Hotel wrap: Sydney to get new Mercure, Hayman Island update, Pullman makes Fiji debut + more!

You know what they say: scrolling through Travel Weekly‘s hotel wrap is as good as a holiday. Just kidding, it’s nowhere near as good.

New-build Mercure hotel announced for Sydney’s Rouse Hill

Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill room

Accor is pleased to announce a new partnership with Lewis Land Group to bring a new-build Mercure hotel to Sydney’s Hills district.

Currently under construction, Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill is being developed alongside The Fiddler Hotel, a major dining and entertainment venue. The Fiddler Hotel underwent a major redevelopment in 2010 and has become a popular venue for casual dining events.

Designed by Architect Mostaghim & Associates, Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill will house 78 modern guest rooms, including 67 standard, seven family and four disability rooms spread across the four-story hotel.

Expected to open in July 2019, Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill will also house a fitness centre and swimming pool, new conferencing and events spaces, while dining venues will be provided to hotel guests through The Fiddler’s existing entertainment complex.

YOO sets its sights on Vietnam as key new market for designer residences


YOO Worldwide, the global designer residence and hotel brand, has set its sights firmly on Vietnam following the recent launch of its new regional headquarters in Southeast Asia.

The UK-based company was created by leading property developer John Hitchcox and international designer Philippe Starck with a mission to enrich lives through extraordinary living spaces. It is now the largest pure residential design brand in the world, with 81 projects in 36 countries, and a number of hotel management and design projects in the pipeline.

Building on these foundations, YOO is now planning to introduce its “out-of-the-box” place-making concepts into Vietnam, one of the world’s most exciting emerging destinations and a hot ticket for tourism and real estate developers.

W Bali – Seminyak mixes it up with Mixmag

Marriott International Hotel

W Bali – Seminyak is proud to partner with the world’s biggest dance music and club culture magazine; Mixmag to host a series of three Sundown Sessions live from Woobar; W’s energising beachside bar home to sunset sessions, curated cocktails and amped up music events. The partnership will be a year long collaboration with Mixmag to further enhance the premium music offerings of W Bali – Seminyak; home to the founding W Sound Suite.

With over 2.5 million followers and subscribers across YouTube and Facebook, each of the three sessions will be streamed on Mixmag’s channels, with the full audio stream to be available on Mixmag soundcloud (1.4 million fans) following the event.

The inaugural Mixmag / W Bali – Seminyak Sundown Session will kick off on the 27th of April, as the sun fades and the vibrant night life on the island starts to unravel. Providing beats all through the sunset is one of the islands favourite acts, French house DJ and producer, Sébastien Léger.

The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s Silent Auction for Christchurch


In the wake of the shocking and tragic events in Christchurch, one hospitality ‘family’ is raising funds for the families who have sadly lost loved ones.

Twenty items have been generously given to a silent auction organised by The Rees Hotel in Queenstown that is expecting to raise tens of thousands of dollars with all the proceeds being donated to the Givealittle page for the ‘Christchurch Shooting Victims Fund’ set up by Victim Support

Hayman Island by Intercontinental announces exciting new culinary lineup

Aquazure Pool - Hayman Island by InterContinental

Reserve your room, and your table, for the 1 July opening of Hayman Island by InterContinental. With a seven-decade heritage in restaurant and bar excellence, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts welcome three new culinary heavyweights to lead five distinct dining experiences on island.

Joshua Dows joins the team as Director of Restaurants and Bars, leading the charge on culinary direction and conceptualisation.

Dows earned his stripes on board luxury cruise ships, catering to the many and varied desires of 3,000 passengers.

At the helm of the restaurant is Erwin Joven, appointed as Director of Kitchens. Joven has extensive experience working as an Executive Chef in luxury remote locations such as Fiji, Philippines and the British Virgin Islands.

Anthony Kramer joins the team as Executive Sous Chef, having returned to Australia after a decade working in a high-end resort in  Vietnam.

These three culinary pedigrees are the guiding force behind the five distinct dining destinations and bar offerings on island:

• Pacific – Pacific is the resort’s signature, brasserie-style bar and restaurant.
• AQUA – Perched on the side of the iconic Hayman® Pool, AQUA offers guests a refreshing menu of easy-to-share seafood dishes, tropical fruit juices, fresh salad bowls and classic cocktails.
• Amici Trattoria – A blazing wood-fired pizza oven sits at the heart of this casual Italian eatery. The menu features pizza, pasta and an Australian wine list starring Italian grape varietals.
• Bam Bam – Full of character and your go-to for bold zesty dishes, Bam Bam serves up Pan- Asian cuisine infused with a fresh Australian twist. Specialities will include wok-tossed noodles and sugarcane juices, packed with punchy flavours.
• Bar Fifty – Set in the heart of the resort’s lobby, Bar Fifty is an international iconic, having served sophisticated cocktails to the globetrotters since the 1950s. Bar Fifty pays careful dedication to its distinguished past, reopening with twists on familiar favourites, classic cocktails, canapés and light bites within a lively hub.

New glamping village and full upgrade of Cooinda Lodge completed to mark 40th anniversary of Kakadu National Park

New tented accommodation at Cooinda

Kakadu’s longest-established tourism accommodation operator, Cooinda Lodge & Camping, is marking the 40th anniversary of Kakadu National Park by unveiling a complete refurbishment of its Lodge rooms as well as the launch in June of the new glamping village Dreaming@Home Billabong.

Cooinda is in the heart of Kakadu National Park, and incorporates prime tourism attractions such as Yellow Water Cruises and Warradjan Cultural Centre as well as Spirit of Kakadu 4WD Adventure Tours. It is also very conveniently located to the Nourlangie rock art site, and well positioned for tours to Jim Jim, Twin Falls and the Maguk and Gunlom waterfalls and rock pools.

The major upgrade to accommodation at Cooinda comes at a time when Kakadu celebrates the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Kakadu National Park, establishing Kakadu as one of Australia’s most important natural and cultural destinations.

Fiji set to welcome new Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa

Kah Thai Restaurant at Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa

The Pullman brand is set to make its debut in Fiji on the 19th of April 2019 with the launch of the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa – a vibrant new destination where local culture connects with all things contemporary.

The multi-million dollar Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa sits directly on its own secluded corner of local-favourite, Wailoaloa Beach, a largely unexplored stretch of shore on Nadi Bay. For guests, that means 180 degree, uninterrupted ocean views, bookended by vistas of Fiji’s most recognised mountain, The Sleeping Giant.

Time-conscious travellers don’t know it yet, but this resort will soon become their favourite location based on its central address alone. Pullman epitomises the benefits of a ‘fly in/fly out’ destination, with less travel time ensuring more ‘unravel’ time spent at the spa, bar and pool. A 10 minute-drive from Nadi International Airport and its commercial centre in one direction and an equally speedy 10 minutes to Port Denarau’s entertainment precinct makes it one of the most convenient resort addresses in the Fiji Islands.

A towering cathedral-style bure and striking art installations ensure an elegant arrival, but the sun-drenched piazza-style playground at the heart of the resort is where guests will really want to be. Full of energy and activity, without sacrificing serenity, Pullman’s palm-lined hub is designed around four pools – an adults-only pool, a separate children’s pool and two family pools.

Sustainability driving the agenda at voco Gold Coast

voco Gold Coast - homemade beeswax candle and honey

Since the rebrand of the Watermark hotel to voco Gold Coast in November 2018, the hotel has undergone significant enhancements, not only to guestrooms and public spaces but to the way the hotel is thinking about sustainability and energy reduction.

In a bid to eliminate as much plastic from the hotel as possible, from April 2019, voco Gold Coast will replace miniature shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles with large bottle, refillable Aveda bathroom amenities in all its 389 guestrooms. By doing so, it will reduce its plastic waste by 80 per cent.

In addition, the hotel has introduced smart-down bedding made from 100 per cent recycled materials and have replaced plastic water bottles with glass bottles in key areas of the hotel while also replacing all plastic straws with biodegradable straws.

Mercure Sydney International Airport rebrands to Novotel


Mercure Sydney International Airport will rebrand to Novotel Sydney International Airport, following the completion of a multi-million dollar refresh.

Situated just 1km from Sydney’s Airport precinct, the popular hotel amongst frequent business flyers and leisure guests will continue to operate under the Accor banner of internationally recognised midscale brand Novotel.

Novotel branded hotels around the globe are known for providing a multi-service offering for both business and leisure guests, with spacious, modular rooms, 24/7 catering, balanced meals, meeting rooms, attentive and proactive staff, child-friendly spaces, a multi-purpose lobby and fitness centres.

Shougang and Shangri-la sign cooperation on Shougang park hotel in Beijing

Shougang Group and Shangri-La Group today announced the cooperation on a new hotel project at Shougang Park in Beijing.

This is a strategic venture between two established and highly regarded companies to develop an international luxury hotel at the Shougang industrial site. Attending the signing ceremony were Zhang Gongyan, Chairman and General Manager of Shougang Group, Hui Kuok, Chairman of Shangri-La Group, Guo Huaigang, Director of General Administration, The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Wang Yue, Deputy Chief of Beijing Culture & Tourism Bureau, and Ke Yongguo Deputy Head of Shijingshan District Government. The hotel management agreement was signed between Liang Jie, Deputy General Manager of Shougang Group and Lim Beng Chee, Chief Executive Officer of Shangri-La Group.

The hotel project is located in the central area of Shougang Park and boasts spectacular views of Shijingshan Hill and Qunming Lake. Shougang Park is a familiar local landmark with over 100 years of history. The hotel is closely connected to the grand ski ramp of the Winter Olympics and the training center of the National Teams, known as the “Four Ices”, for ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating and curling.

The new project development will incorporate modern designs and green concepts into the heritage industrial estate. It is scheduled for completion and operations at the end of 2021. The hotel will be designated as the Official Hotels of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and it will host the Olympic event reception.

Garden & Villas Resort launches ‘Places of Elena Ferrante’ package

Garden & Villas Resort

The volcanic island of Ischia, off the coast of southern Italy, is garnering much attention of late and not just for its spectacular scenery. The ‘Green Island’, as nicknamed by locals, forms part of the backdrop for HBO’s recent critically-acclaimed series “My Brilliant Friend” based on the much-loved Elena Ferrante novel.

Fans of the novel turned TV show will delight in the new ‘Places of Elena Ferrante’ package offered by Garden & Villas Resort when the resort reopens for summer in April 2019.  

Using Garden & Villas Resort as a base, this package will transport fans to the real-life locations of Ischia Porto, Ischia Ponte, the Maronti beach and Citara where the lives of characters Lila, Lenù, Dino and Donato Sarratore are forever changed. Guests will also receive a full day pass to the Poseidon Gardens where they can dip their toe in the many thermal pools that give Ischia its moniker of ‘The thermal capital of Europe’.

Casa Angelina, Amalfi Coast announces 2019 Spring Offer

Casa Angelina 5

Casa Angelina has announced a Spring Offer to celebrate the seasonal 2019 re-opening of this beautiful property in Praiano on the Amalfi Coast.

The Spring Offer is valid for a minimum 2-night stay from 7 April to 15 May 2019 and includes:

• 20 per cent discount off the Best Available Rate
• EUR80,00 Credit Voucher to offset against any hotel Food & Beverage or SPA incidental charges (excluding mini-bar)
• Early Check-in or Late Check-out upon availability
• Upgrade subject to availability
• Farewell Gift

Lead-in rate for Casa Angelina’s Spring Offer is EUR552,00 + 10 per cent VAT per room per night in a Romantic Sea View Room inclusive of full buffet breakfast.


Leave a Reply


Tourists stranded as Europe’s rivers continue to drop

Water levels across Europe’s rivers continue to plague cruise operators with reports of marooned boats on the Doubs River.




Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Italian hotelier Gai Quartucci

This week, we sat down with Gai Quartucci, global sales and marketing director for part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world group.



Travel Agents

Malaysia Airlines launches free trip incentive for agents

This incentive is like a buy one, get one free, except instead of buying something, you’ve got to sell airfares… which is likely your job anyway so win-win.




Ennismore to bring four new lifestyle hotels to NZ

Accor’s quirky stepchild is spreading its wings across the Pacific with four new signings in New Zealand.




Missed the Visit USA Expos? Fear not, we’ve got your biggest questions covered.

by sponsored by Visit USA Australia

No more FOMO! These hot tips will get you in top-tip shape to visit the USA.




Jetstar launches Sunny Coast sale with fares cheaper than a tank of petrol

With prices this low, Jetstar will have to steal Bunnings’ famous tagline. Hopefully they’ll start hosting sausage sizzles as well.




Hotel Review: La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

A peaceful hideaway right in the centre of the Medina’s hustle and bustle, La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech – a chaos we absolutely loved.




Aussie travel start-up Ok Away partners with Air Doctor

While it is a cool name, Ok Away also sounds like a good way to end a sentence with someone you wish would leave you alone.




“It’s a shocking insult”: Qantas slammed for asking execs to work as baggage handlers

The bags on your next flight may be handled by Alan Joyce, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your confidence in his ability to fling around 30 kg bags.




Travellers warned over bomb threats against Moldova’s international airport

The government’s travel alert website is advising Aussies to reconsider their need to travel to Moldova, which, given the bomb threats, is probably sound advice.




Intrepid launches citizen science programs in Antarctica

Believe it or not, there is more than one program about understanding phytoplankton (which are a lot more important than you would think)!




IHG celebrates 60 years with big surprises + Tim Tam cake

The brand is celebrating its Diamond anniversary with a series of events and surprises for guests, but honestly, they had us at “Tim Tam”.