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Saturday, February 28, 2015

See, Touch, Hear, Smell at Taste of Sydney


Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux, sets itself apart as Sydney’s premier restaurant festival because it perfectly blends dining, learning, play and a touch of indulgence. It’s about gaining access to elite chefs and learning techniques and secrets from THE very best masters in the industry.

Discover the secret cooking techniques from some of Sydney’s finest chefs at the Electrolux Taste Theatre. The festival has sourced Sydney’s favourite local and regional chefs so visitors can get up close and personal. With four free demonstrations per Taste session, it’s the perfect blend of inspiration and fun.
Danish butter brand Lurpak has held its position as the most delicious premium butter for over a hundred years. They’re hosting the Lurpak Cookery School where they’ll teach you how to weave your magic in a series of 30 minute cooking classes
At Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux, the team behind Shady Pines Saloon, The Baxter Inn and Frankies Pizza are setting up ‘Sammy's Travelling Roadhouse’.  So throw your peanuts on the floor, settle in for some live honky-tonk, and prepare to swill some hooch. Grab a drink from the boys behind the small-bar revolution that redefined Sydney and dare we say, made it cooler than Melbourne *gasp*.

Crafty beer lovers can head to the Time Out Hop Up, serving tasty local brews from the likes of Young Henrys, Batch, Riverside and Rocks Brewing Co by the paddle or the glass. Those who fancy a quick bite with their drinks will not be disappointed, as the Time Out Kitchen will host Bloodwood (Thurs & Fri), BANG (Sat) and Café Paci (Sun) who will be serving an array of delicious treats to beautifully compliment the beers.



For those who prefer the grape over the grain, House of Arras will be showcasing the best sparkling wine from across the Bass Strait. In the Wine Society marquee, learn from The Wine Society’s own resident expert with sessions including Wine Pouring, Wine Tasting, and Food and Wine Matching.

As the official knife partner of the Festival, Victorinox, the company behind the famous Swiss Army Knives, will be running knife skills demonstrations using their professional chef’s knives at the Victorinox Chef’s Skillery. This intimate round table setting will be the perfect venue to learn which knifes to use, and how to use them with finesse as well as other cooking skills from some of Sydney’s finest culinary stars such as Frank Camorra, Colin Fassnidge and Mark Best.
Get A Taste of Europe as you sample the finest dishes and drinks from the continent’s most beloved cuisines with Celebrity Cruises. Australia’s highest rated cruise line will be taking you on a culinary voyage throughout Spain, Italy, France and Greece, with a Food & Beverage Matching Masterclass sure to be as fascinating as it is delicious.

Visitors have a chance to win an exclusive cruise holiday for two onboard one of Celebrity Cruises modern luxury ships to experience their excellence first hand.

From the quirky to the progressive, exhibitors come from around the world to show off their wares to Sydneysiders. From the locally made Smoked Bacon Bourbon by Experimental Spirits Co. to Sealand Birk; a delicious drink made from none other than Pure Finnish Tree Sap. 

There’s also the Platinum Garden Bar for those looking to upgrade their Taste experience. Platinum Pass members will be fast-tracked into the Festival, gain exclusive access to the Platinum Garden Bar enclosure, receive $30 of Crowns and three complimentary drinks to ensure they enjoy the festival in style.

Take your tastebuds on a global journey at Centennial Park and experience the best of Sydney’s dining, indulge in an impressive collection of award winning, highly regarded restaurants, inspired by some of Sydney finest chefs, all in the one place.  Bring a friend, bring the family, take a master class, enjoy the live music; Taste Sydney.

A global phenomenon, the first Taste was held in London, UK with just one event over 10 years ago. Since then, Taste has rapidly grown to become part of the social season for foodies, restaurant lovers and wine connoisseurs, in 24 different cities around the globe.

Wherever it is in the world, Taste represents foodie heaven: stunning food prepared in the city’s greatest restaurants, world-famous chefs, superb drinks and outstanding entertainment, set in picturesque outdoor surroundings. Taste is really part of a global movement of festivals, with the most recent additions being in Paris and Perth.

WHAT:                 Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux
WHEN:                 Thurs 12 – Sun 15 March
WHERE:               Centennial Park, Sydney
TICKETS:               On sale through Ticketek Australia – www.ticketek.com.au/tasteofsydney
INFO:                    www.tasteofsydney.com.au

Follow Taste of Sydney’s social media channels for all the latest updates:
Facebook:           facebook.com/tasteofsydney
Instagram:          instagram.com/tasteofsydney
Twitter:                twitter.com/tasteofsydney

Traveloscopy | 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Visiting British Columbia






British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, spans nearly a million square kilometres (364,764 square miles) of mountains, forests and beaches, cosmopolitan cities and friendly little towns. Set between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and home to 4.5 million people, BC’s diverse landscapes encompass more than 13 world-class ski resorts, thriving wine regions, thousands of miles of coastline and dozens of championship golf courses, all offering unbeatable opportunities for outdoor adventure and urban experiences.

Heliskiing’s 50th Anniversary:

Fifty years after heliskiing was founded in British Columbia by Canadian Mountain Holidays, over 40 heli- and cat-ski operators have planted their flags on BC’s slopes, showcasing diversity within the sport that boasts few equals. Many operations offer multi-day excursions that set up camp at remote lodges, complete with perks that include cosy accommodation and hearty menus to fuel the fire. Purcell Heliskiing and Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing are two that have been in operations for many decades. Resort-based options include Whistler Heli-Skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, rk heliski at Panorama Mountain Resort, and Selkirk Tangiers Helicopter Skiing at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. For those interested in snow-cat operations, check out Mustang Powder near Revelstoke, where it’s all about fresh tracks in the Monashee Mountains. Fernie-based Island Lake Catskiing offers no less, thanks to guided exploration through the private bowls and gladed forest of the Lizard Range.

First Nations Experiences:

With the highest diversity of distinct First Nations in Canada, British Columbia is rich in Aboriginal culture, from ancient village sites to sophisticated interpretive centres, museums and tours. Visitors are encouraged to unravel the culture of these people, whose presence and influence in the province — seen everywhere in their artwork, carvings and totem poles — is impossible to miss. Where to start? Dip your paddle for a Traditional West Coast Canoe Tour of Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm with Takaya Tours, explore the private beaches (and overnight in everything from rustic yurts to timber frame beach lodges) at Vancouver Island’s Wya Point & Resort or travel farther afield to view the new Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole in Northern BC, a 13-metre (42-foot) monumental pole that was the first to be raised in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in 130 years.

Craft Beer & Spirits:

In the past year alone, there have been nine new breweries that have opened across the province, from Wheelhouse Brewing Company as far north as Prince Rupert to The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse as far east as Cranbrook, with the greatest concentration opening in Vancouver, including Brassneck Brewery, 33 Acres Brewing Company, Four Winds Brewing, Bridge Brewing Company and Green Leaf Brewing Company, among others. That’s just a small sampling though, with even more breweries scheduled to open in 2014. Not to be left out, spirits are also making their presence known, with Vancouver’s Odd Society Spirits, The Liberty Distillery and Long Table Distillery joining already established Victoria Spirits, Island Spirits Distillery, Shelter Point Distillery and Pemberton Distillery in the Vancouver Island and Vancouver, Coast & Mountains regions respectively. Expect to find everything from smooth, sipping vodka made with malted barley grown in Prince George to flavourful gin infused with juniper berries and blackcurrants picked in the Comox Valley.

Urban Outdoors:

While British Columbia’s urban centres offer cosmopolitan experiences, a defining feature of our cities is their proximity to nature. On the doorstep of mountains, oceans, forests, beach, trails and more, cities here offer access to amazing outdoor adventure — most within a 30-minute drive of downtown cores. In Vancouver, you can bike, golf, sail and ski (sometimes all in one day), just beyond the city lights. It’s little wonder then that BC offers a host of outdoor adventures sure to get the blood pumping. There’s singletrack for mountain bikers in Whistler, North Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Williams Lake and Nelson. You can take to the sky with Whistler’s Superfly Ziplines, a thrilling mountaintop adventure with two ziplines that have the distinction of being Canada’s longest. Or, for a change of pace, trade mountains for the beach, and paddle big waves off Tofino or Masset.

Okanagan Valley Wines:

Think wine tours are solely for summer? Not so at these year-round Okanagan Valley vintners. In West Kelowna, Quails’ Gate was founded in 1956, ingenious intuition that has paid off with winning reds and whites. The winery features rare varietals, including Old Vines Foch and Chenin Blanc. Set in Summerland, Sumac Ridge excels in red and white production in equal measures, but it is the burgundy-hued blends, with grapes grown on the Black Sage Bench, that are cause for pause. Further south in Penticton, Poplar Grove Winery holds the distinction as one of five original wineries to set up shop along the province’s Naramata Bench, and for nearly 20 years, this ground-breaking team has never wavered in its dedication to crafting premium wines that deliciously reflect the Okanagan Valley’s distinctive terroir. Oliver’s Hester Creek boasts some impressive views, and along with producing wine also offers Terrafina restaurant and overnight Villa accommodations.For a final stop, head to Nk’Mip Cellars, Canada’s first Aboriginal-owned-and-operated winery, further south in Osoyoos. Here, ripe reds like Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon all benefit from the intense heat in Canada’s only pocket desert.


Largest cruise ship in the world - Harmony of the Seas



Harmony of the Seas will span 16 decks, encompass 227,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,479 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms. The Oasis class is an architectural marvel touting Royal Caribbean’s exclusive seven neighbourhood concept, including Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

With Quantum-class ships Anthem of the Seas (launching in April 2015 in Southampton, U.K.) and Ovation of the Seas (debuting in April 2016), Harmony of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean’s third new ship to launch throughout the next 18 months. Itineraries for Ovation of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas will be announced this coming March.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous holidaymakers alike.

For more information about Royal Caribbean International or to make a booking, visit royalcaribbean.com.au, call 1800 754 500 or visit your local travel agent.



Traveloscopy | 

Cruise Critic Australia is live




Cruise Critic, the world's largest online cruise resource, has launched a new website for Australian cruisers. The new site, www.CruiseCritic.com.au, will provide reviews of cruise ships popular to the Australian market, with a heavy focus on cruise topics of interest to Australian cruisers, including pricing and deals.

“The Australian cruise market has grown exponentially in just the past few years, and it's on par to be one of the largest areas of growth in the industry in 2015,” explains Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “With more than 200,000 Australian cruisers already planning their trips with Cruise Critic, we wanted to offer an experience catered specifically to those travelers – pricing, deals, tips and reviews to make planning a cruise even easier.”

Cruise Critic is a cruise review site and international community of cruise travellers which launched in the U.S. in 1995 as the first consumer cruise site on the Web and now helps more than 4 million people plan their cruise holidays every month. The award-winning site features more than 100,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world's largest online cruise community where travellers exchange advice and tips on all aspects of cruising. Published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor since 2007, the company's first international expansion was Cruise Critic's UK site which launched in 2008.

Serving as senior editor of Cruise Critic Australia will be Sydney-based writer and editor, Louise Goldsbury. Awarded 'Best Travel Writer' in the 2013 National Travel Industry Awards, and a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers, Goldsbury covered the cruise industry for the past five years as editor of Cruise Weekly.

“Over the years, interest in cruising has really taken off with Australians,” says Goldsbury. “And cruise lines are answering that by sending more and more ships to our region. With so much growth, it's an ideal time for the creation of a Cruise Critic specifically for Australians, to highlight the details and topics that matter most to us.”

For more information, visit www.cruisecritic.com.au


Traveloscopy | 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Regional Express (Rex) Group profits up


The Regional Express (Rex) Group today announced its first half FY14/15 results with its Profit Before Tax (PBT) increasing 10% to $5.5 million on a turnover of $129.8 million.

Passenger revenue was flat but the Group managed to have lower operating costs aided by the repeal of the Carbon Tax. Fuel cost was also lower on a hedged price that would see $2 million of savings for the full financial year.

Rex Chief Operating Officer, Neville Howell said, “Whilst passenger demand was seen to stabilise in the first half of the financial year, the Group remained cautious on the second half. The sharp fall of oil prices could have a negative impact on the resource industry, especially the energy sector. The early weeks of the second half did record a softening of passenger demand again.”

"On the other hand, the new Queensland routes which began on 1 January 2015 are expected to perform well."

"The Board remains optimistic that the net result of the headwinds and tailwinds will still be moderately positive for the Group and is committed to paying a final dividend if this materialises."

Regional Express (Rex) is Australia's largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of more than 50 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1,300 weekly flights to 52 destinations throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. The Rex Group comprises Regional Express, air freight and charter operator Pel-Air Aviation and Dubbo-based regional airline Air Link, as well as the pilot academy Australian Airline Pilot Academy.

Traveloscopy | 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Royal Caribbean names latest mega-liner Harmony of the Seas.


source: www.cruiseweekly.com.au

Cruising giant Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has just announced the name of its third Oasis-class vessel, with Harmony of the Seas to join sister-vessels Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas in service from Apr next year. The mega-liner is currently under construction at the STX shipyard in St Nazaire, France.

On its debut, Harmony of the Seas will claim the mantle of the largest cruise ship in the world at 227,700GRT, with capacity for 6,360 guests as maximum occupancy, slightly larger than Oasis and Allure. It will be a true gargantuan on the open oceans, with renderings showing features such as multiple water slides entering separate pools on both sides of a large open-air street and park area in the centre of the ship.

Royal Caribbean has hinted that the third Oasis vessel will offer a number of unique features and amenities, while retaining many of the popular elements of its twin predecessors.

Construction on a fourth Oasis-class vessel began earlier this month, well ahead of a projected 2018 debut.Traveloscopy | 

See Africa Through The Eyes Of An Elephant With Sanctuary Retreats


With its lush floodplains and dry Kalahari sands, northern Botswana is home to the world's largest remaining population of African elephant herds, where they live a largely protected and secure existence.

And guests of luxury travel provider, Sanctuary Retreats, can take advantage of a unique opportunity to explore and experience the African bush from an elephant's perspective through its Living with Elephants program.  

At both its Sanctuary Baines' Camp and Sanctuary Stanley's Camp in Botswana's Okavango Delta, guests can spend a morning walking with three semi-habituated elephants, observing and interacting with them in their natural environment. This extraordinary experience allows guests to join the herd on a foraging trek, steered by the elephants, and observe at close quarters how they search peacefully for food, stripping leaves from branches with their trunks, shaking trees for palm nuts and spraying themselves in the Delta's lagoons.

Jabu, Thembi and Morula were adopted by husband and wife team, Doug and Sandi Groves, when culling operations in South Africa and Zimbabwe left them as orphans. The couple have strived to give them a life that is as close to elephants' natural lives as possible, albeit one that is a little cushioned from the enormous pressures, insecurities and challenges with which wild elephants are typically confronted.

In partnership with the non-profit Living with Elephants Foundation, Sanctuary's guests have an extraordinary and unique opportunity to take part in this very special earning adventure. The trek though the bush, at a leisurely pace, seeing the wilds of Africa through the eyes of an elephant , is an uplifting and totally unforgettable experience which provides a personal and greater understanding of these gentle giants.

Sanctuary Retreats' 5-night 'Heart of the Elephant' package in Botswana, includes 3 nights at Sanctuary Stanley's Camp in the Okavango Delta and 2 nights in Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, which borders Chobe National Park. Prices start from US$3,808 per person twin share and are inclusive of internal flights from Maun to camp's airstrip and back, the unique Walking with Elephants interaction at Sanctuary Stanley's Camp, all meals and drinks (excluding premium brands), laundry, park fees and scheduled game activities.

http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/botswana-lodges-chobe-chilwero-safaris-heart-of-the-elephant

To book your Sanctuary Retreat itinerary today please contact:

Sanctuary Retreats on +61 3 9536 1831 or reservations.australia@sanctuaryretreats.com or your preferred travel supplier.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Atlantic City now open



Award-winning Chef Gordon Ramsay Leads British Invasion of the East Coast with the opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Atlantic City, NJ

Gordon Ramsay and Caesars Entertainment are pleased to announce that Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill is now open at Caesars Atlantic City. The 250-seat restaurant will offer an authentic English pub experience on the East Coast, following the enormous success of his Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Reservations, which are highly recommended, can be made online at opentable.com.

“We’re really excited about the opening after such a great success in Vegas. We have an amazing team and partnership with Caesars,” said Gordon Ramsay, “and we’re looking forward to bringing it to the East Coast.”

Veteran gourmet chef and long-time Atlantic City culinarian George Galati will oversee all kitchen operations for the outlet. Best known for his co-starring role alongside Chef Robert Irvine in Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network, Galati adds nearly 30 years of gourmet experience to an already well-equipped culinary staff.



Hell’s Kitchen Season 13 winner, Chef La Tasha McCutchen has been tapped as head restaurant chef, under Chef George. A fan-favourite throughout Season 13, Chef LaTasha showed signs of her skill and culinary talents very early on, winning Chef Ramsay’s praise at crucial times. “I feel like I opened the doors to my future. I trusted in myself, I believed in myself and I know now that I have what it takes to be a true leader in this industry,” said McCutchen on winning the competition.

The menu at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars features items consistent with British pub fare. Classic British favourites such as, bangers and mash and yorkshire rib roast, as well as some of Ramsay’s favourites like the beef wellington and wood-grilled lobster tail prepared on an oak-fired grill, will all be part of a rustic menu that will change seasonally. Paying homage to a true English pub, Chef Ramsay made sure a steak & ale pie, sticky toffee pudding and of course, the ale-battered fish & chips were included on his menu in Atlantic City.

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill takes advantage of its location in the main Caesars hotel lobby with a patio area extending onto the casino floor where guests can be in the middle of the action. Pop culture relics from both England and the United States will fill the walls of the 250-seat restaurant, with an impressive bar, a vintage-style lounge, a series of casual dining rooms and a private dining room, giving guests a variety of culinary experiences to fit any mood. Twenty-four HD televisions have been strategically placed around the Pub and are set to showcase sporting events from across the world such as Premiere League matches, Pay Per View events and many of the MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL and NASCAR events throughout the year.

EDG Interior Architecture + Design has created a space that is welcoming, high-energy and comfortable, utilising distressed woods with cheeky references to historic and iconic events throughout the space. The centrepiece features a striking bar with an array of beer taps on display and the backdrop inspired by traditional London red telephone booths.

Along the length of the bar are more than 26 beers served up on tap, featuring well-known and craft brewers such as Wells & Young’s, Magners Original, Fuller’s, and local brewers such as Cape May Brewing Co. An additional 22 bottled beers from around the world and around the greater Atlantic City region will always be stocked, as well as 16 widget cans and other can beer options. A unique selection of beers on tap will be made available for take home in custom 64-ounce growlers.

“With the announcement of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars, Atlantic City continues to elevate itself as a culinary destination, one that features big television personalities, celebrity chefs, and now a Michelin-rated chef,” said Kevin Ortzman, President of Caesars and Bally’s Atlantic City. “Chef Ramsay is one of the world’s most highly-regarded chefs as evidenced by his multiple culinary accolades and we are honoured to partner with him at Caesars,” continued Mr. Ortzman.

Chef Ramsay’s partnership with Caesars Entertainment now spans from coast-to-coast with Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars in Atlantic City and the highly successful openings in Las Vegas with Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and the recently announced Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips slated to open at The Linq in 2015.


Traveloscopy | 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Indian Pacific celebrates 45 years



Guests aboard the Indian Pacific next week will help celebrate the 45th anniversary of Australia's first transcontinental rail journey.

Great Southern Rail's Indian Pacific service in South Australia (Davin Walters)
On February 23, 1970, a new passenger train departed Sydney's Central Station. Sixty two hours and 20 minutes later, it was met by a roaring 10,000-strong crowd in Perth. After one single, uninterrupted journey across the incredible 4352km breadth of the continent, the Indian Pacific had arrived.

“The Indian Pacific is clearly destined to take its place among the great trains of history,” then Governor General Sir Paul Hasluck enthused at the time. Forty five years later, the Indian Pacific has delivered on expectations, ranking alongside the Blue Train and Orient Express as one of the world's must-do rail experiences.

1970s-era photo of Indian-Pacific


In its 45th anniversary year, the Indian Pacific is introducing brand new experiences to its itinerary as it continues to journey beyond to amazing Australian destinations.

NEW Barossa Valley excursion from 1 April 2015

All Indian Pacific journeys departing Sydney will offer guests an all-inclusive extended stop in South Australia's Barossa Valley. Enjoy lunch at Maggie Beer's iconic Farmhouse, sample a fine drop at a range of boutique wineries and immerse yourself in the picturesque setting of this world-renowned wine region.

NEW dinner under the stars at Rawlinna from 1 April 2015

All Indian Pacific journeys departing Sydney will feature an unforgettable off-train dinner at the Nullarbor outpost of Rawlinna. Eat and drink with friends under a canopy of outback stars in one of the most remote destinations in Australia.

NEW exclusive dining for Indian Pacific Platinum Service guests in 2015

Platinum Service guests are now invited to unwind in the exclusive Platinum Club carriage, where relaxed dining is the order of the day. Whether it's an intimate dinner for two or a group celebration, the Platinum Club offers flexibility, privacy and all the luxuries associated with our highest level of on-board service.

Both Platinum and Gold Service fares include all regionally-inspired cuisine and complimentary beverages, as well as a range of fascinating Off Train Excursions in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.

All Indian Pacific holiday packages are currently discounted as part of Great Southern Rail's “Journey Beyond” sale. Save up to $819pp when you book the Perth and Margaret River package including three nights aboard the Indian Pacific, three nights in Perth and a two-day Margaret River Food Lovers tour.

For more “Journey Beyond” deals, visit www.greatsouthernrail.com.au or call 13 21 47.

Traveloscopy | 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Festival Enlightens Canberra

See Canberra in a different light next week when many of the city's national attractions open their doors after-hours to host an array of exclusive events and surprising experiences for the Enlighten festival.

Enlighten's signature architectural projections will transform the grand buildings of the national capital's Parliamentary Triangle from Friday 27 February to Saturday 7 March.




On the festival's showcase nights – Friday 27 February, Saturday 28 February, Friday 6 March and Saturday 7 March – the Parliamentary Triangle will be transformed into a vibrant and bold performance precinct with free entertainment set against a backdrop of stunning architectural projections that shine a light on some of Australia's most iconic attractions.

A selection of Canberra's cultural institutions within the Parliamentary Triangle will open their doors after dark, allowing exclusive access to a fascinating selection of collections, exhibitions and galleries.

Each night the whole family can experience a range of free and ticketed events as 12 of the capital's finest cultural institutions offer up a creative program of events encompassing comedy, dining, art, music and a host of surprising experiences.

In an Australian-first, visitors can watch a free performance of Voala Station on 7 March, which follows the journey of four businessmen swept into a world of magic and dizzying heights, after missing the last night train. Renowned for their stunning imagery and visual narratives, Voala have soared through the skies of 20 different countries.

As the sun sets on Lake Burley Griffin, 300 illuminated paper boats will transform into an incandescent fleet in another Australian-first. Reminiscent of folded paper origami boats, audiences can engage with this innovative exhibition Voyage via a mobile phone app.

This year's program also sees the exciting addition of the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets, creating a bustling atmosphere in the heart of the event with an array of authentic Asian eats, themed bars and live music.

As the lights go on across the Parliamentary Triangle, visitors will tuck into fun, authentic Asian eats, from dumplings to dosa, pad Thai to gyoza. For 10 nights from Friday 27 February to Sunday 8 March, the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets will feature up to 25 hawker style food stalls operating in the Enlighten precinct between Reconciliation Place and Commonwealth Place.

The markets will showcase the essence of the Canberra region food and wine experience, including traders like Morks restaurant and Thirst Thai restaurant, within Enlighten's vibrant event hub which features roving performers and bars and a backdrop of iconic national attractions with spectacular architectural light projections and surprising after dark events and experiences.

As the first autumn leaves begin to fall, let Enlighten surprise you with unique celebration of culture and creativity to mark the International Year of Light.

For more information, visit enlightencanberra.com.


Traveloscopy | 

Win a Six Day Trip to Korea with Samsung NX Traveller


Korea Tourism Organization is a supporting partner of the 'Win a six day trip to Korea', an exciting photographic journey through the country being sponsored by Samsung NX Traveller. Stand a chance to win a trip to Korea with professional photographers and amateur photography enthusiasts to enjoy photography in many scenic locations in Korea.

On this trip which takes place from 13-18th April, 2015, you will not only get to experience the height of the cherry blossom season in Korea but also have a chance to discover the many hidden gems along the way.

The competition is organised for amateur photographers as well as professionals. Amateur photographers must register online and explain why they would like to have the opportunity to join the trip.

Professional photographers are offered the chance to trial the latest Samsung NX camera and must submit a portfolio of their photographs online to be considered.

Selected participants will receive a six day all expenses paid trip to Korea.

The deadline for Australian entrants in the competition is the 15th March, 2015.Join us on a 6-day all expense paid trip to Korea. (13 – 18 April 2015).

Full terms and conditions are available on the website: https://www.smartphotography.asia/nxtraveller
Traveloscopy | 

NIYAMA's second island opens in the Maldives




CHILL AND PLAY AT NIYAMA

Nature's Playground now offers twice the fun

NIYAMA, the Per AQUUM Resort located in the South Western Atoll of Dhaalu in the Maldives, announces the opening of its second island 'Play', accessible via bridge from NIYAMA's original island 'Chill'.  With 48 new villas, Play offers fresh, groundbreaking concepts including Nest, the treetop dining experience and BLU, the laid-back beachfront restaurant, plus new facilities for every generation including the most exciting children's club in the Maldives.

Miami meets the Mediterranean at BLU, which offers relaxed family-style beachfront dining from day through to night.  The large infinity pool with its dedicated children's swimming area offers fun for the whole tribe and the poolside ice cream parlour is packed with homemade treats including smoothies, sherbert and crêpes.  A 'Sunshine Thakuru' takes care of guests' every whim and poolside cabanas offer a private haven close to all the action.

Opening soon on Play, Nest is a one-of-a-kind dining concept for the Maldives featuring naturally modern design nestled amongst the Banyan trees in the heart of the jungle.  With a diverse menu, Nest offers a gourmet wonderland of Asian specialties from Thai to Teppanyaki with fresh, seasonal produce from the Chef's own island garden.  The innovative multi-level treehouse design provides spectacular locations from private pods suspended six metres above the ground to culinary theatrics in domed pavilions burrowed amongst the trees, all linked by wooden walkways adding a sense of adventure to the jungle experience.

Explorers, the new children's club run by an internationally renowned operator, is located close to the resort's family friendly accommodation on Play.  Designed with adventurous spirits in mind, Explorers offers a wealth of experiences which promise to ignite children's imagination.

Operated by fully qualified childcare professionals and local team members with an exceptionally high ratio of carers to children, the club caters to children from 12 months to 12 years.  NIYAMA is the only resort in the Maldives offering a club for children under three years of age with special facilities for younger children including a sleeping room for daytime siestas. Children will be split into four age groups with activities tailor-made to their abilities and interests.  Theme days include Jungle Safari, Pirates & Princesses and Circus Fun as well as activities such as sandcastle building, salt dough making and 'bubble trouble'.  Older children can enjoy their own space with activities such as football skills, beach cricket, tennis, snorkelling safaris and Master Chef Classes as well as expeditions to nearby islands.  Highlights include water games, a climbing wall and a trampoline.  Budding thespians will have the time of their lives treading the boards at the club's own amphitheatre.

New accommodation options at NIYAMA include the One-Bedroom Beach Pool Suites which offer the best of indoor/outdoor living, perfect for families, groups of friends or couples seeking more space.  The Beach Pool Suites provide total privacy but also the convenience of direct beach access and ocean views from bed as well as a 'family-sized' plunge pool.  The new Two-Bedroom Family Beach Pavilion boldly faces the lagoon and offers the ultimate in luxury living and a high level of privacy with the added bonus of an in-villa spa.  Guests will enjoy all of NIYAMA's signature touches including a personal Thakuru - butler service 'Maldivian-style' - 'Deli-In', a refrigerator brimming with gourmet drinks and treats including complimentary popcorn and ice cream, and an in-room entertainment system with LED TV, Bose 5.1 Surround System and a wide range of international and foreign language movies.  Children and teenagers will receive a special welcome gift and turndown service.

NIYAMA, which opened in 2012, is a 45 minute seaplane flight from Male and has quickly established a reputation for redefining the Maldives experience.  The new facilities on Play complement the venues on Chill, including LIME Spa which promises to bring guests out of their shell with a range of cutting edge treatments.  Dining options on Chill include Tribal, the innovative African dining experience, fine dining at Edge, which is only accessible by boat, and Subsix, the underwater playground.

Guests can be part of the celebrations with Per AQUUM's special introductory offer 'Chill & Play' which offers a saving of 30% on the best available rate and a whole range of extras designed to make their stay even better including one of the following extras for each full day:

-        Babysitting service for three hours

-        60 minute treatment at LIME Spa for two

-        Dinner at BLU on Play or Epicure on Chill

-        Lunch at the underwater playground, Subsix

-        Heaven for game-lovers with a two hour session on the simulator  (golf, basketball and ice hockey)

Valid for bookings made until 31 March 2015 for stays between 24 February to 23 December 2015.  Go to: http://niyama.peraquum.com/promotions/CHILL-PLAY/



Thursday, February 19, 2015

‘Zero Flight Risk™’ - Don’t let your money go away without you






‘Zero Flight Risk™’ is an initiative whereby any client purchasing travel products and services through MTA can rest assured the company will guarantee their funds in the event of any approved travel intermediary or end supplier becoming insolvent and being unable to deliver the product or service.


Grand opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Agra in India


Courtyard marks 1,000th hotel milestone WITH global celebrations and 50 MILLION MARRIOTT REWARDS POINTS

~ Kick off with the grand opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Agra in India ~

Courtyard by Marriott, the world’s 8th largest hospitality brand* reaches its 1,000 hotel milestone and celebrates on a global scale. Customer events during a six week period will kick off today with the grand opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Agra in India. The pinnacle of the festivities will be on March 31 when the Courtyard Walla Walla, Washington, USA, will be designated as the 1,000th hotel. On that same day, all Marriott Rewards guests checking into any Courtyard worldwide will receive 1,000 points as the brand’s milestone gift, an estimated 50 million points.

“We are extremely proud of how far Courtyard has come. By listening to our customers over the past 30 years we have been able to continually evolve to meet their needs,” said Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager, Courtyard. “Our global expansion and robust pipeline is proof that we provide the experience that travellers want. That is why it is important to share our success with them.”



Courtyard by Marriott debuts in Agra, the City of Love

Kicking off the celebration, is the newest jewel in Marriott International’s crown in India Courtyard by Marriott Agra. Located in the beautiful city of Agra, home to the world renowned “Taj Mahal”, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Courtyard by Marriott Agra is the 12th property for the brand in India. The hotel aspires to be a preferred getaway destination offering Indian hospitality with an international flair.

With the Taj Mahal in walking distance, Courtyard by Marriott Agra boasts the largest suite inventory in the city - ideal for long stay business or leisure alike. The elegantly structured architecture with 189 well-appointed guest rooms and 18 exquisite suites are designed to anticipate guests' basic needs—functionality, safety, consistency, comfort and value—providing a warm, sophisticated environment and a variety of options including state-of-the-art amenities, wonderful views of the landscaped gardens or the pool, recreation and wellness facilities that allow guests to stay connected, productive and refreshed during their stay.

Mr. Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President, South-Asia, Marriott International commented, “Agra is a significant tourist and business destination for expats and corporates alike. The Courtyard by Marriott Agra has been launched, keeping in mind the needs of such travellers.” He further adds, “All our properties in India are market leaders in their operative segments, we aim for nothing less with the Courtyard by Marriott Agra as well. This property is also testimony of our vision for the brand Courtyard by Marriott and its standards of excellence. With this launch, Marriott International is now present in the Golden Triangle, with hotels in Delhi NCR, Jaipur and Agra.”

Sharing his thoughts, Mr. Vishal Bharti, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott, Agra said, “The opening of Courtyard by Marriott Agra marks our entry into one of the most important leisure cities in India.” He further adds, “Agra being one of the most important tourist destinations in North India, we are excited to offer business and leisure traveller’s the best in class customer service, where every guest experience will be curated to perfection.”

The hotel also offers large conference and banquet facilities, with more than 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor banquet space, which can accommodate up to 1200 guests. Magnificent lawn and extensive banqueting spaces make a perfect setting for social or business engagements. An on-site events team will ensure flawless coordination and execution, be it a lavish wedding or social event.

Guests are invited to explore three unique restaurants on property. MoMo Cafe, a chic all day dining restaurant which is contemporary, warm, welcoming and offers a gastronomic à la carte and the largest buffet spread in Agra, with a menu featuring fresh ingredients and international flavors. MoMo 2 Go, the coffee shop certifies the best bakery in town while MoMo To You, a round-the-clock in-room dining menu offers guests the option of dining in the comfort of their rooms. Onyx Bar at the hotel serves a selection of spirits, wines and cocktails with delectable finger-foods to go, giving our patrons and guests, that perfect backdrop to just sit back and unwind, at close of day.

The hotel is located near popular attractions and shopping districts including the Agra Fort, Akbar’s Tomb, Jama Masjid and Kinari Bazaar. Guests driving from Delhi can also easily access the hotel from the Delhi – Agra Yamuna Expressway. With its ideal location supported by warm, caring and personalised service, Courtyard by Marriott, Agra endeavour’s to become the most preferred hotel for business and leisure travellers in the city of love.

Following the festivities in Agra are other major celebrations for the Courtyard 1,000th hotel milestone including grand openings of Courtyard Recife Boa Viagem in Brazil marking the brand’s first property in the country, as well as Courtyard Abu Dhabi, the first Marriott endorsed hotel in the capital city of U.A.E. Images and global conversation of the festivities will be shared using #Courtyard1000.

Boasting the largest global rooms pipeline in the Marriott portfolio, more than 50 percent of which is outside of US, Courtyard expects to be in 40 countries by summer and is in all 50 U.S. states. The brand celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013 and is Marriott’s second largest revenue generator.

The Sebel Network of Hotel and Apartment Properties Set to Expand in Victoria and Queensland

The Sebel network in Australia will grow its network of hotel and apartment properties in Australia with the Accor group today announcing two new addresses for the brand in Victoria and Queensland – The Sebel South Brisbane and upcoming $35 million waterfront project, The Sebel Yarrawonga.

Accor officially welcomed its first property on the Southside of the Brisbane River this week with addition of The Sebel South Brisbane at 50 Water Street.



In close proximity to the commercial and entertainment hub of South Bank and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the 63 room hotel offers premier apartment style accommodation for guests plus a selection of intimate conference and meeting solutions including a boardroom with seating for up to 14 guests.

Great leisure facilities include a pool, fitness centre, and stunning sky-deck facility with Brisbane's best 360 degree views stretching from Mt Warning to Mt Coo-tha and across the CBD to the Gateway Bridge, Gabba and iconic Story Bridge.

In regional Victoria, a new $35 million resort style development is set to be built on The Point overlooking Lake Mulwala, and will be operated under The Sebel banner by Accor.

Set for construction from early 2016, with an opening date in early 2018, The Sebel Yarrawonga will be a completely new 120-room hotel-serviced apartment facility.

The waterfront hotel will form the centrepiece of a broader resort and marina complex planned by development company, Lotus Living, The Sebel's guests will have access to an impressive complex expected to include a bar and bistro, restaurant, 300-seat conference facility, pool, gymnasium and other health club amenities.

Lotus Living Project Director, Daniel Smith said The Sebel and the greater resort would deliver significant benefits to the township and support Yarrawonga as it continues to flourish as a premier holiday, conference and mini-getaway destination in Northern Victoria.

“As the jewel in the crown of the Silverwoods Golf and Lifestyle Resort this hotel and resort will be able to accommodate up to 120 rooms and 300 guests for conferences and events,” Mr Smith said.

Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath, said, “For more than 50 years The Sebel name has been renowned for its historical legacy, style and exceptional hotel destinations. We are excited by our latest partnerships with The Sebel which represent an opportunity for Accor to further capitalise on the growth in the serviced apartments sector and diversify from hotel and resort-style accommodation which has been our core product for over 20 years.”

With the recent addition of The Sebel South Brisbane, The Sebel network currently offers 23 properties across Australia and New Zealand, accommodating the Accor group's apartment portfolio whilst also maintaining a traditional hotel offering to meet current consumer demands.

For more on the network, visit www.thesebel.com or www.accorhotels.com.au


Traveloscopy | 

Whitsundays' Whitehaven Beach Voted South Pacific's Best Beach

World-famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays has again taken out the top gong for the South Pacific's Best Beach in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards.

This marks the third consecutive year that Whitehaven Beach was voted Australia's Best Beach by TripAdvisor reviewers.

Whitehaven Beach voted Best Beach in the South Pacific
Copyright: WMDL

Picture-perfect Whitehaven Beach also ranked in the Top 10 of the world's best beaches.

Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) Executive Director Jeff Aquilina was very excited that the region's iconic beach had yet again proven to be a favourite with travellers.

“On behalf of the Whitsundays tourism industry, we are absolutely thrilled that Whitehaven Beach has taken out the top gong as the best beach in the South Pacific,” Mr Aquilina said.

“It is a tribute to the stunning natural beauty of the Whitsundays and our local tourism operators who allow visitors to experience the exceptional beauty and magic of Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsunday Islands whilst keeping it clean and preserving this natural wonder at the same time,” he said.

“It is a great honour for our region that this beauty is recognised and appreciated by travellers from all over the world,”

“We have an array of amazing visitor experiences on offer here in the Whitsundays but feeling the soft silica sands below your feet on Whitehaven Beach and taking a dip in the crystal clear waters is certainly a 'must do',” Mr Aquilina said.

“A huge thank you goes to all TripAdvisor reviewers who have voted for Whitehaven Beach as their favourite, making it a true bucket list experience for travellers from around the world.”

Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the crystal clear turquoise waters and pristine silica sand of iconic Whitehaven Beach stretch over seven kilometres along Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays.

For more information or to book your Whitsundays getaway, visit www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au.

ABOUT THE WHITSUNDAYS
The 74 islands of the Whitsundays lay in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, cradled by the tropical waters of the Coral Sea, a truly remarkable icon of beauty. The Whitsundays is an invitation into a world of tropical wonder. The vibrant colours of the magnificent Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforest provide plenty of scope for activity and adventure. Easily accessible by air or road, the Whitsundays are located on the central eastern coast of Queensland in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The area is characterised by world class resort facilities blending harmoniously with the pristine natural attributes of the area. Sail, Explore, Dive, Dine, Play, Relax, Enjoy. The opportunities are endless… which is why there is no better place to take a well-deserved holiday than the Whitsundays.


Traveloscopy | 

TFE Hotels to Unveil at AIME 'Events With Benefits' Rewards Program

TFE Hotels will unveil its refreshed 'Events with Benefits' (EWB) rewards program during the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne on 24 and 25 February 2015.

As opposed to value-add programs, the rejuvenated EWB offering features a range of rewards in accordance with a five-tier program based on the total spend of event organisers who book any TFE Hotel.

Those who book a meeting or event at any TFE Hotel across Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, Rendezvous Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels, or Hotel Kurrajong Canberra will have access to a host of conference and event facilities. Offering flexible, intimate and elaborate conference solutions as well as extensive technology inclusions, surprise food and beverage delights, creative room set-up and streamlined operating procedures, holding an event with TFE Hotels will make delivery and post-event follow-up a breeze.

Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

Whether you are planning a large business event or conference or an intimate social function, our professional Conference Event Managers can provide tailored proposals and customised services to ensure every aspect of your event is a success. All hotels offer complimentary wireless internet to ensure you stay connected.

Emma Fraser, Group Director of Marketing at TFE Hotels said: “The recent growth of our hotel portfolio, with the addition of Rendezvous Hotels, means we can offer a variety of professional venues, great facilities and friendly service.

“At TFE Hotels, we believe business is built on relationships and these new incentives are an opportunity for us to thank and reward our clients for their loyalty and patronage.”

The newest addition to the TFE Hotels' family is the recently opened Vibe Hotel Marysville; this has been designed to connect its guests with its natural surroundings, offering state-of-the-art purpose-built conference and events facilities with views of the Yarra Ranges National Park and Cathedral Ranges.

Be inspired by a new way of approaching successful meetings, wonderful weddings and spectacular conferences, TFE Hotels can cater for your event on a small or grand scale, with venues to suit up to 1000 guests.

And what's more, you get rewarded more than ever for staging your meetings at any TFE Hotel. There are five tiers of rewards based on your total spend which could be a generous credit or Visa gift voucher.

When booking a TFE Hotel for your next event bookers can receive a choice of reward options including...

Tier 1

Above $2,500 of total spend

$100 credit for hotel catering, accommodation or services (to be used at the booked event) OR...

$200 rebate on total bill for next conference held at TFE Hotels OR...

$100 Visa gift voucher

Tier 2

Above $5,000 of total spend

$200 credit for hotel catering, accommodation or services (to be used at the booked event) OR...

$400 rebate on total bill for next conference held at TFE Hotels OR...

$200 Visa gift voucher

Tier 3

Above $10,000 of total spend

$500 credit for hotel catering, accommodation or services (to be used at the booked event) OR...

$1000 rebate on total bill for next conference held at TFE Hotels OR...

$500 Visa gift voucher OR...

Tier 4

Above $25,000 total spend

$1,000 credit for hotel catering, accommodation or services (to be used at the booked event) AND $1,000 credit for next event OR...

$1000 Visa gift voucher

Tier 5

Above $50,000+ of total spend

$4,000 credit for hotel catering, accommodation or services (to be used at the booked event) AND a $1,000 credit for next event OR...

$2,000 Visa gift voucher

Furthermore, all registered participants of TFE Hotels' EWB rewards program who book and hold their event before 31 July 2015 go into the major prize draw to win Business Class flights to Berlin + 7 nights accommodation at an Adina Apartment Hotel in Berlin.

TFE Hotels will exhibit at stand C500 at AIME, where attendees can learn more about the EWB program and other TFE Hotels news such as this month's official opening of Vibe Hotel Marysville which is playing a significant role in the regeneration of Marysville in Victoria as well as the re-opening of the heritage-listed Hotel Kurrajong Canberra as well as the upcoming hotels to open – Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Airport and Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport which will be a key meetings, conferences and events hotel to enter the Canberra market.

Traveloscopy | 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Australian Luxury Travel Survey: How the other half travel

Insights from the inaugural 2015 Australian Luxury Travel Survey revealed

High net worth travellers unveil the true definition of Australian Luxury

Sandy Oatley, Bob Oatley (sitting) and Nicki Oatley Photo: Louis Douvis

Australia’s luxury travel market is evolving. According to the 2015 Australian Luxury Travel Survey, as commissioned by qualia and Virtuoso, 74 per cent of high net worth (HNW) travellers believe Australia has become more of a luxury travel destination over the past five years.

No longer is luxury travel defined purely by the level of opulence or an expensive price tag. According to the research, 85 per cent of HNW travellers believe luxury travel is defined by a property’s personalised attention to detail, followed by understated elegance, exclusivity and privacy (75%) and an extraordinary natural location and sense of place (59%) respectively.

Hamilton Island Chairman, Sandy Oatley said it is gratifying to know more than seven years on, the family’s vision for qualia continues to align with what luxury travellers are looking for today.

Sandy Oatley
“When opening qualia in 2007, our aim was to create an understated luxury oasis which maximises the sheer beauty of its Great Barrier Reef location along with a uniquely Australian standard of service that would meet and exceed the expectations of the most discerning travellers from around the world. The 34 accolades the resort has received over the past three years are testament to our qualia team who continue to perfect this vision daily,” Sandy continued.

An ardent vision of this nature is essential for Australian luxury property owners as competition strengthens within the domestic luxury market. When it comes to researching the abundance of luxury travel options, close to 1 in 2 (47%) HNW travellers rely predominantly on the power of word of mouth, secondly to inspiration found in traditional media outlets such as newspapers and magazines (44%) and thirdly to online travel reviews (41%) such as Tripadvisor and Mr + Mrs Smith.

Interestingly, whether the rich and famous have graced a particular resort is neither here nor there to HNW travellers with 58 per cent of respondents revealing they aren’t influenced at all by celebrity endorsements when researching a luxury holiday.

Furthermore, the research revealed luxury lodges (less than 60 rooms) as Australian HNW travellers’ accommodation type of choice (42%), followed by boutique hotels (less than 20 rooms) (25%) and luxury hotels (100+ rooms) (16%) respectively, with Australian owned properties preferred over those backed by a global brand. Only three per cent of travellers nominated this latter style of property as their preference when travelling in luxury domestically.

Sandy Oatley said: “Our family is exceedingly proud to be Australian and as such, we want every qualia guest to savour an authentic and extraordinary Australian experience. From the use of Australian materials and native plants, to encouraging our guests to explore our renowned Great Barrier Reef backyard, from the wallabies frequently spotted around the resort to the Australian food and wine gracing our menus, every detail contributes to qualia’s Australian heart and soul – a point of difference which we feel sets the resort apart.”

This attention to detail is becoming increasingly imperative with Australian luxury properties no longer able to solely rely on their lavishly appointed and generously sized rooms to woe potential guests.

As revealed in the 2015 Luxury Travel Survey, 22 per cent of HNW travellers identify a luxury property’s authentic, unique experiences as the factor holding the greatest influence on their final booking decision, followed secondly by a property’s established reputation and/or award winning history (20%) and thirdly by an impeccable standard of service (19%). Only four per cent of travellers believe the size and design of the property’s rooms hold the same weight.

The research revealed HNW travellers are craving these unique travel experiences often with 1 in 4 exploring their own backyard in luxury on average 4 – 5 times per year. Hamilton Island’s CEO, Glenn Bourke says over the years, this number has been on the rise.

“At qualia, we’re noticing the quick 2 – 4 day luxury getaway becoming increasingly popular. The 2015 Luxury Travel Survey revealed over the past five years, 2 in 3 people have found themselves taking shorter domestic luxury holidays more often. We’re noticing for many, the cost of these short breaks simply isn’t an issue with the majority willing to spend big to ensure each getaway is memorable,” said Mr Bourke.

According to the 2015 Luxury Travel Survey, 46 per cent of travellers allocate an average annual luxury travel budget of $10,000 – $30,000. One in 10 (10%) travellers allocate $30,000 – $50,000 per year, topped only by the expenditure of the fortunate 8 per cent who revealed they’re prepared to spend $50,000 or more on travelling the world in style.

Air India launches ICC World Cup 2015 inflight cricket theme menu






Howzat!

India's national carrier, Air India, has launched a new onboard menu on flights between India and Australia in keeping with the spirit of the ICC World Cup.
 
The menu will be onboard during the period of the tournament. On this menu dishes have been named in honour of famous cricketers, from MS Dhoni through to Steve Smith.
 
Indian style chicken served with fragrant onion pilaf has been named as Dhoni's Swashbuckling Super Sixer, a paneer (cottage cheese) dish served with pilaf Jaffrani is called Raina's Cheesy Pull Shot, fish of the day called Captain Smith's Catch of the Season, and a traditional rasamalai designated as Sachin's Sweet Drive.
 
Passengers traveling Business Class will be treated to South African cricketer JP Duminy's favourite — a non-vegetarian Hors D'oeuvre made with Prawn Kolivada accompanied by Chicken Harayali Tikka, served with creamy cheese and vegetables, or Chris Gayle's Lamb Goulash with potato wedges, carrots and minted green peas.
 
All rounder, Suresh Raina, a member of the current World Cup Team India is a member of the Air India family. The airline also has employed several popular cricketers like Yuvraj Singh , VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Nikhil Chopra, and Pravin Amre and it is with their assistance that these menus have been created.
 
Business Class menu cards signed by cricketers will be presented as a souvenir of the Air India experience. In addition, Business class passengers will also be given special sleep wear with a bat wielding Maharajah on the front.
 
For more information contact Air India on 02 92833370 or www.airindia.in
 
About Air India:

Air India occupies a special place in the global and Indian aviation scenario. It pioneered the aviation in India and its history is synonymous with the history of civil aviation in India. Air India is not a mere airline that transports passengers, baggage and cargo. It is a multi-faceted organization. The aviation infrastructure it has created over the years is a testimony of its contribution. Apart from servicing of all its aircraft in-house with its own engineering facilities, Air India also undertakes ground handling services of many airlines in many cities in India. Air India has grown to become a mega international airline with a network of 33 destinations across the USA, Europe, Far-East and South-East Asia and the Gulf. The airline's domestic network covers 50 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North-East, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, Airbus A330s, latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Old Clare Hotel opening July 2015 in Sydney

UNLISTED COLLECTION: REVEAL PLANS FOR 'THE OLD CLARE HOTEL'

BOUTIQUE DESIGN HOTEL SET TO LAUNCH JULY 2015

54e27e2a05f811424129578.png

Kensington Street Presinct featuring The Old Clare Hotel, opening July 2015.

Rich in historic and cultural significance, the reimagination of Chippendale's Clare Hotel and Carlton United Brewery (CUB) Administration Building will be unveiled this July 2015 with the launch of The Old Clare Hotel.

Located in the emerging area of Chippendale, on the corner of Broadway and Kensington Street, The Old Clare Hotel is set to become the heartbeat of this exciting new precinct.

A total of 62 accommodation rooms will be on offer to suit a range of guests; soaring ceilings with heritage timber paneling, exposed original brick, and contemporary design combine to create an unpretentious and authentic, semi-industrial feel. This urban environment is the design of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects; known for their work with existing structures and the introduction of the past as 'a compilation of time'. The practice has won over 90 major international and local design awards – including for the nearby Carriageworks Arts Centre.

The Old Clare Hotel's reception will come complete with a bar where locals and guests can meet to enjoy coffee, beers or cocktails and food throughout the day and night. This bar will be located within the original pub area of the Clare Hotel; a space that playfully looks to its own history.

A roof top bar, located next to a 14-meter pool on the rooftop of the CUB Administration Building, will boast views across Sydney's creative district. Here, guests will be invited to join in an upcoming cultural program or welcome the day with a sunrise poolside yoga session. Facilities at The Old Clare Hotel are to include a private gym and day spa as well as a heritage restored meeting space for up to 24 guests.

In collaboration with Unlisted Collection, three independent restaurants offering different dining experiences will also open in July. Clayton Wells, formerly of Momofuku Seiobo and Quay, will open his first restaurant, Automata, on Kensington Street and Sam Miller, former executive sous chef at S.Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant Noma, will also open his first solo restaurant, Silvereye, on the second floor of The Old Clare Hotel. Long-time partner of Unlisted Collection, internationally renowned British chef Jason Atherton will open his first Australian venue, Kensington Street Social, a 120-seat space offering breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

The Old Clare Hotel is the work of the Unlisted Collection; owned by Singaporean hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng. Unlisted Collection's recreation of the two heritage buildings is a comprehensive adaptive conversion and is the group's first Australian endeavor.

The arrival of The Old Clare Hotel and selection of restaurants will offer Sydney locals and travellers a thriving new cultural playground and fixture of authentic new urban experiences.

The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale NSW 2008 www.theoldclarehotel.com.au


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