Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Whether you’re a casual browser of the cruise industry, or a die-hard fan, here’s your weekly wrap up of the hotel news and gossip.

Sage Hotel James Street to open

Sage Hotel James Street™, located in Brisbane’s eclectic Fortitude Valley is set to open its doors this March.

Perfectly located in the lifestyle precinct of James Street with its cafes, first class retail and art galleries, Sage Hotel James Street is nestled beside the historic Queens Arms Hotel and a stone’s throw from the city centre.

The hotel lobby features polished exposed aggregate concrete floors, split aged and recycled sand stock brick and a stunning light design, The Knot by designer Karim Rashid, which combine to create a contemporary, semi-industrial look reflecting the repurposed warehouse design.

Set over 4-levels the property is immaculately presented, seamlessly combining the traditional elements of the Queens Arms with modern hotel interiors consisting of 93 boutique hotel rooms and a dedicated style space for fashion, art or creative showings. With free WIFI, a café, deli and cellar all located in the lobby of the hotel and a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sage James Street has your stay and play options covered for a weeknight or weekend stay.

InterCon guest experience & Easter Escapes

Through the Kaleidoscope with ICS and SSO

InterContinental Sydney, in partnership with long-standing partners, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO), has announced the release of “Through the Kaleidoscope” – an exclusive, money-can’t-buy package to experience Kate Miller-Heidke and the SSO like never before.

With strictly five packages on release from today, the cultural experience includes two A Reserve tickets to Kate Miller-Heidke on Saturday 25 March inside the Sydney Opera House, a 15-minute backstage meet and greet with SSO musicians, Fiona and Leone Ziegler, luxury overnight accommodation at InterContinental Sydney and a host of personalised post-performance experiences.

“Through the Kaleidoscope” marks the second major Insider Experience from InterContinental Sydney this year, following the Night With The Stars experience with St.George OpenAir Cinema.

Packages are on sale from today until sold out; strictly limited numbers available. The “Through the Kaleidoscope” package is $695.00 for two and is available only online at or to book direct here.

InterContinental Hotels Group has also announced the launch of its 2-week only sale “Easter Escape”, with significant savings across all hotels in Australia and New Zealand – just in time for the Easter and ANZAC Day holiday breaks.

Guests who book before 15 March 2017 can receive up to 35 per cent off their booking, for stays between 24 March and 30 April 2017.

Vanuatu releases luxury safari tent stays


Following the unprecedented popularity of the Luxury Safari Tent introduced in 2013, Ratua Private Island, Vanuatu, now has launched two new tents to manage demand.

With great launch specials these 35 metre-square tents offer guests the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable experience in a relaxing and intimate setting.    Located on both the Southern and South Eastern sides of the island, they overlook the crystal waters the island is famous for.

Decorated in the style of Golden Age explorers, the tent offers all the comfort of luxury camping, with an outside bathroom plus the ease of still having access to full resort services if they wish.

Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central Nears Completion

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and owners, Pro-invest have released new renders of the soon-to-be completed Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central, opening in April. This will be the second Holiday Inn Express in Australia; part of a portfolio of 15 hotels being developed in Australia and New Zealand between IHG and Pro-invest.

Having reached the development’s practical completion, finishing touches are now being made to the hotel interiors and Great Room, set to be an ideal location for meetings, cocktail parties and networking sessions for the Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central local community.

A sunken lounge area with expansive windows opening onto the bright street front will accommodate up to 50 for stand-up functions. In addition, a 14-seat, spacious boardroom will provide a stylish, efficient venue for meetings in the area.

Canberra getting new Adina property

TFE Hotels will operate a beautiful new Adina Apartment Hotel Grand, Canberra, further expanding the brand’s operation to the Australian Capital Territory. The contemporary new design hotel will be part of an exciting $300 million development by Capital Property Group at the corner of Constitution Place and London Circuit, where two purpose-built buildings will set a new standard in environmental design.

The hotel will be designed by architects Bates Smart, who designed the stunning Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport, which has earned several design and construction awards from the Master Builders Association and Architects Institute of Australia since it opened in 2015.

The new apartment hotel will occupy the lower four levels of the building with the floors above used as commercial office space. The development will also include a number of cafes, restaurants and retail outlets, in addition to a three-level basement carpark with over 600 spaces.

The new Adina hotel will have 132 rooms, offering guests a choice of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments. Typical of all Adina Apartment Hotels, it will offer the best of both worlds, combining spacious apartment living with hotel services and facilities. Guests will be able to enjoy 24-hour reception, room service, knowledgeable concierge service and a well-equipped gym.

Peppers sale!

The Sale Event by Peppers starts this Sunday (5 March) offering reduced room rates and a range of extras at more than twenty idyllic destinations across Australia, New Zealand and Bali.

The Sale Event by Peppers commences on Sunday 5 March and ends midnight Sunday 12 March, 2017. For bookings and more packages, visit or call 1300 987 600.

Hong Kong’s Regal Group open Sydney office

Regal Hong Kong at Causeway Bay .2

Regal Hotels International (RHI) has announced the opening of a regional sales office in Sydney as of yesterday, March 1 2017 to cater for the rapid growth in travel between Australia and Greater China.

The office will handle the marketing of all 17 Regal hotels to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

RHI has  appointed Charmaine Wong as the Business Development Manager  in Sydney. She comes from a very strong background of 20 years in the outbound travel industry.

She is being supported and assisted by Randall Lui, a veteran in the Australian tourism industry for more than 30 years. Lui will continue to operate his RM Asia Pacific hotel marketing company in Hong Kong for the Trump Collections and other global brands.

Together, they aim to expand the Australian and New Zealand market share for Regal in Hong Kong and China.  The office will create new business, more tour programs, and group travel itineraries using the comprehensive network of the Regal Hotels International.

The group offers two distinct brands of hotel –  the luxury Regal brand and the budget I Club brand. It has a great choice of eight hotels in Hong Kong  and nine in China.  In all the group offers a choice of 9500 rooms and 82 restaurants and bars for the two brands.

Minor Hotels to Debut in South Korea

AVANI Busan exterior at night rendering low res

Minor Hotels (MH) has announced that it will debut its dynamic AVANI brand in South Korea with the launch of AVANI Busan Hotel.

The new-build 400-key hotel represents a milestone for Minor Hotels as its first property in South Korea. A management agreement for AVANI Busan has been signed between the hotel developer, UL Group, and Minor Hotels, with the property scheduled to open in 2019.

Currently under development, AVANI Busan will be ideally situated in the East Busan Tourism Complex Zoning, a haven for both shopping and entertainment.

 NYC offers Pod Hotels


The National Travel & Tourism Office reported more than 700,000 people traveled from Australia to New York in 2016 alone. As a result, the newly launched Pod Hotels make a great home-base for those wanting to escape the Australian winter and explore all that New York City has to offer.

Located in Murray Hill and Midtown East, just a short walk to Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, major shopping areas, bars and restaurants, Pod 39 and Pod 51 offer comfortable and convenience room accommodations, social spaces, quality eats and an affordable price point which leaves extra money for exploring the city. A few highlights include:

  • Pod 39’s Playroom:  Featuring flat screen TVs, communal charging tables, an oversized Moroccan-tiled fireplace, ping pong tables, comfortable seating and an enviable board game collection, this entertainment mecca suits every social schedule, day to night.
  • Communal Spaces: Pod 39 and Pod 51 Rooftops: “See the Big Apple the way it’s meant to be seen” – Whether this involves a cocktail in hand, a partner to lounge with or a hit Instagram Pic Stitch is up to the guest.
  • Complimentary Walking Tours: The Pod Hotels have teamed up with NYC tour company Streetwise, to offer guests free walking tours with tour guides that moonlight as comedians.

Karma Resorts live on GDS

Karma Resorts has announced that 5-star Karma Kandara and Karma Reef, Bali’s finest collection of 2, 3 & 4 bedroom
private pool villas have signed up with the Global Distribution System SABRE.

Booking these resorts is now just a click away by using the following Karma Resorts GDS code. CLICK HERE for more info.

Mövenpick Opens First Serviced Apartments Concept In Asia


Swiss hospitality management company Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will be launching a brand new serviced apartment property on the 1 March 2017, its second property in the Thai capital – the Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok.

The newly built property features 158 serviced apartments and offers long-stay guests a choice of fully furnished studios, 1- and 2- bedroom apartments in Bangkok’s vibrant Ekkamai neighbourhood, an area known for its hip cafes, fine restaurants and boutique shopping options.

Units range in size from 32 sqm to 75 sqm with bright, contemporary décor and a choice of sweeping city views through floor-to-ceiling windows. All the residences come fully fitted, including kitchen equipment, also feature flat screen TVs offering numerous cable channels in multiple languages and complimentary WiFi.

Beyond their private spaces, residents enjoy access to a generous 25-metre outdoor saltwater swimming pool, an indoor rooftop fitness centre and a modest but well equipped meetings and functions space.

Anantara prepares to debut in Europe

Anantara Vilamoura - main pool with golf course backdrop - low res

Having launched in Thailand almost 16 years ago, Anantara has grown its luxury portfolio to 37 hotels and resorts across Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa and the Middle East. On April 1, the brand will debut in Europe with the launch of Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal.

The 280-room Anantara Vilamoura is a milestone addition to the brand. The property sits along southern Portugal’s picturesque Algarve coast, and will offer a tranquil retreat overlooking the neighbouring Oceânico golf course. It is located just 15 minutes from Faro International Airport, close to the ocean and beaches and a five-minute drive from Vilamoura.

London’s Athenaeum Hotel – Surprisingly Affordable in 2017

The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences,  in fashionable Mayfair has been a destination for discerning Australian visitors to London for generations. Now, refreshed after a multi-million pound redesign, “the Athenaeum” is more stylish and comfortable than ever – and surprisingly affordable at current exchange rates.

The Athenaeum’s guaranteed year long AUS Dollar rates reflect the current lower value of the British pound and offer outstanding value for one of London’s finest luxury hotels. Deluxe rooms from AUS $510 per night rise to just $680 in high season while suites and residences are from $850 per night.

All bookings for 2017 include 15 per cent off food in Galvin at The Athenaeum (Chris and Jeff Galvin’s latest opening in the Capital). Included in the package, guests can enjoy a full English breakfast, free unlimited Wi-Fi and the use of the hotel’s gym, sauna, steam room and hot tubs. Children under 12 eat for 50 per cent off when accompanied by an adult.


Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

Business travel giant pays $6.3 million ransom to hackers

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly’s deputy editor is holding her housemate’s cat hostage so she doesn’t have to do this week’s toilet paper pick up at Woolies.




These are Instagram’s hottest travel destinations for 2020

There are even some Aussie spots named for you to add to your client’s domestic itineraries while they wait for international travel to return.




Essential travel must be prioritised when international travel resumes: WHO

The World Health Organization has issued its advice for national health authorities on the gradual return of international travel.




Destination Webinars reveals August line-up for ‘BYO Coffee Cluster’ series

Get all the latest updates, plus some itinerary inspo, from the likes of Bunnik Tours, Etihad, Cruise Traveller, Finnair, Globus and Accor, just to name a few.




Trans-Tasman travel bubble “will be on the backburner for some time”, says Ardern

The likelihood of travel between Australia and New Zealand taking off in 2020 has been further dashed by the Kiwi PM.




OPINION: Why the government must step in and save Australia’s aviation industry

by Michael Kaine

The TWU’s Michael Kaine has penned an urgent message to the government asking them to stop the collapse of Australia’s aviation industry.



Travel Agents

INFOGRAPHIC: How Aussie and Kiwi travel agents have been holding up during the pandemic

Despite all the uncertainty plaguing the travel industry at the moment, there are still some positive signs for agents, if this new research is anything to go by.




Destination Wrap: Program announced for Parrtjima, Tasmania set to reopen to SA, NT + MORE

Looking to start the week off well? Kick back and sink your teeth into our Monday serving of destination news.




Expedia slumps to $1.2 billion loss in Q2

by Huntley Mitchell

Thought Expedia was fairly immune to the severe impact COVID-19 is having on the travel industry? Think again upon reading these dour financials.




Man charged after diving into aquarium at Sydney Zoo

We have seen people do some pretty dumb things on TikTok, but this numbskull takes the cake.




Wholesaler Wrap: Intrepid rubs shoulders with Prince Harry, Omniche’s new webinars + MORE

We’ve got some rare Royals news in this week’s Wholesaler Wrap. However, that’s not to suggest it features any pics of Princess Beatrice in her wedding dress.




Trans-Tasman travel ‘bubble’ could get green light without Victoria: Birmingham

The federal government is prepared to proceed without Victoria to try to kickstart the trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ this year, according to Birmo.