Save up your Euro: One very special trip to the French Pyrenees is coming up – take a read as it is an open to all trip

  • You will be welcomed and collected at the Lourdes airport / train station
  • Drive to Le Belvedere – relax, unpack and begin to unwind
  • A light lunch followed by champagne cocktails early evening – meet with Australia’s most famous hairdresser Joh Bailey
  • Late afternoon stroll through the small village of Salles-Argeles – drink in the atmosphere of this small historic village in the heart of the Pyrenean countryside.
  • Candlelit dinner on the Terrace (weather permitting)

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Individual hair styling – cut and styling with Joh
  • Spend the day pampered at the thermal spa enjoying a selection of treatments, massages and the healing spa waters following in the famous footsteps of Kings and Queens where encounters are intense as the purity of the air and where the body is cared for by the benefits of the thermal springs but also the spirit with a wonder at all times.
  • Champagne cocktails on the balcony
  • Dinner at a local French restaurant

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Individual hair styling – cut and styling with Joh
  • Spend the day pampered at the thermal spa enjoying a selection of treatments, massages and the healing spa waters following in the famous footsteps of Kings and Queens where encounters are intense as the purity of the air and where the body is cared for by the benefits of the thermal springs but also the spirit with a wonder at all times.
  • Champagne cocktails on the balcony followed by dinner “Pyrenees Le Brasero” on the terrace

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Hair by Joh Bailey
  • Be prepared to experience emotions that only nature can evoke. We head to a group of natural cirques in rare perfection. Gavarnie is the most famous and spectacular. It is unique in the whole world – and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Return to Le Belvedere for an aperitif and chitchat followed by dinner prepared by Joh on the Terrace

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Hair by Joh Bailey
  • Visit to the famous and one of the oldest farmers markets in the region in Argeles Gazost. This market is 200 years old, select and try local sheep and cow cheeses, charcuterie, local fois gras, goats cheese, honey or just wander the market place and small village of Argeles. Afterwards a picnic lunch at Le Belvedere or if weather permitting Lac D’estang in the mountains.
  • Champagne cocktails on the terrace
  • Dinner – Restaurant Les Caliberos
  • Firelight drinks and highlights of the week in the Grand Salon

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Hair by Joh Bailey
  • Full day shopping and styling with Joh and Melissa in the famous Pyrenean village Pau with a visit to one of our best local antique dealers. Styling with beauty and fashion editor (News.com) social influencer Melissa Hoyer – exclusive fashion labels with styling experience from a Melissa and Joh at all price points. Learn how to dress to impress by mixing haute couture to cheap chic. Aperitifs on the balcony at Le Belvedere followed by a more formal dinner on the Terrace (weather permitting). Afterwards relaxing in the Grand Salon with a red wine by the magnificent fireplace or on the terrace with the magnificent view of the Pyrenees

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Late morning visit to the famous village of Lourdes where thousands of people come from all over the world to visit this town where in 1858 the young shepherdess Bernadette, “met” the Virgin Mary, in a small cave next to the Gave de Pau. Visitors rush to the Sanctuaries, stroke the wall of the grotto and drink from the water source that Bernadette brought forth from the very rock where she saw the apparitions.
  • Lunch in Lourdes
  • Afterward return to the house for a final styling and relaxing afternoon with Melissa and Joh.
  • Formal dinner in the dining room and afterwards relaxing in the Grand Salon with a red wine by the magnificent fireplace or just soaking up the view of the Pyrenees from the house.

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Pack-up and goodbye
  • Transport to airport / train


OMNIA Dayclub Bali and Sake no Hana to open

Hakkasan Group has announced that the world’s first OMNIA Dayclub will open its doors on the idyllic island of Bali in Indonesia.

The flagship OMNIA Nightclub opened in Las Vegas in 2015 and quickly established a reputation as one of the world’s greatest nightclubs with a diverse musical roster that features some of today’s most in-demand DJ’s. OMNIA Dayclub in Bali will be the first time this brand has opened as a dayclub.

Perfectly placed on the stunning limestone cliffs of Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsula of the island, OMNIA Bali is a showstopper in every way. The dayclub and its restaurant, Sake no Hana, have been meticulously planned to maximise the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean that can be enjoyed from this 80-metre plateau.

The culinary heartbeat of the dayclub is Sake no Hana, a modern Japanese restaurant which has its flagship in the centre of London. Sake no Hana’s philosophy is anchored in the principle of ‘shun’; the moment of perfection when everything is at its peak. Framed by nature, the open-air, latticed space of the restaurant perches elegantly above it all and merges seamlessly with the buzz of the main Lounge below.


Qantas ‘Biofuel’ Event unveils carbon emission friendly plane

The world’s first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia, QF96 from Los Angeles to Melbourne, is set to depart later today.

The historic trans-Pacific 15 hour flight will operate with approximately 24,000kg (53,000lbs) of blended biofuel, saving 18,000kg in carbon emissions.

Qantas will use biofuel processed from Brassica Carinata, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed, developed by Canadian-based agricultural-technology company, Agrisoma Biosciences (Agrisoma).

The flight is part of the partnership announced in 2017 which will also see the companies work with Australian farmers to grow the country’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said it was fitting that the airline’s game-changing Dreamliner 787-9 will showcase the future of sustainable aviation.

“The Qantas Dreamliner marks an exciting new era of innovation and travel. The aircraft is more fuel efficient and generates fewer greenhouse emissions than similarly sized aircraft and today’s flight will see a further reduction on this route.

“Our partnership with Agrisoma is a big step in the development of a renewable jetfuel industry in Australia – it is a project we are really proud to be part of as we look at ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations.”

Across its lifecycle, using Carinata-derived biofuel can reduce carbon emissions by eighty percent compared to traditional jet fuel.

Carinata requires no specialised production or processing techniques. It is water efficient and The University of Queensland field trials in Gatton, Queensland, and in Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated it should do very well in the Australian climate.

It is sown in either fallow areas where food crops fail or in between regular crop cycles, known as “cover cropping”. Rotational or break-crops can improve soil quality, reduce erosion for food crops and provide farmers with additional income.

“Biojet fuel made from Carinata delivers both oil for biofuel and protein for animal nutrition while also enhancing the soil it’s grown in.

“We are excited about the potential of the crop in Australia and look forward to working with local farmers and Qantas to develop a clean energy source for the local aviation industry.”


Announcing the winners of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards 2018

January blues be banished – it’s time for hotel lovers the world over to raise their glasses to the winners of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards… And the first to be popping corks will be Provençe’s art-packed escape, Villa La Coste, named Best Smith Hotel 2018 – the judges and the public alike swayed by its elegant design, artistic endeavours, first-class fare and creative caché.

The globetrotting panel of travel-savvy judges – including fashion designer Jenny Packham, jewellery designer Lucy Folk,  photographer, illustrator and founder of Atalier Dore, Garance Dore, illustrator, Angelica Hicks, presenter, journalist and co-restaurateur Magdalena Roze, TV judge and design guru Neale Whitaker and chef Tom Aikens – have also crowned a further 11 boutique beauties in a range of other categories, from World’s Sexiest Bedroom, Coolest Creative Hub, Local Hero to Best Date-Night Bar and, for the first time this year, Best Smith Villa to show-off an ever-growing collection of private group getaways.

With winners dotted around the world – from the Chilean desert to the Japanese mountains; Icelandic backwaters to Manhattan avenues – it’s a ready-made holiday hotlist for the new year.

‘As a travel club, we like to do things a little differently – our awards are a chance to champion those one-of-a-kind places that have made a real impact on us. This year we’re celebrating 12 of the world’s best stays with incredible stories to tell. If you’ve ever asked us for travel tips, consider this our ultimate must-visit list for 2018 (featuring our villa collection for the first time). We hope it inspires a memorable year of adventures. 

– James Lohan Co-founder, Mr & Mrs Smith

Best Smith Hotel

Villa La Coste Provence, France

‘As the only category voted for by the public, Best Smith Hotel is a serious accolade. Villa La Coste is new on the boutique-hotel circuit but has since become a firm favourite. With it’s cutting-edge design, arresting architecture and amazing art collection, it’s a very well-deserved winner – one of the most impressive boltholes on our books.’

– James Lohan Co-founder, Mr & Mrs Smith

Best-Dressed Hotel

Le Roch Hotel & Spa Paris, France

‘Having spent nine straight nights in this hotel during Paris Fashion week, I must say I wanted to stay nine more. Its location is perfect, the decor is elegant, it’s chic yet cosy and the service was perfect.’

– Jake Rosenberg Founder, The Coveteur

World’s Sexiest Bedroom

Soneva Jani, Maldives

‘One button on this retractable roof stands between you and post coital stargazing. Did I mention you’re lying on a bed in the middle of the ocean? If that’s not sexy I don’t know what is.’ 

– Olivia von Halle Fashion designer

Best Date-Night Bar

Roxy Hotel NYC, US

‘The cocktail list is impressive at the Roxy: the perfect harmony between cool and laid-back. The lounge area makes you feel like you’re in someone’s living room yet when the jazz starts playing you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.’

Laura Jackson Presenter and author

Best Gourmet Getaway

Zaborin Niseko, Japan

The food from Yoshihiro Seno is as pure and as well thought out as the hotel. He draws from his own experience of ‘kaiseki‘ and ‘washoku‘ techniques and makes good use of local produce including his own grown ingredients. Guests are in for a delightful journey in taste.’

Tom Aikens Chef and author

Most Spoiling Spa

Les Sources de Caudalie Bordeaux, France

‘As if having developed an exceptional product range wasn’t enough, this spa nails a holistic approach with treatments that really deliver.’ 

– Nick Shelton Founder, Broadsheet Media

Best Smith Villa

Annandale Scrubby Bay Pigeon Bay, New Zealand

‘Seclusion is the new opulence, so this remote villa – situated on a lake in an extinct volcano, with working farm and superb eco credentials – is truly off-the-grid. The ultimate good-for-the-soul retreat. (Plus: cashmere pyjamas!)’

– Lee Tulloch Travel Editor, Vogue Living

Best Pool with a View

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa Atacama Desert, Chile

‘This really is an escape from it all. The mountainous landscape looks almost lunar, and is so peaceful you could be forgiven for imagining yourself on another planet altogether. I think the natural wood and furniture design sits in harmony really beautifully with the landscape around you – it embraces it rather than trying to fight it. Fab.’

Lauren Laverne Broadcaster and founder of The Pool

Above & Beyond

Chamba Camp Thiksey Himalayas, India

Absolutely magical eco-friendly glamping in palatial tents with panoramic vistas of mountain-top monasteries by the foothills of the Himalayas in Ladakh.’

Johannes Pong Travel writer

Best Family Hotel

Taylor River Lodge Crested Butte, US

‘If you are an adventure family that loves the outdoors but wants to experience a holiday where you also feel looked after, treated and the workload is non existent, this is the place. An incredible location this is truly the perfect scenario for the whole family to connect to each other and the unparalleled landscape that is Colorado.’

– Sheree Commerford Founder, Captain & The Gypsy Kid

Coolest Creative Hub 

Public NYC, US

‘The clue’s in the name: Public is truly a hotel for the people. It dispenses with hotel frills to focus on the communal – the co-working lobby space, the city-spying rooftop bar, the multicultural kitchen, the local-loving boutique, the basement nightclub – and has rightly become a honeypot for creative types as a result’ 

– Richard MacKichan Editor, Mr & Mrs Smith

Local Hotel Hero

Dedon Island Resort Siargao Island, Philippines

‘Not only is this place perfect for completely unwinding in paradise, they also take great care in making sure their carbon footprint is minimal by using solar power, composting, growing their own produce and reducing the use of plastic materials. Additionally, the owner of the hotel has a foundation to support local community projects, therefore everything on the hotel property is crafted by locals – how cool is that?’

Phoebe Dahl Founder and CEO, Faircloth + Supply

Source: Mr and Mrs Smith 


Pretty Beach House Makes Condé Nast Traveler's 2018 Gold List & Named One of the Best Hotels in the World

Pretty Beach House is celebrating with the announcement it has been awarded the highly-coveted 2018 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List Award. Pretty Beach House, only one of three Hotels to receive this current award in Australia, is perched high on the Bouddi National Park escarpment at the delightful little seaside hamlet of Pretty Beach, just outside Sydney. The property has four beautifully appointed pavilions all boasting stunning interiors and surrounded by the sights and smells of nature. The rarity of a four room hotel assures guests of privacy with the property sleeping a maximum of four couples enjoying an all-inclusive offer.

The sophisticated guesthouse is run by passionate hoteliers Brian and Karina Barry, owners of sister property, Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa. They both have a long and successful history in hospitality and tourism.

“We are thrilled to win this award and truly proud to have been chosen by the Conde Nast Traveler editorial team as a Gold List honouree and one of the highest distinctions in the travel industry.” Brian Barry said. “Our unique location, property size, intuitive service and passionate staff all contribute to our ability to offer extraordinary and unique experiences for our discerning guests. This accolade is testament to the team holding true and achieving our vision.”  Barry continued.

Guest pavilions take advantage of the surrounding National Park and have a generous king bedroom, separate dressing room, deluxe bathroom, open-plan sitting area and fully stocked bar with premium beverages. All pavilions lead out onto their own private deck with a day bed and three have their own heated private plunge pool.

The stunning interiors create an earthy sophistication and timeless feel with the colours and textures inspired by the bush and natural landscape surrounding Pretty Beach House.

The cuisine at Pretty Beach House is a highlight of any visit and the contemporary Australian menu designed by executive chef Dean Jones promises to deliver elegance, freshness and ultimate satisfaction at the end of every gastronomic experience. An extensive range of premium wines and spirits have been carefully selected to complete the dining offering.  For those looking even further, the wine cellar is stocked with very rare old and new world wines. Dinner at the Pass creates a fabulous Chef Table experience for in-house guests.

An indigenous smoking ceremony welcomes every guest and is a very memorable experience for the international & domestic guest alike.

With easy access from Sydney or Newcastle by car, private boat, helicopter or ferry, Pretty Beach House is an extraordinary experience for those seeking to settle within nature for a few days, and not forgo adventure or luxury.

Rates from $1000 per person per night, all inclusive.

Source: Pretty Beach House