Friday 27 February 2009

V Australia: Australia's New International Airline Takes Off

Australia’s newest international airline, V Australia, takes to the skies today with the first commercial service departing Sydney, Australia at 3pm.

On board the inaugural flight will be the airline Group’s co-founders, Sir Richard Branson and Brett Godfrey, as well as some special Australian celebrity Guests, including singer Marcia Hines, Getaway presenter Catriona Rowntree and Australian rock band, the Potbelleez.

The historic launch of V Australia flights was made possible following the signing of an open skies agreement concluded between the Federal Governments of Australia and the United States of America 12 months ago.

V Australia lobbied for permission to operate trans-Pacific flights in order to open up travel between the two countries and provide an innovative, affordable and high quality flying option, in the same way Virgin Blue has done domestically in Australia and Pacific Blue has done on the trans-Tasman and domestically in New Zealand.

Virgin Group Chairman, Sir Richard Branson, said, “Almost ten years ago the Virgin Blue team revolutionised travel in this market, they bought back a sense of fun and flair to flying again and made travel much more accessible thanks to its low fares. It’s a true example of the benefits of competition and the Virgin Blue and V Australia teams who have already done a wonderful job of bringing fares to the USA tumbling down and I have no doubt they will continue to do so.

“This will bring tangible benefits to the tourism industry and to businesses at a time when it is most needed,” he said.

V Australia’s launch flight will operate from Sydney to Los Angeles, with three flights a week from today, ramping up to daily from March 20. The carrier will also launch direct flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles and recently confirmed it has set its sights on launching its next route from Australia to South Africa.

Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “We are launching a new contemporary international airline for Australia. Today's flight to Los Angeles marks the start of a new era for Australian's who travel long distances overseas.

“A great deal of thought and consideration has gone in to every detail of our new airline. We are very proud of V Australia and we believe that today's first Guests and those that follow will have their expectations surpassed. From 3pm today, the team at V Australia will raise the standard of trans-Pacific travel, by offering a level of style, comfort and of course affordability, not seen before.”
Brett Godfrey added, “We are well aware that in economic times like this, it is essential to provide stimulus through new business ventures which encourages optimism and new opportunities for other businesses around us and we will do our absolute utmost to support Australian tourism and business travel, both here and in the United States of America.”

The three class boutique style airline offers 33 Business Class lie-flat beds, 40 Premium Economy club seats and 288 economy seats. The suite of in-flight products includes two in-flight bars, a female toilet complete with piped music and Australian icons featured on subtle wallpaper murals. All seats on the brand new 777-300ER aircraft offer personal state-of-the-art seat back entertainment with user friendly touch screen options and seat to seat 'chat' or competition connectivity.

V Australia is the only carrier to operate the economically and environmentally efficient Boeing 777 aircraft on the long haul trans-Pacific route.

Joining Richard, Brett, invited Guests and paying passengers, on today’s launch flight is a group of 80 Virgin Blue Group team members taking advantage of the airline’s staff travel policy to be part of the inaugural service and share in the in-flight excitement. The airline last night hosted a charity fundraising launch event in Sydney for corporate, industry and travel agents to raise funds for the Red Cross Fire and Flood Appeals as well as raise awareness of the new services and will do the same again on arrival in Hollywood.

V Australia fares start from AUD$975* for a return economy flight, $1999* for a Premium Economy return flight and AUD$5999* for a Business Class return flight.

* All fares are for flights booked on the internet or AUD$50 more when booked by phone. Fares are inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges and subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. A credit card surcharge of an additional AUD$15 per person per booking is applicable. For V Australia bookings log on to or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 8287 or contact a travel agent.

Country Music's Biggest Party

Australia's premier special interest operator, Elite Special Event Tours has released the most definitive American Country Music touring programme, featuring the award winning artist, Melinda Schneider. Departing 5 June this 14 day package priced from AUD$7199.00 per person twin share, features a host of activities and tours throughout Tennessee including tours to the Jack Daniels Distillery, Graceland, Sun Studio, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. More than just a country music event, Fanfair is an institution for country music fans with many artists dedicated to 'giving something back to their fans'.

‘The Opposite House’ Showcases Contemporary Chinese Art

Young contemporary Chinese artists are finding a vibrant platform for their art at The Opposite House, a luxurious, contemporary hotel by Swire Hotels.

Innovative Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who styled the hotel with a striking emerald glass facade, specifically designed the minimalist interiors with abundant natural light to house the art pieces and welcome the neighborhood.

The fascinating collection of modern art by Chinese artists from China, Hong Kong, Australia and the UK is themed after clothing and fashion, reflecting The Opposite House’s location in Beijing’s vibrant Sanlitun district, an integral part of The Village at Sanlitun, Beijing’s premier open-plan shopping destination, developed by Swire Properties.

The collection features artistic clothing creations in various mediums, from porcelain and grass to terracotta and PVC.

“Our goal from the start has been to create different and surprising experiences that challenge the norm and complement the lives of our guests and passersby, while meeting our social responsibility to emphasize Chinese culture,” said Anthony Ross, General Manager of The Opposite House. “Supporting and showcasing contemporary Chinese artists is part of our vision.”

Most artwork is in public areas such as the Living Room, Mesh and Village Café, with exclusive pieces also exhibited in the Penthouse and suites.

Li Xiao Feng’s porcelain “Beijing Memory No. 1” and “Beijing Memory No. 2” in the Living Room, might easily be mistaken for traditional Chinese dresses, or qi-paos.

This is a deliberate ploy by the Hubei artist, whose playful, life size “wearable art” is made from shattered antique blue and white Ming and Qing dynasty porcelain found in a construction site by his friend. Thinking it was such a pity to just discard them, he decided to sew them into clothing instead.

Wang Jin, a famously controversial artist from Shanxi, continues the fashion theme in the Atrium with “Dream of China”, an ancient Emperor-style ‘Dragon Robe’ made out of PVC plastic, beautifully embroidered with coloured fishing wire and suspended midair against a dark chocolate background.

An artist of startling creativity, developing many ideas at any one time, Wang produced some of the most poignant Chinese art of the early 1990s. His emperor robe in PVC reflects his view that plastic perfectly represents contemporary society, and it is a consumer product omnipresent in developing countries that he calls “high tech rubbish.”

Beijing artist Chen Qing Qing’s “Gown No. 1” is a kimono made of grass and pearls, measuring about 2 metres long, is on display in the Atrium.

Continuing with the clothing theme, Hong Kong artist Fiona Wong’ defies the limits of her small kiln in Hong Kong with “White Wings” and “Black Flower.” Constructed of white and chocolate-coloured terracotta pieces respectively, they are “sewn” together with copper wire. The armour may look as if they belong on a battlefield, but their open-arms gesture actually implies the embracing of peace and harmony.

As the location of the hotel has influenced the clothing theme in the collection, individual pieces and their proximity to one another also presents a subtle commentary on modern society.

Ten oversized white “Feathers” by traditional paper cutting artist, Pamela See, are suspended in mid air. Within a few feet of “Feathers” is Kum Chi Keung’s acrylic and wood birdcage “Intrusion”, symbolizing the compact living spaces of modernity. “I love the dialogue that goes on between these two pieces,” says art consult Alison Pickett. “The desire to fly away and realize ones freedom and creativity juxtaposed against the transparent confines of everyday city living.”

Other items in the collection include “Reproduction of Happiness” by Mok Yat San – orange colour and clear resin bottles – found in the lounge bar Mesh and “Forbidden City, Beijing” - a photography by Zhou Jun on display in the Penthouse of The Opposite House.

The Opposite House provides a new luxury experience for travellers who seek individuality, style and personalized service. It appeals to those who appreciate interesting design and who like the personalities of the staff they are served by to shine through.

The hotel’s 99 guest studios, including 10 spacious suites, are amongst the largest in Beijing. More than half of all the studios are over 70 sqm and all are strikingly simple with natural wooden floors and subtle touches of Chinese décor.

The Opposite House has become a hot new dining destination in Beijing with a wealth of culinary talent and innovative design by top restaurant designers Neri and Hu.

Bookings can be made directly by phone at +8610 6417 6688 or via the hotel’s website at, where high res images are also available for download.

Being Single Doesn’t Mean You Have To Travel Solo

Grand Pacific Tours, the New Zealand Luxury Coach Holiday specialist, know that coach touring throughout New Zealand is skewed towards the senior traveller, it is an age group where many travel without partners for various reasons and maybe feel a little inhibited surrounded by couples. By joining a tour specifically aimed towards single travellers they get the opportunity to travel with like-minded individuals and make a network of new friends.

This special departure on the 29th of March 2010 is based on our very popular 16 Day Highlights Tour, however, several specific elements have been added to suit this style of traveller:-

• The tour will be FULLY ESCORTED by a long standing Grand Pacific Tours’ Escort. Their professional approach will help ‘break the ice’ and ensure the group bond to be one big happy family.

• The first night’s accommodation in Christchurch has been upgraded to the 4 Star Copthorne Durham Street Hotel, situated in the heart of the city.

• On the first night a special introductory dinner will be staged in a private room including a complimentary welcome drink. This will give all travellers the opportunity to circulate and get to know fellow passengers before they set off on their journey.

• Grand Pacific Tours successful seat rotation plan will ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to move around the coach on a daily basis and form great friendships.

• Grand Pacific Tours reserved seating policy at all hotels for breakfast and dinner will put the traveller’s mind at rest that they will never need to dine alone.

• For the budget conscious traveller our normal ‘single to twin’ policy will be available and individuals will be paired up according to gender and age. A single supplement is still available for those wanting more privacy.

More information can be found at or by calling 1800 622 768.

No Financial Crisis for Aussie Travellers to Korea

Australian tourists looking for more value for their Australian dollar should look no further than
South Korea. Despite some other currencies in the region falling in value by up to fifty percent
the Korean won has remained very strong against the Australian dollar. The value of the Korean
won is almost a thousand won to the Aussie dollar (986won=A$1.00 as at 25/02/2009) and it
has remained almost at the same high value as it was mid July, 2008.

So, if you are short of cash in these tough economic times and are looking for a rewarding and
economical holiday, then why not visit Korea – a land of unexpected discoveries. 2008 was a
record year for Australian visitors to Korea with almost 100,000 Australian travellers to the
country, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.

Korea represents excellent value for Australian travellers as never before in these tough
economic times. Korea is a very reasonable destination to travel anyway, but the present
favourable exchange rate drives your Aussie dollar even further.

The current exchange rate means travellers can find a good bed in a four star hotel for $120 a
night or budget down to $50 for a double room in a Korean-style guest-house. Eating out in
Korea is very cheap with a normal lunch or dinner main course costing as little as $8-$10.
Getting around the country is very easy due to the great transport infrastructure and trains and
buses are very cheap compared to Australian standards. A ride anywhere on Seoul’s city subway
will cost you no more than a dollar.

If for no better reason than to have more value for your travelling dollar, Korea also offers a great
variety of travel experiences. Join one of the many fun-filled festivals throughout the year and
experience the true heart of the country. One of the best is the Lotus Lantern Festival coming up
in Seoul from 24-26 April. The evening lantern parade through the streets of Seoul is one of the
most visually spectacular festival sights you could ever enjoy. Spring/Summer is a great time to
enjoy the many festivals that take place all over the country.

Seoul has always been known as a great city to shop, but even more so now with the present
exchange rate. Visit Namdaemun (South Gate) or Dongdaemun (East Gate) markets and grab
some bargains. One of the advantages of visiting Seoul is that you can sightsee all day and shop
all night as some department stores are open until 5am in the morning. From the high fashion
boutiques of Apgujeong-dong to the traditional arts and crafts pedestrian street of Insa-dong,
Seoul truly is a shopper’s paradise day and night.

To receive a free Korea information pack including a 235 page colour guidebook and map email: for your free copy today. Phone: 02)9251-1717

Dawn Princess 2010 World Voyage Now on Sale

Princess Cruises has announced details of its second 104-night world voyage onboard Dawn Princess, departing Sydney in May 2010, to give Australians a chance to enjoy a Northern Hemisphere summer as they travel the globe.

The spectacular voyage will sail on a westbound route making 42 ports of call in 26 countries. The northern sector of the journey will hold particular significance to Australians with the superliner cruising past ANZAC cove in Turkey. Passengers will also enjoy a memorable overnight stay in Venice before sailing to more than 12 other beautiful European ports including Dubrovnik, Rome, Florence, Barcelona and Paris.

The southern part of the trip will take in Southampton and Dublin in the UK, Boston, Newport and New York in the USA, the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbados before Dawn Princess transits the Panama Canal to Mexico, LA, Hawaii, Tahiti, American Samoa and Auckland ahead of her return to Sydney.

Early booking fares are now available for the world voyage which departs Sydney on May 21, 2010 with prices for the full 104-night epic journey starting from $19,199* per person complete twin.

Princess Cruises is also offering guests the chance to book shorter sectors ranging from 11 to 82 nights including:

• a 24-night Sydney to Dubai voyage, visiting Darwin, Bali, Singapore, Port Kelang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Cochin and Mumbai in India and Muscat in Oman. Fares are available from $4479* per person complete twin.

• a 39-night journey from New York to Sydney which visits Antigua and Barbados in the Caribbean, the exotic island of Curacao off the Venezuelan coast before transiting the Panama Canal to Acapulco and Manzanillo in Mexico, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Papeete and Moorea in Tahiti, Pago Pago in American Samoa and Auckland. Fares are available from $6779* per person complete twin.

• a 54-night journey half way around the world from Sydney to Southampton visiting Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Oman and Dubai before transiting the Suez Canal to Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain and France. Fares are available from $10,499* per person complete twin.

Passengers booking the full world cruise before August 1, 2009, will receive $1000 per person on board credit, while passengers booked on sectors of 50 nights or longer will enjoy an on board credit of $500.

Carrying 1998 passengers and 745 crew, the 77,000-tonne Dawn Princess has 999 staterooms, with almost half of them featuring private balconies. The ship’s many onboard features include a four-storey atrium, eight restaurants and cafes, seven luxurious lounges and bars, a state-of-the-art 550-seat theatre, spa and fitness centre, four pools and five whirlpool spas.

For bookings on the 2010 World Cruise call Princess Cruises on 13 24 88 or visit

* Early booking fares are available until July 31, 2009. All fares are subject to availability/conditions apply.

Australian Travellers Vote to Stay in Australia

Recent figures from leading travel website,, support the trend that Australians are choosing to stay closer to home this year and putting those international holidays on hold.

Pointing to this is firstly the year on year increase in bookings on the site which specialises in boutique accommodation including B&Bs, farmstays, guest houses, campgrounds and hotels in Australia. In December bookings increased by 38%, followed in January with another jump of 13% over the previous 12 months.

"The majority of our bookings are coming from holiday homes right now," says CEO, Craig Davis. "In the last two months we have seen over a 20% increase in bookings in this category most likely due to the fact that they provide extremely good value on a per person per night basis. They also allow visitors to contain costs by self-catering."

Looking at geography, all states experienced an increase in bookings on the site but South Australia is the big winner right now showing a year on year increase to December of 33%. The most popular locations are the Fleurieu Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula - Marion Bay, Glenelg and Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. The next closest state was WA with 23.7% and then Victoria at 19.75%.

In all the states about 78% of the visitation was intra-state - this figure has remained consistent.

The length of stay year on year has remained mostly unchanged with an average of 4.4 room nights but the cost per night has increased showing greater yield for the operators of the properties - a welcome economic boost. provides specialist categories to help visitors to the site refine and target their searches. “Pet-friendly” remains the highest searched category at around 39% of all searches on the site. “Family-friendly” also remains strong at 16% of the searches followed by couples looking for romantic getaways - around 10%. The biggest change was the drop in searches for luxury travel, possibly reflecting the mood of the economy.

In their most recent report, Hitwise, leading supplier of online competitive information, ranked #8 in Australia across all "Destination and Accommodation" websites. The site also ranked 8th by visits in the same category across 7,912 websites that were ranked. This placed them ahead of other popular sites such as and

Thursday 26 February 2009

Deals by day, Deals by Night

Sail by day and enjoy scenic views from just $99* per person each way or sail at sunset from just $99* per person each way. The Great Day/Night sale is valid for travel until April 19 2009. Day sailings depart Melbourne and Devonport from 9am and 8pm at night sailings.

Your journey begins from the moment you step on board. Enjoy the relaxed smooth sailing by taking a stroll on the deck and taste the sea breeze as the day or night escapes you. Travelling with Spirit of Tasmania means that you won’t be waiting in queues at airports, no hotel arrangements to make, and no luggage restrictions. You can take your car from just $65* each way and pack as much luggage as you like.

Our cabins offer Deluxe, Four Berth and Twin rooms all with private bathroom facilities and your choice of a porthole or inside view. The new Great Day/Night sale offers an upgrade to a cabin from $40* per person on a day sailing or from $85* per person on a night sailing. Ocean View Recliners are fantastic for day and night sailings providing comfortable affordable seating.

Dine by the magnificent sea views and enjoy delicious meals from our Waves buffet style eatery or Seasons á la carte restaurant. Sample Tasmanian oysters and wine, Tasmanian ocean trout or fillet of Tasmanian beef, but book a table early as the restaurant is very popular.

A combination of entertainment options are available to suit all ages during the voyage. The onboard cinema screens complimentary movies, while entertainers sing, dance, perform comedy shows or create routines for audience interaction.

“Our day sailing specials have been extremely successful for Spirit of Tasmania, so the ability to offer night sailings at the same price gives us the flexibility to offer fares at convenient times to suit everybody, said Mr Charles Griplas CEO, Spirit of Tasmania.

“Some people prefer to arrive the same day and start their holiday from the moment they arrive. Others like to get a good night’s sleep and arrive feeling refreshed. Sailing day or night, you will feel relaxed and ready to start your journey from the moment you arrive at your destination.”

Hurry this $99* Great Day/Night sale is only available for travel on selected night sailings until May 1 2009 and selected day sailings until April 19 2009.

Get on the phone today by calling 13 20 10 or book online tonight and save more by visiting *Conditions apply.

What’s Hot at The Hermitage

Put the ‘wow’ factor in your holiday by staying in one of the world's most spectacular and romantic destinations. Halfway between Queenstown and Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island, the historic Hermitage Hotel lies deep in the heart of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and World Heritage Area surrounded by towering mountains, turquoise lakes, and New Zealand’s tallest mountain.

The perfect place for relaxation, romance and adventure, Aoraki Mount Cook offers a smorgasbord of activities including the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Tasman Lake/Glacier boat trips, stargazing, scenic flights, glacier landings, hiking and mountaineering, heli-biking, fishing, and amazing local food and wine.

Say I Love You
Couples can ‘say I love you’ by taking advantage of a NZ$368 package that includes one night in a Superior Room with exceptional views of Aoraki Mount Cook and a romantic four course dinner in the Panorama restaurant with a complimentary bottle of house wine. A late checkout the next morning is the perfect leisurely start to the day.

Starry Eyed Surprise
Stay and play at one of the world’s most spectacular stargazing spots! This NZ$249 package offers an unforgettable stargazing experience with expert astronomy guides from the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, one night’s accommodation in a standard room* and a slap-up cooked breakfast. Get in quick - these packages are subject to availability and are selling fast!

ABOUT STARGAZING: Aoraki Mount Cook is far from city lights and therefore has some of the darkest skies in New Zealand - perfect for viewing the night sky. Lack of light pollution combined with lack of atmospheric pollution produces a brilliantly clear night sky completely filled with astronomical action. Visitors can explore the southern sky from the Hillary Deck with powerful telescopes to ensure a close look at stars, planets, moon craters and distant galaxies. To study even more closely check out the Planetarium at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
* Free room upgrade is subject to availability of a higher room category at time of check-in. Please note stargazing is subject to weather conditions.

2 Night Super Saver
Hot offers like this one don't come around often - stay a minimum of 2 nights in a Standard room offering great views to Aoraki Mount Cook from as low as NZ$117 per night.

Stay Longer & Save
The Hermitage is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding World Heritage Area - there's so much to do you won't want to leave! Now you can spend longer and save – stay a minimum of 3 nights in a Standard room offering great views to Aoraki Mount Cook from as little as NZ$98 per night.

Six course tasting menu
Tickle your tastebuds with a sumptuous six course tasting menu which changes daily to incorporate the freshest produce. Exceptional value at just NZ$76.

Packages are subject to availability and must be booked directly on or by calling The Hermitage reservations team on +64 3 435 1809.

Discover The World In Vivid Detail: Iloho Launches Travel Video Function

Travel network adds travel video function to its destination information portfolio.

26 February 2009:, the online network for travellers, today announces the launch of its new travel video sharing function (, which enables users to search for, soak-up and share a myriad of travel destinations in video format. Users can rate videos, leave comments and share their favourites with friends.

iloho's travel video function brings a new wealth of destination information to the site; it aims to enhance users' online experience by adding a dynamic outlet for sharing travel experiences and researching destinations. "If a picture is worth a thousand words then user-generated travel videos are truly indispensible for both planning and sharing trips," says iloho's Chairman and CEO, Richard Archer-Perkins.

Travel videos can easily be uploaded from a computer to iloho in all major file types and file sizes. "You can film the souks of Marrakech, drinking champagne in a first class lounge or sunrise over the Taj Mahal, then upload the footage to iloho and share it with friends, family and travellers across the globe so they can watch it online," adds Archer-Perkins.

"Travel videos offer a visual feast of entertaining and informative destination information. We are delighted to offer this new function to our users and are confident that it will appeal to travellers, video bloggers and filmmakers alike."

iloho's travel video function is built in association with Fliqz's video solutions. Kristopher Drey, Vice President of Product, says: "We are delighted to be working with iloho on the launch of their new travel video function. Uploading travel videos to iloho is quick and user-friendly, which is essential considering the fact that users will be viewing and uploading videos from all corners of the globe. We're certain that travellers everywhere will enjoy this fantastic new video function."

iloho's travel video function launches with thirty videos. The content of the site will be continuously moderated to ensure quality. The videos function is live at

Make a Night of it with Gordon Ramsay at Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove

If having lunch or dinner with Gordon Ramsay wasn’t enticing enough, the Hyatt Regency at Sanctuary Cove has added a tasty sweetener to the deal offering special rate’s for people attending any of the three lunches or dinners Ramsay is hosting at the Hyatt from June 12th to 14th. Rates start at just $305 per room per night for a Deluxe Guest room including full breakfast and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine.

Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove General Manager Patrick Hardy thinks it’s a wonderful opportunity for guests to stay and enjoy themselves longer.

“Staying onsite at Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove will give guests the opportunity to really relax and enjoy the time without having to worry about driving home,” he said.

“Nowhere else during his Australian visit, will Gordon be presenting shows of this kind. Tickets are at a premium and as such we’ve come up with special accommodation rates for those wishing to make the most of this event,” said Patrick.

Rates start at $305 per room per night for a Deluxe Guest Room with full breakfast in The Cove Café, a Regency Club Room with Regency Club access at $400 or the luxurious Queensland Suite with Regency Club access at $530 per room per night.

Each package includes a complimentary bottle of Deutz Sparkling wine, turndown service and 12 noon late check out.

Diversified Exhibitions - organisers of the hugely successful Good Food & Wine Show are bringing Ramsay to Queensland.

Gordon Ramsay will host three lunches and three dinners in the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove Ballroom on June 12, 13 and 14. Tickets will be available through Ticketek on 13 2849 from Wednesday 25 February, 2009.

For reservations or more information, call 13 1234 or visit

Australia's First V8 Superars Experience has Officially Opened at Dreamworld

Motor enthusiasts and people across the nation can unleash the beast within and find out what it¡¦s like to be King of the Mountain now that Australia¡¦s first full-motion virtual V8 Supercars experience, complete with a computer generated track of Mount Panorama and four V8 simulator cars, has officially opened. Champion drivers Cameron McConville, Craig Lowndes, Greg Murphy and Jamie Whincup were on hand to launch the new attraction at Dreamworld today. They competed in a a two heat race against members of the public that saw a local Coomera police officer out drive one of the pros and make it into the final race of four. Kiwi driver, Greg Murphy was eventually crowned King of the virtual mountain with the fastest lap time of 2 minutes 22.22 seconds. Fitted with collision detection and real dynamic mechanical vibration, V8 Supercars RedLine straps challengers into a 360 degree racing world, with motion cues to support the streaming action on extra wide screens in front of the cars. Drivers feel the roar of the motor as they pit asphalt against controls and follow in the tread marks of the legendary drivers. Dreamworld CEO, Noel Dempsey said the team was determined to bring the simulator racing cars to Australia after first experiencing them in the USA. The trick was to adapt the technology to Australian conditions. "Nothing thunders through the body like the roar of a V8 engine and nothing appeals to Australian driving enthusiasts more than the battle at Bathurst. We've brought the technology from the US and partnered with what is at heart a deeply revered Aussie sport, V8 Supercars racing. Mr Dempsey added that RedLine racing is as real as it gets without spending half a million dollars building a car and taking it track side. "The attention to detail is incredible. You can actually feel the asphalt push against the steering wheel as you work through turns and chicanes"¨ he said. "Drivers also compete against 21 computer generated drone cars that scream in and out of peripheral vision on the three display screens. "Even the rear view mirror shows the on-track action as challengers creep close enough to clip your bumper. Just like a real race, you can also experience the jarring impact of a crash at high speeds." The V8 Supercars RedLine opens racing to a broader community, including enthusiasts not old enough or not deep pocketed enough to experience the real thing. Explained GM Operations, Rob Buchanan, ¡§Sitting in a real V8 Supercar and racing champion drivers is something that very few people get to do, but the RedLine experience gives Dreamworld guests the chance to dice with the pros for the fastest time in a virtual world." Drivers get a choice of three tracks. However, for the Australian audience, the ultimate target is Bathurst's Mount Panorama, regarded as one of the greatest motor sport circuits in the world.

"What we want people to do is sharpen their driving skills on the first two tracks before ascending to the grand daddy of them all, the legendary Mount Panorama. It's the toughest track of all, and at the end of the day, it is the holy grail of racing in this country," said Mr Buchanan.

Anyone can participate in the fun of V8 Supercars RedLine. Drivers must be at least 130 cm, while passengers must be 18kg and four years of age or above. Spectators can cheer from the viewing platform on the sideline and watch the driver stats on digital screens.

Each driver must participate in a short briefing video before their race. After the race, they meet in the winner's podium and receive a printout detailing individual lap times and finishing orders, enabling them to compare results and challenge each other to additional races. Dreamworld's V8 Supercars RedLine costs $10 per Driver's Passes and $5.00 per Passenger Pass and can be booked at V8 Supercars RedLine is also open for corporate functions and private bookings after park operation hours. Today's public challengers included HEAT 1 Rachel Pearce with co-pilot Jelena Drazic Two year 12 L-plated drivers with four months driving under their belt and currently with AA Driving School in Brisbane¡¦s suburb of Macgregor 3mins.24.41 Craig Lowndes 2 minutes 17.86 seconds, Constable Samantha Walsh Constable Samantha Walsh from Coomera Police Station. With claims to have driven more than 180 km on the open roads, Constable Walsh was the surprise finalist when she out-sped Jamie Whincup in heat one of the competition.

Excitement Mounts for the Opening of Viceroy Snowmass

The snow is still falling in Aspen/Snowmass with the season finishing in early April, but the excitement for next season is growing especially as the luxurious Viceroy Resort and Residences at Snowmass nears completion.

Viceroy Snowmass will open for the 2009/10 ski season as the new Snowmass Base Village’s ski-in/ski-out hotel featuring 152 condominium hotel residences.

The opening of Viceroy Snowmass marks the company’s first mountain resort, with claims it will bring the brand’s “signature fusion of glamorous style, provocative design and innovative culinary experiences to Snowmass.”

Jeff David has been appointed as the General Manager of Viceroy Snowmass. He has a 15 year background in international luxury hotels most recently at the Viceroy Anguilla, a 35-acre $500 million resort in the British West Indies, and as interim general manager of Viceroy Palm Springs and re-launched The Tides South Beach, Miami.

Snowmass Base Village Developer Related WestPac and Viceory management company, Kor Hotel Management say they are committed to providing guests with an “unparalleled experience,” and the appointment of Jeff David is touted as fulfilling that commitment.

“Mr. David’s track record with hotel openings and luxury properties is impressive,” said Nicholas Clayton, President of the Kor Hotel Management. “He is an ideal choice to oversee the launch of our first mountain resort.”

Mr David will move to Snowmass shortly. “A premier location, innovative design and amenities never before offered in Snowmass makes the Viceroy an unrivaled opportunity,” said David. “I am thrilled to be relocating to Snowmass to work with such seasoned developers as Related WestPac and I look forward to sharing their impeccable standards and enthusiasm for the new Snowmass Base Village with Viceroy owners and guests,” he said.

Blended Families the latest Trend in Travel

The conventional family holiday has for many blended families become a thing of the past.

Contemporary families are these days just as likely to include a mix of teenagers who didn’t grow up as siblings, a wide range of ages and conflicting interests, and adults who have come together as partners prepared to take on the children of their loved one.

Blended families and stepfamilies now account for the fastest growing family type in Australia, having increased by 50 per cent in number over the past decade. One in five families is now included in this sector.

Travel with Kidz, the travel specialists who search the world looking for unique family holiday experiences, has come up with a brilliant solution.

Rather than impose conventional family packages on blended families, the team at TWK has shortlisted the world’s best experiences which address the various demands of blended families, offering a range of diverse interests while providing a focus of enjoyment for the family as a whole.

General Manager of Travel With Kidz, Lise Angus, was so determined to get it right for her clients she and partner Jim Fanning took their own blended family on their first holiday together in Vietnam, spending 15 days , including 7 days of cycling which commenced in Hue and wove through Central Vietnam to finish in Nha Trang in the South.

Between them they have five teenaged children ranging from 14 to 21 years of age, all with varying degrees of fitness and interest in travel and Asian culture. The only thing they had in common was a slight resistance to the concept of sharing time together and a mutual dependence on their Ipods. The 6am daily starts probably didn’t help either.

Travelling with a group totalling 16 and organised by World Expeditions, this intrepid group quickly immersed itself in the simple routines of a well-planned cycling holiday, equipped with easy to ride, 21 gear mountain bikes and taking a route which excluded obvious tourist traps and explored stunning scenery and remote villages.

The tour is fully supported, with a bus to take luggage and constant refreshments, along with anyone who elects to sit out the cycling, and a truck to convey the bicycles and mechanics.

The group convenes every 15 kms, which means you can cycle at your own pace, in your own space (for teenagers, read headspace), knowing that there’s someone to guide you along the way when your thoughts drift off and you don’t want the discipline of paying attention or organising the family – as appealing for parents as it is for children.

In Lise and Jim’s case, the trip was a great success, partly because the program gave everyone enough freedom to lose themselves a little and do their own thing, and partly because at the end of each day they would get together and be immersed in a vibrant local culture which often involved feasting with locals and staying in some wonderful places.

“Imagine a holiday in which you give seven family members the freedom to do their own thing? It’s possible you’d never see each other again!

Cycling in Vietnam is ideal for families, as it provided the freedom for everyone to do their own thing, but the overall structure to unite us at the end of a day over a great meal in fantastic local places to collect our thoughts and laugh about our day,” Lise explained.

“Best of all, everyone was so blown away by the scenery, the culture and the people, that the IPods only got an occasional look in!” Lise added.


The World Expeditions 15 day ‘Vietnam by Bike’ trip departs monthly all year round from Hanoi. It costs $2540 per person twin share and includes breakfast daily, 7 lunches and 8 dinners, internal flights Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City, 21 speed mountain bikes, airport transfers, expert bilingual guide, medical kit, comfortable well located hotels, private vehicle support, comfortable train travel from Hanoi to Hue, sightseeing and site entry fees

All prices valid at time of release but subject to change. For bookings please call Travel with Kidz on 1300 729 541
For further information contact:-

Wendy Buckley
Managing Director
Phone: 02 – 9932 4011 Mob: 0414 – 557 667

Lise Angus
General Manager
Phone: 02 – 9932 4060 Mob: 0425 210 075

Grand Hyatt Melbourne Launches Tonight

Grand Hyatt Melbourne is officially celebrating the completion of its $45 million redevelopment this today from 6.30pm. Showcasing the stunning new public areas of the hotel and the brand new events area, the residence, the launch party will be attended by top national CEO’s and event organizers, as well as the cream of Melbourne's celebrity and social elite including Vince Colossimo, Alannah Hill and the Klims.

Guests will be entertained by a special performance from the cast of Billy Elliot, and an exclusive performance by a secret international performer. Right Honorable Lord Mayor Robert Doyle will also attend the launch party and give a short address. VIP guests of retail partners Bulgari, Paspaley Pearls and Emporio Armani will also be in attendance.

The redevelopment of Grand Hyatt Melbourne brings a new centre of luxury to Melbourne, with the world class Collins Kitchen and RU-CO, and the exclusive residence offering an events venue not seen before in Australia. The hosts of the evening will be dressed in stunning outfits by hot Melbourne designer, Thurley. The launch party will showcase the premium food and beverage offering of Grand Hyatt Melbourne, with sponsorship with key partners including Clamms, Top Cut, Fresh Generation, Moulin Rouge, Meribel Cheese, Red + White and Moet & Chandon.

The caliber of the launch party will echo that of the original launch on November 22nd, 1986, where the Hyatt on Collins hotel was officially opened in front of celebrities including Tony Barber, before being entertained by a young John Farnham.

The redevelopment will be officially opened at a media conference at 11am this Friday, 27th February by Premier John Brumby, marking the significance of the hotel’s transformation to Melbourne’s tourism and events industries. Honorable Tim Holding, MP, will also attend the media conference.

America Over Easy!

America Over Easy!
Author: Mark Sheehan
ISBN: 9781741107418

The title of the book is a take on the vast array of breakfast options available in America. Just as breakfast eggs come in a wide variety of different serving options, the US too is a smorgasbord of landscape, topography, attractions and time zones for the uninitiated.

This book is an insider's guide to organising a fabulous US vacation. Filled with tips, hints and local knowledge, AMERICA OVER EASY takes you through from planning your trip before you set off to different ways of seeing America whether by air, road, bus or train, to all the best spots - from national parks to snowy places, road trips and more.

Summit Hotels & Resorts Announces New Member in India - The Zuri, Whitefield, Bengaluru

Total number of Preferred Hotel Group Members in India Grows to 16

HONG KONG - February 2009 - Summit Hotels & Resorts, a brand of Preferred Hotel Group, is pleased to announce its newest member - The Zuri, Whitefield, Bengaluru. The collection includes more than 150 internationally acclaimed hotels and resorts that celebrate local luxury.

The Zuri Whitefield Bengaluru

Situated close to ITPL and just 45 minutes away from the Bengaluru International Airport, The Zuri, Whitefield is a luxury business hotel that will cater primarily to the business traveler. The Zuri, Whitefield has 162 rooms (two Presidential Suites and four Executive Suites), as well as a heated swimming pool and gymnasium. The hotel offers trained therapists at Maya Spa (brand of spas by Phoenix Group) who will help guests rejuvenate either in the spa or in-room. There are also banqueting and conferencing facilities.

"With its tremendous growth in the city's infrastructure and IT industry, The Zuri, Whitefield is well placed for demand from the FIT business sector looking for comfortable accommodation with superb service, luxurious surroundings and modern conveniences. This new member is an excellent addition to our India portfolio," said Ananya Narayan, Area Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa.

Excited about the partnership, Mr Aditya Kamani, Director, Phoenix Group Global said, "It is wonderful that The Zuri, Whitefield is partnering with Summit Hotels & Resorts. Together, we will definitely revolutionize the way a business traveler looks at a business hotel henceforth. We look forward to welcoming back our guests every time with a promise of a unique experience of contemporary style, pleasure and comfort."

About Summit Hotels & Resorts

Summit Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands which also includes: Preferred Boutique, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels and Historic Hotels of America. For reservations and a complete description of the Summit Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit Summit Hotels & Resorts guests are eligible to enroll in the I Prefer™ Guest Benefit Program, featuring benefits such as early check-in/late check-out, space-available upgrades and more. For more information, please visit

About Phoenix Group Global:

Phoenix Group Global is a multinational conglomerate promoted by a consortium of investors from the Middle East. The activities of The Phoenix Group span across three Continents with interests in hospitality, floriculture and real estate. The Group is headquartered in Bangalore. The Group's India operations have been in existence since 1999. Currently the group has four properties in India:
Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa, Kumarakom
Radisson White Sands Resort, Goa
Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, Goa
The Zuri, Whitefield, Bengaluru

Opening specials for Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront - plus special industry rates

Medina and Vibe opening in Darwin

Sydney, NSW; 25 February 2009: On 9 March 2009, the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront will open for business, and to celebrate Toga Hospitality has announced special opening rates for both properties.

Guests can enjoy an opening rate of $159* per night at the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront, an amazing 30 percent saving, and a special rate of $149** per night at the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront which represents a 25 percent discount.

Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront offers 121 studios and one bedroom apartments incorporating the Medina qualities of apartment accommodation, space, style and home conveniences. The one bedroom apartments will feature separate living and sleeping areas, fully equipped kitchen and laundry and a grocery delivery service.

The 120 room Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront offers guests the chance to trade in traditional accommodation for a fresh, viberant alternative with a contemporary edge. In line with the 'Vibe' style, every aspect of Vibe Hotel Darwin has been designed to mirror a great lifestyle – the rooms are stylish, the menu in the Curve restaurant is tempting and the location provides easy access to the best that Darwin has to offer.

Both hotels feature prominent indigenous Australian artworks from Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands as well as two major public art pieces integrated into the fabric of the building by Australian artists Mandy Ridley and Matt Huttlestone.

The hotels also offer shared lifestyle facilities including a pool, gym, parking and an on-site restaurant and bar named 'Curve'.

Rachel Argaman, CEO of Toga Hospitality said, "We are very excited to be opening both our Medina Apartment Hotel and Vibe Hotel in Darwin on 9 March 2009. We invite you to experience our hotels first hand with our fantastic opening specials of $159* a night at the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and $149** a night at the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront."

To take advantage of these great opening rates visit or

*The opening special for Medina Grand Darwin of $159 is for overnight accommodation in a studio room and is valid from 9 March until 31 April 2009. Excludes peak periods and is subject to availability.

*The opening special for Vibe Hotel Darwin of $149 is for overnight accommodation in a standard room and is valid from 9 March until 31 April 2009. Excludes peak periods and is subject to availability.

Emirates Announces 2009 Expansion Plan

Airline to increase capacity by 14 per cent
Emirates Airline today unveiled plans to grow the number of flights across its network by 14 per cent in 2009.
This year, the Dubai based carrier will add 18 new passenger aircraft to its fleet, increasing seating capacity by 14 per cent and enabling it to start new routes as well as increase frequencies on many existing routes. It will also expand cargo capacity by 17 per cent.
The additional frequencies will afford passengers a greater choice of flights, more frequent connections with their target markets and shorter, more convenient connection times.
Emirates currently has a fleet of 129 wide-bodied aircraft. By the end of the 2008-09 financial year (ending 31st March 2009), that figure will stand at 132, including four superjumbo Airbus A380s. The carrier will welcome a further seven A380s in fiscal year 2009-10 (ending 31st March 2010), as well as 10 Boeing 777-300ER, one 777-200LR and one Boeing 777 freighter.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: "The next year is not going to be an easy ride for the airline industry. Emirates has prepared the best we can for the challenges we foresee, but we also see it as a time of opportunity. 2009, with our significant capacity increase, will be a year of consolidation for us, with fewer new routes launched than in previous years.
"Instead, we will concentrate on strengthening our presence on routes where there is a greater demand from our customers. All of our new capacity will be deployed in markets where we see growth potential, particularly Africa and the Middle East ."
Indeed, Emirates' fastest growing markets are Africa and the Middle East , recording 17 and six per cent growth respectively in the last 12 months. To this end, Emirates recently added a second daily flight to Lagos .
It will also introduce services from Dubai to Durban , South Africa on 1st October 2009. The route will be served by a two-class, 278-seat Airbus A330-200 which can carry up to 14 tonnes of cargo into the port city.
Last month, Emirates announced a vast Middle East expansion plan taking the number of seats in the region to 50,000 on 180 flights a week. Additional services to Amman , Riyadh , Jeddah , Kuwait and Damascus were started recently.
Emirates has added 32 weekly flights to its existing Indian services since November. The enhanced capacity means customers now have a choice of 163 weekly flights into 10 gateways in the country.
As new aircraft come online, both Los Angeles and San Francisco – Emirates' newest routes, launched in October and December – will go from thrice weekly to daily from May. The extra services will add more than 2,000 seats a week between the US west coast and Dubai , which is more than a 100 per cent increase on the current 1,600 seats.
There is increased capacity to Australia with additional daily flights to Brisbane and Melbourne, taking the total number of flights a week to 63 effective 1st February. Later this year, a third daily service to Sydney will be added. On 1st February, Emirates became the first carrier to operate commercial A380 flights into New Zealand with the launch of its Dubai-Sydney-Auckland service. Operated by a 489-seat Airbus A380 three times a week, it will go daily from 1st May.
Plans are also afoot to deploy superjumbos on Dubai–Seoul and Dubai–Singapore services in November and December respectively.
The first A380 flight between Dubai and Seoul 's Incheon International Airport will depart in November, while the Singapore service will start in December and initially run four times weekly.
In Europe , Emirates has already embarked on an expansion programme. In recent months it has commenced double daily flights into Milan, increased Istanbul services to 11 flights a week, increased services on the Larnaca-Malta route to seven times weekly and Nice flights to five times weekly. Second daily services into Moscow and Athens are also planned for March.
In total, the additional capacity will see more than 8,635 seats and around 600 tonnes of cargo capacity added to the Emirates fleet.
"Emirates has recorded an annual growth rate of 20 per cent over the last five years," reported HH Sheikh Ahmed. "In the last two years alone, we have launched 11 new passenger and three cargo-only routes. In 2007, with the launch of its Dubai–Sao Paulo service, we became the first – and only – carrier to fly to six continents non-stop from a single hub."
Established in October 1985 with flights to Karachi and Mumbai, Emirates Airline today directly serves 101 cities in 61 countries. In October 2008, the Emirates dedicated Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport opened. With a total built-up area of 515,000 sq metres and the capability of handling 43 million passengers annually, the 10-storey concourse was specifically designed with Emirates' future growth plans in mind.
In 2008, 22 million Emirates passengers passed through Dubai International Airport – an 11 per cent increase on 2007.
About Emirates:
Since its launch in 1985, Emirates Airline has received more than 400 international awards in recognition of its efforts to provide unsurpassed levels of customer service.
Emirates is the world's third most profitable and among the 20 largest international airlines and one of the fastest-growing. It is based in Dubai, one of the few cities in the world that pursues an open skies policy, with more than 130 airlines in free and fair competition.
Its 124 all wide-bodied fleet includes eight freighters and is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of 67 months. The airline plans to more than double its size by 2012.
Emirates presently has 180 aircraft pending delivery, worth approximately AU$61 billion in list prices. Emirates' order for 58 A380s makes us the largest customer of the Airbus super-jumbo.
Emirates' global network now features services to 101 cities in more than 60 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific. In 2008, Emirates launched new flights to Cape Town, Guangzhou, Kozhikode, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Emirates confirmed Australia's status as a premier trade and tourism destination and its commitment to the country in early 2009 by increasing its weekly flights to Australia to 63, a number that will grow to 70 by years end.
February 2009, Brisbane received a second daily flight, direct to Dubai while Melbourne received a third daily flight, also direct to Dubai. Both of these additional flights are serviced by an A340-500.
Additionally in February, Emirates commenced A380 services to Australia with the launch of an A380 on the Dubai – Sydney – Auckland route three times a week. This service will become daily from 1st May 2009.
Emirates currently operate double-daily services from Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as well as a thrice-daily service from Melbourne. One service daily from Sydney operates via Bangkok. One service daily from Melbourne and Brisbane operates via Singapore. Later in 2009 Emirates will launch a third daily service from Sydney, direct to Dubai.
Emirates operates 28 flights per week to New Zealand – daily to Christchurch from Sydney and thrice daily to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
For flight information and bookings contact Emirates on 1300 303 777, visit your local travel agent or

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Two new hotels opening in Darwin

On 9 March 2009, the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront will open for business, and to celebrate Toga Hospitality has announced special opening rates for both properties.

Guests can enjoy an opening rate of Aud$159* per night at the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront, an amazing 30 percent saving, and a special rate of Aud$149** per night at the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront which represents a 25 percent discount.

Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront offers 121 studios and one bedroom apartments incorporating the Medina qualities of apartment accommodation, space, style and home conveniences. The one bedroom apartments will feature separate living and sleeping areas, fully equipped kitchen and laundry and a grocery delivery service.

The 120 room Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront offers guests the chance to trade in traditional accommodation for a fresh, viberant alternative with a contemporary edge. In line with the ‘Vibe’ style, every aspect of Vibe Hotel Darwin has been designed to mirror a great lifestyle – the rooms are stylish, the menu in the Curve restaurant is tempting and the location provides easy access to the best that Darwin has to offer.

Both hotels feature prominent indigenous Australian artworks from Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands as well as two major public art pieces integrated into the fabric of the building by Australian artists Mandy Ridley and Matt Huttlestone.

The hotels also offer shared lifestyle facilities including a pool, gym, parking and an on-site restaurant and bar named ‘Curve’.

Rachel Argaman, CEO of Toga Hospitality said “We are very excited to be opening both our Medina Apartment Hotel and Vibe Hotel in Darwin on 9 March 2009. We invite you to experience our hotels first hand with our fantastic opening specials of Aud$159* a night at the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and Aud$149** a night at the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront.”

To take advantage of these great opening rates visit or

*The opening special for Medina Grand Darwin of Aud$159 is for overnight accommodation in a studio room and is valid from 9 March until 31 April 2009. Excludes peak periods and is subject to availability.

*The opening special for Vibe Hotel Darwin of Aud$149 is for overnight accommodation in a standard room and is valid from 9 March until 31 April 2009. Excludes peak periods and is subject to availability.

A Taste of Manhattan in the Heart of Sydney

With the “Sex and the City” series giving people around the world a desire for the exciting cosmopolitan nature of the Manhattan city lifestyle, Metro Apartments Darling Harbour is offering guests their own “taste of Manhattan” experience in the heart of Sydney.

Like New York, Sydney is an international, cosmopolitan city that attracts people from all around the world. Visitors enjoy the ‘never sleep’ mentality of this wonderful city, with non-stop entertainment throughout the day and night contrasting with the peaceful beauty of the city’s unique harbour setting.

Metro Apartments Darling Harbour is Sydney’s best kept secret, perfectly located near the corner of Sussex and King Streets and offering a selection of 40 one-bedroom apartments in two separate buildings.

While the Sussex Street building offers larger apartments and views over Darling Harbour, it is the nine exclusive King Street apartments that generate the true cosmopolitan feel of Manhattan. These apartments enable guests to enjoy everything Sydney has to offer - and all just a short stroll from their doorstep.

Whether it is shopping in the city centre, fine dining in Cockle Bay or dancing the night away in a nightclub on King Street Wharf, Metro Apartments Darling Harbour provides the perfect retreat for tired feet.

Situated on the corner of Sussex and King Streets, the apartments are set in the heart of all the action. The New York style private balconies complete the picture, allowing guests to observe the cityscape below while relaxing in the comfort of their abode.

The apartments are priced to be affordable for mid-week and weekend getaways in the city or for interstate guests wanting an extended stay in Sydney. Each apartment is appointed with a fully-equipped kitchen, washing machine, dryer and ironing facilities, air conditioning and heating. Parking is provided at a discounted rate at the nearby Kings Parking on Sussex Street and a rooftop pool is provided in the King Street apartment block for the exclusive use of residents in the nine King Street apartments.

Metro Apartments Darling Harbour has a range of special packages on offer. Book Metro Apartments Darling Harbour and other Metro Hotels properties by calling the toll free Central Reservations line on (aus only)1800 004 321. Alternatively bookings can be made online at

Metro Hotels is the public face of Transmetro Corporation, an Australian owned public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The Group currently provides a national accommodation network of properties, with over 800 rooms in key locations and major cities across Australia.

Highlights of India with Interlude Tours

Small-group tour company, Interlude, today released an 18 day "India Highlights" package departing from Sydney on the 2nd of November 2009.

The tour visits World Heritage Sites Humanyun's tomb and Qutab Minar in Delhi, the Taj Mahal Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, plus a country stay in Ramarthra Fort - a luxury camp within a classic Rajput fort city.

The tour continues with visits to Ranthambore National Park- India's premier Tiger reserve, Jaipur - the pink city of palaces and magnificently monuments, Udaipur old market and bazaar, the wonderful beaches of Mararikulam, and Alleppey for a traditional Rice boat cruise through the backwaters of Kerala.

Package includes international air travel (ex Sydney), three domestic flights in India, daylight scenic train journeys, all breakfasts, other meals as per itinerary and entry to major attractions.

Jeanette Savage, Australian tour principal, will accompany the group and will be supported by English-speaking guides throughout the tour.

The cost is $12,550.00 per person twin share quality accommodation with private facilities and economy class return airfare.

Interlude Tours has been successfully conducting small group tours for Australians for 30 years.

Tropical North Queensland, Australia's coolest holiday region, hits the road!

On February 5, the biggest ever Tourism Tropical North Queensland roadshow hit the road to all points South – bringing with it a generous splash of tropical colour and excitement from Australia’s coolest holiday region and promoting the message that Tropical North Queensland is open for business.

It’s called the “WhatisTNQ Roadshow”, ( and on its 6000km round trip from Cairns to Melbourne is calling in at more than 30 major towns and cities.

After a successful first fortnight of the trip, when a troupe of professional actors and singers dressed in fantastic costumes entertained the public in numerous towns and cities along the east coast, and brought joy to hundreds of sick children in major hospitals, the Roadshow is now entering its two-week Trade phase.

A group of more than 12 major tourism operators from the Cairns region, along with representatives of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, flew to Melbourne and set off by road on February 23 to visit more than 50 travel agents, industry decision makers and opinion formers across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

The Trade Roadshow has the main objective of reinforcing Tropical North Queensland as a must-experience destination for the travel industry to promote and book.

Roadshow participants will also be dispelling the myth that Cairns is not accessible at this time of the year, and reinforcing that tourism operators in the region are well and truly open for business.

Chief executive of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Rob Giason, said the WhatisTNQ Roadshow was the most ambitious project Tourism Tropical North Queensland had ever undertaken outside of Cairns.

“We want to show the rest of Australia what a fantastic, vibrant and diverse part of the country this is, and our Roadshow will deliver that message,” Giason said.

Mr Giason said that with much of Australia gripped by heatwaves and droughts, Tropical North Queensland had been experiencing its annual wet season with welcome rainfall that is necessary to maintain the magnificent Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest.

“Temperatures in our region have actually been around 10 degrees milder than many parts of southern Australia, making Tropical North Queensland Australia’s coolest holiday destination,” Giason said.

He added that there had never been a better time to book a holiday to Tropical North Queensland because of cheap airfares and fantastic accommodation deals available.

“By booking a holiday to our region, consumers will of course also be helping the Australian economy by holidaying at home instead of overseas,” he said.

Twelve Days of Yoga at Karma Kandara with Jessie Chapman

TAs part of Karma Spa’s celebrity-led retreats and programs, Australia's no. 1 bestselling yoga author, Jessie Chapman, will be hosting complimentary yoga classes for all guests staying at Karma Kandara in Bali between June 11th-22nd.

Held in the temple lounge overlooking the Indian ocean, daily communal classes will comprise of Vinyasa ‘flow’ style of yoga with focus on alignment and correct breathing, meditation and cater to individual needs and various physical conditions. Emphasis will be on improving flexibility, building inner strength, restoring energy levels and cultivating stillness within. Jessie will also be available for in-villa personal, partner and group private classes.

Launched in Bali, Karma Spa is a new healing spa dedicated to soulful and spiritual encounters. Think sublime spa shacks or healing huts built on the cliff overlooking the Indian ocean… Offerings include certified organic virgin coconut oil applications and holistic fresh kelp facial rituals bestowed with acupressure massage. Splurge on oxygen infusion facials (the same that Madonna and Justin Timberlake take prior to performances). Facilities include a glass-fronted infrared sauna with personalized music that makes the ultimate hangover cure. All Karma body-worker’s have received Level 1 Reiki training and are regarded for their healing touch.

About Jessie Chapman

Jessie first discovered yoga as a teenager when she watched her mother overcome chronic fatigue using yoga’s relaxation and guided meditation techniques. Later, in 1991, she was introduced to a formal yoga class by a friend, where she explored the many and varied yoga postures and breathing techniques. The mental and physical benefits she gained during these first classes inspired her to continue exploring yoga. She went on to study yoga with many leading teachers in various yoga styles including Iyengar, Hatha, Vinyasa, Remedial, Relaxation, Partner and Ashtanga yoga. Based in Byron Bay Australia, Jessie runs the popular ‘Radiance Retreats’ in Australia, Bali, Thailand & France. She has published four yoga books (HarperCollins Publishers Australia & Ulysses Press USA) and developed the “Radiance Yoga” DVD series for at home practice.

Other Karma spa retreats include 4 night/5day ‘Martini & Manicure’ retreats that combine detox juices and healthful breakfasts with lush spa therapies and martinis – at Karma pleasure is part of the cure.

Accommodation packages start at US$674 per night for 1-bedroom villas to US$995 for 3 bedroom villas (sleeps 6 persons) including breakfast. Combination spa & yoga packages are available upon request.

Help Native Wildlife While Holidaying in the Grampians National Park

The health of the environment is at the forefront of global media, government and community attention. As an individual it is easy to feel overwhelmed at the enormity of environmental crisis’, and perhaps even powerless to make a significant change. Please don’t despair! In these coming autumn/winter months, you can make a positive change by taking a short break to the much loved Grampians National Park and joining our small team of enthusiastic individuals who are truly making a difference to the plight of endangered and threatened native wildlife.

For more than three years, Conservation Volunteers and Parks Victoria have joined forces to provide a real opportunity for individuals to participate in major wildlife conservation projects. The Naturewise Conservation Holiday, Wildlife Monitoring, is a nature holiday experience like no other. After just one day of deep immersion in the Grampians National Park, working right alongside national park rangers and wildlife researchers, you will feel a world away from your daily routine and a real sense of achievement by contributing directly to wildlife conservation.

According to previous participants, there is nothing else quite like this experience:

“This trip was so much more than could possibly be described in mere words. I was treated with respect by the rangers and welcomed into their world openly. The physical activities associated with the wildlife monitoring were varied and new. These are not every day experiences, believe me! The absolute joy from what I encountered during those few days will stay with me for a long time...I can't wait to do it again.” Philip Neill, South Australia.

This is not a passive holiday! The Naturewise Conservation Holiday involves active participation, a hands-on role in vital wildlife research studies, monitoring the survival of small mammal species in the park. Each day you’ll be transported by 4WD into remote locations within the national park, armed with data-sheets, a clipboard and a UHF radio. Close encounters with cute critters are common, as are regular sightings of other gorgeous Grampians ‘residents’, the kangaroos, wallabies, emus and stunning birdlife.

The advanced eco-tourism certified Naturewise Conservation Holiday experience is fun and truly unforgettable. With mornings dedicated to conservation activities, afternoons are enjoyed exploring the beauty of the Grampians National Park, visiting local attractions, or simply relaxing at the renowned YHA Ecohostel. Three nights accommodation, delicious meals and transport are included, prices starting at just $560 per person.

For full program details, departure dates and to make a booking go to or free call 1800 032 501.

The Cooks Islands offers Ultimate Wedding Destination

The Cook Islands is the ultimate wedding and honeymoon destination, as unlike other South Pacific countries which require a 30 day wait, it allows couples to marry after only three days in the region. For those who can’t wait that long, a small fee can even be paid to waiver the residency requirement. The process could not be simpler, and the only paperwork required can be done in just half an hour once there.

This unspoilt paradise boasts stunning geographic beauty, combined with a warm welcome from friendly locals, all with sophisticated infrastructure but without the usual trappings of the tourism industry. There is an excellent choice of accommodation, ranging from luxurious, intimate resorts to stylish self-catered villas for couples wanting their own space with the comforts of home.

The good news for Australian honeymooners is that not only are these places offering
exceptional service and locations, but they also compare favourably pricewise to anything remotely similar in the region, with something to offer everyone – from great cuisine, colourful local culture and adventures to world-class diving in turquoise lagoons.

Easy flight schedules from Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue mean you can fly from the eastern seaboard and land at Rarotonga in less than eight hours from Australia, with easy connections to islands like Aitutaki.

One of the reasons why the Cook Islands is the ultimate wedding destination is the fact that weddings are affordable for any couples. Whether you have $4,000 or $15,000 to spend, the Cook Islands has the place for you to get married and to celebrate with your friends and family.

It’s also accessible now with Air New Zealand and Polynesian Blue, which means that wedding guests can attend the wedding for 3 nights or make a holiday of it and stay for 7 nights or more.

Honeymoon Worldwide Holidays is currently offering a special package to Pacific Resort Aitutaki, (a perfect place for weddings), at $2799 per person, including:-
• Return economy class airfare to Rarotonga flying Air New Zealand
• One night pre and post staying at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga in a Studio Garden
• 5 nights return accommodation at Pacific Resort Aitutaki in a Beachfront Bungalow
• Return airport transfer plus flower lei greet on arrival
• Valid for sale until 13 March 2009, valid for travel until 31 March 2010
• Addtl charges ex Melb (add $60pp), Adel ($200pp) and Perth ($640 pp)
• Departure taxes not included
A bonus offer applies of one return airfare to Aitutaki on Air Rarotonga plus $100 NZD food and wine credit per room per night, plus a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival (a saving of $820 per couple). Honeymooners receive a complimentary upgrade to next available room category subject to availability.

Contact Honeymoon Worldwide Holidays on toll free 1 300 65 09 65 or email /

The Cook Islands also offers local wedding planners who ensure their Australian clients are offered unbiased advice and information, with a range of options that can take them to incredible locations for their nuptials, including quiet and beautiful beaches to hold the ceremony at, without feeling the eyes of hundreds of onlookers taking part as you might do at a larger resort. There is also the option of a getting married in a church, in a garden, or even a mountain top should you so desire!

Experienced local planners, Wedded Bliss Rarotonga, have a reputation for attention to detail, excellent organisational skills and extensive local knowledge.

Comments from happy newlyweds include:-

"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the most fantastic day of our lives. You created the most wonderful wedding day that we had ever imagined. All the thanks in the world wouldn't be enough. You gave us a lifetime of memories to share." Lisa & Chris O’Driscoll

“It was such an incredible day that we and all who attended will remember forever. Somehow, you managed to create and produce a day that was beyond anything we could have imagined, with every detail given thought. If someone had asked us to write our idea of a perfect wedding we could not have come close to dreaming up the magic that turned out to be our wedding day. So from us and our family and friends who attended, we want to say Thank You Andrea for making our wedding day so incredibly special.

We feel very lucky that we had someone so capable in charge of the most important day of our life and you did it with great style and professionalism. We could not have sked or hoped for more.” Chris & Sam Minett

Dugong Beach Resort – a Truly Unique Holiday, Fishing and Aboriginal Cultural Experience

An exclusive luxury eco resort, Dugong Beach Resort, situated in the remote Groote Eylandt Archipelago north of Darwin is offering adventurous guests and keen anglers an opportunity to experience a pristine paradise only recently opened to tourism.

Dugong Beach Resort is situated on 25 hectares on the coast of Groote Eylandt and comprises six Executive Bungalows, 20 Deluxe Bungalows and 34 Business Suites in addition to a luxury ‘fishing village’.

Situated on the island waterfront, the $18 million, four-star resort opened in 2008 and is the first major tourist venture for the area as the archipelago is designated traditional indigenous land, with Groote Eylandt under the management of its traditional owners, the Anindilyakwa people.

Guests to this exclusive and remote establishment can now witness a culture which is hundreds of thousands of years old while enjoying the unique tranquillity of the island.

Dugong Beach Resort is equipped with modern conveniences, including a large reception and restaurant, conference and gym facilities, a cultural building and large in-ground swimming pools, all connected by timber-decked boardwalks and landscaped tropical gardens designed to preserve the natural surroundings.

A separate ‘fishing village’ known as the Escape Sport Fishing & Wilderness Lodge is a unique part of the resort, accommodating up to 24 guests in twin or double luxury safari-style cabins, each air-conditioned with ensuite facilities and its own private deck complete with stunning water views. The Lodge is run by Australian Rugby League legend Andrew Ettingshausen.

Day fishing tours allow guests to experience the thrill of catching many different species – one day can be spent targeting Barramundi in estuaries; the next day targeting game fish such as the majestic Sailfish and the mighty Black Marlin offshore. Popper Fishing, Jig Fishing, Reef Fishing and Fly Fishing are all available from the resort.

Dugong Beach Resort is also working with the Anindilyakwa people to further the cultural experience for guests and enable them to better understand this ancient and wonderful indigenous culture. The Cultural Centre, a key feature of the resort, allows guests to view local art including paintings, basket and mat weaving, jewellery, didgeridoos and carvings, or to meet with local artists. The Cultural Centre also plays host to local musicians and dancers, who entertain resort guests.

Prior to the opening of the resort, non-residents were discouraged from visiting this remote paradise. Now accessible to resort guests, the island is fast becoming renowned for its fine aboriginal rock art sites, art and crafts and outstanding sport fishing including Barramundi, Spanish Mackerel, Giant Trevally, Queenfish, Coral Trout, Sailfish and Marlin.

For enquiries and reservations, contact (aus only)1800 877 077 or email

Virgin Atlantic launches round-the-world fares

  • Virgin Atlantic launches $2499 round-the-world airfare including tax
  • V Australia launch completes missing link in Virgin network
  • Sir Richard Branson travelling around the world in 8 days on global Virgin network tour
Sydney, 25 February 2009. Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, today announced that the airline has launched round-the-world fares from Sydney starting from $2499, inclusive of tax. The fares coincide with his 'Round the world in 8 days' tour, celebrating the 25th birthday of Virgin Atlantic and the launch of V Australia on Friday, 27 February 2009.
Passengers will be offered two ticket options for their round-the-world trip- 'Virgin Global East' and 'Virgin Global West'. The East option takes passengers from Sydney to Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and back to Sydney. The West option takes passengers from Sydney to Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and then back to Sydney.
Speaking today in Sydney, Sir Richard Branson said:
"Passengers now have a fantastic choice to make - which way to go around the world with Virgin! From Friday, go West with Virgin Atlantic or East with V Australia. A consistent product, along with legendary Virgin service is something that passengers have been holding out for - at last it's here!"
Richard has been celebrating the launch of the new global Virgin network and Virgin Atlantic's 25th birthday by travelling around the world in 8 days. The charismatic boss is also on the lookout to find the world's best 'Richard look-alike'. Those who bear an uncanny resemblance to the Virgin Atlantic President and need more information about the competition can visit Virgin Atlantic's Facebook page ( and simply upload their picture for a chance to win a VIP trip to New York and attend the airline's 25th birthday party.
Fares are also able to be booked round the world not only from Sydney, but from other cities around Australia too. Virgin Blue will act as a feeder from various points including Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Adelaide to Sydney for passengers to take their 'East or West' option.
The special round the world launch fare of $2499 is valid for departures from Sydney only between 28 Feb – 31 May 09 and 20 Aug – 11 Nov 09. The fare will be on sale from today until 04 Mar 09. The special launch fare along with fares from other points around Australia can be booked through the Virgin Atlantic call centre on 1300 727 340 or any licensed IATA travel agent.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Vivid Sydney: Experience the City Immersed In Music, Light and Ideas

Immerse yourself in the music and light of Vivid Sydney, the city’s new, not to be missed sensory festival. Vivid Sydney will transform the city into a spectacular living canvas of music and light in and around Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay and the city centre.

Vivid Sydney will feature Luminous, a festival at Sydney Opera House curated by a world renowned talent; Smart Light Sydney, a free celebration of innovation through light art, music and ideas events and Creative Sydney, a series of events exploring the wealth and diversity of Sydney’s creative talent.

Vivid Sydney is one of five anchor events on the first ever NSW Master Events Calendar created by Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

What: Vivid Sydney
When: 26 May-14 June 2009
Where: Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay and across the city centre.

Family Easter Getaway at Mudgee’s Bike Muster - April 2009

The Mudgee Bike Muster returns from 10 to 13 April 2009, a four-day family friendly event that combines organised rides through this picturesque cycling region with great food and wine.

This year’s program includes winery lunches and tours, a mystery picnic ride, Easter egg hunt and activities for the kids including fishing on the dam, a bike rally and nightly entertainment. Held at the Australian Rural Education Centre, 2km north of Mudgee, tickets are inclusive of camping, breakfast and lunch, a Bike Muster t-shirt and all activities and rides. Delicious dinners will also be available from local favourite Deeb’s Kitchen.

With cycle tourism on the rise in Mudgee the Bike Muster will become a major feature on the region’s events calendar. It is an opportunity to celebrate, and showcase, what makes it a must-do ride destination.

“Mudgee is a cyclists dream with its flat landscapes, country air and natural attractions, and the food and wine experiences really bring people together – which is what cycle events are all about”, said Lucy White, Tourism Development Manager at Mudgee Region Tourism Inc.

“This year’s Muster will be bigger and better, held over the four day Easter break to allow more time to relax and enjoy the area. Beyond the 40 cellar doors that Mudgee is renowned for, there are also national parks with rare birdlife, historic outlying villages and local galleries selling art and ceramics.” Lucy added.

Bike Muster is ideal for all levels of riders – from complete novices to those wanting to get back into the seat in a non-competitive environment.

For information on the various riding experiences available, a new ‘Cycle Mudgee Region’ booklet has been compiled with local cyclist knowledge and features 20 suggested routes. It is available online and through the Visitor Information Centre, details below.
The cost to attend the Mudgee Bike Buster is $132 per adult, $66per child or $396.00 per family (2 adults and up to 4 children). Children under 5 are free. The Deeb’s Kitchen optional dinners are an extra $55 per adult and $33 per child under 14 for three nights.

To book or for more information go to or call 02 6372 3899.

The Mudgee Region is a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney. To download the ‘Cycle Mudgee Region’ booklet or for more information go to or contact the Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6372 1020.

Treat Yourself Regally: A Month Aboard Queen Victoria

The recent visit to Australia by Cunard’s spectacular Queen Victoria created enormous interest in affordable top-shelf cruising by Australians, and is now selling a whole month aboard this regal liner from Sydney to Perth and through South East Asia to Singapore next February, with prices from just AUD$9,449pp twin-share.

And it includes not only 32-nights aboard Queen Victoria with all gourmet dining, 5-star service and nightly big-stage entertainment, but three nights post-cruise at the 5-star Banyan Tree Resort in Bintan (Indonesia) with return ferry and land transfers, but one-way air from Singapore to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide as well*.

Queen Victoria departs Sydney on February 20th 2010 for Melbourne, Adelaide, Albany, Fremantle (Perth,) Exmouth, and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia.)

There are then two days in Hong Kong with an overnight aboard ship, Shanghai, then Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Bangkok and Ko Samui (Thailand,) and Singapore – with the 3-nights at the Banyan Tree Resort in Bintan, Indonesia.

For full details phone 1300 369 848 or check-out *Air taxes applicable at time of booking are additional.

ADDITIONAL SHIPBOARD INFORMATION: Queen Victoria has eleven restaurants, cafés and specialty lounges – including one reminiscent of Queen Victoria’s home Osborne House in which white-gloved waiters serve traditional English Afternoon Tea daily.

There’s a choice of silver service dining indoors or more relaxed alfresco on deck, a range of bars and lounges, and an “English pub” that serves beer, cider and perry (wine made from pears) and traditional pub meals.

Queen Victoria also has an 800-seat live-stage theatre, a vast range of sporting and social inter-action activities, a casino, cigar lounge, nightclub, and children’s PlayZones and entertainment programs.

Frommer's Melbourne Day By Day

The latest book from the Frommer's stable is the first edition of Frommer's Melbourne Day by Day, the first Australian title in a best-selling series of colour pocket guides to the world's top cities, to be published in April 2009. Melbourne Day by Day, written by Melbourne-based travel writer Lee Mylne, showcases all the best that Australia's cultural and sporting capital has to offer, whether it's listening to jazz in a cosmopolitan city laneway, touring the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sports Museum, enjoying the view from St Kilda Pier, eating pasta on Lygon Street, catching a play at The Malthouse or driving the spectacular Great Ocean Road. Featuring special interest tours – including art, Aboriginal culture, wildlife, and sports – and covering short trips to the surrounding peninsulas, mountain ranges, historic towns and the goldfields, Melbourne DbD introduces families, business travellers and holiday-makers to Australia's most cosmopolitan city in the smartest, most time-efficient way.

RRP: A$19.95
Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-0-7314-0981-5

SkyAirWorld stops flying

Source: Travel Daily

FLEDGLING carrier SkyAirWorld has announced a decision to “temporarily pause all flying operations in the short term.”

The carrier, which this week announced new services from Perth to Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands (TD yesterday) said the move was due to the“ongoing deteriorating economic conditions facing the aviation industry”.

A number of agents have contacted TD complaining about clients who weren’t notified that the Honiara service on Sat had been cancelled, with passengers offered refunds rather than alternative arrangements.

SkyAirWorld ceo, David Charlton, said the carrier regrets the impact the decision to stop flying would have on customers and staff.

“This action, though regrettable, is necessary to ensure the long term sustainability of the organisation,” he said.

He insisted that SkyAirWorld was still committed to the launch of the new Christmas Island flights which are set to debut 03 Apr.

The SkyAirWorld website doesn’t mention the suspension of all flying operations, continuing to list schedules for three weekly flights from Brisbane to Honiara.

Monday 23 February 2009

Stamford Plaza Brisbane to Receive $10 Million Makeover

Stamford Plaza Brisbane is undergoing a AUD$10 million facelift to offer discerning guests a new level of supreme comfort and refined luxury with new-look suites and rooms, including the prestigious Stamford Suite - a haven for celebrities and dignitaries, as well as innovative dining experiences.

Majestically nestled on the banks of the Brisbane River, with panoramic river views from every one of its 252 guest rooms, the new design will enhance the existing European-style décor whilst retaining a warm, yet elegant and luxurious ambiance.

True connoisseurs of luxury will be delighted by the inclusion of mini-LCD TVs in the bathrooms, slick 32 inch flat screen LCD TVs in bedrooms complete with I-Pod connection, new softly hued furnishings as well as complimentary wireless internet access. In keeping with the Stamford’s eco-values, new water-efficient toilet systems will be installed saving 1.5 litres of water per flush.

The award-winning Kabuki Japanese Restaurant will be extended to include a fashionable ‘Kabuki to go’ takeaway area. Also, there will be a stylish upgrade to the popular Courtyard and the Pav Bar will feature a decadent bar with onyx back-lit marble.

Due for completion in late Autumn 2009, the refurbishment program is currently well underway and the hotel remains fully operational.

“Our unique riverfront location has always made us a firm favourite of business and leisure travellers alike,” says Kym Carter, General Manager of the Stamford Plaza Brisbane, “however with this facelift, we can now offer a new era of contemporary elegance and unforgettable luxury.”

Room rates for the new-look Stamford Plaza Brisbane, from late Autumn onwards, is from $245 per room per night (excluding GST).

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