Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Enjoy this surprise Hotel Wrap. Surprise because we thought it was Friday and were halfway through tomorrow’s wrap before we realised what day it was.

Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa recognised as Fiji’s best beach resort and best family resort 2017

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa is proud to be awarded as Fiji’s Best Beach Resort and Fiji’s Best Family Resort at the renowned 2017 Haute Grandeur Hotel Awards™ Gala Ceremony hosted on 27 October 2017 at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit in Thailand. The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel AwardsTM was established to recognise exceptional contributions by outstanding hotels and is synonymous with status, luxury and acclaim.

Launched in 2014, Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards™ provides travellers with a trusted source of award-winning properties to choose from when booking their holidays or business trips and are now in their 3rd year. Recipients of these awards are reputed to be the best in travel experiences in the travel industry.

These awards celebrate the very best in hotel experiences across 7 continents, 172 countries and 90 unique categorise on a global, continent and country level. The Awards are decided with a unique process by gathering only quality guest feedback to continue raising the bar of excellence in service delivery and promising guests the best hotel experience. The 3rd Gala Ceremony for the 2017 Haute Grandeur Hotel Awards was hosted on 27 October 2017 at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit in Thailand.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas announces technical ambassador appointment: ‘Pepper’, the humanoid robot


Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is excited to announce the appointment of Pepper, the humanoid robot, as hotel Technical Ambassador. The newest team member will primarily be based in the Sky Lobby located on the 23rd floor, greeting guests, and complementing hotel services through engaging and playful entertainment.

More than a lobby fixture, Pepper is completely integrated into the hotel team, and acts as a colleague. Endearing and surprising, with large expressive eyes and lifelike movements and gestures, the four-foot (1.2-metre) tall Pepper can discern a guest’s gender, approximate age and mood. Interacting in natural and intuitive ways, Pepper provides personalised communication by detecting facial, body and voice cues. It can provide answers to property-specific questions, give directions, tell stories, dance and even pose for a selfie.

Best Western Australasia enters economy market, launches SureStay in Australia & New Zealand

Steve Richards Best Western Australasia Head of Commercial

Best Western Australasia (BWA) today confirmed that SureStay, its new ‘white label’ economy hotel brand, is coming to Australia and New Zealand.

Head of Commercial Steve Richards says fruitful discussions are under way with a number of hotels and anticipates the first property will go live in early 2018 with others to follow.

Richards says Best Western sees the economy sector as a major network growth opportunity, especially across regional areas with a lot of competition but little brand differentiation.

SureStay was launched last year has now has 33 properties in the United States, Sweden and Thailand with another 44 in the pipeline.

SOD turned on Mantra Epping in Melbourne’s booming north

Mantra Epping sod turning L-R Ian Wilson, Danielle Green, Ben Carroll, Bob East

Construction on Mantra Epping, a new $70 million hotel development in one of Melbourne’s fastest growing areas, is now underway following today’s sod turning ceremony.

Developed by Too Build and to be operated by Mantra Group when it opens in mid-2019, the 214-room, four-star hotel has been designed to capitalise on both the history of the northern suburbs and the unique attributes of Epping today.

Occupying a prime corner position at 250 Cooper Street within the prestigious Northpoint Enterprise Park at Epping, Melbourne’s fastest growing expansion corridor just 18km north of the CBD, the two-wing hotel has been designed by leading architect Peddle Thorp and Bruce Henderson Interiors.

One of Australia’s largest construction companies, Hacer Group, has been engaged to complete the project build.

Spend a night in the LEGO House

Airbnb and LEGO® have today unveiled their most BRICKtastic overnight experience to date. For one night only, the newly opened LEGO House in Billund, Denmark will become one family’s private playground courtesy of Airbnb.

To enter the chance to win a night in the LEGO House, aspiring master builders, young and old, will be asked to put their imagination to the test and describe one thing they would build together with their family if they had an infinite supply of LEGO bricks.

Winners of the contest will enjoy the LEGO House all to themselves for a whole night. They will sleep in a dream LEGO bedroom under a giant LEGO waterfall and create their winning entry with the skilful support of host, Jamie Berard, one of the finest Master Builders in the world and a true expert of the brick.

The full experience will begin on November 24th, when the winners will arrive at the LEGO House to be greeted by Jamie who will welcome them to their home for the night.

Deal: Family Graduation Celebrations with Club Med 


Are your clients looking for the ultimate family holiday now that their child has finished their end of year exams?

Club Med is now offering High School Graduates an extra $200 off all current promotions when booking before 23 November for travel between 4 November 2017 – 31 October 2018. The discount for this limited offer will be applied by the travel agent during the booking process for each high school graduate travelling with an adult.

Prices start from $1,200 per adult / $1,000 per high school graduate for 7 nights at Club Med Bali.

Much more than just a place to rest your head, Club Med is the creator of happiness, offering the ease of a premium all-inclusive package that includes gourmet meals and snacks with international delicacies and traditional local cuisine, an open bar, a vast selection of activities, entertainment and more – leaving room for total peace of mind and time to focus only on being together during this important milestone.

Queenstown student awarded tourism scholarship

Tourism Kickstart - (L to R) Charlie Phillips, Harriet Dennison and Jo Finnigan

One lucky Queenstown student has been granted a scholarship to give her the ultimate kickstart in New Zealand’s booming tourism industry.

Wakatipu High School (WHS) student Harriet Dennison, 18, will study a Diploma in Hospitality Management at the award-winning Queenstown Resort College (QRC), thanks to an inaugural partnership between four Queenstown hotels and the college.

The scholarship covers fifty percent of tuition fees for the two-year course and includes a guaranteed paid internship placement at one of AccorHotels’ market-leading Queenstown properties.

The four properties driving this scholarship are Hotel St Moritz, Novotel Queenstown, Sofitel Queenstown and Mercure Queenstown Resort.

Six Senses Yao Noi Invites Guests to Indulge in the Perfect Ten Experience to Celebrate 10 years

Globetrotters seeking an exceptional travel experience may be tempted by an out-of-the-ordinary EUR 10,000 indulgence at the award-winning Six Senses Yao Noi, created to celebrate the resort’s ten-year anniversary in this idyllic island location in Southern Thailand.

Since 2007, the resort has made several enhancements to elevate the guest experience. Some of the highlights include the addition of the Retreat, which is the top-tier villa ideal for accommodating couples and multigenerational families. The Juice Bar at the Six Senses Spa Village is a great place for wellness and fitness enthusiasts to hang out and enjoy nutritious and tasty juices.

And in support of the resort’s focus on and dedication to sustainability, Six Senses Yao Noi has also added several unique experience that include the addition of a goat farm, chicken farm, duck pond and the Hornbill Club, an educational center for the younger guests.

First look inside the new Novotel Melbourne South Wharf


There has been no hiding the rise of the 26-storey golden hotel tower in Melbourne’s South Wharf. The new $150 million Novotel Melbourne South Wharf is in its final stages of construction as part of the $350 million expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and broader South Wharf precinct.

The hotel, which is on track to open in March 2018 has revealed a first look into its 347 guestrooms and suites which will set a new ‘gold standard’ in guest rooms and hotel interior design.

Designed by Woods Bagot, NH Architecture, and with interiors by Fender Katsalidis and Woods Bagot, the hotel will be one of the most impressive Novotel hotels in Australia.

On arrival to the guest floors starting from level 7 to level 26, guests are provided with the latest generation proximity sensor door locks to access their rooms. Bespoke joinery is a highlight in every room and all have generously built wardrobes, luggage racks, study spaces with task lighting and mini bars with additional storage.

Aman announces its next island destination: Aman New York

Aman New York Exterior.jpg

Aman announces a new urban sanctuary in the world’s greatest city: Aman New York, scheduled to open in 2020. The property, located on Manhattan Island, will blend the pulse of the city with the soul of Aman, joining the much-lauded Aman Tokyo as the brand’s second urban destination, and will be Aman’s third US property after Amangiri and Amangani.

Situated in the heart of Manhattan at the crossroads of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, overlooking Central Park, Aman New York will occupy the iconic Crown Building and will comprise not only guest rooms and suites, but will also house the first urban Aman Residences, a collection of just 20 incomparable private homes, inviting owners to be part of a very select community.

Embodying the splendour of the Gilded Age and dynamism of Fifth Avenue, the Crown Building is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Manhattan. Built in 1921, it is one of the finest examples of neo-classical Beaux-Arts architecture in the Big Apple.

Hotel Jen Penang unveils a new look in the heart of Unesco site – George Town

Exec Suite_3

Hotel Jen Penang, a 17-storey landmark in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Site George Town, today unveiled its new look following a USD14 million renovation. The hotel’s prominence in the multicultural capital of Penang dates back over 30 years and in staying true to its roots, elements of the colourful Peranakan culture were whimsically mixed into the hotel’s design to sport playful details and create a sense of place.

The three-phase transformation of the hotel, which took 15 months to complete, included the lobby, Club Lounge, Café Jen – the all-day dining restaurant, all 443 rooms and suites, as well as the introduction of two new room categories – the Family Room (32 square metres) and Apartment (60 square metres).

Each new room and suite, ranging from 28 square metres to 78 square metres, offers a view of historical George Town while showcasing one of Penang’s three heritage features on customised wallpaper – the trishaw, colourful Peranakan tiles and traditional shop-house louvered shutters. Complemented with light wood floors and a colour palette of warm tones, guests can enjoy thoughtful touches such as a working area, universal sockets, USB charging outlets, and a walk-in shower or bath tub.

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Worldwide launches on-demand barre workouts


 JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, in partnership with The Joffrey Ballet, launched Behind the Barre, a series of workout videos available on-demand for travelers staying in the brand’s guestrooms, now available at JW hotels across Asia-Pacific.

Behind the Barre on-demand barre classes marks the second time that JW Marriott has partnered with America’s premier ballet company.  In 2014, the two companies launched Poise and Grace, an internal training initiative for global associates of the luxury hotel brand.  Utilizing the foundations of ballet, the program was created to teach employees to exhibit finesse and gracefulness as part of their daily routines, ultimately resulting in a refined guest experience.  Behind the Barre is the first guest-facing partnership from the two storied brands, highlighting JW Marriott’s commitment to well-being by providing guests with the tools and techniques to maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter where your travels take you.

A Sensory Awakening in the Maldives

Following a change in management for Huvafen Fushi, there is a vision of a bold, sensory awakening for the island. Recapturing the seductive allure of Huvafen Fushi. A fashionable global icon that carries perennial stature, always fluid and forever pushing boundaries.

Universal Resorts, which owns Huvafen Fushi along with Amilla Fushi and Finolhu, have taken over the management of Huvafen, ‘respecting the past and being bold in the future’, in the words of Owners Representative and Curator, Mark Hehir of The Small Maldives Island Co., the luxury disruptors behind Amilla Fushi and Finolhu. No one understands Huvafen Fushi’s DNA better than Mark. Remarkably, he was part of the team to launch the island over a decade ago and was the inspirational GM in its early heady years from 2005-2007.

Huvafen Fushi built a deserved reputation amongst connoisseurs, seduced by the sensuous embrace and creativity of this alluring island rendezvous. Countless other luxury brands followed and imitated, yet the island retained its place as one of the leading lights in the luxe resort landscape.


Westin Hotels & Resorts launches exclusive in-room workout series starring Rachael Finch

Westin Hotels & Resorts has launched the Westin Let’s Rise Workout Series, an in-room, HIIT workout program, curated by and starring certified health coach, television presenter and model, Rachael Finch. The workout videos will be available exclusively from 21 November 2017 for guests of Westin Hotels & Resorts in Australia and Fiji.

The workout series is designed to provide a full-body workout, featuring six videos including: two 15-minute full-body, HIIT work-outs; two 8-minute ab attacks; a short warm-up session; and a cool down and stretch routine. The workouts can be achieved comfortably in any guestroom and do not require special equipment.

COMO Hotels and Resorts announces a new luxury Bali resort 

COMO Echo Beach_Penthouse - Master Bedroom - Pool Deck 2

COMO Hotels and Resorts is proud to announce it will be opening COMO Echo Beach in February 2018, a new beachside resort on Bali’s south coast. This will be the travel group’s third property on the island and 14th in total, with a presence across the world growing from Miami Beach to Bhutan, Western Australia to Bangkok.

Boasting 119 rooms and suites, including one and two-bedroom residences as well as three-bedroom duplex penthouses featuring individual rooftop pools, COMO Echo Beach is located on 2.2 acres of land in Canggu, a coastal village and six-mile long beach lapped by the Indian Ocean with some of Bali’s best surf breaks. COMO Echo Beach is seven miles from the bustle of Seminyak – though the rolling waves and calming landscape of rice paddies ensure it feels a world apart.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts Welcomes 25 New Member Hotels, with 8 from Asia Pacific

Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand, announces the addition of 25 new member hotels and resorts across eight countries between August and October 2017.

From the most iconic city beachfront in Hawaii to the majestic culture and traditions of Rajasthan, India – travelers can now enjoy experiencing #ThePreferredLife in even more destinations while staying at distinctive independent properties around the world.

Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu brings Bright Blu to Indonesia and inspired design to Bali

Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu_Aerial_1

Just a 40-minute drive from Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport lies Uluwatu – a rural jewel in Bali’s Bukit peninsula’s crown. On this southwestern tip of the Island, Indonesia’s first Radisson Blu resort, Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu reinterprets Balinese style for the modern travelers. Set to welcome guests from January 2018, the brand’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is evident in every dimension of the resort’s unique character.

Bali’s best surfing beach is on the resort’s doorstep, and many more pristine shores and popular oceanside hangouts, such as Bali Collection in Nusa Dua, are within 25 minutes reach. The majestic, 11th-century Luhur Uluwatu Temple lies 6km to the west. A Cultural Park offering myriad Balinese experiences and a state-of-the-art 18-hole golf course designed by Ronald Fream, David Dale & Kevin Ramsey are also nearby, making Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu an ideal base for the surfer, golfer, cultural explorer or serenity seeker.

Minor Hotels to Open Three New-Build Hotels in Qatar 

Al Najada Complex Doha - aerial rendering low res

Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 157 hotels and resorts in 24 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, is pleased to announce that it will open three new-build hotels in Qatar in spring 2018 under its Tivoli and Oaks brands. The three properties are owned by Katara Hospitality, a globally recognised hospitality owner, developer and operator.

Launching in April, Tivoli Al Najada Doha Hotel is in the final stages of development in the centre of the Qatari capital. Facilities in the five-storey property will include 151 guest rooms and suites, a selection of dining options, a fitness centre, a swimming pool and a business centre, with guest rooms on the upper floors offering a panoramic view of the Doha skyline including West Bay.

Hotel Jen is the first international hotel brand to use Relay Robots in Asia



Hotel Jen today marks a new milestone as the first international hotel brand to use autonomous Relay robots in Asia. Teams at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway and Tanglin Singapore welcome colleagues, Jeno and Jena at their respective properties. The duo will deliver amenities and local favourites from the in-room dining menu to guests, when an order for them is placed.

“Hotel Jen is proud to be the first brand in the Shangri-La group to introduce this technology. The new “colleagues” will be great team players in getting important things done well and delivered in Jen’s distinctive style. Known to curate playful experiences, Hotel Jen, through the Relay robots, yet again proves that it can surprise and delight urban adventure-seekers,” said Cetin Sekercioglu, executive vice president of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.

Mantra Group has record year for growth


Mantra Group has achieved its largest year of growth since its inception in 2009, with a record number of new properties (13) joining its hotel and resort portfolio in 2017.

Mantra Group Chief Executive Officer Bob East said the Group’s acquisition focus this year has been domestically and it’s pleased to be increasing its presence in almost every Australian state.

Mantra on City Road, Melbourne is scheduled to open its doors in March 2018; Mantra at Sharks, Southport on the Gold Coast will open in April 2018 in time for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games; Peppers Silo Hotel at Launceston Tasmania is set to open in April 2018; Mantra Epping, Melbourne will open in mid-2019; while Mantra M-City in Melbourne’s south-east is due for completion in late 2020.

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • News

UPDATE: Crash compensation unlikely, says head of digital disruption payment system

Southern Cross Travel Insurance says it will be covering claimable losses caused by the Crowdstrike global network outage event, despite its own operations not being affected. “We will be covering claimable losses caused by this event, provided all other conditions and criteria for cover are met (and subject to any limits, sub-limits and/or any exclusions […]

  • Food & Beverage

Exciting culinary experiences across Asia

Here is a look at some exciting experiences across Asia to enhance traveller vacations in iconic cities across the continent. The Mai Restaurant at Meliá Chiang Mai Located on the 21st floor of the iconic hotel, the Mai Restaurant has launched a Thai-inspired afternoon tea for two that pays tribute to the Baan Tawai Wood […]

  • Regional
  • Tour Operators

On Foot Holidays launches Ligurian Hills hiking tour promotion

Australians can explore Italy’s Ligurian Hills on foot on a self-guided, inn-to-inn hike with Onn Foot Holidays new promotional rates. Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports. On Foot Holidays’ seven-night holiday begins with two days of walking through vineyards and […]

  • Products

Mandarin Oriental takes a dive into swimwear with $360 board shorts

If you were inspired by The Inspired Unemployed’s Liam Moore limited-edition pair of Budgy Smugglers but want a bit more coverage, then here’s your chance. The Orlebar Brown brand has introduced an original design of the Bulldog swim short for Mandarin Oriental hotels – yours for a snip at US$242.25 (AU$360). They have been “designed […]

  • Health & Wellness
  • Luxury

Trisara showcases sustainable dining via wellspring program

Phuket-based resort Trisara is transporting guests from resort to farm to table then back again courtesy of a new limited-time program, Wellspring. The package is a collaboration with Tri Vananda, a US$182 million (AU $270 million) wellness community in northern Phuket, conceived by Montara Hospitality Group, the owners of Trisara. In addition to entitling guests […]

  • Aviation

Emirates SkyCargo expands fleet with five Boeing 777 freighters

Emirates SkyCargo announced an investment of US$1 billion (AU$1.484b) to expand its fleet with an order of five new Boeing 777 freighters. The investment follows a strong performance in the first quarter of the 2024/25 financial year. Emirates SkyCargo expects the new freighters to increase its capacity by 30 per cent. The increase enables the […]

  • Events
  • Tour Operators

ITE HCMC 2024 focuses on sustainable tourism for creating a future

The 18th annual International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) will take place from 5 to 7 September at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. Under the theme “Responsible Travel, Creating Future”, the expo will highlight its dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and showcasing innovative tourism products and services to meet rigorous […]