Wondering what a ‘Freesome’ is and if it’s considered rude for a hotel chain to offer one to guests? Find out here. Oh, and you’ll also get all the latest updates from the hotel industry as a bonus.
Tourism Accommodation Australia welcomes QLD Govt funding but warns of Cairns job losses
Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO Michael Johnson has welcomed the Queensland State Government’s commitment of $27.25 million to combat the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak, including significant assistance for the state’s accommodation and tourism businesses.
Following his recent meetings with accommodation providers in Queensland, Johnson said it is apparent financial assistance is required to support Australia’s accommodation and tourism industry as it deals with the impact of the recent bushfires as well as the coronavirus outbreak.
Accor and Visa form global partnership
Accor and Visa announced a global partnership to bring new payment experiences to ALL-Accor Live Limitless loyalty members.
The partnership will bring together Accor’s loyalty program and Visa’s global payment capabilities to create the new ALL Visa card. Members who apply for the new Visa card will be able to use it for everyday purchases everywhere Visa is accepted. Accor will be collaborating with Visa partner financial institutions and banks in key markets across Europe, North and South America, Middle East and Asia Pacific to issue the new ALL Visa card. It will offer members tailored rewards based on customer preferences and the ability to earn more loyalty points when staying at an Accor property or when making purchases.
The co-branded payment cards will generate additional customer engagement in hotels and new member recruitment opportunities for ALL as well as spend uplift.
Accommodation Association slams Cairns bed tax
The Accommodation Association has questioned the logic behind the Cairns Regional Council’s bed tax proposal. Far from generating income to grow tourism, a sector that represents 13.5 per cent of Cairns total industry value add and represents 14.4 per cent of Cairns employment, the tax is a further impost on accommodation providers, one of the most highly taxed in Australia.
Have a ‘freesome’ on Ovolo
When you stay two nights at any Ovolo Hotel, you can stay a third night free at any hotel at a time that’s convenient to you.
Seeing success with the offer in Hong Kong, Ovolo has launched ‘Freesome’ in Australia across their properties in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.
As part of Ovolo’s mission to deliver the ultimate effortless customer experience, guests have the freedom to use their free night now or receive a voucher to use at any Ovolo Hotel in Australia or Hong Kong, anytime they choose.
Enjoy a Freesome for stays between 1 April and 29 December 2020.
Westin Resort & Spa Ubud, Bali opens
Westin Hotels & Resorts has opened The Westin Resort & Spa Ubud, Bali. Located amidst rice paddies, ancient temples and lush greenery, the new hotel is set to embrace the brand’s ethos of Eat Well, Move Well and Sleep Well, and is inviting guests to explore a restorative destination that is devoted to personal wellness and recovery.
The Westin Resort & Spa Ubud, Bali features 120 contemporary guestrooms, suites and villas, each equipped with the brand’s signature Heavenly® Bed and Heavenly® Bath to deliver total relaxation. Additionally, there are two private Pool Villas that offer an intimate experience for couples and families alike, with a prime vantage point overlooking the entire resort.
The Westin Resort & Spa Ubud, Bali also features 160-square-metres of flexible meeting spaces and the Westin Meetings program for productive gatherings. Other facilities include an onsite concierge, business centre, gift shop, valet and self-parking.
COMO UMA launches boxing retreat
COMO Uma Canggu has teamed up with professional world-class boxers, Darren Barker and Ryan Pickard and London’s 12×3 boxing studio to launch a six-day Boxing Fitness Retreat from 8– 13 May.
Taking place at COMO Uma Canggu, situated on Bali’s prominent south coast, the Boxing Fitness Retreat will teach the core technique of boxing whilst pushing participants’ mental and physical boundaries with a purpose-built itinerary during their stay.
As well as daily training, the retreat includes one 60-minute COMO Shambhala massage and three yoga classes, providing guests with a relaxing environment to hone both their physical and mental agility.
The Boxing Fitness Retreat with Darren Barker and Ryan Pickard starts from US$3,100 per person for double occupancy in a Canggu room or US$3,700 per person for single occupancy. Participants wishing to extend their stay at COMO Uma Canggu or any of COMO’s other Bali properties will receive a special price of 25 per cent off COMO Daily Rate. The offer includes full board meals and airport transfers.
Soneva announces Easter Programme across its Maldives and Thailand Resorts
Soneva has unveiled an Easter Programme across its resorts in the Maldives and Thailand. With Soneva celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary in 2020, this seasonal programme is set to be the biggest, most diverse and most exciting yet: alongside exceptional Easter activities for all ages and one-of-a-kind, thought-provoking experiences, Soneva will welcome a star-studded array of world-renowned experts and Michelin-starred chefs through the new Soneva Stars calendar.
Running between April 2 and 16, 2020, guests at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand, will have an unprecedented opportunity to meet their sporting heroes, learn from pre-eminent experts in wine and astronomy, and dine with pioneering gastronomes.
A much-loved seasonal treat at Soneva, each of the three resorts will once again be hosting the World’s Greatest Easter Egg Hunt – open to guests of all ages, wooden eggs are hidden across each resort, to be exchanged for delicious chocolates from the Chocolate Parlour. An egg-stra special prize awaits the guest who collects the most eggs!
Aboriginal artists-in-residence program at Longitude 131°
Baillie Lodges has announced a return series of the popular artists-in-residence program at Longitude 131° this year. The program offers guests at Longitude 131° a rare chance to meet the artists from Ernabella Arts in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands whose vibrant ceramics, paintings and weavings are seen around the luxury basecamp.
Part of an ongoing, mutually beneficial partnership between the luxury lodge and the arts community, the Ernabella artists-in-residence program sees some of the artists travel to Longitude 131° from their home in the Pukatja Homelands. The artists spend a few days on each visit setting up an open studio in the Dune House and painting – all with a view to Uluru as backdrop.
Planned dates for artists-in-residence visits in 2020 are:
- March 23-28
- May 11-16
- July 20-25
- September 21-26.
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast to eliminate over 170,000 plastic bottles through new initiative
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast is pleased to announce its latest initiative, which has seen the resort swap plastic bottles for glass or aluminium throughout its guestrooms, restaurants and meeting spaces in an effort to reduce its footprint on the environment. The initiative is set to eliminate 179,000 plastic bottles from landfill each year.
Delivered by water solution company, Vestal Water, the initiative is two-fold. Firstly, the resort has installed Zip HydroTaps – a tap system that delivers pure-tasting chilled water – throughout; some in public spaces as water refill stations for guests, others in its restaurants and venues. Then, plastic bottles have been replaced with either glass or aluminium bottles: in guestrooms, reusable branded aluminium bottles are on offer for guests to use and refill during their stay, and even purchase to take home afterwards. In the hotel’s restaurants, bars and event spaces, reusable glass bottles are refilled by hotel associates and served to guests.