Sunday, 31 March 2019

Meet Denise & Michael the Loveable & Cheeky Couple Who Are the Stars of New Humorous Kimberley Tourism Video Campaign

They love to 4WD, camp, squabble, cuddle and enjoy a relaxing drink after a big day exploring the Kimberley. She's a meticulous planner, he is not. Watch what happens.

Their adventures take them on a road trip through the East Kimberley and Kununurra, experiencing everything from the Gibb River Road & Lake Argyle to the Bungle Bungle.

With the scenic back drop of ancient red rocks, towering gorges, lakes with more water than Sydney Harbour and a magical oasis with warm springs thrown in for good measure, these two characters just may discover the Kimberley working its magic!

See the 30 second promo video here: or the full version here: (scroll down the homepage to click through to more 30 second video snippets).

Produced by Australia's North West Tourism (ANW), the campaign will run until 13 April 2019 and is primarily aimed at the East Coast 55+ drive audience, though completely relevant to the WA drive market too.

The digital campaign is being pushed out through social media and email to produce buzz about Kimberley Road Trips in line with Tourism WA's current 'WA the Road Trip State' campaign, and to drive consumers to with further information on the region's natural attractions, camping, tours and accommodation. Essentially, to inspire and encourage visitation to the Kimberley region.

Chief Executive Officer for ANW, Natasha Mahar, wanted to really pinpoint the Kimberley's drive market key domestic demographic, which is the traditional Grey Nomads spending their kids' inheritance, she said.

“With the Denise & Michael characters you have a relatable, authentic couple and I am sure many people will see themselves, parents or grand parents in these loveable characters!”

“Whilst this advertising campaign is amusing it's also heartfelt – where our characters discover the Kimberley work it's magic”

“There was no fancy advertising agency for this campaign. The storyline developed itself from ANW's staff recollections of road trip experiences camping with our parents!! It was just us, a cameraman, director and bare bones production team over six days of filming” said Natasha.

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The second Holden Women’s State of Origin will kick off the NRL’s representative weekend of rugby league, with tickets now on sale for the match at North Sydney Oval on Friday 21 June.

After a successful inaugural stand-alone match, anticipation is building for the next instalment of women’s Origin history. Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said this event was a significant event for Sydney.

“The 2018 women’s Origin match was a huge success with fans near and far enjoying the game at one of Sydney’s most iconic sporting grounds, North Sydney Oval,” Ms Chipchase said.

“The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events arm Destination NSW, is proud to support women’s rugby league and this event will showcase great athleticism, teamwork and leadership here in the Harbour City which will entertain all attendees.”

To purchase tickets to the Holden Women’s State of Origin, head to

AVANI Set to Open Three More Properties in Vietnam

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced the news that they will be expanding their current portfolio in Vietnam with the addition of three new properties in Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau and Cam Ranh.

Along with the two Avani hotels currently operating in Quy Nhon and Hai Phong, guests can soon enjoy the authentic Avani style across all of Vietnam.

The Avani Vung Tau is scheduled to open by the end of 2019 and will feature oceanfront and hillside rooms, totalling 149-keys. Along with impressive views from each room, Avani Vung Tau Resort will also offer a signature oceanfront dining experience.

Scheduled to open at the end of 2021, Avani Saigon will offer a 217-key property which will be part of a 38-storey mixed-use complex that will include retail shops and residences, as well as featuring an all-day dining restaurant and an AvaniSPA.

Situated on the south-central coast of Vietnam, Avani Cam Ranh Resort & Villas, is set to open at the end of 2022. The resort will feature 300 well-appointed rooms and suites, as well as 315 private villas, an all-day dining restaurant, a specialty bistro, and a beach club. The 1,200 square metres of meeting and banquet space will allow for fantastic beachfront events for groups and FIT’s alike, all in true Avani-style.

ASIA DMC Hanoi (Corporate Office)
No.47 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
T: +84 24 37 333 333
F: +84 24 37 333 337

ASIA DMC Ho Chi Minh City
1st Foor, PSG building, 11 Bis Nguyen Gia Thieu Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC, Vietnam
T: +84 28 39 330 333
F: +84 28 39 330 633

ASIA DMC Australia & New Zealand
1474 SH10, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands 0293 New Zealand
Mr. Mark Snoxell
T:+64 27 4373189/ +64 27 4373189

Lyndey Milan OAM Joins Gartelmann Wines for a Special Lunch

In a first for Gartelmann Wines, Lyndey Milan will join founder Jorg Gartelmann for an exclusive lunch at the acclaimed Regatta Rose Bay.

Jorg Gartelmann, Regatta Rose Bay Executive Chef Logan Campbell and wine educator/celebrity chef Lyndey Milan are working together to create a unique experience for the friends of Gartelmann Wines and others who are interested in this Lovedale winery.

Lyndey and Jorg will entertain, discussing the wines and the subtle art of food and wine matching while regaling attendees with wonderful stories from their years in the world of travel, journalism, winemaking and more. Four fabulous courses are being designed specially to match with the wines, some old, some current vintages and a sneak peek at some wines not even released yet.

Lyndey Milan has been instrumental in changing the way Australians think about food and wine. She has spent more than 30 years sharing her passion and knowledge with international audiences, through her eight TV series, nine best-selling cookbooks, and in her influential role as former Food Director of the iconic Australian Women's Weekly.

A recipient of an OAM for services to hospitality, the food and wine industry and the community, Lyndey is an award-winning multi-media presenter, MC, speaker, food and wine teacher, consultant, debater, judge and regional Australian specialist.

Logan Campbell, former executive chef at Jonah's, Whale Beach, is now leading the Regatta kitchen. Campbell is also a 12-year veteran of Paddington institution, Lucio's.

Jorg Gartelmann, an aeronautical engineer and computer software developer, turned vigneron and winemaker in 1996. He has gone on to create wines that have won numerous Wine Show Trophies and Medals and now concentrates on specialised hand-crafted wines using grapes sourced from the Lower and Upper Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Rylstone, and Orange regions of NSW.

Sunday May 5th from noon
Regatta Rose Bay 594 New South Head Rd Rose Bay
Very limited spaces are available, Members $135 ea. and Non-members $150 ea.
Bookings are available via email or phone the Cellar Door on (02) 49307113

More details from our website

Save Up To 35% On Your Next Stay With TFE Hotels

TFE Hotels is offering up to 35% off the fully flexible rate for hotel stays right around the planet during their annual Global Hotel Sale. The sale encompasses all brands in the TFE Hotels network including Adina Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Rendezvous in Australia and New Zealand, as well as selected properties in the TFE Hotels Collection, and the Far East Hotels’ network through Asia.

To celebrate the launch of The Lego Movie 2, Adina Hotels is giving away the ultimate family package including a 25% discount on fully flexible accommodation rates as well as Lego Movie merchandise packs and family movie passes. Adina offers spacious apartment living, do-it-yourself facilities and hotel services and, with The Lego Movie 2 bonus, it’s a great incentive to book direct and head off on an awesome family adventure.

To book, visit between 21 March and 15 April 2019 and, if you sign up to eClub prior to booking, you’ll receive an extra 10% discount on properties in Australia and New Zealand.

*Terms and conditions apply. Offer subject to availability and Lego packs are available while stocks last.

With more than 70 hotels across 32 locations in Australia, New Zealand and Europe and partner hotels in Asia, there’s never been a better time to book, stay and play with TFE Hotels.


Save up to 35% on your next Aussie or overseas adventure! Book direct with TFE Hotels between 21 March and 15 April 2019 and you’ll receive a generous 25% discount off fully flexible rates across Adina Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Rendezvous in Australia and New Zealand, as well as selected properties in the TFE Hotels Collection and the Far East Hotels’ network in Asia.*. TFE Hotel eClub subscribers will receive an additional 10% off the already discounted sale price on properties in Australia, New Zealand and Europe if they sign up prior to booking. To book, visit

*Terms and conditions apply. Offer subject to availability and for travel up until March 2020.

TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels) is an international hotel group operating in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark and Hungary. It has a portfolio of five established hotel brands - Adina Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels, Rendezvous Hotels and TFE Hotels Collection.

Sign up to TFE Hotels eClub and get 35% off the fully flexible rate across all hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Valid for stays until March 2020. Excludes The Calile Hotel Brisbane. To book, visit

Three Sands Resorts Macao Restaurants Recognised in South China Morning Post '100 Top Tables' Guide

Three Sands Resorts Macao restaurants have been included in the South China Morning Post's prestigious 100 Top Tables 2019 – A CEO's Dining Guide, a high-end guide to the best restaurants in Hong Kong and Macao.

Conrad Macao, Cotai Central's Dynasty 8, The Parisian Macao's La Chine and Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip's Michelin-starred Zi Yat Heen are among only 20 Macao restaurants to be recognised in 100 Top Tables. All three restaurants were also included in 2017 and 2018's guides, while Sands Resorts Macao has been represented in the guide for six consecutive years.

The definitive reference for senior executives to choose the best restaurants for both leisure and business, 100 Top Tables scrutinises every element of the dining experience to whittle a list of over 1,000 superior dining establishments in Hong Kong and Macao down to the very best 100. Shortlisted restaurants must meet criteria including outstanding food, impeccable service, memorable culinary experiences and suitable ambience for executive dining, ranging from chic-casual to fine.

With Macao designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, there has never been a better time to explore Sands Resorts Macao's award-winning array of great dining options.

Dynasty 8, Conrad Macao, Cotai Central
One of Macao's most awarded Chinese restaurants, Dynasty 8 evokes old-world charm with eight private dining rooms reflecting the rich history and decor of the eight royal dynasties: Qin, Han, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. Signature dishes include steamed crab claw with golden egg white, fresh whelks marinated in wasabi dressing and braised superior bird's nest with avocado and preserved plum.

La Chine, The Parisian Macao
On the 6th floor of The Parisian Macao's Eiffel Tower, La Chine offers elegant fine dining with a spectacular view of Cotai Strip in an 'industrial chic' environment. Signature French influenced Chinese dishes include roasted suckling pig 'éclair' with goose liver terrine, apple and black truffle caviar, poached Boston lobster, prawns, scallops and mussels in superior prawn bisque and crispy roasted duck marinated in black pepper and mandarin peel.

Zi Yat Heen, Four Seasons Hotel Macao
With a menu incorporating à la carte, dim sum, seasonal specialties and set menus, Zi Yat Heen serves authentic and creative Cantonese cuisine in a refined yet relaxed atmosphere. Signature dishes include a wide range of bird's nest and abalone dishes, superb barbeque including suckling pig, roasted goose, pork with honey, marinated chicken, sliced abalone and red jellyfish and crispy pigeon.

Enjoy Ito’s New Ryokan Experience

KAI Ito located in the Shizuoka prefecture completed an extensive refurbishment re-opened last December.

 Set around a large garden filled with seasonal flowers, Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito offers modern comfort and style with all the classic charm of a traditional Japanese ryokan. 

Guests can also enjoy the newly-renovated indoor public baths, which cascade down a rockface into the revamped outdoor baths, that overlook the carefully maintained colorful outdoor gardens..

Please peruse Hoshino Resorts Web Magazine for more details.

Pioneering British Pop Artist Comes to Australia: Peter Phillips Retrospective

Art-O-Matic Riding High, 1973-74. 
Exclusive first-look in partnership with the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, 18-19 May 2019

Peter Phillips is a prolific British pop artist with a career spanning over 60 years. Originally from Birmingham, UK, Peter Phillips attended the Royal College of Art, London alongside the likes of David Hockney and Brett Whiteley.

Now residing in Noosa, Queensland, Phillips made the move after living and working in the USA and Europe, to be closer to family who also relocated there, as well as to open the Phillips Gallery.

In recognition of his internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in the arts, the Australian Government granted Peter a Distinguished Talent visa, allowing him to live permanently in Australia.

Peter renovated a former industrial space in Noosa into a large-scale studio and gallery to house his private collection. The new permanent collection encompasses six decades of work, spanning large-scale paintings to mixed-media collages to lithographic prints and sculptures, and will be a must-see destination for art-lovers in the Asia Pacific.

Phillips will inaugurate his newly-constructed studio gallery with two special events as part of the Noosa Food and Wine Festival 2019 in May, which also coincides with Phillips' 80th birthday. The festival will present an exclusive first-look at the retrospective exhibition and a short documentary on his life with interviews by the band 'The Cars', artists Allen Jones, Peter Blake, Derek Boschier and renowned art historian Marco Livingstone.

For the event POP! Pop Art, bubbles and Canapés on Saturday 18 May, guests will enjoy contemporary canapés by acclaimed creative Chef Josh Lopez - best known for his role at the lauded two-hatted GOMA - while sipping on artisanal cocktails prepared by Noosa's newly launched 'Fortune Distillery' made with limited edition and special release spirits. Festival-goers will learn about the history of Pop Art, meet Phillips, hear stories of his celebrated career, watch the debut of an accompanying short film outdoors and be the first to see the retrospective exhibition.

At PROGRESSIVE POP on Sunday 19 May, guests will devour a six- course degustation menu inspired by six decades of work, artfully prepared by Chef Josh Lopez. Each course will include a wine pairing and will be accompanied by rare artworks from Peter's collection and limited edition take-away cards signed by the artist, creating a lively event for food and art-lovers alike.

To also commemorate the milestone Peter Phillips has collaborated with fashionably acclaimed Swedish sock company Happy Socks, with designs taking cues from some of his most iconic and memorable imagery, including “Four Stars” (1963), “Impeller” (1972), and “Custom Painting No. 6” (1965). The collaboration will be presented in a 400 limited edition box set containing three pairs of socks – with Phillips' artwork prominently featured.

Phillips was most authentic in choosing his subject matter and pop art methods directly from his own experiences. Pop Art in Britain was in part a symptom of the class rebellion that produced a burst of freshness, originality and energy during the 1960s, not only in art but also in other creative areas including fashion, pop culture and especially pop music. Like many of his artist friends, Phillips came from a working-class background and was part of the first major intake of such students into British art schools. Phillips explains: “I don't think Pop Art in England would have come about had it not been for the fact that the art schools suddenly started accepting more people from a working-class background. My advice to anyone is do what you love and do it well. Art gave me opportunities – you could let your imagination run wild.”

The paintings he made at the Royal College between 1959 and 1962 came directly out of his laddish enthusiasms and pleasures: visits to funfairs; the consumption of imagery from mass-circulation magazines and pin-up calendars; photography, television and movies; a love of cars and motorbikes; and inevitably a young man's sexual impulses.

Peter Phillips' Retrospective exhibition is a rare chance for Australia to see artworks spanning a 60-year career from a founding figure of the pop art movement in a stunning large-scale studio to be unveiled in May 2019. Phillips is recognised as one of the most important British artists of his generation and an international founding figure of the pop art movement who has exhibited in the likes of Tate Gallery, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Berardo Museum, Lisbon, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney and many more.

“Peter Phillips is an industrious craftsman.” – TIME Magazine
“[One] of Europe's most celebrated contemporary artists” – The New York Times

Peter Phillips Retrospective
Opens 18 May 2019
Address: 36 McIntyre Lane, Tinbeerwah, QLD 4563

Noosa Food & Wine Festival: 18- 19 May


New Private Retreats at Four Seasons Chiang Mai and Four Seasons Koh Samui Offer USD 500 Credit and Engaging Activities for Children

Earmark Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui and Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai for the next family vacation: offering two- to four-bedroom luxury ‘Private Retreats’ exclusively for short to long-term stays. In addition to expansive accommodation, these Private Retreats come with indoor and outdoor living areas, live-in butler, dining rooms, private pools and open-air pavilions designed for relaxation.

Set amid emerald rice paddies, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is a haven of wellbeing in the cultural capital of Northern Thailand. An invigorating hillside oasis, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is a true reflection of island life in a lush tropical setting in the Gulf of Thailand.

With an enviable reputation of being amongst the world’s best for family holidays, the resorts offer a range of enriching, fun and safe experiences for children including a dedicated ‘Kids for All Seasons’ programme that will keep the young travellers entertained throughout their stay.

At Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, children can learn about sustainability and the Coral Conservation Project. Over 16,000 broken coral fragments have been nursed back to life and replanted into the reef under the supervision of the Resort’s on-site marine biologist.

Muay Thai classes are energy-packed and designed for children aged 4-15 years. The session includes games and other fun-based activities to keep them focused, active and attentive in the Muay Thai training ring.

Even the smallest members of the family can participate in interactive cooking classes accompanied by parents to learn the secrets of Thai cooking, making dishes which can be easily be recreated at home.

At Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, children can immerse themselves in Thai culture and tradition. With its very own working rice fields, the resort offers a valuable opportunity to experience Rice Planting, where they learn about the fascinating journey of rice and witness – first-hand – the hard work that goes into farming. Along the way, they get to meet the resort’s resident buffaloes and take part in the ritual Buffalo Bathing ceremony.

Creativity is encouraged through the art of making Krathongs from banana leaves, painting on traditional umbrellas and working with local sa paper from mulberry bark to make their own Lannaand hill-tribe garments, culminating in an exciting dress-up party around the resort grounds, where they wear and parade their own handiwork.

While children indulge in fun learning, families can enjoy complete privacy as both resorts offer exclusive amenities, including a live-in private butler, kitchenette, buffet breakfasts, welcome bottle of wine, round-trip limousine airport transfers, evening canapés, and a USD 500 credit which can be redeemed for dining at any of their exceptional restaurants (valid for 2019, to be booked by 30 April 2019).

FS Chiang Mai Residence Credit
FS Koh Samui Residence Credit

Catch our May June Deals before they're gone

Hi Everyone,

Easter and the School holidays are here and the theme parks have lots of Easter activities planned. Aussie World's famous Easter Bunny Hunt is always fun and the kids will be thrilled to discover the new kidszone at Australia Zoo. You'll find Willy Wonker at the Ginger Factory from April 8-12 with two shows daily. You can keep the kids happy at Top Shots Fun Park, Laserzone, Sea Life Mooloolaba, Bellingham Maze or the Big kart Track. Phew!

If you've got any energy leftover for yourselves, book your tickets to witness the magic that is Celtic Illusion, the biggest dance and magical illusion sensation taking Australian audiences by storm. Experience their one night only show just over the bridge at Bokarina. The choreography, music and magic will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Catch Esteban Live at Backlane Tapas & Wine Bar in First Avenue, and the Elvis 2 U Show at Club Mooloolaba on Brisbane Road April 5 & 6. Later in the month the 2019 Caravan, Camping, Fishing & 4x4 Expo comes to town, showcasing the very latest outdoor adventure gear, caravans, camper trailers, products and accessories on the market.

GREAT NEWS, the construction of the neighbouring building has finally been completed. No more inconvenience. If you haven’t booked for the Easter long weekend be quick as we have very limited availability left. We’d hate you to miss out!!

BOOK DIRECT AND SAVE +61 07 5444 0077
*(Specials apply to bookings for the months of May & June 2019 only - Subject to availability)
Phone bookings – 07 5444 0077 – only.

April on the Coast
5 Esteban Live at Backlane Mooloolaba
6 Elvis 2 U Show Club Mooloolaba
6 Spartan Australia Obstacle Race
6-7 Australian Body Art Festival
6 Celtic Illusion Bokarina Dance performance
6-22 Easter Holiday Fun Australia Zoo
8-22 School Holidays Queensland
8 Willy Wonker Show Ginger Factory
11-14 Sunshine coast Ukelele Festival
12 Harlem Globe Trotters World Tour
19-22 Easter Long Weekend
25 Anzac Day
26 Mooloolaba Summer Surf Golf Day Maroochy River Golf
26-28 Caravan Camping Fishing & 4x4 Expo

Harlem Globe Trotters World Tour
A once in a lifetime opportunity and a one-of-a-kind show, the Harlem Globe Trotters are coming to the University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium April 12. They are known globally for their amazing feats on the basketball court, incredible humour and endless entertainment.

Meet the stars before the game, shoot hoops and learn tricks, get photos and autographs. Right now you can win the chance to sit courtside, it's free to enter but be quick.

Warner and Chris Banks and Bob James,
Management Team
Raffles Mooloolaba
65-69 First Avenue Mooloolaba, Qld 4557
Phone : 07 5444 0077
Fax : 07 5444 3708

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Trundle ABBA Festival 4th May 2019

Trundle Abba Festival is back on in Trundle on Saturday 4th May 2019.

The festival has loads of fun for everyone including:
  • entertainment,
  • food vendors,
  • market stalls,
  • fashion on the field,
  • dancing with the stars,
  • dancing and the little ones,
  • dancing, face painting plus more.

The main event will be happening on Saturday 4th May from 1:00pm – 10:0pm at the Berryman Oval, Trundle.

There will be plenty of entertainment from Friday – Sunday with local community groups, businesses and venues that will be holding events to support their town.

Wendy Wu Tours Invite You to the Wedding of the Year

This November, Wendy Wu Tours are inviting guests to experience one of the pinnacle experiences of cultural India – as a guest of a traditional Indian Wedding celebration.

The special departure classic tour will include all the highlights, sights and sounds of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur with the added exclusive opportunity to take part in a real-life Indian Wedding.

On arrival in Jaipur, travellers will participate in the sangeet – a pre-wedding celebration, usually the night or day before the wedding where the entire wedding party come together for an event full of song and dance. The following evening, guests will adorn themselves with traditional clothing and enjoy a celebration unlike any other – fully immersed in the many wedding ceremonies of a traditional Indian Wedding.

“At Wendy Wu Tours we're always looking at ways to bring the ultimate in local culture to our guest's experience, and this is the quintessential Indian celebration”, said Carlah Walton, Head of Marketing & Product.

This 9-day tour departs Australian capital cities on 5th November 2019 and is limited to 28 people. For more information or to book, call 1300 128 738 or visit


Tripadvisor has released its list of the top 10 destinations in Australia with Sydney has coming out on top and the NSW town of Cessnock also making an appearance at number six.

As the capital city of Australia’s premier tourism State, Sydney is always a favourite with visitors and is home to iconic landmarks, a spectacular Harbour, idyllic beaches and great national parks. The vibrant city shines all year with spectacular events, including the world-famous Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks, blockbuster musicals, brilliant theatre, thrilling sports, and Vivid Sydney’s festival of light, music and ideas. Go to to find out more.

Only two hours’ drive from Sydney and an hour from Newcastle, Cessnock is the largest town in Australia’s oldest wine region and perfect for exploring the Hunter Valley’s acclaimed wineries and cellar doors. There are fun family attractions, including the Hunter Valley Zoo and Werakata National Park and Cessnock is surrounded by lush countryside and splendid wilderness. Find out more about Cessnock here.

The secret of Water Puppetry

Dive with us into the fantasy world of water puppetry. This art originated from the Red River Delta and has developed throughout the ages.

What many people see as a simple 1-hour representation is actually one of the richest and most iconic art forms in Vietnam.

Today, we have pulled some strings to open the doors behind the scenes for you to have a sneak peak into the traditions of this art form. In the morning, we travel to one of the villages where everything started. A place where water puppetry is deeply rooted and where locals have been preserving this traditional art form for many generations.

Meet the artisans who make the puppets out of wood, as well as the puppeteers who give them life. Attend a private show and enjoy lunch with the troupe. In the afternoon, we meet the artist who is revolutionising water puppetry with new stories, new puppets, and new approaches to keep old traditions while still appealing to a modern audience.

Contact our experts to add this authentic local experience to your itinerary!

ASIA DMC Hanoi (Corporate Office)
No.47 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
T: +84 24 37 333 333
F: +84 24 37 333 337

ASIA DMC Ho Chi Minh City
1st Foor, PSG building, 11 Bis Nguyen Gia Thieu Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC, Vietnam
T: +84 28 39 330 333
F: +84 28 39 330 633

ASIA DMC Australia & New Zealand
1474 SH10, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands 0293 New Zealand
Mr. Mark Snoxell
T:+64 27 4373189/ +64 27 4373189

Food & Wine Meets Opera

Little Collins St Kitchen partners with Coombe Yarra Valley to celebrate former Australian Opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba.

For one day only, guests are invited to experience a three-course lunch created by Little Collins St Kitchen's head chef Gil Zamudio featuring the famous Peach Melba dessert, which was named after Dame Nellie Melba herself. The lunch is accompanied by curated wines from Coombe Yarra Valley while guests are entertained by a live Opera-singer performance.

“Sheraton Melbourne is very excited to collaborate with Coombe Yarra Valley, bringing regional Victoria to the city. We are delighted to be able to share the story of Dame Nellie Melba and the Coombe Yarra Valley estate which was once her residence”, says Peter Minatsis, General Manager Sheraton Melbourne Hotel.

Food & Wine Meets Opera

Saturday, April 6
12pm – 2pm
Little Collins St Kitchen - Level 1, Sheraton Melbourne Hotel
$99 per person

The ticket includes an arrival drink at Little Collins St Kitchen, a three-course lunch menu served with carefully selected wines from the Coombe Yarra Valley cellar and performances by an Opera singer.

Tickets need to be booked via

For more information on Little Collins St Kitchen visit and for more information on Coombe Yarra Valley, visit

Is Happiness The New Rich?

Timed with the 2019 International Day of Happiness which takes place on Wednesday 20 March, Tourism Fiji will release its inaugural Bulanaires List; a global list of individuals who are rich in happiness.

With global happiness on the decline*, the tourism board has today launched a campaign that will address what we are all ultimately seeking - happiness, as two-thirds of Australians** indicated that they feel they could be happier.

The initiative ties into the brand ethos of where happiness finds you” and focuses on what sets Fiji apart from other destinations; its people – with an inaugural list of 'Bulanaires' celebrating people rich in happiness.

Compiled under the guidance of Professor Lea Waters (PhD), a psychologist, scientist, author and TEDx speaker who specialises in positive psychology, the list includes those that follow Waters' guiding principles for happiness, such as being selfless or giving back, injecting humour into daily life, or making time for connections through family and community.

Many of Professor Waters' principles are found among the people of Fiji, which likely explains why Fiji was deemed the Happiest Country in the World in the 2017 annual Gallup International Survey on Happiness, Hope and Economic Optimism. The same survey found that the world's happiness had declined since the previous year, with Fiji bucking this trend.

Commenting on what a 'Bulanaire' is, Professor Lea Waters said: “Bulanaires redefines the way we measure success. A common measure of success is often portrayed through the annual 'rich lists' that showcase the increased number of billionaires each year. But perhaps instead, we need to consider finding happiness and contentment as a measure for being rich.”

“The inaugural Bulanaire list celebrates people from across the world who inspire us and share happiness with those around them,” continues Professor Waters.

The Bulanaires List, which is aimed at celebrating those that are rich in happiness, is in stark contrast to the Billionaires lists that have also been recently released.

The campaign, which has also partnered with Arianna Huffington and Thrive Global, will roll out globally this Wednesday on International Day of Happiness, with brand assets created to showcase the 'Bula Spirit' and why people in Fiji topped the 2017 Gallup International survey.

“Happiness and well-being are not just magical traits that some are blessed with and others are not – they're a way of living and working that we can nurture and grow,” commented Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and an advocate for happiness and wellbeing in the workplace.

The importance of adopting a lifestyle rich in happiness is highlighted by the International Day of Happiness, which takes place on 20 March each year and is spearheaded by UK charity-based organisation Action for Happiness.

Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, states that "Everyone wants to live a happy life - and the good news is that there are lots of things we can do to be happier, both as individuals and as a society. Above all, we are a social species and we're happier when we feel connected and do things to bring happiness to others as well as ourselves.”

“International Day of Happiness is a great reminder to focus on the things that really matter for a happy life. This year's theme is 'Happier Together' because good relationships are the most important contributor to our overall wellbeing. And together our actions really can make a difference,” says Williamson.

With family and community being of huge importance to Fijians, it is easy to feel their happiness and warmth in the destination. With 333 islands, year-round warmth, and only 3.5 hours from Australia, Fiji is the perfect place to find happiness.

To find out more about the Bulanaires List and who is on this year's list, visit

*Gallup International annual survey on Happiness, Hope and Economic Optimism 2017
**9Nation national survey on consumer happiness in Australia, March 2019

About Tourism Fiji
Tourism Fiji is the destination marketing organizational arm of the Fijian government agency responsible for marketing Fiji as the ideal destination for leisure travel globally. Tourism Fiji has established a presence in eight key markets around the globe, and its activities include advertising, public relations, media initiatives, trade shows, and programs for the tourism industry and consumer promotions to better showcase Fiji.

Anna Polyviou's Enchanted Easter Garden Takes Centre Stage at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou
Fall down the rabbit hole with Anna Polyviou in her fantastical Easter Garden for a delightful High Tea Picnic at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney from 30 March to 29 April 2019.

Dessert lovers can follow the giant bunny feet and enter a magical world of colours, flavours and make-believe with the one and only Punk Princess of Pastry. Hop to it…

The sweet-laden Easter garden will entertain with a mini maze, towering bunny rabbits, colourful eggs, pretty-in-pink flamingos, mad-hatter clocks, spotty mushrooms and whimsical tea tables.

Polyviou has hatched a plan to create a wonderland for Sydneysiders this Easter season.

“Easter’s about family and friends, and I want to bring everyone’s childhood alive in a fun and fabulous way that’s a first for Sydney,” said the executive pastry chef. “Our guests should feel happy the moment they enter the garden; eat, drink, laugh and enjoy the show.”

Sweet devotees are invited to take their garden seat and revel in the spectacle of Polyviou’s show-stopping take on an Easter High Tea picnic, which includes wickedly indulgent Chocolate Pots, sweet Cracked Egg Tarts, decadent Club Cakes and sticky Hot Cross Buns.

By night, they can enjoy a tête-à-tête with a cocktail picnic basket for two and nibble on savoury morsels, such as cured meats, Australian cheese, moreish olives, fluffy quiche and the freshest fruit.

Easter revellers can sip on a Popcorn Caramel Martini, a smooth Spritz, flutes of champagne and the finest tea. Guests can also dig into a potted Carrot Easter egg with their very own shovel. This rich chocolate creation overflows with lollies, mini eggs and is planted in chocolate rocks.

The Easter Garden is open at the Lobby Lounge, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, from 30 March to 29 April 2019.

The Easter High Tea Picnic is available from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., 1 to 3 p.m., and from 3:15 to 5 p.m., and is priced from $75 per adult and $55 per child (0–11 years old). The Cocktail Picnic Basket is available from 5.30 pm., to 9 p.m. and is priced from $55 for two. Guests can also enjoy an Easter Escape stay package including High Tea from $420 per night. The Carrot Egg is priced at $25.00 each.

Polyviou will host an Easter Picnic on 30 March 2019 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. This includes High Tea, a cocktail on arrival, a cooking demonstration and DJ spinning tunes at $115 per person.

To make a reservation, guests may visit, send an email to or call (61 2) 9250 6000.

Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou turned her creative eye to Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s sweetest experiences, becoming known for her celebrated high tea, dessert degustations, Sweet Street festival, Christmas Spectacular and inventive menus. Chef Polyviou is a judge on the prime-time cooking competition Family Food Fight, has appeared as a guest judge on MasterChef Australia for three years in a row and has published a best-selling cookbook, Sweet Street.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently operates over 100 hotels with a room inventory of over 41,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Australia, Bahrain, mainland China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. For more information, visit

SpiceRoads Cycling Launches New Women Only and Solo Only Trips

SpiceRoads Cycling, a pioneer in cycling holidays throughout Asia, has just launched two new travel experiences on its tours: Women Only and Solo Only trips.

These departures will further expand the choices for women and solo adventure travelers, and respond to the needs of an increasing number of travelers that choose cycling adventures not only for the sake of exploring a new destination, but also for the social experience.

Women Only departures feature some of SpiceRoads' most popular tours, led by an expert female cycling guide and providing a unique group experience that focuses on female empowerment and adventure in the company of like-minded female cyclists. These departures will be open to female riders booking individually, or as a group.

“We are very excited to launch the new Women Only departures”, says SpiceRoads Product Manager Sally Phipps. “These are all about great riding, authentic cultural immersion and a memorable, shared challenge with other strong women, whether they be your mother, daughter, sister, best friend, or partner.”

Alongside Women Only trips, SpiceRoads has developed new Solo Only departures designed for solo cyclists that want to explore exotic destinations while getting to know other like-minded riders on their trip.

“As one of the few specialist cycle touring operators in the world, we know the potential of our trips to bring together individuals who all share the same passion for exploring the world by bicycle. SpiceRoads riders value the ability to connect with others on our tours, and we want to provide an inclusive environment that doesn't just make it possible, but encourages it,” said SpiceRoads Managing Director Daniel Moylan, speaking on the new Solo Only departures. “Nowadays, solo travel is no longer an ambitious undertaking, but a part of traveling culture for many. These departures speak to that trend, and our belief that cycling solo doesn't necessarily mean being alone.”

From a selection of the best-selling and most rider-favorite trips, SpiceRoads Solo departures are open to single riders of any gender.

As in all of SpiceRoads curated tours, guests on Women Only and Solo Only departures will enjoy the usual standards such as all accommodation and most meals included, dedicated support vehicle and the best local guides to lead the group through an expertly curated cycling route.

About SpiceRoads Cycling: SpiceRoads Cycling are cycle touring specialists based in Bangkok, Thailand. Founded in 1995, SpiceRoads leads over 10,000 travelers per year on active cycling adventures in 37 destinations worldwide. SpiceRoads offer cycling tours to suit every type of cyclist, from road enthusiasts, to leisure cyclists, to day trippers, to mountain bikers.

For more information about SpiceRoads new Women Only and Solo Only trips, please contact:

Luis de Sousa | Marketing Manager, Thailand
SpiceRoads Cycling
T: (+66) 02 381 7490


In what is set to be the most successful production in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s eight-year history, West Side Story is opening its spectacular outdoor stage show to audiences tonight. This new take on the 1950s Romeo-and-Juliet inspired tale is the first Broadway musical to be performed on the famous overwater stage, with home-grown talents Alexander Lewis and Julie Lea Goodwin starring as the two star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria.

This production, supported by the NSW Government through by Destination NSW, takes place in front of the iconic harbourside backdrop and features Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s signature fireworks. Audiences can expect fresh operatic renditions of the musical’s hit songs I Feel Pretty, Maria, Somewhere, America, Cooland Tonight, with a colourful array of costumes and an impressive set which includes a nine-metre long subway car and a giant 15-metre tall highway overpass.

Performances are scheduled from 22 March through 21 April at Mrs Macquarie’s Point. Tickets are selling quickly so keen theatregoers are encouraged to secure their seats as soon as possible.



Country charm, fresh produce, quaint cafes and outdoor adventures featured in a jam-packed Riverina Murray region special episode of Channel 7’s popular travel show Sydney Weekender, which aired last Sunday. The programme was secured by Destination NSW.

Host Mike Whitney anchored the episode from the heart of the Riverina region in the delightful town of Narrandera; visiting some furry friends at the local Flora and Fauna Reserve and enjoying the grandeur of the surrounding wilderness at Lake Talbot Lookout. Mike showcased the charming 100-year-old Tall Trees Cottage as the perfect home-away-from-home, and enjoyed the abundant fresh produce from Glendale Orchard and Hazelnut Farm.

The episode also gave viewers a glimpse into farm life in Wagga Wagga; picking and tasting fresh fruits at Bidgee Strawberries and Cream and making new four-legged friends at the spectacular Belisi Farm Stay. The Ten Mile eatery and Holbrook Bakery featured as prime spots to pull-in for a bite to eat while travelling on the Hume Highway. With the nearby town of Balranald acting as a gateway to the Aussie outback, Sydney Weekender also joined Outback Geo Adventures to explore Yanga and Mungo National Parks.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said promotional activity like this is crucial for showcasing the breadth of activities and experiences available in regional and rural NSW.

“As the name of Channel 7’s show Sydney Weekender suggests, the remarkable Riverina Murray region is the perfect opportunity to escape the city for a weekend getaway,” Ms Chipchase said.

“The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is determined to keep putting more heads on beds and encouraging local spending in rural and regional areas because ultimately, it’s the entire State which reaps the benefits of tourism growth.

“Tourism is everyone’s business – it turbocharges local economies, generates jobs and drives investment. Our State is at the top of the Australian tourism industry and we are steadfast in our commitment to continuing our lead, while giving visitors the opportunity to seize on the very best experiences NSW has to offer.”

For more information on Destination Riverina Murray go to:

Embark on a Digital Detox Stay with HOSHINOYA Fuji

Japan’s first glamping resort, HOSHINOYA Fuji, has launched a “Digital Detox Stay” experience for cleansing the soul. In this program, guests can learn about Mt. Fuji’s spiritual history from a town nestled in the foot of Mt. Fuji, and a unique teaching known as the “Purification of the Six Roots of Perception”, referring to the five senses plus the Buddhist sixth sense of mind.

Through a stay located right at the base of Mt. Fuji and a tour of the mountain trail’s historic sites, modern travellers long exposed to the stresses of a digital society can refresh their physical senses, revive their mental sense, and gain the energy to face tomorrow.

Development of the Program
Our HOSHINOYA resorts are designed with the concept of a “digital detox”, where guests have the rare chance to distance themselves from electronic devices and instead utilize time for self-reflection and contemplation, all while enjoying a program that highlights unique features of the local region. HOSHINOYA Fuji’s Digital Detox Stay takes place in the world cultural heritage site of Mt. Fuji, long acknowledged for its important role in the religious and cultural development of the Japanese people. Most notable is its status as a pilgrimage destination for many devoted worshippers, who cut ties with worldly desires while reciting the “Six Roots of Perception” purification chant in order to cleanse both their physical bodies and their spiritual minds. In this modern era, climbing Mt. Fuji has become a common form of leisure, but in this program, guests carry out an authentic part of this traditional mountain pilgrimage while learning about its history. In addition, the combination of a stay at a glamping resort away from everyday life amidst nature with a purification of the six senses is thought to be able to help to reduce stresses and worries faced by modern city dwellers.

Three Highlights of a Digital Detox Stay
1. Learn about the spiritual history of Mt. Fuji from the foot of the mountain
Participants will learn about worshipping Mt. Fuji in Fujiyoshida, a town located at the foot of the mountain. A gate called Kanadorii serves as the starting point for a roughly 20-minute journey towards the Oshi (priest) Family Residence. Kanadorii has played an important role as the entrance to the spiritual world of Mt. Fuji since the Edo period, and the Oshi Family Residence has served as a resting point for worshippers for over 400 years. When guests reach the residence, they will eat “Oshi
Cuisine”, a lunch traditionally served to climbers, and listen to the head’s discussion of Mt. Fuji’s religion. Afterwards, guests are invited to pay homage to the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine located at entrance of the mountain trail as they continue in the footsteps of those who climbed Mt. Fuji many years ago.

2. Tour historic sites along the mountain trail while purifying the “Six Roots of Perception”
To carry out the purification ritual of the Six Roots of Perception--a historically important part of climbing Mt. Fuji--guests will begin their trek at the starting point of the Yoshida Trail, past the roads where horses can travel, and continue until they reach the third station.

The “Six Roots of Perception” is a Buddhist term for the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. Cleansing these six senses through virtuous training and ridding them of impurities is thus called the Purification of the Six Roots of Perception. Absorbing one’s self in trekking while reciting the purification chant, one will be able to sense their entire body and mind being cleansed. On this remote trail, untouched by horses’ hooves, lie several historical sites of Mt. Fuji remaining from the Edo period, such as purification ceremony areas, shrines, lodging houses, and so on. Enjoy tracing back the culture of worshipping Mt. Fuji as you trek in the footsteps of former mountain climbers.

3 HOSHINOYA Fuji as your lodging destination
The Oshi Family Residence appreciates and warmly receives those who successfully finish climbing the mountain. In this program, after the trek, HOSHINOYA Fuji will take the place of the Oshi Family Residence and serve “HOSHINOYA Fuji-style Oshi Cuisine” to welcome back participants from the mountain. The menu, supervised by HOSHINOYA Fuji chefs, references the local cuisine in dishes such as houtou noodle stew and seida no tamaji potatoes. As the senses have now been sharpened after the climbing purification, your heightened sense of taste will better perceive the complicated flavors and fragrances of the ingredients.

HOSHINOYA Fuji (Kawaguchi-ko, Yamanashi Prefecture)
“Digital Detox Stay” Program Launch
Tour Mt. Fuji’s historic spiritual sites and cleanse your sixth sense
Period: May 1st to June 30th, 2019


Sydney will officially farewell the Wallabies before they depart for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, after the NSW Government secured their final Test Match ahead of the international tournament in Japan.

Rugby Australia has hand-picked the NSW Government through its major events and tourism agency, Destination NSW, to host the exclusive Farewell Test Match between the Wallabies and Samoa at the newly-built Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta on September 7.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said securing the Wallabies’ Farewell Test exemplifies why NSW is regarded as the adrenaline sports capital of Australia.

“We are delighted Sydney has been selected to farewell the Wallabies before they head to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Major sporting events like this are crucial to ensuring our State’s tourism economy continues to flourish; not only attracting players and coaches to Sydney, but rugby fans who are keen to witness the world’s best in action,” Ms Chipchase said. The Wallabies Farewell Test Match has bolstered the international Rugby calendar in NSW, with the Wallaroos also set to play a two-Test series against Japan on 13 July in Newcastle and 19 July at North Sydney Oval.

Lights, Camera, Action, ‘Vivid’ Sydney Cruises 2019

Vivid Sydney, the largest and most exciting outdoor lighting, music and ideas festival in the Southern Hemisphere, is back bigger and brighter from 24 May to 15 June 2019. With Sydney Harbour as the centerpiece see the city light up on a range of Captain Cook Vivid Cruises.

From family-friendly to dining luxury there is a Captain Cook Vivid cruise for everyone. All boats travel through a spectrum of light as they cruise the Vivid Sydney Harbour precincts. Book early and secure the best deals online with savings of up to 35%.

Families can see the full canvas of Vivid Sydney and avoid the pedestrian crowds from the comfort of your cruise ship on the one-hour Vivid Lights cruise. The Vivid Lights cruise departs nightly at 6.45pm and 8.00pm from Barangaroo, King St Wharf No.1 with up to five additional departures at 5.45pm, 6.15pm, 7.00pm, 8.15pm and 9.15pm on peak evenings. Book now from only $25 per person normally $39 per person.

Enjoy the full canvas of lights over a leisurely dinner on the Vivid 5.00pm or Vivid 7.30pm Dinner and Drinks. Both cruises include a three-course Contemporary Australian set menu and an open bar of Tyrrell’s house wine, Toohey’s New beer and soft drinks.

The Vivid 5.00pm Dinner and Drinks is from $69 per person, normally $89 per person and departs nightly at 5.00pm from Barangaroo, King St Wharf No.1, returning at 6.30pm. The Vivid 7.30pm Dinner and Drinks is from $99 per person, normally $159 per person and departs nightly at 7.30pm from Barangaroo, King St Wharf No.1, disembarking at Circular Quay or Barangaroo.

The Vivid 7.30pm Gold Penfolds Dinner and Drinks is the ultimate way to experience Vivid. This extravagant cruise includes a five-course degustation menu with Penfolds gold selection of bin and vintage wines to accompany each course and an open bar of house spirits, beer and soft drinks and live music.

Vivid 7.30pm Gold Penfolds Dinner and Drinks is priced from $199 per person, normally $245 per person and departs nightly at 7.30pm from Barangaroo, King St Wharf No.1.

All dinner cruises operate on board the prestigious MV Sydney 2000 displaying the official `Vivid Sydney' lighting installation or MV John Cadman with the ‘#ilovesydney’ installation.

Guaranteed window seating is available for an additional $19 to $25 per person.

For further information and bookings visit

Friday, 29 March 2019

New Year's Eve at Sydney Opera House

Exclusive Pre-sale:
On now until Monday 1 April

The best New Year's Eve of your life is waiting at the Sydney Opera House.

Watch the romantic La Bohème or The Opera Gala and enjoy drinks or a wonderful meal overlooking Sydney Harbour, as you count down to the festival of fire.

Go on, make this your most glamorous New Year ever. There’s nowhere closer to the action than the Sydney Opera House.


Pre-performance Dinner
Look out over Sydney Harbour as you dine on a three-course menu in the Northern Foyer.

Midnight Party
Canapés, drinks and live entertainment following the performance, with views of the midnight fireworks from the Northern Foyers.

Platinum Package
Pre-performance dinner, Premium seats, a program, drink at interval, and the Midnight Party.

Our tour to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

Awarded as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia, and the distinguished Phong Nha cave with its magical beauty. Phong Nha Cave was formed by tectonic happening in the heart of Ke Bang limestone mountains hundreds of millions of years ago. 

The area is considered a paradise for researchers and explorers of grottoes and caves; so far only 20 of its 70-km total length has been explored by Vietnamese and British scientists.
Address : Suite 1705 - Artex building - 172 Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Tel : + 84 24 62514052
Fax : + 84 24 62514051
Email :

2019 Port Stephens Outrigger Canoe Regatta

Shoal Bay's waters will be filled with paddlers when Port Stephens Outrigger Canoe Club hosts its popular annual regatta March 30th and 31st.

Racing will be staged out of Shoal Bay all day on Saturday March 30th, and half a day on Sunday March 31st.

Novice, junior, ultra short course (4 kilometres) races will begin the regatta followed by the men's, women's and mixed short course (11km), women's and mixed long course (16.5km) and men's long course (18km).

The Port Stephens club has entered a record five crews in the OC6 ultra short course plus a ladies and mixed crew each in the short course and one mixed team in the long course.

2019 Port Stephens Outrigger Canoe Regatta
Date and Time: Saturday 30th March; 7am to Sunday 31st March; 1pm.
Location: Shoal Bay Beach, Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay NSW 2315

Aava Resort & Spa

Aava Resort & Spa
Aava Resort & Spa is a Scandinavian owned spa resort in Khanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat province in South Thailand. It combines traditional Thai friendliness and family values with Scandinavian quality and design.

The resort is set in a prime location on the stunning Nadan beach, a 9-kilometre stretch of pristine golden sands and clear blue water. Khanom is also renowned for its rare pink dolphins. Locals here are proud of this rare animal species and wish to protect its original idyllic living environment on the coastline of Khanom.

The fresh, unique, style of Aava Resort & Spa is apparent in the design and décor of the bungalows and villas which are decorated harmoniously with the natural surroundings. All rooms at Aava Resort are equipped with a satellite TV and a personal safe. Separate living areas and tea/coffee making facilities are provided.

Aava Resort hosts numerous wellness events and activities such as yoga retreats and daily meditation, Pilates, Tai Chi and Muay Thai lessons. The onsite restaurant serves a mixture of European and Asian dishes. There is also a Pizzeria, bakery and cocktails at the pool bar.

ASIA DMC Thailand
152 Chartered Square Building, 15th Floor, Unit 15-09, North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
T: +66 2 266 5633     F: +66 2 266 5632

ASIA DMC Australia & New Zealand
1474 SH10, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands 0293 New Zealand
Mr. Mark Snoxell
T:+64 27 4373189/ +64 27 4373189


A sub-brand of the established Citadines serviced residence brand, Citadines Connect business hotels with limited services cater to highly mobile, constantly connected travellers

CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has launched Citadines Connect, a line of business hotels with selected services, to widen its short-stay offerings as it continues to grow its portfolio. A sub-brand of Ascott’s well-established Citadines serviced residence brand, Citadines Connect business hotels cater to frequent travellers who are constantly connected, offering a chic living experience in vibrant city destinations.

Citadines Connect business hotels will have tech-enabled features such as mobile keys, self check-in kiosks, smart washing machines or laundromats, content streaming-enabled televisions, and Google cloud printers. Guests can enjoy the convenience of ‘Grab & Go’ counters offering food and beverage options and daily necessities, common pantry areas, meeting pods, as well as 24/7 gymnasiums. They can also relax at the ‘Refresh and Recharge’ spaces that come with private napping pods with USB charging points, lockers and shower rooms. The hotels offer mostly studio rooms ranging from 18 to 21 square metres.

Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott's Head for Global Operations, said: “Citadines is Ascott’s fastest growing brand. It has a strong reputation amongst travellers who enjoy the flexibility to choose the services according to their lifestyles. Riding on the worldwide popularity of the Citadines brand which focuses on the extended-stay market, we are introducing the Citadines Connect sub-brand to capture the short-stay segment. The Citadines Connect brand, which offers contemporary and tech-enabled hotel accommodation in well-connected locations, cater to highly mobile business travellers who appreciate convenience, fuss-free services, online connectivity and recreational experiences.”

“We see strong potential for the short-stay segment and hotel rates are rising given the rapid growth in global mobility, bleisure travel and a flourishing gig economy. More and more skilled professionals are taking on short-term, freelancing and ad-hoc work assignments which require them to travel frequently. We will leverage Ascott’s international network and strong management capabilities to bring the Citadines Connect brand to key gateway cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo as well as popular destinations in Southeast Asia where there is high demand for quality, short-term accommodation.”

Mr Ong added: “By extending our range of product offerings with Citadines Connect, we can scale up our lodging business at a faster rate and further sharpen our expertise in managing hotel assets. Our business partners and guests alike can choose from a wide variety of lodging products that can best cater to their business models, travel patterns, and accommodation needs.”

The two properties to debut under the Citadines Connect brand are in highly attractive locations in the top cosmopolitan cities of Sydney and New York. Ascott is also looking to rebrand its properties such as Temple Bar Hotel Dublin in Ireland and The Domain Hotel Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, California to Citadines Connect.

Citadines Connect Sydney Airport
The 150-unit prime freehold business hotel is currently operating as Felix Hotel and will be rebranded as Citadines Connect Sydney Airport in May 2019. Located in Mascot within the city of Botany Bay, it is within walking distance to the Mascot railway station and Sydney Airport – Australia's busiest airport which caters to around 44.4 million passengers in 2018 and is forecast to receive around 60.7 million passengers by 2033. The business parks of Alexandria, Botany, Mascot and Waterloo, The Lakes and The Australian golf clubs as well as the Westfield Eastgardens Shopping Centre are all nearby. Sydney’s Central Business District is within a 15-minute drive or ride by train. The precinct is further earmarked for development to accommodate future population and employment growth capitalising on its accessibility to public transport.

Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York
Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is centrally located in the heart of Manhattan. Attracting a good mix of both corporate and leisure travellers, the property with 125 rooms is performing well with an average occupancy rate of more than 95%. Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is steps away from Times Square, Fifth Avenue, the Theatre District and Rockefeller Center. It is also a short walk from key attractions such as the Empire State Building, Museum of Modern Art and Grand Central Station.

Since Ascott acquired the Citadines Apart’hotel serviced residence chain in 2004, it has expanded the Citadines portfolio by about five times from 5,100 apartment units in 18 European cities to about 25,000 units in over 140 properties and 86 cities across Asia Pacific, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Last year, Ascott invested in TAUZIA Hotel Management, one of Indonesia’s top five hotel operators, to capitalise on opportunities in the growing middle-class hotel segment.

Business travel spending has been growing steadily from 2012 to 2017 and is expected to grow at an average rate of about 5% to US$1.7 trillion by 2022. This year, hotel rates are also expected to rise 3.7% globally.