Hotel Wrap: Club Med to offer $50 per file for cancelled bookings, Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour opens + MORE

Fridays are a time to feel good. So, take this week’s Hotel Wrap as your ticket to guaranteed good vibes.

Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour officially opens, as dignitaries turn out in celebration

After a 10-year hiatus, the Crowne Plaza brand has returned to Sydney’s CBD yesterday with the opening of Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour.

Opened by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured above), the ribbon-cutting ceremony was also attended by a number of big names in the tourism industry, including Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison, Accommodation Association of Australia CEO Dean Long, Tourism & Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond, and Destination NSW general manager Stephen Mahoney.

InterContinental Hotel Group’s outgoing managing director for Australasia and Japan, Leanne Harwood, said the opening was a strong show of unity and an indication of everyone’s willingness to get the industry moving again.

“This is a tremendously exciting time for the industry, as well as for IHG and Crowne Plaza,” she said.

“Globally, we are completely transforming the brand as we build hotels of the future with flexible design and innovation that modern travellers crave.

“And here in Australia, 2020 really is the year of Crowne Plaza, with the refurbishment of our existing estate, and the opening of new hotels in Hobart, Adelaide, and Sydney Darling Harbour.

“From its sustainability initiatives to new technology in the rooms and restaurants, Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour is a wonderful addition to the brand’s growth in Australasia.”

Standing an elegant 13-storeys tall, Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour is located on the corner of Bathurst and Sussex Street featuring 152 guest rooms.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, each guestroom is divided into four distinct zones – a desk space for work, a sofa area to unwind, king-size beds for a good night’s sleep and well-lit, spacious bathrooms replete with Antipodes amenities.

From USB outlets and wireless charging stations throughout the hotel to in-room Bluetooth speakers, unlimited high-speed WiFi and Chromecast TVs, the guestrooms are loaded with technology-led features accompanied by IHG’s Sleep Advantage program, which includes plush bedding, pillow menus, aromatherapy spray, sustainably sourced amenities and a bedtime ritual guide.

Other hotel facilities include a rooftop heated infinity pool with city views, a 24-hour fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment and three food and beverage venues.

Club Med to give agents $50 per file for cancelled bookings

Club Med has launched its new ‘Club Med Agent Cancellation Protection’ policy, which the company said mitigates travel agent’s risk of commission loss from cancelled bookings.

In the circumstance that a booking is made with any departure up to 31 October 2021 and the client cancels prior to 30 days before departure, the travel agent will receive $50 per file.

If no such circumstance eventuates, travel agents will continue to receive full commission for clients who have kept their booking. Clients who have opted for a future travel credit will have the flexibility to rebook later at a time convenient to them through their preferred travel agent partner.

For more information about the policy, click here.

Meanwhile, Club Med announced the first winner of its ‘Nominate a Mate’ campaign: Christine Ross-Davies from Attadale Travel in Western Australia, who was nominated by Jo Francis from Global Travel Solutions in WA.

If you still want to nominate someone you think deserves a holiday and would love a future Club Med getaway, you can nominate them here.

Behold Retreats launches ayahuasca, psilocybin, San Pedro Cactus retreats

Guided by “ancient wisdom” and “modern science”, Behold Retreats is proud to launch its entheogen plant medicine services.

Designed to elevate each guest to peak performance and wellbeing, Behold Retreats said that each journey is facilitated in idyllic destinations where plant medicine such as ayahuasca, psilocybin, or the San Pedro cactus are legal.

Behold Retreats creates bespoke programs to each guests’ individual needs, goals, and preferences. The programs are holistic and include education, preparation, retreat, and post-integration support with a qualified coach or therapist.

In selecting this approach, guests realise the full potential of their experience, and on returning home are supported to make sustained improvements to the quality of their everyday life.

On retreats in diverse locations such as Costa Rica, the Netherlands, and Peru, plant medicine facilitators guide guests into a meditative and expanded state of consciousness, ensuring safety and comfort throughout the experience.

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour reborn embracing boutique French luxury

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour will officially reopen on 19 October 2020 after an extensive makeover, which Sofitel said reaffirms the property’s French luxury and art-de-vivre heritage with contemporary elegance.

The hotel will offer striking designed spaces, bespoke experiences, privacy, and a sense of discovery.

Sofitel Auckland’s new features also include the addition of Club Millésime, a range of privileges, services and rituals for guests reserving the hotel’s luxury rooms and suites.

Club Millésime features a lounge retreat embellished in decorative art and is the setting for exclusive breakfasts, afternoon tea, evening drinks and canapés.

Marriott International announces opening of first Japanese Aloft hotel

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music enthusiasts and tech-savvy travellers, has announced the opening of Aloft Tokyo Ginza, the first Aloft hotel to open in Japan.

With its highly original design conceptualized as a nod to Ginza’s “Miyuki-zoku” youth subculture movement of the 1960s, Aloft Tokyo Ginza showcases a mix of neon colours, graffiti, and urban art inspired by Tokyo’s iconic street culture.

The news comes as Marriott International announced the planned openings of eight new Fairfield by Marriott properties in Japan, highlighting a vast expansion that more than doubles the size of the brand in the country.

Marriott has also announced the long-awaited opening of the Buenos Aires Marriott Hotel. Previously operating as the Hotel Panamericano Buenos Aires, the property underwent an extensive conversion to meet Marriott’s elevated quality standards.

Located in the heart of the city, with convenient access to must-see attractions such as the Teatro Colón, the Obelisk and the Palace of Justice, the hotel is well-positioned to become a favourite among business and leisure travellers visiting this South American destination.

The news also comes as Four Points by Sheraton expands in Thailand, with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort.

And in appreciation of travellers’ aspirations, the company’s rewards program, Marriott Bonvoy, is kicking off a ‘Week of Wonders’, which lasts until 15 October 2020.

The celebration is aimed at bringing members joy and happiness by encouraging travel where possible and providing opportunity to experience the pleasures of travel in your own home.

Each day will feature a different Wonder with themes such as rejuvenation, comfort, discovery, excitement, inspiration, and delights.

These Wonders will include great travel offers at renowned brands that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, EDITION and W Hotels.

Park Inn by Radisson debuts in Malaysia

Park Inn by Radisson, the bright, upper-midscale brand from Radisson Hotel Group, has made its debut in Malaysia with the launch of a brand-new hotel in the heart of the country’s most vibrant commercial and economic triangle.

Newly-opened on 1 October 2020, Park Inn by Radisson Putrajaya is positioned for business and leisure travellers.

Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital city, is just 20 minutes’ drive away, while Kuala Lumpur is only 30 minutes away by car. Malaysia’s main international airport, KLIA, is also just 20 minutes away.

The hotel features 220 rooms and suites, all of which are fully connected with free Wi-Fi, international power outlets and USB ports.

Guests can get a great night’s rest on comfortable beds, stay refreshed with walk-in rain showers, and refuel 24 hours a day with in-room dining. The onsite restaurant, RBG, serves local and international dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a lively open kitchen vibe and a choice of indoor and alfresco seating.

Signature dishes include fish curry with pandan steamed rice, and oven-baked roulade chicken.

Chiva-Som launches online ‘intensive wellness series’

Following the successful launch of Chiva-Som Online Wellness Services, Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, Thailand, has introduced its Online Intensive Wellness Series.

The new service offers interactive sessions, designed to gradually enhance participants’ knowledge, strengthen abilities, and most importantly, promote maximum benefit for health and wellbeing.

Each series includes a virtual health consultation with Chiva-Som’s expert wellness advisors, to ensure each course is suitably matched to individual wellness goals and needs.

Chiva-Som kicks off the Online Intensive Wellness Series with a six-week Pilates program to restore physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

The Online Intensive Wellness Series is now available. The Pilates series is priced at THB 9,500 ($420). Additional programs are to be announced shortly.

For more information or to a book a program, please contact Chiva-Som’s Health & Wellness Reception team at, or on +66 (0) 3253 6791, or visit

COMO Parrot Cay reopens

COMO Parrot Cay, one of the Caribbean’s most sought-after private island, has reopened to international travellers.

Frequented by those seeking ultimate privacy, the award-winning COMO resort in the Turks and Caicos is the pinnacle of pared-back luxury.

With secluded villas and residences, including new Two-Bedroom and Family Beach Houses, providing an idyllic escape for groups, friends and family, each beach house also benefits from personalised COMO butler service, on hand to arrange unique experiences on and off the island.

These include yoga lessons, castaway picnics and stand-up paddleboarding through the mangroves, to bespoke, in-villa dining experiences for unforgettable get-togethers.

Tank Stream Hotel joins Event’s affiliate hotel network

Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited has announced that the Sydney CBD 280-room Tank Stream hotel will join Event as part of its growing affiliate hotel network, coming online in late October.

The Tank Steam hotel will continue to feature its own branding while being part of the extensive Event hotel network.

Supported as an affiliate partner, The Tank Stream will benefit from access to Event’s established distribution network, sales and marketing platforms and inclusion in the Priority Guest Rewards loyalty program.

Crystalbrook’s Flynn prepares for November open 

Crystalbrook Collection has announced the 2020 opening of the group’s newest Cairns property, Flynn, a Crystalbrook Collection Hotel.

The five-star hotel located on Cairns’ esplanade boardwalk will open the doors to its first guests on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

The exciting news comes after a tumultuous six months for the local tourism industry, which resulted in the delay of Flynn’s opening, originally set for March 2020.

As border closures begin to lift, Crystalbrook Collection said it is ready to welcome all Australians back to the Sunshine State with open arms.

NRMA acquires Mildura Holiday Park

NRMA has continued to expand its holiday park portfolio with the recent acquisition of Golden River Holiday Park in Mildura located on the banks of the beautiful Murray River.

Situated in one of regional Victoria’s most popular family holiday destinations, the renamed NRMA Mildura Holiday Park has been brought under the stable of NRMA Parks and Resorts.

This will bring the number of NRMA owned and managed parks and resorts to 42 across the country, with 33 NRMA branded.

Outrigger Hospitality Group wins PATA Gold Award for ‘OZONE’ conservation initiative

Outrigger Hospitality Group has earned the prestigious 2020 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award in the ‘Climate Change’ category for its OZONE platform.

The platform is a global conservation initiative supporting coral health and resiliency, with special focus on the waters that surround the iconic beach destinations of Outrigger Resorts around the world.

The winners were announced on 24 September 2020 during the virtual PATA Gold Awards presentation.

With more than 60 percent of the world’s coral reefs under immediate threat due to climate change, land pollution and unsustainable fishing, OZONE invites Outrigger guests to be part of the solution.


Leave a Reply


“Unfortunately, the world changed”: McGowan suspends WA border reopening indefinitely

The western state will be keeping its borders firmly closed, as Premier Mark McGowan buys more time to bolster citizens against a “flood of the disease”.




Thailand to resume ‘Test & Go’ quarantine waiver from February

Pack your suitcase and ready your sinuses for a holiday in Thailand that promises to greet you with a lovely PCR test.




AUSSIE FIRST: Accor unveils next gen Mercure Hotels with new Melbourne property

While away your Friday afternoon by perusing through some stunning pictures of Accor’s swanky new-look Mercure in Doncaster.




Qantas threatens to slash cabin crew wages by “almost half” in latest union pay row

by Ali Coulton

The national carrier is once again facing condemnation from unions after applying to scrap its long-haul crew contract in an effort to “push through” a new deal.




Operation nest egg: Air New Zealand helps relocate rare kiwi chicks

The airline is doing gods work by flying these three little cuties to their new home where they were treated to an all-you-can-eat worm buffet.




Say ‘Aloha’ to the Hawaiian Islands and take a trip that gives back

by James Harrison

Check out the beauty, wonder, and excitement of the islands of Hawaii and explore a holiday destination where you can malama.




Crystal Cruises suspends operations as parent company files to windup business

The Hong Kong supercruise operator is winding up operations, leaving the future of its subsidiaries unknown.




Celebrity chef duo Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel star in new tourism campaign for Japan

The staff at Travel Weekly have been rewatching our favourite anime to reminisce about Japan, but Gary and Manu might appeal to a broader audience than Pokemon reruns.




Aussie tourism took off in December, but remians well below 2019 levels

If these stats are anything to go by, we’ll be back to worrying about overtourism and carbon footprints in no time! Wait…




US slaps “do not travel” warning on Australia as Europe tightens border restrictions

The prospect of fewer American tourists milling about at Darling Harbour we can deal with, but if we have to go one more year without a European summer we’re going to go over the deep end.




Union survey reveals transport workers asked to return while COVID positive

Workers who answered the survey, which included passenger transport and aviation workers, are also calling for free RATs. That’s rapid antigen tests, not rodents as we first assumed.




“This isn’t a label we wish to keep”: Intrepid recertified as world’s largest travel B Corp

The tour operator has gone through another extensive company-wide audit to maintain its title, so why is it looking to pass the baton you may ask? Click here.