Boutique Hotel Zagame’s House to Open in Melbourne

Zagame's House
Zagame's House

The new Zagame’s House will open on Lygon Street, Carlton, following an $18 million transformation

Zagame Corporation – one of the Victorian hotel and service industry’s most well known names, has announced it is opening its first unique, luxury hotel in May 2019. Zagame’s House will be located on Lygon Street in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton and will be the newest venture for the Melbourne-based Zagame family, who has owned the building for 16 years.

An enormous renovation has taken place leading up to the opening of the new property, which is expected for May 2019.

Each of the 97 rooms offers a king-sized bed, a spacious bathroom with modern matte black hardware, custom-lit circular mirrors with multiple illumination settings, European pillows and locally-produced linen, while the integrated technology outlets and acoustically-panelled walls provide additional privacy.

Zagame’s House also boasts a private event space with custom TSAR-designed carpet, chef-curated menus and cutting-edge conferencing technology. Dining options will include Lord Lygon, the wine shop and bar led by award-winning executive chef Chris Bonello, which will deliver a tapas and drinks menu; while Lobby 1851, a coffee house and kitchen, presents a refined á la carte breakfast menu to be enjoyed on its large communal tables. The 24-hour room service menu even heroes a late-night toastie menu.

A team of architects and interior designers helped develop the aesthetic footprint of the updated Zagame property. The hotel’s artworks were sourced and selected by boutique, local suppliers as well as the Zagame brothers themselves, while commissioned artworks were completed onsite by artists Ryan Foote, Rosie Wood, Lulu Zagame and Karl Gordon.

“No expense has been spared in the transformation of this property,” said Victor and Robert Zagame of the company’s first luxury hotel. “We invite our guests to experience for themselves the exquisite art, luxurious amenities and state of the art technology. Expect the unexpected when it comes to exceptional service as our team will impress even the most experienced traveller.”

The renovated space will also feature selected collaborations with organic UK bath and body brand Cowshed, Australian fashion label Robbandlulu, the local Mansfield Coffee Merchants and Everleigh Bottling Co., who will be serving hand-selected cocktails along with sweet and savoury treats.

With a sustainable footprint in mind, Zagame’s House will be implementing the use of E water and composting, as well as prioritising the support of local and rural suppliers.

$100m Art Series Hotel Opens in Brisbane

The Fantauzzo, Brisbane | Art Series Hotel

The Fauntazzo is the eighth and most luxurious Art Series Hotel to open in Australia

Art Series Hotels has opened the doors to its eighth art-inspired hotel, The Fantauzzo, at Brisbane’s new cultural precinct, Howard Smith Wharves.

Carved into the cliff under the iconic Story Bridge, the six-storey, 166-suite, $100m flagship hotel is the most recent luxury hotel to open in Brisbane, a city that is currently in the midst of a hotel boom.

The new hotel is named after acclaimed Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, who is best known for his award-winning portraits of Australian celebrities including Heath Ledger, Matt Moran, Baz Luhrmann and Asher Keddie. Fantauzzo has been an Archibald Prize finalist five times.

“I’m strongly passionate about accessibility to the arts, and what excites me most about the collaboration is that this hotel will give all guests the opportunity to connect with art, and immerse themselves in a really creative experience,” Fantauzzo said of his namesake hotel.

The Fantauzzo features six original artworks and more than 500 giclée prints throughout the hotel, while guests can enjoy complimentary art tours, in-room art channels and libraries to get up close and personal with Fantauzzo’s work.

Acclaimed design practice SJB used Fantauzzo’s take on photorealism as the starting point for the hotel’s design, creating a contrasting backdrop to his work. Dark tones and muted finishes challenge the traditional ‘white gallery’ space, while raw concrete finishes with black glass and tiles create strong accents.

Suites showcase custom contemporary furnishings, and earthy and natural rock and timber nod to the cliff face and external façade of the building.

Amenities-wise, the property offers four distinct food and beverage outlets, a gym, three conference rooms with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and a rooftop pool and bar overlooking the Brisbane River and CBD.

Branded Smart Cars and Lekker bicycles will be additionally be available for guests to explore Brisbane.

The Fantauzzo is the first Art Series hotel to open under Accor Hotels’ management, since the global hotel operator bought the boutique Art Series Hotel Group in 2017.

Arts Series Hotels was trailblazing in the Australian hotel market when it launched in 2009. Each of its hotels are dedicated to an Australian contemporary artist and showcase original artworks and prints throughout the property.

Art Series is now taking bookings. Room rates start from $309 per room per night.

Seychelles Private Island Resort Joins The Luxury Collection

Photo by North Island
Photo by North Island

North Island in the Seychelles is considered one of the world’s most luxurious private island resorts

Marriott International has signed North Island, one of the world’s most luxurious private island resorts, to its The Luxury Collection portfolio of world-renowned hotels and resorts. Managed by ASMALLWORLD – the members-only club dedicated to international travel and luxury – the resort will be also be the organisation’s first property in their highly-anticipated ASW Hotel Collection.

Located in the Seychelles, the small granitic island boasts pristine white sand beaches that surround an interior of coconut palms and indigenous takamaka trees, cradled between three outcrops overlooking the ocean. Each of the 11 private villas provides guests with panoramic oceanfront views and exclusivity in a comfortable 4,890-square foot space.

Amenities include a lounge, dining room, state-of-the-art spa and gym, infinity pool and intimate sunset bar and restaurant located on the western side of the island. The neighbouring North Island library offers travellers an extensive natural history collection resulting from a meticulous renovation of the old coral ruins, as well as immersive marine life presentations and environmental programs.

North Island travellers will be able to fully experience what the natural beauty of the island through a range of activities, such as scuba diving, sea kayaking, boating, fishing, yoga, snorkelling and more.

Anthony Ingham, global brand leader for The Luxury Collection, said the Seychelles is a paradise waiting to be discovered: “Home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands, with endless white sand beaches and coral reefs, lush mountain rainforests and rare animals, the Seychelles archipelago is an untouched paradise with over 115 islands to discover.”

Led by architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, the property’s environmentally-friendly architecture draws inspiration from the natural beauty of the destination. South African-based interior design firm LIFE additionally pulls from surrounding influence, creating an organic aesthetic throughout the hotel. Each room features local materials including wood, local stone and glass, all of which are individually handcrafted by Seychellois and African artisans, along with natural thatched roofs to complete the magnificent design.

North Island is located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Mahe Island, the main and largest island in the Seychelles. To get to the upcoming resort, guests have the option of arriving via a 15-minute helicopter transfer or one-hour boat trip from Mahe Island.

Banyan Tree Hotels to Open First Japanese Property in Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto, Japan

The property will be the first and only luxury international brand hotel with onsen (hot spring) facilities in the heart of Kyoto City

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts will open its first property in Japan in 2022 following the redevelopment of Hotel Ryozen in Higashiyama-ku in Kyoto, which will cease operation in October this year.

The new Banyan Tree hotel will feature designs by renowned master architect Kengo Kuma and feature 60 rooms, a specialty restaurant, bar, library, gymnasium, an award-winning Banyan Tree Spa and onsen facilities.

The announcement of the new property comes as Banyan Tree expands its global network of hotels and resorts and works to further position Kyoto City as an international destination for discerning travellers.

“As we accelerate our expansion to grow our brands worldwide, this agreement marks Banyan Tree’s move in planting the first hotel flag in Japan, renowned for its distinctive culture, cuisine and scenic destinations,” Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree, said.

The hotel group currently operates two spas in Japan at partner hotels and a membership residence.

Banyan Tree Group celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year.

Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport to Feature World’s Largest Indoor Waterfall

Jewel Changi Airport Forest Valley
Forest Valley

An extension of Changi Airport Singapore, Skytrax’s ‘Best Airport in the World’ for seven consecutive years, Jewel Changi Airport will feature the world’s tallest indoor waterfall as its centre masterpiece

Singapore’s Changi Airport extension, Jewel Changi Airport, will open its doors on April 17, 2019, offering travellers a vast array of options to dine, shop, play and stay.

The multi-use development, attached to Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 and within easy access from Terminals 2 and 3, is located before immigration and will be open to both travellers and non-travellers.

The neighbouring YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport provides 130 rooms for busy travellers in need of flexible check-in and check-out timings, while early check-in and storage availability, even for hand-carry luggage, will additionally be granted to passengers who experience late departures.

Functioning as more than an airport, Jewel will have several recreational features, with the unique mix of lush greenery and curated offerings a first in the region. The Forest Valley, a four-storey verdant landscape, will contain one of the largest collections of indoor plants in Singapore in its 22,000 square metre space. Equally as impressive is the Rain Vortex, a 40-metre tall, indoor waterfall that will showcase a nightly light and sound show. The 14,000 square metre Canopy Park will open soon after in June 2019 and allow visitors their choice of play attractions, gardens and walking trails. Canopy mazes, a bouncing net, a walking net, a 50 meter-long canopy bridge and discovery slides – a 4-slides-in-1 sculptural playground – are just some of the upcoming play attractions.

Jewel will also have over 280 shops and eateries including the Peruvian-inspired TONITO, which will serve classic ceviche and iconic Pisco Sour cocktails, and the locally-beloved Violet Oon, which will have its largest restaurant in the airport and offer popular delicacies such as dry laksa, beef rendang, satays and roti jala.

Several brands such as Shake Shack, Pokémon Center Singapore, Burger & Lobster, Läderach and Pink Fish will make their Singapore debut at Jewel, while respected and homegrown Singaporean brands such as Nalise and Supermama will have a presence. The nationally-recognised Tiger Beer will even be unveiling its first-in-the-world Tiger Street Lab and pouring seasonal brews exclusive to Jewel.

Jewel Changi Airport will open on 17th April.

Skytrax has recently announced that Singapore Changi Airport has been voted ‘World’s Best Airport’ for the 2019 Airport Awards by international air travellers for the seventh consecutive year, maintaining its position as the only airport to have received the accolade for seven years running.

Six Senses Opens First Three of Five Lodges in Bhutan

Punakha lodge main facilities at Six Senses Bhutan
Punakha lodge main facilities

Descending from the highest Himalaya, Six Senses Bhutan has opened three of its planned five lodges in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro

Six Senses Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Six Senses Bhutan’s first three lodges in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. The lodges seamlessly combine the brand’s commitment to wellness, sustainability and out-of-the-ordinary experiences with the country’s rich culture, warm hospitality and omni-present spirituality. The newly-opened lodges reside in the west and central valleys of this remote Himalayan kingdom, with the additional Gangtey and Bumthang locations opening in the summer of 2019. Inspired by Bhutan’s infamous Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy, it will include sunrise meditations, holistic spa treatments, private astrology readings, butter lamp lighting ceremonies and incredible hikes and treks through pristine forests.

Each of the five lodges is different in style, showcasing the diversity and special character of each valley it occupies and having been designed to fully immerse travellers in the local culture. The spacious interiors are inspired by Bhutanese architecture, from the simple lines of the natural timber furniture to the bukharis, a traditional wood-burning stove, and vegetable-dyed, antique-washed Himalayan rugs.

The Kingdom of Bhutan keeps 60 per cent of its land under forest cover, as mandated by its constitution, and the Six Senses lodges have been founded in sustainability, actively managing energy, water, waste, purchasing and chemical usage.

Reservations are being accepted now for the lodges in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha with introductory rates available through March 31. Full rates will be applied for stays from April 1 onwards. The lodges in Gangtey and Bumthang are expected to open in the summer of 2019.

In celebration of the opening of Six Senses Bhutan, guests will receive a complimentary upgrade from half board to full board each day of their stay. In addition, Six Senses Bhutan is rewarding guests who book five consecutive nights or more with a private vehicle with driver and a licensed English-speaking Bhutanese guide at their disposal for their entire journey to explore the Kingdom of Bhutan.

A Star-Studded Food Festival is Coming to the Sunshine Coast

The Curated Plate will take place from 8th to 11th August and showcase some of the best chefs from Australia and around the world

A new destination food festival will take place on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this winter, with the arrival of The Curated Plate from 8th to 11th August. The Curated Plate will bring together A-list chefs from Australia and the world to create culinary masterpieces, bringing awareness to local food producers in the Queensland region. The event will also promote organic food consumption and educate visitors on sustainability in agriculture, with all ingredients and produce used in the festival to be locally sourced.

“With an event like The Curated Plate, there will be plenty for locals and visitors to taste and see. Our region is home to a bevy of primary and world-class food producers including Australia’s largest wild caught tuna and swordfish company, Walker Seafoods, our famous Mooloolaba prawns, CoYo – the company that helped develop the non-dairy yoghurt category – and Gourmet Garden, Australia’s most visible retail product in supermarket shelves around the world,” said Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson.

“Food experiences and events such as this help to promote the premium quality of our regional produce as well as offering an outstanding visitor experience. Festival guests will appreciate our region’s diverse natural beauty while enjoying the finest produce prepared by the best chefs in the Australian and international dining scene.”

The food and agribusiness industry on the Sunshine Coast is valued close to $700 million with 900 companies including some of Australia’s leading food and beverage innovators hailing from the region.

Esteemed chefs attending the festival include Peter Gilmore (Quay, Bennelong), Analiese Gregory (Franklin), Raymond Blanc (Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons), Nelly Robinson (owner of progressive Sydney restaurant nel.) and local plant-based champion Alejandro Cancino (ex-Urbane, Brisbane, now Lola’s Pantry).

For tickets and more information visit

British Airways to Launch New and Improved First Class

British Airways First Class

The improvements to First Class will include a new line of amenities and a stronger customer experience

In celebration of its centenary year British Airways is investing 12.2 billion AUD into improvements for First Class customers, incorporating new bedding, luxe amenities and updated menus.

From 31st March First Class passengers will experience new male and female lounge wear designed by Temperley London and amenities bags designed by Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen will be provided to guest. Inside, female passengers will find Cleansing Micellar Ffacial Wipes, Soothing Apricot Facial Wipes, Pro-Collagen Rose Mist, Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Mmatrix Moisturiser, Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Eye Cream, Hydra-Nourish Lip Balm, Sea Lavender and Samphire Hand Cream and Fortitude Deodorant. For the gents, Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Eye Cream, Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Matrix Moisturiser, Cleansing Micellar Facial Wipes, Skin Soothe Shave Gel, Fortitude Deodorant and Hydra-Nourish Lip Balm will be on offer.

All First Class guests can enjoy updated menu options using fresh seasonal ingredients and an all new a-la-carte menu as well as a traditional British high tea along with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and scones and tea infusions. All meals will be served on new bone china crockery designed by British tableware William Edwards, while drinks will now include fine wines and champagnes, soft drinks and various other spirits, served in Dartington glassware.

The airline has also upped the ante on its rest and relaxation time with an improved turndown service with new 400 thread count bedding, foam fibre mattress toppers and new blanket and bolster cushions. Guest can also now choose from over 1,000 hours of programs available on inflight entertainment channels with the added boost of high resolution audio and high performance headphones.

British airways will be investing 6.5 billion GBP over the next five years into new aircraft, new cabins, catering, new lounges, WiFi and new flight paths.

New $700m Andaz Will Be Sydney’s Tallest Hotel Building

Andaz Sydney, 2-4 Bligh St, Sydney

The design for the newest Andaz Hotel development in Sydney shows aa 55-storey tower that will rise above the rest of the city

Sydney is set to get a 55-storey, 226-metre Andaz Hotel development that will become the city’s tallest hotel building to date when it opens in 2022.

The news comes following acclaimed architecture firm Woods Bagot’s winning of a competition held for the design of the new hotel at 4-6 Bligh Street in the Sydney CBD that was organised by Singapore-based investment group SC Capital Partners Group.

Woods Bagot’s design scheme came out on top as the unanimous choice among the six-member jury that included the City of Sydney’s Director of City Planning, Development and Transport, Graham Jahn and Acting New South Wales’ Government Architect and jury chair jury chair Olivia Hyde.

The development will create two addresses—one for the hotel operated by Andaz Hotels by Hyatt and the other for commercial uses—and will be integrated among other commercial and hotel buildings, shops, restaurants and cafes.

Principal and Sydney studio Design Leader Ian Lomas said the building will stand at 226 metres and showcase a sculptural form that will contribute to Sydney’s evolving skyline and respond to its expanding metropolitan context: “The building will be instantly recognisable from every angle, as the tower changes form and emphasis in response to context, orientation and internal function,” he said.

The first three storeys will include the “urban room” which will be comprised of retail as well as separate entries for both the hotel and offices. Commuters and guests can also utilise a discrete porte-cochere aside the shaded veranda that leads to gardens, grand stairs, and retail. The upper levels will include a city brasserie and co-working spaces.

Atop the urban room will be a nine-level commercial office podium that will also include a pool, wellness centre, childcare services, and more co-working facilities topped by roof gardens.

The next 38 stories will hold hotel rooms and suites which stop at the fiftieth floor where guests can enjoy a rooftop restaurant, bar and garden with panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour, the Heads and surrounding parks.

The hotel will set two new environmental and planning standards for the city. 4-6 Bligh Street will be the first hotel to achieve a WELL Building Standard—the leading global rating system exclusively focused on how buildings affect end users’ comfort—as well as the City of Sydney’s Central Sydney Planning Strategy.

4-6 Bligh Street is expected to be complete by 2022.