Starwood launch online lifestyle portal for guests

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Starwood Hotels & Resorts launched this week a new online portal dedicated to food, beverage, spa, weddings and events.The portal,, gives guests access to a range of lifestyle concepts across the Asia Pacific, some of which can be experienced at a Starwood hotel brand.Guests will be able to experience branded food and beverage concepts at a range of Starwood hotel brands including Westin, Sheraton, Le Meridien, Four Points by Sheraton, St Regis, W hotels and Aloft.“Working with various experts in the food and beverage industry including designers, chefs, food journalists and consultants has provided us with great insights into the creation of an outstanding food and beverage experience” said Chairman and President of Starwood Asia Pacific, Miguel Ko.Other lifestyle options include spas, fitness, weddings and events with more to be added gradually in the coming months. For more information visit last_img read more

Centaras Away Koh Kood resort named Outstanding Secluded Boutiq

first_imgAway Koh Kood, Centara Boutique Collection has been named as Outstanding Secluded Boutique Hotel in the Hotel Club Hotel of the Year 2010 Awards.The resort, built on an intimate scale with only 20 bungalows and 13 tented accommodations, is located on the west coast of Koh Kood, 82 kilometres off the coast of Trat province, and is the epitome of an island hideaway.The annual Hotel Club Awards have been running since 2006, recognising the most outstanding properties in a range of categories around the world. Hotel Club is a leading global accommodation website offering hotel and accommodation bookings, providing travellers with over 69,000 accommodation choices in over 7,300 cities worldwide throughout 138 countries.Centara Boutique Collection is a brand within Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s largest hotel management company.Properties within the Boutique Collection are designed to a small scale and are for the independent minded traveller who requires five-star accommodation but who does not wish to stay in a large resort.There are currently eight Boutique Collection properties in Thailand and one in the Indian Himalayas, and Centara has a strategy of expanding this brand rapidly within the next few years. Source = Away Koh Kood, Centara Boutiquelast_img read more

Royal Caribbeans newest ship unveiled

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson Royal Caribbean has announced details of their newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, which is set to launch in April 2016.The ship will be the third in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, the largest cruise ships in the world.Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive officer Michael Bayley explains the company’s philosophy behind the new ship.“We are orchestrating a medley of new exciting concepts with the best Royal Caribbean innovations to strike the perfect chord for adventurous holidaymakers,” Mr Bayley said.Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited chairman and chief executive officer Richard D. Fain says the Oasis class ships continually impress their guests, both new and existing.“They shatter preconceived notions of what cruising can be and continue to stand in a category by themselves,” said Mr Fain.“With Harmony of the Seas, we are making the most exciting experience at sea even better.”The Harmony of the Seas will feature the Oasis class’ signature design of seven distinct neighbourhoods and span 16 decks. The ship will carry 5,479 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,747 staterooms.The new ship offers guests a range of experiences and amenities including three multi-storey waterslides, classic games arcade, a climbing play area for children and a Starbucks café.The Harmony of the Seas will also feature new technology such as the use of Royal WOWBands, which allows guest to make purchases and access their rooms via an armband. Also onboard is a new Bionic Bar, where guests are served cocktails by robot bartenders.Guests are offered a range of dining options including new restaurants Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Sabor Modern Mexican and Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine.The Harmony of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean’s third new ship to launch over the next 18 months alongside Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.Itineraries for Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas will be released next month.last_img read more

Travelling to the US from 20 January 2017 onwards

first_imgTravelling to The US From 20 January 2017 onwards?Travelling to The US From 20 January 2017 onwards? Elect for a holiday in Asia insteadLeading low-cost airline AirAsia X is offering Aussie holiday makers who have a trip booked to the USA the opportunity to elect to switch their destination to Asia, for only the cost of airport taxes and surcharges*.Holiday makers who are booked to travel to the USA from 20 January 2017 (Donald Trump’s Inauguration day) until 31 May 2017 can apply to Make Their Holiday Great Again through a special email address and can fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the same dates*, instead of taking their planned US trip.A collegial 270 seats are available to the willing and successful travelling parties.Interested holiday makers are encouraged to apply or seek more information by emailing Travellers will need to supply a copy of their confirmed return itinerary from Australia to the United States and matching passports. AirAsia X will book them a flight to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast or Perth on those same dates*.AirAsia X Head of Commercial Arik De said, “US citizens have spoken and whilst there is some uncertainty in the markets there should be none when it comes to your holiday plans.“If you’re considering putting your US travel plans on hold why not consider an Asian holiday instead?’This special offer is only available for those who apply until midnight Sunday 13th November. All travellers will have to pay is the applicable airport taxes and surcharges. Luggage, meals, or other in-flight services are additional.*Terms and conditions apply. Seats are limited and not available on all flights/days or at peak periods. Offer is applicable for existing travel between 20/1/17 to 31/5/17. Airport taxes and surcharges, baggage, meals and other inflight services are extra. Visit for applicable charges. AirAsiaAbout AirAsia X AirAsia X is the long-haul, low-cost affiliate carrier of the AirAsia Group that currently flies to destinations in the Asia Pacific region. The airline currently serves 19 destinations across Asia (Haneda, Osaka, Sapporo, Seoul, Busan, Taipei, Xian, Beijing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai, New Delhi and Kathmandu), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Gold Coast), New Zealand (Auckland) and the Middle East (Jeddah). AirAsia X operates a core fleet of 30 A330-300s, each with a seat configuration of 12 Premium Flatbeds and 365 Economy seats. The airline has carried over 19 million guests since it commenced long-haul service in 2007. AirAsia X was awarded the “World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin” and “Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat” at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards for three consecutive years from 2013 – 2015.  AirAsia group is the first airline globally to collaborate with INTERPOL to implement the I-Checkit system to screen the passports of all its prospective passengers against information contained in the world police body’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.Source = AirAsia Xlast_img read more

MSC Cruises elevates dining at sea to a new high

first_imgMSC Cruises elevates dining at sea to a new highMSC Cruises elevates dining at sea to a new highMSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, revealed their new innovative dining concepts – available on MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside.Designed to meet the needs of today’s cruise guests, the MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside will introduce flexible dining options and packages. These can be booked at any time prior to embarkation and whilst on board, with the ability to change it at any time during their cruise. For Fantastica booked clients the flexi dining options gives them the chance to choose their  dining time in the main restaurant and the opportunity throughout the cruise, to change this timing to suit their needs. Clients will be able to allocate a dining time to their Fantastica booking from 60 days prior to sailing through their Manage your Booking on the website or throughout their cruise onboard. For Bella cruisers the Classic cruise dining experience is still available, with a choice of two sittings each evening. This is popular with guests who prefer a dedicated table each night – with personalised service from the same waiter.MSC Aurea clients continue to enjoy “My Choice Dining” in the main restaurant for complete freedom, whilst MSC Yacht Club guests enjoy their dedicated MSC Yacht Club restaurant with free-time dining, with the option of reserving a table in advance for ease.Casual dining venues are available for all guests 20 hours-a-day. The MSC Cruises buffet has been enhanced with a range of international food experiences. MSC Seaside will feature two casual dining venues, one of which will feature family-friendly options and child-friendly seating.Speciality restaurants gives guests opportunities to experience cuisines from around the world. MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside will feature restaurants with innovative ‘open kitchens’ to experience chefs at work. Selected restaurants on MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside will also feature a Chef’s Table deal. MSC Cruises will introduce a new Kaito Teppanyaki restaurant on board MSC Meraviglia to complement the ship’s Kaito Sushi Bar. With a modern twist on Asian cuisine, guests can sit at cooking stations and watch chefs cooking at an open grill.The Butcher’s Cut, a new American Steakhouse restaurant concept, will celebrate the craft heritage of America. Guests can select steak from glass-fronted meat ageing fridges before chefs prepare fresh dishes in the open kitchen. The bold wine list features an appealing selection to complement the dishes. Cocktails are also inspired by American heritage, while guests can savour a wide range of craft beers.MSC Seaside will also feature Ocean Cay a signature seafood restaurant. This will serve American-style fish dishes with a Mediterranean twist. Dishes will include Stone Crabs (a delicacy in the homeport of Miami), beautiful fresh Sea Bass (flown in from the Mediterranean) and homemade spaghetti alle vongole (with clams).Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi will be a highlight on MSC Seaside. Three restaurants, created by the Japanese-American chef, will consist of: an à la carte restaurant serving gourmet Asian creations, a Sushi Bar and Teppanyaki Grill (each offering an authentic pan-Asian dining experience).MSC Cruises is partnering with experts for dining experiences on new and existing ships. Roy Yamaguchi, world-renowned chef, is collaborating for the MSC Seaside. Chef Yamaguchi is involved in conceptualising and designing the new pan-Asian restaurant.A long-standing partnership with Michelin chef Carlo Cracco will now encompass signature dishes for the main restaurant menus on MSC Meraviglia, including the Christmas and New Year menus.Jean-Philippe Maury, French chocolatier and pastry chef, will bring sweet creations to the MSC Meraviglia. Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café will feature an open chocolate atelier. Jean-Philippe Crêpes & Gelato will serve tasty treats at the ship’s Mediterranean-style promenade.MSC Cruises is introducing dining packages that can be booked prior to the cruise. Guests on-board the MSC Meraviglia can book a Dinner & Show Package for an exclusive table d’hôte menu and then experience a Cirque du Soleil at Sea performance in the purpose-built Carousel Lounge.A special dining package Eataly Chef’s Table will be available on the MSC Meraviglia, offering seven gourmet dishes cooked to perfection and all perfectly matched with seven wines. A package can be booked in advance to explore each of the speciality restaurants.About MSC CruisesMSC Cruises is part of the Swiss-based MSC Group, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line sailing year-round in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Seasonal itineraries cover northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba and the French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, China and Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. The MSC Cruise experience embodies the elegant side of the Mediterranean to create unique and unforgettable emotions for guests, through discovery of the world’s cultures, beauties and tastes. Its fleet comprises 12 of the most modern ships at sea: MSC Preziosa; MSC Divina; MSC Splendida; MSC Fantasia; MSC Magnifica; MSC Poesia; MSC Orchestra; MSC Musica; MSC Sinfonia; MSC Armonia; MSC Opera and MSC Lirica. In 2014, MSC Cruises launched an investment plan to support the second phase of its growth through the order of two ships of the Meraviglia generation and two others of the Seaside generation (plus an option for a third) and in February 2016, confirmed the existing options to build a further two now Meraviglia Plus ships with an even greater capacity. In April 2016 this rose to €9 billion with the announcement of signing of the letter of intent to build a further four ships, each with next-generation LNG propulsion technology. Consequently, between 2017 and 2026 a total of up to 11 new, next-generation MSC Cruises ships will come into service. MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning an horizon of over ten years, from 2014 through 2026. MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility for the environments in which it operates, and was the first company ever to earn the Bureau Veritas “7 Golden Pearls” for superior management and environmental stewardship. In 2009, MSC Cruises began an enduring partnership with UNICEF to support various programmes assisting children worldwide. So far, more than €5m has been collected in voluntary guest donations.Source = MSC Cruiseslast_img read more

New South Wales makes history for Australian tourism

first_imgNew South Wales makes history for Australian tourismNSW has made Australian tourism history, setting several new national records and a series of NSW all-time records for overseas visitation, Minister for Tourism and Major Events announced today.Mr Marshall said no other State had ever achieved such strong results in an International Visitor Survey, with NSW welcoming just over four million overseas visitors who spent $10.1 billion in the State in the year ending June 2017.“This is a tourism result of epic proportions thanks to the hard work the NSW Government has put in since 2011,” Mr Marshall said.“This momentous achievement is a credit to the strength of our tourism strategies, the quality of our tourism industry and our ability to attract and secure major events.”Mr Marshall said that rural and regional NSW was also setting visitation records.“Rural and regional NSW posted its highest volumes of international visitors, nights and expenditure on record, welcoming 813,000 international visitors who stayed 14.8 million nights and spent $1.1 billion, up more than 22 per cent,” Mr Marshall said.“We will continue to focus on driving international visitation into Sydney and out to rural and regional NSW communities, putting tourism dollars into local economies, generating jobs and driving investment in the regions.”NSW exceeded Victoria by over 1.2 million visitors and $2.6 billion in spend and Queensland by 1.4 million visitors and $4.9 billion in spend.Sydney received 3.75 million international visitors who stayed 77.7 million nights and spent $9.03 billion.Chinese visitor expenditure to NSW has exceeded the $3 billion milestone for the first time ($3.01 billion).China continues to drive our tourism growth, with visitors up by 11.7 per cent, nights up by 20.4 per cent and expenditure up by 17.1 per cent. There was also significant growth in visitors from the USA (up by 13 per cent), Korea (up by 16 per cent), Japan (up by 18 per cent), Germany (up by 11 per cent), India (up by 12 per cent) and Indonesia (up by 27 per cent).Source = Destination NSWlast_img read more

Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay

first_imgWyndham Grand Phuket Kalim BayWyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay seals a spot in the Michelin GuideWyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay has earned a prestigious spot in the Michelin Guide for Phuket and Phang-Nga, an extended guidebook edition that highlights two regions outside of Thailand’s capital city.The five-star Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay is one of the 34 resorts and hotels that were carefully selected to grace the pages of the Michelin Guide under the accommodation category, which can be viewed at“Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay prides itself on delivering luxurious comfort by providing only the highest possible service and amenities expected at an international resort brand,” said General Manager Dominic Egger.The reputable Michelin Guide is an annual guidebook that publishes only the finest restaurants and rates them with one, two or three stars, with three stars as the highest. These ratings are internationally recognised as a hallmark of high quality food and service being offered.The guidebook also features hotels and resorts handpicked by Michelin inspectors after conducting a series of anonymous visits. Rather than stars, hotels and resorts are rated with house icons.Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay has earned two houses, a rating that reflects how the resort provides comfort and quality, for its guests.“We are honoured to be listed as one of the recommended resorts across Phuket and Phang-Nga by a globally renowned guide. This is an amazing accolade for the team as it reflects the exceptional customer service we offer – from the moment guests step foot at the resort to the day they depart, we make sure to create personalised and memorable experiences at every touchpoint.”The guide compliments the resort’s pool suites and villas that offer breathtaking ocean views, floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek modern bathrooms. It also recommends Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay’s grand floating breakfast served in a private pool villa.Positioned clifftop with commanding views of the Andaman Sea, the 194-room Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay offers upscale amenities and elegant accommodation for hotel guests. The resort also has exclusive accommodation for members of Club Wyndham Asia, a vacation club brand of Wyndham Destinations, the world’s largest vacation ownership and exchange company.It features a full-service spa offering traditional Thai therapies, Vichy showers, and a sauna and steam room, two unique outdoor swimming pools, fitness centre, kids’ club and a grand ballroom. It also offers a romantic floating tray with chocolate-dipped strawberries and sparkling wine perfect for special occasions, an all-day dining restaurant, two bars and a café, and a shuttle service to Patong.A key feature of the resort’s design is the 152 pool villas – the most in the Kalim-Patong area – each include either a six or nine-metre private infinity pool.For more information about Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay, visit Source = Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Baylast_img read more