Saturday, February 25, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Veriu Broadway to open in April 2017
Sydney is set to welcome a new hotel brand – Veriu Hotels & Suites – with the opening of a 64-room serviced apartment hotel, Veriu Broadway, in April 2017. The hotel is part of a pipeline of five hotels set to open under the Veriu brand by the end of 2018.
Veriu Broadway is an $18 million conversion of a former warehouse space offering self-contained studios, each over 40 square metres, and one and two bedroom split level apartments. Ideally located close to the International Convention Centre, the hotel will provide 24-hour reception with staff trained as local area guides plus on-site food & beverage in keeping with the precinct's contemporary café and bar offerings.
Veriu Hotels is a fresh new bespoke hotel brand on the Sydney landscape created by property and hospitality specialists Alex Thorpe and Rhys Williams. Having successfully developed a long stay accommodation business, Furnished Property, in 2002, Thorpe and Williams have now moved into the hotel space to create a portfolio of hotels with a diverse mix of heritage and new developments, all located in Sydney's thriving city fringe locations.
"We have been providing long stay style self-contained accommodation for 16 years under Furnished Property, where we developed a passion for sharing 'local'. We created Veriu because we saw no reason why a hotel brand can't provide that authentic local experience backed up by traditional hotel services, excellent customer service and attention to detail in rooms," says Veriu Director, Rhys Williams.
Veriu Broadway will be the marquee hotel for the brand following its first foray into the market with the successful opening of Veriu Camperdown – a new build all-suite hotel which opened in March 2016.
"Camperdown was our first test and it was amazing to bring the brand to life in such a vibrant area. You only need to look at places like Deus Cafe and Camperdown Commons to see what local business can deliver and we want accommodation to be a part of this," says Williams.
The current network is complemented by a pipeline of hotel developments to take place under the Veriu brand by the end of 2018, including:
Veriu Randwick (35 rooms) opening April 2017
Veriu Central (110 rooms) opening early 2018
Veriu Green Square (142 rooms) opening late 2018
Veriu specialises in operating sites with 20-120 rooms in CBD and city fringe areas with capacity to go larger if the location is right.
"Having some flagship CBD sites supported by a number of smaller satellite local properties in the city fringe is central to our strategy. We make it happen in areas and buildings where the global brands may be less interested," says Veriu Director, Alex Thorpe.
To date the Veriu model has focused on Lease agreements but both Thorpe and Williams believe one of their strengths is their ability to adapt to all types of development models including potential for franchise or managed hotel agreements in the future. The group is also open to placing its own equity in development joint ventures with selected capital partners operated by Veriu. One such partner is ASX listed property funds manager Folkstone Group, which will launch a fund in March to raise $22.5 million of third-party capital to finance the 142-room Green Square hotel development in conjunction with Veriu, slated for a 2018 opening.
In celebration of individuality, Veriu have created a bespoke collection of hotels and suites, each with its own distinct personality and style. All different – and yet all the same in their commitment to providing true and genuine service, a superb location and at the end of the day, a great night's sleep.
"We have seen Sydney emerge as a city of villages and we want to share the uniqueness of Sydney's diversity through the Veriu brand in areas like Camperdown, Broadway, Green Square and Surry Hills. These villages really excite us for the leisure market but equally corporates want these bespoke experiences."
With an authentic local experiences paramount to the Veriu ethos, guests will also receive complimentary drinks and snacks from local area operators and local artists are also engaged to incorporate designs based on the genuine character of the building and neighbourhood.
"Beyond this, we want our guests to move freely through our properties so we have developed a unique concept called "Veriu Connect". This allows any Veriu guest to drop into one of our other locations, flash a room card and have a complimentary locally sourced drink and ask the concierge about the best places to explore. You could cover the best of Sydney just by visiting the Veriu network of properties," says Williams.
Guests will be able to discover their surroundings with use of the hotel's complimentary 'explorer bicycles' – a service that will be offered in all future Veriu hotels. Other complimentary offerings common to all Veriu properties include a welcome drink, WiFi and in-room tunes via Smart TV technology.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji has once again been recognised for its superior service receiving a much coveted TripAdviser 'Travelers Choice' award.
Based on reviews and opinions received from literally millions of international travellers, this latest accolade recognises the Pacific Harbour-based resort as being among the top 25 hotels – both large and small - in the South Pacific for its luxury and service elements.
The award builds on a TripAdvisor 'Certificate of Excellence for Superior Service', Nanuku received in 2016.
The resort is again in the running to win a much sought-after 'Best Dining Experience' title at this year's 'Fiji Excellence in Tourism' awards for the second time having won the prestigious award in 2016.
Paying tribute to the Nanuku team for the efforts they go to in ensuring the resort continues to receive these accolades, a delighted Director of Sales & Marketing, Shashita Nand said after client recognition, industry acknowledgement was highly appreciated.
"We are extremely honored to have received this accolade," Ms Nand said.,
"Being recognized as one of the top 25 hotels in the South Pacific is huge recognition when you take into account the number of luxury resorts and properties in the region these days."
For further information visit https://nanuku.aubergeresorts.com.
World's Most Luxurious Ship Returns to Europe and Inaugurates Africa Voyages
Launched in July 2016 and recognised as the most luxurious ship ever built™, Seven Seas Explorer returns to Europe for a second consecutive summer season in May 2018. The ship will sail throughout the Mediterranean, North and Baltic Seas on 7- to 12-night voyages and make maiden calls at Portimao, Portugal; Lysekil, Sweden; and Bodo and Haugesund, Norway.
Seven Seas Explorer then commences its maiden Africa season on two epic voyages that showcase the continent's west coast, a 24-night, Lisbon (Portugal)-to-Cape Town (South Africa) itinerary, followed by a 15-night, round-trip New Year's voyage. The ship then heads west to South America for its vibrant rhythms, colours and cultures as it rounds the horn to Los Angeles via the western coast.
Chic Mediterranean and Authentic Caribbean
Seven Seas Voyager will also sail the Mediterranean in summer 2018, with many 7-night itineraries that include calls at some of the region's most chic destinations, as well as maiden calls at Korcula and Hvar, Croatia; Saint-Raphael, France; Lipari, Sicily, Italy. The ship will winter in the Caribbean, alternating 7- to 12-night, Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, which travellers can combine to immerse themselves in the region. New Caribbean ports-of-call for the line are picturesque Port Antonio, Jamaica, as well as Charlestown, Nevis, the birthplace of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Remote Wonders of the Pacific and Australia
Seven Seas Mariner will offer a variety of adventures throughout the Pacific, starting with Alaska in summer 2018. The ship then charts the South Pacific to Asia and Australia, presenting the grand cities and historic, cultural landmarks of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia, and calling at Broome, and Oarai, Japan, for the first time. From Sydney, travellers can join Seven Seas Mariner on the Grand Aussie Adventure, a new 36-night circumnavigation of the continent, sailing Dec. 15, 2018.
Grand Arctic, Canada and New England, and the World
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' most intimate ship, Seven Seas Navigator, will offer three very distinct programmes, starting with an 89-night, Grand Arctic Splendour voyage that begins and ends in New York. The Grand Artic Splendour voyage is comprised of six sailings that call at 63 non-repeating destinations in Canada and New England, Greenland and Iceland, North and Baltic Seas, as well as into the Arctic Circle to reach the White Sea. On this adventure, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Archangel, Russia, will be maiden ports.
The ship will then sail a range of unforgettable Canada and New England cruises between New York and Montréal to showcase the autumn foliage and exciting cities of Quebec and the Northeast U.S.
To kick off 2019, Seven Seas Navigator will embark on Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 13th World Cruise, an epic 131-night adventure that calls at 62 unique ports across the Hawaii Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean. Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 2019 World Cruise is comprised of seven distinct itineraries, calling at 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and making maiden calls at Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island), Australia; Makassar (Sulawesi), Indonesia; and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world's most inclusive luxury cruise line with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the globe. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a US$125 million fleet wide enhancement programme that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer, which entered service on July 20, 2016, and has since been recognised as the most luxurious ship ever built™. A leader in luxury cruising, the line's fares include all-suite accommodation, free unlimited shore excursions, free unlimited WIFI, highly personalised service, free unlimited beverages including fine wine and premium spirits, free specialty restaurants, free pre-paid gratuities and a 1-night pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' new 2018/19 voyages are now open for reservations. For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or specific itineraries, please contact a professional travel agent; visit www.rssc.com; or call 1300 455 200 (Australia) or 0800 625 692 (New Zealand).
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Pinetrees Lodge of Lord Howe Island is #1 in Australia;
In the 15th year of the awards, TripAdvisor has highlighted the world’s top 7, 607 properties in 109 countries and eight regions worldwide, in the categories of Top Hotels Overall, Luxury, Bargain, Small, Service, B&Bs and Inns, Romance and Family.
“From island resorts, traditional guest houses to heritage hotels, the Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards highlights the fantastic array of accommodation across Australia and the world for travellers to enjoy”, said Joanne Kershaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “The hallmarks of Travellers’ Choice hotels winners are remarkable service, value and quality. Travellers looking to be inspired with amazing hotels to visit in 2017 should start with these award winners when researching and booking their next holiday on TripAdvisor.”
Australian winner Luke Hanson, co-owner of Pinetrees Lodge said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been named number 1 on TripAdvisor! For a small lodge on Lord Howe Island, we’re mixing it with some serious hotels. While they have an edge on us with pillow menus, lap pools, 24 hour room service and on-demand movies, we have the Lord Howe Island Lagoon, world-class adventure activities, an organic market garden, sensational food and a love for genuine service. It’s TripAdvisor that helps to get our name and reputation out there!”
Stretched along the longest timber-piled wharf in the world, the hotel is situated over the picturesque Sydney Harbour. Ovolo Woolloomooloo features contemporary design elements and furnishings that complement the original fixtures of a heritage building. Each of the 100 rooms and suites tell a unique Australian story through a series of art pieces infused into the interior design features. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Can’t speak more highly of this little jewel. We had a loft room which was extremely spacious. The staff treated you like family and the "Free Stuff" included - Free Breakfast, Free Happy Hour and Free Mini Bar. So central yet out of the hustle and bustle.”
· Three reasons to book Ovolo Woolloomooloo: Superb location, free mini-bar, unique design features
· Three reasons to book Park Hyatt Sydney: Harbour front views, proximity to good local restaurants, 24 hour butler service
· Three reasons to book Qualia Resort: Unique and blissful spa treatments, fine dining, location and atmosphere.
· Three reasons to book Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour: Avant garde design, free happy-hour and mini bar, central location
· Three reasons to book East Hotel: Cruiser bikes, complimentary lollies and fruit, ideal location for exploring Canberra
· Three reasons to book the Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments: Free Foxtel- including movie channels, complimentary airport transfers, private tropical outdoor shower.
· Three reasons to book the Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort: Family-friendly, complimentary chocolates, outdoor cinema
· Three reasons to book Primus Hotel Sydney: Rooftop pool, centrally located, historical building
· Three reasons to book Big4 Beacon Resort: Health and Wellbeing packages, free supervised kids activity program, family-friendly
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is thrilled to announce they are building one of Australia's largest resort waterslide parks, with a choice of 13 different twisting and turning water slides to take kids on a whole new adventure.
Designed for young families, there will be a fabulous choice of slides with different speeds, heights and lengths. The massive overall area of the waterslide park will be equivalent to an Olympic swimming pool and features mini slides including a frog and an octopus, tipping bucket, water features for toddlers and a 300mm deep splash pool.
Owner Greg McKinnon says, "my kids and I have been visiting water parks for years and I wanted to design a children's paradise for the Whitsundays. We've had great fun putting all the elements together. The slides come off two-metre-high elevated platforms, which are linked by bridges, and range in length from 17 metres to 23.2 metres. We have themed the colours of the waterslide park around the beautiful corals of the Great Barrier Reef."
With a perfect sub-tropical climate, families will be able to keep their cool and enjoy the entertainment all year round. The height and speed of the slides are designed for maximum enjoyment for young children. Parents will have peace of mind that their children are happily playing in a safe environment with their holiday buddies. The beauty of this new waterslide park facility is that all in-house guests will automatically receive complimentary admission.
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is set amidst 26 acres of tropical gardens and already has a 32 metre lagoon style pool with two water slides and fountains along with a host of other facilities including two giant jumping pillows, 18-hole mini golf, outdoor cinema, tennis court, pedal carts and an Animal Park. It is a favourite destination even for local families who can't go past all there is on offer.
Construction of the waterslide park has now begun with the stone pitched boundary wall underway, with the entire project expected to be completed by April. The design and construction has been undertaken by a Townsville company, TQ Aquatics, who also built the existing lagoon style resort pool at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort.
Go to www.adventurewhitsunday.com.au or phone 1300 640 587 if you would like more information on how to splash out on your next family holiday!
Thailand's appeal as a quality leisure destination continues to increase with tourism revenue for 2017 expected to exceed 2016's record US$46 billion, itself a 12% increase on 2015. The nation has enjoyed considerable growth from the European market, up almost 10 per cent in 2016, with visitors from the Americas increasing by over 13 per cent.
According to TAT Sydney Director, Rujiras Chatchalermkit; “With a continued marketing focus on immersive experiences such as wellness retreats, culinary experiences, eco-tourism and agro-tourism, TAT aims to move from the nation's previous appeal as a budget destination for young full moon party-goers, instead focussing on the increasing global demand for high-end quality tourism product. This focus on quality tourism has seen a move from simply counting visitor numbers to measuring tourism revenue.”
While the death of Thailand's much beloved king caused a temporary pause in the nation's year-round festivities, it's business as usual for most of Thailand's nightlife, festivals and events with only a slight drop in tourism numbers experienced over the short period in which festivities were cancelled out of respect for a nation's mourning.
Festivities have resumed however, with the first big event of the year about to take place. The Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF) returns to Bangkok's Lumpini Park to highlight the fun and fascinating attractions that can be enjoyed by tourists travelling in the kingdom. The Festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during 25-29 January, 2017, and is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90 per cent of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue.
The King's death has however, brought world attention to the many great achievements during his reign, and growing interest in the nation's Royal Projects, which fits well with TAT's focus for 2017 on promoting Creative Tourism through the Unique Thai Local Experiences to create memorable and invaluable holiday experience for tourists.
During his reign, the much-loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej initiated many Royal Projects around the country with an aim to look after Thailand's poorest people, share the country's wealth, and look after Thailand's natural resources.
“These Royal Projects offer tourists a new way of experiencing Thailand and of making a real grassroots connection with the kingdom's diverse people. All the Royal Projects welcome visitors, be it for a few hours or several days, and there is a diverse range of things to do. You could find yourself learning how to make a unique local dish, releasing fish into the Thai seas, feeding cattle or teaching the village children before spending a night under the roof of a local family. It's an experience many visitors will cherish years to come.”
Many major airlines service direct and indirect flights to Thailand, with over 60 direct flights and over 800 indirect flights departing Australia each week for Bangkok or Phuket.
“This capacity makes it easy and flexible for Australian travellers to plan their holiday to Thailand, even during peak holiday periods, another reason the destination remains one of Australia's favourites.”