First look of Sequoia at Mount Lofty House and Tasting Australia event

South Australia will have a brand new super-luxe offering for local and international visitors with Sequoia set to rival the world’s best when it officially opens in the Adelaide Hills in September 2020.

A private and secluded sanctuary with uninterrupted panoramic views, the $15m luxury lodge will offer guests the ultimate six-star experience and be the first of its kind on mainland Australia. Overlooking the patchwork Piccadilly Valley, Sequoia is proudly South Australian owned and operated by David Horbelt and his business partner Malcolm Bean.

Named after the three giant Californian Redwood trees planted by the original owner Arthur Hardy, Sequoia will feature 14 contemporary guest suites with access to a private club lounge, gardens, sundeck and natural spring-fed hot pools.

Overseen by Horbelt with input from local architects and designers, every room in the spacious 75sqm open-plan suites will enjoy spectacular, unparalleled 180 degree views. The sunken lounge room will feature a Basket Range stone-clad gas fireplace while guests can sleep under the star-filled sky on a king-sized bed.

The iconic 30-acre Mount Lofty estate has long been synonymous with decadence and celebration. Perched on the valley rim and separate to the original house, the private retreat will have its own dedicated guest relations team and secure entrance to attract VIP guests.

Offering an unrivalled level of highly personalised service, Sequoia guests will have access to all of the property’s lavish amenities including the three-hatted Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Arthur Waterhouse Lounge and Stables Day Spa.

They can also choose from a catalogue of bespoke experiences that celebrate South Australian stories. Not available to the general public, think private behind-the-scenes tours with local winemakers, getting up-close and personal with native icons or connecting with local identities and brands.

Known for its spectacular rolling hills and quality local wine and produce, the Adelaide Hills region is quickly becoming the first choice for Australians looking for a respite from bustling city life.

Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Adelaide CBD and 30 minutes from the airport, Mount Lofty House offers a short escape that feels a million miles away, yet is close to everything you could need.

Mount Lofty House will give an exclusive sneak preview of the lodge, six months ahead of its official opening, with a sensory inspired experience featuring the best food, wine and music from South Australia. The overnight Tasting Australia adventure begins with a limousine transfer to the estate and Sequoia Sparkling beneath the giant tree that shares its name.

From here guests can choose to relax during a 30-minute spa treatment or discover the nuances of Adelaide Hills gin during a guided tasting. Evening canapés will be served as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performs live before guests connect with representatives from flagship South Australian brands RM Williams and Jurlique.

On Tuesday 31 March experience a menu crafted by Hardy’s Verandah’s own awarded chef, Jin Choi and internationally celebrated ‘paddock to plate’ chef, Jared Ingersoll, while the menu on Wednesday 1 April sees a visionary gastronomical collaboration between Duncan Welgemoed (Africola) and Paul Bentley (Magno Brasserie) derived from an infusion of native Australian ingredients with unique Mexican preparation techniques.

Both menus will be expertly matched with wines by iconic South Australian producer, Penfolds to complete a picture that will linger in your memory forever and a bottle of Bin 28 Shiraz per couple with a Kangaroo Karmine leather wine bag will see you take a little of the experience home with you too. Before you retire, gather around a bonfire for after-dinner marshmallows, stories and stargazing before turning in to Sequoia for the night.

Tickets $3000 per room. Event information: https://tastingaustralia.com.au/events/the-luxury-brands-of-south-australia

Source: Mount Lofty House 


Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora takes luxury to another level

Synonymous with absolute luxury, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is upping the luxe factor even further, adding eight new overwater bungalow suites, and a new retail experience – MoeMoea.

Six of the new suites feature 11 x 8 foot (3.4 x 2.4 metre) infinity-edge plunge pools set on private decks that sit over the turquoise lagoon that Bora Bora is so famous for.

A further six plunge pools were added to existing overwater bungalow suites, bringing the total number of overwater accommodations with pools to 27, and the total overwater room count to 108.

Further to the new builds, each of the resort’s one and two-bedroom overwater bungalow suites have been refreshed to reflect a more contemporary Polynesian feel. The refresh includes new furniture, fixtures, lighting and technology, plus the installation of solar panels on each bungalow’s thatched roof provides a natural and sustainable power source for heating water.

Guests will also enjoy the newly revealed 3,550 square-foot (330 square metre) shopping experience within the Resort. Also set over the pristine waters of the resort, MoeMoea, meaning “dream” in Polynesian, is just that for shoppers, offering resort wear, casual and active apparel, accessories, women’s luxe apparel, swimwear and more.

Guests can literally swim up to the store directly from the lagoon to browse well-known brands including Camilla, Missoni, Onia, Solid & Striped, Vilebrequin and Zimmermann; while also showcasing boutique brands such as Adriana Iglesias, Benson and Swims, B+S Caftans, March 11 and Su Paris.

“As one of the world’s most celebrated resorts, we are thrilled to showcase our new and enhanced overwater bungalow suites, as well as MoeMoea,” says Diego Stembert, General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. “We believe that life is better over water, and now our overwater experience is better than ever.”

In celebration, the Resort is offering a range of holiday packages.

Source: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora


Wellington: First City in NZ to be named an International City of Film by UNESCO

New Zealand’s coolest capital, Wellington, has just been named an international City of Film by UNESCO. Wellington is the first city in New Zealand to be designated this title and one of only 17 globally, making them part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Incredible films which have been made in Wellington include Avatar, Planet of the Apes and of course Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies. However, as stated by Andy Foster, the Mayor of Wellington, this accolade also “recognizes the vibrancy of our entire film community. We’re a place that flocks to events like the New Zealand International Film Festival, the Māoriland Film festival, 48 Hour Film Festival and Roxy5, we have a strong screen education sector and a very talented creative community.”
 

Take a tour through Wellington’s filmmaking history by exploring the following locations where the magic of the movies has been brought to life:
– Wellington Airport: As soon as you land be immediately immersed in Welly’s filmmaking history. Greeting you in the arrival hall are three massive Middle-earth giants – Gandalf and the eagles, Gollum and his fishes, and Smaug the dragon.

– Thunderbirds Are Go Behind the Scenes Experience: Visit the Thunderbirds Are Go shooting stage at Weta Workshop and discover the genuine props, models and miniatures behind the modern-day remake of this popular television series.
– Weta Cave & Weta Studio Tour: The first stop for film buffs and LOTR fans, Weta Cave is the shop front of the multiple Oscar-winning Weta Workshop, the brainchild of Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor.
– Stone Street Studios: Co-owned by the Oscar-winning trio of Sir Peter Jackson, Sir Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk, Stone Street Studios’ facilities were extensively used by New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers for the production of The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Hobbit Trilogy.

– Park Road Post Production: Developed by Sir Peter Jackson for filmmakers, it houses a unique combination of services; from a world-class laboratory, through telecine, digital intermediate and HD post-production, to Academy Award® winning sound post-production.

– Victoria Street: Wellington doubled for a futuristic version of Hong Kong in the film adaptation of acclaimed Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell. Shot at Stone Street Studios, Avalon Studios and on location at Victoria Street in the central city, it was the first time urban New Zealand had been showcased as a sci-fi setting on the silver screen.

– Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa: The film community make their mark on Wellington not just through movies, but also through their art. Izzat Design, whose artists created props for films such as Avatar, The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, has contributed to a range of exhibitions at Te Papa, including recreating seven extinct birds of New Zealand for the Blood, Earth, Fire exhibition.

– Lyall Bay: A cliff face by Lyall Bay, a popular surf beach along Wellington’s rugged South Coast, was the setting for Dunharrow in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. On their days off during filming Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) learned to surf at Lyall Bay.

Source: UNESCO


The Ritz-Carlton hotel: inside The Spa, Perth

Harnessing the natural beauty of Western Australia, the riverfront spa experience at The Ritz-Carlton, Perth is an inspired wellness journey devoted to encouraging relaxation and reflection.

The hotel’s meticulously considered design inspiration flows to the relaxation podium on level five with a hand-built mosaic wall of 1737 tiles featuring as the backdrop of Spa Concierge. In the waiting area, local timber and resin artist creations adorn the carefully chosen products that feature in the treatment experiences, copper throughout the décor symbolises the rich minerals found in Western Australia, and rich blue hues reflect the pristine waters of the coastline.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Perth will lure guests to relax and rejuvenate with bespoke pampering rituals in the four idyllic treatment rooms including a couple’s suite with spa bath, double rain shower and Supreme Court Garden views. Female and male vitality pools with massage jets, relaxation lounges and saunas with floor-to-ceiling windows offer a healing connection to nature, while the state-of-the-art fitness centre and yoga studio provide a truly interconnected approach to guest wellness.

The outdoor heated infinity pool enjoys exquisite views over the Swan River, Elizabeth Quay and city skyline. Guests can surrender to luxurious poolside pampering treatments without leaving the comfort of the sunlounge, while the Ladies and Gentlemen from Songbird will serve culinary and beverage offerings.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Perth is the only Spa in Western Australia to exclusively work with national and international skincare brands, LaGaia Unedited and Biologique Recherche. Both brands have worked collaboratively with the Spa to thoughtfully curate signature pampering rituals with a holistic yet results-driven approach.

One of the signature treatments; the Transformative Kimberley Ritual begins with a bespoke LaGaia Unedited facial, layering the skin with precious crystal quartz tonics, botanicals, essential vitamins and hydrating serums. An aromatic full body scrub and clay mask inspired by the diverse and rugged plains of the Kimberley will detoxify and re-mineralise the most stressed of skins.

Guests looking to alleviate lingering aches and stress will benefit from the Alignment Antidote Massage. This full body muscular and energetic treatment uses ancient pressure point therapy, lymphatic breathing, healing crystals and massage to align and revitalise the body.

For a goal-oriented facial treatment designed to address specific skin concerns, Biologique Recherche delivers active facials prescribed after a Skin Instant Lab diagnosis. 6o and 90-minute treatment options deliver change in the skin, including the Soin Restructurant et Lissant, a reconditioning treatment designed to moisturise and calm stressed, dehydrated, dry and the most sensitive skin types.

Each guest begins their journey with a handmade ceramic cup filled with the spa’s fragrant signature tea. Prepared with healing Australian ingredients to enliven the senses, boost immunity and hydrate the body, the welcome tea is the perfect grounding ritual to ready the mind, body and spirit.

Guests are then asked to choose the scent they would like featured throughout their treatment, whether it be infused into their welcome foot bath, body scrub or massage oil, or inhaled during the lymphatic breathing techniques used in all body treatments. A bespoke foot bath commences each treatment, where the guest’s feet rest upon hand-picked Kimberley river stones and float amongst healing Australian precious elements and botanicals.

The spa journey concludes with a cool, calming Australian organic lavender herbal tincture and superfood offering served in a choice of relaxation lounges. Internal beauty supplements are also available to maintain healthy glowing skin long after treatment, alongside home skincare recommendations.

There are also express treatments available for guests short on time but still looking to be rejuvenated and replenished. For extra privacy, an in-room wellness butler menu can be organised with themed options that include facial rejuvenation, detoxification and sleep assistance.

Source: The Ritz-Carlton


Six Senses Opens on the Legendary Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul - Six Senses Kocatas Mansions

History enriches hospitality at Six Senses Kocataş Mansions, Istanbul – the city where East meets West.

Occupying two beautifully restored heritage mansions, there are just 45 guest rooms and suites showcasing tradition and local flavors with Six Senses touches.

Set overlooking the Bosphorus, the hotel delivers authentic and unique experiences while maintaining a strict observation to environmental purism.

Dining at the hotel includes authentic Turkish cuisine, a delightful courtyard setting and a return to the mansions’ golden era of La Belle Époque. Toro Latin GastroBar by Richard Sandoval is inspired by Pan-Latin and Asian cuisines, with one more amazing restaurant of world celebrity chef, Mehmet Gürs, to open in mid-2020.

Opening Spring 2020, Six Senses Spa brings a new level of wellness offerings to the destination; from a Turkish hammam with Six Senses touches to a holistic anti-aging clinic and personal beauty pods.

The spa is also integral to the Six Senses Integrative Wellness program and Sleep With Six Senses concept. For completion soon after the opening, the vast facility includes an indoor swimming pool, alchemy bar, a fitness center, organic herb garden and a juice bar.

The urban oasis created by Six Senses Kocataş Mansions presents lush landscaping through which meanders a pathway to connect all the facilities including an outdoor pool and offers even more views of the Bosphorus.

Earth Lab – where sustainability is practiced and celebrated, and an open-air cinema will follow shortly. Ideally situated in the city’s northernmost district the hotel appeals to local residents in search of an urban wellness fix and great dining experiences, and also to international travelers who wish to explore the historic city center of Istanbul, which is a 60-minute leisurely boat ride away.

Istanbul’s new international airport is within easy access, with Six Senses Kocataş Mansions being one of the city’s closest upscale properties.

Source: Six Senses