Big fat hotel wrap

Big fat hotel wrap

Fancy staying in a five-star hotel? Find them all right here! And if you need us, we’ll be in our box-sized apartment, crying on the floor.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne unveils multi-million dollar refurbishment


After a carefully orchestrated 12-month refurbishment program, Crowne Plaza Melbourne has unveiled a stunning, $25 million transformation of its guestrooms, making it one of the city’s most enviable hotels for business and leisure travellers.

As part of the refurbishment, all 402 guestrooms have been completely transformed, with contemporary bathrooms, standalone showers with state-of-the-art showerheads, premium bedding, designer furnishings and striking artwork a feature. Connectivity throughout the entire hotel has also been upgraded.

The hotel’s City View rooms now boast spacious walk-in wardrobes with sleek workstations, while the hotel’s Luxury suites feature deep bathtubs, walk-in showers, plush bedding, new furniture and sweeping views of the Yarra River and Melbourne city skyline.

Phase 2 of the hotel’s multi-million dollar refurbishment will commence in the second quarter of 2019 and will see all of the hotel’s public areas redesigned, including updates to the hotel’s conference and event facilities, a new restaurant and bar concept, and updates to the hotel pool, gymnasium and lobby.

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Doors Open Today at Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection Resort

Picture: Marc McCormack

Crystalbrook Collection has officially welcomed their first five-star resort, Riley, to the family with doors opening in Cairns today – Tuesday 6 November 2018.

Riley is the first of three five-star properties Crystalbrook Collection will bring to the city over the next 14 months and the newest five-star hotel in Cairns for over 20 years, providing a significant boost for the thriving tourist region.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Pip Close welcomed Riley to the destination’s tourism offerings: “The opening of this new Crystalbrook Collection hotel is very exciting for Tropical North Queensland as it will be a long-awaited drawcard for visitors looking for a new accommodation experience in the region.”

Riley opened its doors today at 10am, with 170 staff on-site to welcome their first guests.

Included in the resort is:

  • 311 rooms and suites. All featuring:
    • In-room iPad control centres
    • Hundreds of complimentary recent release movies and box sets
    • Staycast by Google Chromecast for all your favourite streaming services
    • 24-hour in-room dining
  • 1,000sqm swimming lagoon
  • Manmade beach and secluded cabanas
  • Three themed restaurants and bars, all overlooking the Coral Sea:
    • Paper Crane, a modern Asian fusion restaurant and bar seating 320 people
    • Rocco, Cairns first rooftop bar; Mediterranean inspired and standing 12 floors above sea level (opening 20 December 2018)
    • Greenfields, with a focus on all things raw and simple (opening 20 December 2018)
  • Luxury Eléme Day Spa (opening 20 December 2018)
  • 24-hour fitness centre (opening 20 December 2018)
  • Conference and events space for up to 400 across the east and west wings
  • Interactive communal self-booking tour centre

AccorHotels’ Race to Survive hits milestone fundraising goal to support vital child healthcare in Fiji


Kiwi rugby stars and corporate teams have pulled out all the stops in a test of endurance to raise over FJD $1 million ($758,827) for life-saving child health programmes for young people in Fiji.

A total of 100 participants took part in the AccorHotels Race to Survive Fiji last week, a four-day challenge that saw them take on surprise challenges throughout Fiji to raise funds for the work Cure Kids New Zealand’s sister charity Cure Kids Fiji is doing in the country.

Competitors from Accor hotels in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, and partner teams from House of Travel, Flight Centre, Rosie Holidays, JDE and Dark Horse, crossed the finish line at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Friday night, with hundreds of local school children cheering them on.

Funds raised from this year’s event will go towards the work Cure Kids Fiji is achieving in preventing rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and treating pneumonia in Fiji.  Fiji has one of the highest rates of RHD in the world with the life-threatening illness affecting 1 in 50 children in Fiji.

Cure Kids Fiji, which has partnered with the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Service, and health experts in New Zealand, is also working to increase the supply and access of life-saving oxygen for Fijian children with pneumonia and newborn illnesses.

Many Fijian health centres rely on rudimentary oxygen cylinders, and this project aims to provide health centres in need with oxygen concentrators that more effectively administer oxygen. Solar-power solutions for health centres vulnerable to power shortages are also being installed.

While Race to Survive involved gruelling challenges – from hiking and kayaking to crossing rivers on rafts – contestants also helped renovate Nadarivatu Health Centre and met school kids being tested for RHD at mobile screening clinics, gaining a profound insight into life in Fiji.

Former All Blacks Sevens captain DJ Forbes and former Sevens player Tomasi Cama Junior also took part in Race to Survive and spent time with families affected by rheumatic heart disease.

RHD is a preventable condition, and this national-level, research-based programme aims to build capacity across all aspects of RHD control and prevention in Fiji.  Best practice approaches used in tackling RHD in New Zealand guide the efforts in Fiji.

Since launching in 2006, the biennial AccorHotels Race to Survive has seen AccorHotels and its partners raise over $3.5m FJD to support the work of Cure Kids Fiji.

AccorHotels Senior Vice President Gillian Millar says this year’s event was one of the most successful yet. “We are extremely proud of everyone who took part and are passionate about helping Cure Kids Fiji continue their life-saving work in RHD screening in Fiji.”

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Coming Soon: The Apurva Kempinski Bali to introduce a New Level of Prestige


Adding to its growing collection of distinguished properties all around the world, Kempinski is thrilled to unveil the latest addition to its line of five-star hotels with the opening of The Apurva Kempinski Bali in February 2019.

This much-anticipated opening marks the first Kempinski resort on the island and its second property in Indonesia.

Set amidst the dramatic cliffs and immaculate beaches of Nusa Dua in southern Bali, the hotel features 475 stylish guest rooms, iconic suites and exclusive villas, five dining venues, and a Cigar & Shisha Lounge. Facilities include an ocean-facing spa and fitness centre, a 60-metre swimming pool, a kids’ pool, and a family club.

For events, business meetings and weddings, The Apurva Kempinski Bali offers a 1,076 square-metre pillar-free and ocean-view grand ballroom, meeting rooms, The Apurva beachfront wedding chapels, and a 2,200 square-metre ocean-front lawn for exceptional outdoor gatherings and events.

Award-winning architect Budiman Hendropurnomo of Denton Corker Marshall and highly acclaimed interior designer Rudy Dodo of Trivium Design Group worked together to create a curated design masterpiece.

From the unmistakable characteristics of Balinese architecture, landscape and guiding principles to the Indonesian-inspired interior design aesthetics, the nation’s heritage and meticulous craftsmanship are thoroughly reflected throughout the hotel.

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort rolls out new vegan menu

Hibiscus Poached Pear

Outrigger Resorts is proud to introduce new vegan menu offerings at The Reef Bar & Market Grill and Kani Ka Pila Grille located at the company’s iconic Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

In keeping up with the growing demand for a greater vegan selection, Outrigger’s beachfront and poolside culinary hotspots will provide guests an array of delicious and healthy bites starting this month.

“Pairing Hawaii’s thriving locavore movement with the growing demand for more vegan options in the restaurant industry, our expanded menu offerings at The Reef Bar & Market Grill and Kani Ka Pila Grille are sure to please our guests while attracting a wider audience of diners searching for fresh and innovative vegan selections in Waikiki,” said Delia Romano executive sous chef at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

“At Outrigger, we pride ourselves on bringing authentic Hawaiian experiences to guests and locals alike, and that includes crafting fresh local cuisine. We are proud to have updated our menus tailored to the needs of our guests following a healthy vegan lifestyle so they can have memorable and delicious culinary experiences when visiting our restaurants at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.”

What’s on the Menu

Newly refreshed, The Reef Bar & Market Grill offers all-day casual dining options and pairs its ocean view with farm-to-beach, authentic Hawaiian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients served daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Several vegan items are already available as specials, including a seared tofu bowl comprised of soy glazed sesame tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables; beyond meat tacos served in soft corn tortillas and topped with cabbage slaw, sweet ‘n sour maui onion, fresh guacamole and smoked salsa; and a veggie stack of tofu, cauliflower, zucchini and onion, which guests can order as a “grill your own” option. As part of its expansive breakfast buffet, plenty of freshly baked vegan items are also available including vegan pastries, muffins and breads, as well as the locally sourced tropical fruits to add to delectable acai bowls.

Sofitel partners with the 2018 Australian fashion laureate 

Sofitel Champagne Bar

The hotel will support the 2018 Australian Fashion Laureate by supplying 5-star accommodation for individuals travelling from interstate and overseas to be honoured at the gala event. Now in its 10th year, the award ceremony will be held on Tuesday 20 November at The State Theatre, Sydney.

Australian style will be the hero as the 2018 IMG Australian Fashion Laureate applauds exceptional talent and creativity within the fashion industry.


Each Australian Fashion Laureate award celebrates outstanding accomplishments in categories including Lifetime Achievement, Womenswear, Menswear, Retail, Emerging Designer, Accessories – and for the first time, two new categories for 2018: Model of the Year and Outstanding Editorial.

Established by IMG and the NSW Government in 2008, the annual Australian Fashion Laureate event has rapidly become a “who’s-who” of the fashion industry.  This year’s nominees include Camilla Franks and Kym Ellery who are nominated for Australian Fashion Laureate Lifetime Achievement Award along with Christine Centenera, Edwina McCann and Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett, from Romance Was Born. Previous recipients of the Australian Fashion Laureate include Akira Isogawa and Collette Dinnigan.

The Australian Fashion Laureate is an IMG initiative, supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, with additional support from Etihad Airways, DHL, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, San Pellegrino and Jan Logan.

Follow the event via official hashtags: #AustralianFashionLaureate #ilovesydney

Follow all the activity at Sofitel Sydney Darling Habour via @sofitelsydneydarlingharbour

Christmas family cheer in Fiji

Qamea Resort staff singing carols

Christmas is that time of year when family is important, and visitors to Fiji will feel like it is one big happy family over the festive period, with hotels and resorts giving guests a little extra during the festive season. The Christmas values and fervour remain the same, but the celebrations at the hotels are special, from hand-made Fijian gifts for children, to Fijian warriors and of course, Santa!

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Castaway Island

It’s a full Christmas program at Outrigger Resort and Castaway Island. Get into the Christmas spirit on Christmas Eve with Carols by Candlelight. After Christmas Day breakfast, Santa swaps out his snow sled arriving by water sleigh for some gift giving and the breaking of the gingerbread house. Finish Christmas Day with a Family Christmas Buffet, a Beachfront Feast or an intimate five-course dinner at award-winning Ivi Restaurant. Sister resort, Castaway Island, follows a similar program.

Marriott Resort Momi Bay

The Christmas spirit will be overflowing at Marriot Resort Momi Bay. Enjoy a four-course Christmas Eve dinner at Fish bar with sunset ocean views. On Christmas Day, there will be plenty of choices! After Santa’s special arrival, head to the Lagoon Lounge for a sizzling buffet overlooking the lagoon. Adorned with Christmas decorations and carols, guests will enjoy live cooking stations and traditional festive dishes. For Christmas dinner, head to Goji Kitchen & Bar for a traditional Christmas buffet dinner featuring a spread of seafood and Christmas turkey or wander to Fish Bar for a decadent five-course degustation at Fish Bar. To work it all off, have a fun-filled afternoon at Voi Voi playing sport games, and a variety of great family activities.

Six Senses Fiji

Christmas Eve will be a spectacular event at the newly opened Six Senses Fiji. Enjoy sunset cocktails at Tovolea Bar followed by an amazing fire show and choir performance. Christmas lunch will be served at Tovolea Restaurant with an afternoon Christmas party. Six Senses’ kids club, Grow with Six Senses, will have a kid’s party with Santa himself! The KaloKalo Cinema will then screen two classic Christmas movies, Home Alone and Love Actually. Boxing Day festivities kick off with a beach BBQ and a game of cricket.

Nanuku Auberge Resort

Nanuku celebrates the season of giving and creates a wonderful Christmas atmosphere with festive decorations and its annual handcrafted Christmas Trees. This year, the resort will craft two Christmas trees made entirely from coconuts, the Christmas trees will be lighted by children from a local orphanage, Dilkusha Home, which Nanuku has adopted.

Kokomo Private Island Fiji

Guests staying at Kokomo will have an array of Christmas fun to choose from. Take part in the tree lighting ceremony on Christmas Eve Eve (23rd Dec) to officially kick off the festive season. Kids Club turns into Santa’s Workshop where a fun day of craft activities awaits such as making handmade gifts and delicious gingerbread cookies. Get the family together on Christmas Eve at Beach Shack’s lawn for a heart-warming Christmas movie and popcorn. Christmas Day is filled with spirit as guests gather for a delicious breakfast then cruise to neighbouring Christmas Island to meet Santa Clause along with some local children who will spend the day with the resort. Celebrations continue with lively beach activities, outdoor games and a Pacific-inspired sand man competition. Relax on Boxing Day in your villa or join the team for a beach BBQ and live entertainment on West Beach.

VOMO Island Fiji

12 days before Christmas, VOMO Island Fiji will be treating their guests to some special festive gifts; from Fijian ginger and coconut nougat, homemade Fijian rum soaked raisins and chocolate to VOMO’s homemade Kahlua Eggnog. Kids are kept busy at Santa’s Workshop making Christmas cookies, writing last minute letters to Santa, arts and crafts and enjoying the outdoor cinema. Christmas carols are sung by the VOMO family on Christmas Eve while guests feast at the Rocks Restaurant. During the year, VOMO supports Cure Kids Fiji with fundraising activities. In December, VOMO hosts a big Christmas party on the island for some of the children coping with Rheumatic heart disease and their carers. A fantastic day of games, gifts, feasting on delicious VOMO food and of course a visit from Santa.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

The Christmas spirit lives on at Jean-Michel Cousteau, located in Savusavu. On Christmas Day, children receive beautiful handmade Christmas presents from the JMC team. Fijian Santa pays a visit over a traditional lunch and guests are encouraged to join a Church Carol Service on Christmas Day.

Toberua Island Resort

Feel the Christmas spirit as children from the local village some to sing Christmas Carols with the guests on Christmas Eve. A traditional Christmas dinner is served on one large table with all guests sitting together. Children staying might even receive a gift from Santa!

Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa

Soak up the Christmas spirit on the island of Vanua Levu with the beautiful voices of the Waivunia Choir on Christmas Eve. For something a little different, take part in a floral decorating class on Christmas Day using florals from the resort’s own garden.

And for those seeking a kids free Christmas holiday…

Qamea Resort & Spa

While staying in the lush islands of Taveuni, enjoy Christmas Day with a BBQ feast on the beach and Fijian-Christmas Warriors handing out gifts to guests. The resort welcomes guests to watch the preparation of a traditional Lovo feast. Qamea Resort & Spa, with their 17 adult-only villas, provide a tranquil Christmas escape.

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