Red Carnation Hotels Celebrates Greatest Success to date in Forbes Travel Guide’s 2020 Star Awards

Red Carnation Hotels has proudly announced that four of its award- winning properties have achieved the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide (“FTG”) Five-Star rating in the annual Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards. Joining sister property Hotel 41 in receiving the highest FTG accolade are London’s The Milestone Hotel and The Egerton House Hotel, alongside Virtuoso’s 2015 ‘Hotel of the Year’ Ashford Castle, which is the only hotel in Ireland to achieve five-star status.

Forbes Travel Guide is the world-renowned and only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas and is widely recognised as being the gold standard of hospitality rating systems, with a meticulous and anonymous process assessing all areas of a hotel’s product and service.

Red Carnation Hotels’ Managing Director Jonathan Raggett said: “The Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating award system is one of the most meticulous, globally respected and highly sought-after accolades in the industry. To have Ashford Castle, The Milestone Hotel and the Egerton House Hotel join Hotel 41 as Forbes Five Star properties is great testament to the generous hospitality and levels of service, luxury and attention to detail that guests consistently receive at our properties.

“Every day our teams go above and beyond to make every stay special, and these awards are a reflection of their hard work and passion, and the leadership and values of our President and Founder Beatrice Tollman.”

Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide said: “We have been committed to championing genuine Five-Star service for more than 60 years, and this year’s winners, as always, exemplify the very highest standards in hospitality.”

“It is difficult to earn a Forbes Travel Guide rating, and all our Star-Rated winners have shown how incredibly deserving they are of their accolades by demonstrating sheer dedication in their passion for service. We congratulate them all.”

Source: The Red Carnation Hotel Collection


As the global cruise community grows bigger and bigger each year, luxury cruise company Uniworld, unveiled a new way to see Europe, including a train journey on one of their river journeys. Travel enthusiasts ventured to Reign in Sydney’s QVB for a champagne breakfast and to meet the president and CEO of Uniworld, LA-based Ellen Bettrige.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, the world’s most luxurious all-inclusive river cruise line, has evealed its 2021 collection, promising to, yet again, elevate river cruising to a whole new level of luxury. The 2021 line-up continues to offer the award- winning service and luxurious fleet that Uniworld is renowned for and strives to deliver more, with two new itineraries in Europe, additional departures in growing destinations such as Peru and Egypt, and an exceptional air-offer.

Uniworld’s President & CEO Ellen Bettridge was in Sydney to launch the collection. She believes 2021 is an exciting opportunity to show Uniworld’s continued excellence and response to the needs of guests and travel partners. “I’m thrilled to show our guests that we’re aiming to elevate again in 2021 to provide them the best destinations, the best fleet and the best luxury river cruise experience.”

Onboard a Uniworld voyage, the guest is at the heart of every decision, they are committed to providing guests with the ultimate experience, which is why they’re providing guests with a choice of three offers when booking a 2021 river cruise:

  • Economy flights free, or
  • Business Class from $3,999 per person, or
  • No flights – save $1,000pp on their cruise

These offers are combinable with Uniworld’s River Heritage Club loyalty benefits, as well as available early payment discounts until 14 March.

In 2021, Uniworld has added two exciting new itineraries to their product line up. The 8-day Classic Germany & Amsterdam aboard the River Princess, cruises along the Main River from Amsterdam to Nuremberg (and reverse on some departures), taking in the best of the serene villages, renaissance architecture and medieval towns.

Uniworld has combined this new itinerary with its popular Authentic Danube to create a new grand itinerary, the 15-day Rhine, Maine & Danube Discovery. From Amsterdam all the way to Vienna, this itinerary cruises along the scenic Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, appealing to guests looking for an in-depth exploration of Central Europe’s quaint villages, exquisite castles and colourful cities.

In addition to these two itineraries, Uniworld is also thrilled to announce a new luxury train journey available to guests as an extension on select sailings of the Venice & The Gems of Northern Italy itinerary. Guests can now complete their voyage on the S.S. La Venezia and continue onboard the luxurious Golden Eagle Danube Express train, travelling from Venice to Zurich. The extension includes three nights onboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express and once night accommodation in Zurich on arrival.

In continuing to elevate their guests with the best possible experience, Uniworld will also continue to enhance its ships and itineraries into 2021. This year will see an additional four super ships added to the Uniworld fleet – S.S. Sphinx, S.S. La Venezia, S.S. Sao Gabriel and Mekong Jewel, totaling 20 ships in 2020.

Bettridge believes that 2021 will only see the fleet improve even further, with transformations across the super ship fleet, transforming the S.S. Queen and S.S. Empress in 2021. “Our guests deserve the best and we’re excited to be able deliver the best with the addition of four new super ships and enhancements to our one-of-a-kind fleet, as well as increased sailings on destinations where we’ve seen increasing demand.”

In December 2019, Uniworld announced a new destination- the Peruvian Amazon, chartering the eco- friendly, all suite Aria Amazon. Since launching the destination, Uniworld have almost completely sold all scheduled sailings and in response, have added more dates to accommodate for guests excited to see this exotic destination.

Egypt is another destination where Uniworld has seen an increasing demand, with travellers searching for a luxurious journey along the infamous Nile river. In recognising this, Uniworld will, in 2021, provide guests with two ships to choose from for the popular 12-day Splendours of Egypt & The Nile itinerary, onboard the River Tosca or S.S. Sphinx (launching in 2020).

“In finishing 2019, we’re proud of the growth of the Uniworld brand and in 2020 we’re striving to exceed that in both bookings and delivering for our guests with the introduction for four new super ships. 2021 is no different. Each year brings enhancements within our fleet, exciting new itineraries and a goal to elevate our guest’s luxury experience even more,” said Bettridge.

Source: UniWorld

Away x Serena Williams Collection Is Here!

Away has partnered with legendary athlete, entrepreneur, and avid traveler Serena Williams on a brand new collection of bold Rouge luggage designed to make travel more seamless.

The best selling hardside suitcase includes all of your favourite Away features. Each suitcase comes in Serena’s signature Rouge complete with a multi-coloured camo lining.

Available in The Expandables range – expanding by 4.45cm so you can pack more into your trip.

The Shoe Cubes, exclusive to the collection, are designed to store your shoes and keep them separate from the rest of your stuff, while the Packing Cubes ensure that everything else is zipped and tidy.

Source: AWAY

Windstar Cruises introduces New Wind Surf Officer's Suite

On Windstar Cruises’ flagship Wind Surf, which just emerged from a major renovation, guests are able to stay in the new Officer’s Suite. The nautically appointed suite on the five-masted schooner (the largest sailing cruise ship in the world), is located directly behind the Bridge, in an area labelled ‘crew only’.

While all of Windstar’s six ships have an open Bridge – where guests can interact with the ship’s officers and get a rare, behind-the-scenes look at cruising – the Officer’s Suite is the only public accommodation in the officers ‘quarters.

It is believed to be the only suite of its kind at sea – and perhaps the ultimate true cruise enthusiasts’ accommodation.

“We renovated this very unique suite with more of a nautical theme to reflect its exclusive location tucked away just behind the Bridge,” said Windstar President John Delaney.

“Guests in this suite share exclusive company with the Captain, Chief Officer, Hotel Manager and Chief Engineer. It’s absolutely 180 degrees from ordinary with nothing else like it in the industry,” said Mr Delaney.

The new 22 square metre Officer’s Suite sports a nautical theme with a bedroom, full bath with Jacuzzi tub, and living room with a wide screen television.

Décor includes a sextant, Wind Surf print, a museum-quality model of a J-class sailing ship and binoculars.

During Wind Surf’s recent time in dry dock, the entire ship received a significant renaissance from the outer hull (including a complete sandblasting and painting) to every room and public space on the ship.

Part of the major evolution of this popular vessel included 16 new guest rooms bringing the capacity on board to 342 guests (an increase from 310).

Additional crew accommodation was also created to raise the crew level to ensure a continued 1 to 1.5 staff to guest ratio.

Public areas now have a more social atmosphere and ‘living room’ feel with an expanded lounge and bar with new furnishings and a stage.

World Spa by Windstar, a new state-of-the-art spa and wellness centre, is also a main element in the renaissance of Wind Surf and will be run by Windstar’s partner One Spa World.

For bookings contact Windstar Australia on 1300 749 875 or

Source: Windstar

News from Chiva-Som as a new Australian Naturopath and Nutritionist enters the fold

Chiva-Som has appointed Renee Grandi as Naturopath and Nutritionist, bringing a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the latest in industry research and development to the resort’s team of health and wellness experts in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Australian-born Renee is passionate about helping others achieve their health goals, with an understanding that disease manifestation is multi-factorial through mind, body and spirit imbalances.

She believes that investigating biochemical pathways, mental health and nourishment issues with real achievable step-by-step support will improve overall health and wellness for lasting results.

“Integrating traditional wellness and scientific research is key to supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms and nourishing weakened systems” said Renee.

She will provide health lectures at Chiva-Som and practices supporting hormone imbalances, menopause, mental health, sleep maintenance, fatigue, digestion, detoxification, immune conditions, pain management, nutrition and healthy lifestyle integrations.

As a Naturopath, Renee is tuned into all body systems and facilitates a comprehensive health analysis for guests to help determine underlying factors contributing to disease.

“Life doesn’t always go to plan. Being imbalanced is physically and mentally draining, and I truly understand this without judgment. We have every right to be happy and healthy,” she said.

Renee has completed an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine, Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy, Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Naturopathy, Bachelor in Metaphysics and is an accredited member of the Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association.

She was previously Naturopath and Nutritionist at Brisbane Livewell Clinic in Queensland, Australia.

A pioneer in global wellness, Chiva-Som reopened in October 2019 following the fourth and final stage of its extensive renovation program, which has transformed the resort.

Chiva-Som Hua Hin is Asia’s first comprehensive wellness resort, providing proven transformations towards optimal wellness.  Nestled in seven acres of tranquil grounds, this beachfront resort is dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and spirit (represented by its tri-part logo). Western practices and Eastern philosophies are brought together in the wellness resort which provides services for guests to develop healthy habits and lifestyle transformations. It has been recognised by readers and industry experts alike as one of the outstanding wellness resorts in the world for since its launch 24 years ago.

Chiva-Som can be reached by car in under three hours, private plane in 25 minutes from Bangkok and chartered helicopter in 40 minutes from Bangkok.

Source: Chiva-Som