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Friday, 28 February 2014

Chef Kesinee’s Galangal Cuisine at basil


Gaeng Khua Gai Bai Cha PhuThroughout March and April at basil, Chef Kesinee gets creative with galangal. Continuing her popular series of special menus that highlight the key ingredients of authentic Thai cuisine, she invites diners to explore a selection of truly exceptional dishes.

Known in Thai as kah. Galangal is a member of the ginger family and best known for lending its unique flavor to classic Thai dishes such as the soup, tom yam. In Chef Kesinee’s kitchen it is used sliced in soups, and pounded in a mortar and added to her fragrant curry pastes. The dense fibrous root has a fresh tangy flavor which is distinctly different from its cousin, ginger.
Lovers of refined Thai cuisine can begin their memorable dining experience with delightful appetizers such as mieng tuna nai dok bua, delicious light bites of seared tuna with toasted dried coconut and fresh ginger, chili, dried shrimp and an exotic sauce, all wrapped in lotus lobe. Chef Kesinee will also serve her interpretation of a north eastern Thai favorite, larb. Her spicy and succulent larb neau, which uses prime Angus beef with galangal and fresh mint instead of pork or chicken, elevates the humble dish to new heights. The perfect accompaniment to its robust flavors is the comforting tom kha hua plee goong, a spicy coconut and galangal-infused broth with Thai prawns and banana blossom.
Mieng Tuna Nai Dok BuaDiners can also enjoy the enticing poo grob phad prik kha ohnwok-fried soft shell crab with curry paste and young galangal, and see krong moo phad grapi kha ohn, stir-fried pork spare ribs with shrimp paste and spring galangal. Other exceptional dishes on the menu include pla hima kha ohn, flaky and delicately flavored steamed snow fish in a galangal and lime sauce, and gaeng khua gai bai cha phu, a beautifully aromatic Southern yellow curry with chicken and wild pepper leaves. The extraordinary meal ends with an irresistible dessert of kanom kai nok krasasteamed sago with a mung bean and galangal filling.
Join Chef Kesinee for dinner and enjoy memorable dishes from her special galangal menu.
basil is open for dinner from 18.00 - 22.30 hrs., Monday to Sunday. For reservations, please call 02 6498366 or visit our online store www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com/en/store


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Songkran at The Peninsula Bangkok


The traditional Thai New Year festival of Songkran starts on 13 April, and The Peninsula Bangkok is offering a special package for those looking to immerse themselves in the culture and fun of this vibrant festival from the luxury of The Peninsula, with its stunning location on the Chao Phraya River.

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Between 10 and 17 April 2014, a two night room package is available from just THB 16,688* for two guests, including two nights’ accommodation in a Deluxe Room, daily breakfast at the River Café & Terrace and a two-hour trip along Bangkok’s canals and the Chao Phraya River. So that guests can join the fun, watery activities central to the festival, a Songkran Survival Kit is also included – complete with a water pistol, scented powder for sprinkling on fellow travellers and a traditional Thai Songkran costume per person.
Also known as the “Water Festival”, Songkran’s celebrations last for three days. Water is believed to wash away all unfortunate luck during this time, so it is a time for cleaning houses, villages, temples and spirit houses. Songkran is synonymous with the act of gently pouring water on the shoulder of elders, family members and friends. While this version of water throwing is still practiced today, it has also transformed into full-scale water battles, where everybody participates in a fair game of water drenching using water pistols, hoses and buckets.
* This Songkran package is based on a minimum two nights’ stay. Price is subject to tax and service charge. Bookings must be made by 9 April 2014.
For more information, visit www.peninsula.com/bangkok


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Indochina On Sale Now With Wendy Wu Tours


Angkor-Wat Siem ReapASIA travel specialists Wendy Wu Tours are offering discounts of up to $250 on a selection of their most popular Indochina fully inclusive tours when you book and deposit by March 28 2014.

There are four itineraries on sale with over 20 departure dates, including the nine-day Vietnam Impressions tour now starting from only $2645 per person twin share departing Sydney or Melbourne and from $2799 from Brisbane or Adelaide. Perfect for first time visitors, this holiday covers the main highlights of Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon and the Mekong Delta.
Also now on sale are specific departures on the Angkor to the Bay tour, which travels from Cambodia to Vietnam over 16-days, now priced from $4398 per person twin share from Sydney and Melbourne and from $4510 from Brisbane and Adelaide.
Halong Bay high resAll discounted group tour departures include return international economy flights with Vietnam Airlines including taxes and fuel levy which are subject to change, hotel accommodation with all meals, sightseeing with an English-speaking guide and entrance fees, transfers, visas for Australian passport holders and gratuities.
There are numerous departures available between July and November, for dates, prices and full details from your capital city contact your local AFTA Travel Agent.


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Sail the Mediterranean aboard legendary Sea Cloud windjammer



Sea Cloud Cruises is offering savings of EUR 1,800 per person on a 14 night Mediterranean voyage aboard its 64-guest windjammer - Sea Cloud - departing 26 April 2014 from Palma de Mallorca, Spain to Kusadasi (Izmir), Turkey.

Highlights include the pristine Balearic island of Menorca and the Tunisian ports of La Goulette (Tunis), where guests can visit the medina, souks and the ancient site of Carthage, and Sousse – gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kairouan. From there, Sea Cloud will journey to La Valletta, Malta and then the Greek islands of Kefalonia, Syros and Patmos - a pilgrimage site for Greek Orthodox Christians, where guests can visit the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St John.

Cruise-only fares for a guaranteed double cabin start from EUR 4,495* per person. This includes all meals, from early breakfast to the exquisite four-course dinner menu and five course gala dinners, and drinks including carefully selected wines and beers during lunch and dinner, and a welcoming bottle of Champagne in each cabin.

Sea Cloud made her debut in 1931 and was widely regarded as the most magnificent sailing yacht in the world. Many features of the legendary windjammer are preserved in the luxurious style of the 1930's, creating a unique and impressive backdrop for any voyage.

*Excursions are not included in the cruise-only fare, but can be booked in advance as a package.

For more information on Sea Cloud Cruises and the various sailing adventures on offer please contact Sales Activation Marketing (Sea Cloud Cruises representative for Australia/New Zealand) on toll free 1300 583 5721300 583 5721300 583 5721300 583 572 (Australia) or info@seacloud.com or visit http://www.seacloud.com/en/

 


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Travel the World - Celebrate New Year's Eve 2014 in Paris with TAUCK




 

Departs 29 December 2014 and priced from US$7,690 per person.

 

 

Celebrate a new event with TAUCK by wishing Bonne Année 2015 on Saint-Sylvestre in France on December 31. The Tauck Paris Event gives guests an exclusive insider's glimpse into historic royal stories, art and architectural masterpieces, French culinary secrets and a snapshot of daily life in France's capital city – and a New Year's Eve celebration to remember.

During a five night stay at the historic and luxurious InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel, in the heart of the city near Place de l'Opéra and Rue St.-Honoré, Parisian stories come to life on daily themed sightseeing tracks. From Lutèce to the Age of Enlightenment, to Paris' Roman and Gothic beginnings and the places of honour and inspiration of the Parisian literati – where they lived, were inspired, and made history. Explore the epic story of power, love, and deception of Napoleon and Josephine and experience French Film, Fashion and Visual Arts through private visits that will reveal the passionate world of French photographers, fashion designers, and celebrities.

Evenings and lunches include exclusive experiences at spectacular venues closed to the public, opened only for The Tauck Paris Event. Enjoy private farewell cocktails and dinner at Musée d'Orsay and a private New Year's Day visit and lunch at Château de Vaux le Vicomte, a lavish 17th-century château that inspired Louis XIV, the Sun King, to build his own Palace of Versailles – where guests are welcomed by the Count, owner Jean-Charles de Vogüé.

Behind the scenes visits include a cooking demonstration to learn the art of France's delectable food and wine pairing by Susan Herrmann Loomis, a noted American chef living in France who was a friend of the late Julia Child, a guided tour of magnificent Palais Garnier – the Paris Opera, "Opéra National de Paris", and a private tour of the Impressionist Gallery within the art nouveau architectural masterpiece, Musée d'Orsay.

The highlight of this Event is New Year's Eve in Paris – a celebration in grand style set in the glorious ballroom of the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. Guests will feel as if they have stepped back in time to the Second Empire of Napoleon III era of the 1860s complete with hors d'oeuvres, dinner, music and dancing.

This 6-day / 5-night Tauck Event celebrates New Year's Eve with a special evening in Paris, and provides a firsthand, true insider's look into the people, places and events that shaped Paris into the popular city it is today. Each day, a small group averaging 32 guests (accompanied by a Tauck Director) embarks on themed sightseeing tracks, including Napoleon and Josephine, From Lutèce to the Age of Enlightenment and French Film and Fashion.

For further information on TAUCK please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 6221300 950 622 or visit www.traveltheworld.com.au
 


 

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Meander through Iceland and Greenland with Silversea

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Sail from Reykjavik to Southampton on this 19-day voyage on board Silversea's Silver Cloud.

Silver Cloud's voyage provides guests with a rare opportunity to experience some of the world's most remote destinations, including the unique natural landscapes of Prince Christian Sound, rugged Irish coastlines and the pristine waters of Iceland.

Departing Reykjavik (Iceland) on 13 August, 2014, Silver Cloud will navigate the Prince Christian Sound, where guests will be awed by steep mountains and dramatic glaciers. Silver Cloud will then visit a number of picturesque towns and cities in Greenland, including Nuuk and Qaqortoq, with an overnight stay in Nanortalik, before voyaging back to Icelandic waters. Ports of call include Heimaey and Djupivogur in Iceland, before Silver Cloud sails to Stornoway in Scotland. Taking the scenic route, guests will visit Belfast, Dublin and Waterford in Ireland, followed by the peninsula of Cornwall, with guests disembarking in Southampton on 1 September, 2014.

Prices are per person starting from AU$11,779 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea's fares include all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus designed by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 8721300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com


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Shang Palace Casts Black Garlic Magic


Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore will hold patrons spellbound with a prized ingredient: black garlic.

Master Chef Steven Ng has created special dishes to capitalise on the distinctive flavour and aroma of black garlic. Promotional dishes are available in à la carte and set menus from 1 to 31 March 2014. Prices start from $12.
Guests can savour the concentrated, sweet and smoky flavours of the prized garlic, believed to possess twice as much antioxidant as white garlic. Black garlic has garnered endorsements from television programmes and celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, who lauded it as the superfood of 2012.
Master Chef Steven Ng pairs the prized black garlic with familiar ingredients like kampong chicken and premium seafood, such as lobster, scallop and fresh abalone. The nourishing Braised Lobster, Prawn, Black Garlic and Leek Thick Soup is a comforting dish for the belly. Fans of the crustacean will not wish to give Steamed Lobster with Black Garlic Sauce a miss. Chef Steven gives the usual rice staple a twist with Fragrant Fried Rice, Scallop, Black Garlic and Salted Egg Yolk. They can end the meal on a sweet note with Almond Pudding enhanced with a hint of black garlic.
The Black Garlic six-course set menu is priced at $118 per person. À la carte dishes start from $12 per portion. Prices are subject to 10 per cent service charge prevailing government tax. For reservations, please call Dining Reservations at (65) 6213 4398 or email dining.sls@shangri-la.com. For instant online reservations, please visithttp://www.shangri la.com/singapore/shangrila/dining.


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Something's Fishy at The Star


This March, The Star is celebrating its love of all things tuna, with its signature restaurants Balla, BLACK by ezard and Sokyo creating special menus featuring the most mouth-watering fresh tuna Australia has to offer.

Choose from Italian-inspired cuisine at Balla; grilled goodness at BLACK by ezard; or Japanese fusion at Sokyo.
570451Balla
The Star's very own Italian, chef Stefano Manfredi, has created a menu that features yellowfin tuna battuta with flat bread and radish salad ($19); squid ink taglioni with albacore tuna, capers, olives and fresh oregano ($26); woodgrilled blue-fin tuna with borlotti bean and balsamic onion ($41). Enjoy individually of as a three-course menu for $675.
Available for lunch Tues - Fri and dinner Mon-Sat.
Bookings available online at star.com.au or 1800 700 700.
BLACK by ezard
Chef Teague Ezard has created a menu including Bluefin tuna tartar, avocado and fried rice with chilli and garlic dressing ($30); veal tenderloin with albacore tuna butter, eggplant, zucchini and heirloom tomato ($44); and sashimi of yellow fin tuna, smoked skipjack and potato salad, with quail egg and dill dressing ($30).
Available for lunch Fri and Sun, and dinner Tues-Sun.
Bookings available online at star.com.au or 1800 700 700.
Sokyo
Sokyo will be serving an a la carte menu specially created by chef Chase Kojima, who has come up with some special dishes that you'll adore. Includes "Zuke Sushi" which is marinated tuna with nikiri soy ($12); Maguro tataki with pickled shitake, white asparagus, gari gel and tosazu ($29); South Australian Bluefin tuna sashimi sampler (market price); as well as a limited edition dish, tuna collar grilled on binchotan with Sokyo dipping sauces ($50).
Available for lunch Fri and dinner Mon-Sat.
Bookings available online at star.com.au or 1800 700 700.
For more information visit star.com.au/tuna


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Freshy Cocktail And Mocktail At Crossroads Bar


Relax and revive at Swissôtel Le Concorde Bangkok’s Crossroads Bar throughout February and enjoy 
PressReleasePicture - FRESHY COCKTAIL AND MOCKTAIL AT CROSSROADS BARcool and refreshing drinks with our four favorite’s cocktail and mocktail.

Relax your thirst with our exciting collection of exotic drinks. Enjoy cocktails “Kiss Me” from Absolute Raspberry, Triple Sec, Lemon juice, Strawberry Syrup and Soda Water on top and “You & Me” mixed from Bailey's Irish Cream, Amaretto, Captain Morgan Dark Rum, Frangelico Liqueur, Light Cream and Grated Chocolate on Top with guarantees to chill you out at THB 320 net only.
Or try our refreshing mocktails “For U”, a blend of Frozen Strawberry, Lemon Juice, Strawberry Syrup and Orange Juice for on top. Also “Smooth Berry” add up with Fresh Strawberry, Natural Yoghurt, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup and Strawberry Syrup on top at THB 190 net only.
Crossroads Bar located on the first floor of Swissôtel Le Concorde Bangkok.
Hours of operation: 10.00 am – 01.00 am daily.
For more information and reservation please call +662 694 2222 ext 1520.


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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Experience &Beyond’s Sensational Sri Lanka Safari

 

 

Sri Lanka has been voted as one of THE destinations not to miss by Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveller and National Geographic in the last three years and many are starting to realize why. Lush hill towns and pristine beaches are just the beginning when you step off the plane and onto this island which could be just one huge tropical zoo. Whether it's monkeys chattering away, elephants roaming freely or water buffaloes on the horizon, you are sure to have a genuine nature experience.

&Beyond has organized an exotic 10 day/9 night Sri Lankan adventure beginning on the sugary white sands of palm fringed Negombo. From here move on to the majestic palaces and imposing monuments of a bygone kingdom at the ruined cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Walk in the footsteps of ancient monks at the cave monastery of Dambulla and gaze at precious Buddhist relics in Kandy. Visit local markets and enjoy traditional dance forms. End your adventure with a taste of pure Ceylon in the tea plantations of Hatton.

The itinerary includes:

•  Accommodation on a twin or double sharing basis at all hotels
•  Transport for two people in an air conditioned vehicle
•  A local English-speaking chauffeur guide
•  Entrance fees at all sightseeing excursions
•  Mineral water during sightseeing excursions and overland trips
•  All taxes as at current date
•  Meals as specified in the itinerary

To see the detailed itinerary, please visit http://www.andbeyond.com/journey/south-asia/what-to-do/other-tours-in-india/experiences/sensational-sri-lanka/

This itinerary features &Beyond's trademark commitment to conservation with itineraries dedicated to ensuring that every experience is extraordinary

Priced from $AUD3660*per person twin share, this is valid for travel until 30th April, 2014. Terms and conditions apply – please visit http://www.andbeyond.com/legal-notices/trading-terms/

To book or enquire please contact your South Asia travel specialist, or visit www.andbeyond.com

*as per exchange rate 18/02/2014


Tour de Vines’ five day wine tasting and cycling tour of Hawkes Bay sans lycra


Leave the lycra behind on this laid back tour of one of NZ’s most picturesque wine regions. Australian cycle tour specialist, Tour deVines has created a new Hawkes Bay Guided Easter Weekend Tour for those who love wine and cycling. This five day small group guided tour offers easy safe cycling with a focus on experiencing cellar door and gourmet sensations. Discover Hawkes Bay’s world class wineries and off road cycling trails that are flat, safe and peppered with around 100 vineyards and 80 wineries, many with cellar doors and restaurants, and surrounded by breathtaking Kiwi scenery. Meet the locals, feel the fresh air and sunlight on your face as you experience the takaro (fun) spirit of New Zealand.

This exclusively packaged Easter Tour de Hawkes Bay Estates (April 17 – 22) is priced from $1,899*. The tour includes 4 – 4.5 star accommodation, most meals, 10 cellar door winery visits including tastings, Scott Sportster touring bike and helmet hire, return transfers, a local guide, dinner at the five star Terroir Restaurant at Craggy Range Winery and an exclusive look behind the scenes at historic Church Road Winery.

For bookings please contact: 1300 665 330 inquiry@tourdevines.com.au

*Prices are per person based on two sharing. Total group size of 10 max.

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Celebrate an Australian Easter with Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and Haigh's Chocolates


Haigh's Chocolates will hop into Four Seasons Hotel Sydney this Easter with an impressive chocolate display created by the premium chocolatiers in the Lobby of the Hotel for both kids and adults to enjoy. Decidedly rabbit-free, the display will instead feature chocolate bilbys, an endangered Australian species.

Guests will also be able to enjoy their own Haigh's Chocolates in-house with a special
Easter Getaway package that includes a premium box of the Australian Collection from Haigh's, two seasonal cocktails from GRAIN Bar, overnight parking, and luxurious accommodation at Four Seasons. This sweet package can be booked online.

The Easter display can be seen in the Lobby of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney from April 17, 2014.

Australian National Maritime Museum - Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival 20 March exhibit to open on 20 March


Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival

20 March – 20 July 2014 Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour

A new exhibition designed to immerse visitors in the world of whales and highlight the importance of conservation to their future survival will open at the Australian National Maritime Museum on 20 March.

Exhibited in conjunction with the Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival heralds the start of the Australian National Maritime Museum's Whale Season

Amazing Whales - Evolution and survival examines the relationship between humans and whales – from the mythology of whales and the bonds between them both to the consequences of whaling.

And while commercial whaling is now largely a thing of the past, the exhibition shines a light on the ongoing debate on the hunting of whales. It also examines the other human activities that continue to seriously threaten them including pollution, industrialization, commercial fishing, global warming and even noise pollution and what we can do to help.

An interactive touch table demonstrates how whales feature in Indigenous oral history and reveals the extent of the whaling industry in Australia. Visitors will also discover some of the more peculiar myths associated with whales including the belief that climbing inside the body of a beached whale would cure arthritis.

Visitors will come face to face with large replica skeletons and fossils dating back 50 million years to discover how whales developed from primitive hoofed land creatures to hydrodynamic waterborne mammals.

They will also discover many fascinating facts about the lives and biology of these awesome creatures through a combination of objects and interactive displays.

Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival runs until 20 July.

Tickets are part of the museum's Big Ticket - $27 adults, $16 child/concession, $70 family. For further information visit anmm.gov.au/amazingwhales.

Amazing Whales will be complemented by Beautiful whale – life-size photography by Bryant Austin - a remarkable photographic exhibition where visitors come face-to-face with giant underwater images of whales at sea. This exhibition opens on 11 April.

The Whale Season will also feature a display of quirky whale artifacts from the museum's collection, a full range of whale inspired public programs and school holiday activities and an aquatic inspired roof projection during the Vivid Sydney festival in May.

The Australian National Maritime Museum, in Darling Harbour, is open from 9.30am to 5pm daily.

All enquiries (02) 9298 3777 or visit www.anmm.gov.au.

 

Free flights to Vanuatu with Island Escape Cruises

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INCLUSIONS:

Return airfares Auckland or Sydney or Brisbane to Port Vila on Air Vanuatu

5 Night Cruise in a stateroom onboard Island Passage (upgrade options available)

Scenic Helicopter flight

Onboard chef prepared meals

All Shore Excursions

Use of tenders, kayaks, snorkel and fishing gear

Complimentary tea, coffee, juice, water and soft drinks

Port charges and all taxes

 

BOOKING CONDITIONS: Sales until 04 April 2014 or until sold out. Fares are quoted on a per person basis based on double/twin occupancy, in New Zealand dollars. The offer is for new bookings only, subject to availability, may not be combinable with any other offers, is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Cancellation and amendment fees may apply. Hotel accommodation in Port Vila is not included. We can provide options as requested. Full payment is required within 24 hours of making the reservation. Valid on Air Vanuatu operated flights only. Bookings in Q class or lower, including 1 x 23kg checked bag per person. Other booking classes may be available however the applicable surcharges will apply.

 

AUCKLAND AIRFARES : Departing Saturday Auckland-Port Vila and Saturday Port Vila-Auckland.

SYDNEY AIRFARES : Departing Friday Sydney-Port Vila and Saturday Port Vila-Sydney.

BRISBANE AIRFARES :Departing Friday Brisbane-Port Vila and Friday Port Vila-Brisbane.

 

SHIP UPGRADES may be available on "Island Passage". An extra $399 per person to upgrade to an Ocean Suite or an additional $999 per person for a Bridge Suite


Phone:

+64 9 522 1717

Facsimile:

+64 9 522 1719

           

New Zealand FREE:

0800 58 1717

Australia FREE:

1800 584 869

           

Email: info@islandescape.co.nz

 

Web: http://www.islandescapecruises.com/

Fiji’s newest luxury escape, Nanuku Resort & Spa opening special offer


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Fiji's newest luxury escape, Nanuku Resort & Spa releases opening special offer


Right on schedule for its 01 March official opening, Fiji newest luxury resort, Nanuku Resort & Spa has released a celebratory incentive offering a five night stay based on a four night price.

The special offer includes all accommodation in one of the resort's five striking duplex  residences, all meals, personal butler and nanny services, use of a golf buggy and all non-motorised watersports equipment, free Wi-Fi and daily hosted drinks and canapés with resort management.

The offer also includes return private car transfers from either Nadi International Airport or Suva International Airport.

Pricing for the special offer starts from AUD7710*.

The offer is valid for sale until 31 May 2014 and valid for travel until 19 December 2014 inclusive of all school holiday periods.

Located on the Pacific Coast of Viti Levu, Nanuku Resort & Spa is the first all-villa boutique resort to be built on the main island.

Set in lush tropical gardens fronting pristine Beqa Lagoon on one of Viti Levu's best sand beaches, the new resort's design delivers what general manager, Karen Taylor says "melds contemporary luxury with traditional Fijian design."

Nanuku Resort & Spa offers its guests a two-tiered choice of accommodation - the Vunikau Residence perched on a volcanic outcrop overlooking the lagoon and five striking Beachfront Residences.

All residences have been designed with huge air-conditioned living and entertaining areas, luxurious en suites complete with spa baths, private yoga bures, plunge pools, media rooms, expansive decks and outdoor living rooms, private landscaped gardens and daybeds.

The resort also offers its guests a dedicated spa, yoga classes and resident fitness instructor.

Nanuku Resort & Spa's location in the heart of the Pacific Coast, aka 'Fiji's Adventure Capital' presents guests with access to myriad activities ranging from golf, zip lining, surfing and diving.

*Conditions apply.


W:        www.nanukufiji.com

 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Grand Pacific Tours Release New Ultimate Small Group Tour Dates


520611Grand Pacific Tours, the New Zealand Coach Holiday Specialist, has released the 2014 / 15 guaranteed departure dates for its Ultimate Small Group Tours.

The last season of Ultimate tours, offering a 'business class on wheels' experience, sold out significantly earlier than expected due to their overwhelming popularity.
The Ultimate Coach featured on these tours is in a class of its own. Travel on a full size coach with only 20 luxury leather seats, panoramic viewing and a level of comfort unparalleled by any other vehicle. Two brand new vehicles will be on the road from 569931September 2014.
Grand Pacific Tours Managing Director, Peter Harding, said "All Ultimate Small Group Tours will travel on these new coaches. Some of the on board facilities may change slightly, however the design will be state of the art and complete with the latest finishes".
569934"With a maximum of only 20 travellers on each tour, everyone is ensured a personal touch. Each of the premium hotels used on the Ultimate itineraries offer an outstanding level of comfort, extensive guest facilities and an excellent location", he said.
Choose from 7 exciting Ultimate itineraries ranging from 10 - 19 days. Due to the repeat traveller demand on this product a new 18 Day Ultimate New Zealand Showcase has been introduced. Discover New Zealand's hidden treasures and 'best kept secrets' on a tour designed for those wanting something unique.
Prices start from $4474 per person (ex SYD, MEL, BNE & OOL) including airfares, taxes, premium accommodation, most meals, sightseeing & attractions.
More information can be found at www.ultimatenewzealand.com.au or by calling 1800 622 768.


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Qamea Resort & Spa, Fiji, launches ‘PRIVATELY QAMEA’ Free Seaplane Transfers


Multi Award winning Qamea Resort and Spa, Fiji has set a new standard in affordable exclusivity by launching their FREE Private Seaplane transfers, direct to the Resort's sandy doorstep from Nadi International Airport.

The Jewel of Fiji's Northern Islands, Qamea stands apart with its spectacular beachfront location, award winning Jungle Spa, healthy gourmet cuisine, a PADI 5 Star accredited dive operation with two full time dive instructors, and is the only luxury Resort to offer world class surfing in Fiji’s pristine North.
Launching Privately Qamea Seaplane Transfers Feb 14Now guests can seamlessly connect from Nadi Airport direct to Qamea with a brand new private seaplane transfer, absolutely FREE.
To launch this innovation in luxury and convenience, Qamea Resort & Spa is proud to announce their new "Privately Qamea" package, exclusive for travel in the months of April and May 2014.  Just *USD$3,500 per couple (normally USD$5,400) for 7 nights in a Beachfront Bure.  This package includes 2 FREE private seaplane transfers, continental breakfast daily, FREE award winning bottle of New Zealand sauvignon blanc wine each day and a FJ$250 spa credit to be used in the Qamea Jungle Spa.
The "Privately Qamea" package is only offered for 7 night stays departing from Nadi to Qamea on Tuesdays at 10AM,  and returning from Qamea to Nadi the following Tuesday at 2:00PM . "Privately Qamea" offers the complete Fiji luxury experience for couples, honeymooners and active vacationers.
Ron Eckstrom-French, co-owner of Qamea Resort & Spa announced "We are delighted to introduce this final level of convenience and exclusivity to our Qamea quests, with a private seaplane transfer direct from Nadi Airport. Now the Qamea experience starts as soon as you land in Fiji and continues seamlessly to the warm welcome of our island retreat".
Qamea Resort and Spa is an exclusive tropical destination for discerning travelers seeking a truly authentic Fijian experience without sacrificing luxury or service. The resort fronts onto a private white sand beach of just under a kilometer in length and accommodates up to 34 adult guests in 17 spacious bures and exclusive Royal Beach Houses with private swimming pools and Jacuzzi Spas, all facing the beach and positioned for maximum privacy.
For bookings contact Qamea direct on +649 360 0858 or reservations@qamea.com or visit: www.qamea.com
*Prices are tax exclusive and will be subject to 20% Fijian tax. "Privately Qamea" Free flights refers to domestic flights and transfers ONLY. International flights are not included in this package. All travel must be completed by 31 May 2014. Packages must be booked before April 30th, 2014.  PLEASE CONTACT RESORT FOR FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

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Aurora Expeditions' New Kimberley Wilderness Walk to Find Lost Outback Road


Expedition cruise company, Aurora Expeditions, is inviting guests to take part in a special mission in the Kimberley to uncover a lost historical track once used by early missionaries nearly 100 hundred years ago.

The search will take part on a dedicated ‘Wilderness Walk’ which is an exclusive highlight on the company’s 2014 Kimberley itinerary.
570008The lost track, dubbed the ‘Three Mile Road’ was built in 1916 to assist with the relocation of a Presbyterian Aboriginal mission to a site named Kunmunya. Used to transport building materials by donkey cart and enable regular incoming supplies, the road linked a landing site at Nhorgor Inlet along the Kimberley coastline with the Kunmunya site in the south-east.
The goal to uncover the road has been a continuing interest of the company’s long-standing Kimberley Expedition Leader, Mike Cusack, who also spent 12-months living in the Kimberley outback near the abandoned Kunmunya site as part of Dick Smith’s 1987 ‘Wilderness Couple’ project with the Australian Geographic Society.
570011“During our year in the Kimberley, my wife Susan and I learnt a lot about the struggle and hardships of living off the land. It takes a lot of energy, resourcefulness, and damn hard work to get by in this often harsh environment.” said Mike.
“It’s been a personal aim of mine to find and retrace the ‘Three Mile Road’. I want to pay tribute to the men and women who pioneered the region as well help our passengers understand the hardships of living in the remote Kimberley outback”.
570014While the Kimberley’s wilderness has fully reclaimed the access route and mission clearings, Mike has found compelling evidence of the Three Mile Road during his past visits and more recently with the help of newly acquired aerial photographs taken in 1949.  On recent expeditions, Mike and his passengers have discovered a flagstone creek crossing, the remains of cattle yards, and an Aboriginal cemetery previously thought lost.
The 9.5 kilometre trek will be a key highlight of our forthcoming Kimberley voyages, including a stop at Mike and Susan’s old campsite as Mike regales passengers of his incredible year in the wild. By attempting to follow the Three Mile Road, visitors will enjoy a remarkable opportunity to be immersed in a remote and powerful landscape, and to pay tribute to pioneers through a firsthand appreciation of the work, deprivation and resourcefulness required to survive this wild environment.
570017The ‘Kunmunya Wilderness Walk’ and the search for the lost Three Mile Road will be attempted on all three Kimberley coast departures between June and July 2014. Voyages travel along the Kimberley coastline between Broome and Darwin (and vice versa) and include all daily landings and excursions, accommodation, meals, and guiding services. Prices start from$7,390 per person for the 11 day cruise.
BOOKING DEAL Passengers are encouraged to book before 31 March 2014 to receive a free ‘Broome Experience’ package valued at over $500, including one night at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa with full buffet breakfast, a three course meal and an iconic sunset camel ride along Cable Beach. Terms and conditions apply.

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dusit Thani Bangkok’s Birthday Promotion


Dusit Thani Bangkok is delighted to announce special dining promotions at three of their award-winning restaurants to celebrate the luxury hotel’s 44th birthday on 27th February 2014.

The exclusive menu offers will give diners the chance to rejoice with a selection of dishes for just THB 44++ at Thien Duong, The Mayflower and Hamilton’s Steak House when they spend more than THB 1970++ at the same sitting in one of the participating restaurants between 24th and 28th February 2014.
9 - Dusit Thani Bangkok's Birthday Promotion 1
The Mayflower, Dusit Thani Bangkok’s captivating Cantonese restaurant will offer a variety of THB 44++ dishes, including Deep-fried Bean Curd with Shimeji powder; Pumpkin Julienne coated with golden egg yolk; Fried Flat Noodles with Pork in oyster sauce; “Yang Chow” fried rice; Sweet Sago with cantaloupe flavoured with coconut milk; Fruit Salad with tofu; and Ginkgo Nuts with Fresh Milk.
9 - Dusit Thani Bangkok's Birthday Promotion 2
Hamilton’s Steak House will be offering a select range of THB 44++ dishes including Caesar Salad; Butter Nut Squash Soup with charred Hokkaido scallop; and Herb Crusted Chicken.
9 - Dusit Thani Bangkok's Birthday Promotion 3
Dusit Thani Bangkok’s vibrant Vietnamese restaurant Thien Duong will be serving Deep-fried Spring Rolls stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp and pork; Steamed Vietnamese Ravioli filled with minced pork and shrimp; Longan Pudding; and Banana Fritter served with vanilla ice-cream, all for THB 44++.
Having been an established icon in the centre of the Bangkok financial district for 44 years, Dusit Thani Bangkok’s longevity is testament to their ongoing pursuit of excellence and unique service standards.
Style: "ProjectOne"
For more information and table reservation, Please call +66 (0) 2200 9000 extension to Room Service
Website: dusitthanibangkok.dusit.com, www.facebook.com/dusitthani


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Hot Easter and Autumn Deals on Fraser Island


Who would've guessed that a short 50-minute ferry ride from a tiny beachside suburb in Hervey Bay could transport you into an official stress-free holiday zone, complete with sweeping golden beaches, aquatic adventures and an unspoiled island wilderness.  

Kingfisher Bay Resort, on the western side of Fraser Island, has released two special deals for Easter and beyond.
29626Stay Longer, Pay Less On The World's Largest Sand Island
With the public holidays aligning for Easter Monday and Anzac Day; it's the perfect opportunity to holiday in one of Kingfisher Bay Resort's self-contained holiday villas set in bush land on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.  Villas are priced from $220* per night for stays of five nights or more - with extra discounts for longer stays.
With more time up your sleeve, you'll be able to explore more than 1500km of sand tracks in the Great Sandy National Park or take advantage of the resort's Junior Eco Ranger program for the kids.  Call 1800 FRASER and quote 'Stay Longer, Pay Less' or visit www.kingfisherbay.com.
*Conditions apply. Minimum five night stay.
'Fraser Fantastic' Is Back 
29656Kingfisher Bay Resort's 'Fraser Fantastic' deal is back by popular demand this Autumn.  Spend a minimum of two nights in the resort's hotel or villa accommodation between 7 April and 31 July and receive a $50 resort credit for each night you stay. Credits can be put towards the costs of meals, tours and activities.
Fraser Fantastic packages are priced from $246* per hotel room, per night (per couple) or $444* per villa, per night (for four people) and include return passenger ferry transfers to Fraser Island and buffet breakfast daily.Call 1800 FRASER and quote 'Fraser Fantastic' or visit www.kingfisherbay.com.
29683*On sale from 3 March 2014. Travel to 31 July (excluding 18-21 April) Conditions apply. Prices quoted are based on twin share in the hotel. Minimum two night stay.
Getting There
Fraser Island is just offshore from Hervey Bay on Queensland's east coast and Kingfisher Bay Resort passenger and vehicle ferry services depart daily from River Heads (secure parking is available).  Virgin Australia and QantasLink provide direct flights to Hervey Bay/Fraser Coast and the resort can organise airport connections.
EASTER: Additional ferry services (ex River Heads to Kingfisher Bay Resort and ex River Heads to Wanggoolba Creek) will be announced on www.fraserislandbarges.com.au and on https://twitter.com/fraserbarges.


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AirAsia’s biggest sale ever is now on Fares from just $10* one way


Fly to over 80 destinations such as MalaysiaThailandVietnamSingaporeJapanBali and more from just $10 one way with AirAsia.

The world’s leading low cost airline has unveiled amazing low fares to all of its destinations in its biggest sale ever, available for booking from 24 February to 2 March 2014.
A330-300 AirAsia XThe fares are valid for travel from 1 October 2014 to 30 April 2015.
Hot deals to AirAsia’s hub in Kuala LumpurMalaysia, are from $169* one way economy, and from $599* Premium fromMelbourneGold CoastPerthSydney and Adelaide.
From Kuala Lumpur fly on to a wide range of destinations including Kota Baru or Kuching from $10*; Vientiane from 23*; and Lombok from $47* one way economy.
Amazing Fly-Thru fares, which allow guests to easily connect between two different flights via the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal, are available from each Australian port.
From the Gold Coast, fly to Bali and Chiang Mai from $219*; and BangkokHo Chi MinhLangkawiPhuket andSingapore from $199* one way economy.
From Sydney, one economy way flights to Bali and Osaka are from $219*; BangkokHo Chi MinhLangkawi and Phuketfrom $199*; and Singapore from $189*.
Great fares are available from Adelaide including to Bali from $239*; BangkokHo Chi Minh and Langkawi from $209*;Osaka and Phuket from $219*; and Singapore from $199* one way economy.
From Melbourne, jet off to Bali from $239*; Bangkok from $209*; Chiang MaiHo Chi MinhLangkawi, Phuket andSingapore from $199*; Osaka from $219*; and Tokyo from $229* one way economy.
And from Perth, grab a great low fare to BangkokHo Chi MinhLangkawiPhuket and Singapore from $199*; and Osakafrom $219* one way economy.
“Booking ahead is the best way to secure the best fares for your next getaway,” AirAsia X Head of International Marketing Stuart Myerscough said.
“And with all AirAsia and AirAsia X destinations on sale, there really is something for everyone.
“Now is the time to book that trip to somewhere far away, like Bangkok for a shopping spree, Phuket or Bali for a blissful beach holiday or Tokyo to see spectacular Mt Fuji. But it’s first in, best dressed so get in early.”
Travellers wanting to fly in a little more style can choose AirAsia X’s Premium flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position.
The Premium flatbeds feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium seat guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, 25kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and Pillow & Duvet.
Those yearning for a more peaceful flight can try out the new Quiet Zone between rows 7 to 14 directly behind premium class, which is reserved for guests aged 12 and above on AirAsia X long-haul flights.
AirAsia X, together with AirAsia, provides Australians with low cost fares and access to over 80 destinations across 23 countries.
AirAsia X was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat and the World's Best Low Cost Airline Premium Class titles at the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards. The AirAsia Group also received its fifth consecutive year title as the World’s Best and Asia’s Best Low Cost Airline at the awards.
For bookings or further information visit www.airasia.com Flights and fares are subject to availability.
Travellers can also log onto AirAsia’s one-stop travel portal at AirAsiaGo.com which offers a range of more than 80,000 three-star, five-star and boutique hotels to choose from.
* Flights and fares are subject to availability. Availability of connecting flights are subject to timings of the individual flights. Seats are limited and not available on all flights/days or at peak periods. Fares include airport taxes & surcharges. Processing fee is applicable for online bookings made by credit, debit or charge card. Fees apply for checked baggage except on Premium Flat Bed fares. Other terms and conditions apply. Booking period 24 February – 2 March 2014 or until sold out. Travel period1 October 2014 – 30 April 2015. Lowest possible sale fares are one-way online at airasia.com. Next best possible fare available via phone with additional $25 service fee. All amounts are in Australian dollars unless stated otherwise.

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Kids Free in March at Niseko



There's been almost 14 metres of snow so far this winter at Niseko that will ensure very good snow depths for snow enthusiasts who visit Japan’s most popular alpine resort next month.

To entice families to this resort that is renowned for good snowfalls SkiJapan.com has some very affordable packages throughout March. Some included Free nights and Free ski lift and snow rental equipment for Kids 12 years and under.

A family-friendly package based on two adults and two children sharing self-contained accommodation in the three level, recently refurbished, Yotei Cottage (that offers sensational views of Mt Yotei) costs from $984 for each adult and from $449 for each child 12 years and under for seven nights. Total package price for a family of four is just $2,866!

Also included:

Airport meet and greet, return door to door Airport Transfers, a six days Niseko All Mountain Ski Lift pass (including night skiing) for each adult and six days Standard ski, boot & pole hire, plus services of Niseko-based Guests Services offices.

Conditions: Kids 12 years and under receive free lift passes and free standard rental (excluding helmet and clothing) when booking the above offer.

The saving for parents who take their 12 and under kids to Niseko next month is substantial. A 6 day Niseko all mountain lift pass for a child is approximately $172 and 6 days kids ski’s boots poles rental is approximately $203..So they (the parents) save about $375 for each child.

For more details call SkiJapan.com 1300 137 411 or visit www.skijapan.com




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Win a trip to both Singapore and Hong Kong for you and a lucky friend!


Win a trip to Singapore and Hong Kong

Want to win the ultimate Asian city escape? Thanks to the good people at Singapore Airlines, we're giving you the chance to double your fun and win a trip to both Singapore and Hong Kong for you and a lucky friend!

Simply enter now and you could be on your way! Competition closes at midnight 2 March so get your entries in quick!
Click to win

Premium Airlines on Sale


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