As well as going above and beyond expectations (a drink on the house, the best table for your birthday, a snack for the journey home), the winner of this award knows exactly how to provide the feel-good factor – they're natural hosts.
The Upper House may be in the heart of the city, but you'll feel a tranquil world away from the moment you’re met in the lobby by your personal 'guest experience manager'. This hotel prides itself on making stays simple, sedate and hassle-free. There’s no queuing at reception (you’re taken straight to your room), no extortion by minibar (most of the snacks and drinks are free), no fussy formality (staff balance warmth and sincerity with near-breathtaking efficiency). Want room service? Just tap the in-room iPod Touch. Have obscure taste in cocktails? You won’t faze these bar staff.
'The standards achieved here will be maintained because of the proprietorial presence. It is comfortable, honest and achieves great authority through its desire to accommodate and please without fanfare or gimmick – my sort of hotel'
Jeremy King, Rex Restaurant Associates
'When smart Aussie service is right, it's truly world-class: relaxed, friendly, genuine'
Simon Westcott, Mr & Mrs Smith Asia-Pacific MD
'Discreet, yet always there to provide anything you might need'
Juliet Kinsman, Editor-in-chief, Mr & Mrs Smith
Consistently exceeding expectations, the winner of Above and Beyond has a dedicated staff who love what they do and who excel at enhancing your stay, whether it's a one-man band or a crack team of assistants. You're among friends.
Sometimes, it's one individual who makes the biggest impact. The sommelier who helps you discover a new favourite wine; the concierge with an unbeatable book of contacts; the chef who keeps the kitchen open a little longer because your flight was delayed.
Does this hotel go above and beyond in terms of products or services – full-size bathroom products, free laundry, transfers by speedboat? Flexible and helpful whenever possible? Was your every need anticipated, your trip improved beyond measure?
When you vote in this category, tell us how your best-loved hotel went Above and Beyond to make its mark – we'd love to hear your anecdotes.