Australia’s top 10 holiday homes have been revealed thanks to Stayz’ 2023 Holiday Homes of the Year.
It’s the 12th year of ranking for the awards, with criteria drawn from the likes of 4.5-or-above star ratings, customer reviews, notable amenities, and relaxation zones.
And this year, the top three saw properties spanning from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, New South Wales’ Berry, and Western Australia’s Wilyabrup.
As the company’s own travel expert Daniel Finch explained, common themes for 2023 included both the character and personality of each holiday home, while they also looked at places that were suitable for larger groups, such as families.
“They’re intriguing, warm, charming and when you stay there it feels like the home speaks to you and tells you its story,” he told realestate.com.au.
“We’re noticing a trend in the reviews with people loving the charm, old world character, history, and unique character of houses.
“These are houses where there’s something for everyone, the versatility is very special.
“One thing that’s coming through as a must is alfresco cooking areas where people can spend time together cooking and enjoying each other’s company.
“These homes are popular with people wanting to reconnect with family and friends.”
And top of the list, checking off all of their criteria, is Queensland’s Mykonos, a Mediterranean-inspired castle situated on the Sunshine Coast.
It has been described as both a “slice of paradise” and “perfect for Aussies seeking a Euro-trip without the expense”, perhaps due to its unique turret room, plentiful daybeds, and three spectacular outdoor entertainment areas.
“With four bedrooms sleeping up to eight people and an average price of $1157 a night, the home is ideal for a large group getaway or a fun-filled family staycation,” Finch told news.com.au.
Coming in at second place – or in silver position, according to Stayz’ rankings – is the Sinclairs of Berry farm on NSW’s south coast.
It’s the perfect stay for larger groups, capable of housing up to 18 guests, with an open-plan kitchen, massive dining area, and two acres of garden.
The owner, Caroline Sinclair, was honoured to have made it to second place, as they hadn’t seen it coming.
“I guess that’s what makes it so truly special for us,” she said. “A beautiful surprise for doing what we love.
“We put so much love and effort into everything we do. To know that our guests see this and can experience this is really special to us.”
And, for any future holidaymakers looking at the property, she added that “guests instantly relax as soon as they walk into the house. Some guests have even said the house feels like a big warm hug.
“The house is filled with flowers in absolutely every room, the kitchen is filled with fresh local produce from our family farm, home-baked cakes, handwritten notes, and a welcoming dining table for 18 beautifully set for the family to enjoy a special meal.”
Meanwhile, the third place position belongs to Wilyabrup’s federation Birdwood Estate, another ‘castle’ with its very own turret room that towers over three stories.
Additionally, the property features four fireplaces, traditional bay windows, high ceilings, and standout exposed beams that were salvaged from Westralia rail sleepers.
The top three – and the following seven – make for “a real mix in the selected list this year”, according to Finch.
“We’ve got the castle-inspired homes,” he said, “with both Mykonos house and Birdwood Estate in Margaret River having their own impressive turret rooms.
“We’re also seeing some Asian heritage come through, with the Japanese and Chinese inspired ‘Qii House Eco Retreat’ eco-style retreat, which even has its own tea house, meditation room and eco-bath.
“Our top 10 finalist homes cater to eight to 18 people and average $1488 a night, which represents good value for money, especially if you divide the cost among families and friends and take advantage of self-catering and the entertainment plus facilities these homes offer.”
This article first appeared on Over60.