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Monday, September 24, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Australia's most famous beach will again host the spectacular Breakfast on Bondi on Sunday, 14 October - a free highlight of the 2012 Crave Sydney International Food Festival.
Thousands will enjoy breakfast on the beach as the sun comes up to a haunting didgeridoo dawn welcome, followed by a full orchestra performance with soprano Lorina Gore - principal artist for Opera Australia. For the first time, VIP tickets will be available for those who prefer their breakfast a little up market!
The face of Sydney breakfast, celebrity chef Bill Granger, is back this year and this time he's bringing brekkie to help celebrate Sydney's love of al fresco dining and passion for outdoor living
Breakfast on Bondi is a free event. For those preferring to reserve their spot on the sand, there is reserved seating for $20 per person or $50 per family; and VIP tickets ($70) that include premium reserved seating, a festival beach bag, picnic rug, and a hot bills breakfast.
Crave Sydney International Food Festival (October 1-31) is a month-long celebration of extraordinary food experiences. It is one of five signature events on the NSW Events Calendar.
To register or book tickets, visit Crave Sydney International Food Festival online www.cravesydney.com.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Like we needed any excuse to set sail aboard one of these incredible cruises! From September 3-9, anyone who books an MSC Cruises’ 2012 Grand Voyage will only pay $1 plus port charges for the second passenger. Seriously!
This hot deal for couples is one of a number from the leading cruise line during the inaugural International Cruise Week promotion, organised by the International Cruise Council of Australasia.
The offer applies to five sailings, one aboard MSC Opera from Venice on November 1, 2012, to South Africa’s Cape Town - 19 nights, the first passenger paying from $1319, the second guest from $476, including the port charges.
Other sailings and prices are as follow:
- MSC Magnifica, from Genoa on October 27, 2012 for 17 nights to Santos in Brazil, from $1289 and $426;
- MSC Fantasia, from Genoa on November 11, 2012 for 16 nights to Santos in Brazil, from $1249 and $401;
- MSC Orchestra, from Genoa on November 25, 2012 for 15 nights to Rio de Janeiro, from $1099 and $376;
- MSC Lirica, from Genoa on November 30, 2012 for 15 nights to Antilles in the Caribbean, from $1169 and $376.
In addition to the Grand Voyage specials, MSC Cruises will offer $100 per person onboard credits on 2013 cruises of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe with prices starting at $609pp twin share for a seven-night Mediterranean cruise and from $1288pp, twin share for a 14-night Grand Mediterranean cruise.
Seven-night Northern Europe cruises start at $919pp twin share, 14-night Grand Northern Europe cruises from $2058pp, twin share.
What are you waiting for? Phone MSC Cruises on 1300 028502 or head to their website and book that dream cruise!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
So it's finally starting to show signs of warmer weather and we're already feeling that ache inside for a quick holiday, and some time out from work and chores and stress and ... well, from life in general! If you're feeling the same, it might be time for that well deserved short break, heading to a place where you can chill as much as you like, or play hard and let off some steam. Some place like the Gold Coast ... that mecca of sun, surf, fine dining and late night partying! And with Springtime just around the corner, it's looking great on the beaches - the perfect way to shake off the winter blues, re-energise and re-charge.
There's always plenty of romance to be had with a beachside holiday, so Holidays for Couples have found some great special deals from Virgin Australia that makes the Gold Coast lifestyle feel all the more enticing. How does return economy airfares plus three nights accommodation starting from just $350pp* sound? Pretty awesome value, for that perfect short break holiday, we think!
There's a range of deals to choose from, from the casual to the trendy and the super-luxe, and lots of extras you can add on if you please. Check it out right here.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Hands up, who could do with a break? We're hearing you! And as it's Friday, we're taking some time out to explore some really exotic and different destinations. We stumbled and fell pretty hard on Soneva Kiri by Six Senses on the island of Koh Kood in Thailand, 350 kilometres southeast of Bangkok and world's away from normality!
Surrounded by ancient rain forest blanketing hillsides that slope down to deserted, coconut palm shaded beaches and the Gulf of Thailand's pristine cobalt waters, with mostly fishermen among your closest neighbours, this secluded and peaceful retreat has some of the most amazing private residences where couples and whole groups can zone out and chill out in style.
The 29 villas at Soneva Kiri are all vast and luxurious, from intimate one-bedroom suites to the palacial five-bedroom Private Beach Reserve. They've been built from local, sustainably sourced timbers and furnished in effortlessly chic style. Some villas face the sunset, some the sunrise, all with magical views of the secluded bay and private swimming pools. We love how Soneva Kiri has a SLOW LIFE policy. Just what everyone needs, wouldn't you say?
Frustrated thespians and well-versed indie travellers can now discover Shakespeare country and surrounds with a new App designed to showcase some of the best of the heart of England, from Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwickshire to the culinary capital of Ludlow and the romantic Welsh Marches.
The 'Stratford & West Midlands: As You Like It' App for iPad, iPhone and Android takes you on a journey of discovery through romantic villages with country pubs, 'black and white' wooden architecture, historic houses with beautiful gardens and the seductive English countryside. It's all very historic and romantic and oh-so-very British ... and as it shows you the way to some of the country's finest boutique hotels (and a budget hotel or two), regional food and wine, micro-breweries and drives with classic cars for hire, it's also loads of fun! There's also ideas for biking and walks as well as gorgeous gardens and properties to view, including those in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
And it's not all about Shakespeare. Add a little J.R.R. Tolkein with places that inspired his characters for The Hobbit, and you can really indulge your imagination!
You can buy 'Stratford & West Midlands: As You Like It' for US$3.99 through itunes, or look for 'Stratford +
Shakespeare's Country & Surrounds' on Google Player for the android version.
Shakespeare's Country & Surrounds' on Google Player for the android version.
Monday, August 13, 2012
If you're planning a trip to Singapore, be sure to get along to the recently opened (and eagerly-anticipated!) Gardens by the Bay, a 54 hectare garden located in the super-cool Marina Bay area.
This unique man-made botanical paradise comprises of three waterfront gardens covering - Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. Bay South Garden alone houses over 2,000 species plus more than 700,000 plants from across the globe, including the incredible 18 man-made futuristic Supertrees, ranging from 25 - 50 metres in height. The gardens have a 128-metre long aerial skywalk set amongst the treetops, 22 metres above ground, enabling visitors to take in panoramic views of the gardens and city below, making for a memorable experience (and some pretty amazing photo opportunities too!).
Gardens by the Bay is open to the public from 5.00am to 2.00am daily. Opening hours for the cooled conservatories and the aerial walkway in the Supertree Grove are from 9.00am to 9.00pm daily (conditions apply). General entry is free of charge; however fees to the Skywalk, Flower Dome and Cloud Dome conservatories apply.
Skywalk: Child = SIN$3 (AUD$2.30), Adult =SIN$5 (AUD$3.80)
Conservatories: Child = SIN$15 (AUD$11.50), Adult = SIN$28 (AUD$21.50)
And plan more of your Singapore visit at www.yoursingapore.com/au
Noosa gets set to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Noosa Jazz Festival which runs from the 30th August to the 2nd September 2012.
There will be over 90 performances from Australian and international artists in local restaurants and open air venues overlooking Noosa's stunning main beach and river, not to mention a long lunch on Noosa's Hastings Street. Festival headline acts include Australian jazz great Grace Knight, US troupe Bill Watrous and the San Gabriel 7, and Liam Burrows who was recently named Best Jazz Artist at the 2012 Australian MusicOZ Awards. Other artists include Motown legend Gil Askey, jazz funk group BULLHORN (pictured) & the Barksdale Brass Band, James Morrison and renowned Australian artists Monsieur Camembert, Andrew Lawson, Emma Pask, Bob Barnard, Geoff Bull and Ed Wilson.
Enjoy the winter sun and get your groove on ... are you going to be there?
For further information on the Noosa Jazz Festival visit www.noosajazzfestival.com.au or www.visitnoosa.com.au
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Singapore is gearing up for the 2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, with exciting entertainment in store on and off the track from 21st – 23rd September this year. And there's no better time to visit this buzzing metropolis if you're into high speed and thrills, with all the fast cars, glamorous parties, music sensations and memorable events you can dream of.
Be trackside to experience this phenomenal night race with Formula 1 cars speeding past some of Singapore’s most well-loved landmarks, but also enjoy a power-packed line-up of international headliners and parties taking place behind the scenes.
This year’s headlining acts at the Padang Stage include global superstar sensation Katy Perry, chart topper Noel Gallagher, Grammy award winning rock group Maroon 5, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee The Pretenders, chart topping group Bananarama, as well as iconic 80s duo The Proclaimers across three fully loaded days!
Trackside tickets start as low as AUD$45*, while a three-day Premier Walkabout ticket averages at AUD$115* per day with access to all zones and 350 entertainers within the circuit park.
To guarantee your spot at the action packed 2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, Creative Holidays is offering packages to the Grand Prix from AUD$829. Packages include three nights 4 star accommodation between 21-23 September, return airport transfers and a 3-day Bay Grandstand ticket with access to Zones 3 & 4. Flights are not included. For further information or to book please visit their website.
For details on the performance location and timings, please visit www.singaporegp.sg for the latest updates.
For further information on Singapore visit www.yoursingapore.com/au.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Silver Shadow is offering a series of 9 or 11 day sailings from Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore to fascinating ports in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam later this year. The bonus of travelling on the smaller Silver Shadow is that it can venture into the heart of many small ports and harbours inaccessible to larger ships. That means each of these six Silver Shadow cruises includes an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City, moored close to the city centre - a fantastic sight from onboard and a memorable experience!
With a maximum of only 382 guests in ocean view, all-suite accommodation, the all-inclusive fares start from US$5399 per person, double occupancy, in a Vista Suite. Guests also receive US$1000 onboard spending credit per suite, to spend on spa treatments, boutique purchases, shore excursions and premium wines. Your stay onboard also includes personal butler service in every suite, informative guest lecturers, all fine dining and complimentary wines, Champagne and drinks, 24 hour room service, spacious suites and all gratuities.
Silver Shadow will also explore Asian waters between February and May next year before returning to Alaskan waters in late May 2013.
For more information and a brochure contact Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or toll free 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit www.silversea.com
Cathay Pacific is introducing its new Business Class, new Economy Class and, for the first time, its brand new Premium Economy experience on flights to Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth from August and on flights to Brisbane from October 2012, with Cairns joining from January 2013.
Offering exceptional value, Cathay Pacific’s new Business Class boasts one of the longest and widest beds on any commercial airline, with the superb new Business Class seat over two metres long and complete with design features that allow for optimum privacy or openness when travelling with a companion. Each aspect has been thoughtfully designed around passengers’ needs, providing a space in which to sleep, dine, work, read, watch TV or simply relax. You can even adjust the seat to recline into a fully flat bed, at the touch of a button.
And for the first time, Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy Class presents a wide range of extras both on the ground and in the air. Guests will enjoy a dedicated check-in counter, priority boarding as well as an extra luggage allowance (which means more shopping, ladies!). The seats are way more comfy thanks to a new design and deeply cushioned seats, you get extra leg room and a seat pitch of 38 inches - six more inches than Economy. Not to mention a glass of champagne or orange juice on take-off and an enhanced meal selection. With only 28 seats in the Premium Class cabin, the experience will feel just a little more private.
Every passenger in Premium Economy will also receive an amenity kit with dental kit, socks, eyeshade and earplugs for use during their journey, larger pillows, a personal bottle of water and additional snack choices, including more fresh fruit, an energy bar and dessert, and the same noise-cancelling headsets they would find in Business Class.
And if you're still travelling economy, you're not missing out on too much of the extra comfort - Cathay Pacific has introduced a new Economy Class Seat offering added comfort and exceptional value for money, with more living space and personal storage, high-resolution 9-inch touch-screen TVs, featuring Cathay Pacific's new Studio CX entertainment system that offers more than 100 movies, 500 TV programmes, 888 CDs and 22 radio channels to all passengers on the aircraft, and a USB and iPod/iPhone outlet that allows passengers to connect their own mobile devices so they can view their content through the larger personal screens.
To celebrate the launch of the new cabins, Cathay Pacific is holding a Premium Economy Super Sale until 8 August with jaw dropping prices. Fly to Beijing return ex Sydney for as little as $1514!
Visit www.cathaypacific.com.au or see your travel agent for more information.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Inspired by Henry David Thoreau's classic book 'Walden', the Bangkok Tree House is taking eco resort style to a whole new level of cool. Located just a half hour drive out of crazy busy Bangkok on Bang Kachao, known as the 'Green Lung' of Thailand's largest metropolis, the tree house - although beautifully designed -does not make promises of super luxury or sophistication. This is very much an eco-minded retreat that proudly proclaims that it is "not for everyone" ... but therein lies the allure.
The Bangkok Tree House is as its name suggests - set out in the trees with a variety of "nests". We like the sound of the "Honeymoon Nest" which has its own private green-roof, or the "Tree-top Nest" with the ample private outdoor areas to lounge and sun-bathe. Or for a really unique experience, spend the night out on a limb at the "View with a Room" and sleep under the stars - no electricity, out in the open wilderness, and only for the truly brave of heart!
Bangkok Tree House also takes a natural approach to dining, with the freshest ingredients served up from the farm to your table - local, organic cuisine and a seat with a view of the Chao Phraya River. A rare green retreat from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok ... and only accessible by boat and foot, worlds away from reality. Check in, and zone out.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wednesday ... or as it's known around Holidays for Couples HQ, Hump Day - we're on the downhill slope towards the weekend, and day dreaming about being somewhere where the days are hot and the nights even hotter. How about some fun at the brand new Nikki Beach Club, just opened on the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain? Sounds like a perfect plan!
This is the global Nikki Beach brands second club to open in Spain (Nikki Beach Marbella opened in 2003), and it's set to carry on the legacy as one of the sexiest destinations for locals and visitors alike to spend luxurious afternoons and memorable nights against Mediterranean Sea. Guests can enjoy themselves on exotic, oversized white plush lounge sun beds, sipping champagne and dancing to the all-day & night grooves of Nikki Beach's world-class DJs and live entertainment. The club will also offer a complimentary yacht pick-up service. As you do ...!!
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thailand's mecca for holistic, spa and wellness holidays can be found on the beautiful island of Koh Samui in the south, a tropical paradise for both purists and hedonists alike. From yoga and detox to fine dining, massage, relaxation and romance, this island serves it up in cosmopolitan style.
Combining the very best elements of a yoga retreat with all the sophistication of a luxury villa escape, Villa Michaela is offering a fantastic 7 night yoga retreat from 7th - 14th October this year for couples wanting to immerse themselves in a total mind and body experience in a stunning seaview villa.
Your teachers Teresa and Kes Kennard are the founders of The Yoga Retreat on the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan, and they have been living and teaching yoga in Thailand for almost a decade. Together they will bring their combined knowledge of ashtanga yoga, meditation and pranayama to guests of Villa Michaela with daily classes in luxurious surrounds. There is also an in-house spa where you will be treated to daily massage plus a sauna, an infinity-edge pool and expansive decking for your relaxation, as well as a full time Thai chef to prepare delicious dishes for your stay.
The cost is USD $3,900 for two people sharing a master suite, or you could get your friends or some other couples together and book the whole house out - with a maximum number of only 10 guests, you're assured a really intimate ambience. Reconnect to your bodies and to each other with the perfect holistic holiday in paradise. You're in for a truly special and transformative island experience!
Monday, July 2, 2012
Located on the tranquil shores of the North West Bay just 15 mins from Hobart is a private oasis of calm and sophisticated chic, the stunning estate of Villa Howden. Beckoning discerning couples looking for some luxury and time out in beautiful Tasmania, this delightful villa is set on the edge of the Huon Valley tourist route, making it an ideal base from which to discover the magnificent views from Mount Wellington and all that Hobart and the Huon Valley have to offer.
The place has just undergone a recent refurbishment programme, including the creation of a piano bar, and is now launched as Villa Howden by Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year 2007 Val Harding, who knows a thing or two about luxury travel and the very finest of hotel style - she had her own hotel interior design firm in England and later a new hotel cosmetics collection of botanical personal care products called “Serendipity”, designed exclusively for the finest hotels in Australia and now available internationally.
A perfect indulgence, staying in one of these 10 luxurious suites with exquisite landscaped gardens on the shores of the North West Bay, where days can be spent touring the local regions or the sights of Hobart, and nights spent enjoying fine dining and a unique and secluded ambiance back at the estate.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Located on a gravel road dating back to the times when monks settled at the foot of Mount Etna in Sicily, the exquisite nobiliary house ‘Monaci delle Terre Nere’ sits amidst an organic farm overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
This stunning home has been brought back to life by its charming host Guido Coffa, who spent five years rescuing the villa from despair investing every drop of his energy to create a relaxing and stylish retreat that couples will love. You can now stay here and enjoy the utmost of intimacy - guest numbers are kept to a minimum with only 6 bedrooms, and that Italian style is everywhere from the traditional Sicilian architecture to the contemporary art and modern designer furniture.
Your stay here will be a true sensory experience - Guido is also always at hand to arrange whatever your heart desires: an Italian feast at a small restaurant before the other guests arrive, a private tour of Mount Etna, trips to famous Taormina with its Greek Theatre and Medieval Quarter, the fish market of Catania as well as the coast, of course, with fashionable Isola Bella in Taormina and 18km of sandy beaches stretching between Catania and Syracuse. And being Italy, there's ample scope for wine tastings at remarkable wineries for some heavy reds and fruity whites from the region. Or from the farm itself: Guido produces an exceptional red wine that’s available for you to sample.
It really does look and sound like a truly special experience. And that villa .... totally divine. It's amore!