Calling Fitness Fanatics: An Exclusive 21-Kilometre Trail Run is Launching in the Blue Mountains

Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge | Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

The Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge will be available to just 10 guests of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley per month

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley will launch the first ‘Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge’ next month, an exclusive trail run available only to guests staying at the resort.

The 21-kilometre course, which was mapped out by an expert team of Field Guides, will give health-focused guests the chance to build their fitness and endurance, while exploring the wild, inspiring and rarely accessed parts of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley’s 7,000-acre wilderness setting. To protect the natural environment including the surrounding World Heritage-listed national parks, just 10 participants will be allowed to participate in the challenge each month.

James Wyndham, General Manager at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, said the Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge has been developed in direct response to feedback from guests eager to test their endurance, stamina and navigation skills in the surrounding wilderness, without having to sacrifice a sense of luxury and indulgence.

“For so many of our guests, a visit to is a rare opportunity to connect with nature through our amazing programme of outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, bike riding and hiking trails. We are excited to be… giving our active guests the chance to really push their physical limits in this stunning natural environment, whilst still being able to enjoy all the resort has to offer.”

‘Wolgan Warriors’ will navigate sheer sandstone escarpments, soaring mountain peaks, pristine creeks, dense bushland and sweeping plains, led by a dedicated Field Guide who is steeped in knowledge of the local terrain. The trail will link three of the valley’s iconic peaks for off-track hiking and trail running: Razorback Ridge (277m elevation from the valley floor), Mount Wolgan (294m elevation from the valley floor), and Donkey Mountain (365m elevation from the valley floor). Participants will have five hours to tackle the circuit, beginning in the morning, before an afternoon of leisure that includes spa therapeutic spa treatments and a celebratory campfire at 1832 Heritage Homestead with drinks, canapés and an awards ceremony.

All Wolgan Warrior weekends will be tailored to include special menus, stretching sessions and wildlife tours, and participants will receive special Wolgan Warrior technical running apparel designed by Aussie Grit as well as specialised sports nutrition and hydration supplements provided by Koda Nutrition.

The Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge will launch on 26th August 2019.

The Details

Entry into the Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge is AUD $295 per participant and is open only to guests staying at the resort. This fee includes participation in all Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge activities:

  • Sundowners Tour
  • Adventure Challenge
  • Campfire
  • A 45-minute Warrior Wind Down Massage
  • A selection of exclusive Wolgan Warrior merchandise

Two-night accommodation packages for two adults at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley start at AUD $2,090 per evening in a Heritage Villa with private pool, including gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, local wines and beers with meals, non-alcoholic beverages with meals and two nature-based activities.

For reservations and enquiries visit https://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/one-and-only-wolgan-valley-australia/activities/wolgan-warrior

A&K Releases New Journeys Through Australia & New Zealand

Gourmet Tasmania | A&K
Gourmet Tasmania | A&K

The new journeys include visits to South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula as well as Waiheke Island and the Marlborough wine region in New Zealand

Abercrombie & Kent has released a new collection of journeys around Australia and New Zealand encompassing gourmet getaways, expedition cruising, family holidays and luxury rail journeys.

The itineraries in the portfolio have predominantly been handcrafted for individual travellers and are ready-to-book and ready-to-travel, however for those wanting more personalisation, each journey can also be adapted, amended and extended according to the guest’s individual requirements with the guidance of A&K Travel Specialists, on hand to offer customisation and bespoke journey planning.

New destinations for 2020 include South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, where food and wine take centre stage. The six-day South Australia: Flinders Ranges to the Fleurieu private journey sees guests explore McLaren Vale with an exclusive masterclass at Wirra Wirra’s Old Barrel Hall, a behind-the-scenes experience at the d’Arenberg Cube wine sensory room and an 11-course degustation lunch.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s Waiheke Island is a new addition to A&K’s portfolio. A haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches, it’s only two hours from Auckland via road and ferry. Travellers can experience this on a two-night stay as part of A&K’s eight-day Connoisseur’s North Island private journey.

Dunedin also makes an appearance in the new portfolio, in a seven-day South Island Traverse. Known as the ‘Edinburgh of NZ’, the city has a rich Scottish heritage with one of the southern hemisphere’s best-preserved collections of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Guests have the opportunity to explore its iconic buildings and take in the beautiful Otago Peninsula to the east where rare wildlife includes penguins, albatross and fur seals.

The new week-long Kiwi Epicurean Adventure itinerary features New Zealand’s cosmopolitan capital, Wellington, whose edgy vibe is fuelled by great food, wine and craft beer, which guests can discover on a private gourmet tour. There’s also a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of Peter Jackson’s famous Weta Studios and three nights in the Marlborough wine region, with ample opportunity for cellar door visits and tastings.

In Tasmania, A&K Philanthropy supports the one-of-a-kind Raptor Refuge, which takes in injured birds of prey and rehabilitates them for return to the wild. On the new seven-day Gourmet Tasmania private journey, A&K guests have the unique opportunity of visiting the refuge and enjoying an unequalled level of access highlighting the aviaries and tactile displays there as well as the bird care and exercise areas to observe individual patients in the various stages of recovery.

Fore more information and details regarding all of Abercrombie & Kent’s journeys, visit abercrombiekent.com.au.

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney On Track for October Opening

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney facade
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney facade

The first Fullerton to open outside of Singapore, the upcoming Sydney hotel is set to bring historic elegance to the heart of the Harbour City

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney at the iconic No. 1 Martin Place will have its grand opening on 18th October 2019,  after 20 years as The Westin Sydney under Marriott management. The city’s newest luxury heritage hotel, The Fullerton Hotel Sydney will be the sister property of the beautifully restored Fullerton Hotel Singapore, with both hotels historic, former General Post Office (GPO) buildings. In the lead-up to its launch, the Sydney landmark building has been undergoing remediation works on its façade, which are expected to be completed in time for the official opening in October. The Fullerton Hotel Sydney is the brand’s first international expansion outside of the Lion City.

Prominently located in Martin Place, The Fullerton Hotel Sydney is minutes away from the city’s thriving cultural and arts precincts, retail centres, dining destinations and boutique bar scenes. Iconic landmarks such as The Sydney Opera House, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art and the historic Rocks district can all be reached in under 15 minutes by foot.

The Sydney debut will additionally boast a bespoke program that allows guests to discover a different side of the city they are in, through a range of guided activities, excursions and experiences – including heritage tours – as well as community events.

“Starting from opening weekend, The Fullerton Hotel Sydney will offer complimentary heritage tours for hotel guests and the public,” said Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale, General Manager of The Fullerton Heritage. “We plan to share the building’s fascinating history, which spans the hallowed hallways of the heritage building to the ornamental carvings on the façade. We want to tell the tales of early Sydney, where the building dominated the Sydney skyline, and bring the building’s soul and historical significance to life.”

The Fullerton brand is also committed to implementing corporate social responsibility programs and will implement an extension of Singapore’s Fullerton Academy at its Sydney branch. This staff volunteerism programme “provides hands-on mentoring and training for underprivileged teens,” according to Viterale. Fullerton has also signed a Plastic ACTion commitment (PACT) agreement with the World Wildlife Fund to reduce a significant amount of single-use plastic by 2020. This includes the elimination of plastic straws and plastic bags, as well as the use of an in-room tablet that provides a digital concierge service. At the touch of a button, guests will be able to place a dinner reservation, book a spa treatment, schedule a taxi or arrange a laundry pick-up service.

 

the-fullerton-hotel-sydney.com

New Queenstown Lodge to Open In December

Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa
Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa

Enjoy a glass of fine wine or a unique ‘vinotherapy’ spa in Central Otago, as you overlook working vineyards and mountains…

Following years of planning, Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa in New Zealand’s South Island will start welcoming guests in mid-December of this year. The stunning Central Otago accommodation is located in the heart of a winery, only 20 minutes from Queenstown Airport and can be booked via the hotel’s new website.

24 private villas along with a central lodge and spa are set overlooking the working organic vineyards and the mountains of Gibbston. Each villa is modern and comfortable, with a luxurious home-away-from-home feel and 65 m2 of luxurious indoor living space in addition to its own secluded, covered deck and sun-washed courtyard. All Gibbston Valley villas feature a super king size bed, fireplace, temperature control technology, a large tub with premium local beauty products, high-speed WiFi, complimentary bike use and a selection of Gibbston Valley wines, personalised to individual preference.

Meanwhile, a short stroll from the villas, Gibbston Valley’s architecturally designed lodge is the cornerstone of the property. Inspired by the Central Otago landscape, its soaring ceiling and locally sourced schist exterior reflect the awe-inspiring elements of the region. Next door is the sun-filled Conservatory, which is the ideal place to curl up with a good book, and downstairs, guests can be inspired by a private wine tasting or intimate dinner in the cellar, which is home to Gibbston Valley’s historic vintages. There is also a small movie theatre, ideal for private film screenings or events. Outside, guests can take in the outstanding views across Gibbston Valley as they play a game of bocce, stargaze by the outdoor fire pit or enjoy a meal in the al fresco dining space.

The Gibbston Valley Spa will be a private, luxurious retreat for health, beauty and well-being, where experienced therapists will offer specialised treatments that are personalised to each guest’s needs, featuring ‘vinotherapy’ and sustainable beauty products. Guests will also find a gym with free weights and state-of-the-art cardio equipment as well as a sauna and secluded hot pools.

One-of-a-kind luxury packages and experiences ‒ such as the Essential Wine Experience offering, a ‘vinotherapy’ spa treatment and an exploration of the 1000-acre Gibbston Valley Station ‒ will allow guests to immerse themselves in the rural playground of the valley and create tailored itineraries. Guests can also indulge in wine and food packages and embark on trips into Queenstown and historic Arrowtown.

Gibbston Valley Executive Chef, Anthony Gradiska, will serve up fresh, seasonal dishes in the Lodge that have been designed to complement Gibbston Valley’s premium, handcrafted, boutique wines. Expect a focus on organic, free-range and sustainably sourced ingredients, carefully selected from local suppliers.

“We hope that our guests will leave with a newfound appreciation for Central Otago wine and food,” said Greg Hunt, Gibbston Valley CEO. “It is now widely regarded as being amongst the best in the world, and we believe that is because we treat our natural surroundings with the utmost patience and respect. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and love for the region and giving our guests fantastic memories that will last them a lifetime.”

Reservations for Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa are now open.

 

www.gibbstonvalleylodgeandspa.com

Quirky Hotels: Sydney’s Exclusive Floating Villa

Lilypad Sydney
Lilypad Sydney

Due to overwhelming demand for the previously members-only venue, Lilypad is now open to the public for private stays

Following its exclusive opening in December 2018 as a members-only event venue, Lilypad is now officially available for bookings by the general public. The luxurious floating villa offers complete walk on, walk off service and is located just metres off-shore at Sydney’s exclusive Palm Beach, making the floating villa one of the most unique accommodation experiences currently available in Australia.

Whether is be a romantic overnight getaway for two or an event venue to host friends and family by the water, Lilypad is the ideal destination for smaller and more intimate occasions and stays. The rising accommodation recently partnered with luxury brands Veuve Clicquot and Glenmorangie Whiskey – both of which are complementary with every booking – as well as Palm Beach catering group, Sydney Seaplanes and local favourite, The Boat House Group, create a wholistic luxury travel experience for guests.

Designer Chuck Anderson combined innovative design with traditional craftsmanship and modern luxuries to build the unique space, which runs completely off solar power. “We have built a space that is for true relaxation and enjoyment of the natural beauty where Lilypad exists,” he said. “It is the perfect space to either reset from the world in ultimate comfort or host friends and colleagues in a way like never before. The design and construction of Lilypad was a feat in engineering to ensure guests could experience luxury accommodation on an entirely stable surface, whilst drifting with the rhythmic sounds and movements of the ocean.”

The rental fee includes an array of amenities such as:

  • Private host/concierge
  • Private tender transfers to and from Lilypad for duration of stay
  • Additional self-drive luxury personal vessel so guests can explore, swim and picnic at local beaches at leisure
  • Chef-prepared sides and salads to accompany premium meats, followed by dessert options
  • On-board breakfast supplied by the Boat House Palm Beach
  • Complimentary on-board wine cellar with bottles of Veuve Clicqout, Cloudy bay and Cape Mentelle
  • Use of water equipment including paddleboards, fishing rods and floating daybed
  • Two night booking includes complimentary meal for two at the iconic Barrenjoey House with private boat transfers valued at $350 AUD

Additional extras that can be purchased include:

  • Seaplane transfers from Rose Bay
  • Luxury chauffeured vehicle transfers
  • On board massage or beauty treatments

Bookings are available through the Lilypad website and Airbnb.

lilypadpalmbeach.com.au

Meliá Bali Solidifies Standing as Top Family-Friendly Island Resort

Meliá Bali
Meliá Bali

The tropical resort offers a variety of activities to keep children entertained and safe while parents relax, from Balinese dance lessons to movie nights and temple visits

Beachside hotel Meliá Bali has elevated its reputation as a top, family-friendly luxury Bali resort with the announcement that it has been accredited by Worldwide Kids, specifically on its Regular Risk Assessments and Safety Policies & Procedures for childcare. The hotel is the only hotel in Bali to be accredited by the London-based global consultancy service provider. The accreditation involved the Worldwide Kids’ team conducting staff training, undertaking an audit of the kids club facility and a doing a full assessment on the existing childcare facilities in the world-class resort.

As a go-to travel destination for family holidays, Meliá Bali has made creating children-safe surroundings a high priority, which also includes providing guests with qualified attendants that thereby allow parents to relax and enjoy every minute during their stay.

The youngest of guests can choose from the fun activities available in Kids Club, which is open from early morning until late night, every day. The hotel features a children’s pool, playground activities and wide variety of games to workshops. For children specifically from four to seven years old, there is fish feeding, Balinese dance lessons, temple visits, Balinese dress-up, cooking, kite-making and flying, as well as outdoor activities like disco and movie nights. Older kids are treated to arts and crafts, pool games, beach hunting, cooking or cultural activities like basic Indonesian and Balinese lessons.

 

www.meliabali.com

One&Only’s Winter Culinary Indulgence Festival in Full Swing

Christmas in July
Christmas in July

The festival includes a Caviar & Champagne weekend with caviar expert Lisa Downs, a sustainable Australian seafood dinner with Josh Niland, an 1832 Wolgan Gin Weekend hosted by Mikey Enright and Ian Glenn and a cheese masterclass weekend with Will Studd

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is hosting a series of incredible culinary experiences curated by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading chefs, tastemakers, and winemakers this winter. Each gourmet experience reflects the resort’s culinary philosophy, celebrating the very best of seasonal, regional and, where possible, organic produce, sourced from local boutique farms, private growers and vintners.

The Winter Culinary Festival launched on 21st June with the ‘Big Reds and Game’ dinner, hosted by Claudio Haye. Haye is from Domain Thompson, a family-owned winery with vineyards in both New Zealand and France. The experience kicked off with a wine tasting in the afternoon where guests were able to sample some exquisite pinot noir vintages, followed by a dinner prepared by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchella featuring game meats paired with Domaine Tomson wines.

The opulent Caviar & Champagne weekend, featuring a masterclass hosted by caviar expert Lisa Downs, took place a week later, with guests sampling a range of the finest caviar varieties, expertly matched with a selection of Perrier Jouet vintages. In the evening, guests were treated to an exquisite five-course caviar-inspired dinner, created by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela and matched with Perrier Jouet Champagne.

July launched with Josh Niland cooking alongside Nancy to showcase the very best in sustainable Australian seafood, and for the whisky-inclined, Josh Walker, head distiller at the award-winning Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, will host a whisky weekend from 19th to 20th July. Ian Glen of Stone Pine Distillery will also co-host the ultimate 1832 Wolgan Gin weekend alongside Sydney’s leading gin specialist Mikey Enright on 26th-27th July, while Christmas in July will be celebrated all month long with a series of Yulefest-inspired experiences.

The first weekend of August, leading cheese specialist Will Studd will present an insider’s glimpse into the world’s best cheeses, with a selection of his personal favourites hosted within the Valley Bar Lounge. Two weeks later, Tim Kirk from award-winning Clonakilla Winery will give guests the chance to sample some of the finest Clonakilla vintages, followed by a Clonakilla truffle dinner.

All the experiences within the Winter Culinary Indulgence are complimentary to guests as a part of a two-night accommodation package. The package starts at $2,090 AUD per evening for two guests. Guests will stay in a Heritage Villa with the following inclusions: a private heated pool, gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner, local wines and beers with meals, non-alcoholic beverages with meals, a complimentary in-villa snack bar and selected nature-based activities.  Spaces are limited, and advanced bookings are essential.

 

oneandonlywolganvalley.com

Booking Platform for Sustainable Travel Launches

Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef WA | Bee+Hive | Photo by Sal Salis
Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef WA | Bee+Hive | Photo by Sal Salis

A global association of hotels, Bee+Hive’s new booking platform will allow travellers to plan trips based on sustainable experiences, with the ultimate goal of creating a better, more environmentally friendly global travel industry

A new booking platform has launched dedicated to uniting luxury hotels and partners through sustainable tourism. Created by Bee+Hive, a not-for-profit association, the platform will allow travellers to plan trips based on sustainable experiences, with booking revenues generated by users of the site reinvested to support the destinations’ local community, environment or economy.

Founded in 2017 by Bruno Correa, Bee+Hive’s collective of hotels is committed to shaping the future of travel by acting as change agents by means of impactful ecologic, socio-economic and cultural sustainability experiences. Each member is unique and offers its own bespoke sustainable experiences that give back to the local area, champion sustainability and attract travellers. These include getting involved in the protection of loggerhead sea turtles or going on bald eagle-spotting expeditions at St. Simons Island in the USA; spending an evening afloat the Zambezi River with hippos and elephants through Masuwe Lodge  in Zimbabwe and swimming with whale sharks at Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef.

As advocates for sustainable tourism experiences, Bee+Hive focuses on three key pillars of sustainability to inspire travellers beyond their trip so that they can spread awareness and knowledge. These three pillars include the implementation of experiences focusing on preserving the local environment and wildlife, experiences promoting practices that contribute to the local economy and experiences helping to safeguard local culture.

Having worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, Correa noticed that it was often the small boutique properties that shared the same belief that tourism businesses have the power to educate travellers. However, many properties lacked the means and resources to promote their experiences globally. As a result, awareness and uptake of these unique experiences were often limited.

“We wanted to combine a strong, aligned portfolio of members with a focus on sustainable experiences to generate resources that help the people who are supporting their local areas,” said Correa. “As a group, we create meaningful connections that enable members to develop and promote more inspiring and impactful experiences.”

As a not-for-profit, all revenue from Bee+Hive is reinvested into promotional efforts for legitimate and inspiring sustainable hotels and experiences. The portfolio currently consists of 12 properties across Australia, Brazil, Phillippines, Sweden, USA and Zimbabwe, with plans to expand this globally.

 

beeplushive.com

The Beautiful (and Delicious) Prosecco Hills Receives UNESCO Status

The Prosecco Hills
The Prosecco Hills

The United Nations has named the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene Italy’s 55th UNESCO World Heritage site

The Prosecco Hills – one of the oldest wine regions in Italy and the birthplace of the world-famous sparkling wine – is joining the UNESCO World Heritage List.  Just an hour’s drive north of Venice in the foothills of the Dolomites, the Prosecco Hills is one of the world’s best and yet largely undiscovered wine regions. Here, ancient terraced vineyards clinging to the sides of every possible slope are dedicated exclusively to growing grapes for Italy’s most prized sparkling wine: Prosecco, and with the region soon to be on travellers’ radars thanks to the new UNESCO status, now is the time to visit.

Adventure tour operator Exodus Travels offers an eight-day walking tour of the Prosecco Hills beginning with a gentle walk in the town of Cison di Valmarino, following waterways, tranquil woodlands and panoramic views over the farmland and villages far below.

In the heartland of the Prosecco Hills, namely Valdobbiadene, S. Pietro di Barbozza and S.Stefano, travellers have the opportunity to visit one of the top local Prosecco producers. There they can tour wine cellars and sample delectable varieties of Prosecco during a guided wine-tasting.

Walking upon rambling mazes, streets lined with arcaded walkways and circled by pretty walls in the capital province of Treviso, travellers will have some spare time to sample one of the creamiest desserts, Tiramisu, whose birthplace is rumoured to lie in this city.

The tour concludes with a walk in Mt Cesen, a humble and charismatic mountain that sits gracefully above the Prosecco Hills.​ ​With an altitude of 1570 meters, Mt Cesen offers a stunning panorama of the mountain pastures, meadows and vineyards walked upon throughout the week.

“We take travellers to this beautiful region every season and it has quickly become one of our top-selling tours. Undoubtedly, Italy has one of the most infectious and alluring cultures in the world, so it’s no surprise the UN has added another Italian destination to their list,” said Exodus Travels’ Australasian Territory Manager, Louisa Day.

The tour includes all transport, all breakfasts, four lunches, four dinners, two wine tastings and accommodation throughout, with rates starting from AUD $2,379.

 

exodustravels.com.au

Former All Blacks Star Launches Luxury Adventure Tourism Brand

Luke Romano
Luke Romano

Inspired by New Zealand pride, the professional athlete’s company will boast custom outdoor adventures for guests of all ages

Luke Romano, former All Blacks rugby player and current Crusaders lock, has unveiled Monarch Pursuits – New Zealand’s first full-service outdoor adventure and travel company. The new brand targets the premium visitor market and will provide tailored itineraries incorporating hunting, fishing and heli-skiing experiences in NZ’s Southern Alps.

Guests are treated to a stay at some of the country’s most exclusive alpine retreats and explore off-the-beaten track locations for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

Romano’s passion for the outdoors, hunting in the high country and his pride in New Zealand led to Monarch’s creation, with a team of successful Christchurch businesspeople and an operations team with extensive tourism experience financially supporting the brand.

“Whether it’s an older couple who aren’t interested in hunting and just want to have a high-end holiday package put together and tour around New Zealand, to a group of mates who are coming over to do straight hunting or fishing before spending four-days enjoying all the excitement down in Queenstown, to families who want to do a little bit of everything,” Romano said. “We want to appeal to every individual on the spectrum because we can cater to all their needs.”

The professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur will continue playing rugby for another year and will be actively involved in the business, dealing personally with all clients and, as his rugby schedule permits, participating in the hunting trips.

At age 33, he is acutely aware of the prospect of life after rugby: “I’ve been thinking about doing this for a wee while but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I’ve been fortunate to have the support and financial backing of a team of experts in business and tourism, who know what it takes to be successful. I’m the practical side of the outfit with my hunting and outdoor experience so it’s a win-win for all of us.”

 

monarchpursuits.com