by Andy Boyd in Cool Travel on Wednesday 6 August 2008

By definition, boutique hotels are the smaller, more fashionable, niche hotels which offer its guests enhanced levels of service. Previously we’ve covered some of the coolest hotels in the world, but given the rising popularity of independent boutique hotels, we thought we’d show off some of the best in Australia.

1. The Prince [Melbourne]
The Prince, St. Kilda, Melbourne is the 2008 Winner of Australia’s Leading Boutique Hotel and rightly deserves it. Behind its eye-pleasing art-deco exterior each of the 40 guestrooms and suites are richly decorated with colour and texture. If staying at the Prince wasn’t unique enough, dip into the in-house Aurora Spa Retreat. Prices start at $450.

2. Orpheus Island Resort [Queensland]
Join the likes of Nicole Kidman, Elton John and Phil Collins on the list of past guests who have stayed on Orpheus Island. Everything about this resort is sophisticated and exclusive. A maximum of 42 guests can stay at any one time in the chicly appointed rooms. Far enough away from civilisation yet only 15 miles offshore is this true Great Barrier Reef island. The only way to arrive at the the island, of course, is by sea plane. Prices start at $725.

sea-temple

3. Sea Temple Resort and Spa [Port Douglas]
Nestled away in Queensland’s Far North, the Sea Temple Resort and Spa is a gorgeous place to stay. Although the Sea Temple Resort is larger than most boutique stays, its studio rooms, apartments, villas and penthouses retain that fashionable feel being so beautifully detailed and well finished. Guests staying can enjoy the tropical rainforest walk to the secluded beach, meander around the massive lagoon and even play some golf on the 18 hole championship course. Prices start at $384.

adelphi

4. Adelphi Hotel [Melbourne]
A fantastic hotel situated in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, close to all the restaurants and theatres. The Adelphi is distinctively boutique in every way. Rooms are large, decorated in a funky style and the long-but-skinny rooftop pool which overhangs the edge of the building adds a real touch of excitement to the premises. Prices start at $305.

5. Longitude 131 [Uluru / Ayers Rock]
The renovated Longitude 131 is a luxury, green and romantic hotel situated in Australia’s Red Centre. Completely burned down in 2003 in a bush fire the hotel reopened in 2004 welcoming guests back again to stay in the 15 private luxury tents. From the rooms guests can enjoy uninterrupted views of Uluru from the comfort of the deluxe camping accommodation. If you fancy a break here then it’s time to break out your card and prepare for some serious financial damage! Prices start at (an eye-watering) $1618.

6. Cape Lodge [Margaret River]
The Cape Lodge is an ideal retreat for wine connoisseurs. Set in its own vineyard within 40 acres of native forest, the resort is renowned for its cuisine, seclusion and natural beauty. Prices start at $425.

7. The Hatton Hotel [Melbourne]
The Hatton is a 4 star boutique hotel with 20 suites decorated in a vibrant contemporary style. Just South of the Yarra River, very close to the Royal Botanic Gardens and only a few tram stops to the CBD, this gorgeous little hotel is a stunner. Prices start at $215.

8. Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa [Katoomba]
For a costly but award winning stay consider the Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa. Renowned as a haven of relaxation and just a few hours inland from bustling Sydney this 5 star hotel’s historic building is set in 2 acres of manicured gardens. Prices start at $705.

9. The Richmond [Adelaide]
Inside of this grand 1920′s-era building, The Richmond offers 30 beautifully renovated guestrooms and suites, generously sized with ample room Rated as one of ‘Australia’s Top 15 Small Hotels’ by Vogue Australia, the Richmond also has an exciting bar fusing stylish comfort with culture and fashion. The hotel follows an open plan theme throughout its lounge, restaurant and balcony which overlooks the Rundle Mall. Prices start at $180.

10. Kims Beach Hideaway [Toowoon Bay]
Only an hour’s drive from Sydney lays Kims Beach Hideaway occupying the prime beachfront position at the horseshoe shaped Toowoon Bay. Inside the resort bungalows and spa villas are luxuriously decorated and well facilitated with private pools, indoor spa bath, or outdoor jacuzzis. Prices start at $454. [pictured above]