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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Barossa Food and Wine Experience Tour from Sealink


Chocolate and wine lovers will be in total food and wine heaven with the launch of an exciting new itinerary for Adelaide Sightseeing's intimate full-day Barossa Food and Wine Experience Tour. The tour now visits the new Barossa Valley Chocolate Company making it a day of wine, chocolate, more wine, chocolate, cheese and treats.

The tour begins at Pindarie where winemaker Wendy Allan shares the story of this stunning property. Try a range of tastings and cheeses, in the all-charm sandstone stables converted into a cellar door and café. Then, it's coffee and cake on the verandah, or in winter, cosied up around the fire overlooking the bucolic views dominated by shiraz vines.

Then the tour moves on to Maggie Beer's Farm Shop, to see and sample the famous food identity's world of local produce and a close encounter with that famous 'The Cook and the Chef' kitchen.  South Australia's beloved cook offers tastings galore and has a bounty of delicious products and books for sale.

Lunch is at the mod Lambert Estate, with panoramic vineyard views, halls of local art, and a sun-drenched balcony in summer or by a giant crackling fire midyear. Be treated to wine tastings along with family anecdotes and wine notes. After a hearty two-course long-table lunch, enjoy a coffee and Chocolatier (chocolate port) out on the balcony or by the fire.

After lunch a photo stop at Mengler Hill affords fabulous sweeping Valley views, before the next taste-buds-tempting exercise at the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company.

Be ready to experience the Chocolate Company's incredible wine and chocolate pairings. Sit down to a flight of local Vineyard Road wines and divine chocolates, with an expert guide revealing why they meld so well together. View some choc-crafting in action with a viewing wall showcasing the crafting of more than 250 chocolate products, including the newest ruby flavour and of course there's time to shop for chocolates to take home.

The coach then takes a meandering route back to Adelaide through the Adelaide hills, while the storyteller driver offers insights about landmarks along the way.

The Barossa Food and Wine Experience Tour is priced at A$135 per adult and includes morning pick up and evening set down at selected Adelaide Hotels, full day guided small coach tour with expert commentary by local driver/guide, lunch, all activities and tastings.

The tour departs Adelaide Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and  Sunday.

For further information contact Adelaide Sightseeing on T: 1300 769 762 or visit www.adelaidesightseeing.com.au  

 
 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Thailand's Highest Restaurant and Bar Is Now Open at Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar



Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar, Thailand's highest restaurant and bar is now open at Bangkok's landmark destination, King Power Mahanakhon. Located in the heart of Sathorn and directly connected to Chong Nonsi BTS station, the new dining venue is situated on the 76th and 77th floor of the iconic pixelated building. Inspired by the Chaopraya river and the concept of an eclectic journey, a visit to the upscale modern brasserie allows one to step into an exotic escape from the usual hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Tastefully designed indoor and outdoor seating areas, along with exclusive VIP lounges offer a comfortable dining venue for guests to enjoy world-class mixology and unique dishes. As Wilson Associates' latest interior masterpiece led by Tristan Auer, Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is Bangkok's newest iconic dining destination.

Marc Begassat, Managing Director of King Power Mahanakhon said, “Following the successful launch of Thailand's highest observation deck last November, it is a pleasure to announce the opening of Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar, Thailand's highest restaurant and bar. This new milestone is a result of our passion in creating an exceptional dining destination and key landmark within a location that truly celebrates the city. We look forward to welcoming local and international visitors to King Power Mahanakhon as we continue to add unique attractions to Thailand's tourism landscape”.

The modern brasserie features a menu of sophisticated Western and Asian dishes along with signature creations by Executive Chef Joshua Cameron. Previously based in New York's world-renowned Eleven Madison Park, the well-travelled US native finds culinary inspiration from his passion for travel and exploring international flavors. The menu is accompanied by an extensive list of classic cocktails and over 100 curated wines with an emphasis on natural wines.

Marrying French elegance with Thai-inspired patterns, the journey starts from the first step into a wooden paneled entrance. As visitors emerge into a more refined interior, a luxurious dining area is decorated with elegant lamps while floor-to-ceiling windows reveal an impressive view. Tales of an adventurous yet refined traveler are told through a large sculpture of a bull head, French antique books, Japanese ceramic pottery, and hand-painted vases that lead the way to an indoor white marble bar area. An outdoor terrace is transformed to resemble an urban jungle, surrounding guests in abundant greenery to evoke the feeling of a forest in the sky. Designed by Tristan Auer's world famous team at Wilson Associates, Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is a journey that represents an urban escape for the modern city dweller and worldly traveler.

“The eclectic, yet elevated nature of this oasis in the clouds mirrors the style that our team is known around the world for bringing to our work,” said Auer, Principal of Wilson Associates' Paris Atelier. “Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar was designed to be equal parts welcoming and energetic, and we are honored to have been selected as the team to bring that vision to life.”

Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar will be led by Johan Per Simon Davidsson, a legendary force behind the success of multiple unique concept venues in the Bangkok hospitality industry. With over 15 years of high profile management experience and a passion in cocktail innovations, visitors can expect spectacular beverage, entertainment and shows in the near future.



Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is open daily for dinner and drinks from 17.00hrs to 01.00hrs. For more information and to make a reservation, visit www.mahanakhonbangkokskybar.com or call +66 (0)2677-8722.


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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Qatar Airways brings business class to Adelaide

The upgraded service is now available for travellers between Adelaide and 160 destinations worldwide



Today Qatar Airways officially launched its award-winning, patented Qsuite Business Class for Adelaide as part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to Australian travellers.

Passengers can now experience Qsuite when travelling between Adelaide and 160 destinations worldwide, including over 55 European cities. Qatar Airways began its services to and from Adelaide to Doha in 2016 — flying the first Airbus A350 into Australia. The introduction of the Qsuite service is now set to offer travellers from Adelaide more comfort than ever before.

Qsuite features the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class. There are private cabins for up to four people with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room, a first of its kind in the industry. Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats allow colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialise together. These new features provide the ultimate customisable travel experience that enables passengers to create an environment that suits their own unique needs.

Qatar Airways’ Senior Manager for Australasia, Mr. Adam Radwanski, said: “We have always been committed to providing the best service to our Adelaide customers. It was the first airport in Australia that welcomed the Airbus A350-900 aircraft when we launched here. Now we are excited that Adelaide passengers can experience QSuite which won the 2019 Skytrax ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’.



With the industry’s first-ever double bed in Business Class, interchangeable privacy panels, ambient lighting, and generous storage space, Qsuite is truly a first of its kind in the aviation history.”

Qatar Airways was awarded the coveted ‘Airline of the Year’ title at the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. This is the fifth time Qatar Airways has won the award, which is a first for any airline. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class,' ‘Best Business Class Seat’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’.

The airline has recently launched an array of exciting new destinations, including Mombasa, Kenya; Gothenburg, Sweden; Da Nang, Vietnam; Izmir, Turkey; Rabat, Morocco; Malta; Davao, Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; and Mogadishu, Somalia. The airline will soon fly to Langkawi, Malaysia in October 2019.


Friday, June 28, 2019

First co-branded hotel of Jin Jiang International and Radisson Hotel Group

Following the Group's acquisition by Jin Jiang International and Sino-Cee Fund late last year, Radisson Hotel Group and its shareholders have together identified several opportunities to realize the true potential of the Chinese market. Key initiatives have been defined, with the launch of co-branded hotels being a critical element of the project. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt in Germany is the first property to be co-branded with Jin Jiang International.

Federico J. González Tejera, President & CEO of Radisson Hospitality AB and Chairman of the Global Steering Committee for Radisson Hotel Group, said: "We are keen on offering the leading hotel brands from Radisson Hotel Group to guests, owners and talent around the world. The launch of the first co-branded hotel with Jin Jiang International is an important milestone in reaching this goal. The co-branded hotels have a bright future, with the potential to extend to more than 30 properties across EMEA – including five Radisson Collection hotels in key destinations for Chinese travelers."

Chen Liming, Vice Chairman of the Board for Jin Jiang International, said: "We are thrilled that we will now take the next step in our journey together after the acquisition. China has become the world's largest travel market, offering a wealth of opportunity and potential. Co-branded hotels are positioned to not only improve awareness of our Chinese and Radisson brands in EMEA and China respectively, but also promote people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world. We very much look forward to making the most of the available potential together."

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt in Germany is the first hotel from Radisson Hotel Group's portfolio of more than 1,100 hotels to become a co-branded hotel with Jin Jiang International. The choice of Frankfurt was an obvious one: for years Frankfurt has been the number one destination within Germany for Chinese tourists. The presence of the international airport ensures that many Chinese visitors start or end their trips in Frankfurt. And what's more, no other region in Europe offers more direct flights to China – something that is particularly valued by Chinese investors. It also gives the hotel a chance to showcase the renovation project it completed recently, making now the ideal time to welcome Chinese-speaking guests.

At the newly co-branded hotel, Chinese-speaking guests and travelers will find a range of features designed and curated to provide them with an excellent experience and make them feel at home. New hotel offerings cover all the key moments of the stay, from collateral such as menus and welcome cards being available in Chinese to guests having the ability to pay for anything with Chinese Union pay cards. In the guest rooms, small touches like the provision of tea kettles and a choice of Chinese teas make a big difference. Guests can also relax while watching Chinese television channels or by reading Chinese newspapers, available via the Radisson Blu One Touch app.

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt also features a range of new Food & Beverage options created for Chinese-speaking travelers. It has added traditional dishes like congee, noodles and wontons to the selection available as part of the daily breakfast service. There are now Chinese meals in the hotel's restaurant, Welcome Corner and on its room service menus – including Shanghai noodles, Hainanese chicken rice and Singapore Laksa. Guests can also enjoy a special welcome ceremony upon check-in.

As part of preparation for co-branded hotel opening, a talent exchange program was rolled out earlier this year. A team of employees – featuring chefs, reservation managers and others – from Radisson Hotel Group's hotels and corporate offices spent three months in Shanghai with the aim of providing a true Chinese experience in European hotels. In return, a Chinese team is spending time in Europe to gain a greater understanding of European hospitality.

To facilitate the booking process for Chinese-speaking travelers, as of 30 June 2019, 53 Radisson Hotel Group properties will be featured on the WeHotel Platform, Jin Jiang International's global hotel booking platform. The remaining properties will be available by the end of the year as well. As part of this collaboration, Radisson Rewards and WeHotel Prime, Jin Jiang's high-end hotels loyalty program, are working together to provide localized, in-hotel benefits to members of both programs.

For more information, visit:

www.radissonhotels.com
www.radissonhotelgroup.com/media
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/radisson-hotel-group/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radissonhotels/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/radissonhotels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radissonhotels
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/radissonhotelgroup


 

Family villas a new haven for guests at White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa



'A sanctuary of luxurious accommodation, first class service and idyllic surrounds to unwind in following a day hiking up a volcano or diving the Blue Cave.'

June 2019:  Grass Ocean Resort & Spa on Tanna Island, Vanuatu has recently introduced three new family villas to its range of guest accommodation. The two bedroom, two ensuite, plantation-style villas also include a kitchenette, dining area, lounge and large verandahs. Designed with every creature comfort for a family of up to four, the new villas feature furniture crafted from local hardwood, designer soft furnishings, ceiling fans, ceramic tile floors, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi and more.

White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa is home to the only PADI certified diving operation, Volcano Island Divers, on Tanna Island.  Local dive spots are renowned for their coral and lava formations, abundant marine life (including Caverns turtles, whales  and dugong) and exceptional water quality.

Tanna Island is one of the southernmost islands of the Vanuatu archipelago and is blessed with some of the South Pacific's most beautiful beaches.  White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa has direct access to reef edge and inner reef pool snorkelling. Resort facilities also include a swimming pool, pitch 'n putt golf course, petanque (bocce) field, bicycles, guest library, and the Nabisa Day Spa. Housed in an open bure with uninterrupted coastal views, the Nabisa Day Spa offers a range of indulgent treatments, including its signature Volcanic Hot Stone Massage, using natural products such as the local organic coconut oil.

Food at White Grass is fresh, seasonal and sustainable. The restaurant serves seafood, including lobster, wahu, yellow fin tuna, poulet, marlin and mahi mahi, pulled from the ocean in front of the resort. Fresh Locally farmed prawns and Vanuatu beef are flown in several times each week. Local markets and growers supply organic vegetables, fruit and nuts grown in the island's rich volcanic soil. Whitegrass chefs are local Ni-Vanuatu people who are passionate about the local produce and use their skills and expertise to create memorable meals every day.

Once in a lifetime adventures are a wonderful way to work up an appetite. For example, the resort's Blue Cave experience begins with a 20-minute coastal journey. Once at the Blue Cave, visitors are invited to duck dive through an opening where the cliff meets the sea and emerge into a magical cave, illuminated only by a shaft of light from a hole in the cave ceiling.  

Guests can also experience the world's most accessible active volcano. After a 1.5 hour 4WD journey through dense jungle, mountain villages and ash plains to the base of the volcano, guests walk up the face of Mount Yasur to the volcano rim while witnessing its frequent eruptions.  

Euan Marsh, owner of White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa, says: 'White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa provides our guests with rare access to Tanna Island's unique village culture and raw, once in a life time, adventure experiences.  Our resort has been designed in response to this, and provides a sanctuary of luxurious accommodation, first class service and idyllic surrounds to unwind in following a day hiking up a volcano or diving the blue cave.'    

White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa is located just 2km from Tanna Airport, which is a short flight from Port Vila. Resort staff welcome every guest at the airport before whisking them away to their holiday island home.

Accommodation (including tropical breakfast) in the new family villas starts from around $400 AUD per night (42000VUV per night for a villa)

For more information visit: https://www.whitegrasstanna.com/

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

AirAsia unveils the future of long-haul air travel at Paris Air Show



AirAsia, the Asia Pacific launch customer for the Airbus A330neo, today unveiled the first of its new generation long-haul fleet at the Paris International Air Show.

The aircraft will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, facilitating growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The aircraft unveiling was attended by AirAsia X Chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Airlines) Bo Lingam, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer, Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton and Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery, alongside invited industry and international media.

AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri said, “This is a significant milestone for the aviation industry - and importantly, for our guests - which will revolutionise the long-haul, value air travel market. AirAsia is thrilled to lead the way once again, as the first airline in Asia Pacific to operate the technologically advanced, new generation A330neo aircraft.

“With 66 aircraft on direct order and 2 on lease, the A330neo is the future of our long-haul operations delivering an enhanced guest experience including the latest design features and new modifications to make medium - long haul value air travel more comfortable than ever.

“Guests will be able to see and feel the difference with more personal space, larger cabin bag storage space, ambient mood lighting throughout, power sockets in every seat and the quietest cabin in its class.”

Buranasiri added: “AirAsia X continues to focus on delivering the best value fares for medium- to long-haul air travel. The arrival of the A330neo increases our ability to bring new destinations into play. Direct flights to Europe and the US are now possible, and we are working on many exciting network and product plans to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this aircraft’s extended range and significant cost efficiencies, which will be announced in due course.”

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said, “Operational efficiency, latest product innovations and growth are core to AirAsia… and to the A330neo too! As the newest, lowest seat mile cost mid-size widebody, the A330neo will bring a step change in fuel efficiency, and its increased range will open new opportunities for AirAsia X Thailand’s long-haul network expansion.”

Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton said, “Today is a special day for the Rolls-Royce team. We are thrilled to see the A330neo unveiled at the Paris Air Show with the AirAsia livery. We are excited to see the aircraft grace the skies in Asia. The Trent 7000 is critical to the delivery of the 14% improvement in fuel burn reduction per seat of the A330neo, compared to its predecessor the Trent 700, which is a key factor in this aircraft’s success.”

The AirAsia A330neo unveiled today will be available for viewing at the Airbus static display from 17-19 June 2019 and will be open to Paris Air Show visitors and media between 9.00am and 10.00am. The aircraft will enter service in Bangkok early next month.

Sri Lankan Travel Advisory Lowered



The Australian Travel Advisory for Sri Lanka has officially been lowered yesterday from a Level 3 (Reconsider your need to travel) to a Level 2 (Exercise a high degree of caution), indicating that the country is progressing towards a state of normalcy and whilst still cautious with high levels of security in place. The lowering follows the UK’s lifting of its travel ban last week, with the German, Swiss and Austrian governments relaxing their advice against Sri Lankan travel the week prior.

“Tourism is the most significant part of our economy, supporting one in 10 families in Sri Lanka, so the relaxation of the advisory is excellent news. We have a close connection with Australia as one of our fastest growing inbound markets and look forward to welcoming visitors back with open arms. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support over the past month.” said Malik Fernando, Owner of tour company Resplendent Ceylon

With one in 10 families relying on tourism to make a living, it is a vital part of the country’s economy so the warning’s reduction is a welcome note as the country is dependent on the likes of Australians to visit.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places