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Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Eco-Hotels / Australia Hotels / Northern Territory Hotels / → All Tags
In a place known for natural landscapes and indigenous culture, Australia's Northern Territory can now brag about its newest luxury lodge property. Cicada Lodge has just opened its doors and will be wowing guests from rocks to crocs.
This isn't your traditional never-leave-the-resort property since it's surrounded by a plethora of outdoor activities that would make even the most adventurous foam at the mouth. Guests can be whisked away via helicopter to snag a dip in a secluded waterfall, dropped off in the Katherine Gorge system and canoe back to the lodge or even explore the native rock art sites with a local Aboriginal guide.
When you do stay "put", you won't be disappointed. From a champagne toast upon arrival to the sunset canapés and complimentary bar service each evening by the pool, you can't help but think you've been transported somewhere special. Each of the private 18 lodges are elevated to maximize the view of the Katherine River and sandstone country above the gorge. With such killer views you might not need the property-wide free WiFi, but it's a nice touch.
High tea service can be fun, but most of the time it can be stuffy. Really, how many cucumber sandwiches can one person eat? The Westin Sydney has broken the chains of sipping tea with an extended pinky finger with a new take on tradtion, the Mad Hatter Tea.
Full of whimsy, this service is a flagrant nod to Alice in Wonderland and her adventures. Think beyond the 'Eat Me' cakes and move towards a super-chocolatey cake decorated like the Mad Hatter's hat or blueberry macaron 'painted' like the White Rabbit's pocket watch. From sweet to savory, the multi-tiered plates would even make a fan out of the Queen of Hearts.
On Sunday night, all of Sydney was abuzz with Tropfest showcasing independent film-makers. Even after a long night of judging short-films, Avatar star Sam Worthington had enough energy to tie one on at QT Sydney. The swanky new boutique hotel attracted a good number of stars and star-gazers to celebrate the end of the World's Largest Small-Film Festival held over a weekend where over 850,000 spectators converged on The Domain, the city's best outdoor area to catch some film in the park.
The Hollywood hottie was spotted partying in QT's super swank Gilt Lounge while rubbing elbows with a few notable Aussie stars including Wayne Blair, the director of the hit movie, The Sapphires. Many of the up-and-coming actors that attended the bash are following in Sam's footsteps since he also got his start at this festival.
Word is Sam was also guest at the hip QT--good choice since the party was on a school-night!
[Photo: QT Sydney]
Fashion Hotels / Versace Hotels / Australia Hotels / Gold Coast Hotels / Hotel Movies / Hotel Cocktails / → All Tags
It's not too late enjoy the last few weeks of Summer in Australia, especially in the place where, it seems, the season shines. We're going to take you to Palazzo Versace in Gold Coast where they are holding onto every last bit of Summer with a Gin Palace and Open Air Movies for the rest of the season.
In the Aussie state that claims to have 'endless summer' it seems like no better reason to have a party and we're fine with that. The fashionista hotel celebrates the equally fashionable drink with a full menu of gin libations. Hosted in the lobby bar, Le Jardin is transformed into a gin palace featuring live music and summer-y cocktails based with the juniper-berry spirit. Every Saturday night, the lobby turns into a place for everything glam and super trendy—after all, it is Versace.
Few things pair as well as gin cocktails and classic cinema under the stars, so if you prefer a little more a more subdued evening, out in the super posh, Fountain Terrace, movie-buffs can sit back in a bean-bag chair or a private cabana and relax to various films. Guests are offered salted popcorn, chocolate top ice-cream and a signature slurpee for $30 per person. If you prefer a little more sustenance during the movie, you can pre-order a picnic-basket dinner for $45 per person.
[Photo: Palazzo Versace]
A little slice of Africa has jumped continents and headed to Australia with Queensland's newest luxury tents of the Jabiru Safari Lodge. Trade the rhinoceros for a 'roo' and elephants for emus with this eco-lodge.
Located just about an hour inland to the tropical north Queensland town of Cairns, Jabiru is smack in the middle of the Atherton Tablelands, more specifically, the Mareeba Wetlands. Being in the center of all of this bushland gives two perks; lots of animals and limited cellphone service. Come here to relax and catch some of the native wildlife either from the porch of your tent or daily safari tours.
With a choice of the Deluxe Safari Tent or the Eco Safari Tent, you won't leave disappointed, since each of the five tents have all the comforts of home like fridges, lights and private bathrooms. If you prefer to feel like you are 'roughing' it a bit more, go with the Eco-Tents as those have solar power and gas stoves.
We've can only imagine how all of Melbourne is a buzz with the Australian Open in town. Heck, we even witnessed Venus and Serena practicing their craft in the lobby of The Olsen. As we near the end of one of the tennis grand slam tournaments, it looks like some players are letting their hair down.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and France's Benoit Paire were spotted breathing a sigh of relief at The Como Melbourne, after being knocked-out from the tourney. The pair were guests of a cocktail party hosted in the hotel's ultra hip, lobby bar, Sobar. Now, we're not one to gossip (ha!), but we should note that the two were staying in separate rooms, and only seen together for the party in the lobby.
No word on if either of the tennis players were lucky enough to score one of those sweet suites we spoke about a few weeks ago. Since The Como really can't disappoint, we can only assume they were pretty comfy during their stay.
[Photo: The Como Melbourne Facebook]
It's not too late to head down under and soak up some rays while the rest of your friends are freezing their patooties off back at home. Nothing says summer like enjoying some ice cold beers while overlooking one of Australia's most iconic beaches, Bondi. The Swiss Grand Hotel, in Sydney's north side, is hosting a pop-up bar filled with summer goodies for guests to relax and watch the happenings of Bondi Beach.
The Accor resort has opened a bar on its, aptly named, Bondi Deck featuring buckets of beer, jugs of freshly mixed cocktails. Even the nibbles menu screams summer with handmade burgers and buckets of fresh prawns.
Just over the road from the sand and surf of Bondi, the resort boasts killer views of the Pacific and everyone who calls it their playground. The pop-up bar will serve up summer sippers and seafood until March 31st and will be open until 10pm everyday of the week. With plenty of restaurants on the Campbell Parade, there won't be a shortage of fun after they call it a night.
Last we talked about Ovolo Hotels it was all about the first Hong Kong expat property in Melbourne. Out from behind the curtain of obscurity, the hotel decided to branch out internationally and pick the cultural capital of Australia as their first outpost.
At first glance, the nondescript building in the middle of the city could have been any other office building, but little did we know what little treasures we would find inside. For a small hotel, Ovolo Melbourne sure packs a punch...in a good way.
The small lobby proved to be a tight fit with anymore than 2 different guests checking in, but a welcome espresso made the experience a bit more bearable. With a limited, but super cool design, our imagination went into overdrive for what we would experience in the room. After an efficient check-in, we were in the elevator to our one-bed room suite.
A stay at QT Gold Coast was as if we just stepped out of a Gidget movie and into a surf side vacation rental with a lot of class and personality. Long gone are the days of mis-matched wicker furniture, well loved carpeting and not-cool-vintage design. This place is done right.
Here is a peak inside the super-quirky beach side property known for fantastic views and even better brews. From the vintage station-wagon sporting a few surfboards to StingRay Lounge and to the in-room squeeze-your-own lemonade, this place screams vacation. Even the Sunday brunch at the interactive Marketplace goes on our list of favorite hotel brunches.
With large comfy rooms, that are decked out in mid-century modern decor it was easy to settle in to staying just blocks from the beach. The modern bathrooms are the furthest from overused beach house that we could imagine and with a few splashes of bright colors; they have summer written all over them.
If you're still riding that James Bond high, you need to get your butt to Australia STAT. Travelers who shack up at the uberposh Palazzo Versace in Australia's Gold Coast will get the chance to train as a secret agent with the hotel's new package. Yes, plan on getting your hands a little dirty but don't fear: there will not be real assassins trying to push you off a train/bridge/car/airplane (or so we've heard!).
Palazzo Versace Gold Coast has partnered with Oz's Gold Coast and Stunt Academy to introduce the unique Spy School. Guests will be whisked away to tackle a day full of action-packed adventures that starts with a helicopter stunt ride to a remote island location. Then, guests will be picked up by a jet boat for a thrilling ride to an obstacle course. Once there, they will be trained in unarmed combat, firearms handling and, most importantly, stealth.
The reward for an exhilarating, high-rolling/gun-slinging/karate-chopping day? Not exactly Miss Congeniality but you do get to return home in a limousine filled with cocktails (shaken, not stirred, obs).
Celebrity Scoop / Australia Hotels / Melbourne Hotels / Venus Williams / Serena Williams / Art Series Hotels / → All Tags
In the lead up the one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world, both Venus and Serena Williams have headed down under to limber up and get acclimatized before they play in next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.
The fashionista sisters gathered quite the crowd when they practiced their serves and warmed-up their backhand. We're not talking on the court--they did this all in the lobby of the hotel at which they were staying, The Olsen. No, they weren't slamming furry tennis balls around, instead they silenced a crowd with their ping-pong skills.
The sisters are resting up before they head into round one of the Open and this hotel is the best place to do it. We recently told you about the extended check-out at the Art Series Hotels and it seems like Serena is banking on some free nights after she tweeted, "Love this #overstaycheckout idea @ArtSeriesHotels - If no one checks into my room, I don't have to check out - ever!"
Let's hope they get some luck in free rooms and on the court.
[Photo: Art Series Hotels Facebook]
Hotels Under $100 / Self Check-In Hotels / Artist Hotels / Australia Hotels / Adelaide Hotels / Design Hotels / Art Hotels / → All Tags
The city's first self check-in hotel and serves up some modern and contemporary design by featuring local artists' works. We're not talking about a few pieces of art on the lobby or in the rooms, more like using the room as the entire canvas. Every year, 12 of the 46 rooms are white-washed for 12 new artists to go and throw a splash of color in the room by painting the primary wall.
Currently, the rooms are pretty basic and on an economy scale. Although they are light on the amenities and design, come April all the rooms should be completed by a local artist. The final goal is to have all rooms painted in a different theme. Since the bookings are done online or on the lobby kiosk, guests that want a bit more paint will need to call the hotel group to check availability.