Australia Travel Guide
When pinning places to go on your next vacation, hopeful travelers might be surprised to find that Adelaide, Australia is a perfect destination to explore a budding art scene and stay in a new hotel. The city has witnessed a few new hotels enter its borders, but The Watson will be the coolest addition to an otherwise sleepy city.
The Watson is the brainchild of Art Series Hotels (the folks behind Melbourne's The Olson, The Blackman and The Cullen.) Planning to open next week, the hotel will offer up 140 suites, an in-house restaurant and fitness center. If you just need to provide this cool address to friends back home, a few long-stay apartments are available as well.
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Ayers Rock Resort in Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
Travelers who come to Australia's Northern Territory to walk amongst the peculiar red rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta will find that they have one choice when it comes to lodging: The Ayers Rock Resort.
Sounds like trouble, but luckily the Ayers Rock Resort breaks down into four different hotels, each with its own vibe, service-level, and pricepoint: The $2,000+ per night Longitude 131, the 3.5-star Outback Pioneer Lodge, the 4.5-star Desert Gardens Hotel, and the 5-star Sails in the Desert. Each are located less than a 5-minute shuttle ride from one another, and while the four carry different brands, they are all connected under the same umbrella of the Ayers Rock Resort. Meaning, you can eat, drink, and play at any of the hotels and charge back to whichever room you occupy.
Seeing as how Uluru is over a 100 miles from the next nearest town and has no infrastructure outside the hotel (there is a community of aboriginals, but you need a permit to enter), you have no choice but to hang at the Ayers Rock complex. Most of your time will be spent touring the outback and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - it's why you came - but when it's time to rest at the end of the day, there's plenty of variety for eating and drinking, from white tablecloth dining to noodles from "Ayers Wok." But the most unique, without question, is probably the least sexy place on the complex, the Pioneer BBQ and Bar, where you can grill your own game meats, including kangaroo.
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Last time we checked in with W Hotels' plans to relaunch the brand down under, Melbourne was the city to be rumored in the running for W's return to Australia (W once had a property in Sydney for a few years in the early aughts.) That fell through, so the folks over at W decided that Oz'z third largest city, Brisbane, would be the perfect place. Hence W Brisbane, opening in 2018.
In an announcement last week, W said the hotel would be a par of a brand spanking new building complex on the western side of the central business district, just steps from the city's namesake river. The entire development will result in three tower rising from the ground, with W Brisbane staking claim to one of them; the other two will be office spaces and luxury high-rise living.
Earlier this week, we told you about all of the "eco-action" going on at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Australia's Fraser Island and now it's time to reveal the inventive menu at the resort's fine-dining restaurant, Seabelle.
The restaurant takes its inspiration from the traditional land owners--the Butchulla--who used everything from the smallest of fruits, berries and seafood to sustain the many families calling ‘K’Gari’ (Fraser Island) home; in other words: "bush-tucker" cuisine. This concept is translated into a menu of familiar main ingredients with accents of native spices and flavors that are unique to this part of the world.
Yesterday, we looked at what it means to be eco-friendly in Costa Rica. Today, we're looking at how Down Under does eco-friendly.
Tucked off the coast of Queensland, Australia sits Fraser Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers picturesque settings and incredible wildlife sightings. This contributor recently had the opportunity to experience first hand why many visitors rave about the island with a stay at the upscale, yet laid back eco-lodge, Kingfisher Bay Resort.
The entire stay got me thinking about what a hotel has to do in order to be considered an eco-resort.Thanks to a framed explanation in our room from the Ecotourism Association of Australia, we know that there are five points to consider.
Almost two years after Sydney's iconic Observatory Hotel changed owners to become The Langham Sydney, the property will close its door to undergo a massive renovation to make the space a lot more, well, Langham.
The first day of renovations is scheduled for July 24. Over the next four months, all 96 guest rooms, the lobby, dining areas and the residential-style ballroom will see a bit more than a few new coats of paint. Spending around $30 million AUD, the hotel will install a new design element, to bring it more in-line with their other properties around the globe.
Each of the rooms will trade their stuffy, dated interior for a more modern, white-washed decor with herringbone hardwood-floors, modern furnishings and gold and teal accents marrying high-end luxe with colonial charm. Being one of the only hotels in Sydney to offer balconies in each room, guests will be able to enjoy the near perfect Sydney weather from the comfort of their own room.
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Who would have thought that a hotel located in one of Sydney's most stunning spots on The Rocks would need to embark beautification process? Well, the folks over at Pier One Sydney Harbour decided to pretty things up a bit after the ownership of the hotel changed hands.
Earlier this year, Pier One became part of Marriott's Autograph Collection and thus they decided to really wow their
Marriott Rewards members guests.
For the next 17 weeks, the hotel will be overhauling their lobby, dining and bar facilities to better fit in with their new brand. One thing that won't be changing is the 100-year old character of the building and the stunning views across Sydney Harbour. Originally built as a working cargo wharf and passenger transit facility, the hotel now offers a modern and contemporary stay steeped in history with some rooms offering the closest thing you can get to an overwater bungalow in an urban setting.
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As promised back in January, Hayman Island – the northernmost of Australia’s Whitsunday Islands – reopened last week fresh off of $80 million dollars’ worth of revamp, officially becoming “One&Only Hayman Island” in the process.
A lot has changed, as you would expect for that kind of cash, from updated rooms to a new spa and restaurants, but the basics are still there: a remote private island, a yacht transfer (or seaplane or helicopter, if you prefer) away from Hamilton Island, and the expanse of the Great Barrier Reef around you.
Australia's third-largest city was at one time considered a "big-country town", but that nickname might be ancient history with Brisbane welcoming three new hotels over the next few months. And the transformation couldn't come at a more perfect time with the G20 Summit taking place in the city this November.
Previously, Brisbane was rather barren when it came to edgy hotels. But soon the city will have a lot to show when it comes to cool destination hotels.
Already welcoming guests, Gambaro Hotel will attract those who want a slice of design within Brisbane's liveliest entertainment districts. Located on Caxton Street, Gambaro offers up sleek decor and luxury amenities like APPELLES Apothecary amenities and Sealy signature beds. Best of all, it has a rooftop with extraordinary views.
Once we had had a sunset cocktail at qualia, it was time to have a closer look at what you can expect inside one of its 60 individual Pavilions, consisting of Leeward and Windward Pavilions and the signature Beach House.
Scattered around the northernmost tip of Hamilton Island, all Pavilions look out to the Coral Sea: turndown service can draw the blinds for you at night, or you can leave them up and wake up with the sun streaming in in the morning. We liked the simplicity of the design, mixing polished woods with predominant white, and every part of the pavilion focused on the floor-to-ceiling windows and what’s outside.
At night, you’ll find an activity sheet in your Pavilion with an overview of what’s on – or can be arranged – the next day. From early morning yoga classes to those sunset cocktails and trips out to the Reef, there are lots of options.
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Once you’ve made it past the gates at Hamilton Island’s qualia, there is lots to explore, but one of the first things we did was head down to the helipad. While we arrived at the hotel through more traditional means (i.e. a transfer from the island’s cute airport), you’ll find this more high-flying option at the water’s edge, also used for helicopter trips to nearby sights like stunning Whitehaven Beach.
Its vantage point means the grassy circle lends itself perfectly for sunset cocktails: chilled glass in hand, you can watch the sun paint the sky with color as it sinks rapidly into the horizon at the end of the afternoon (and sink rapidly it does, given the relative proximity to the Equator).
Having seen just how stylish the staff at QT Sydney looked (not to mention the hotel itself), we couldn’t leave the Australian capital Canberra without popping into the brand new QT Canberra, which opened mere weeks before we walked in on a sparkly sunny Southern Hemisphere autumn-in-April day.
Taking the canvas of the former Rydges Lakeside hotel, QT went to town and transformed the 15-story building on Canberra’s London Circuit into something completely different; our local friends told us it was unrecognizable - and much improved - in its new incarnation. Canberra being the heart of the Australian government, and the hotel having seen its fair share of high-profile guests and hush-hush dealings, political references are plenty – from the live Twitter wall at reception to the politicians’ portraits and wallpaper on the ground floor. Check out the new look of the guestrooms, restaurant, terrace, and speakeasy-style bar below.