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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

InterContinental Hotels and Resorts launches Insider Guide to travelling with children



Third Guide in the series provides parents with tips on planning enjoyable holidays for the whole family

 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has released the Insider Guide to Travelling with Children, providing useful advice to make planning enjoyable family holidays a breeze.

The third in the Insider Guide series, this latest guide is an essential handbook for guests planning to travel with their children. The guide collates InterContinental insider knowledge and external industry expert opinions from countries across Asia, Middle East and Africa to deliver top travel tips, local insights and exciting itineraries, including suggestions on engaging the young ones from the planning stage.

Bruce Ryde, Director, Brand Management, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts said, "At InterContinental Hotels & Resorts we have over 65 years of global heritage in curating memorable experiences for our guests. From locally-inspired spa programmes to our Planet Trekkers Kid's Club activities, we give our guests the most authentic local experiences for an enjoyable holiday. The Insider Guide to Travelling with Children condenses all the insider information you need to know before, during and after your family vacation."

In addition, the guide features highlights of the new InterContinental Planet Trekkers Children's Menu. Developed by award-winning celebrity chef Theo Randall and leading children's food expert and best-selling international author, Annabel Karmel MBE, the menu was designed specifically for the young InterContinental guest and will feature delicious dishes which embrace flavours, textures, smells and tastes that will take children on an educational voyage around the world, while ensuring an enjoyable and nutritionally balanced meal.

"The new children's menu was developed based on the principle of 'Food Exploration' which is all about creating food experiences children will find intriguing and exciting. There is no better way for parents and their young ones to discover a new city together than to explore the cuisines and tastes it has to offer, and the menu offers our young guests that opportunity to do so in a fun way," added Bruce.

The Insider Guide to Travelling with Children features advice from InterContinental spokespeople, as well as Tracey Spicer, renowned Australian Journalist, Writer and Family Travel Expert, who shares her insights into some favourite family holiday spots.

The Insider Guide will be available in English in InterContinental hotels and resorts across Australia, and will soon be available online.

There are currently 4 InterContinental hotels (1,400 rooms) in Australia (the fifth, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay coming soon), and 67 hotels and resorts (21,383 rooms) across Asia, Middle East and Africa. For more information on InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, visit www.intercontinental.com.

To download the series of Insider Guides – Travelling in Style and the Perfect Business Dinner, please visit: http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/global/explore/communications

Fine dining at 35,00 feet



The peppercorn crust on Peppered Beef Tenderloin,
Seasonal Vegetables, Pepper Sauce offers a pungent yet
complementary counterpoint to the rich flavour of the fine beef.
Tosca, the Michelin-starred fine-dining Italian restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, has partnered with Cathay Pacific to launch special inflight menu available to First and Business Class passengers on board selected flights departing from Hong Kong between 1 May and 31 July 2014.

Pino Lavarra, Tosca’s Michelin-starred chef, has designed a delicious menu comprising starters, pastas, entrées and desserts that are authentic Italian dishes at heart but with added elements of sophistication. The unique flavours of ingredients such as Senise pepper and n’duja salami are reflected in the pasta dish Garganelli with n'duja salami, bread sfritto and Senise pepper. For beef seared carpaccio with Parmesan crisp, the traditional Italian antipasto has been given a modern twist with tender slices of beef carpaccio combined with Parmesan crisp for an intense array of flavours.

In addition Cathay Pacific’s regional airline Dragonair has announced the introduction of a new inflight menu featuring authentic European dishes inspired by Hugo’s, the fine-dining restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui. The new menu will be offered to First Class and Business Class passengers flying on selected Dragonair flights from Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai until mid-April 2015. The menu features 23 dishes including soups, appetisers and main courses created and adapted by the hotel’s executive chef Michael Donlevy.

Signature dishes include lobster bisque simmered delicately to extract the rich flavours from the shellfish. Topped with a dash of fresh cream, the dish is one of the most popular offerings at Hugo’s. The menu also includes some dishes designed exclusively for Dragonair, including fresh crab salad à la Russe appetiser and pan-fried Norwegian salmon fillet, crayfish tails with caper parsley sauce.


Fresh new drink thanks to HK mixologists
What will they call this new fruity cocktail?

When travelling in First or Business Class on Cathay Pacific, passengers are offered not only a glass of champagne, water or juice but one of the airline’s unique sig-nature drinks, and a delicious new one is set to join the line up in the next few months. The new signature drink is the result of a competition the airline held among ten of Hong Kong’s best mixologists.

The winner was Marlo Guevarra, from stylish hotel The Upper House, who created a tantalising blend of passion-fruit, lemongrass and apple juice. While yet to be named, the delicious concoction will join the other signature drinks including “Cathay Delight”, “Pacific Sunrise”, “Cloud 9” and “Oriental Breeze” in the second half of 2014.

Introducing Away Villa Collection, the Charm of Lanna

Boutique Hospitality Management Asia (BHMAsia) is pleased to introduce Away Villa Collection.Upon the success of X2 Chiang Mai Villa and Le Bayburi Pranburi, BHMAsia has received a number of inquiries from owners about villa management hence the management decided to launch the Away Villas Collection to cater to those inquiries for small villa properties.

Away Villa Collection has been created for the over stressed who just need to “Get Away” from their normal routine and enjoy a vacation in paradise. Away Villas are designed in a simple yet comfortable manner and appeal to people who recognize that they need to find a better balance, without forging some of life’s luxuries.
Away Phucome Chiang Mai Villa (3 BR)Away Phucome Villa Chiang Mai (10)
Away Phucome Chiang Mai is a luxury 3 bedroom villa located on the city outskirts, just minutes away from Chiang Mai Zoo and Chiang Mai University. The villa is fitted with 3 well sized bedrooms, a luxurious living space and a fully equipped kitchen and dining room. In addition, the villa has a swimming pool, BBQ and outdoor dining space. The villa is ideally located providing the best of the suburban country atmosphere while having the city and its attractions conveniently located only minutes’ drive away. Chiang Mai’s most famous mountain top temple, Doi Suthep, is located just 15 minutes drive away. It is located approximately 15 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport. The rate starts from 11,000 Baht net/night. 
Away Nirvana Chiang Mai Villa (6 BR)
Enjoy your privacy in this exotic location on the ancient Northern Thai rice paddies. Beautifully furnished, this villa has all the Away Nirvana Chiang Mai Villa (1)comforts of home. Just 20 kilometers from central Chiang Mai, this luxurious villa, once known as a retreat for the royal family of Thailand offers six bedrooms, a large living area, lovely decks and terraces for lounging and relaxing, a fully equipped kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas, an inviting BBQ area, a massage sala and your private pool and lake all surrounding quiet rice fields.
Fabulous restaurants, spas, international groceries and boutiques are just minutes away and you are a twenty-minute drive to the moated center of Chiang Mai for more restaurants, bars, nightclubs, markets and great shopping. The Villa is only five-minute drive to renown golfing at Green Valley and a fifteen-minute drive to Lanna Golf. Tiger Kingdom, the elephant camps, X-centre and many more attractions are just minutes away. It is located 30 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport. The rate starts from 15,000 Baht net/night. 
Away Paradise Chiang Mai Villa (3 BR)
Located in Mae Rim district, this massive 7 bedroom Lanna Style home on the Ping River offers 14 rai of privacy and luxury. Coconut palms, mango trees, lotus ponds, vast lawns and rice paddies abound in this extraordinary property on the river’s edge. This magnificent villa offers large living areas and decks for lounging, relaxing, or enjoying a party. It has two fully equipped kitchens, Away Paradise Chiang Mai Villa (3)indoor and outdoor dining areas, an inviting BBQ area and your private pool overlooking the Ping River. Handsomely furnished this villa has all the comforts of home.
Mae Rim is the rural outskirts just to the north of the moated center of Chiang Mai. The area is quickly becoming a suburb of wealthy Thais and foreigners with extraordinary villas and resorts. The Villa is located very near to tourist attractions like, Tiger Kingdom, the Orchid and Butterfly Farms, Elephant Camps, X-Centre Extreme Sports, Waterfalls and Botanical Gardens, the Four Seasons Hotel and many golf courses. It is located 30 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport. The rate starts from 16,000 Baht net/night. 
Away Chiang Kham Villa, Chiang Rai-Phayao (3 BR)
Away Chiang Kham Villa, is the perfect countryside retreat and a paradise for tennis enthusiasts. Nestled among the rice fields with Bedroomthe mountains of Laos in the distance, this villa is perfect for those seeking to “get away” from it all.Away Chiang Kham comprises of 2 luxury villas with 3 bedrooms each, set among mature tropical gardens. The resort provides the expected high level of luxury that is found at all our Away Villa properties. Included within the resort is a swimming pool, private tennis courts, golf practice fairway with sand traps & putting green as well as our pool side fitness room. Practice some yoga or get a massage in one of our garden salas and enjoy a dip in the pool after an herbal steam in our outdoor steam room.
With 3 professional tennis courts, Away Chiang Kham is a tennis enthusiasts dream resort. Our tennis hard courts are surfaced to a US Open standard allowing for a quick game and plenty of practice for your spin. Additionally, USPTA and ITF level professional tennis instruction is available from our in house Pro Mr Rico Folwer.
The Villa is located in Phayao province, 1 hour and 15 minute drive southeast of Chiang Rai International Airport or a picturesque and leisurely 3 hour drive from Chiang Mai. The rate starts from 9,800 Baht net/night.
For more information or to book Away Villa, please visit www.AwayResorts.com or email book@AwayVillas.com. All villas (except Away Chiang Kham) offer free roundtrip Chiang Mai Airport transfer.

Blockbuster Sporting Action Takes Place Throughout Regional New South Wales This Winter


As Australia’s global tourism and events state, New South Wales is a fitting destination to host the nation’s best sporting events.


If you love sport, winter is the perfect time to book a weekend away in regional New South Wales and watch some of the best matches and competitions Australia has to offer.

Port Macquarie

On Sunday 4 May, IRONMAN Australia returns. As one of the longest running IRONMAN events on the global circuit, IRONMAN Australia is an iconic global event. Consisting of a 3.8 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre bike course and 42.2 kilometre run, the event takes in the best of the Greater Port Macquarie region, on one of the most scenic IRONMAN courses in the world.

Once the IRONMAN wraps up, there is an endless list of activities for the athletes and spectators to enjoy in the Greater Port Macquarie region, ranging from sports to adrenalin-pumping adventure. Air sports include skydiving and paragliding over beautiful beaches, rivers, lush farming country and forests. Back on land there's horse-riding, boating, water skiing and kayaking.

Port Macquarie’s food and wine scene offers a wide variety of quality produce and hip, new coastal dining spots. In and around town there are award-winning restaurants, cafes, wineries and farmers markets. Or head to the hinterland and meet producers at the farm-gate, pick food from the trees, prepare dishes at a cooking class, and fill your boot with regional goodies to take home.

Tweed Valley

A wonderful event for the cycling elite, The Battle on the Border has become a much sought after cycling festival. Now in its 6th year, the Battle of the Border includes hundreds of recreational and seasoned competitors who cover between 200km and 400km across uniquely challenging terrains. Taking place from 15- 18 May, the five-stage tour covers various towns around the Tweed Valley including Mt Warning, Murwillumbah and Kingscliff.

Offering a relaxed vibe and stunning scenery, The Tweed is the perfect place for competitors to holiday after the event. Accommodation in the area ranges from five-star resorts with spa facilities, to self-contained B&Bs with ocean views, or hire a houseboat and discover the beautiful Tweed River.

A network of country roads makes it easy to explore The Tweed and with five World Heritage national parks, The Tweed is the most bio-diverse region in Australia. The Rainforest Way is a series of short loop drives that showcase the lush rainforests, while a climb to the mountain summit of Wollumbin-Mount Warning to watch the sun rise is a must for the adventurous.

Mid North Coast and Hunter

The inaugural 2014 Port to Port MTB, a four day race taking place on Thursday 29 May to Sunday 1 June, is designed to be fun and challenging for mountain bike riders of all levels. Taking place over four stages, recreational to competitive riders will tackle some of NSW’s finest forest, trails and fire roads in the towns of Port Stephens, Nelson Bay, the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.

The Mid North Coast and Hunter are the perfect options for a short break stay. When they’re not hitting the tracks, riders will be spoilt for things to do throughout the regions. Whether it’s exploring the fine wine and gourmet food trails in the Hunter Valley, or continuing the adventure by tackling the vast sand dunes of Stockton Beach.

Whatever type of accommodation you’re after there’ll be something for you, from hotels to self-contained apartments, resorts and bed and breakfasts. In the Hunter there are private cottages set amongst the rolling vineyards, while Nelson Bay offers gorgeous scenery and a relaxed atmosphere that will guarantee a memorable holiday experience.

Coffs Harbour

Fast becoming an iconic Australian sporting event, the Australian Surf Festival is the largest gathering of surfers in the country. Held in Coffs Harbour from Saturday 2 August, the two-week festival comprises four amateur events, including: Australian Longboard Titles; Australian Logger Titles; Australian Surfmasters Titles and Australian Single Fin Titles. The festival offers not only the chance to see some spectacular surfing, but also an exciting range of activities including music, art and surf culture.

Famous for its World Heritage-listed rainforest and Solitary Islands Marine Park, the Coffs Coast is full of activities, whether visitors want a quiet weekend away or an action-packed holiday. The city also has a wide choice of accommodation, from motels to glossy resorts and small, exclusive boutique retreats.

After enjoying a day of surfing action, visitors can visit the rainforest at Dorrigo National Park, go white water rafting in the Nymboi-Binderay National Park or have a relaxing day at one of the chic cafes and designer stores in the nearby town of Sawtell.

Newcastle

University and TAFE students from New South Wales and the ACT will gather in Newcastle in July for the Eastern University Games. Around 3,000 students will take part in up to 20 different sports over four days of competition, from Sunday 6 to Thursday 10 July. Sports on offer include AFL 9s, basketball, football, hockey, indoor cricket, lawn bowls, netball, oztag, tenpin bowling and volleyball.

Perched between a working harbour and beautiful beaches, Newcastle is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, with a vibrant arts culture, cool bars, restaurants and accommodation options aplenty. After a day of competition, students can check out live music at one of the many local pubs around the city and finish up with late night coffee at funky inner city Darby Street.

For competitors and spectators, there is accommodation in Newcastle for every type of visitor - from cosy bed and breakfasts to executive lodges and everything in between. Newcastle also offers a diverse range of dining options, from cocktails at a one of the many harbour-side restaurants to Mediterranean restaurants and quirky sidewalk cafes on cosmopolitan Beaumont Street.

Calendar of Sports Events in Regional NSW this Autumn/Winter

For more information on sporting events taking place in New South Wales this winter, visit http://www.visitnsw.com/events-sporting-events?from=footer

Thailands Songkran 2014 a great success, generating over 4 billion Baht revenue

unnamed (17)The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has annouced that its 2014 Songkran Splendours was a great success, generatng approximately 4 billion Baht in tourism revenue from a total of 1,462,000 travellers, comprising 1,347,860 Thai travellers and 114,140 foreign tourists.

TAT’s 2014 Songkran Splendours took place during 5-21 April in 13 locations: Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Sukhothai; Khon Kaen; Nakhon Phanom; Nong Khai; Suphan Buri; Ayutthaya; Chon Buri, Samui Prakan, the province in which Phra Phradaeng is located; Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla, the province in which Hat Yai is located; and Phuket.
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The number of travellers enjoying TAT’s 2014 Songkran Splendours and the estimated revenue generated in each of the 13 locations are as follows:
LocationDurationNo. of touristsEstimated revenue from tourists’ spending(million baht)
ThaisForeignersTotal
Bangkok12-15 April265,72026,280292,000536.74
Chiang Mai12-15 April170,00026,500196,500655.91
Sukhothai13-15 April42,0002,25044,250143.65
Khon Kaen5-15 April220,0002,100222,100 
751.44

Nakhon Phanom11-15 April10,50020010,70023.57
Nong Khai12-16 April150,0001,100151,100439.12
Suphan Buri12-14 April128,000300128,300362.17
Ayutthaya13-15 April18,2001,80020,00064.12
Chon Buri11-21 April200,00010,500210,500469.05
Samut Prakan18-20 April31,50045031,95083.01
Nakhon Si Thammarat12-14 April15,5604077,000274.64
Songkhal (Hat Yai)11-13 April52,36024,64077,000274.64
Phuket13-15 April44,02017,98062,000252.20
Total1,347,860114,1401,462,0004.105.72
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of TAT said, “This year, the kingdom welcomed tourists who came to join the Thai people in one of our most joyous annual celebrations. Up and down the country, fun and family-friendly activities were held and everyone got to experience the different aspects of this memorable festival.”
Songkran is Thailand’s main holiday when families are reunited and people make merit at the temples. The traditions stretch back hundreds of years and how the New Year is celebrated differs from province to province. For international travellers, the most memorable moments come from the massive water-fights that help beat the heat of the Thai summer.
TAT anticipates that the momentum in tourist arrival numbers will continue for the remainder of April, as well as for the remainder of the year.

APT Unveils New Highlights for South America in 2015

click to order this brochure now for free


APT has made some significant changes to its South America program for 2015, adding a host of new itineraries, extensions, small ship cruises, accommodation and sightseeing, as the destination continues to go from strength-to-strength for the award-winning luxury cruise and tour operator.

Offering small group journeys for a maximum of 30 people, highlights of APT's South America Small Group Journeys 2015 brochure include:

New tour extensions and destinations

APT has introduced a wide range of new tours, extensions and destinations for 2015, including:

· Atacama (Chile): A new three night extension, staying at the 42-room luxury retreat, Hotel Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, situated at the base of Chile's Salt Mountains. Guests can choose to explore the salt lake flats with its pink flamingos; enjoy sunsets overlooking Luna Valley's ever-changing desert landscapes; experience active thermal geysers; or explore the blue lagoons set against the striking backdrop of the Desert Mountains in the Andes.

· Cuba: This new four night discovery of Cuba includes: a tour of Havana in an iconic classic American car; the chance to embrace the music of Cuba, with a live performance from a local band and a salsa dance lesson; and Pinar Del Rio where guests visit a cigar factory and sail in traditional boats along an underground river.

· Peru in-depth – Colca Canyon & Arequipa: Guests can explore the world's deepest canyon, where the condors soar above the Andean Mountains, on this new four night addition. In Colca Canyon guests stay Las Casitas del Colca in their own private casita with plunge pool; and in Arequipa they stay at the centrally located Casa Andina.

· Patagonia: New for 2015, APT now covers the Patagonia Lake Crossing as well as the Patagonias down south in Chile and Argentina. Enjoy the stunning backdrop and rugged beauty in Torres del Paine National Park at Tierra Patagonia in Chile. Then continue into Argentina for a two-night glacier cruise aboard a luxury boutique ship around Glacier National Park.

New and exciting cruising

· Galapagos Islands: New for 2015, APT is offering three and four night cruises of the islands that inspired Charles Darwin 170 years ago, sailing aboard the luxury yacht La Pinta. Accommodating just 48 guests, it is fully air conditioned and offers a choice of double and superior cabins. The cruise is led by a professional cruise director, supported by experienced naturalist guides, as part of three core itineraries. Galapagos cruises can be combined with all tours and offer an exclusive extension to Quito, staying at Casa Ganganteno and Mashpi Cloud Forest and also feature as part of APT's popular Amazon and Galapagos combination, the 28-day Best of South America Amazon & Galapagos Cruises, priced from $21,495 per person, twin share.

· Patagonia Cruise: Another new addition for 2015, APT is offering a three night cruise aboard the 64-cabin MV Australis from Punta Arenas in Chile to explore the local landscape, glaciers and wildlife.

· El Calafate Glacier Cruise: New and exclusive to APT guests is the chance to cruise across Los Glaciares National Park, taking in the impressive Perito Moreno glacier.

· Amazon: APT continues to offer its popular and exclusive luxury Amazon river cruises aboard the 28-suite Delfin II, with guests spending three nights exploring the bountiful wildlife on these waterways. Highlights include swimming with pink dolphins, hiking through rainforest, cruising on a skiff through inaccessible tributaries and visiting a riverside community to gain insight into the local way of life.

· Chilean Fjords and Antarctica: Expedition cruising at its finest, APT guests sail aboard either the Sea Explorer or the MS Zaandam, exploring the frozen wilderness of these remote destinations.

Luxury Hotels

· Explore Ecuador – Quito and Mashpi Cloud Forest: New for 2015, APT guests have the chance to explore the heart of Ecuador, staying in two of its most stylish and luxurious hotels. Guests spend two nights at Casa Gangotera in Quito, a newly restored historic mansion; while at award-winning eco resort, Mashpi Lodge, APT guests have exclusive access to this property situated in a private 3,000 acre reserve in one of the world's most bio-diverse cloud forests. During their two-night stay at this boutique 22-suite property guests enjoy jungle treks, gondola rides and the chance to spot some of the world's most breathtaking wildlife.

· Santiago: New for 2015 is the Singular Santiago, a brand new luxury hotel located in the historic Lastarria neighbourhood in the heart of downtown Santiago.

· Patagonia: Also new for 2015 is the addition of the Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa to APT's portfolio.

APT continues to offer rail journeys aboard PeruRail's Vistadome (Cusco to Machu Picchu return) and the Andean Explorer (Cusco to Puno); as well as offering a wealth of Signature Experiences and Freedom of Choice™ sightseeing.

Sightseeing highlights include a trip to Rojo Tango, the best tango show in Buenos Aires, followed by a visit to Café Tortoni; the chance to spend time at a local school at Lake Titicaca; visiting a Peruvian Family for a home hosted lunch; an overnight stay at Machu Picchu; and a visit to UNESCO listed port town, Valparaiso.

Commenting on the new South America program for 2015, APT's General Manager Marketing and Sales, Debra Fox, said, "South America has it all – sensational wildlife, contrasting landscapes, fascinating culture and colourful adventure. It is a must-visit destination for our guests and it's growing in popularity. We've enhanced our program considerably for 2015, offering more highlights and extensions so that guests have more flexibility to tailor their trip to include everything they want to see."

The most popular itinerary remains the 20-day Best of South America tour, from Santiago in Chile to Lima in Peru. For 2015, this will be priced from $12,495 per person, twin share, and includes iconic destinations including Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Lima, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

APT's all inclusive offering means that up to six internal flights, accommodation, meals, sightseeing, APT cruise and tour directors, tipping, porterage and transfers are included in the price of each trip.

For 2015, APT is offering a range of SuperDeals, including a 'Companion Fly Free' offer when two people book a South America Holiday and flights with APT on the same date; a 'Solo Traveller' offer whereby guests travelling alone will receive a $1,400 air credit to use towards their flights when they book their holiday and flights through APT; and a 'Business Class' offer whereby guests can fly business class return from Australia to South America from $5,595 per person.

To book an APT South America Small Group Journey in 2015 call 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local business development manager.




 
 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The American Adventure is top of the list for Aussie Travellers

1156469_77148863_GoldenGate smallSTA Travel today revealed the USA has surged in popularity among Australian travellers, with the number of people journeying across the Pacific jumping 17.5% in 2013.

This comes on top of 11.9% rise in 2012 which highlights America’s ever-growing appeal to Australians. The US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries has also projected almost 1.26 million Australians will travel to the US in 2014. If numbers continue to grow as predicted over 1.5 million Aussies will be making the trip in 2017.
New York also recently snapped up the number one position as the most desirable travel destination in STA Travel’s annual liberty_new_york_shutterstock_110632307 smallAustralian traveller survey of 2,616 Australians. This is no surprise seeing as though the city, which is well-known as being like no other city, lured 8.5% more Australians in 2013 and for the past three years it came in 4th most popular in departures.
“We are expecting New York to attract even more Aussie tourists in 2014. With world famous tourist attractions, nightlife, events, shopping and cuisine, Australians are increasingly inspired to travel to the USA and experience the city that never sleeps for themselves,” said David Green, Managing Director, STA Travel Australia. “These figures are really exciting and make our partnership with Brand USA all the more important in 2014.”
The rising popularity may also have been spurred by Australians enjoying less expensive travel to the USA; return flights to Los NewYork_shutterstock_38374108 smallAngeles are currently at record lows with return prices dropping as low as $829. While the Australian dollar has dipped since its all-time high of $1.10 in July 2011, it is currently sitting just above 90 cents. This is still a strong exchange rate compared to historical averages of around 76 cents and continues to encourage those Australians who like to hit the shops in the USA to stock up on retail goods that are generally available at cheaper prices than in Australia.
More Australians than ever before are also shunning the hordes of tourists and higher prices that characterise the peak summer months by getting hot for cold American destinations. This is reflected in figures showing a 63% increase in the number of STA Travel customers going on a tour during the USA winter, including popular seasonal trips like New Years in New York.
Another emerging trend is for Australians to stay in the USA for longer, sometimes for a month or more, and this has resulted in STA Travel seeing a rise of 57% in bookings for trips that span the massive country from coast to coast.STA_Final-2121 small
“Many Aussie travellers are realising that America is very large and diverse and has much more than just its sprawling and famous metropolis’ to offer,” added Green. “They are travelling to the U.S for longer so they can explore further afield than the big cities in order to discover the many National Parks, small towns and road tripping all those long roads.”
STA Travel works with Brand USA to encourage travellers to journey to the United States and recently held a competition which sent three groups of winners from around the globe on a 43 day Uncover Discover USA Road Trip. The lucky travellers were accompanied by a professional film crew who recorded their journey. You can follow their road trip at youtube.com/statravel.
For more information about STA Travel and Brand USA visit: http://www.statravel.com.

Mamaison Hotels Nominated for Six World Travel Awards

Mamaison Hotels And Residences Hotel Imperial PastMamaison Hotels & Residences have a lot to celebrate this April. Along with a wealth of interesting events, and special promotions, offered to guests for a great Spring vacation, the chain is also marking 10 years in business for Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague, Hotel Le Regina Warsaw and Residence Sulekova Bratislava, and 110 years since the official opening of Mamaison Business & Conference Hotel Imperial Ostrava.

Built by the renowned Moravian-Ostrava company Mihatsch & Ulrich, Hotel Imperial Ostrava welcomed its first guests onJanuary 1, 1904. Just as it stood back in 1904, "in the best place in the city," today's Hotel Imperial enjoys the same ideal location, close to some of the city's most popular attractions, at heart of Ostrava's city centre, right at the beginning of the pedestrian zone.
Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague is a historic edifice too, erected in the 1770s by architect Jan Josef Wirch, for Hubert Karel Pachtaof Rajov, and his wife. After serving as a private residence for many years, the palace was restored, and converted into the outstanding hotel you see today, one of the finest in all Prague.Mamaison Hotels And Residences Entrance
Set within the 18th century Mokrowski Palace, Hotel Le Regina Warsaw is the third palatial Mamaison property celebrated in 2014. The hotel is furnished to satisfy any luxury craving sensibility, and is located at the edge of Warsaw's Old Town.
"All Mamaison Hotels rank among the finest boutique hotels and residences in their specific cities, a promise of quality we continue to build upon season after season," explained Christian Kettlitz, CEO of Mamaison Hotels and Residences. "Our value proposition is also reflected by recent nominations for several Mamaison Hotels to receive various prizes by the World Travel Awards" he added.
Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague, which won WTA's Czech Republic's Leading Boutique Hotel award in 2011 and 2013, is again nominated this year. Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow is nominated for both Russia's Leading Boutique Hotel 2014 and Russia's Leading Hotel Residences 2014; Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava is among the finalists for Slovakia's Leading Hotel Residences 2014; Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw is a Poland's Leading Hotel 2014 nominee; and Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest is running for the Hungary's Leading Hotel 2014 award.

The 3rd Bangkok Bike Show all set to promote eco-friendly travel in Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is lending its support to the Bangkok Bike 2014, to be held from 1-4 May at the Exhibition Hall, Impact Arena Exhibition and Convention Centre, Muang Thong Thani.

Now in its third year, the event is set to be Thailand’s largest edutainment bike festival for local and international bike lovers and riders. It is also aimed to promote safe and eco-friendly travel in the kingdom under the “Change Your Life Change to Ride” theme, which will reflect the line of bicycle or bike products on offer and activities scheduled during the four-day period.
unnamed (29)
Mrs. Vilaiwan Twichasri, Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Businessof TATsaid, “Bike riding is one of the popular activities when it comes to eco-friendly travel and green tourism. It is energy-saving and harmless to the environment, as well as promotes good health for the riders.  As the world is moving towards green tourism, we recognise the importance of the environmental-friendly way of travel, and promoting bike riding as a way of getting around attractions in Thailand is just one of our many initiatives towards sustainable tourism development.”
During the four-day Bangkok Bike 2014, which take places daily from 10:00 – 21:00 hrs., there will be more than 100 booths exhibiting and selling various kinds of bikes and related products and services in four distinctive zones.
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The Bike Zone will highlight bikes, bike accessories and equipment from leading brands and dealers. The Biker Style Zone will feature all bike-related cloths and accessories. The Biker Gadget Zone will boast all bike-related gadgets; such as, a specially-designed camera for bike riders. The Biker Trip Zone will features packages and offers from hotels, resorts and bike sanctuaries in Thailand.
In addition, there will be seminars and educational forums on bike riding and eco-friendly travel by professional bike riders, as well as many fun games and lucky draws. Bike lovers and riders will also be treated to special bike lanes to get around the exhibition hall, indoor bike park and exclusive bike parking for visitors who get to the venue by bike.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Her Majesty The Queen set to officially open the new Terminal 2 on 23 June 2014

Heathrow today unveiled Slipstream, by renowned British artist Richard Wilson, which is set to become one of Britain’s most viewed public sculptures, seen by 20 million passengers a year.

Slipstream by Richard Wilson RA was commissioned by Heathrow to welcome passengers to the UK’s hub airport and has been curated by public arts agency Futurecity. Weighing 77 tonnes and measuring 78 metres, the sculpture’s twisting aluminium form is inspired by the world of aviation and captures the imagined flight path of a small stunt plane. For Wilson, the work is a response to the artistic challenge of capturing movement and a metaphor for travel; it aims to capture velocity, acceleration and deceleration in its twists and turns.
Wilson is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors and draws inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction. Like so displaymediamany of Wilson’s large scale works, Slipstream responds to and is integral to the surrounding architecture. The work is supported by four structural columns and is suspended 18 metres above the ground as it carves through the entrance court of Terminal 2.
The old Terminal 2, opened by The Queen in 1955, was demolished after 54 years of service. It was Heathrow's first terminal, originally called the "Europa Building" and was designed to deal with 1.2 million passengers a year. By the time it closed in 2009 it was handling 8 million passengers a year. Heathrow has invited Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to officially open her new Terminal on the 23 June.
The new Terminal 2 is part of the Heathrow’s on-going transformation and is a £2.5 billion development by luis vidal + architects which has taken five years to complete. As well as a spacious new Covered Court connecting the main transport links to the Terminal, the building is characterised by an undulating steel framed roof which floods the building with natural light. Spanish architect Luis Vidal is internationally renowned for his ambitious airport designs and the objective for Terminal 2 was to create a space that would be a destination in itself. Passenger experience and comfort have been placed at the centre of the design process which emphasises natural lighting and intuitive way-finding.
Terminal 2 will be a new international gateway for the UK, a home to 23 Star Alliance airlines as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings carriers.
Slipstream will be the first and last impression of the United Kingdom for passengers travelling through Terminal 2 and this ambitious sculpture took over two years to create. To make it a reality, Wilson enlisted structural engineers Price & Myers and specialist Hull-based fabricators Commercial Systems International (CSI). The sculpture was manufactured in Hull in 23 giant sections where it formed part of the successful bid for Hull City of Culture 2017. It was then transported, piece by piece, to Heathrow in June 2013.
Richard Wilson commented “After over two years of hard work I am delighted to see Slipstream finally unveiled in Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 : The Queen’s Terminal today. Slipstream is my largest sculpture to date and I have enjoyed the challenge of working on such a monumental scale and also working alongside such inventive engineers to realise this work. Slipstream is a metaphor for travel, it is a time-based work that responds to its location and I feel honoured that Slipstream will go on to be seen by millions of visitors travelling to and from the UK each year”.
Concept and lead architect, Luis Vidal commented, “Terminal 2 was designed to be a destination in itself. LVA’s objective was to attract passengers to arrive earlier than their departure time in order to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and experience the wide range of amenities, services and retail Terminal 2 has to offer.”
Heathrow’s Development Director, John Holland-Kaye commented, “We are proud that Her Majesty The Queen has agreed to officially open Terminal 2 : The Queen's Terminal, the latest stage in Heathrow’s £11billion transformation. The new Terminal 2 stands on the site of the previous Queen’s Building, and the official opening on 23 June recognises the long association with Her Majesty The Queen. We are also very proud that the commission for Slipstream, which will be a feature of the new terminal, was won by distinguished British artist, Richard Wilson, working with a British architectural company, Price & Meyers, and an engineering company, CSI, based in Hull, all truly representing the best of modern Britain .”
Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance said, “In June this year we will ring in a new era for our customers, member carriers and employees at London Heathrow. The purpose built Terminal 2 : The Queen’s Terminal - will be our home and will offer a superior travel experience to our customers, create new business opportunities for our member carriers and provide an improved working environment for employees.”

Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Iconic Sheraton Brand Celebrates Return To Melbourne With Grand Opening Event

Sheraton Melbourne Hotel, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), last night marked their official opening with a glamorous launch party attended by 200 VIPs, dignitaries, celebrities and corporate guests.

Victorian Premier, the Hon Dr Denis Napthine, MP joined key Sheraton Melbourne Hotel staff, Starwood Hotels and Resorts representatives, hotel owners - Golden Age Development Group, as well as the acting consul general of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China to officially unveil the hotel’s opening plaque. image005
The Honourable Dr Denis Napthine, MP, Premier of Victoria said “It’s fantastic to see the Sheraton name return to Melbourne after a nine-year absence.”
He added, “This new hotel will not only be a major drawcard for tourists who are visiting Victoria for one of our world-renowned major events, but also for business with the facility also featuring a floor for conference and convention facilities capable of hosting more than 200 people.”
“We are proud to have opened this new hotel under the Sheraton flag, the fifth in Australia" commented general manager Hal Philp. “Our grand unveiling was a fitting launch and we were delighted that we were joined by so many Melbourne dignitaries and VIPs.”
Sheraton guests mingled in the Ballroom among deluxe food stations, offering an assortment of delicacies and unique culinary offerings together with exclusive wines of the world.
News.com.au Editor at Large and media commentator, Melissa Hoyer MC’d the exclusive event and welcomed VIP’s and celebrities.
Owned by Golden Age Development Group, the hotel marks the return of the iconic Sheraton brand to Melbourne after nearly a decade and is the first of five Sheraton hotels to open in the Pacific region in 2014.

Get Inspired! Santa Barbara Celebrates Public Gardens in May: Santa Barbara Public Gardens Group Offers County-Wide Activities Throughout May 2014

“Get inspired!” is the rallying cry heard from Santa Barbara's many public gardens, who have collaborated to offer special tours, free admission, exhibits, lectures, and other activities in conjunction with not only National Public Gardens Day on Friday, May 9, 2014, but also for the whole month of May at various locations in Santa Barbara County.


There's So Much to Do and See for FREE in May!As part of Santa Barbara Public Gardens Appreciation Month, the public is invited to attend a myriad of activities which encourage the community to explore the diverse gardens Santa Barbara is lucky to have in its county.  There is something for everyone!  Including:
  • Docent-led garden tours, flowers shows, and special exhibits
  • Special “garden design” tour of Casa del Herrero
  • Once-in-a-lifetime events such as “Cacti & Cocktails” at Lotusland
  • Garden Talks - learn about everything from bees to water conservation to historical presentations
  • Hands-on activities such as the Bonsai Workshop at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Family friendly activities - craft projects, bird-watching, tree walks and other fun
For a complete list of activities please visit www.sbpublicgardens.org.
National Public Gardens Day is Friday, May 9, 2014
Get outside and celebrate!  Sponsored nationally by American Public Gardens Association (APGA), National Public Gardens Day showcases the contributions of these incredible spaces with special events throughout our community. Admission to locations is available by downloading a coupon at:http://nationalpublicgardensday.org/
“Garden City, USA”With the support of Santa Barbara Beautiful and Visit Santa Barbara the collaboration hopes the effort will ultimately become a year-round marketing vehicle for promoting Santa Barbara County as an elite garden destination for horticultural tourism.
“Santa Barbara Public Gardens Partnership is a county-wide collaboration whose mission is to promote awareness of our unique and inspiring public gardens, celebrate their beauty and benefits, and encourage their year-round enjoyment by visitors and residents of the Santa Barbara community.”

Santa Barbara Public Gardens Partnership includes: Casa del Herrero, City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation, Ganna Walska Lotusland, Rancho La Patera & Stow House, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program, Santa Barbara Visitors Center, Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens, Visit Santa Barbara, Simpson House Inn, Cactus & Succulent Society, Santa Barbara Garden Club, Old Mission Santa Barbara, and UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County.  Sponsors include: KEYT, Montecito JournalSanta Barbara SentinelSanta Barbara IndependentSanta Barbara News-Press, Noozhawk, Casa Magazine, Parentclick.com, MTD, California Cut Flower Commission, Ocean View Flowers, and PIP Printing.
The Partnership will continue to build on its success for years to come as a grassroots, public gardens collaboration dedicated to the exploration of and connection to nature through community engagement.
A Little History on the CollaborationThe genesis of the future NPGD steering committee was created in 2011 by Molly Barker, Gwen Stauffer, and Steve Windhager, Executive Directors of Casa del Herrero, Ganna Walska Lotusland, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, respectively. Always on the lookout for promotional opportunities to leverage their messages and visibility, and aware that each venue had more to gain by working together than apart, the seed of an idea was born.
As the 2012 NPGD approached, the three brainstormed ways to make the day a multi-garden event. Looking outward into the community, they realized other organizations, (such as City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation, and Santa Barbara Zoo) also represented gardens and green spaces and took an inclusive approach with the broadest possible definition of what constitutes a “public garden”.  Like-minded organizations such as UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County were also brought into the fray and provided valuable resources in the form of expertise and docent-volunteers. Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara Beautiful, and the PARC Foundation all came on-board as local sponsors and provided financial support which made the first year possible.
To arrange interviews, request high-res images or broadcast quality B-roll, please call Joni Kelly, 805-682-4726 ext. 132 or 805-886-1869. For more information about National Public Gardens Day, visit www.nationalpublicgardensday.org. Visitwww.sbpublicgardens.org for information on how to participate locally.

Four Seasons unveils hotel industry's first fully branded jet

#FSJet
Four Season's branded B757
 The sky is literally the new limit as Four Seasons continues to reimagine luxury hospitality with the introduction of the Four Seasons Jet, the industry's first fully branded private jet experience.

With Four Seasons on the fuselage and the iconic Four Seasons logo on the tail, the completely retrofitted Boeing 757 will feature interiors and exterior design customized by the company's team of design experts, setting the stage for a travel experience like no other. Beginning in February 2015, the Four Seasons Jet will transport 52 guests on bespoke journeys, offering discerning travellers a distinctly Four Seasons travel experience from the moment they book their trip. Four Seasons in-flight staff, including a dedicated on-board concierge, will coordinate with local Four Seasons concierges in each destination to ensure that the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience is nothing short of extraordinary.

“Taking our legendary service to the skies is a natural extension of what we've been doing in our hotels for more than 50 years,” says Susan Helstab, Executive Vice President Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The Four Seasons Jet showcases the unforgettable people and experiences that make Four Seasons unique. It speaks to our pioneering spirit and the aspirations of today's modern luxury traveller in an imaginative new way.”

Individually handcrafted leather flatbed seats
An ambition to reimagine the future of luxury hospitality is what first inspired the company to create private jet journeys that focused exclusively on stays at Four Seasons properties worldwide in 2012. Now, with the debut of a fully branded Four Seasons Jet, guests can look forward to individually handcrafted leather flatbed seats, globally inspired cuisine and signature Four Seasons service – on board and on the ground. Global in-flight Wi-Fi keeps guests and staff connected, so that spa treatments, tee times, private excursions and more can be arranged “on the fly” to augment each thoughtfully planned itinerary. Travellers will also have access to exclusive experiences available only to Four Seasons Jet passengers.

“The decision to offer one-of-a-kind trips aboard a custom-designed Four Seasons Jet reflects an understanding of our guests' evolving needs and preferences,” continues Helstab. “It recognizes their desire to pair adventure and discovery with the luxury of a fully immersive Four Seasons experience.”

Reservations aboard the new Four Seasons Jet are currently open for the following trips:

Around the World, February 2015 – Beginning in Los Angeles and concluding with a celebratory dinner in London, this 24-day, 9-destination journey explores dynamic cities, exotic islands, architectural wonders and awe-inspiring natural environments. Highlighted by an only-by-private-jet stop at the Taj Mahal, all accommodations will be at Four Seasons hotels and resorts.

Backstage with the Arts, April 2015 – In the company of like-minded travellers who share a passion for the arts, guests will visit six cities and spend 16 indulgent days filled with backstage visits to Europe's most stunning museums, outstanding performances at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Estates Theatre in Prague, exquisite dinners and a private gala in the Pavlovsk Palace outside St. Petersburg.

Around the World, August 2015 – Epic is the word to describe this globe-circling expedition through nine destinations, including stays in three of the newest Four Seasons hotels, plus the brand's very first safari lodge in the Serengeti. From the Forbidden City in Beijing to the medina in Marrakech, the pristine waters of the Maldives to the excitement of the world's largest fish market in Tokyo and a final, glittering dinner in New York, it will be 24 days no one will ever forget.

Each journey includes air travel and ground transportation, planned excursions, all meals throughout the trip and luxurious accommodations exclusively at Four Seasons.

The Four Seasons Jet, including accompanying staff and crew, may also be privately chartered.

To learn more visit fourseasons.com/jet and follow the #FSJet hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news, updates and insider glimpses of the Four Seasons Jet.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New X2 River Kwai Resort to open in July 2014

LuXe Cabin (10)Asia-Pacific hotel management, development and consulting group, Boutique Hospitality Management Asia (BHMAsia) has announced the opening of a new design resort X2 River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

X2 River Kwai is due to open in July 2014 with 8 luxurious cabins, with plan to add 18 more villas to the project in mid 2015.
“I am very excited about the addition of X2 River Kwai,” said BHMAsia’s CEO and founder of X2 Mr. Anthony McDonald. “If you love design hotels and are a fan of X2 Resorts, you will fall in love at first sight with this property. It is what we call Industrial Chic Design, (it is) beautiful, sexy and strong and gives you the feeling of freedom which you can find in all X2 properties. The owner worked with Thailand’s top architect and designer team, Agaligo Studio, to bring out the key features of Kanchanaburi and LuXe Cabin (9)translated into the resort’s design. Recently, the feedback has been very positive from the future guests and media, as we have already received quite a number of bookings and media inquiries for this property. Our team has been working hard to get everything ready for the resort’s opening in July,” enthuses Mr. McDonald.
X2 River Kwai is located at the most beautiful stretch of the Kwai Noi River with its spectacular view and backdrop of mountain ranges and blue sky.  Traveling to the resort, one will pass-by rice paddy fields, sugar cane plantations, local temples and villages which are the signature scenery of Kanchanaburi. The resort is located on 2 acres (6 Rai) of prime riverside location with every room offering uninterrupted panoramic river views over the idyllic countryside.
Kanchanaburi is the largest of the western provinces of Thailand. It is frequented by tourists who have been attracted by its long history and ancient civilizations, a location of the Bridge over the River Kwai and scene of the World War II historic. The province is also known for its natural attractions such as forests, mountains, caves and waterfalls. The town really gained fame after WWII when the Japanese soldiers used it as a base camp for the POWs to build the notorious Thai-Burma Railway and the well-known bridge over the River Kwai.  The story was featured in the 1957 Hollywood produced movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” which won 7 LuXe Cabin (4)academy awards.  Another film about this historical event is “The Railway Man” which was shot mainly in the actual locations in Kanchanaburi and will be screening in 2014.
X2 River Kwai consists of 8 rooms in five types; PoolXide Cabin, Deluxe PoolXide Cabin, PoolXide Cabin Suite, LuXe Cabin and LuXe Cabin Suite- all facing the spectacular Kwai Noi River. The facilities include a river view restaurant with an outdoor deck, The Bridge Bar & Bistro, library, an infinity riverfront pool with sun lounges and sun beds, bicycles on loan, free wifi in all common areas, guarded car park, in-room massage and iPads on loan. For guests’ safety, CCTVs are installed in all critical areas and there are 24 hour security guards.
For guests that appreciate a contemporary difference, X2 allows you to cross to [X2] a new dimension of luxury by design and to experience life as it should be. Like all X2 design hotel properties, X2 River Kwai is designed and built with a primary goal that they must “satisfy the spirit”. This is partly achieved via architectural design, but more importantly through natural beauty of the location and the meshing of the structures with the canvas provided by nature.
Special Offer: Experience the brand new X2 River Kwai design hotel before others. Take advantage of the introductory rates at 5,500 Baht for a one-night stay or 10,000 Baht for a two-night stay in LuXe Cabin including Champagne Breakfast for two. Book this special offer now until 31 July 2014 and stay between 1 July and 30 November 2014. For more information and reservation, emailbook.rk@X2resorts.com , call +66 (0) 2168 7533 or visit www.X2LOBBY.com.

Bali Golf Paradise launched to promote golf tourism

Bali, the island of the Gods, is also the island of Golf.
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This reality, not widely known or appreciated outside Indonesia, is to be promoted internationally following the launch of a new co-operative marketing initiative, Bali Golf Paradise.
Comprising Bali’s three leading golf courses, two hotels/resorts and a golf academy, Bali Golf Paradise is reaching out to golfers in Asia Pacific and further afield who are seeking a new, different, exotic golf holiday.
“Bali is known around the world for its culture, beaches, spas, surfing and friendly people, but not as much for golf,” says Ivan Casadevall, General Manager of Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, one of five founding members of Bali Golf Paradise.
“By coming together in this way, we would like the international golf community to know Bali as one of Asia Pacific’s great golf destinations. The courses are world class and within easy reach of all the main tourism areas. Bali is ideally located, just a few hours flying time from Australia/New Zealand, as well as north and south-east Asian markets.
unnamed (9)“Playing golf in Bali is affordable, enjoyable and uplifting, with superb coastal scenery and a rich local heritage on all three courses. Attractive golf packages are available that include sightseeing and fascinating activities; for non-golfers accompanying golf-playing partners, there is no better place to come than Bali, a true paradise.”
As well as the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, which features a world-renowned Greg Norman-designed golf course, other members of Bali Golf Paradise are Bali National Golf Club at Nusa Dua, New Kuta Golf Club, the nearby Lexington New Kuta Hotel at Pecatu, and the Golf Academy Bali, an onsite teaching facility at New Kuta Golf Club.
For 20 years since opening in 1994, Nirwana Golf Club at Tanah Lot has been hailed as one of Asia’s best golf courses. This year it was the only course in south-east Asia named in the US Golf Digest list of the world’s top 100 courses and for the past three years has been voted Indonesia’s best signature golf resort.
The Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort, around which the golf course is built, has 278 rooms including suites and villas.
Bali National Golf Club, formerly Bali Golf and Country Club, is located at Nusa Dua, close to numerous upmarket beachside resorts. Revamped over the past 18 months with new fairways, greens and bunkering, it boasts an impressive new clubhouse and three of the best finishing holes in Asia, including a TPC Sawgrass-inspired island green on the 17th hole.
New Kuta Golf Club, designed by American, Ronald Fream, is Bali’s newest course. Located in the Pecatu region of South Kuta, it is set above a soaring limestone cliff facing the Indian Ocean. New Kuta was named Indonesia’s best golf resort in 2009/10 and 2013/14.
The Lexington New Kuta Hotel has more than 300 rooms, a 24-hour restaurant, large swimming pool, spa and nightclub. Located within the Kawasan Pecatu Indah Resort, it is an ideal base for visitors to New Kuta Golf Club and Uluwatu area’s key attractions including Dreamland beach, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, New Kuta Green Park and Uluwatu Holy Temple.
The Golf Academy Bali is located at New Kuta Golf Club, where British PGA professional, Rory Young, provides lessons from a modern teaching facility. The academy is a sister facility to the Golf Academy Borneo. Both academies and a new facility about to open at Spring City Resort, Kunming, China are owned and operated by British PGA professional, Neil Douglas.
Bali Golf Paradise website: www.baligolfparadise.com

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