Friday, February 25, 2011


In the Summer 10/11 edition of Holidays for Couples magazine Natalie Bannister features a fantastic new guide - The Scene - to the latest openings, very best restaurants and the hippest bars and clubs from around the globe. I'll be bringing you more of these fabulous highlights over the coming weeks, but here are just a few to get you started ...


If sexy chic is what you like as a side dish to your evening cocktails while in KL, then head to the Trader’s Hotel in the city centre and take the lift to the 33rd floor to discover the SkyBar. It’s one of the most popular nightlife destinations in the city, and the floor-to-ceiling view of the soaring twin towers of Petronas and the glittering city beneath you are just as intoxicating as the atmosphere. The SkyBar was named ‘Best Malaysian Bar’ by Malaysian Tatler, and with good reason - it’s cosmopolitan central!


Marina Bay Sands SkyPark floats atop the three soaring Marina Bay Sands hotel towers 200 metres in the sky. It boasts a casino and exclusive restaurants including The Sky on 57, headed by Singapore’s celebrity chef Justin Quek. The ultra plush restaurant, bar and lounge from Seminyak, Bali - Ku De Ta is also here, bringing with it a signature mix of modern exotic chill. You can take in the impressive views while sipping a cool drink, spend leisurely hours swimming and lounging, stroll through the new national Gardens By The Bay, or enjoy a long gourmet dinner at one of the exclusive restaurants, immersing yourself in the full effect of this visionary structure that floats in the sky.


Shanghai’s most eagerly anticipated dining and entertainment address recently opened in November this year, with the restaurant Shook! taking up residence in the ultra chic Renaissance style Swatch Art Peace Hotel (formerly the iconic Palace Hotel). This colonial heritage hotel and landmark is located on Nanjing Road at the Bund intersection and Shook! will be joined by The Time Bar and The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Terrace to create the city’s most exciting hotspot. Start or end your evening at The Time Bar or Terrace for cocktails with spectacular views of the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline, and venture in to sample the famed Shook! kitchen and menu, which features the skills of four epicurean chefs with four distinct cuisines creating signature dishes that are based around the senses.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

North Queensland is open for business post Yasi!

After experiencing one of the worst cyclones (Yasi) to ever hit Australia, North Queensland needs our help now more than ever! How? With your tourism of course!

Why would you go to a destination that has been devastated, you ask. Simply because apart from the very few unlucky towns and islands that did sustain damage, for the most part, North Queensland is still an ideal holiday destination with places north of Innisfail completely untouched by Yasi.

Tourism operators, hotels and resorts in such areas as Cairns, Port Douglas, Daintree and further north are all experiencing a mass of cancellations - this is happening even in places as far south as The Whitsundays - and many companies will be pushed to the limit.

So come on Australia; you've been told! Don't run off overseas for your next holiday. Get your bum to North Queensland - and see that Queensland is still the place where Australia shines! (image: Tourism Queensland)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cambodia gets set to welcome the new kid on the luxury accommodation block!

The up-market Song Saa Private Island resort is due to open in November 2011 and will set a new benchmark in luxury accommodation in Cambodia.

Located on the south coast, Song Saa will offer over-water villa and jungle villa accommodation (the first over-water villas available in South East Asia for private ownership). The islands of Cambodia are a secluded paradise. Imagine virgin rainforests, tropical reefs, pristine white sands - and quite possibly the best bit - all sans crowds! I am thinking of Thailand 30 years ago!.

Add this new destination to your travel wish list (I know I have!) and be among the first to experience this special piece of paradise in Cambodia. You know you're in for something special when a resort that is not even open is selected as "The Hottest New Trips for 2011" by the Financial Times!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Eco-chic Romance ...

Well ok, there is always room for improvement ... but aren't you impressed to see that there is a growing trend among hotel, resort and tour operators to become more green?

It's a bit unreal to expect every resort to become 100% carbon neutral (like the amazing Wolgan Valley Resort in the Blue Mountains) but there is still a wealth of stunning properties who have already started to embrace sustainable and green principles like; minimal impact on the environment during building, using solar generated power, working with local communities to establish education, medical and sustainable programs - Gayana Eco Resort (pictured) even has its own on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre!

And let's face it, even if we don't all stay at an officially recognised eco resort, we can all still do our little bit to help the environment when on holiday. Consider reusing your towels and linen at the hotel, take your own reusable water bottle to save on plastic, use re-chargable batteries, or even look at offsetting your air travel ... just to name a few ideas. Such small and simple steps really.

And thankfully, going green on your next holiday does not mean you have to skimp on luxury. Check out this list of 10 gorgeous eco resorts which proves that eco-cred, luxury and romance can work together in perfect harmony!