Hotel wrap: Marriott’s $320m renovation, IHG takes voco to Sydney, Six Senses ban bad sunscreen + more!

Have you found yourself sweaty and shaky from going a week without a hotel wrap? Neither have we, but here’s some hotel news anyway.

Marriott announcements: JW beach resort completes three-year renovation, Marriott Bali & Par 5 Club Charity Golf Day raise $43,000 for Balinese Education

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort has completed its comprehensive $320 million transformation project, ushering in a new era of luxury in southwest Florida and beyond.

Guests who visit this stunning resort situated on three miles of pristine sands and sparkling Gulf waters will enjoy the new Lanai Tower with more than 100,000 square feet of technologically integrated meeting and event space, exciting culinary concepts, a 12,000 square-foot entertainment centre, reimagined historic Lanai Suites (featured image) and the debut of the ‘Paradise by Sirene’ experience, a curated escape exclusively for adults.

The completion of the all-new Lanai Tower was the final stage in a three-year, multi-phase reimagining that touched every aspect of the resort, from an enhanced grand entrance, complete renovations of existing rooms and suites, expansion of pool decks and the addition of five new restaurants – Ario, Maia and Kane Tiki Bar & Grill.

For more information, click here.

In other news, business and social golfing communities came together for the biggest golfing event in Indonesia last month. Luxury Escapes was the major sponsor of the event which raised over $43,000 in support of the Bali Children Foundation, offering underprivileged children in Bali an education pathway.

Marriott International  hosted this event for a second year, which attracted 142 golfers from both Indonesia and abroad, and culminated with a Gala Awards Dinner of 400 people at the Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa. The dinner featured live and silent auctions, as well as lucky door prizes to further fundraising efforts.

The money raised will go directly to the Bali Children Foundation, which provides an educational pathway for disadvantaged Balinese children.


IHG announcements: voco to be introduced to Sydney’s CBD in 2020, 25 per cent off winter sale

Voco Sydney Central_Grass waterfall

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to open its fifth voco property, with the arrival of its Sydney property set to open in 2020.

Guests at voco Sydney Central will be treated to 301 luxurious guest rooms, a stunning seventeen-storey tower with a sloping roof featuring unique green waterfalls, an all-day design-led restaurant and bar and an upscale guest gym.

voco Sydney Central will be located on 430 Pitt Street, an enviable location in the heart of Sydney CBD. The property was originally slated as a Holiday Inn in 2017.

IHG has also announced a winter sale available from today for families to treat themselves to a relaxing getaway during the cooler months across Australia.

IHG is offering savings on stays at all its properties spanning from the sun-filled Gold Coast to escape the cold weather and Adelaide’s prosperous wine region.

The winter offer will see guests receive up to 25 per cent of their stay at any IHG property in Australia from now until September 30 to inspire getaways this winter. Members of IHG Rewards Club will benefit from up to 30 per cent off bookings, and all guests will also receive breakfast free of charge to make their wake up with IHG that little bit sweeter.

For more information on offers, and terms and conditions, click here.


Six Senses hotels commit to using strictly ocean- and environmentally-friendly sunscreens


In an effort to be locally sensitive at its coastline locations and globally sensible in all environments, Six Senses is initiating a brand-wide ban on all toxic sunscreens and embracing environmentally friendly and biologically safer alternatives.

All approved sunscreens have been recognised as 100 percent reef-safe, passing safety measures established from acceptable Environmental Working Group standards and the latest scientific research on coral reef health, Six Senses has also selected products that use plant-based or fully compostable packaging.

As of 1 September 2019, all Six Senses properties will be compliant with providing only sun products that do not pose a threat to marine ecosystems.

Whether in the urban setting of Six Senses Singapore, the verdant wine terraced hills of Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal, or the turquoise-blue waters of the Maldives at Six Senses Laamu, the new high-quality sun products will be available for guests through purchase at all spas and boutiques.


Next Story Group acquires Melbourne property to establish the First LinQ Hotel

Next Story Group LinQ Hotel

International hospitality company Next Story Group has acquired a new-build hotel at 167 City Road in Melbourne’s vibrant waterfront hub of Southbank.

The soft opening of the 16-storey, 162-room property is scheduled for 1 September 2019. After a complete fit-out, the hotel will deliver a guest experience that is reflective of the Group’s upper midscale LinQ Hotels brand from 1 November 2019.

This will be the group’s first hotel under its LinQ Hotels brand, which offers unconventional independent hospitality for the next generation of travellers.

Representing the Group’s three core brands, the LinQ Hotel Melbourne Southbank will complement the Next Hotel Melbourne at 80 Collins Street, which is slated to open in Q2 2020 and the Sage Hotel Melbourne, Ringwood, which has been in operations for over a year.


PetCloud and Accor offer ‘Pawsome’ prizes for Million Paws Walk

PetCloud Accor

Aussie pet sitting platform PetCloud has joined forces with AccorHotels to help raise money for this weekend’s Million Paws Walk – the RSPCA’s major fundraising event – by giving away a ‘pawsome’ package to a few generous pet owners.

The pair are offering four pet owners the chance to win a $200 AccorHotels voucher accompanied by a $50 PetCloud pet sitting voucher.

To enter the draw, pet owners simply need to make a donation to RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk and send proof to along with a reason why they want to win a stay in 25 words or less. They must also be a registered pet owner on PetCloud.

Million Paws Walks are being held all around Australia on Sunday (May 19) to show support for animals and raise money for the RSPCA to continue its fight against animal cruelty.


Luxury farm-stay cottage on Jamberoo Valley Farm opens


A luxury farm-stay cottage has opened on Jamberoo Valley Farm, a working permaculture farm nestled in the green pastures of the New South Wales South Coast, just two hours south of Sydney.

The beautifully designed homestead boasts spectacular views of the valley right out to the ocean and offers the perfect getaway from the daily grind of inner-city living.

Created by Evette Moran Interiors (also responsible for the interiors at The Botanica Vaucluse restaurant and Sol Spa in Sydney’s Vaucluse) and stylist Styled By Love, the six-person, two-bedroom cottage has luxurious Scandinavian finishes and a large outdoor entertaining area with a wrap-around deck and BBQ.

A steaming outdoor Swedish hot tub offers the perfect vantage point to relax while taking in the breathtaking Jamberoo Valley views, while later in the year, it transformed into a cold plunge pool to cool down and refresh.

Bookings are essential to stay at Jamberoo Valley Farm Cottage, and prices start at $420 per night with a two-night minimum stay.


MGallery by Sofitel to debut in Hong Kong with the launch of The Silveri MGallery by Sofitel

The Silveri MGallery by Sofitel will open in second half of 2019

MGallery by Sofitel, Accor’s collection of one-of-a-kind high-end boutique hotels, has announced its entry in Hong Kong with the highly-anticipated The Silveri MGallery by Sofitel.

The new property is slated to open in the second half of 2019 and will be situated in the vibrant Tung Chung district of Lantau Island, where it will form part of the Citygate integrated project. It will offer direct links to the city centre and Hong Kong International Airport, which is just a few minutes away.

The new hotel propels the number of MGallery by Sofitel properties in Asia to 33.


Sharon Byrne (left) and Amanda Thompson (right)
Sharon Byrne (left) and Amanda Thompson (right)

Denihan Hospitality New York appoints BTR Hotels in Australia

Denihan Hospitality, whose portfolio includes properties operating under The James in New York (and soon Washington, DC), Affinia Hotels & Suites in New York, and independent Manhattan hotels The Benjamin and The Surrey, has appointed BTR Hotels to continue to expand its presence and relationships in the Australian market.

Sharon Byrne and Amanda Thompson, founders and directors of BTR Hotels, will partner with such Denihan’s New York Hotels.

BTR said Denihan’s “guest-centric approach to hospitality, individually tailored hotels and distinct neighbourhood locations” are “a perfect fit” for its international portfolio.





Chef Alain Ducasse to debut new restaurant at Palace Hotel Tokyo

Chef Ducasse

Palace Hotel Tokyo will soon boast one of the country’s most sought-after dining establishments. The iconic Japanese property is teaming up with DUCASSE Paris, founded by world-famous chef Alain Ducasse, to unveil a brand new restaurant on its premises, which is scheduled to open on 1 November 2019.

Chef Ducasse and his team will be overseeing the new restaurant, where patrons can look forward to a new contemporary approach to French haute cuisine – an approach which aims to re-establish the connection with nature not only by bringing out the original, natural flavours of ingredients, but also by promoting the procurement of sustainable, organic, local ingredients.


Reflections’ Clarkes Beach opens $2.5 million premium villa

A $2.5 million premium villa precinct for guests at Clarkes Beach is now officially open after Reflections Holiday Parks and industry representatives from across the state cut the ribbon last week to celebrate the new waterfront, architect-designed cabins.

The improvements at Clarkes Beach includes the installation of eight new architecturally-designed, environmentally-sensitive cabins, including four which sleep up to five people and four which sleep up to two; and landscaping, sympathetic to the Endangered Ecological Community (EEC).

Watch the video above for a time-lapse of the construction of the premium villa at Clarkes Beach or click here for more information.


Club Med deploys family program across resorts

Club Med has deployed its award-winning Amazing Family program across major family-favourite resorts.

With research finding the top travel motivator being spending time with loved ones, Amazing Family offers shared experiences that enrich family holidays to create a lasting, positive family culture, and lifetime memories.

For more information on Amazing Family, click here.


Mantra Hotels announces global sale


Mantra Hotels is set to launch a massive global sale from 20 to 26 May, with huge savings across the Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree portfolios across Australia, including properties in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and New Zealand.

To view the full list of specials, click here.


Banyan Tree Phuket introduces spacious new event venue: The Lagoon Deck

Banyan Tree Phuket - The Lagoon Deck

As Banyan Tree Phuket resort celebrates its 25th anniversary, it has announced the May 2019 grand opening of its newly renovated and reimagined event venue, The Lagoon Deck.

Featuring 454 square metres of event space with magnificent floor to ceiling windows, The Lagoon Deck offers breathtaking 180-degree views overlooking the resort’s main lagoon and lush, green surroundings.

Banyan Tree Phuket’s newest and largest event space is specially equipped for sophisticated celebrations with up to 500 guests, glamorous dinners for up to 300 guests, and prestigious corporate meetings for up to 220 guests. Pillar-free and purpose built to host activities of all kinds, The Lagoon Deck is being dubbed by Banyan Tree Phuket as Phuket’s most versatile event space.


Raffles Maldives Meradhoo opens 21-villa island experience

Raffles has announced the opening of the 21-villa Beach Island Experience in the rare Maldivian oasis of Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Accor’s fourth property in the Maldives and the first under the Raffles brand.

The main island is home to Beach Villas and Beach Residences which, featuring private pools, generous living spaces and lavish marble bathroom with a sunken bathtub and outdoor shower.

The Raffles Royal Residence and a secluded collection of Overwater Villas and Residences, which lies adjacent to one of the vibrant house reefs, which can be reached by a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat, is set to launch during the last quarter of 2019.

For more information, click here.


El Questro announces mid-season deals for Kimberley Getaways

El Questro Homestead The Kimberley - Aerial

El Questro Resort has released a swag of mid-season deals across its Homestead, Station and Emma Gorge lodgings offering travellers a chance to escape to Western Australia’s spectacular Kimberley wilderness this cool season.

On sale from 1 June onwards, the El Questro mid-season deals offer bonus nights and terrific savings, including complimentary breakfasts and kids staying free.

For more information, click here.


W Bali launches new club experience

W Bali - Seminyak

W Bali – Seminyak has teamed up with Per QX – a renowned DJ, producer and club promoter on the global house scene – to bring back the 90’s club era.

Aptly named, ‘Push the Feelin’’, it will be a weekly event at Woobar, inspired by the Nightcrawlers’ iconic nineties video “Push the Feelin On’”.

Launching on Thursday 30 May and headlined by Per QX, the weekly event welcomes fans of classic house music to party the night away.

From disco-inspired anthems to powerful diva vocals, Push the Feelin’ will dig deep into the 90s and 00s heydays, providing uplifting floor-fillers and old-school gems.

Martin Denev will be the guest DJ for the event, with live vocals from blues singer Diana Rosa turning up the heat and providing pulsating tunes late into the night.


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