Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Welcome to possibly one of the longest hotel wraps we’ve ever done! That said, it’s not as long as this week seems. Is it Friday yet?

Centara’s COSI hotel coming to Krabi

COSI - Affordable Lifestyle Hotel Brand from Centara_2

Centara Hotels & Resorts is set to open a third COSI property after signing a hotel management agreement to develop the hotel in Southern Thailand. Thailand’s leading hotel operator recently signed the agreement with Chuan Development Hotel Company Limited to develop COSI Krabi Ao Nang Beach.

COSI hotels capture a new generation of freedom loving, tech-savvy travellers and the first property was opened in Samui last December. Following its success, Centara broke ground on its second COSI in Pattaya earlier this year and has now signed a third COSI in Krabi.

COSI is completely different from a traditional hotel. In place of the typical lobby counter are self-serve kiosks that speed check-in and check-out. Rather than a restaurant or buffet, the hotel has a 24/7 Hub and WYSIWYG Café where guests have daily credits for food and drink and can connect with friends.

The Spa Wellness revolution at Chiva-Som


During the current closure at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, for its latest period of renovation works, the highly skilled professionals at this renowned wellness resort, continue their research into and work on tailoring the array of Specialty Retreats and other personalised treatments and therapies which will again be available to guests upon the property’s re-opening on 1 November 2018.

Dr Jason Culp, Naturopathic Physician at Chiva-Som since 2012 and Founder and Head Specialist for the Research team is overseeing the resort’s exploration of evidence-based natural therapies and consideration of whether, into the future, the Spa will become a regular part of global standard healthcare, alongside annual medical exams and preventative screening guidelines.

Dr Culp said recent studies had shown that week-long participation in a “wellness program” (which includes therapies commonly found in the Spa) can enhance subjective improvement in health, as reported by clients, along with objective improvement in measurable factors, such as weight reduction, lowered blood pressure and cardiovascular benefit.

Meanwhile the latest renovation works, which commenced at Chiva-Som at the beginning of May, comprise a complete overhaul to the Thai Pavilions, Emerald Room, Orchid Lounge, Library, Fitness Centre and Niranlada Medi-Spa. This follows on from the unveiling of new Ocean Rooms and Suites in 2017 and will continue with the resort to close again next May for the final phase of works to get underway in readiness for the re-opening in November 2019.

Darwin Central Hotel joins Rydges

Darwin Exterior

EVENT Hospitality & Entertainment Limited (EVENT) has today commenced management of the Darwin Central Hotel, rebranded to Rydges Darwin Central and managed alongside EVENT’s current collection of hotels and resorts across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Located in the heart of the Darwin CBD, the 132 room hotel provides leisure and business travellers the perfect destination to explore the capital of the Northern Territory. Guests can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, cafe and three functions rooms of varying sizes for meetings or special events catering for up to 100 people. Refurbishment will commence on the hotel restaurant shortly, re-opening in February 2019 as Marco Aurelio’s, an authentic Italian family establishment.

The hotel building has been designed to be energy efficient and to incorporate the use of local materials in the building concept to highlight the unique Territory lifestyle. This endeavour won the Tracey Memorial Award for Architecture and Design in 1997, demonstrating eco-engineering can showcase a stylish and intimate hotel. In the same year, the hotel also won the Northern Territory Civic Award for Design and was honoured as ‘Building of the Year” by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA).

Save on the ultimate family escape at AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI

The luxury integrated AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI, overlooking beautiful Jimbaran Bay is offering a fabulous deal on family-friendly accommodation for the spring school holiday break with the second room half price – making it an ideal time to say “see you later” to Sydney’s winter weather, and spoil the entire clan in style.

With its close proximity and easy airline access from Australia, Bali is an appealing alternative to traditional interstate school holiday destinations and boasts plenty of options to entertain everyone – from toddlers to teens, to Mums and Dads.

As Bali’s only truly integrated resort, guests are able to access and enjoy the facilities of both AYANA Resort and Spa and its sister property RIMBA Jimbaran BALI by AYANA – which means a choice of 12 swimming pools and waterslides and 19 restaurants and bars – all connected by lush landscaping and a network of waterfalls, fountains and streams. A regular free shuttle (styled as a traditional wooden tram) is on hand to ferry guests back and forth between the two properties, which both have access to the resorts’ exclusive white sandy beach, Kubu.

Younger kids will love the schedule of engaging activities at the professionally-staffed and recently renovated Kids’ Club, which has a trampoline, kids’ billiards table, playground equipment, table tennis table, flat screen TV and games consoles. Activities range from Balinese dancing and fish feeding, to chef-led cooking classes, kite-making, local sports and handicrafts. There’s also a babysitting service available upon request.

Wyndham welcomes third Hawaiian property to its growing resort collection

Kona Low Res

Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific has added a new resort at Kailua-Kona on the Hawaiian Big Island to its WorldMark South Pacific Club collection.

A division of Wyndham Destinations, the world’s largest vacation ownership and exchange company, Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests in the Asia Pacific region and serves more than 57,000 vacation owners in the WorldMark South Pacific Club.

The Club is a modern and flexible vacation ownership program that gives Club Owners a convenient and affordable way to holiday across a network of 32 resorts located in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Hawaii.

Most WorldMark South Pacific Club owners live in Australia and New Zealand, and overall visitation to Hawaii from both countries continues to rise with close to 400,000 holidaymakers visiting the islands last year, a six percent increase on 2016.

Shangri-La Hotels in inner Mongola introduce “dessert on the left, grassland on the right” summer experience

Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot

Long summer days in Baotou and Huhhot make Inner Mongolia the ideal destination to disconnect and celebrate the mystique of the Mongolian culture, its traditions and unspoiled landscape. Shangri-La Hotel, Baotou and Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot’s themed retreat – “Desert on the Left, Grassland on the Right”, offers opportunities to explore the rolling grasslands and enjoy a desert safari in the autonomous region of northern China, from now and until 15 September 2018.

  • Xilamuren Grassland Package: Guests looking to animal watch, enjoy clear blue skies and green pastures are in for a unique experience at the Xilamuren Grassland, an hour-and-a-half drive from Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot. The excursion includes cultural pursuits such as horse riding, a Honggor Obo performance highlighting the Mongolian lifestyle, and a campfire party
  • Desert Safari Package: Escape to Shangri-La Hotel, Baotou on a desert safari and take in the magnificent and golden sand dunes of the Kubuqi Desert, China’s seventh largest desert, an hour-and-a-half drive from the hotel. Kubuqi means “the string on the bow” in Mongolian and lies south of the Yellow River. Days can be spent sand surfing, barbecuing outdoors, camel riding, buggy racing or practicing archery. For an added adrenalin rush, guests may cross the desert in an off-road vehicle

Additional benefits of the Xilamuren Grassland Package and Desert Safari Package include a traditional Mongolian welcome ceremony upon arrival, and use of the hotels’ Health Club facilities (swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna).

Striking lobby unveiled at Queenstown Sofitel

Lobby 3_preview

The award-winning Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa has transformed its expansive lobby and reception area with a complete and spectacular redesign that takes on a new level of opulence. Under the watchful eye of Auckland-based interior designers Macintosh Harris, the lobby and reception area makeover infuses both a delicate French flavour as well as a reflection the hotel’s iconic location in the heart of Queenstown.

The new lobby evokes a feeling of grandeur featuring a colour palette that mirrors the turquoise hue of Lake Wakatipu and blends it with gold highlights – a historical nod to Queenstown’s gold mining heritage. An ultra-fine mirror mosaic envelopes the wall of the grand staircase adding to the glamour of the space. Contemporising the hotel’s French culture, the design effortlessly merges Christian Lacroix armchairs and floral artwork throughout the lobby.

Combing local with international objets d’art some of the key features are ‘Rosie’ an artwork by Auckland based artist Robert Scriven located above the fireplace in the lobby, a series of murals titled ‘Monochromatic Otago’ and a sculptured floor lamp ‘Lampada Ribot’ composed of a brass handmade loudspeaker.

The pièce de résistance is an embellishment artwork on the 100 year old Steinway piano which graces the lobby. ‘Formation in Gold’ by celebrated contemporary Kiwi artist Anna Leyland is an art installation that provides multi-layered references to national and cultural symbols and balances traditional shapes with modern flow.

Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort spearheads expansion in Cambodia and Southeast Asia for Marriott International 

Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap

Marriott International has announced the opening of its first Courtyard by Marriott in Cambodia with the debut of Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort. This represents Marriott International’s first hotel in Cambodia, with a second hotel to follow when Courtyard Phnom Penh opens in the capital city later this year. Courtyard by Marriott has several other projects in the pipeline across Cambodia, identifying it as an exciting emerging market in the region.

The brand’s flagship in Cambodia features modern Khmer architectural design, an innovative lobby space, locally inspired food and beverages and 233 contemporary guestrooms and suites that combine stylish comfort with functionality, thoughtfully designed for good nights and good days.

Whether they are on a business trip or energizing vacation, Courtyard by Marriott helps their guests work, exercise, eat well, connect and be at their best. From smartly designed modern guestrooms to flexible communal spaces that work for both private meetings and more social gatherings, what underpins it all is the Courtyard by Marriott teams’ passionate energy in delivering a warm, welcoming environment and the commitment to creating the best stay for their guests.

Cicada Lodge announces partnership with Jeremy Oliver

Riding the wave of the extraordinary success of their recent ‘Journey of the Palate’ Food and Wine Weekend, Cicada Lodge is excited to announce a partnership with Jeremy Oliver.

It seems appropriate that the award-winning Luxury Lodge joins forces with an award-winning Wine Commentator to ensure food and wine pairings of the highest standard going forward.

Jeremy has been one of Australia’s leading wine critics and presenters over the last 30 years. The author of 29 books, including The Australian Wine Annual, Jeremy is fully independent with no exclusive ties to any media outlet, publishing house or wine producer. Quality driven, Jeremy agreed to the partnership only after hosting the inaugural event and experiencing firsthand what the F+B team at Cicada Lodge are capable of.

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach offers ‘Sweet Escape Package’

The team at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach has curated the ultimate sweet holiday for couples this year. Lovebirds looking for a bit of extra romance in the most vibrant part of the city can make their romantic getaway even sweeter with the hotel’s Sweet Escape package. The Sweet Escape package highlights some of the hotel’s unique features, such as Sava Spa.

The couple will relax with a unique Sava Spa experience for two, including access to the relaxation area, and a 60-minute treatment of a Balinese massage, side by side. Sava Spa offers treatments and traditional Balinese massages using locally-sourced natural spa products with active ingredients.

The lovebirds will also get a taste of the sophisticated yet casual dining at Makase neighbourhood café with a contemporary open kitchen, including a creatively orchestrated menu infused with local flavours by resident chef, Nic Phillips. As an extra treat for sweet-lovers, they will be invited into the hotel’s specialty corner of coffees, teas and freshly made pastries, Pottery Café. In this inspiring atmosphere filled with the aroma of coffee, they will indulge in an afternoon tea time, before retiring to the cozy comfort of their guest room with its wonderfully eclectic design – the final sweet touch to a day filled with romance.

Missing you: UK’s Ben Eine creates fifth street art suite at The Cullen


Art Series Hotels continues to bring Melbourne’s urban art culture to life with a new Street Art Suite at The Cullen in Prahran. The hotel has partnered with UK street artist Ben Eine to create a one-of-a-kind artwork using elements of his distinctive typographic style.

In town recently to join 25 of the hottest urban artists to create a multi-sensory art experience in Richmond, Eine spent two weeks at The Cullen and was invited to makeover one of its deluxe studio suites.

Titled ‘Missing You’ the artwork is a love letter to his French girlfriend and brings the spirit of Melbourne’s laneway culture into the hotel.

Each of The Cullen’s Street Art Suites feature a personalised stamp left by the artist, as well as Adam Cullen artworks and books, to create to create an immersive art experience.


Leave a Reply

Breaking News


Perth and WA’s Peel region to enter three-day lockdown

The WA government has announced a snap three-day lockdown for Perth and the Peel region, following a community case of COVID-19.



Travel Agents

“Businesses are keen to get back on the road”: CTM enjoying return to profitability

Jamie Pherous has been spotted doing a few cartwheels down the office hallway at Corporate Travel Management in celebration of these positive numbers.




“Bit of a stretch”: Aussie comedian cops billion-dollar charge for extra legroom on Qantas flight

Aussie funnyman Dave O’Neil got quite the shock while trying to book extra legroom on a recent flight with the flying kangaroo.




Victorian government comes up with $633m plan to reboot tourism

Were you unable to attend the Victorian Tourism Conference on Wednesday? Well, we didn’t go either, so we’re very grateful to have received this press release.




Uniworld launches its first ‘Mystery Cruise’

The river cruise line is spicing up its range with a one-off mystery itinerary, just in case you need more than a few beers to wake up somewhere unexpected.




PICTURES: Crystalbrook is bringing five-star eco-luxury to Newcastle

Newcastle’s iconic Roundhouse building has been transformed into the city’s first five-star hotel, with rooftop dining to boot.




Jetstar promotes ‘Limited Time Only’ sale with stunning outdoor artworks

The budget carrier has embraced its inner-Banksy to create this latest promo campaign.




Facebook removes French town’s page, confusing it for an English swearword

Facebook has been left red-faced after making social media management a bitch for the town of Bitche by removing its page.




Expedia’s brand positioning takes new direction

The online travel giant has recalibrated its compass and is heading in a new direction. However, that’s not to suggest it got completely lost.




Trans-Tasman flyer charged for threatening to blow up plane over wine spat

Travel Weekly staff have had similar problems at Friday knock-off drinks, but concede that threatening to blow up a plane is more serious than peeing in a pot plant.




The Travel Corporation to go carbon neutral by 2030

TTC is celebrating Earth Day with a new five-step plan to tackle climate change, while Travel Weekly staff are celebrating by filling our KeepCups to the brim with champers.




Qantas now has its very own gin

Work at Qantas? Noticed a few of your colleagues staggering around the office and slurring their words? Discover the cause here.