Just as research reveals that three-quarters of Australians are staying home for Christmas due to concern about living costs, an Australian resort has won the Leading Eco Resort and Lodge at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa is located in the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, about 115 kilometres (90 minutes) north of Cairns. The 2012 award follows from the lodge’s 2011 win as the Best Luxury Eco Tourism property from Luxury Travel magazine.
With only 15 ‘bayans’ or tree houses set amongst the world’s oldest living rainforest, the Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa is exclusive and priced accordingly. Nonetheless, for a honeymoon or other special occasion, it’s a wonderful journey matched by the location, exquisite service and the level of luxury, amenities and activities.
Speaking about the award, which is voted on by travel, tourism and hospitality professionals as well as consumers, owner Terry Maloney said there are now many imitators of the ecolodge.
“But there are no equals.
“To be a winner in the ‘best of the best’ world categories is humbling but it’s also testament to the growing appreciation of experiential travel,” Mr Maloney said.
The World Travel Awards have been going since 1993 and take ten months to judge the country, regional and ‘best of the best’ awards.
“This is a great opportunity for Australia, Queensland and our region to be in the world travel spotlight.
“It’s small physical footprint of land, buildings, staff and guests already has a huge impact on the preservation of ancient culture, conservation of ancient rainforest and the empowerment of Indigenous people – a true example of the 3Ps – people, planet and profit,” Mr Maloney said.
Packages include an Aboriginal Cultural Adventure, a Rainforest Nurture and an Ultimate Rainforest Adventure, a Romantic Adventure and – quick off the mark – a World’s Best Adventure. Price vary and can start $300 a night for a ‘last minute’ stay through to more than $800 a night in peak season (during winter).
The research on holiday plans showed that 70% of people said the higher cost of living had also had an impact on their Christmas spending with most concern about the rising cost of health insurance, childcare, school fees, utilities such as electricity and gas and food.