Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Say hello to Travel Weekly’s fascinating Hotel Wrap. Although if you don’t find it fascinating, please don’t write in.

Hua Lodge pipes in its half-millionth guests 


Huka Lodge has welcomed its half-millionth guests, the Kempthornes of Cambridge, New Zealand.

Mr Pip and Mrs Sharon Kempthorne are seen on arrival in the attached images, being greeted with the news by General Manager Kerry Molloy and the Huka Lodge team, with their traditional piper.

They received the gift of a definitive Huka Lodge experience created especially to mark the occasion,  including a complimentary two night stay for two guests at the Alan Pye Cottage, and in celebrating the Lodge’s unique heritage, fly-casting lessons in its magnificent 17 acres of grounds and a fly-fishing boat cruise on Lake Taupo with lunch, provided by local operator Chris Jolly Outdoors.

They also will enjoy a complimentary bottle of French champagne, full country breakfast daily, pre-dinner drinks and canapés before adjourning to one of over 20 private dining venues, where they will be served a superb five-course dinner nightly.

Next Hotel Brisbane wins Best Deluxe Accommodation for second year in a row at Queensland Tourism Awards

Alex Billing_Sharon Cauldwell

Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry staged its annual Queensland Tourism Awards at a glittering ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre last Friday evening for over 900 movers and shakers from across the state. Recognising a total of 83 awards across 28 categories, Next Hotel Brisbane was awarded Best Deluxe Accommodation for the second year in a row.

Located in the city’s Queen Street Mall, the 304 guest rooms have been designed around comfort incorporating clever use of space and technology and redefining the industry’s service standards.

Designed for the modern traveller, everything about Next Hotel Brisbane, from its design and furnishings to amenities and unique guest features is underpinned by a seamless partnership between excellence in customer service and new-world technology to make each guest’s time count. From the in-room Samsung smart phone, to the hotel-owned and operated limousine service in a Tesla S Model, Next Hotel is a deluxe hotel unlike any other.

AVANI Metropolis Auckland Residences opens in New Zealand

AVANI Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the opening of AVANI Metropolis Auckland Residences in New Zealand. This is AVANI’s first foray into residential properties and it’s a trend AVANI will be adopting in Australasia.

The AVANI Metropolis Residences occupy a prime CBD position in the city, located within the main shopping district and across from Albert Park. There’s heaps of options for dining and entertainment nearby and the hotel is within easy walking distance of the vibrant Waterfront.

The Residences have been completely renovated and offer modern one and two bedroom apartments each with spacious living and dining areas, well-equipped kitchens, laundry facilities and impressive skyline and harbour views.

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort wins 2017 Queensland Tourism Award

Entrance signage

To top off a great year of achievements, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort in Airlie Beach has once again won the Queensland Tourism Award in the “Caravan and Holiday Parks” category at the gala award ceremony in Brisbane on Friday 10 November. Winning the gold award in this category for the past three years resulted in BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort entering the prestigious Hall of Fame.

This year the McKinnon family, owners of the resort, made a multi-million dollar investment in building more deluxe cabins and one of Australia’s largest resort Waterslide Parks, with a choice of 13 different twisting and turning water slides. The McKinnon family has owned the park for over 24 years and have continually invested, developed and improved the business into what is today, a premium Whitsunday holiday resort.

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has become synonymous with offering the very best Australian holiday experience. Loved by return guests for the consistently friendly service, concerted customer focus, outstanding facilities and commitment to continual improvement and innovation, the resort is the first choice for a traditional Queensland family holiday.

Nanuku Auberge Resort offers free one-way air/one-way road transfers during school holidays

Pacific Harbour, Fiji – Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji has released a new offer inclusive of a free one-way air transfer between its private aerodrome and Nadi International Airport and a return scenic drive road transfer for guests choosing to stay eight nights at the luxury all-villa resort during school holidays.

Valid for travel until December 2018, guests have the option of choosing between the resort’s full board or bed and breakfast options as part of the offer.

Alternatively guests staying a minimum of five nights at any other time of the year* are also eligible for the one-way air/one-way road transfer again with the option of full board or B&B.

Nanuku Auberge Resort’s general manager, Sascha Hemmann, said the beauty of the resort having its own aerodrome made travel to Pacific Harbour available on a 24/7 basis unlike travel to the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands which are heavily reliant on daytime boat transfers.

The Frames Luxury Accommodation inducted into Hall of Fame 

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 9.49.33 AM

For the third consecutive year, luxury Riverland accommodation, The Frames, has been named as winner of the Self Contained Accommodation category at the South Australian Tourism Awards and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The awards night was held in Adelaide on the 10th November and recognises the State’s best tourism businesses, experiences and individuals. Entry into the Hall of Fame is awarded to entrants who win the same category three years in a row.

The Frames are popular with couples seeking a romantic location to celebrate anniversaries and honeymoons and for destination proposals.

The Frames are recognised for their commitment to providing a unique accommodation experience that can be tailored to include a range of tours. Guests have the opportunity to explore the Murray River and encounter wildlife with a range of cruises and taste the Riverland with exclusive tours of local breweries, distilleries and wineries.

Six Senses Thailand Resorts scoop Green Excellence Awards UK 2017

Six Senses Samui and Six Senses Yao Noi are the joint Hotel Winners for Thailand’s Green Excellence Awards UK 2017. The award ceremony was recently held at World Travel Market in London.

Launched in 2007 by the London office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Thailand Green Excellence Awards UK recognise and celebrate organisations in the travel and tourism sectors that have made an outstanding contribution to growing Thailand as a sustainable destination. There are seven categories in total, namely Nature & Heritage, Marine, Community Based Tourism, Animal Welfare, Eco Lodge/Hotel, Hotel and Green Steps. The nomination process was completed by either a member of the organisation or general public who visited the property.

Six Senses Samui’’s Farm on the Hill and Earth Lab began as small home-grown initiatives to support the resort’s commitment to sustainability, yet in a short time have grown into a positive example of what can be done with strong conviction and passion to self-improve. The projects have inspired the resort team and the local community, who actively participate in the upkeep and in some cases have replicated the programs in their own homes.

The farm is only the start of a much larger transformation, with works currently underway to improve the environmental impact from the resort’s facilities, guest villas, and even by making the landscaping more purposeful.

AccorHotels announced as Major Partner for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2018

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 2: AccorHotels and Mardi Gras photo at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel on November 2, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steve Christo)

AccorHotels is proud to announce it is a Major Partner and the Official & Exclusive Accommodation Partner for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Season for 2018.

Celebrating its 40th year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is Australia’s largest celebration of LGBTIQ culture and communities and AccorHotels will have a strong presence throughout the festival, with employees marching in the Parade and participating in Fair Day.

Mardi Gras Festival talent will be staying at AccorHotels around Sydney and all of the group’s Sydney hotels will have colourful lobby activations and external signage displays throughout the festival, which runs from 16 February to 4 March 2018.

Cantaloupe Hotels Group catches ‘The Perfect Wave’

Cantaloupe Aqua_suite

Leading boutique hotel operator, Cantaloupe Hotels Group, has formed a new partnership with ‘The Perfect Wave’, the world’s largest surf travel network, to offer a series of exciting Sri Lankan surfing packages for experienced surfers and beginners alike.

Cantaloupe Hotels Group, which currently operates two trendy upscale hotels in Galle – Cantaloupe Aqua and Cantaloupe Levels – is also in the process of creating a new Surf School at ‘Lazy Left’ in Midigama, the spiritual home of Sri Lankan surfing on the island’s south coast. This will also be the location of Cantaloupe’s brand-new seafront hotel, Cantaloupe Veralu Verala, which is expected to open in 2018 and will become the only upscale hotel in Sri Lanka focused primarily on the surfing market.

As an island nation with golden beaches lapped by the Indian Ocean waves, Sri Lanka has all the natural attributes needed to become a surfing hotspot. The partnership with ‘The Perfect Wave’ is set to establish Sri Lanka as a world-class surfing destination, revealing some untapped surfing spots. It will also help boost visitor arrivals from several key markets, including Australia, while positioning Sri Lanka as an attractive alternative to traditional surfing destinations such as Bali.

Stayz announces the winners of the 2017 Holiday Rental Awards


Australia’s leading holiday rental website, Stayz, has unveiled the winners of its 2017 Holiday Rental Awards (HRA). This year’s winning properties have shifted away from the traditional ‘beach shack’ in favour of regional escapes in areas such as Berry (NSW), Kangaroo Valley (NSW) and Yandoit (VIC), with the exception of holiday hotspot Culburra Beach (NSW).

This year’s awards also saw the stunning Clifftop at Hepburn property in Daylesford, Victoria take out both the Romantic category and the People’s Choice category, the latter voted for by the Australian public. This home is not unfamiliar with the HRA, having won the coveted Interior Design category in the 2016 awards.

Stayz, which connects homeowners and property managers with travellers looking for the space, value and amenities of a whole rental home, appointed a panel of industry experts to judge the standout holiday accommodation across nine categories. The awards, now in its sixth consecutive year, recognise excellence across an impressive portfolio of over 40,000 holiday homes, in 2,000 unique Australian locations.

Jingle-Bells time at Six Senses Zighy Bay

Six Senses Zighy Bay has designed a festive program this year that promises guests an unforgettable stay, with a wide variety of fun-filled activities for the whole family to enjoy, from adventure activities and spa/wellness treats to tempting gastronomic experiences, all of which have been crafted specifically to embrace the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

With the winter temperature hovering around between 26-29 degrees, the weather is perfect in December for a break at Six Senses Zighy Bay. Guests can enjoy many activities on the ground, in the water and up in the air, including paragliding, mountain biking, dhow cruising, snorkeling, diving and fishing.

At the gala dinner on Christmas Eve, slow roasted turkey, wagyu beef and the grill station bring a traditional flavor, while a seafood extravaganza will serve up the best produce from the waters surrounding the lovely resort.

House guests looking to bliss out during their stay will also be pampered by the experienced wellness team at Six Senses Spa Zighy Bay, where therapeutic treatments range from a Traditional Balinese Detox Massage and Fire Cupping Therapy to The Royal Javanese Back Massage that features the use of hot stones, deep pressure massage and specialist oils.

Mantra Group continues expansion with addition of Mantra on City Road, Melbourne

Mantra on City Road - Melbourne - Apartment Artist Impression

Mantra Group has secured the management agreement to operate a landmark new-build 46 storey hotel in the heart of Southbank in Melbourne.

Operating as Mantra on City Road, the 469 apartment development will bring bold design and opulent finishes to Melbourne’s vibrant Southbank arts and entertainment district.

The hotel, which is currently under construction, is being developed by prolific Melbourne developer BPM and will be managed by Mantra Group when it opens in late March 2018.

Designed by leading architects Elenberg Frader (building) and Hecker Guthrie (interior design), Mantra on City Road is ideally located on the corner of Clarendon Street and City Road in Southbank and will feature 469 superbly appointed one, two and three bedroom apartments with world-class digital connectivity, along with a range of inviting guest spaces including a pool, gymnasium, and an indoor winter garden with private dining spaces and a guest lounge.

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Worldwide launches ‘Behind the Barre’

Behind The Barre (1)

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.

AHA(WA) Hospitality Awards for Excellence Winners

Western Australia’s hotel and hospitality industry celebrated at Crown Perth on Monday night as the winners of the 2017 AHA-Aon Hospitality Awards for Excellence were announced.

Hotels, pubs, bars, restaurants, and tourism venues were recognised for their hard work, innovation and outstanding service. Employees were also honoured for their achievements.

There were 42 award categories including WA’s Best Regional Hospitality Venue which went to Settlers Tavern and Perth’s Best Hospitality Venue which went to The Marina Mindarie. WA’s Best Bar Team and WA’s Best Bar, which went to The Mechanics Institute in

Northbridge, and WA’s Best Family Dining, which went to Boston Brewing Co. & Willoughby Park in Denmark. Rosemount Hotel in North Perth took home WA’s Best Live Entertainment Venue. WA’s Best Redeveloped Venue went to the Rose Hotel in Bunbury.

Sherwood Suites opens in Saigon as expansive new choice

06. Sherwood Suites - Swimming pool

Sherwood Suites, a plush apartment-only property in a prime location near the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, aims to offer travelers luxury and flexibility as it celebrates its grand opening this month.

The new 20-storey property is positioning itself as a compelling new choice for travelers by offering five-star hotel service and amenities such as an outdoor covered pool, an international deli and restaurant and an expansive 24-hour gym with sauna and steam room alongside a range of self-contained luxury suites and apartments.

With an opulent design aesthetic that calls to mind the stately architecture in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge area, the property features a generous total of 157 apartments. Studios weigh in at 57 square meters, one bedroom units range from 61 sqm to 81 sqm while two bedroom apartments offer between 91 sqm and 118 sqm of space.

Introducing Kandima Maldives


Newly open in March 2017, Kandima Maldives is the entirely new concept the Maldives has been waiting for. With prices starting from $250 per person per night, this tropical oasis has all your Instagram fantasies without the price tag.

The resort offers a choice of 274 stylishly designed studios, beach and aqua villas, with nine different room categories to choose from. Kandima’s entry-level rooms are the most contemporary concept the Maldives’ has ever seen. The Sky Studios, rather than being over the ocean, are situated along the main beach and have a private terrace and endless panoramic tropical views of the lagoon and it’s 50 shades of blue.

The Sky Studios mean your can finally afford to go on that luxury dream holiday without having to save your entire life or sell an internal organ. It also means the Maldives are no longer just a destination for Honeymooners. This game changing resort breaks the mould of the Maldives traditional ‘couples only’ style and encourages guest to interact and socialise.

A winning partnership between Staging Connections and Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Staging Connections has elevated its standing as leaders in the field by securing a brand new contract with the luxurious Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. A part of the acclaimed AccorHotels Group, this is the first time the five-star hotel has chosen to outsource its AV services to a dedicated supplier.

Staging Connections have been discussing opportunities with the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for over two years, ultimately succeeding thanks to their clear culture fit and client understanding. The Staging Connections team convinced the hotel of its ability to offer value-adding advantages to the hotel’s current set-up, as well as their extensive client service experience.

The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was the city’s first international five-star establishment, and with its ideal central city location and exceptional conference and meeting facilities, it’s the perfect option for a wide-array of corporate events.

IHG to Introduce the largest hotel in Fiji with its first Crowne Plaza Resort

Crowne Plaza® Fiji Wailaloa Beach 2

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has signed a management agreement with Quantum Hi-Tech Group Limited to develop the largest hotel in Fiji, Crowne PlazaÒFiji Wailoaloa Beach.

Opening in 2020, the new 453-room Crowne Plaza Fiji Wailoaloa Beach will boast tranquil ocean views and feature direct access to the beach. The Crowne Plaza Fiji Wailoaloa Beach is located just a short ten-minute drive from Fiji’s main airport, Nadi International Airport.

With its prime beachfront location, leisure travellers will be able to unwind while enjoying unparalleled sunset views from one of the island’s finest beaches, right at their doorstep. Guests can also choose to relax and dine at any of the five restaurant and bar offerings at the resort, including a pool bar and a beach club. The resort will also feature one of the largest conference centres in Fiji, a fully-equipped 24-hour fitness centre, two swimming pools and a Kid’s Club among other exclusive resort facilities.

Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens raises $18,000 for Kind Cuts for Kids at Charity Winemakers event


Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens raised more than $18,000 this past weekend in support of Melbourne based charity Kind Cuts for Kids.

On Saturday 11th November 2017, Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne played host to its annual charity fundraiser, proudly supporting Charity Kind Cuts for Kids.

The evening delivered a seven-course degustation journey of the senses, showcasing some of Victoria and Australia’s finest produce and was paired with wines from Coldstream Hills and St Huberts. Attended by an intimate 62 guests, the event was MC’d by media personality George Donikian and was hosted in the hotel’s award winning restaurant HQ’s on William, including both a silent and live auction.

The culinary team lead by Executive Chef Leigh Robbins delivered an intricate journey of local produce featuring the likes of Macedon Ranges Duck, Robbins’ Island Wagyu and Hiramasa Kingfish.

Premier Daniel Andrews marks the turning of the soil for landmark M-City development in Melbourne’s South-East

M-City Sod Turning L-R Domenic Sciglitano, Tony Schiavello, Nick Saraceno, Doug Flavell, Annette Saraceno & Jason McGowan

A sod turning ceremony for Melbourne’s landmark $1 billion mixed-use M-City development in Clayton was held on Friday 3 November.

Premier of Victoria, the Honourable Daniel Andrews MP, marked the event with the M-City development team and representatives from Mantra Group, including (pictured left to right) Saraceno Group Project Director Domenic Sciglitano, Schiavello Group Chairman Tony Schiavello, Saraceno Group Director Nick Saraceno, Mantra Group Regional General Manager Doug Flavell, Saraceno Group Financial Controller Annette Saraceno, and Mantra Tullamarine Hotel General Manager Jason McGowan.

Mantra Group will operate the full-service hotel and letting apartment component of the development, to be known as Mantra M-City, when it opens in late-2020.

Located on the corner of Princess Highway and Blackburn Road, the development is the largest ever undertaken in the city and includes a range of residential, hotel and serviced apartment accommodation as well as retail, entertainment and commercial facilities within the world-renowned education and medical precincts of the Monash municipality.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, AccorHotels opens the doors of its hotels to everyday heroes in 70 establishments around Australia

thumbnail_AccorHotels 50th birthday

On November 19, 2017, AccorHotels will be honouring everyday heroes – men and women, such as firefighters, nurses, teachers, craftspeople, small businesses and local residents – who work each day to serve their communities, by inviting them in more than 1,900 establishments around the world, including more than 500 hotels in Asia Pacific and 70 hotels around Australia.

This global event is an opportunity for the Group and its 250,000 employees to thank the people who are committed to serving their communities by sharing a moment with them by inviting them to a breakfast, a barbecue lunch, or a cocktail event.

Around Australia, over 70 hotels will be welcoming local heroes and honouring them with a lunches, BBQs and cocktail functions.


One response to “Big Fat Hotel Wrap”

Leave a Reply


New flight tracking tech sheds fresh light on MH370 mystery

New research suggests the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 made a series of turns to escape detection before […]




Tourist rescued from shattered glass suspension bridge in China

The tourist narrowly escaped death after becoming trapped on a 100-meter high glass suspension bridge in gale-force winds. 




The Star lobs merger offer at rival Crown to create $12bn tourism and entertainment giant

by Huntley Mitchell

The Star faces some competition, however, from a private equity firm that wants to take over Crown (which, FYI, has also just hired a new CEO).




Borders to stay shut until at least 2022, says Treasurer

Meanwhile, ScoMo reckons Australians don’t have the “appetite” for international travel. What an absolute load of bollocks.




New Zealand welcomes back travellers from NSW following 48-hour pause

After being left in limbo for two days, NSW travellers have been given the green light from New Zealand to grab their suitcase and head to the airport.




Registrations open for Travel DAZE 2021!

Get excited, people! Travel DAZE is back for another year to help foster the reboot of travel and tourism.




Road trip guide: The Golden Quest Discovery Trail

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Put together a dream road trip through WA’s goldfields and immerse your clients in 125 years of gold rush history along this rugged and beautiful trail.




Road trip guide: The Ardi Cultural Drive

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

The people of the Dampier Peninsula welcome visitors to see their ancient land and culture, proving there is more to the Kimberleys’ coastal wilderness than striking white sand, turquoise sea and pindan cliffs.




Road trip guide: The Gibb River Road

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Western Australia is home to epic four-wheel-drive adventures through one of the last true wilderness areas on earth – The Gibb River Road.




Road trip guide: Cruise the Coral Coast Highway

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

The Coral Coast Highway stretches 1,250km from Perth to Exmouth and is recognised as one of Australia’s greatest scenic drives.




Road trip guide: The South West Edge

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Weaving between wine regions, towering forests and along marine life-rich coast, The South West Edge is an epic road trip around, you guessed it, the south-western edge of WA.




Former Etihad boss detained for trying to skip hotel quarantine using Aussie passport

The millionaire was reported to UK authorities after he was heard bragging about switching passports to avoid a 10-day quarantine stint.