A Gourmet Tour of Kangaroo Island

LifeTime Private Retreats – CliffHouse
LifeTime Private Retreats – CliffHouse

Lucy Jones hops over to Kangaroo Island and discovers a unique natural wonderland that’s a true feast for the senses

The Ramindjeri name for Kangaroo Island, Karta, translates to Island of the Dead, but with all due respect to its traditional owners, I’m thinking Gateway to Heaven might be a better description.

Australia’s third largest island after Tasmania and Melville, Kangaroo Island – or KI as it’s known locally – is lush and green, a natural wonderland fringed by tiny arcs of beach and icy blue ocean stretching to the horizon.

Just 4,500 people are lucky enough to live on this little slice of nirvana, although you hardly ever see them.

What you do see, however, is plenty of its namesake marsupials. The native kangaroos here are smaller and stockier than on the mainland, with chocolate brown fur and sooty black paws, and spend much of their time napping in the shade.

Kangaroo Island Odysseys is waiting for us at Kingscote Airport after our short Qantas flight from Adelaide. The company operates multi-day food and wine tours around the island, giving visitors an authentic taste of the produce that defines this wonderful destination.

Our home for the next few nights is LifeTime Private Retreats, a collection of five secluded houses on the north shore of the island, around an hour from the main town of Kingscote.

Each home is different in style, from a sleek contemporary four-bedroom to a Mediterranean-style villa and a magical one-bedroom artist’s retreat. I check in to the Settlers Homestead, a rustic-chic country farmhouse with three ensuite bedrooms and stunning views out over the valley.

This home is located just behind the picturesque Snellings Beach. The water is crystal clear, tropical almost – until I put my feet in. It’s bitingly cold, although I’m told it warms up over the summer a tad.

The property is run by Nick Hannaford, who grew up on the island and has an abiding passion for it. All of LifeTime Private Retreat’s homes have fully equipped kitchens or Hannaford can arrange for a caterer to make breakfast, lunch and dinner (and even clean up after) if you so choose.

Our first meal is suitably magical, served beneath vibrant green boughs of the Enchanted Fig Tree. The tree was planted by the island’s early colonial settlers and, over the years, has been shaped into a living dining room.

The food is as impressive as the setting, with a multi-course menu of local delights like scallop ceviche, squid flash-fried in polenta and smoked beef ribs. We also get our first taste of gin from Kangaroo Island Spirits, a special blend made just for LifeTime Private Retreats using a wild coastal daisy called olearia.

There are many more exceptional meals to come, served in different venues around the property. We eat a Greek-style feast in the Beach Taverna, once a family boatshed.

Fat prawns are grilled over an open flame, creamy taramasalata accompanies a bright quinoa salad, and lamb chops are cooked over a fire made only of newspaper – a Hannaford family signature dish. A simple roast chicken and crispy potatoes is the ideal dinner for the rustic Shearing Shed.

Though I would quite happily hide away at LifeTime, spending the day reading by the window or walking on the beach, there’s much more to see on KI.

There are a dozen wineries on the island with about 200 hectares under vines. At The Islander Estate Vineyards, a private lunch is set up for us in between its huge concrete wine vats.

Chef Sue Pearson from 2 Birds and a Squid catering company serves up fresh KI oysters, sheep haloumi, King George whiting and a lemon delicious pudding. While we eat, kelpie collies Jill and Brix nap contentedly on the concrete outside. They don’t look too active, but we’re told they are a most effective pest control system and will run down anything from a mouse to a wallaby.

There’s time for a stop at Kangaroo Island Spirits for more of their award-winning gin. The spirits are distilled with native juniper foraged on the island or local mulberries, and there’s a range of flavoured liqueurs to try as well. The tours also include visits to Island Pure Sheep Dairy and Island Beehive to sample some more of the KI’s acclaimed produce.

On our final morning, a spectacular Moroccan breakfast is served on the terrace of LifeTime Private Retreat’s Cliff House overlooking the beach. The home looks like it belongs in the hills above Los Angeles, with its all-white walls, circular bedroom and 1970s-vibe conversation pit.

Vibrantly yellow eggs, creamy fetta, crispy bacon and fresh herbs are served with an endless stream of sweet mint tea. The sun is shining, the sea is impossibly blue, and this ancient Island of the Dead is very much alive and thriving.

The Details

Kangaroo Island Odysseys operates a three-day, two-night Kangaroo Island Food, Wine and Wilderness tour, including accommodation in Kingscote, return flights from Adelaide, gourmet picnic lunches, private winery tours, and other tastings. Prices start from $2217 per person. For further information and bookings, visit kangarooislandodysseys.com.au and southaustralia.com.

Qantas operates year-round direct flights from Adelaide; five times a week during the peak summer season and three times a week for the rest of the year. Seasonal flights from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island also operate in December and January. For fares and bookings, visit qantas.com.

SeaLink Kangaroo Island operates a two-day/one-night Food, Wine and Natural Wonders tour, including accommodation at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, return coach and ferry transfers from Adelaide, dining experiences, private cellar and winery tours, and other tastings. Prices start from $762 per person. For further information and bookings, visit sealink.com.au and southaustralia.com.

A Tropical Summer Sojourn in Australia’s Garden of Eden

Alamanda Palm Cove
Alamanda Palm Cove

In partnership with

To celebrate the arrival of summer in just one month’s time, Alamanda is offering 25% off the Best Available Rate for stays of three or more nights in One or Two Bedroom Beachfront Apartments up until 31 May 2019

It’s November, which means it’s around the time when everyone starts to realise with equal amounts of shock and excitement that summer, and Christmas, are around the corner, the year is soon coming to a close, and  – uh-oh – they haven’t yet booked that beachside, tropical holiday they’ve been dreaming about all year.

For guaranteed sunshine and laid-back beachy vibes not too far from home, Palm Cove in Queensland ticks all the boxes. And for those who value spacious accommodation as much as the destination itself there’s Alamanda Palm Cove, whose self-contained suites start at 85 sqm for a one-bedroom suite and extend to a whopping 250 sqm for a four-bedroom Alamanda Suite – almost the size of a tennis court.

Add the sparkle of a secluded and exclusive position right on the beautiful beach that is Palm Cove – just 25 minutes north of tropical Cairns – an award-winning restaurant, sumptuous spa and a dreamy beachfront pool, and you have an ideal spot for a summer break far from the hustle-bustle of the city.

Stretch out the stresses of your work week with some yoga under the swaying tropical palms, watch a breathtaking sunset across the Coral Sea from the balcony of your Beachfront Apartment, and indulge in Far North Queensland’s celebrated produce with dinner at NuNu – this is a day in the life of a guest at Alamanda.

To celebrate the arrival of summer in just one month’s time, Alamanda is offering 25% off the Best Available Rate for stays of three or more nights in One or Two Bedroom Beachfront Apartments up until 31 May 2019. Guests will also receive:

  • A complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival
  • A $25 spa voucher for use at the award-winning Alamanda Spa
  • 30 minutes of relaxation in the Beachfront Spa Pavilion (subject to availability)
  • Late checkout (subject to availability)


Conditions apply, so visit lancemore.com.au/alamanda for more details and to book.

Six Senses Krabey Island to Open in December

Ocean Pool Villa at Six Senses Krabey Island

Six Senses is offering an exclusive package to celebrate the upcoming opening of the new Six Senses Krabey Island in Cambodia

Reservations have opened for Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia, the newest resort from Six Senses set to open its doors on 1 December. The hotel marks the luxury hotel and resort brand’s entrance into the Cambodian hotel market.

In celebration of the resort’s opening, Six Senses has announced an exclusive Six Senses Krabey Island Private Experience Package featuring a 20% savings on the best available rate for guests who stay at the resort between 1 and 21 December 2018, and 11 and 31 January 2019. The package includes four nights in the Hideaway Pool Villa Suite, a specially-crafted tasting menu for lunch and a dinner for two, each at one of the resort’s two signature restaurants. In addition, the package also includes a private sunset cruise as well as cocktails and canapés, a 90-minute therapeutic Khmer Herbal Massage for two, a visit to a local pagoda, and a hands-on Khmer cooking class at the resort’s own organic farm.

Six Senses Krabey Island is located on a 30-acre private tropical island just five kilometres from Ream National Park in Southern Cambodia. From the mainland, it’s a mere fifteen-minute cruise across the ocean before arriving at the resort.

On the island, the resort features 40 private pool villas all equipped with infinity plunge pools and rain showers. Other amenities include the Six Senses Spa, a sunset bar, two restaurants, an ice cream parlour, horizon lap pool, outdoor fitness circuit, oceanfront boardwalk, beachfront sundeck, open-air cinema and sky observatory. Six Senses Krabey Island also offers a variety of experiences such as water activities, island hopping, boat trips and personal wellness programs and treatments.

Continuing the Six Senses commitment to sustainability seen in all of their hotels, Six Senses Krabey Island has its own water bottling plant using glass bottles and its Earth Lab initiative tends an organic farm and a coral propagation program. Six Senses is also supporting school programs in nearby villages as well as leading the introduction of sustainable practices within the local Khmer communities.



New Zealand Has a New Luxury Lodge, and it Doesn’t Disappoint

The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley, New Zealand
The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley, New Zealand

Further solidifying New Zealand’s status as a global leader in luxury lodges, The Lindis is a stroke of architectural brilliance in a raw and untouched environment

Surrounded by over 6000 acres of mountains and valleys and nestled between three conservation parks, New Zealand’s newest luxury lodge has opened its doors.

The stunning new The Lindis is located in the Ahuriri Valley in North Otago on New Zealand’s South Island, a dramatic landscape of snow-capped mountains, wetlands, tussock grasslands and beech forests. Positioned on working farms Ben Avon Station and next to Longslip Station within the valley, the boutique hotel’s sleek, low profile and unique architectural design brings modern luxury to an otherwise untouched environment, bolstering New Zealand’s reputation as home to some of the world’s most beautiful luxury wilderness lodges.

The main building houses five eclectically designed suites – each named after a neighbouring station – and is characterised by top-shelf finishes and modern and sculptural detail. Its sweeping, wooden roof ensures the solitary man-made structure appears an organic, seamless addition to the natural landscape, while a huge expanse of glass along the front of the building provides guests with a looking glass to the spectacular panoramic views of the river – one of the top ten fly fishing locations in the world – and mountains beyond.

Outside the main building, guests can expect merino sheep and Angus bulls roaming freely, and endless opportunities to explore the valley on foot, bike or horse, with mountain climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding also on offer at the lodge.

Next year, a further three suites will open as part of an extension of the lodge, as well as individual glass pods specially designed for star-gazing.

Rates for a Lodge Suite at The Lindis start at NZD $2500 per night and include:

  • Luxury accommodation
  • Daily pre-dinner drinks & charcuterie station
  • Daily multi course dinner
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily afternoon tea
  • Mini bar
  • Self-guided activities



World’s First and Only Chanel Spa Opens

Ritz Club Paris
Ritz Club Paris

The new, decadent Chanel au Ritz Paris is an homage to the fashion icon that made Ritz Paris her home for 34 years

The world’s first and only Chanel spa is now open to the public at the Ritz Paris, with the Chanel au Ritz Paris, along with the Coco Chanel Prestige Suite, paying homage to one of the hotel’s most celebrated residents.

Chanel famously resided in the second-floor suite of the Ritz Paris for 34 years from 1937 until her death in 1971 and over the years brought in her favorite furniture and décor until finally she had redecorated the whole space. Today, the Coco Chanel Prestige Suite as well as the new spa embody the fashion industry matriarch’s taste to a tee, with her trademark black-and-white palette, Coromandel lacquer screens, gilded mirrors, numerous portraits, sketches, and photographs, rock crystal chandeliers as well as swathes of velvet.

Interior designer Thierry W. Despont planned the Chanel au Ritz Paris to induce deep relaxation as well as recreate the aesthetic experience Coco Chanel created for herself. Chanel’s famous quote, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself,” is echoed by Chanel au Ritz Paris, with the spa focusing on enhancing each guest’s best self through the signature Chanel massage, rejuvenating skincare therapies, facials, and makeup applications using Chanel skincare products.

Merging ultimate Parisian luxury with total relaxation, Chanel au Ritz Paris is located in the hotel’s two-story, state-of-the-art Ritz Club.



The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort Opens

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Suite Bathroom
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Suite Bathroom

Designed by award-winning architects PEIA Associati, the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort marks Westin Hotels & Resorts’ entrance into the Maldivian resort market

Westin Hotels & Resorts has opened the doors of its first resort in the Republic of Maldives.

Centrally located in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort features interior décor inspired by the abundant marine life the Maldives is known for, with Hanifaru Bay, known for the largest gathering of manta rays globally, within close distance of the resort.

Award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati led the design process with a visionary approach that merges oceanic motifs and environmental sustainability. An aerial view of the new resort reveals that the entire construction and layout of the property forms the outline of a fish, and the arrival jetty is constructed to represent ocean waves and clam shells.

Guests of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort have the choice of staying in either a villa or suite, of which there are 70 in total, either on the island or overwater.

The resort offers the Heavenly Spa by Westin, a 24-hour WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, and three unique dining experiences. The Pearl is the resort’s specialty restaurant and offers a refined Japanese menu focusing on fresh seafood and local ingredients. For an all-day dining experience, the resort offers the Island Kitchen, and at Hawker guests can try authentic Asian street food in a casual atmosphere. The Sunset Bar overlooks the ocean in a relaxed lounge space and provides guests with cocktails and tapas.

The Westin Kids Club adds to every family’s stay at the resort. The Kids Club follows the Westin Brand’s focus on wellness by providing guests between the ages of 4-12 with immersive experiences such as nature walks, family-style runs, and water activities. The resort offers snorkelling, diving, fishing, and parasailing for guests of all ages.



Singapore’s New Six Senses to Open in December

Six Senses Maxwell, Six Senses Singapore

Six Senses Maxwell follows the opening of Six Senses Duxton, with both heritage buildings together forming the new Six Senses Singapore

Six Senses Resorts has announced the December 1st opening of Six Senses Maxwell, the second of two heritage buildings that comprise Six Senses Singapore – the other being Six Senses Duxton, located a mere walk away through vibrant Chinatown.

Designed by French architect and designer Jacques Garcia, Six Senses Maxwell’s design offers an alternative aesthetic with the designer’s signature European style that melds tradition and modernity. All 120 rooms have been intentionally styled to create an East-meets-West eclecticism and feature brass, lacquer and marble minibars and handmade Lafroy Brooks bathroom fixtures.

The hotel also has five food and beverage concepts on offer, with four of the five restaurants located on the ground floor and offering outdoor seating, including a classic European-style brasserie, a social library restaurant and bar, a classic champagne bar and a cocktail lounge. Located on the top floor of Six Senses Maxwell is Max’s Edible Garden, a restaurant complementing the 25-metre rooftop pool and gym.

Following Six Senses Maxwell’s opening, the hotel will be introducing Six Senses Spa Pods in early 2019. In addition to massages, facials, and beauty treatments, the spa facility will offer personal trainers and yoga classes, with both hotel guests and locals invited to book treatments.

As part of the unique Six Senses experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine consultations, tea appreciation sessions, yoga and well-received heritage tours of the surrounding neighbourhoods will also be available to guests of both Six Senses Maxwell and Six Senses Duxton.

Six Senses Maxwell is now accepting reservations for its upcoming opening and is offering an opening special where guests can receive 15% off the best available rate when they book online through Six Senses’ website. This offer includes daily breakfast, welcome amenities and unlimited WiFi accessibility. Standard rates start at SGD $330 per night.

Six Senses Maxwell recently received the Urban Redevelopment Authority Architectural Heritage Award due to its European elegance and modern vibrancy.



New-Look Raffles Singapore Opens Reservations

Raffles Singapore

The home of the very first Singapore Sling has undergone an extensive overhaul ahead of its 2019 re-opening, with its iconic Long Bar already open for business

The famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore ­– currently in the midst of an extensive refurbishment – has opened reservations for stays starting in August 2019. Following a grand reopening, the luxurious all-suite hotel will feature an expanded suite count of 115 when its doors once again open to guests, each complete with pampering amenities, redesigned bathrooms, state-of-the-art technology, double-glazed windows, colonial architecture, lush gardens, verandahs and teakwood floors.

Meanwhile, two brand new amenities, The Raffles Boutique and Raffles Spa, along with the iconic Raffles Butlers, who provide 24-hour service and anticipate guests’ every need during their stay, will take the hotel into new luxury ‘lifestyle hotel’ territory.

General Manager of Raffles Singapore, Christian Westbeld, said that Raffles will also be introducing new and redesigned bars, restaurants, courtyards, and social areas. “Our careful and sensitive restoration was designed to ensure we retain everything that makes Raffles Singapore so special.”

One of those things is, of course, the historic Long Bar, home to the authentic Singapore Sling cocktail that was created there over 100 years ago. Now completely restored, the celebrated watering hole recently reopened to the public in its original location at the Raffles Arcade. With a tropical, Malayan plantation-themed interior, patrons of Long Bar will feel as if they have been transported back to the golden age of the 1920s. Not to mention, where else in the world can you sit at a hotel bar, eat peanuts directly from a gunny sack and then dispose of the shells right on the floor?

In addition to the famous Singapore Sling at Long Bar, which every guest staying at the hotel receives on arrival, returning food and drink favourites at Raffles Singapore include North Indian cuisine at Tiffin Room, and the classic Raffles Afternoon Tea. The hotel will also boast not one but two Michelin-starred chefs – Alain Ducasse’s first Mediterranean sharing and grill concept, BBR by Alan Ducasse, as well as Anne-Sophie Pic’s debut in Asia with La Dame de Pic at Raffles Singapore.

In celebration of The Raffles Singapore’s new look, the hotel is offering a Raffles Opening Package. For an extra SGD $120 per night, guests will receive daily breakfast in their suite, on the verandah, poolside or at the Tiffin Room, as well as an SGD $100 credit to use at the Raffles Spa or at any of the Raffles Singapore dining options. This enhanced package also guarantees late check-out until 3:00 p.m. and comes with a commemorative Raffles Heritage souvenir.

Rates for a State Room Suite start at SGD $869 per night starting 1 August 2019.



Raffles Singapore Reopens after Complete Restoration
Raffles Singapore has officially reopened, unveiling its revitalised facade and interiors to guests on 1st August after a two-and-a-half-year, three-phase process.

Cairns’ Eco Hotel, Riley, to Open Next Month

Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection Resort, Cairns

The new Cairns hotel will open on 6 November as an environmentally-conscious hotel dedicated to showcasing ‘responsible luxury’

The Crystalbrook Collection Resort group has announced its newest hotel, Riley, will welcome guests starting 6 November 2018, and that it will donate $100 per room booked direct through crystalbrookcollection.com for the first week of its launch to Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

In a strong commitment to the hotel’s surroundings and location, the first five-star hotel introduced to Cairns in over twenty years will also promote environmentally conscious living in all aspects of the hotel, from paperless check-in and iPads replacing paper to using recycled wooden keycards in lieu of plastic.

“As an organisation hugely committed to the environment and as a Founding Citizen of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, this was a natural choice for us to celebrate this exciting opening,” CEO of Crystalbrook Collection, Mark Davie, said. “This initiative is just one way in which Riley will speak to Crystalbrook’s core value of responsible luxury.”

The new Cairns hotel features 311 stylish rooms and suites, a lagoon pool, private beach, Eléme Day Spa, 24-hour fitness centre, numerous event and banquet spaces, as well as three high-end dining experiences. These include the Asian-inspired Paper Crane, a healthy living focused all-day venue called Greenfields, as well as a bar, Rocco. Rocco now holds the distinction of being Cairns’ highest rooftop bar, providing views of Cairns and the Coral Sea.

Riley is centrally located at the northern end of Cairns waterfront Esplanade.

Book online for Riley’s opening at https://www.crystalbrookcollection.com/.


Iconic Westin Hotel to Become The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

The hotel located at the landmark building of No. 1 Martin Place Sydney will become The Fullerton Hotel Sydney after 20 years under Marriott management

Fullerton Hotels and Resorts has announced it will take over management of The Westin Sydney at No. 1 Martin Place on 18th October 2019, at which point the hotel will be rebranded The Fullerton Hotel Sydney. The acquisition of the historic, landmark General Post Office (GPO) building will mark the first international destination for Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, who own the award-winning The Fullerton Bay Hotel and The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

Built in 1928, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, like its sister Sydney property, was previously home to the country’s General Post Office and other government departments, and was gazetted as Singapore’s 71st National Monument in December 2015 – the highest form of national recognition in Singapore and the equivalent of a listing on the National Heritage List in Australia. Both Singapore properties are located in the cultural Fullerton Heritage precinct in Marina Bay, the heart of Singapore’s city centre.

General Manager of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale said: “We strive to deliver a luxury hotel that can further contribute to Sydney’s growth as an international tourist destination and showcase the beauty and heritage of the original building to a wider audience, both nationally and globally.”

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney building, originally constructed in 1874, will undergo a variety of projects and renovations throughout 2019, with the focus of the restorations on the building’s main façade. Viterale has stressed that the renewing process will strictly adhere to the Heritage Management Plan and safety regulations.

Marriott International managed The Westin Sydney for twenty years at its iconic location of 1 Martin Place. The building is located near some of Sydney’s finest restaurants, shopping, and theatres in the heart of the harbour city.

The news of the hotel’s rebrand follows Australia Post’s sale of the GPO building – one of Australia’s most significant heritage buildings – to two Singaporean billionaires in March 2017 for $150 million in a deal shrouded in secrecy that led to an outcry over heritage concerns.