Friday, October 29, 2010

Luxe City Guides launches 10 more travel guides for iphone



10 more of the hugely popular Luxe City Guides are now available to download to iPhones, making 20 in the Luxe City Guides Mobile range to choose from. LUXE. Smart stuff for busy people.

Luxe City Guides Mobile can now take you to the best of the best of  Barcelona, Florence, Tokyo, Berlin, Beijing, Seoul, Venice, Dubai, Istanbul and Los Angeles, as well as New York, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Rome, Bali, Sydney and Bangkok. And all for an introductory price of US$5.99.

With over 1 million guides sold to date, Luxe City Guides are already a trusted source for reliable, ultra researched travel information covering everything from hotels and restaurants, to spas and bars. And now Luxe City Guides just got a whole lot more convenient. Employing local editors and contributors, Luxe lists over 400 ideas to fast track you right to the essence of a city, including to local artisans and craftsman. You will never get stuck on the homogenised high street with LUXE and now the guides are available straight to your phone. How glamvenient is that!

Want to avoid the touristy celeb-spotting sites and sup at prime tables where the city’s stylish residents really hang out in Los Angeles? Want perfect cocktails in funky modern speakeasy or charisma-stacked old bars in New York? Luxe City Guides Mobile has got it covered.

Or maybe you’re heading to Europe. Would you like to discover the scorching art scene making Berlin the epicentre of cool? Or perhaps you want to be personally guided through Barcelona’s famous Gaudi architecture by an expert?

Luxe City Guides Mobile apps are packed full of extra features. You can check out rich content anytime, save your favourites, arrange and build personal itineraries and navigate with the handy online and offline maps plus clickable websites and touch dial telephone numbers. How cool is that?

And what’s more, each app comes with a year of free updates sent directly to your mobile. And when the year is up, re-subscription is half price. Check them out now!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Otahuna Lodge Earthquake Restoration


Following the Canterbury Earthquake of 4 September, a sweeping restoration program is underway at New Zealand’s largest private historic residence, Otahuna Lodge.

Owner Hall Cannon says that in the past five weeks some major accomplishments have been made in a project that is set to take several months. However, in order to ensure that all necessary works can be undertaken to restore the property to its previous condition the decision has been made to keep Otahuna closed until Monday, 10 January 2011.

The progress of works has been swift – it is the most advanced restoration of a heritage building in Canterbury and has the full support of local councils and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

It involves rebuilding the property’s many chimneys, replacing damaged roof areas, correcting faults to the homestead’s plastered walls and ceilings and extensive seismic strengthening.

More than 4000 slate roof shingles — as close a match as possible to the originals — have already been installed. Sophisticated engineering and architectural solutions have been approved for the rebuild of all of the property’s damaged chimneys. Interior works are being undertaken by some of the nation’s most respected historic conservation specialists.

Mr Cannon says he is very pleased with the progress of works at the Lodge. “An earthquake of this scope and magnitude was an unprecedented event for Otahuna and New Zealand,” he says. “However, I have every confidence that we have assembled the best team in the business to help us restore the Lodge to its former condition and prepare for its soon re-opening.”

The Lodge team remains in place during the closure to help restore the property and prepare for future guests. "We are accepting forward bookings but in the interim we are working closely with our peer properties throughout New Zealand to re-accommodate our guests during this extraordinary situation," Cannon said.

Information will be regularly posted on www.facebook.com/otahuna and www.otahuna.co.nz. For further information contact Otahuna Lodge on +64 3 329 6333 or enquiries@otahuna.co.nz.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Discover the Real Fiji from $629





Discover the real Fiji over 3 nights with a Captain Cook Cruise - spectacular beaches, crystal clear waters, warm and friendly culture. Small ship cruises to the Yasawa Islands are designed to offer guests an authentic and personal experience. Wake each day to idyllic sites and exclusive destinations. Snorkel over magnificent coral reefs and experience the culture first hand at traditional island villages and handicraft markets. Extra cruising comforts include a swimming pool, extensive outdoor leisure decks and day spa.


Includes:

  • 3 night Captain Cook Cruise of the Southern Yasawa Islands, Fiji, in a Twin share Cabin.
  • All meals as per itinerary.
  • Daily island stopovers and water activities.
  • Guided island and village tours.
  • Snorkelling tours.
  • Use of snorkelling equipment and mini gym.
  • Entertainment.
  • Child minding during meals times (under 7 years of age).
  • 24 hour self-service tea and coffee bar.
  • BONUS 38% discount on rates.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regatta Hotel to Celebrate 2010 Melbourne Cup in Grand Style



Her bars and ornate iron-laced verandas hold memories of almost 130 years of celebratory drinks.. and on Tuesday, November 2 a whole chapter of new memories will be created when the famous Regatta Hotel celebrates the mighty Melbourne Cup with three fanciful events.
So... if you can’t be trackside, be riverside and watch the race that stops the nation at Brisbane’s First Lady of the Brisbane River, The Regatta Hotel...

Racing at The Winterford Room 

All the glamour of a trackside marquee will be recreated riverside in the surrounds of the exclusive Winterford Room for the afternoon. The panoramic views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline will take a back seat to the fully themed room and three-course dining experience (stand up cocktail style) featuring fresh Mooloolaba prawns, grilled snapper and pork medallions, a four-hour beverage package, great prizes, TAB facilities, a big screen plus live MC and entertainment. Priced at $75 per person, this is a sure winner.

A Day at the Races, Regatta Style - Boatshed Restaurant Lunch 

A gorgeously themed three-course seated luncheon will be hosted by Mark Forbes featuring a four-hour beverage package and priced at $120 per person. In his best form yet, head chef Walter Wilson will reap handsome dividends with menu options including fresh seafood platters of Moreton Bay Bugs, Snapper Spring Rolls and Salmon Rillettes for entree; Sirloin Steak served with Truffle Mash, Roasted Field Mushrooms and Veil Jus for the main; and rounding up the pack is a delicious cheese platter including Australian Triple Cream Brie, Tasmanian Blue and Vintage Chedder.

There will be best dressed prizes up for grabs, live coverage of the race, Variety Club QLD sweeps, prizes and full TAB facilities. Bookings are essential on (07) 3871 9533

In the Thick of the Pack - Main Bar 

Bringing with it much of the fashion and flare that will feature at race courses all over the country, the main bar area will be open to the general public and will not require bookings, however patrons are urged to arrive early to find a seat and order from the main bar or street cafe menu to watch the race.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deluxe Retreats in Tasmania


With their often glorious isolation, gourmet supplies and adventurous design, Kendall Hill for Qantas Travel Insider explores Tasmania’s deluxe retreats. 

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From evocative outback homesteads to the idyllic island resorts of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia can lay claim to some of the world’s most indulgent holiday options. But perhaps no single state can match the depth of decadence now on offer in Tasmania. In typically low-key but determined fashion, the island state has gradually distinguished itself as a destination of deluxe, architecturally inspiring and environmentally caring accommodation – often combining all of the above qualities in one address.

In recent months, more than half-a-dozen dazzling properties have debuted, including a cliff-side penthouse with boundless sex appeal; a refined country lodge where gastronomy, game fishing and golf are on the menu; and a lavish but intimate destination hotel on the doorstep of the Freycinet National Park. Add to this line-up a hilltop love nest with an artistic bent; a historic coach-house reborn as a glamorous inn and French cooking school; and the sensational forms of the MONA pavilions beside Hobart’s Derwent River. It is obvious Tasmania has far exceeded its share of exceptional lodgings. The only drawback to a stay at any of its stellar new retreats is finding the time and inclination to get out and explore the island’s renowned wine, food and nature trails.

Visit Travel Insider to explore the following great stays in Tasmania:

Saffire On a crisp, still Freycinet morning the view from Saffire’s 20 sumptuous suites is superb. The pink granite bulk of The Hazards, the glassy expanse of Coles Bay and the boundless sky are framed by glass, and the elevated sleeping platform means you can enjoy the show without leaving your king-sized bed.

Bruny Shore Native fauna abounds at this isolated property near the northern tip of Bruny Island. Arrive at dusk and drive in on an unsealed road alive with quolls, echidnas, Bennetts wallabies and pademelons.

The Winged House Is it a bird? Is it a plane? The Winged House looks a lot like a hang-glider poised for take-off, but it’s anchored to Table Cape in Tasmania’s north-west.

Mona Pavilions The 60-year-old Moorilla vineyard, Hobart’s oldest, has had a glamorous makeover courtesy of star Melbourne architects Fender Katsalidis.

The Lair Architect Rick Bzowy knows how to make an unforgettable first impression. On arrival at his $2.5m dream property, high on a hill overlooking Great Oyster Bay, he slides away the glass walls of The Lair to reveal a sleek platform with a sweeping 200-degree panorama of the east coast from Freycinet to Maria Island.

• Rocky Hills Retreat This couples-only retreat is a white peppermint gum-fringed sanctuary on the peak of a hill above Great Oyster Bay. The mood here is glorious isolation, but definitely not deprivation. Designed and decorated by developer Brett Torossi, whose elegant Avalon Coastal Retreat is one of Tasmania’s best beach houses, Rocky Hills is sophisticated, but also fun.

Red Feather Inn Once a Georgian coach-house watering weary travellers on the road to Launceston, the Red Feather Inn has come a long way from its convict-built roots.

The Priory Sister property to Hobart’s award-winning Islington Hotel, the 1848 Priory is a gothic Tudor pile on Adelaide Hill in the historic village of Bothwell, about an hour’s drive from Hobart. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak


Om Swastiastu. Welcome – Become a part of all that is now and dive into surreal fantasy of
W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak, the NEWEST playground on this captivating island. On the legendary beaches of Seminyak, experience the juxtaposition of fascinating Balinese mythology within the W brand’s uber chic exuberance.


There are a range of accommodation options, Including: 

• Retreats with 64 sq. meters of space, signature W bed with 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down comforter, BOSE® sound system, iPod docking station, high-speed wireless internet access, Bliss® Spa bathroom amenities, deep soaking bathtubs, rainforest shower, Wicked Munchie Box™ and mini-bar, flat screen LCD TV, IP phone and voicemail.

Marvelous Suite with 127 sq. meters of space where you can marvel in an odyssey of space - a large balcony overlooking the ocean and the Retreat, spacious terrazzo bathroom bathed with natural skylight, separate dining, study and entertainment space, plus spacious walk-in wardrobe.

WOW Suite with 274 sq. meters of space. Live in the WOW ! A breathtaking panorama of the ocean with views toward the famous Bali sunset, large terrazzo bathroom with natural skylight and steam rooms, separate dining, study and entertainment space.

Extreme WOW Suite with 532 sq. meters od space. This enormous 2-level suite on the highest floors of the Retreat with stunning views of the ocean boasts a sprawling living room, lounge, dining room, dedicated kitchen and state-of-the-art Kinesis workout training system. Master bedroom comes with a stellar Bang + Olufsen surround sound entertainment system and a master bathroom separated by a catwalk. Sink into a sensual outdoor water bed and ocean spa massage beds as you take-in the beauty of the sunset.

The restaurant and bar options are amazing and include:

Starfish Bloo overlooks the Indian ocean and beach. Chef Jack Yoss shares a culinary vision inspired from his adventures and life experiences, evident in his unique approach to Pan Asian cuisine. Sunsets are free.

Ice Bubbles, frozen cocktails, tempting tapas, freshly shucked oysters and caviar flirt with your senses. Mingle with our mixologists, mix with fellow jetsetter and be part of the sensual transition into night.

Fire The dramatic kitchen awakens for breakfast, and sizzles at sunset. This inviting grill restaurant features fire cooked prime meats and sea-fresh seafood. An unpretentious environment with chefs in action - this is where you become part of the drama of the kitchen!

WooBar Eat, drink, flirt and play here – a three-storey epicentre of partly al-fresco fun in the sun – or at sunset. Sightsee and sip from the sky deck atop the club and boogie to international DJs spinning mixes.

1 Below Some occasions are best kept intimate. A private room for a romantic interlude or for intimate parties of up to 16. Want more? A personal Wine Guru and Chef will design an epicurean journey, just for you.

Cellar The secret dining room for 6 “behind the velvet rope” in our premium wine cellar. A selection of tasting degustations and wine flights can be designed to your tastes. Be an insider.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Iconic Sheraton on the Park Unveils the Ultimate Terrace Spa Suite


Sheraton on the Park introduces its newly renovated Terrace Spa Suite overlooking the Hyde Park. Designed to meet the discerning needs of travellers, this suite has a fresh and contemporary interior emphasising residential comfort and modern living.

Sheraton on the Park is renowned for our high standards of quality and personal service, our exceptional guestrooms and suites, health club and refined dining facilities allow us to offer our guests the best experience in the city .” said Mr Sean Hunt, Regional Vice President for Starwood Pacific Hotels and Managing Director of Sheraton on the Park. “As the last part of a 5-year, $40 million enhancement here at the Sheraton on the Park, the Terrace Spa Suite is the culmination of a unique renovation, which enhances Sheraton on the Park’s reputation as the Celebrity and VIP’s hotel of choice.”

Located on level 21 and covering up to 90sqm, the Terrace Spa Suite is luxuriously inviting and accentuates the softness and comfort of its space through the use of colours and elegant furniture. This unique suite features, custom designed furnishings made from rich chocolate timber with sumptuous fabrics of bronze, gold and warm touches of teal and the contemporary amenities you would expect, such as a tailor-made writing desk, high speed internet access, state-of-the-art electronics including two flat screen TVs and DVD Player, and some features you might not expect such as a guest bathroom, spacious walk-in wardrobe, and access to a private terrace overlooking Hyde Park. More impressively, this suite boasts an opulent spa bath in the large en-suite marble bathroom with individual shower and toilet. Guests feel right at home in this residential yet glamorous retreat.

Incorporating chic, modern tones, this newly enhanced suite still maintains the classic elegance and style associated with the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper king sized bed. The modern design combined with luxurious and contemporary furnishings creates a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience as well as a sense of status for hotel guests.

The Terrace Spa Suite is the favoured room for honeymoons, anniversary celebrations, and memorable occasions. For those guests who want an exclusive and truly luxurious experience, there is only one of this room type. For room reservations, please contact our Reservation Department by calling 02 9286 6000 and speak to one of the Reservations agents, or email sheratononthepark@sheraton.com

Visit Sheraton on the Park