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  • Hotel George Williams (Brisbane, QLD; tel. 1800/064 858 in Australia, or 07/3308 0700): It's hard to believe that this trendy, clean, and bright hotel is a Y. This is what an affordable hotel should be like, with helpful staff, a pleasant, inexpensive restaurant, and the kind of services you'd expect to be paying more for.
  • The Reef Retreat (Cairns, QLD; tel. 07/4059 1744): It's not often you find so much decorating taste -- wooden blinds, teak furniture, and colorful upholstery -- at a price you want to pay, but that's what you get at the apartments in trendy Palm Cove, one of Cairns's most desirable beachfront suburbs. There's a pool on the lovely landscaped grounds, but the beach is just a block away.
  • By the Sea (Port Douglas, QLD; tel. 07/4099 5387): They may be tiny, but these pretty apartments have a homey atmosphere and are seconds from Four Mile Beach. Some units have sea views, and the rates include a host of "extras" such as bikes and laptops on loan.
  • Miss Maud Swedish Hotel (Perth, WA; tel. 1800/998 022 in Australia, or 08/9325 3900): Staying here is like staying at Grandma's -- just as she's finished a major redecoration job. You're right in the heart of Perth, and the friendly staff and huge buffet breakfasts (included in the room rate) complete the picture.
  • North Adelaide Heritage Group (Adelaide, SA; tel. 08/8272 1355): The very elegant Bishop's Garden, on Molesworth Street, is just one of 18 beautifully restored historic properties in the portfolio. Originally the house and gardens of Bishop Nutter Thomas, the fourth Anglican Bishop of Adelaide, it's full of gorgeous antiques and artwork collected by the current owners, Rodney and Regina Twiss.
  • York Mansions (Launceston, TAS; tel. 03/6334 2933): If where you stay is as important to your visit as what you see, don't miss staying here for a night or two. This National Trust-classified building has five spacious apartments, each with a distinct character. It's like living the high life in the Victorian age.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.