Resorts thriving as they reap Trip Advisor awards
FIVE-star service has put the Sunshine Coast on the map as a must-see holiday destination.
Word of mouth, guest opinions and reviews are rivalling the old method of pamphlets and posters to lure new bookings, and Coast operators are taking note.
As a result, 11 Coast accommodation houses have been included in the 2015 Trip Advisor Traveller's Choice Awards.
For the third year in a row, RACV Noosa Resort slipped into the top 25 hotels in Australia. For the first time, the resort was named as the sixth best place for a family-friendly stay in the country.
RACV Noosa Resort manager Darren McClenaghan said the hotel hovered at an occupancy rate around 90% during the summer school holidays.
He said it was an honour to have received recognition in an awards pool determined by guests, not judges.
"TripAdvisor is all based on raw reviews and we are just delighted to get into that top 25 best hotels," Mr McClenaghan said.
"We reply to every review on TripAdvisor and have about 700 reviews on there now.
"People seem to place greater trust in their fellow traveller that has stayed at a property, so we are proactive in responding to everyone that leaves a review, positive or negative."
Mr McClenaghan said the site was a great way of making changes to provide top service and facilities for guests such as feedback on pool temperature.
The upgrade of facilities to include a new water pool park helped nudge the resort well into the top 25 family-friendly hotels in Australia.
Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat owners Jo and Mark Skinner are beaming after taking out the number five spot in the top 25 B and Bs and Inns category.
Fellow Coast providers Avocado Grove at Flaxton and Bli Bli House rounded out the field.
"TripAdvisor is the most critical and harsh audience out there, but we embrace it," Mr Skinner said.
"We encourage our guests to write a review because it's a fair and honest way of getting that feedback.
"It's like all social media channels, it's here and if you put your head in the sand it's a recipe for disaster.
"We'll certainly be putting our plaque pride of place in the office."
Sunshine Coast Destination Limited CEO Simon Ambrose said the awards were testament to the wide variety of accommodation available on the Coast.
"It (TripAdvisor) puts the onus back on our industry to provide remarkable service, quality and value," Mr Ambrose said.
"People are searching for recommendations through reviews and opinions as to where to go, stay and play."
Other award winners include Sails Lifestyle Resort and Noosa Sun Motel and Holiday Apartments in the top 25 bargains category, Oceans Mooloolaba in the top 25 luxury hotels category, and Sails Resort at Golden Beach, Oceans Mooloolaba, Rumba Resort at Caloundra and Montpelier Boutique Resort at Noosa in the family hotels category.
TripAdvisor 2015 Traveller's Choice Awards:
Top 25 Hotels
#25 RACV Noosa
Top 25 B+Bs and Inns
#5 Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat (Montville)
#20 Avocado Grove (Flaxton)
#21 Bli Bli House (Bli Bli)
Top 25 Bargains
#17 Sails Lifestyle Resort (Noosa)
#23 Noosa Sun Motel and Holiday Apartments
Top 25 Luxury Hotels
#23 Oceans Mooloolaba
Top 25 Family Hotels
#6 RACV Noosa
#19 Oceans Mooloolaba
#21 Sails Resort Golden Beach
#22 Rumba Resort (Caloundra)
#23 Montpelier Boutique Resort Noosa