Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Stare into the crystal ball of Hotel Wraps this week. Although it’s less crystal ball and more news release round-up, really.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines launch regional campaign to celebrate ASEANS 50th Year 

Family kids playing by the pool

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines have partnered to launch a regional travel campaign called “ASEAN Is More – First Stop Singapore.”  The campaign will showcase Southeast Asia’s diverse destinations with specially curated leisure travel offers, which can be reserved from 1 August to 31 October 2017.

Families can find exclusive flight offers to exciting destinations and hotel deals for any Shangri-La hotel or resort in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand; Hotel Jen properties in Singapore and Malaysia; as well as Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Travellers can take part in the ASEAN 50 Holiday Memory Match game, which will run from 1 August to 31 October 2017. Game participants score points by correctly matching all the cards in the shortest time and the accumulated scores will be displayed on a leaderboard. The top 10 fastest contestants will each win a four-day and three-night stay at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore that includes a SGD200 dining credit at NAMI Restaurant and Bar. Winners of the ASEAN 50 Holiday Memory Match game will be notified through email.

At the end of the game, participants are encouraged to submit their answer for the question, “What is your favourite ASEAN country and why?” to stand a chance of winning a four-day holiday from their home country to Singapore. The prize includes a round trip economy class air ticket on Singapore Airlines with accommodation in the newly refreshed Tower Wing of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.

A new luxury all-inclusive resort opens in Italy

Club Med Cefalu Palazzo Gourmet Lounge Entrance

Situated on the northern coast of Sicily within a quaint traditional fishing village, Club Med Cefalu boasts breathtaking panoramic views, situated within a natural reserve of rugged cliffs. The picturesque old town, positioned away from crowded hot spots, features charming winding alleys, a dramatic cathedral and beautiful sandy beaches.

Amidst this stunning location with 180-degree views over the bay, Cefalu will demonstrate Club Med’s innovation, premium guest benefits and personalised services. The new resort will open its doors to guests from June 2018 and is sure to be the go-to destination for those looking to relax and embrace the Sicilian-Chic ‘farniente’.

As part of Club Med’s premium 5-trident tailored experience, guests at Cefalu will experience exquisite service from arrival to departure. This includes a personalised welcome at the airport with a private transfer to the resort. Once at the resort, buggies can be hired at no extra cost to get around in style – and free flow champagne is available for all guests from 6pm.

For a limited period only, Club Med Cefalu will be available to book with an exclusive Early Bird Offer of $1,875per guest, per week based on twin-share in a Club Room. Prices are based on arrival of 23 September 2018.

ibis styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai opens in the city’s Old Quarter


ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai has come to Rambuttri Road. The original Viengtai Hotel opened its doors in 1953 and was the first hotel in the Banglampu-Khaosan area which then became the start of a rich hospitality district that prevails to this day.

The aim of the hotel then was to create a home-away-from-home for tourists visiting the capital as modern accommodations catering to the travellers were scarce. The hotel has since been refurbished and underwent a rebranding facelift under ibis Styles.

With a unique blend of vintage charm that intertwines Bangkok’s rich historical heritage, the hotel features 215 contemporary guest rooms that are furnished with the innovative and revolutionary Sweet BedTM concept by ibis that align density points of the body with plumped fluffy pillows and super-comfy duvet for a restful night’s sleep.

Foodies staying at the hotel can relish in a selection of local and international menu choices at Streats Café or enjoy freshly made French pastries at Streats Bakery. A selection of meat skewers and ala minute dishes are available at Streats Bar, an open concept grill-bar that also serves a range of signature cocktails and house-pours.

 Enjoy a weekend stay at THB 2,530 net per night with breakfast for two when you book from now until 31 Oct 2017.

Pan Pacific Hotels open doors at Melbourne’s South Wharf 

The former Hilton Melbourne has reopened its doors as the Pan Pacific Melbourne on the South WharfGuests staying at Pan Pacific Melbourne will have access all of the fantastic suite of offerings and amenities for which the brand is synonymous worldwide, including complimentary Wi-Fi and a luxury Pillow Menu, guaranteed to deliver a great night’s sleep.

Over the next couple of months, Pan Pacific Melbourne will also undergo a number of significant upgrades including a new look and feel to the foyer, a new Pacific Club Lounge and aesthetic changes throughout the property.

Located on the banks of the Yarra, Pan Pacific Melbourne offers direct access to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and DFO South Wharf, one of the city’s best retail offerings. With 396 contemporary rooms offering panoramic views of the city and Port Phillip Bay, not to mention 400m2 of flexible meeting and events space, two restaurants and extensive leisure facilities including a 24-hour fitness centre, the hotel is sure to appeal to both business and leisure travellers alike.

Beds on Boards invite travellers to experience Australia by boat 

A unique way for travellers to spend their holidays in Australia is being introduced with the launch of Beds on Board in Australia.  Privately-owned luxury boats berthed at marinas across Australia can be booked for overnight accommodation on the service – the world’s leading boat accommodation platform.

Join us at the Sydney International Boat Show for further details about this new tourism experience with UK-based Beds on Board Co-Founder, Jason Ludlow, at 11.15am on Thursday 3 August.

The show will be hosted on Darling Harbour, White Haven Motor Yachts Stand on the marina, at the Cockle Bay Wharf entry, on Thursday 3 August at 11.15 am.

Entry passes to the Sydney International Boat Show must be ordered by midday Wednesday 2 August. Pass collection on the day is at The media office is in Room E3.2 – Level 3, International Convention Centre Sydney from 8am.

To book an entry visit:

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley the first hotel in Australia to provide keyless guest room entry

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley has delivered a first in Australia with the launch of a ground-breaking guest mobile platform that will transform the guest experience.

The innovative Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley app will enable guests to access their rooms from the convenience of their smartphone, as well as being an easy-access hub of information regarding the Resort and the Hunter region, and a communication channel between the resort and guests.

Mobile keys are digitally generated by hotel staff and, once created, guests simply need to open the app and wave their smartphone in front of the door for keyless entry.

The technology will bring added benefits to staff and management at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, such as improving efficiencies at the concierge, easing check-in queues at peak times, and reducing plastic and paper usage, which is in line with SFC’s historical commitment to sustainability and the environment.

Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji introduces Private Island weddings

Nanuku Auberge Resort has introduced a brand new and highly romantic concept – Private Island Weddings. 

Taking place on the resort’s very own and very private Nanuku Island, a short 30-minute boat ride away, this two-acre slice of Fijian heaven offers swaying coconut palms, a pure white sandy beach and crystal-clear water – the perfect ingredients for the most unforgettable of wedding ceremonies and ideal for smaller groups of up to 30 people. 

The resort’s team of wedding coordinators are always on hand, both for pre-wedding assistance and during the event, to ensure every detail is taken care of, no matter how big or small, making sure the couple, the wedding party and their guests – are left to relax and enjoy a truly memorable experience. 

Nanuku Auberge Resort’s talented culinary team will ensure they deliver  a wealth of creative, fresh and locally inspired selections and customised menu preparations that will exceed all  expectations.

Spending some quality time with loved ones is made easy with the option of reserving the resort for exclusive use in the lead up to, during and post nuptials ensuring the whole family and friends too can join in the couple’s special experience.

Centara and OzHarvest come together to put surplus food to good use


Centara Hotels & Resorts will participate in an innovative new charity operation that collects and distributes surplus food to benefit people in need, starting this August. The operation, ThaiHarvest|SOS is a joint initiative with OzHarvest, the pioneering Australian organisation that has established a proven and successful “Food Rescue” model which is being adopted around the world.

The programme’s mission is to eliminate hunger and food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Experts estimate as much as a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted in the transport, distribution, and preparation supply chain. When this food ends up in a landfill, it represents a tremendous waste of resources and a lost opportunity to help people unable to afford adequate nutrition.

The OzHarvest rescue and redistribution system has proven a safe and efficient way to reduce this waste and benefit the planet.

In August Centara Hotels & Resorts will begin donating surplus food from its two Bangkok properties Centara Grand hotels at CentralWorld and Ladprao. Eventually it hopes for all its Thailand properties to participate. These main two properties will also arrange an event called “Master Class Dinner”. It will be led by Will and Steve, the winners of My Kitchen Rules in 2015.

Swissotel Sydney Spa and Sport shine at World Luxury Awards 

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 4.12.38 PM

Swissôtel Sydney’s luxury spa and fitness centre, Spa & Sport, has claimed the coveted title of best ‘Luxury Urban Escape Australasia’ for the second consecutive year at the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards.

Primly positioned in Sydney’s CBD, Swissôtel Spa & Sport is a true urban oasis which offers holistic rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit. Perched high above the hustle and bustle of the city, the spa houses four private treatment rooms as well as a fully equipped fitness centre, a rooftop heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi as well as sauna rooms to help complete the ultimate pampering experience.

Specialising in deep relaxation and rejuvenation, the spas signature treatments include the Pürovel Mountain Massage, a customised relaxation massage that uses long, smooth strokes to relax muscles and incorporates a Pürovel aromatherapy blend to aid both the lymphatic and circulatory system.

Therapists use Swiss-made Pürovel products that feature all-natural ingredients such as flowers and herbs cultivated in the pristine Swiss Alpine garden, as well as an array of aromatic oils such as lavender, ylang-ylang and jasmine, along to improve treatment results.

Experience the award-winning Swissôtel Sydney Spa & Sport and enjoy a 90 minute Pürovel Mountain Stone Massage or a 90 minute Alpine Spa Facial from just $185.

Two Roads Hospitality announce North American Expansion of Alila Hotels and Resorts

International lifestyle company Two Roads Hospitality are expanding Alila Hotels & Resorts into North America. Singapore-based Alila, which became part of the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio in June 2015 and was recently voted the No. 4 Hotel Brand in the 2017 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, will open its first North American resort property in California’s fabled Big Sur in fall 2017. 

The fall 2017 opening of Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, marks the debut of a re-imagined luxury resort experience.  Ventana Big Sur will provide an intimate, immersive experience with features including 59 refreshed guest rooms, suites and villas, a full-service Spa Alila, two enhanced outdoor pools with a new infinity-edge hot tub and outdoor Japanese hot baths.

Additionally, The Sur House restaurant, with a new concept and expanded ocean-view patio, will offer majestic views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Ventana’s resort-wide enhancements also will include a new Social House with three unique lifestyle spaces for relaxing and connecting; the new 7,000-square-foot Ocean Meadow Lawn for events and celebrations; a new Glass House Gallery; a new Alila Experience Program featuring discovery-based guest activities; and the debut of a luxury camping experience — Redwood Canyon Glampsites — in the resort’s 20-acre redwood-canopied forest.  

Alila Hospitalities include daily guided walks through the serene landscape, yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates classes, and nightly wine tastings and cheese pairings. An on-site experience coordinator is available to arrange further adventures.

Rise in recent resort developments suggest Uluwatu cold be the new Seminyak

Ulu Cliffhouse 1

Ulu Cliffhouse, a new beach club concept curated by a community of creative talent, has announced it is launching in Bali in August 2017. Commanding  jaw  dropping  panoramic  views,  the  50,000ft²  clifftop  oasis  will offer  an  unparalleled new beach club experience in Uluwatu 35 metres above sea level.

Uluwatu is also home to Sunday Beach Club, Karma Beach Club, Moroccan-inspired Ju-Ma-Na Restaurant, and one of the leading Spanish restaurants on the island – El Kabron.

The location is currently awaiting further new openings with Sixth Sense, a five-star hotel and spa, and world-class resorts like Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, and Radisson Blu.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts Welcomes 23 New Members, including Nine in Asia Pacific

Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand, welcomed 23 new member hotels across 13 countries to its brand portfolio from May to July 2017.  Travelers to Asia Pacific now have even more options to experience #ThePreferredLife with nine new hotel members across the region.

Highlights of the newest hospitality experiences within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific portfolio include:

In Tokyo, Japan

  • Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel – Featuring 40 stories of sophisticated guest rooms, renowned restaurants, and an abundance of amenities, the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is a chic, luxury property just steps away from the bustling Shibuya Station and iconic attractions such as the Hachiko and Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian intersection. Guests who want to stay close to “home” can enjoy traditional French Provencal cuisine overlooking the Tokyo skyline at the hotel’s restaurant Coucagno, or pay a visit to the on-site Noh Theater where traditional Japanese performing arts are regularly scheduled.
  • Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo – This contemporary luxury hotel is nestled within a picturesque 12.4-acre Japanese garden located in the heart of Tokyo. The award-winning property features 267 elegant guest rooms, most with astounding views of the surrounding garden that houses historical artifacts, and a majestic three-story pagoda dating back to the 14th century. Hotel guests can partake in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the on-site 100-year-old tea house, or indulge in culinary creations at one of the hotel’s nine restaurants.

In Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

  • Windsor Plaza Hotel – Offering 376 rooms replete with Medea furnishings and modern amenities, this city oasis is located in the historical District 5, otherwise known as Cholon, Vietnam’s largest Chinatown. This locale is teeming with bustling markets, ancient pagodas, and nearby iconic landmarks such as the Bến Thành markets and Reunification Palace, all easily accessible via the hotel’s hourly shuttle bus. Guests who wish to get a panoramic bird’s eye view of the Ho Chi Minh cityscape need only head up to the roof top where the award-winning open-air Top of The Town Bar & Restaurant offers an extensive international wine list and delectable Vietnamese dishes to enjoy.
  • Sherwood Suites – Strategically located in the heart of the city, the soon-to-be open Sherwood Suites, offers 157 well-appointed studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and penthouses that boast stylish Italian furnishings, and fully-equipped kitchens – perfect for both business guests and leisure traveler alike. Amenities include a temperature-controlled swimming pool, a restaurant serving Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, a Children’s Playroom, and a private cinema. Guests can hop on the hotel’s hourly shuttle bus to explore nearby attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum and The Saigon Opera House.

In Chengdu, China

  • Minyoun Chengdu Dongda Hotel – Voted one of China’s “Top 10 Glamourous Hotels in 2017,” this stunning 333-room hotel is located high above Chengdu’s central business district between the 33rd and 48th floors of Minyoun Financial Plaza Mansion, offering all guests unparalleled views of the city and the Jinjiang River nearby. Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu, the flagship project in the Chinese Mainland by Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong Group – a veritable showcase of the latest fashion trends, international cuisine and exciting entertainment options – is a short walk away. Guests who wish to sample authentic Sichuan and Cantonese dishes without leaving the confines of their home base will enjoy the hotel’s YiPalace, one of Chengdu’s top destinations for traditional Chinese cuisine.

Additional properties that joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts between May and July 2017 include:

From Asia Pacific

  • Biyadhoo Island Resort (South Male Atoll, Maldives)
  • Minyoun Chengdu Kehua Hotel (Chengdu, China)
  • WelcomHotel Coimbatore (Coimbatore, India)
  • The Chedi  (Mumbai, India)

From the Americas & the Caribbean

  • IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)
  • IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bavaro (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Grand Polanco Residencial (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • The Guest House of Graceland (Memphis, Tennessee, United States)
  • Naples Bay Resort  (Naples, Florida, United States)
  • Bear Mountain Inn (Bear Mountain, New York, United States)
  • Water’s Edge Resort & Spa (Westbrook, Connecticut, United States)
  • Ambassador Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
  • IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

From Europe

  • Merchants Manor Hotel & Spa  (Falmouth, United Kingdom)
  • Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel (Porto, Portugal)
  • Hotel Bristol Palace (Genova, Italy)
  • Allium Villas Resort  (Bodrum, Turkey)
  • Hotel MiM Sitges (Sitges, Spain)


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Review: Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty in the heart of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

Hidden in plain sight in the middle of the Medina, Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty with only 10 suites offering a quiet and peaceful reprieve.




Sydney’s Great West Walk extended by 80km

Hikers, rejoice! This iconic trail has been extended to cover a whopping 140km, making it possible to walk from Parramatta to Katoomba.




Hilton and Carnival named among Australia’s best workplaces

Travel Weekly unfortunately missed out on the list, though we do often hold up balloons that spell out our company name like in the featured image. It really boosts team morale!




ACCC raises concerns over Qantas’ acquisition of Alliance Airlines

The ACCC is also concerned about whether Alan Joyce’s volunteering on the tarmac has affected productivity, with workers beginning to raise eyebrows after his eighth morning tea break.




Virtuoso reveals hottest bounce back trends at Travel Week

Are you living it up at the fashion week of travel in Vegas this year? Or are you sitting at home suffering from FOMO? Either way, we’re sure these insights will tickle your fancy.




Tourism New Zealand seeks to attract “high-quality visitors” in new campaign

Nothing says ‘adventure’ like ziplining through a forest in New Zealand. Zipliners are up there with Marco Polo in our opinion.




Azamara rolls out luxe bar championing destination immersion

The line will launch its new bar concept across the entire Azamara fleet, with delicious destination-themed cocktails to get passengers in the zone.




Aurora Expeditions announces new Patagonia treks

Travellers are set to weave their way through the remotest parts of South America with these new itineraries, in their Patagonia gear of course.




New expert sessions announced for Cruise360

These new sessions have us so excited we went out and booked a cruise, only for us to realise the date overlapped with Cruise360 so we had to cancel.




Club Med’s flash sale has 30% off Asian resorts

Just to clarify, it’s 30% off resort deals, not the actual resorts themselves. Although that would be quite the sale.



Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Visit West Hollywood’s Tom Kiely

This week we caught up with the CEO of Visit West Hollywood Tom Kiely who kept praising Australia and our travel industry. We just couldn’t stop blushing!




Corona announces its own tropical island destination in South America

If drinking beer on the beach is one of your favourite holiday activities then there’s no better destination for you!