Official launch of Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, part of Marriott International, last night kicked off a week of celebrations at the official launch of Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park with a spectacular black-carpet soiree.

Six hundred guests including Isabel Lucas, Keiynan Lonsdale, Francesca Hung, Isabel Durant, Jess Dunbar, Matt Price, Michael Falzon, Tai Hara and Fely Irvine joined in the revelry for a night of dazzling food, drinks and live performances at Sydney’s first-ever Sheraton Grand hotel.

Grab your smart phone and get ready to leave the real world behind when Sheraton Hotels & Resorts brings its Heart for the Citytour to Sydney from 16 to 21 November.

As a part of its global transformation, Sheraton is embracing its roots and celebrating seven international properties, steeped in history, that play significant roles in their local neighbourhoods.

Marriott International’s most recognised brand is reclaiming its position as the world’s gathering place, welcoming locals and guests on an unexpected journey of their city without leaving the hotel.

Sydneysiders and visitors alike are invited to Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Parkfor an immersive sensory journey inspired by the hotel’s renowned high tea service.

Following a stone pathway through a tunnel of lush greenery, flowers and lights – reminiscent of a stroll through the neighbouring Hyde Park – guests will emerge into a larger-than-life whimsical wonderland.

With a number of Insta-worthy vignettes – think a floor to ceiling green wall of tea trees and shrubs, life-sized cups and saucers you’d find in a Tim Walker studio shoot, gigantic tiered cake stands of sweet treats, or a dramatic full-sized harvest-to-honeycomb installation – guests will be ‘buzzing’ to touch, taste and smell at each step.

Sheraton Grand Sydney General Manager David Fraser said the Heart for the Cityglobal experiential tour brings to life the unique characteristics that define each destination.

Formerly known as Sheraton on the Park, the iconic Elizabeth Street hotel may have a new name but its commitment to delivering premium services and experiences to Sydney remains the same.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our exquisite Gallery High Tea experience that has become a family tradition for many over the years,” he said. “Inspired by the motto ‘where nature meets elegance’, we invite all of Sydney to join us and rediscover the hotel as we celebrate our elevation to Sheraton Grand.”

Heart for the City kicked off at the new Sheraton Saint-Hyacinthe Hotel in Québec, Canada followed by Sheraton Seattle, Washington and will visit Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino, Egypt before landing at Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

The tour will then visit Sheraton Santos Hotel Brazil, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center, India and Sheraton Beijing Lize, China.

Heart for the City features immersive vignettes that are designed specifically for each hotel, highlighting fun, share-worthy iconic themes, places and ideas central to the city’s identity that then will also be complemented by community programming. The activities will allow guests to appreciate the destinations in a creative and shareable way while also entertaining locals as they rediscover the heartbeat of their town.

Source: Sheraton

Gaia's greatest news ever and a 1st for Australia

Gaia Retreat & Spa, located in the breathtakingly beautiful hinterland of Byron Bay, Australia, has won the top award at the 12th annual World Luxury Hotel Awards announced last weekend at the Ayana Resort & Spa in Bali.

Gaia claimed the coveted 2018 Global Hotel of the Year honour at a glittering International gala ceremony attended by over 360 hoteliers and delegates. This event recognises and honours the world’s finest hotels for their luxury offerings and delivery of exceptional guest services.

Established in 2005, the founders Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Olivia Newton-John and Warwick Evans (affectionately known as G.R.O.W.), set out to realise a shared dream, offering the highest of standards and service excellence, true to the standard of the World Luxury Hotel Awards criteria.

Accepting the award, Gregg Cave, Co-Owner and General Manager of Gaia Retreat & Spa proudly said:

“When Olivia and I first began to dream our vision of a barefoot meets Armani luxe at a home away from home, where our friends and future guests could relax in chilled-out comfort, we never in our wildest imaginations would have thought that one day it would be recognised, yet alone win, the Global Hotel of the Year Award”. 

“Everyone at Gaia is so thrilled to be honoured with this incredible global accolade. Our dedicated and committed team come to work each day with heart – a key ingredient to the success of our brand. We believe this transcends into the importance of providing an oasis of calm and tranquillity for those needing to bring balance to their lives. It is our pleasure to welcome each and every one of our guests as we strive to ensure they leave Gaia with the gift of feeling renewed, refreshed and restored.” G.R.O.W.

“I am honored and overwhelmed with gratitude that Gaia has been recognized as the Global Hotel of the Year,” says Olivia Newton-John. “I am so proud of our staff, family and amazing healers who have helped build this dream into a reality that is now recognized on a global scale – bringing people to Australia, my heart home, and letting them experience peace, healing and renewal of their spirit.”

Situated in the region often referred to as the healing capital of Australia, Gaia Retreat & Spa continues to shine as one of the country’s most authentic, most renowned and most awarded boutique lifestyle pamper retreats. On the same night that Gaia received the major award of Global Hotel of the Year, it also won the Global Luxury Boutique RetreatAward.

These outstanding world class accolades come shortly after another incredible win at the recent World Spa Awards,where Gaia Retreat & Spa was honoured for the fourth year in a row as the World’s and Oceania’s Best Day Spaheld at St Regis Resort, Maldives.

Gaia’s unique wellness & healing ethos has truly set it apart by offering guests total flexibility to personally tailor their retreat experience. Gaia’s award-winning Day Spa is “home” to some of Australia’s best healers and therapists, with leading wellness consultants, renowned yoga teachers and skilled fitness coaches available to meet the guests every need. Add to this Gaia’s highly acclaimed world class spa cuisine, renowned for its melding of delicious and nutritional flavours inspired by international cooking styles, and you have a recipe to delight and seduce not just your palate but all your senses.

Awards received by Gaia in 2018

World Travel Awards 2018:

  • Australasia’s Leading Boutique Hotel (Continent Winner)

World Luxury Spa Awards 2018:

  • Best Luxury Spa Retreat (Continent Winner)
  • Best Luxury Wellness Spa (Country Winner)

World Luxury Restaurant Awards 2018:

  • LuxurySpa Restaurant (Global Winner)
  • Health & Wellness Cuisine(Global Winner)

Source: Gaia

delicious. Travel launch event at Icebergs

Leading food title delicious. is getting even bigger by including a fully fledged travel section in the magazine and online.

So, into true delicious. style, the team, spearheaded by Kerrie McCallum and Fiona Nilsson celebrated with a very chic and incredibly happy party at the iconic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar.

Everyone was having such a good time when finish time came – 9 PM – no one wanted to leave. Must’ve been something to do with the Perrier Jouët and Icebergs canapés. By the way, am very pleased to be part of the delicious. travel writing team – see you around the world somewhere and check out

The who’s who of food and travel came together to celebrate the new look and the official launch of delicious. Travel – an expanded travel offering which helps readers discover the world’s most delicious destinations.

delicious. editor-in-chief Kerrie McCallum spoke briefly to guests about the new look site and was joined by newly appointed delicious. travel editor-at-large George Calombaris, delicious. contributors and some of the country’s most influential foodies for a VIP drinks reception.

Guests were treated to a special menu created by IDRB head chef and delicious. contributor Monty Koludrovic including: oysters with champagne and finger lime, goats curd and beetroot tart, jellied sea urchin, saké tomato and lemon thyme, cavatelli with crab, smoked butter and chives, cheesy IceBergers and chocolate and hazelnut macarons.

VIP guests included:

Kerrie McCallum, Fiona Nilsson, George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Matt Moran, Colin Fassnidge, Anthony Puharich, Darren Robertson, Magdalena Roze, Silvia Colloca, Guillaume Brahimi, Manu Feildel, Justine Schofield, Ross and Sonny Lusted.

Source: delicious.

Daydream Island Resort to reopen April 2019

Australia’s most loved island resort, Daydream Island will welcome guests from 10th April 2019, unveiling the new look, premium resort secluded in the heart of the Whitsundays.

The resort will launch new signature dining concepts, relaxed bars and waterfront suites, as well as bringing back the iconic Living Reef with an underwater observatory.

Daydream Island Resort General Manager, Dawson Tang said, “We wanted the new Daydream Island Resort to reflect the beauty of its surroundings through the architecture, design and dining direction. We have embraced the favourite memories of our guests by reinstating the Living Reef, the Outdoor Cinema and an ode to the mermaids.”

The resort will have 277 contemporary suites and rooms for guests to relax in after a day in the sun, with garden, pool and ocean view rooms providing the perfect retreat.

Three signature restaurants and three new bars will each be defined by their own distinct design and flavour. Led by Bradley Martin, Executive Chef and Adrian Tyler, Food and Beverage Manager, seasonal local produce will showcase the best of the region at each restaurant.

Infinity will be the resort’s premium dining offering with an Asian fusion menu, open for lunch and dinner with expansive views over the Whitsundays. It also has a private Teppanyaki Suite offering diners an unforgettable dining experience.

Graze Interactive Dining will welcome the outdoors in with draping greenery and floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the Living Reef. It will be an interactive marketplace with live cooking stations and diverse dining options.

Inkstone Kitchen and Bar will focuse on modern Australian cuisine with local produce and Australian native flavours at the heart of the menu. The island will offer a revitalised pool landscape that will wind through the tropical gardens across the resort allowing guests to swim and enjoy unparalled views across the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef.

The swimming hub will be complemented by poolside Barefoot Bar, inclusive of a new dining concept serving gourmet burgers, sliders, pork ribs and chicken wings with fresh smoothies, milkshakes, wine, beer and tropical cocktails.

The Living Reef, will be making its return to the island in an even bigger and better way, further cementing its eco-friendly and educational focus. The free form coral lagoon will wrap 200m around the central building and hold over 1.5 million litres of water. Guests will be able to join the team of marine biologists who live on the island and feed baby stingrays who live amongst over 100 species of marine fish, coral and invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs. A new underwater observatory will also allow guests to view 4 metres below the water’s surface to watch the marine life in action.

Kids will have the chance to become eco-warriors at Kids Club as they explore and learn about the Living Reef while playing and feeding the animals who call it home, amongst a range of other activities around the island.

The resort will have a host of activities for guests to experience such as snorkeling adventures, helicopter tours exploring the island & surrounding Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as well as sailboat and jetski hire. The resort will also feature an expansive pool, coral beaches, outdoor cinema, gym facilities and unlimited access to non-motorised water activities.

An exclusive adult’s only area will cater to those in search of a sanctuary and a little slice of peace and quiet. Daydream Island Resort will become a sought after destination for major events and weddings, with capacity for the island to be completely booked for private events.

Special events from cocktail parties to gala dinners can be catered for across a large range of indoor and outdoor event locations. Guests visiting the island for conferences will have access to the latest technology audio visual equipment across three dedicated conference rooms.

Daydream Island is currently taking bookings from 10th April, 2019 onwards, to book please contact the reservations team at or visit

Finnair Announces New ATR Cabins and Premium Economy Class

Finnair has announced it will renew the entire cabin of its ATR aircraft and introduce a new Premium Economy cabin class for its long-haul fleet in a move that reflects the airline’s commitment to offering a high level of customer comfort and increased choice for its customers.

Finnair’s ATR aircraft are currently used for domestic flights in Finland, as well as on flights to the Baltics, Gdansk in Poland and to Stockholm’s Bromma airport. The flights are operated by Finnair’s partner Norra. The cabin renewal will include new seats, new carpets and a harmonised and fresh cabin interior design.

The first ATR aircraft with the renewed cabin is expected to be in operation in summer 2019, and the refurbishment of the 12 aircraft will be completed by the end of Q1, 2020.

“We want our customers to get a fresh Nordic experience on our regional flights,” Finnair Senior Vice President Customer Experience Piia Karhu said. “The regional feeder traffic is an important part of the Finnair network – we have over 30,000 ATR flights every year.”

Finnair will also introduce a new cabin class, Premium Economy, for its entire long-haul fleet from 2021. Located in its own cabin, the Premium Economy class will feature highly customised designs for Finnair and provide customers with increased space and comfort along with an enhanced service offering.

“We see a growing trend of quality focused travellers, who place a strong focus on the comfort and quality of their travel experience,” Ms Karhu said. “Responding to customer needs from all our key markets, our new Premium Economy class will serve the requirements of both leisure and corporate customers.”

Finnair Regional Manager, Australia, New Zealand & New Caledonia, Arnaud Michelin said the rollout of Premium Economy class to Finnair’s long-haul fleet would start in Q4 2020 and was expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Mr Michelin said detailed planning of the cabin design, service concept as well as the commercial aspects were currently ongoing, and Finnair would communicate more details at a later stage.

Finnair offers excellent connections from Australia with oneworld partners to 19 destinations in Asia and seven in the Americas plus more than 100 Europe destinations.

Finnair has been named Best International Airline – Offline in the prestigious AFTA National Travel Industry Awards for the past six years from 2013 to 2018.

Source: Finnair