25 September 2023

Seattle, Brisbane and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Beer with everything but the kitchen sink … Moon Dog Craft Brewery.

For fervent craft beer fans, head to Moon Dog Craft Brewery, in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford (next suburb out from Collingwood), where rules about what craft beer should taste like have been tossed out the window.

Here’s what the owners say: “We’ll put pretty much anything into a beer if we think it will taste good. So strap in and get ready to try something a bit different.”

Head there on a Thursday at 7pm for the free brewery tour and hear from brewers who admit to throwing “everything but the kitchen sink” into their early yeasty creations.

There are obviously plenty of places to stay in Melbourne but certainly worth trying is the ParkRoyal Melbourne Airport. Being adjacent to the Melbourne Airport has some clear advantages such as hassle-free stopovers, and the city centre is located just 20 minutes away.

Visit www.moondogbrewing.com.au.

Swissôtel’s fondue … a delightful winter warmer.

Swissôtel Sydney has reintroduced its traditional Swiss cheese and chocolate fondue experiences this winter, with its culinary team recreating the delights for the hotel’s Crossroads Bar.

The savoury fondue recipe features a combination of emmental and gruyere cheeses, kirsch, white wine, garlic and a secret ingredient, all blended together and served in a delightful warm pot. It is best enjoyed with crusty baguette bread, cornichons, pickled onions and cos salad.

There is an array of dipper options such as kipfler potatoes, spiced meatballs, slow-cooked flat-iron steak, seasonal vegetables, grilled portobello mushrooms, pork salami, beer-battered chips, potato rosti, prawn cutlets and crusty baguette bread.

For those with a sweet tooth, Swissôtel’s chefs have created a decadent blend of Swiss chocolate fondue accompanied by marshmallows, pound cake, strawberries, pineapples, kiwifruit, crushed peanuts and almond flakes.

The Swiss fondue is available every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 9pm from 30 May 30 to August 31, with the experience priced at $34 per person with a minimum of two people per booking.

Phone (02) 9238 8888 or visit www.swissotel.com.

Rydges South Bank … enjoy the razzle dazzle of Chicago.

Chicago, the longest-running American musical in Broadway and West End history, is set to razzle dazzle Brisbane from November, and Rydges South Bank has gained recognition as the official place to stay for all that jazz.

The hotel is just a few steps from QPAC and the Lyric Theatre, which the cast will call home, and the hotel has a special package for the show.

It’s available for stays from November 5 through to December 1 this year, and is priced from $550, including overnight accommodation, two A-Reserve tickets to the show, valet car-parking, buffet breakfast for two, an official show program and a show-themed gift.

Visit www.rydges.com.

The 240-room Park Hyatt Melbourne … a fresh new colour palette.

The guestroom renovation of the 240-room Park Hyatt Melbourne has been completed, with the brief having been to introduce a fresh new colour palette to highlight the oversized room layouts,

The stylish upgrade introduces custom designed furniture in neutral shades — modern yet still retaining the hotel’s signature art-deco inspired identity. Accents of colour, texture and patterns are brought out through fabrics and decorative items complementing the hotel’s existing warm tones.

The designer chose to preserve the burl wood panelling seen in all the guestrooms and suites, as well as the marble in the bathrooms. Technological enhancements to the rooms include bluetooth media hubs, the latest flat screen TVs and complimentary wi-fi connection for up to six devices.

Along with the refurbishment, Park Hyatt Melbourne has introduced two new room categories — the King View and the King Club View. While the King Bed and King Club Access guestrooms overlook the hotel’s interior courtyards, the King View guestrooms will offer floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city, parklands or St Patrick’s Cathedral, with the King Club View guestrooms featuring the same views with the added benefit of unlimited access to the hotel’s Park Lounge.

Visit www.hyatt.com.

Pooch-friendly rooms … available in Ovolo properties in Hong Kong and Australia.

The Ovolo hotel group has launched a VIPooch initiative.

That’s right, when they treat themselves to a night at Ovolo, guests can bring their dogs too, with the group introducing dog-friendly rooms to all its properties in Hong Kong and Australia.

This new offer will provide pooch-friendly rooms in every hotel for an additional cost of $80 per night. Each pet-friendly room will be decked out with a plush dog bed, a no-mess eating-and-drinking mat, and separate food and water bowls.

While human guests of Ovolo can enjoy a Loot Bag full of snacks, VIPooches can enjoy a designer Doggy Bag containing woof-worthy dog toys, healthy dog snacks and handy poop bags to bring along on walks, hikes and adventures.

Up to two furry friends are permitted per room, giving dog-owners the opportunity to travel to top destinations in Hong Kong and Australia, staying in the cosiest of spaces with their best friends.

Visit: www.ovolohotels.com.

MS Panorama … a recently renovated boutique ship.

Beyond Travel is offering savings of up to $5000 per couple on its eight-day ‘The Land of Ice & Fire’ Iceland sailing itinerary for select departures in June-September this year.

For bookings made by June 28 the offer includes a bonus $900 Discover More Travel Credit per couple which can be used on any Beyond Travel product such as pre- or post-cruise accommodation, transfers and optional sightseeing.

Iceland is renowned as a fairly expensive destination, with availability on tours and hotels extremely tight, which makes this cruise deal, with accommodation and all meals included, particularly appealing.

Sailing aboard the recently renovated boutique ship MS Panorama from Reykjavik to Akureyri, or vice versa, the itinerary includes majestic coastal scenery, remote fjords, port visits to some of Iceland’s best-kept secrets, picturesque fishing villages, volcanic landscapes and plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting.

The itinerary is now priced from $2455 per person twin-share, including all meals, tea/coffee and mineral water throughout the day, a welcome cocktail, local theme evening, a BBQ, a Captain’s dinner, use of fishing equipment (subject to availability), and the services of an English-speaking cruise escort, plus port charges.

Phone 1300 363 554 or visit www.beyondtravel.com.au.

Long-Haul Spa … assists in keeping skin hydrated.

Chris Keeling, who produces Long-Haul Spa, became sick of enquiring at airport pharmacies about beauty products that would tackle the issues faced by travellers on international flights — particularly time-zone changes and lack of humidity.

So she formulated he own. Working as part of cabin crew on long-haul flights provided an opportunity to experiment, and Chris was soon putting together kits that assisted her in keeping skin hydrated.

The rest, as the say, is history.

Long-Haul Spa is priced at $129 per kit that is attractively packaged and contains products such as rejuvenating-and-protecting facial oil, super-saturating face mist and eye balm.

As well, there is a pack of disinfecting wipes and a one-litre clear-plastic bag for use at security if needed.

Visit www.longhaulspa.com.

Hands on Manila … offers a number of special projects.

Volunteering abroad is becoming an increasingly popular alternative travel experience, allowing travellers to give back to the communities and places that they visit.

With popularity in this sector of tourism booming, the Philippines Department of Tourism has recommended a number of organisations for those looking for more meaningful adventures.

Comprising well over 7500 separate islands, the Philippines offers a wide range of humanitarian initiatives for travellers to get involved with.

Organisations such as Hands on Manila and Habitat for Humanity offer opportunities to become fully immersed in the ‘real’ local culture whilst offering time and expertise to the community, and the chance to make a difference.

Hands on Manila, for instance, offers a number of special projects encompassing the environment, education, health and social entrepreneurship of underprivileged. Activities range from coastal clean ups and urban gardening, to running workshops for locals in income-generating skills like candle-making.

Visit www.tourismphilippines.com.au.

Seattle … a sonic paradise.

For the uninitiated, grunge is a style of rock music characterised by a raucous guitar sound and draggy lyrics.

It arose during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and is best typified by the ‘gods’ of grunge, Nirvana, and the head-banging musical style has its roots in punk rock, alternative rock, heavy metal, and other related genres.

Beyond creating its own musical genre that became popular in the early 1990s, Seattle is also home to great musical acts. They include grunge icons such as Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, as well as the legendary Jimi Hendrix.

For alternative music fans, Seattle is a sonic paradise — from recording studios and memorials to museums, you can retrace the footsteps of music icons and bop to great live music. Who knows? You might just meet up-and-coming rock stars.

If you love music with that underground edge, let the team at Pan Pacific Seattle bring you on an acoustic journey into the ‘Seattle Sound’.

Visit www.panpacificseattle.com.

Parkroyal on Beach Road … for guests, a tour of Singapore can begin at the nearby Kampong Glam district.

For guests at Parkroyal on Beach Road, a tour of Singapore can begin at the nearby Kampong Glam district, which is the oldest urban quarter in the city and is also the heart and soul of Singapore’s Malay-Muslim heritage.

Start a Kampong Glam tour with the iconic Sultan Mosque, also known as Masjid Sultan. Built in 1824 for the first sultan (Muslim-sovereign) of Singapore, it was gazetted as a National Monument in 1975.

Visitors can also visit the Malay Heritage Centre located at Sultan Gate, or stroll through the streets and browse traditional stores selling Persian carpets, handmade perfume, and the traditional kebaya blouse.

Don’t be surprised if you turn a corner to find hipster cafes or bespoke bars. This neighbourhood is well-known for its blend of heritage and modernity.

Once you’ve explored Kampong Glam, you can get around to other parts of Singapore via the train network, known as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). The MRT gives you easy access to other popular city attractions, as well as hidden gems located away from the city centre.

Parkroyal on Beach Road is minutes away from the Bugis MRT station, which is on the East-West Line. Make time to check out the attractions along this line during your Singapore holidays.

Visit www.panpacific.com.

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