Big Fat Hotel Wrap

It’s Thursday and Travel Weekly is bringing you the best of this week’s hotel news that you can’t find anywhere else. Well, you could but it won’t be as good.

Sofitel French Polynesia celebrates 50 years of iconic overwater bungalows


The signature overwater bungalow, first invented in the Islands of Tahiti and now the quintessential icon of paradise, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. For travellers looking for the perfect South Pacific escape, staying in an overwater bungalow is a ‘can’t miss experience’.

From direct access from a private deck into the world-renown Tahitian lagoons, to lounging on the balcony of a thatched-roof hideaway with all the amenities and service of a first class hotel, the overwater bungalow is the symbol of an ultimate private getaway.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts in French Polynesia is offering a complimentary lunch for two people per stay for every booking made in an Overwater Bungalow. This exclusive offer is valid now until 31 December 2017 and can be booked via, or your travel agent.

Minor Hotels moves into the European market with the opening of Anantara Vilamoura and AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel

AVANI Lisbon facade low res

AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel 

Just off the fashion forward Avenida da Liberdade (known for its luxury stores, theatres and restaurants), the new AVANI is set in the former Tivoli Jardim Lisboa Hotel. The ideal hotel for the modern traveller, AVANI Avenida is conveniently situated 15 minutes drive from Lisbon International Airport and within walking distance of the underground station, offering the perfect starting point for exploring Lisbon.

Guests can experience Lisbon via Go-Car in the world’s first GPS-guided storytelling car, via helicopter, and by sailboat on the Tagus River. AVANI also offers Power Walk Sightseeing Tours and a jogging map for the fit-focused traveller.

Foodies will also feel at home, with guests enjoying local wine and tapas food tours, or contemporary Portuguese flavours at Olivier Avenida.

Anantara Vilamoura

Anantara’s first property in Europe, the property was previously the Tivoli Victoria Algarve Resort. Anantara Vilamoura is a 15-minute drive from Faro International Airport and close to the marinas and beaches of the Algarve, and boasting stunning views of the Arnold Palmer-designed Oceânico Golf Course.

Guests can take advantage of the resort’s location and explore the tiny towns and villages in the region, with visits down the Ria Formosa lagoon, and guided chef tours of the local market dating back to the 20th century. Guests can also enjoy horse riding in the nearby Formosa Natural Park, take a scenic boat trip in search of dolphins, whales and turtles, or enjoy direct access to the Oceânico Golf Course.

The Anantara Spa offers the signature traditional Thai massage, Ayurvedic rituals, and treatments using locally-sourced ingredients such as Algarvian citrus fruits, figs and almond powder.

COMO The Treasury introduces new suites offerings

Studio Suite_CTT

As of May 2017, guests indulging in a stay in one of COMO The Treasury’s elegant suites will enjoy special complimentary inclusions as part of an expanded suite offering.

Guests staying in Studio Suites, Treasury Suites and the COMO Suite will enjoy a bottle of Taittinger Champagne, breakfast at Post daily, a deluxe in-room private bar (replenished daily), a guaranteed 12.00pm late check-out and complimentary valet parking. Rates for all room categories at COMO The Treasury include breakfast at Post, in-room refreshments and Wi-Fi. 

This winter, COMO The Treasury has a special offer across all room categories. Save 15 per cent off the COMO Daily Rate for two night stays, and 20 per cent off the COMO Daily Rate for three night stays. Additionally, guests can save 30 per cent off the COMO Daily Rate on bookings for 2 nights or more across all suite categories.

COMO The Treasury’s winter stay offer is valid for stays from 1 June 2017 to 31 August 2017. Daily rate for a City Room starts at AU425, including Champagne on arrival, breakfast at Post, and in-room refreshments. Rates subject to availability and are not valid with any other offer. 

Ascott to Debut Award-winning Citadines Brand in the US  with acquisition of property on NY’s Fifth Av. 

Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York, which Ascott has acquired and will renovate in phases to rebrand it to Citadines Fifth Avenue New York in 2018 (2)

CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has acquired a prime property on New York’s Fifth Avenue. It will invest a total of close to US$50 million (S$68 million) in the property.

The operating 125-unit Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York will undergo renovation in phases to prepare for its rebranding to Citadines Fifth Avenue New York in 2018. It will mark the debut of Ascott’s first Citadines serviced residence in the U.S.

Citadines Fifth Avenue New York will have access to a big catchment of business travellers as it is within walking distance to over 100 million square feet of office space where companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Verizon are located. Leisure visitors can enjoy the Museum of Modern Art, catch a show at the Broadway Theater District, shop at Fifth Avenue, ice-skate at the Rink at the Rockefeller Center or take a leisurely stroll in Central Park or Bryant Park, all within the vicinity of the property.

Two Canberra hotels take home national property awards

In a boost for Canberra’s already thriving tourism industry, two hotels – Little National Hotel and the Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport – took home national awards at the 2017 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards in Sydney, last Friday 5 May at a gala dinner at the International Convention Centre Sydney. 

Little National Hotel, owned and nominated by Doma Group, was presented with the KONE Award for Development Innovation, after last month winning the Property Council RLB ACT Development of the Year Award.

Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport, owned by Capital Property Group and nominated by Capital Airport Group, was presented with the Brain & Poulter Award for Best Tourism and Leisure Development.

RLB’s Managing Director in the ACT, Mark Chappe, says the Vibe Hotel Canberra strengthens the airport’s offering at a time when the ACT is looking to increase its direct international flights.

Tribe Perth Pre-opening Special 

Tribe Perth - External_Hero

 Perth’s newest boutique hotel, TRIBE Perth, will open on May 16 providing an innovative alternative for modern travellers who want something more, for less. Located on the burgeoning doorstep of the ever-expanding Perth CBD, TRIBE Perth is conveniently based next door to Kings Park and minutes away from some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and tourist attractions.

Seductive and striking, TRIBE Perth offers a range of luxurious designer driven, highly functional guest rooms which have been cleverly crafted to complement its unique and social living areas.

Pre-opening special rates start from $149 per night (Saturday and Sunday) and from $169 per night (Monday to Friday) in a designer Tribe Comfort room including grazing breakfast for two, a 12pm late check-out, unlimited Wi-Fi, video on demand, Kevin Murphy amenities and more.

IHG and Pro-invest bring Holiday Inn Express to Melbourne

The Holiday Inn Express brand takes another leap forward in Australia today, with IHG and partner Pro-invest announcing plans to open Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Little Collins in 2020.

The select service hotel will add 299 rooms to Melbourne’s boutique Little Collins Street. Running parallel to prominent and iconic Collins Street, the area is home to major retailers, boutique designers and corporate offices, as well as being a stone’s throw from Southern Cross station and tram stops, making it perfect for business and leisure travellers alike.

The hotel will feature a fitness centre, meeting and laundry facilities, and the ‘Great Room’ with a complimentary guest breakfast buffet and a grab-and-go-style market pantry, along with great city views, frictionless service, faster check-in, restful night’s sleep, and everything guests need for a great stay.

Cyclists Pedal into Mantra Sun City for Chain Reaction Challenge 


Yesterday (4 May), more than 50 executives pedalled into Mantra Sun City, Surfers Paradise for their sixth and final stop-over as part of the 1,000 plus kilometre Chain Reaction Challenge bike ride from Sydney to Brisbane.

The cyclists arrived at the resort as a full peloton group after pedalling the 133kms from Byron Bay. Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation, a corporate bike challenge which raises money for children’s charities, has raised more than $20 million for its charity partners since its inception in 2007.

This ride, the group exceeded their goal of raising $1 million to help fund the additional accommodation floors for the Ronald McDonald House in South Brisbane and to provide the AEIOU Foundation with funds for the construction of a new autism support centre in Logan.  A proud supporter of the initiative, Mantra Sun City donated overnight accommodation for the cyclists and their support crew to rest and recuperate before their final leg to Brisbane today.

Rooms with a view at Crowne Plaza Christchurch

An artist’s impression of a room at Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Rising above the Christchurch cityscape, the new Crowne Plaza Christchurch features 204 spacious and modern rooms, including eight suites, with unique views to the city, coast, hills and Southern Alps. 

A number of features in each room are designed to make the most of the scenery. A comfy window seat with cushions invites guests to sit back and take in the views. It’s a great spot to relax with a book and a fresh brewed T2 tea.

Crowne Plaza has selected Rituals products as its premium bathroom amenities, specifically the Happy Buddha range. Guests can also enjoy a touch of luxury with a make-up mirror, dual head shower and large heated mirror featured in every bathroom.

It goes without saying that guests are guaranteed a peaceful night’s sleep – with new beds in comfortable ‘zen-like’ rooms and a range of Executive, Deluxe and Superior configurations from suites to king bed, split king, doubles and wheelchair accessible options.

The new hotel also features Market Place restaurant and bar, Café 1851 on the ground floor, the upmarket Social Wine Bar, hotel library, fitness centre and a range of function rooms.

Best Western Celebrates its People in New Social Media Campaign


Best Western Hotels & Resorts Australasia is celebrating its people in a new social media campaign – The People of Best Western – featuring profiles of the owners, operators and employees that form the fabric of the 125-property chain.

“We believe Best Western’s people give us an edge and wanted to celebrate that by putting the focus on them. Some of the stories are remarkable and prove that everyone has a tale to tell,” said Angela Smith, Best Western’s Senior Marketing Manager,

There’s Vicki Rabjohns (pictured above) – “a surfie chick from way back” – who left Wollongong in 1980 as a young woman with three generations of her family to start a new life running what was then a faded motel in Goulburn. It was a leap of faith that’s paid enormous dividends – a husband, loving family and a thriving, growing business.

Then you have Karen Baldwin, the owner-operator of the Best Western Kennedy Drive at Tweed Heads, who feels she was destined to become involved in hospitality due to an unusual upbringing that trained her well. Her parents were deaf and, as the eldest of four children, Karen was relied on to solve communication issues: translating, liaising, ensuring no misunderstandings, keeping everyone happy.

Ms Smith says there are dozens more stories coming, which will be posted on the Best Western blog and distributed through Facebook and other social media platforms.


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