sarah Firshein, head of the editorial department at Tripadvisor, told The New Daily.

Lord Howe Island, which lies 780 kilometres northeast of Sydney in the Tasman Sea, allows only 400 visitors at one time and is known for its pristine white-sand beaches and hiking trails.

Pinetrees Lodge has been open to guests since 1895 and is currently owned by a couple, Dani Rourke and Luke Hanson, sixth-generation family members of the original owners.

The hotel boasts over 700 5/5 reviews on Tripadvisor, with travellers on the website praising it for its friendly staff, delicious food, and attention to detail.

“Staff were fantastic & friendly, great service, and they were lovely to chat to,” reads one customer review on the website. “The meals were very good, and the lodge is charming and in a great location. Rooms were nice, a wonderful place to stay on a special island!”

“Pinetrees Lodge is a full-service hotel. We talk to our guests, carry their bags, deliver picnics, light wood-fired barbecues, guide our groups through hiking and swimming adventures, and serve beautiful food four times per day,” the owners told

“Trying to limit the contact between guests and staff at Pinetrees went completely against the grain of what we do. We’ll never be a ‘contactless check-in’ kind of place.”

This is not the first time the hotel has won the award. Its most recent award was in 2020.

Queensland and Victoria Hotels Also Make the List

For the top hotels in Australia on the list, both Queensland and Victoria were home to some of the best hotels around the country, with each state boasting eight hotels in the top 25. The Top Hotels list examined the highest-rated stays around the nation, ranging from countryside motels to luxurious venues.

Seven Australian hotels made it to the Top 10 in the South Pacific, with Pinetrees Lodge at the top for 2023. The Reef House in Queensland’s Palm Cove and Tokoriki Island Resort in Fiji ranked second and third in the region.

Three hotels in Australia were also recognized as some of the best in the world. While Pinetrees Lodge was awarded No. 25 in the world for All-Inclusives, Victoria’s Yarra Gables came at No. 3 in the world B&B category, and Mount Lofty House Adelaide Hills from South Australia came in at No. 24 in the world Small Hotels category.

Top 10 hotels in the world:
  1. Rambagh Palace – Jaipur, India
  2. Ozen Reserve Bolifushi – Bolifushi Island, Maldives
  3. Hotel Colline de France – Gramado, Brazil
  4. Shangri-La The Shard, London – London, UK
  5. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong – Hong Kong, China
  6. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  7. Romance Istanbul Hotel – Istanbul, Türkiye
  8. Ikos Dassia – Dassia, Greece
  9. Ikos Andalusia – Estepona, Spain
  10. Padma Resort Ubud – Puhu, Indonesia
Top 10 hotels in the South Pacific:
  1. Pinetrees Lodge – Lord Howe Island, Australia
  2. The Reef House Adults Boutique Tropical Escapes – Palm Cove, Australia
  3. Tokoriki Island Resort – Tokoriki Island, Fiji
  4. The Remington Muswellbrook – Muswellbrook, Australia
  5. RACV Torquay Resort – Torquay, Australia
  6. Kingsford Smith Motel – Brisbane, Australia
  7. Element on Coolum Beach – Coolum Beach, Australia
  8. Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort – Sigatoka, Fiji
  9. The St Regis Bora Bora Resort – Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  10. Little National Hotel Sydney – Sydney, Australia
Top 10 hotels in Australia:
  1. Pinetrees Lodge, Lord Howe Island (NSW)
  2. The Reef House Adults Boutique Tropical Escapes, Palm Cove (Qld)
  3. The Remington Muswellbrook, Muswellbrook (NSW)
  4. RACV Torquay Resort, Torquay (Vic)
  5. Kingsford Smith Motel, Brisbane (Qld)
  6. Element on Coolum Beach, Coolum Beach (Qld)
  7. Little National Hotel, Sydney (NSW)
  8. Zagame’s House, Melbourne (Vic)
  9. Sovereign Park Motor Inn, Ballarat (Vic)