Big Fat Hotel Wrap

It’s only one month until summer holidays begin. What better way to celebrate than reading this hysterical wrap. Ok it’s not that funny, but it is informative. 

InterContinental Hotels Group launch Your World Sale

The IHG Rewards Club promotion gives members savings of up to 30 percent off room rates for bookings across all of IHG’s nearly 5,000 hotels worldwide.

The offer is open to all IHG Rewards Club members who book between 11 November and 29 November 2017, for stays from 18 November 2017 until 15 April, 2018. Non-members can also enjoy this offer when they sign up with IHG Rewards Club. IHG Rewards Club members will also earn Bonus Points on stays booked with Your World Sale.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel is hosting an art deco weekend festival

The hotel will host the ultimate day-long vintage revelry on Saturday, February 24 2018, and kick off with a community Charleston for Charity dance in front of the Majestic Pavilion at 11am.

The naughty knees-up will be an opportunity for art deco buffs to don their most sophisticated 1920s-inspired costumes befitting the elegant venue (eg: feather boas, spats, fedora hats). There will be prizes up for grabs for the best dressed lady, man, couples and hats. The cost is a gold coin donation towards Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service.

The Charleston for Charity will be followed by a decadent regional food and wine showcase of shared plates featuring the culinary skills of Hydro Majestic head chef Mate Herceg and his team as well as other exceptional local producers.
A fashion parade of exquisite 1920s clothing will add an extra course to the long lunch menu. Cost: $95pp.

There will be an array of prizes, and money raised at the 18 years plus-restricted event will go towards refurbishing the waiting room in the local Katoomba Hospital emergency department. Cost: $55 per person general admission to Casino includes welcome cocktail.

The Darling wins best ‘Luxury Accommodation’ second year running

The Darling Spa, Darling Hotel

The Darling Hotel has taken out top honours for the ‘Luxury Accommodation’ category at the NSW Tourism Awards for the second year in a row. The awards were judged according to extensive criteria spanning personalised customer service and experience, investment in staff and innovation, as well as sustainability.

The Darling boasts the 2015 multi-million-dollar renovation of The Darling Spa, where exclusive spa experience rooms were integrated into the design, including a Moroccan Hammam chamber, a steam room, a jacuzzi and a complete fitness centre, fitted with Technogym equipment.

The Darling is located at The Star Sydney and is a key feature of Sydney’s leading entertainment destination.

The Darling will now compete for best Luxury Accommodation in Australia at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held at the Perth Stadium on Friday, 23 February 2018.

Baba Beach Club Launches with Signature Sri Panwa Luxury Style

Thai resort, Sri panwa has swung open the doors to its two newest developments, launching under the Baba Beach Club brand. The Baba Beach Club properties situated in both Phuket and Hua Hin now welcome guests, after opening in October 2017.

Baba Beach Club, Phuket is set on Natai beach in Hua Hin, located 2 hours from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. From the resort there is access to 200 metres of idyllic beachfront, surrounded by an oasis of lush tropical vegetation and located just twenty minutes from Phuket International Airport. The design of the Beach Club has been inspired by the vibrant colour palettes of Shanghai Tang and reflects the iconic ‘Chino-Portuguese’ style of Phuket.

The development offers 16 hotel villas and suites, the Gabana Villas, Ocean View Baba Suites, Ocean View Baba Pool Suites and five-bedroom Beachfront Pool Villas, all with their own infinity pools. It also offers three types of luxury residences; 6 five-bedroom Baba Beachfront Villas, 18 two-bedroom Pool Villas and 37 one or two-bedroom suites, pool suites and penthouses.

The Rees Hotel Queenstown Crowned Best New Zealand Ski Hotel 2017

The Rees Hotel Queenstown has been crowned Best New Zealand Ski Hotel 2017 at this year’s World Ski Awards held in Kitzbühe, Austria. The Rees was chosen from a shortlist of seven impressive properties in New Zealand, scoring the top gong for the second year in a row, marking this as an even more exceptional achievement.

Established five years ago, the World Ski Awards are ski tourism’s highest merit recognising and rewarding excellence across a spectrum of categories from departments to operators and luxury ski properties.

The Rees is centrally located to four superb ski fields; Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardrona so skiers and boarders are spoilt for choice with a diverse range of terrain for all ability levels. Heli ski experiences and packages are also available as the ultimate way to explore the stunningly wild southern alps of New Zealand.

Ayana launch new direct booking benefits in Bali 


Ayana has launched new VIP perk packages designed specifically for guests who book directly through the resort’s website, email or reservation desk.

At Ayana Resort and Spa, guests who book directly will receive a 20% discount across 19 unique restaurants including Rock Bar, BALI and two award-winning spas, as well as resort credits based on the number of nights booked in a guest room or suite.

At Rimba Jimbaran, in addition to 20% off dining and spa outlets, guests who book directly through RIMBA are entitled to a $10 resort credit per night, which can be applied to additional discounts on dining, spa, room billing and transportation services.

In addition to 20% off dining and spa outlets, guests who book their private pool villa directly through the The Villas at Ayana Resort’s website, email or reservation desk are entitled to a $50 resort credit per stay, as well as privileges to additional 5-star benefits through Ayana’s Little Luxuries.

Karma Group collaborate with RCI in Greece 

RCI has selected Karma Group to manage its operations in the Greek market. As part of the new relationship, Karma will fully service and manage existing and new RCI memberships in the Greek market and manage booking exchanges for Greek RCI Members on RCI’s behalf.

Karma Group will offer more to RCI members by sharing special offers and promotions through their own network, opening up a world of extraordinary experiences and exclusive curated entertainment in the world’s most beautiful locations.

Karma Group Staff have been trained in the Karma Group Athens Office to handle, all new member welcome calls, 100% of inbound and outbound member service calls relating to Greek members, marketing calls, bookings of member exchanges, extra holidays, member deposits, renewal of membership and all relevant ancillary products transactions. RCI Weeks, RCI Points, RCI Experiences, RCI Lite.

Avani Hotels and Resorts open up on Gold Coast’s Broadbeach 

Avani Broadbeach 2 bedroom suite living out HR

Avani are launching Keys to the City Experience, a new addition to the brands’ international AVANIMe initiative. that brings to life travel experiences as seen through the lens of celebrities and travel bloggers.

The hotel brand will be teaming up with Queensland local and Gold Coast lover, Laura Dundovic and and four everyday locals, with a love for Broadbeach. They will be providing their top tips live during the hotel launch week 5 December to 11 December.

In a unique world first, Avani will be connecting directly with guests using Facebook Messenger technology. Guests can use their mobile phones to scan a Facebook Messenger code, found on their hotel room key, to chat live with a local guide, anytime, anywhere and as often as they like during the launch.

Avani Broadbeach will open its doors on the 4 December, with the Keys to the City experience running until 11 December. i

Belmond Jimbaran Puri Authentic stay package 

Belmond Jimbaran Puri, Bali is offering an authentic Balinese experience with a 4-night package that introduces traditional Bali through a range of local activities.

The  Stay 4 Pay 3 package from Best Available Rate (BAR) has inclusions of 4-nights in One-Bedroom Deluxe Pool Villa, daily buffet breakfast, daily afternoon tea served in the villa, private morning cruise to Jimbaran Fish Market with Dedari Boat, Balinese cooking class with local chefs, Balinese Hindu Temple Experience, Balinese Massage Lesson, compose herbal remedies, and return airport transfers.

Price for the package starts at AUD 935 per villa per night.

 Hotels Corporate Hotelier of the World 2017 has been crowned 

2017 Hoteliers of the World

HOTELS has celebrated its annual Hoteliers of the World Awards, with William E. Heinecke, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Minor International, being named Corporate Hotelier of the World for 2017.

Nominated as one of four finalists in the Corporate Hotelier category, Heinecke proudly accepted the award at a gala event in New York, where HOTELS celebrated both their Corporate and Independent Hotelier of The World award winners.

From humble beginnings in Thailand, Heinecke has spearheaded the growth of Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, which now boasts an impressive portfolio of innovative brands spanning over 150 hotels and resorts in 24 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, with a pipeline already in place to venture into new destinations such as Mauritius, Tunisia, South Korea and more.

The self-taught and self-made billionaire was applauded for his life-long accomplishments, his pioneering, competitive and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as his passion of making a difference in Thailand and beyond.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel crowned New Zealand’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel

For the fifth consecutive year, Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been named New Zealand’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel at the annual World Ski Awards. The distinguished title, recognising excellence in the global ski tourism industry, was awarded to the luxury Queenstown hotel at a red-carpet gala ceremony held in the legendary Austrian ski resort town of Kitzbühel.

The event was attended by ski tourism leaders from around the globe and took into account a record number of votes from thousands of ski tourism professionals and consumers.

The World Ski Awards are the only global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in ski tourism, and every year since the event’s inception in 2013, Eichardt’s Private Hotel has won the Best Ski Boutique Hotel award category.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel is part of the Imperium Collection, a collective of accommodation and dining locations including The Spire Hotel, Eichardt’s Bar, No5 Church Lane and latest additions The Grille waterfront restaurant and $10,000 per night Eichardt’s Penthouse.

Shanri-la Hotel, Xiamen now open

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announce the grand opening of the 325-room Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen. The urban resort is a lifestyle destination catering to both leisure and business travellers, overlooking a long stretch of beach on one side and urban views on the other.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen is located within the city’s newly developed financial and IT zone, Guanyin Shan Business Centre. Just a 10-minute and 20-minute drive away respectively are the Conference and Exhibition Centre, and the Xiamen International Airport.

Over 70 per cent of the hotel’s guest rooms and suites have commanding views of the Taiwan Straits – ranging from the 42-square-metre Deluxe Sea View Room to the elegantly styled Shangri-La Suite offering 168 square metres of luxurious living space.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen’s special opening room rate starts from RMB1,100 per night and is available until 31 December 2017. It includes daily breakfast buffet for two persons and a 50 per cent dining discount.

Accor Hotels launch Singapore’s New lifestyle Hub 


AccorHotels has launched Singapore’s newest integrated lifestyle hub with the opening of Novotel Singapore on Stevens and Mercure Singapore on Stevens. Developed by Oxley Holdings Limited, the complex features 772 guest rooms, 14 dining outlets, two outdoor pools, a tennis court and a function space that can accommodate more than 500 guests.

Located at the edge of Orchard Road, the two hotels offer guests an integrated range of gastronomy, health, fitness and lifestyle options in the precinct close to the city’s best shopping and entertainment, conveniently accessible via the hotel’s shuttle service. It features 254 guest rooms,  three dining outlets, bar and infinity pool.

A superior room night stay is from SGD 208 with breakfast for two at Novotel Singapore on Stevens,  or the retreat is from SGD 155 per night with breakfast for two at Mercure Singapore on Stevens from now until 31 March 2018.

AGM caps off year of growth for Mantra Group 

Mantra Group AGM - Peter Bush

During the AGM, Mantra Group Chairman Peter Bush underlined the Group’s FY2017 results, which were in line with market guidance and saw a total revenue of $689.0 million representing a 13.7% increase on FY16, and acknowledged yet another year of growth since the Group listed on the Australian Securities Exchange on 20 June 2014.

He also provided a brief update relating to the Scheme Implementation Agreement with AccorHotels for the proposed acquisition by AccorHotels of the Mantra Group business. The scheme contemplates the acquisition by AccorHotels of all the shares in Mantra Group and remains subject to a number of customary conditions including the approval of Mantra’s shareholders and the Federal Court of Australia, as well as regulatory approvals including from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

New properties joining the Mantra Group portfolio in FY17 included the 1,176 room Mantra-branded Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu Hawaii, Mantra Residences @ Southport Central, Peppers Kings Square Hotel at Perth, Mantra the Observatory at Port Macquarie, Mantra Club Croc at Airlie Beach and Tribe Perth (Mantra Group is managing Tribe Perth as its first external brand).

Outrigger Fiji Win Gold at National Culinary Awards

Outrigger Fiji_winning chefs

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort has struck gold at the Fiji National Moffat Salon Culinaire 2017 awards with its chefs winning a total of six gold medals.

The resort chefs to be honoured included Shammer Khan who was named Fiji Chef of the Year and Vikash Chetty, 1st Runner up for Fiji Pastry Chef of the Year while Reema Singh, the resort’s Pastry Demi Chef de Partie, scooped the Best Cake Decoration award.

This is the second time Shammer has been named Fiji Chef of the Year, having previously won the title in 2015.

The Outrigger chefs won a total of 18 medals at the four-day event, adding eight silver and four bronze to their gold medal tally.

The awards attracted some 300 competitors from all over Fiji and were presided over by three international judges.



Channel 7’s Sunrise brings the best of South Africa to Aussie homes.

We can’t remember the last time we were up early enough to catch a morning breakfast show, but for this, we might be willing to make an exception.




Big Fat Airline Wrap

Our favourite thing about Tuesdays? This airline wrap! Oh, and the fact that it’s no longer Monday anymore. But that goes for the rest of the week too.




Baby Boomers are spending their kids inheritance on cruising

Looks like we’re going to have to give up our avo on toast and daily iced lattes because our folks just booked a year-long expedition.




Watch: The women’s cooperative tackling unemployment in Jordan

Just in case you need more evidence of the transformative power of travel, the TreadRight Foundation has released a video about their work with the Iraq al-Amir Women’s Cooperative.




PICTURES: Crystal Serenity gets swanky make-over

We asked our boss if we could take four weeks off for a makeover like this ship did but he just laughed and walked away. We’re taking it as a maybe.




Big Fat Wholesaler Wrap

As the weather gets warmer, what better way is there to spend the days than in the office air con? Besides reading up on all the latest news from your wholesaler friends, that is.




Christmas getaway inspo: The 7 most exotic destinations

Fancy forgoing the backyard barbie and archaic family gathering (see also: bickering) this year? Here are some alternative options. Please take us with you?




Instagrammer denied entry to the Louvre for “revealing” dress

If it makes her feel any better, Travel Weekly was also kicked out of the iconic gallery because apparently you can’t “just drink wine anywhere” and they have “standards”.




Kicking goals: Intrepid takes home two trophies at Responsible Tourism Awards

The adventure travel company also received praise from Aussie heartthrob, Tim Robards, who ran into their CEO on a flight.




Carnival Australia ships to provide extra accommodation for APEC summit

As world leaders descend on Papua New Guinea, Carnival is preparing its ships to house around 4,000 delegates who are in for quite the stay, if you ask us.



Travel Agents

“We’re getting on with business”: CTM speaks out over VGI claims

by Ali Coulton

We spoke with CTM to get all the latest goss about the hedge fund trying to bring down their share prices. We offered to give them a trim but apparently it’s not that kind of hedge.




Virtuoso CEO says space will be the next big thing in luxe travel

by Ali Coulton

Seeing as we don’t have a spare $250,000, we’re going to have to settle for watching re-runs of the Jetsons.