Marion Carrick, from Alure in Stanthorpe.
Marion Carrick, from Alure in Stanthorpe. Matthew Purcell

Allure of bush helps getaway spots snag national ranking

IT seems bush is best when it comes to a sneaky weekend away after a swathe of awards were given out to rural accommodation houses in the latest Trip Advisor Traveller's Choice Awards.

Two Granite Belt gems were high on the list with Diamondvale Cottages placing third in Australia for top bed and breakfast while the allure of Stanthorpe's Alure was recognised.

The Mt Tully Rd stay placed 23rd in Australia in the small hotel category.

Owned and operated for the past nine years by Marion Carrick and mother, Ruth McLennan, the luxury escape boasts three private villas for guests.

"Ruth and I were really excited to be in the top 25 in Australia. That equates to the top one per cent,” Marion said.

"From our perspective it was really exciting because the majority of the operators in the small hotels category would have a lot more rooms than we do. We're very small - we're an exclusive couples accommodation property.

"We really do focus on our guests and what their needs are. We're there as much or as little as our guests want us.

"We're continually thinking how we can add better value, what we can do better and how we make our guests stay a better experience. It's often the little tiny details that bigger places overlook,” she said.

Since overtaking the business, the villas have been updated and renovated three times to meet user demand.

"I guess this is an acknowledgement that you're on the right track. We're really chuffed with it. It's been a good season and we're on track to having an excellent year,” she said.

Twenty seven other Granite Belt businesses received Certificates of Excellence from Trip Advisor.