Friday, September 19, 2014

Chic surroundings for a Royal Thai set dinner with a glass of wine at Oceana restaurant  

A Royal Thai four-course set dinner, created by a Thai master chef and accompanied by a glass of red or white wine, is available every evening at Oceana restaurant, Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya, priced at only Baht 777 net per person.

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Served in the most chic of surroundings, with a giant aquarium and an open kitchen, the Royal Thai Set Dinner is available between 6.00 and 10.00pm, with the wine selected by the restaurant’s sommelier.

Oceana is at the lobby level of Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya, and serves a full menu of seafood, Thai and international cuisine. The hotel is located in Pattaya’s exclusive Phratamnak Hill district, just a few steps from the beach.

Tosca By Chef Pino Lavarra Sparkles With Culinary Jewelry Inspired By Damiani 90th Anniversary Collection

unnamed (7)Italy is known around the world as a place where fine traditions such as culinary arts and jewelry-making are inherited by today’s brand of craftsmanship and recreated into another level of style and excellence. 

In celebration of jewelry brand Damiani’s 90th Anniversary Collection, a limited edition consisting of ten jewelry pieces inspired by each decade of the brand’s history to date, from gemstones to pearls, has been released.  Nine pieces, numbered 1 to 9, have been created for each jewel to tell the story of the brand through the decades.  These are the Charleston collier, Cascade bracelet, Legend bracelet, Optical earrings, Bloom necklace, Tribute bracelet, Moonshine ring, Damianissima collier and Tassel necklace. 

Michelin-starred Chef Pino Lavarra has created a five-course dinner menu with a modern style that respects and reflects the traditions of the exclusive brand.  “The Damiani 90th Anniversary Celebration” menu, priced at HK$ 1,880 per person, will be available from October 15 – November 30 (except November 6-8) at Tosca at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

The menu starts with a Cascade 1930s-inspired appetizer.  The flow of the alternating black and white diamonds in the bracelet enthused Chef Pino to create Cured Salmon with Beluga Caviar and White Snail Caviar, using an unusual combination of eggs to reflect the art deco style of the collection.  Fettuccelle with Sea Scallops, Lobsters and Tomatoes literally draws out the coloured stones of the floral motif featured in the Bloom 1970s necklace.  Legend 1940s bracelet is designed for a special decade where people preferred austere, military-style fashion.  In remembrance of the period of autarchy when iron was used to imitate gold, Chef Pino created golden Crispy Monkfish with Chickpeas Cream Sauce.  Stewed Oxtail Served on Potato Filled with Foie Gras is the artistic highlight of the menu, combining a traditional recipe and a contemporary presentation featuring large circles inspired by the collection, which truly reflects the essence of Optical 1960s earrings, graphic designs and pop art.  The high point of the menu is also represented by the dessert, Chocolate Ring Hazelnuts with Five Spices Sauce, which denotes the special hand-cut amethyst, citrine, Madera quartz and prasiolite of the Tribute 1980s bracelet.  For full menu, please refer to the appendix.

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“The culinary preparations are quite complicated for this special menu,” said Chef Pino Lavarra.  “On top of a good balance of taste and flavor pairings, everything served has to be a picture-perfect arrangement to be a fitting tribute to the craftsmanship of Damiani’s goldsmiths over the years.  All dishes are tastefully prepared, their shapes and colors complementing one another.  For me, this experience is also like crafting culinary jewelry for the pleasure of the eyes.  I want to use this opportunity to offer the greatest expression of Italian quality in terms of the finest things in life”.

Guests can also indulge in the special menu while relaxing at the highest hotel in the world with a special rate for the Deluxe Suite at HK$ 9, 880 per suite per night, includes “The Damiani 90th Anniversary Celebration” menu for two persons per stay.  The special package will be available from October 15 – November 30 (except November 6-8).

All prices are subject to availability and 10% service charge.  For Tosca reservations, please contact Restaurant Reservations at (852) 2263 2270 or via email; for room reservations, please contact Room Reservations at (852) 2263 2100 or via email

Chef Pino Lavarra
Hailing from Italy to helm Tosca at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, two-star Michelin Chef Pino Lavarra has a wealth of experience working in renowned hotels and restaurants around the globe.  His gastronomic talents have earned him prestigious recognition including “One of the Best Chefs in the World” by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.  Tosca was honored with one Michelin star only eight months after Chef Pino took over as director. Chef Pino, Cucina d’autore extraordinaire, presents Italian cuisine in an innovative style, creating a gastronomic memory at Tosca that will last a lifetime.

Discover the World Cruising & Hurtigruten offer 50% off 2nd Passenger Fares on the ultimate fjord experiences

Discover the World Cruising is offering significant savings per couple with 50% off the Second Passenger* on Hurtigruten’s ultimate fjord experiences!

Book either the 10 Day The Norwegian Fjords or 12 Day Fjord Highlights Viking Trail voyages and for a limited time guests will receive 50% off 2nd passenger fares!

Explore Norway onboard The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage

The Norwegian Fjords – 10 Days/9 Nights
This voyage starts in Dover, England and gives guests the ultimate fjord experience. Guests can enjoy many of Norway's most beautiful fjords including Lysefjord, Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord, witness the extraordinary coastal landscape, and visit picturesque villages and stave churches where the scenery and cultural heritage have held visitors spellbound for centuries. The unique voyage gives guests the opportunity to experience the spectacular Norwegian Fjords and Norway's south west coast. Guests on board have the opportunity to attend lectures from Hurtigruten’s experienced expedition team.
The Norwegian Fjords voyage departs 01 May 2015. 1st passenger fares start from $3,850 and 2nd Passenger fares start from $1,925. Prices based on inside cabin, per person/twin share.

Fjord Highlights and The Viking Trail – 12 Days/11 Nights
Discover Norway's breathtaking fjords, including Hardangerfjord, Sognefjord and Nordfjord with their spectacular nature and picturesque villages before crossing the North Sea and heading into the wild beauty of the Orkneys and Shetlands. The voyage then takes guests to the Faroe Islands before coming to an end in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. The unique voyage gives guests the opportunity to experience the spectacular Norwegian Fjords and follow in the footsteps of the Vikings with great guidance and information given by Hurtigruten’s experienced expedition team.

The Fjord Highlights and The Viking Trail voyage departs 12 May 2015. 1st passenger fares start from $4,590 and 2nd Passenger fares start from $2,295. Prices based on inside cabin, per person/twin share.

For more information or to make a booking contact your local Travel Agent or Discover the World Cruising on 1800 OCEANS (180 623 267) or email

* 50% off second guest special offer is valid for new bookings only. Hurtigruten voyage fares operate on a dynamic flexible pricing system, whereby the earlier you book, the greater the saving on your voyage fare. Applicable for double, triple and 4 berth cabins, with a minimum of 1 full paying adult per cabin. 

Subject to availability at time of booking, is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Promotional offer is not combinable with any other offer unless otherwise stated.

Spring into Queensland with a raft of sporting events

New thrill ride and slide for Dream world

Head spins are bound to happen when Dreamworld's newest thrill ride, Tail Spin, opens this September and adds one more white-knuckle ride to the lineup of what is now Dreamworld's Big 9 Thrill Rides.

A first of its kind in Australia, Tail Spin is made up of 12 mini rider-operated aeroplanes that not only hurl thrill seekers 22 metres into the sky, but also allow riders to customise their own manoeuvres and control the speed of each plane's 360-degree spin. Manoeuvres range from gentle rocking to intense spirals that push the boundaries of adventure.

Dreamworld's sister park, WhiteWater World, will also unveil the Triple Vortex water slide these school holidays. The 145-metre tube winds riders through dark serpentine tunnels and comes with a maximum drench factor of five, as rated by operators. Adrenaline chasers can slide through the three funnels on a two person raft to enjoy the rush together.

Both attractions are set to open on 20 September 2014 on the Gold Coast.

Further information:
Rates: Unlimited World Pass tickets are available online at $79.99 per child (3-13 years old/under 3 enter free) and $99.99 per adult.

Village Roadshow launches little adventures

Village Roadshow Theme Parks on the Gold Coast have downsized some of their most popular attractions with the single aim of upsizing fun for little ones.

Wet'n'Wild Junior, a miniature water adventure that replicates some of the celebrated slides from the original Wet'n'Wild water park features a pint-sized recreation of the Tornado and the Aqua Races as well as a junior version of a multi-level interactive play area with eight slides and a giant tipping bucket.

Meanwhile Warner Bros. Movie World is set to open Junior Driving School, a multi-million dollar pocket-sized driving attraction that targets young families. The all-new super-fun driving course teaches children about driving and seatbelt safety while they motor down an impression of Main Street in their own mini electric car. After successfully completing driver training, mini motorists earn a Movie World Junior Driving School Souvenir license, even before their P-plates.

Both attractions are set to open in September 2014 on the Gold Coast.

Further information:
Rates: VIP Magic Pass is $99.99 for children (three years and above) and adults, with unlimited entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild until 30 June 2015.

Turtle Beach splashtacular new waterpark

Turtle Beach Resort on the Gold Coast has launched a $1 million kids waterpark called Splash Zone. Standing seven metres tall, the structure features water slides, water cannons, interactive play structures, and a 'Big Bucket' that drenches water over swimmers below.

The waterpark is exclusively for Turtle Beach Resort guests, and children from three to 14 years of age can enjoy splashing it out this spring.

Further information:
Rates: A 2-bedroom apartment with a minimum of three nights stay, starts at $229 per night inclusive of a complimentary Club Turtle kids club session per child (4- 12 years old). Apartments accommodate two adults and two children.

Million-dollar makeover for Brisbane's Streets Beach

Australia's only inner-city man-made beach, located in South Bank, recently re-opened to the public following a $1.72 million facelift designed to improve safety and accessibility. The popular destination is now equipped with new paving, decking, seating, umbrellas, fresh landscaping and new children's play equipment.

Lifeguards patrol the beach daily from 7am to 5pm.

Further information:

Airlie Beach One Stinninh Ocean View

Nestled midway between Airlie Beach and Abell Point Marina, the brand new One Ocean View holiday home offers four luxurious suites to match its commanding views over the Whitsunday Passage and the Coral Sea.

Ideal for families with young adults, a group of friends, or independently travelling couples, One Ocean View is set on 2,000 square metres of land and comes with floor-to-ceiling oversized glass windows, a 20 metre wet-edge pool, an outdoor dining area and a private cinema. Guests can self cater, stroll down to the local restaurants or enjoy gourmet dinners prepared onsite by the owners using fresh, local produce.

Further information:
Rates: Each of the four suites can accommodate up to two guests and rates start from $350 per night. Prices include a poolside breakfast with fresh fruit platters, hot breakfast, and tea and coffee.


Whitsundays new chauffeur service

Nestled midway between Airlie Beach and Abell Point Marina, the brand new One Ocean View holiday home offers four luxurious suites to match its commanding views over the Whitsunday Passage and the Coral Sea.

Ideal for families with young adults, a group of friends, or independently travelling couples, One Ocean View is set on 2,000 square metres of land and comes with floor-to-ceiling oversized glass windows, a 20 metre wet-edge pool, an outdoor dining area and a private cinema. Guests can self cater, stroll down to the local restaurants or enjoy gourmet dinners prepared onsite by the owners using fresh, local produce.

Further information:
Rates: Each of the four suites can accommodate up to two guests and rates start from $350 per night. Prices include a poolside breakfast with fresh fruit platters, hot breakfast, and tea and coffee.


I spy with my little eye, a new semi-submersible

Delaware North Australia Parks & Resorts, operators of Heron Island, recently launched a semi-submersible called the I-SPY, allowing resort guests to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef through underwater windows without getting wet.

During the one hour reef adventure, a fully-trained tour-guide provides informative commentary while visitors view marine creatures like the Green and Loggerhead turtles, manta rays, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.

Further information:
Rates: $50 per adult and $35 per child for a one-hour guided tour. Suitable for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult


2015 The Ghan ANZAC journey from Darwin to Adelaide on sale now through Great Southern Rail

Next ANZAC Day, The Ghan will embark on its fifth annual ANZAC Tribute journey (April 23-26) commemorating the role of our servicemen and women in all major conflicts.

The Ghan

Marking the centenary of ANZAC, the special four-day journey from Darwin to Adelaide will take guests to Alice Springs to experience an unforgettable and poignant day of commemoration at ANZAC Hill.

The ANZAC Tribute journey will feature:

- Included dining, beverages and touring for all Gold and Platinum Service guests

- Nitmiluk Gorge cruise and a live concert under the stars in Katherine

- Spectacular Outback dinner at the MacDonnell Ranges

- Dawn Service at ANZAC Hill in Alice Springs followed by gunfire breakfast

To be part of the 2015 journey, book through or call 1800 725 993 to speak to a member of the friendly Great Southern Rail team.

The Ghan is a proud supporter of the Returned & Services League of Australia. For every ticket sold on the ANZAC Tribute Journey, $100 is donated to RSL Australia in support of returned and service personnel.

Fares per person one way

Platinum Service: $4849 (adult/pension)

Gold Twin Service: $3599 (adult), $2799 (pension)

Gold Single Service: $3239 (adult), $2519 (pension)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Only one month to go on 2015 Earlybird season for all Europe and France river cruises

There is only one month left to make the most of Scenic Tours’ 2015 Earlybird season on all Europe and France river cruises, which ends on 15 October 2014.


Guests could enjoy savings of up to $5,560 per couple on 2015 Europe and France river cruises with free return flights to Europe, including taxes up to $950 per person.

Michelle Black, GM Sales and Marketing, commented: “With free return flights to Europe, now really is the best time to book. We stand by our Earlybird Philosophy and protect those that book early with us so these deals will never be repeated. We encourage all agents to book their clients onto their chosen river cruise now as there are only four weeks left to enjoy these fantastic savings.”

Due to the high demand and to best facilitate calls to the customer service centre, Scenic Tours will be extending its operating hours for the next four weeks. The centre will be operating from Saturday 20 September to Saturday 11 October inclusive. Times are as follows:

7.30am – 6.00pm AEST Monday to Friday (22 September – 17 October)
9.00am – 1.00pm AEST Saturday (20 September)
9.00am – 2.00pm AEST Saturday (27 September and 4 October)
9.00am – 4.00pm AEST Saturday (11 October)

Call Scenic Tours on 1300 723 642 or visit

Super Saver Promotion 60% off! Book now before they sell out!

Indulge yourself with a luxury getaway at an affordable price. X2 Kui Buri is offering Super Saver promotion with 60% off the normal rate.

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Vacationers can choose their preferred villa type from Deluxe Garden Villa, Deluxe Pool Villa and Deluxe Oceanfront Pool Villa for two or Luxury Pool Villa Suite and Royal Villa for four. Besides the huge discount, the offer comes with daily Champagne Breakfast, 10% off on food & non-alcoholic beverages, 20% off on spa treatment and one time mini-bar replenishment.

The rates start from 4,248 Baht++ for Deluxe Garden Villa, 5,947 Baht++ for Deluxe Pool Villa, 7,647 Baht++ for Deluxe Oceanfront Pool Villa, 13,594 Baht++ for Luxury Pool Villa Suite and 16,992 Baht++ for Royal Villa.

To make your life sweeter, X2 guest can enjoy complimentary snacks & drinks at Sip & Nibble corner between 11 am and 5 pm, daily, at 4K Restaurant & Bar. If you would like to sip a cold drink or have snack by the pool, the resort has Happy Sippy Hours between 4 and 6 pm daily offering 50% discount on drinks at the pool area. Want more? If your stay falls on Friday and Sunday, you are invited to join our exclusive Mojito Welcome party at 6-6.45 pm.

X2 Kui Buri offers guests 23 unique designed style villas, comprising of 1 Royal Villa, 1 Luxury Pool Villa Suite, 2 Deluxe Oceanfront Pool Villas, 15 Deluxe Pool Villas and 4 Deluxe Garden Villas. The villas range from 70 sq.m to 255 sq.m. in size. Furnishings and fixtures in the villas were chosen to be consistent with the X2 concept for luxury in design and function. The resort features a romantic outdoor beachfront swimming pool complete with state of the art facilities and a range of recreational activities; kayaking, boating, fishing, snorkeling, mountain biking and pétanque facilities. All villas feature a full range of home theatre and entertainment options including LCD satellite televisions, movie, music and magazine library and complimentary internet access.

A design resort of more than just beauty and high quality architecture…it is also about its integration with quality of service…..but of an untraditional nature. The Super Saver promotion is valid from now until 20 December 2014. For more information and reservation, visit or email

Garuda Indonesia Launches Two-Day Seat Sale From 19 – 20 September On Flights From Singapore To Jakarta, Bali And Surabaya

Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia’s national carrier, invites travellers to take advantage of the two-day sale from 19 – 20 September to explore Indonesia and beyond.

Valid for travel from 22 September 2014 to 30 June 2015, this sale offers unbeatable value and savings on flights to iconic Indonesia and international destinations.

Garuda Indonesia.jpgFrom just S$198, travellers can soak in the sights and sounds of Jakarta, Indonesia’s bustling capital famous for its food and shopping or visit the world-renowned beaches of Bali from S$238. Nature buffs will be thrilled to know that flights to Surabaya, gateway to the beautiful volcanic landscape of Mount Bromo, starts from S$188.

In addition to these irresistible all-in fares, travellers can also take advantage of the sale to discover other interesting destinations such as Jogjakarta, Lombok, Labuan Bajo and beyond for just S$248 onwards via Jakarta or Bali.

In addition to the special fares, the sale also includes a special gift with purchase offer. Receive a Liverpool Football Club jersey when you book your next 10 trips or more during the sale period (per single traveller name and while stocks last). The national airline of Indonesia became the Club’s Official Airline Partner in 2012.

The fares are available for purchase online from or the Garuda Indonesia sales office from 9am – 5pm at United Square, 101 Thomson Road, #12-03. Terms and conditions apply. Please call the reservation department at +65 6250 2888 for more details.

Passengers who register as GarudaMiles members during the sale period will enjoy a welcome bonus of 1000 miles. GarudaMiles is Garuda Indonesia's frequent flyer programme awarding loyal customers with a wide variety of special benefits and exclusive privileges such as special airport check-in counters, extra baggage allowances, priority baggage handling, priority waitlist on ticket reservations, access to Garuda Indonesia airport lounges, as well as a host of great offers from worldwide partners.

After winning the title "World's Best Regional Airline" in 2012, Garuda Indonesia was named “World’s Best Economy Class” last year and ‘World's Best Airline Cabin Crew’ by Skytrax this year. Garuda Indonesia officially became the 20th member of the SkyTeam alliance in March 2014.

Seahaven Noosa special - Save $100 per night

Seahaven Noosa Raises the Ratings Bar

Seahaven Noosa, the largest beachfront resort in the idyllic tourist spot, is pleased to announce that it has received a 4.5* rating by Star ratings Australia AAA Tourism for its stunning selection of self catering serviced apartments.

Seahaven Noosa has set a new bench mark in the 4.5* category by redefining levels of quality and service - the awarding body were especially impressed with the superiority of linen and beds, furnishing and designs and the all round customer experience.

Seahaven Noosa's Manager Lee-Ann Hay said achieving this prestigious rating truly cements Seahaven as the most opulent holiday destination in Noosa.

"We are thrilled with the announcement of our 4.5* rating, we feel that this accurately reflects our extensive range of facilities, high standard of service that we deliver and the luxury finish of our absolute beachfront resort. This rating confirms what customers and staff have know since our reopening; that Seahaven pushes the boundaries of luxury holidaying and this honour really recognises the dedication of our staff and the quality of the remodel," said Ms Hay.

Located on Noosa's famed Hastings Street, the acclaimed holiday destination has recently under gone a nine month $16 million recreation in which every element of the property was remodelled and modernised.  All beach front self catering apartments boast full kitchens, laundry facilities, spa-baths, barbeques, Foxtel, free in room Wi-Fi, secure parking, luxury furnishings and fittings and direct beach access.

As well as this, Seahaven Noosa's amenities and services include four heated pools and spa, covered beachfront barbeque area, grassed courtyards, onsite gymnasium, daily servicing and a concierge desk which can assist with guest dining and tour bookings.

To celebrate Seahaven Noosa's official 4.5* rating the resort has released the following two travel specials:

Seahaven Noosa Summer Beachfront Mid-Week Specials

Save $100 per night and free Wi-Fi when you book a standard two-bedroom absolute beach-front apartment at the 4.5 star Seahaven Resort Noosa  Sun – Thurs only priced from $450 per night and $495 in a deluxe two bedroom absolute beachfront apartment.

Save 15 per cent and receive and free Wi-Fi when you book a one-bedroom absolute beachfront apartment at Seahaven Noosa priced from $399 per room per night.

The packages are available for travel Sunday to Thursday only from 15th November – 15 December 2014. Terms and conditions apply, to book visit or phone (07) 5447 3422

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Main Events: Melbourne Cup at Story Bridge Hotel

Story Bridge Hotel is the place to celebrate Melbourne Cup this year, with several fantastic events to choose from and each one a guaranteed winner no matter where your horse places!

For the best ‘Trackside Marquee’ off the track, the Shelter Bar and the Outback Bar & Grill have the ultimate day of entertainment planned. For $110 per person, indulge in a four-hour package of premium beverages, delicious canapés and noodle boxes by Executive Chef, Jason Walker, as well as a glass of Pol Roger Champagne on arrival.

There will be a TAB on site to place your punts and sweeps on sale to increase your chances of taking out a win! Plus, dress up in your race day finest for Best Dressed, Best Hat and Best Heels competitions. Enjoy fashion parades and DJ entertainment all afternoon, then kick on with the after-races party into the evening. Festivities begin at 11.30am.

For the most indulgent Melbourne Cup celebration, book your table at Deery’s Restaurant & Smokehouse and enjoy a delectable, four-course lunch, with highlights including:  Smoked Pork Belly with sauté trio of mushrooms, pancetta pangritata, salsa verdeBaked Market Fresh Fish with coconut and lemongrass sauce, red papaya, toasted cashew and Viet mint salsa; and sweet treats such as Espresso Crème Caramel with white chocolate and blueberry nougat and passion fruit sorbet. Tickets are $95 per person and bookings are essential.

Or for the ‘Main Event’, opt for a lavish race day in Main St. Bar & Eatery. For $150 per person, this stylish soiree includes four hours of gourmet canapés and food stations, Pol Roger Champagne on arrival and an extensive premium beverage package. And get into the spirit with big screens to view the race, a TAB on site, Best Dressed competitions, sweeps, lucky door prizes and much more!

Secure your ticket to one of Brisbane’s best Melbourne Cup celebrations this year and contact Story Bridge Hotel now.

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