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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Special Winter Promotions at AIC Hotels in Siem Reap: Tresor d’Ankor Villa and Resort and the Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel

Leading Cambodian hotel and resort manager, Asia Initiative Corporation (AIC), has released some terrific discounts and benefits for guests booking stays on line until the end of November, 2015.



Bookings made for June to September at the luxury Tresor d’Ankor Villa and Resort and the Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap are eligible for a ‘four-night stay and pay for three’ promotion. Included are a one-way airport pickup, daily breakfast plus a 20 per cent discount on in-house massages and a 15 per cent discount on all food and beverage.

The winter special promotion, stay period from 15 Oct - 29 Nov 2015, offers a 15 per cent discount on all room rates, one way airport pick up, daily breakfast, 20 per cent discount on massage, and 15 per cent discount on F&B bills. The discount is only available if booked at: central.booking@asiainitiativecorp.com | direct: +855 17 955 801. Guests need to nominate the hotel name with the promotion title on the booking and the booking period.

The nine villas, 18-room Tresor d’Angkor property opened earlier this year and provides travellers to Cambodia with a new benchmark in stylish, romantic hotel accommodation in the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the Tresor d’Angkor is 10 minutes-drive from the airport and two km away from the city centre. It offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations including Angkor Wat and an easy Remarque (Tuk Tuk) ride to restaurants, the Old Market and Pub Street.

The Angkor Heritage is a short Remarque ride from the Old Market and Pub Street - 15 min drive from Siem Reap International airport and the famous Angkor Archaeological Park that hosts the renowned UNESCO World Heritage site. Offering guests a unique hotel experience in a lush South Asia garden setting, the Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel offers 30 spacious rooms with traditional Cambodian wooden floors, Queen size beds, a separate shower room & bathtub, private balconies with views over the swimming pool and natural tropical gardens

Throughout the year Siem Reap and Cambodia host a variety of festivals and events steeped in culture and religious history and often combined with local public holidays where the whole town relaxes and enjoys the festivities. The most notable is Bonn Om Touk (the Cambodian Water Festival marking the reverse flow of the Tonle Sap River in October/November that attracts large crowds of locals and tourists to the Siem Reap River for the exciting boat races. Also in November, The Pchum Ben festival where people pay their respect to their ancestors, visit the temples and spend time with their families.

To mark these festivals the Tresor d’Angkor and the Angkor Heritage hotels are offering additional promotions. The Pchum Ben festival and October special offer runs from 1 - 30 October 2015. It includes a 25 per cent discount on all room rates booked on central.booking@asiainitiativecorp.com, one way airport pick up, daily breakfasts plus a 20 per cent discount on in-house massages and a 15 per cent discount on all food and beverage accounts.

The Water festival special offer is from 1 - 30 Nov 2015. It offers a 20 per cent discount on all room rates booked through central.booking@asiainitiativecorp.com | info@asiainitiativecorp.com or by telephone +855 77 332 168. Also included is a one-way airport pick up, daily breakfast, 20 per cent discount on in-house massage, and 15 per cent discount on F&B bills.


Scoot launches services to Osaka

Scoot is delighted to announce its second Japanese destination: Osaka!

Commencing 8th July 2015, Scoot's new Boeing 787 Dreamliners will link Osaka and Singapore six times, with three services operating via Bangkok, Thailand and three via Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

"Osaka has long been on our radar, and we're excited to add it to our network," said Scoot CEO, Campbell Wilson. "Besides Osaka's many attractions, such as Dotonbori food district, its castle, and Universal Studios Japan, it is also the gateway to the stunning historic capital of Kyoto with its many temples and sights. When combined with our existing service to Tokyo, Scoot's guests can now complete the 'golden triangle' of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka without backtracking."

Scoot's 787 Dreamliners come equipped with inflight wi-fi, in-seat power and new comfy seats, as well as all the features that have earned Scoot the title of Asia/Pacific's Best Low Cost Airline for 2015[1]; a wide range of hot meals and snacks, extra-legroom seats, streaming video entertainment, Scoot-in-Silence for those aged above 12 and, of course, Scootitude.


Fly to Canada for Free with APT

To celebrate the launch of its new Canada & Alaska 2016 brochure, award winning luxury travel operator APT is offering a range of early booking deals.



For example book one of APT’s April 2016 departures on its most popular itinerary – APT’s 22-day Rockies Odyssey & Alaska Cruise - and you will fly to Canada for free, just paying air taxes from $780 per person.

Priced from $12,495 per person, twin share, the 22-day Rockies Odyssey & Alaska Cruise commences with a 14 night luxury land journey from Victoria to Vancouver via Whistler, Sun Peaks, Blue River, Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff and Kamloops. Guests travel in comfort aboard a luxury coach and stay in some of the best properties in the region, including a range of Fairmont hotels. They then embark on a seven night Inside Passage cruise with Holland America Line to Glacier Bay, cruising Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

Sightseeing highlights on this trip include a two day journey travelling in a GoldLeaf carriage on the Rocky Mountaineer; a refined lakeside barbeque with First Nations entertainment in Jasper; breakfast at The Butchart Gardens before the crowds arrive; the chance to meet a Mountie in Banff; and on the cruise a special ‘Sail Away’ dinner at the Pinnacle Grill.

Included in the price of the trip is all accommodation and sightseeing, 44 meals, a seven night Inside Passage cruise in a Verandah Stateroom on a Holland America Line Cruise, complimentary beer and wine with dinner during the cruise, a dedicated APT Tour Director and all port charges, tipping, airport transfers and porterage.

Offer is valid on all bookings made by 30 November 2015. Flights are with Air Canada. For full terms and conditions for this offer, please refer to APT’s website aptouring.com.au Offer is subject to availability.

Call APT on 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your travel agent for more information.

Stamford Plaza Melbourne Hosts Charity High Tea to Help Break the Cycle of Family Violence

Stamford Plaza Melbourne will be opening up their doors on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 2015, to host an exclusive high tea fundraiser for McAuley Community Services for Women's family violence program.



Guests will enjoy a sparkling High Tea with an assortment of meticulously crafted savoury bites, fluffy homemade scones and traditional finger sandwiches served on an elegant three-tiered stand. It will be made all the more luxurious with a tantalising Pavlova Bar, indulgent Chocolate Fountain and a raffle where entrants go into the draw to win a high tea for two plus a deluxe hamper of goodies.

McAuley Community Services for Women is a small but impactful charity that works to protect women and their children from family violence. They operate Victoria's only accessible safe house open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing crisis accommodation to those in need.

"Reading the astonishing figures that 81women died last year through family violence and weren't able to enjoy Mother's Day celebration with friends and family is heartbreaking. The high tea is the perfect opportunity to come to Stamford Plaza Melbourne, enjoy an outing together and simultaneously raise awareness and contribute much needed funds to the charity so they can continue their incredible work."Adam Hamilton, General Manager, Stamford Plaza Melbourne.

A percentage of proceeds from the high tea will go towards the initiative along with all sales from the raffle.

The charitable event will be held on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 2015 at Stamford Plaza Melbourne from 1pm-4pm. Tickets are $59 and include sparkling wine.

Bookings are essential. To make a reservation, call 03 9659 1592, emailharrys@spm.stamford.com.au or go to www.stamford.com.au/spm

For more information about McAuley Community Services for Women please visit their website www.mcauleycsw.org.au.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Arajilla Retreat on World Heritage Listed Lord Howe Island Wins 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award

Arajilla Retreat, a high-end luxury retreat located on World Heritage Listed Lord Howe Island has been awarded TripAdvisor's most coveted award, the Certificate of Excellence. To win the prestigious Certificate of Excellence award, a provider must consistently receive outstanding TripAdvisor reviews from travellers. Arajilla Retreat is ranked the Number 1 Accommodation Provider on Lord Howe Island, with 87% of total traveller ratings being 'excellent'.

Arajilla Retreat
Copyright: Arajilla Luxury Retreat

Lord Howe Island is an untouched paradise, with spectacular rainforests that meet crystal clear seas. Only a short 2-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane, Winter is rarely felt on the island. Due to the island's South Pacific location, warm seas allowing for enjoyable cooler months.

Arajilla Retreat is perfectly located on Old Settlement Beach, immersed beneath a canopy of Kentia Palms and Banyan Trees. Home to Lord Howe Island's only Ayurvedic Spa, Arajilla Retreat offers personalised programs to open energy flow and promote healing and wellness including de-stress, sleep well and back management programs. Arajilla Restaurant offers 5 star, modern cuisine with all produce sourced locally, and daily line caught seafood a common menu item.

Arajilla Retreat is offering discerning travellers a special getaway package to experience island luxury for themselves. Valid from April 1 2015 to October 31 2015, stay 5 nights and pay for only 4 including a bottle of wine and gourmet cheese platter on arrival. Guests will also receive a complimentary $75 Ayurvedic Spa voucher.

Save $900 on a luxury sailing holiday in the Seychelles with Sunsail

Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands, derives its name from the Vicomte des Séchelles, Louis XV's finance minister although discovered by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1502.



Scattered like an exquisite collection of jewels across the velvety Indian Ocean, the Seychelles remains one of the world’s greatest sailing destinations.

No wonder it and has become a celebrity honeymoon haven of late, hosting the likes of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Hollywood royalty, George and Amal Clooney.

Sunsail offers the perfect way to discover this exotic archipelago. Sunsail's new Seychelles base is in the heart of this 'paradise on earth' at Eden Island Marina, 2.5km from Port Victoria on Mahé, an ideal place to set off on your Seychelles adventure. Surrounded by three national marine parks, and Mahé is fringed with 68 beaches with a backdrop of towering 1000m granite peaks. Mahé offers the most spectacular setting for an unbeatable sailing holiday.

Watch turtles swimming in the warm turquoise waters, hike through lush green jungles, try snorkelling in stunning coral reefs or just simply, sit back and relax.

Experience one of nature’s finest environments away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Open-water passage sailing and island hopping is the way of life herein the Seychelles, but don’t forget to pay a visit to Victoria, the capital, for a spot of colonial charm.

Sunsail is offering a $900 discount off a 384 catamaran sailing holiday in the Seychelles, Thailand and Australia as part of their ‘Taste of the Exotic’ deal for bookings made before 2nd June this year. Prices start from $3,605 for seven nights on the Seychelles Yacht Charter for a four-cabin luxury catamaran yacht sleeping

For more information visit www.sunsail.com.au

Auckland to Houston on Sale from NZ $699 One-way

Air New Zealand is celebrating its new non-stop Auckland to Houston service going on sale today with a limited time introductory fare to Texas and beyond from just NZ $699 one-way.



From 15 December 2015 Air New Zealand will begin operating up to five return services a week Tuesday through Friday and on Sundays using its newly refurbished Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

The new Auckland – Houston service is the airline's fifth North American route and will be the fastest way for Kiwis to get to East Coast and Midwest destinations including New York and Chicago. As a special introductory offer the airline is also offering one-way fares to New York from NZ $999 and Chicago from just NZ $989.

Customers can also snap up one-way fares to Austin for NZ $899, New Orleans and Nashville for NZ $989 and Memphis, Orlando and Miami for just NZ $999.

Air New Zealand's Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Cam Wallace says the airline is excited to offer customers direct and convenient access to the heart of southern USA.

“As America's fourth-largest city Houston has a lot to offer travellers keen to shop, dine and explore local highlights such as NASA's Johnson Space Center and Mission Control. It's also the perfect stepping off point for onward travel to popular destinations including Nashville, New Orleans and Miami.

“Our newly refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate the route offering customers our award winning on board experience including lie flat Business Premier beds, comfortable new Premium Economy seats and our popular Economy Skycouch.

Air New Zealand's special introductory one-way fares are available now through until 8 June 2015. See www.airnewzealand.co.nz for more details.

Air New Zealand's Auckland – Houston schedule from 15 December 2015 will be as follows:


Auckland to Houston NZ28

Departure Time (local) 18.30pm

Arrival Time (local) 13.15pm


Houston to Auckland NZ29

Departure Time (local) 20.25pm

Arrival Time (local) 5.55am


Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Seaside Retreat Opens with Seafood, Wine and Whale Watch Package for Winter

A new-look, waterside retreat has opened in Port Stephens with a special launch package for winter offering a platter of local seafood, local wine and a whale-watch cruise to see some of the 20,000 humpbacks now heading up the coast.



The Thou Walla Sunset Retreat (pronounced 'dha walla') opened on the tip of Soldiers Point on what was once the Soldiers Point Holiday Park in late April, with 33 deluxe and refurbished, self-contained villas offering water views across Port Stephens and west over the bay towards the sunset each day. The retreat honours the original Worimi indigenous community, with 'Thou Walla' signifying a place to gather.

While standard villas accept children under 18, the revamped waterview spa villas and sunset villas are for adults only.

Aiming to reflect the beauty and abundance of Port Stephens, Thou Walla Sunset Retreat is offering a two-night package for couples available on weekends or weekdays until September 30, 2015. The deal is available for $398 per couple and includes two nights' accommodation in a deluxe waterview spa villa or waterview sunset villa for two adults, a bottle of local wine and platter of Port Stephens prawns and oysters on arrival, a cook-your-own BBQ breakfast pack for both mornings and a 90-minute whale-watch off Port Stephens with Imagine Cruises' new, fast cat, Envision. The offer excludes school holidays and long weekends and is subject to availability.

Surrounded by the calm waters of Port Stephens 10 minutes from Nelson Bay, Thou Walla Sunset Retreat offers a relaxed ambience, swimming pool and free wi-fi and plunger coffee in villas, with tennis courts, boat hire and an award-winning restaurant available nearby in Soldiers Point.

Bookings are available at Thou Walla Sunset Retreat on 1800 600 204 or visitwww.twsr.com.au.

For general information on attractions, dining and events, visit the official website for Destination Port Stephens – www.portstephens.org.au.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A chance to win a holiday for two to New Zealand

Have a Once-in-a-Lifetime New Zealand Experience (Twice…)

Ever looked at one of your travel snaps and thought: “Take me back”? Tourism New Zealand launches a new social media campaign #NZMustDo.
Milford Sound, Fiordland Credit: Chris Sisarich
Now travellers who have had an unforgettable experience in New Zealand have the chance to do exactly that – and to take a friend along to relive the moment.

It might be that time you saw the sun rise from a hot air balloon gliding silently above Hawke's Bay, your first sip of pinot noir after following a cycle trail in Central Otago, or paddling your kayak through the pristine waters of Milford Sound.

Whatever your “must do” New Zealand experience, all you need to do is share a captioned photo of it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #NZMustDo and tag the person you'd love to do it again with for a chance to win a holiday for two to New Zealand.

The prize includes two return international airfares flying Air New Zealand and seven nights' accommodation, activities and transfers.

Tourism New Zealand Director of Marketing Andrew Fraser says the competition has been created in response to the success of hash tag #NZMustDo which has seen more than 50,000 photos published to Instagram alone in the last year.

“There are so many things to see and do in New Zealand that visitors want to share with their friends,” says Fraser, “And we hope that this competition will prompt current and previous travellers to share their most memorable experiences too.”

Fraser says word of mouth remains the number one factor in travel decision-making and, according to figures from Facebook, up to 50 per cent of people say they were inspired to visit a destination after seeing a friend's photo on the social networking site.

Tourism New Zealand will short-list 10 finalists for the #NZMustDo competition and its Facebook fans will vote on the winner, which will be announced in June.

Forget the time machine. Travellers who have had an unforgettable experience in New Zealand can now go back and relive it – and take a friend along for the ride.


QT Sydney Partners With Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Sleep With Australia's Most Artistic Hotel QT Sydney and Experience the MCA's Light Show This Winter

With its strong focus on art and design, QT Sydney, the most cutting-edge design hotel in Australia and the official hotel partner of Sydney's iconic Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) has launched the 'Light It Up' package for guests to celebrate the opening of the museum's spectacular new 'Light Show' exhibition, coinciding with Vivid this winter.



The 'Light It Up' package at QT Sydney includes overnight accommodation for two guests in a luxurious QT King Deluxe room, breakfast for two at the hotel's award-winning restaurant Gowings Bar & Grill, and two tickets to 'Light Show' at the MCA. This major exhibition explores all facets of light and its versatility as a sculptural medium, showcasing nearly 20 installations and sculptures by international artists from the 1960s to today, including such renowned luminaries as Dan Flavin, Francois Morellet, David Batchelor, Carlos Cruz-Diez, James Turrell and Anthony McCall.

Presented in conjunction with Vivid Sydney and the UN/Unesco 2015 International Year of Light, 'Light Show' will also be complemented by a series of public programs, including LIGHT LAB, a creative family space offering free interactive activities with light and color, and extended hours at MCA until 9pm every night during Vivid Sydney (May 22-June 8, 2015).

Since opening in September 2012, and as the only member of the exclusive Design Hotels to be located in Sydney, QT has transformed the city's hospitality scene and, with its unique design and art-centric interior, has established a reputation for being a venue for showcasing contemporary artists and a wildly eclectic collection of new medium art throughout the hotels public areas, lifts, lobbies, dining spaces and guest rooms.

QT Sydney's Art Curator, Amanda Love, has commissioned and acquired a vast collection of modern art that is the hallmark of the hotel's public spaces. With a strong focus on local and regional talent, works include a signature digital installation by New Zealand artist Daniel Crooks, a multi-channel installation by indigenous artist Daniel Boyd, and sculptures by Sydney-based Morgan Shimeld.

The Light It Up Package:
Overnight accommodation in a QT King Deluxe
Breakfast in Gowings Bar & Grill
2 tickets to the MCA 'Light Show'

Prices start from $370 per night and available for bookings between 16 April – 5 July.

For more information or to book the package at QT Sydney, please visit: www.qtsydney.com.au/promotions/light-show. For more information on 'Light Show' at MCA, visit: www.mca.com.au/exhibition/light-show.

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