Langham Pink Hunter Boots Launch at The Langham, Sydney

Langham Hotels unveil a limited-edition Langham Pink version of Hunter’s iconic Original Wellington boot, created exclusively for the luxury hotel group.

A collaboration between two iconic British brands, the distinctive Langham pink boots are available in limited quantities at eight Langham Hotels in Australia, Hong Kong, North America and the United Kingdom.

“Worn by celebrities and royals, Hunter is a trusted brand that holds two Royal Warrants of Appointment to HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as suppliers of waterproof footwear. The brand is known for its high-quality products, innovative design and a rich heritage, merits synonymous with the Langham hotels,” said Simon Manning, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Langham Hospitality Group.

“Today, Hunter has established itself as the go to for fashionable rainwear, with a collection that also features outerwear and accessories for rainy days in the city, festival fields or country lanes.” continued Manning.

Specially commissioned in the signature Langham pink that is recognized worldwide, the boots come in both adult and children sizes.

“We are excited to have worked together with Hunter on these exclusive Langham Pink boots. This is truly a partnership between two iconic British heritage brands” added Manning.

The Langham hotels’ legacy originates in London when The Langham, London, Europe’s first grand hotel first opened its doors in 1865. This iconic luxury hotel in London has hosted royalty, dignitaries and celebrities for over 150 years. Similarly, Hunter was established in 1856. The Original boot was introduced in 1956 and remains an iconic design today.

The limited-edition Hunter Original for Langham Pink Wellington boots are available for sale from 5 June at the Langham hotels in London, New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Sydney (6 June), Melbourne (6 June) and Hong Kong while stocks last. Boots are available for $295.00 AUD. Online purchases are available at langhamgifts.com.au or in person at Flavours of Langham retail boutiques at The Langham, Sydney and The Langham, Melbourne.

Source: The Langham


Ferrari Takes Out a Record Number of Six Awards at International Engine of the Year Awards 2018

The latest iteration of Ferrari’s turbo-charged V8 that equips, in various forms, all Ferrari’s V8-engined cars, has been nominated the best engine in the world for the third year running in the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.

In this, the award’s 20th anniversary edition, Ferrari took no fewer than six awards, the highest number for any manufacturer in any one year, bringing the total of Ferrari’s trophies up to 27, a record number of wins for any sports car company.

Along with the overall Engine of the Year honour, the 720-cv 3.9-litre V8 that powers the new 488 Pista also took the 3-litre to 4-litre class, the Performance Engine category and the special nomination for the ‘Best of the Best’, with the 68 international judges asked to vote for the top engine from among all the winners over the last 20 years.

“In the 488 GTB, the 3.9-litre eight-cylinder was a near-perfect example of a high-performance turbocharged engine, setting the bar so high that it swept aside rival powertrains,” said Dean Slavnich, co-chairman of the IEOTY Awards. “But redeveloped and tweaked for the 488 Pista, the best engine in the world just got better. Without doubt, we’re looking at an engineering masterclass from Ferrari. No turbo lag, beautiful delivery, raw emotion, a furious growl and so much power – this Ferrari V8 is a work of art.”

Crowning Ferrari’s record-breaking year, the naturally-aspirated 800-cv 6.5-litre V12 powering the 812 Superfast also won two awards: the Above 4-litre class and, due to it being comprehensively re-engineered from the 6.3-litre unit that equipped the F12berlinetta with 75% new components, the Best New Engine category.

Source: Ferrari


WiFi flying high: the 20 bucks that saved my sanity

Okay, there’s been a lot said about planes allowing Wi-Fi to be part of their on-board service. Some people abhor the idea – preferring to spend 14 to sometimes 24 hours entirely away from any kind of earthly contact. And I most certainly get that, especially if you are going on a serious holiday and don’t want anything at all to do with bill reminders and work related correspondence.

Others, on the other hand, are more than happy to spend a couple of those hours sending emails, sorting out online ‘stuff’, paying bills, clearing the inbox, downloading their fave shows, responding to those emails you may not have already, cleaning up your social media platforms, keeping abreast of news. Well, you know the drill.

And yes, I am definitely one of the latter.

So when I walked on to a plane the other day – a Virgin aircraft, long haul, flying from Sydney to Los Angeles for a business trip – I got a very nice surprise.

Knowing that the plane was leaving at 9:30 AM, I was pleasantly surprised when one of the cabin crew said over the audio that Wi-Fi was available on this particular flight. As it was a Monday and the beginning of the working week – Monday is always a day for any worker that is fraught with a zillion emails – many of them unnecessary, many not, it is also a day of lots of questions needing answers for the week ahead and others that just need very quick deletion.

Anyway, it was a very easy way to connect. You went into settings, then to WiFi, and bang, it took you to the payment portal and there you were. Connected! I opted for the $20 approach – which would last the entire flight (if I wanted that of course) or there was an $8.90 option for one hour of Wi-Fi access. I did my maths – which was pretty much a no-brainer – and away I went.

I spent a few hours on Monday morning on line, cruising around 30,000 feet, did what I had to do, then happily put it away before getting into the serious business of eating, watching a movie and trying to sleep in order to acclimatise my body to the new time zone in about eight hours time.
The Wi-Fi service is available for every flight class by the way, so it’s egalitarian approach placates every kind of traveller.

What I loved about having used wifi in the air, was once I landed in Los Angeles, there weren’t a whole lot of pings, emails and notifications that needed responding to. It actually made me feel a lot fresher and clear headed and ready to greet the reason why I had arrived here for my business trip.

The other advantage was, I didn’t have to get into a cab at turn on ‘global roaming’ (meanwhile racking up those dollars spent!) and potentially spend an hour doing what I quite comfortably and happily had already done whilst mid-air.

Effectively, I had already had a Wi-Fi working today like I would have would have if I had actually been on terra firma.

I think flying with Wi-Fi if is a godsend – particularly if you are going on a business trip and you really can’t afford to lose an entire day‘s worth of connectivity. Before you wonder whether people were blabbering on phones or doing any FaceTime, Skyping or video calling – there was not one bit of that going on.

Wi-Fi in there is available on a number of other international carriers but both Virgin and Qantas are getting into the swing very quickly. So in my humble opinion, and as a pretty frequent work traveller, the whole idea totally rocked.

*Melissa was not a ‘guest’ of Virgin, but part of a media trip hosted by Princess Cruises


W Hotels Returns to Australia With the Opening of W Brisbane

The heat is on. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, today re-enters Australia with the opening of W Brisbane. Owned by Shayher Group, W Brisbane is a vibrant addition to sunny South East Queensland (often referred to as the ‘Sunshine State’) in a stellar location overlooking the Brisbane River.

The new hotel delivers an intoxicating mix of fast-paced urban style and modern design all with a decidedly cheeky Aussie point of view. With sun-soaked days and electric nights, there’s no better spot than W Brisbane to take in the city’s vibrant culture and rich nightlife.

Brisbane is among Australia’s fastest growing cities, an ideal destination for W to bring its new/next lifestyle. Located riverside in the city’s Central Business District, W Brisbane celebrates the history of the famed region. The hotel embraces Brisbane’s connection to the Australian identity and iconic elements of Queensland’s flora and fauna with a laid-back vibe and a playful nod to ‘Brisvegas’.

“Brisbane is a dream destination – year-round sun and an outdoor lifestyle – it’s quickly evolving into one of the world’s greatest cities which is why W is kicking off the brand’s return to Australia here in the Sunshine State,” said Bruce Ryde, Vice-President for Luxury Brands and Brand Marketing, Marriott International Asia-Pacific.

“Brisbane’s bustling riverbank is a hotspot for travelers who can’t wait to explore this dynamic city and South East Queensland, a perfect match for W Hotels’ bold design and playful, contemporary approach to luxury.”

Renowned Australian interior design agency, Nic Graham & Associates have brought their innovative design and custom furnishings to W Brisbane. The hotel brings to life the theme of “A River Dreaming,” an ode to its prime locale on the banks of the iconic Brisbane River and the visual connection to Brisbane’s famed arts precinct. Modern manifestations of Brisbane’s river, which has in recent years become the buzzing epicentre of the city’s social scene, are featured prominently throughout the hotel, weaving in influences from Australia’s indigenous roots and colonial heritage.

“There’s nothing quite like Australia, a diverse country that is not only famous for its natural wonders but also for its celebration of diversity and multiculturalism,” said Victor Clavell, Area Vice President, Luxury, Asia Pacific Excluding China, Marriott International. “Touted as Australia’s new capital of cool with its edgy urban spaces and burgeoning passions for music, fashion and design, Brisbane is an ideal destination for the W brand.”

A Magnetic Welcome

From the moment of arrival, guests are greeted by the hotel’s sensory environment. A staircase of timber river reeds leads guests to the Welcome Desk and the Living Room (the W brand’s take on the traditional hotel lobby). Earth tones, sedimentary layers, frayed edges and raw beauty associated with the Australian outback start from the arrival entrance and continue throughout the hotel’s public spaces.

These organic formations draw out bold and colorful artwork from celebrated Australian artists including John Nicholson, Lucas Grogan and Reko Rennie. The hotel’s Living Room, the pulse of the W scene in Brisbane, shows off pools of color throughout intricately designed rugs while complementing walls echo the flora and fauna of Brisbane’s sub-tropical environment. Benchtops and bar fronts are enhanced with forms inspired by curvilinear shapes and nearby water-worn clifftops. Blade grass border the expansive open space to immerse guests in an innovative interpretation of nature.

W Brisbane boasts 312 guestrooms including 32 lux suites all brimming with river views and the latest in technology and entertainment. The rooms prominently feature a white wall inspired by VJ wall panels found on traditional ‘Queenslander’ homes; a cheeky nod to Australiana throughout and a 10-gallon drum ‘outback bath experience’.

The penultimate Extreme Wow Suite (the brand’s modern interpretation of the traditional presidential suite) on Level 33 showcases a limitless panoramic vista from the river to the mountains and beyond.

Guests can take a piece of their stay home from W The Store by Becker Minty, stocked with a treasure chest of hidden gems and collections including handbags, artwork, home decor and fine jewellery.

Paddock to Plate to Pool

W Brisbane showcases three distinct venues to tempt the appetite for cocktails and cuisine. Three Blue Ducks, W Brisbane’s signature restaurant and a first for Queensland, mixes Brisbane’s vibrant yet laidback culture with The Ducks legendary paddock to plate ethos. Guests can expect a fresh and seasonal menu, infusing home-grown inspiration into every dish. Living Room Bar evolves from a serene daytime lounge to a glam cocktail bar by night where guests can savour sips from the Liquid Curator who will be mixing up an array of handcrafted cocktails every night of the week.

Guests can make a splash poolside at the WET® Deck rooftop bar as they soak up the heat on stylish sun lounges. The pool’s sparkling surface reflects a mosaic of tiles reminiscent of the shadows cast by palm fronds. Day or night, guests can revel in Queensland’s supreme riverside views with curated cocktails, Champagne, live DJs and Aussie barbeque fare.

“W Brisbane is the first of its kind in Australia,” said Haldon Philp, General Manager, W Brisbane. “From the Whatever/Whenever service that drives the W brand, delivering whatever our guests want, whenever they want it, to event programming centred around Design, Music, Fashion and Fuel (the brand’s unique take on fitness) to coveted partnerships such as Three Blue Ducks, now is the time for a hotel of this calibre to come to Brisbane as the city enjoys its coming of age.”

Elevated Events

At W Brisbane, 1,100 square-metres of event space set the stage for electric and exhilarating meetings and events. The 595-square-meter Great Room captivates on a grand scale as the sprawling venue celebrates the serpentine shape of the river and its ripple effect throughout the design. The ceiling sparkles with 260 twinkling lights reminiscent of a clear Queensland outback starry night.

Cutting edge statement lighting and four-metre LED wall panels will help guests showcase captivating presentations and displays and W Brisbane stands as the sole hotel in Queensland to boast these world-class audio-visual facilities. Additional meeting rooms include the versatile Studios and Strategy Room that showcase fab river views and glorious Queensland sunshine with floor to ceiling windows and private balconies.

Get Your Glow On

Guests can detox, de-stress and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul at AWAY® Spa, featuring a sublime treatment menu of Sodashi™ and Skeyndor™ facials and massages in addition to perfectly pampering beauty treatments. AWAY offers an escape from the outside world with vitality pools, relaxation pods, ‘His and Hers’ salt inhalation chambers and aromatherapy steam rooms to enhance the spa experience.

AWAY Spa will be home to Edwards And Co. hair salon with the style-centric hair haven making their Brisbane debut. Those wanting to take it up a notch can sweat it out at the hotel’s state-of-the-art FIT gym complete with Technogym® equipment and resident Personal Trainers.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit wbrisbane.com or get social with W Brisbane on Facebook www.facebook.com/WBrisbaneAUS and Instagram www.instagram.com/w_brisbane

Source: W Hotels


Qantas and Air New Zealand Announce Codeshare Deal to Make Travel Easier

Air New Zealand and Qantas have today announced plans for a reciprocal codeshare agreement that leverages the strengths of each carrier’s domestic networks, making travel within Australia and New Zealand easier.

Under the codeshare Qantas intends to add its code on up to 30 routes on Air New Zealand’s domestic network and Air New Zealand intends to add its code on up to 85 routes on Qantas’ domestic network.

Coordination of check-in and handling at airports will mean shorter connection times, opening up more onward flights for customers on each carrier’s domestic networks and faster journey times overall.

Eligible customers will have access to a combined total of 36 domestic lounges on both sides of the Tasman when flying on routes covered by the codeshare agreement.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the two national carriers had a lot of shared history as well as a shared goal of making travel easier.

“Our relationship with Air New Zealand goes back almost 80 years. We’ve been partners at various stages over that time and we have a lot of respect for them as a competitor.

“A codeshare deal on our domestic networks makes sense for customers because it leverages the strengths we each have in our home markets.”

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the codeshare will see two of the world’s best airlines offer their customers a full service experience when they make domestic connections within New Zealand or Australia.

“While the two airlines will continue to compete very strongly across all markets, Air New Zealand and Qantas are known for having a commitment to innovation, customer service excellence, operational performance and safety.  We are confident that our respective customers will enjoy the reciprocal benefits on both sides of the Tasman.”

The two CEOs noted that over time there was potential for them to explore areas of mutual interest, including research into biofuels, freight and ground-handling opportunities.

The codeshare and customer offering will exclude Trans-Tasman flights. Qantas will continue to codeshare on all connecting Jetstar New Zealand services.

Tickets for the codeshare services will be available by the end of July 2018, for travel from 28 October 2018.

Source: Qantas