Tas Walking Co invests in Bruny Island Long Weekend

Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) has announced its recent investment in Bruny Island Long Weekend (BILW). The three-day 35km walk offers a fully guided luxury camping experience of the south Tasmanian island and is the 5th multi-day walk for the Ecotourism Hall of Famer.

BILW is an award-winning tour operator with founder, Robert Knight based at the 100-acre private sanctuary that fringes the national park. The investment will see both parties collaborate, develop and manage the operation, with the like-minded companies sharing a similar philosophy in environmentally sustainable tourism.

BILW Owner Rob Knight said, “I am delighted to be teaming up with 30-year old Tasmanian Walking Company. Adventure tourism is a growing sector and Bruny Island Long Weekend will now realise its full potential under this new partnership”. Rob continued, “I started the business on my own in 2013, and I am looking forward to moving into the next phase of expansion and growth with the support and guidance of a partner who equally values and appreciates the natural ecosystem.”

TWC General Manager, Heath Garratt said, “We are excited to welcome Bruny Island Long Weekend to our portfolio of walks in a partnership that complements our vision of becoming one of the great tourism experiential brands.” Heath continued, “Rob has created a hidden gem where raw, natural beauty is in abundance, and together we share a determination to continue raising the profile of guided walks with outstanding environmental credentials”.

BILW is a 3-day showcase of the remote and pristine wilderness of Tasmania with a guided walk through varied terrain including beaches, rocky headlands, and rainforest. Built to a design philosophy of uncomplicated luxury, BILW’s sustainable luxury tented accommodation was conceived as the perfect low-key respite for walkers and provides support to the educational and immersive coastal walking experience.

Walkers sleep under the stars in one of four spacious tents each with private deck and furnished with king size bed and creature comforts. The off-grid facilities exist in complete harmony with the surrounding environment, with structures constructed from timber salvaged from Southern Tasmanian forestry coupes and outdoor hot showers framed by towering Eucalypts.

This stunning journey takes you by our private boat from Hobart down the Derwent River to Bruny Island. Walkers venture along the east coast traversing headlands, before cooling off in the crystal-clear waters of Great Bay and learning the art of oyster shucking at the local farm. Retreating to the off-the-grid luxury camp for the first of two nights, walkers end the day with a gourmet feast of local produce. Day two invites walkers to climb East Cloudy Head for views of Bruny Island’s rugged South Coast and Southern Ocean.

Day three is a leisurely start exploring the 100- acre private property, before climbing through ancient Gondwanan rainforest to the highest point of Bruny Island, Mt Mangana. Finish the long weekend in style, with lunch on the decks of The Jetty Café and Art Gallery, before taking the return boat trip to Hobart.

For Bruny Island Long Weekend bookings visit www.tasmanianwalkingcompany.com.au or call +61 (0)3 63922211

Source: Tasmanian Walking Company

Food afloat: when culinary cool meets cruising

Remember when everyone thought cruising was all about standing in a conga line, waiting to serve yourself from a fairly ordinary buffet?

Well, not all cruise lines are created equal, with so many having now eschewed the wait-in-line mentality and given customers a really decent dining experience.

Most of the major and more popular cruise lines are way up on their culinary act, so for those who may still be a little nervous regarding a cruise ships’ food offering needn’t worry at all. Be warned: not every cruise line has put the time, patience and resources into making their meals rock (in some cases, quite literally). After a trip to the US to see how the Princess Cruises crew puts their entire food and event offerings together, which seems is no simple task, it’s clear that the effort is paying off in spades.

With the Southern Hemisphere cruise season well and truly upon us, it seems each day there is a mega ship or two docking in a harbour or port somewhere is Austalia. And, it was Princess Cruises who invited me to check out its international operation. With that, I spent some time at the Princess head offices in Los Angeles to meet the people who are working behind the scenes to elevate Princess Cruises’ on-board experience.

From working with a world-renowned sleep doctor to ensure a better night’s sleep for all its guests, to creating carefully curated menus with Michelin-Starred chefs, the Princess fleet wants to lead the pack in the world of cruising. It is also making sure its entertainment, suites, and, most importantly, food is top notch. The concept of ‘ordinary’ food seems to be a thing of the past as major cruise lines continue to partner with seriously good chefs.

The crew of us were lucky enough to meet some of the chefs engaged by Princess Cruises as we made our way to Los Angeles to see how the kitchen kinds work their magic. Here are a few whose tastes will tantalise ship ahoy taste buds.

Ernesto Uchimura

This LA-based gastro-pub has been turned into a star on the high seas with award-winning chef Ernesto Uchimura having joined forces with Princess Cruises. The chef is the name behind the original Umami Burger restaurant and also he also started Plan Check Kitchen + Bar in Los Angeles. So popular his offerings have been on land, his The Salty Dog Gastropub experience has been transferred to the the Wheelhouse Bar on board some of the cruise lines’ ships.

I mean, it must be quite an honour to have been voted as having the ‘Best Burger at Sea’ by Cruise Critic! The on-board Salty Dog Gastropub also has the ‘The Ernesto’ – a crafted rib eye burger created by the chef just for sailing. We had a taste on a gastro-tour, and yes, it definitely is worth a try.

Curtis Stone

Princess Cruises partnered with the award-winning chef Curtis Stone a few years ago when he created SHARE. As the name implies, it’s all about, well, sharing, and with dishes like a charcuterie starter course; butter poached lobster with caramelized endive; twice-cooked duck leg with fennel, bacon jus and parmesan crumb; tagliatelle with roasted alaskan crab, chili and parsley and potato gratin with truffles and cream available on the ships Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess, and Sun Princess.

Angelo Auriana

Another chef celebrating his sea-faring delights is from LA-based Italian chef Angelo Auriana, who has joined up with Princess to concoct a menu for six of the ships, including Golden Princess who is currently calling Melbourne home for the next 5 months. The restaurant, called Sabatini’s includes handmade pastas, risotto and seafood.

Emmanuel Renaut

Exclusive to the majestic ship, cruise-lovers who are wanting something a little more casual, with an atrium style vibe, are mad about French, bistro-style dining with a contemporary twist at Ranaut’s restaurant called La Mer.

The chef holds the title of ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ (best craftsmen of France) and Chef of the Year by Le Chef. The chef’s locons de Sel restaurant has even received three Michelin stars. Now that, from any regard is mighty good form.

In addition to the ‘celebrity’ chefs, Princess has a venue in Santa Clarita where all of their Princess menus are tested and tweaked. It’s called the Princess Cruises Culinary Development Centre and it’s where all the menus are created in LA, then rolled out across the Princess fleet across the world.

The details:

Princess’ newest ship, Majestic Princess balcony fares for a 12-night cruise to New Zealand departing Sydney on Friday 25 January 2019 start from $2,689 AUD* per person, twin share. For more information visit princess.com, call 13 24 88 or see a licensed travel agent.

Melissa Hoyer was a media guest of Princess Cruises in Los Angeles to’ meet the chefs’.  

Source: delicious.

Art Series Hotels announces The Fantauzzo on Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane

Art Series Hotels has officially announced its eighth property at Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane will be named after acclaimed Australian painterVincent Fantauzzo. The first new Art Series property under the AccorHotels banner, The Fantauzzois scheduled to open in March 2019 with bookings now available.

Born in Birmingham in 1977, Fantauzzo moved from England to Australia as a child. A graduate of RMIT University, he has exhibited worldwide with shows in India, Vietnam, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Australia.

Drawing on techniques from other mediums such as photography and film to create a narrative, Fantauzzo uses contrasting elements of light and dark, shadows and colours to create depth and heighten the realism and theatrical effect.

Renowned for his portraits of notable people including Heath Ledger, Matt Moran, Brandon Walters and Julia Gillard, he has won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the Archibald Packing Room Prize, and the Archibald People’s Choice Award four times, including in 2012 for his portrait of now-wife, actress Asher Keddie.

Carved into the cliff under Story Bridge, the $100million luxury hotel will feature 166 guest rooms, with custom contemporary furnishings, featuring both original artworks and up to 500 reproductions of Fantauzzo’s most recognised works. A seamless combination of art, design and functionality, the hotel will be a powerful representation of contemporary creativity, with connected and inspiring spaces for guests to discover.

“To have an Art Series hotel dedicated to showcasing my work is truly an honour and I cannot wait for the doors to open in March,” Fantauzzo said. “I’m strongly passionate about accessibility to the arts, and what excites me most about the collaboration is that this hotel will give all guests the opportunity to connect with art, and immerse themselves in a really creative experience.”

Fantauzzo’s take on photorealism inspired architects SJB to create a counterpoint, a contrasting backdrop to his work through dark tones and glossy finishes that challenge the traditional ‘white gallery’ space. The scheme utilises polished concrete and contrasting tones against a highly reflective black glass.

Natural rock and timber take cues from the cliff face and external facade, acting as an earthy installation. The angular forms found on both the facade of the building and interior elements, provide further clarity and distinction between Fantauzzo’s artworks and the hotel’s design.

AccorHotels Chief Operating Officer Pacific, Simon McGrath, said: “Vincent is a charismatic artist with so much raw talent he was a natural fit to be the namesake artist of the first Art Series hotel under our management. His mission is to make art accessible so he is a perfect match for the brand and The Fantauzzo’s design will clearly reflect his individual sense of style and sophistication.”

The six-storey hotel will also offer four distinct food and beverage outlets as well as an impressive rooftop pool boasting spectacular views of the Brisbane River and CBD, bar, gym and three conference rooms, fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.

Arts Series Hotels transformed the Australian market when it launched in 2009. Signature art experiences at The Fantauzzo will include the infamous art tours, in-room art channels and art libraries. Branded Smart Cars and Lekker bicycles will be available to explore all that Brisbane has to offer and further afield.

The Fantauzzo is scheduled to open in March 2019 with Art Series now taking bookings online at https://www.artserieshotels.com.au/fantauzzo/. Room rates start from $309 per room per night.

Source: Art Series Hotels

Larmont Sydney celebrates 1st Birthday Lunch

Boutique hotel collection Lancemore celebrated Larmont Sydney 1st Birthday over an elegant lunch at Hyde restaurant within the hotel.

Guest chef Nick Holloway, from hatted restaurant Nu Nu’s in Palm Cove, prepared a delicious summer menu and collaborated with Jon Kingston, the passionate gardener from The Wayside Chapel, Potts Point on all of there herbs for each course, to really give the dishes a local flavour and the first step in creating a more meaningful relationship with The Wayside Chapel.

Guest sipped on Lindenderry wines, from the vineyards of one of their other hotel properties Lindenderry at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsular.

Julian Clark CEO of Lancemore had guests laughing along as he retold the story of how the family-run hotel group was started by his parents – when they where in their 40’s, threw in everything, had no hospitality experience and interest rates were ay 18% – and they survived! They now own 6 hotels around Australia.

Guest were then treated an overnight stay to experience the hotel first hand, which recently was ranked number 12 in Australia on the US Conde Nast Traveler reader choice awards.

*Melissa was paid a fee to MC the birthday event.

Source: Larmont Sydney by Lancemore 

Radisson Blu Opens a New Urban Oasis in Zhengzhou, Central China’s Thriving Metropolis

Radisson Blu, the upper-upscale hotel brand that delivers personalized service in stylish spaces, has opened an impressive new hotel in Zhengzhou, one of China’s fastest-growing cities and a thriving trade and transport hub. 

Perfectly positioned next to the Jialu River, Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji is a newly-constructed hotel that offers scenic retreats close to the bustling city center, beautiful mountains and wetlands around the Yellow River. Close proximity to natural areas like Five Dragons Peak, urban districts like Wanda Plaza and the Zhengzhou International Convention & Exhibition Centre make this the perfect base to experience every side of Henan’s provincial capital. 

With its blend of modern amenities and natural beauty, Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji is an enchanting urban oasis. The hotel features spacious 36-45 square meter superior rooms to the luxurious 260 square meter Presidential Suite, all featuring free Wi-Fi, working space and 24-hour room service. The hotel rooms feature stunning views of the Jialu River, the riverside gardens or the city, and the Business Class Lounge provides bespoke services for guests staying in the executive rooms or suites. 

Guests can discover exquisite local and international cuisine at a choice of innovative F&B outlets, including TASTE, the all-day dining restaurant showcasing international flavours, FLAVOR, which specializes in Cantonese cuisine. Guests can also enjoy and unwind over coffee, cocktails and light snacks at the Lobby Lounge.

Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji also houses an array of amenities for guests to stay refreshed and fully focused throughout their stay, including an elegant indoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness centre and a business centre.

For meeting planners, the hotel offers 1,500 square meters of flexible function space, including a Grand Ballroom that can host up to 1,200 people and five meeting rooms, supported by professional support and cutting-edge technology.

“We are delighted to open Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji, as we continue to bring our collection of world-class brands to China’s most dynamic destinations. Home to approximately ten million people, Zhengzhou is one of China’s most important inland cities. A booming economic, commercial and transport centre, this strategic central metropolis symbolizes the exciting growth that is currently sweeping across China,” commented Gary Ye, Vice President, Operations, China, Radisson Hotel Group.

“With an idyllic riverfront setting, nestled between the city and the mountains, Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji provides contemporary accommodation and exceptional amenities for all types of guest, from business travellers and conference delegates to families and urban explorers,” he added.

Connected by the G30 Lianhuo Expressway, Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji is easily accessible and free parking is offered to all hotel guests. Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport is one of China’s busiest airports, with extensive connections from multiple domestic and international airlines.

“We are excited to welcome guests to this fast-growing city and to Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji. With our stylish design, innovative amenities and ‘Yes I Can!’ service ethos, I am confident that all guests will enjoy memorable stays with us,” said Daniel Feng, General Manager, Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji.

Radisson Blu Zhengzhou Huiji joins a growing collection of Radisson Blu hotels in China, including impressive upper-upscale properties in key destinations such as Shanghai,Wuxi and Chongqing. Guests at every Radisson Blu hotel will enjoy the brand’s unique Yes I Can! service ethos and unforgettable experiences with every stay.

Source: Radisson Blu