27 September 2023

Western Australia, Tuscany and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Part of the Western Australian landscape … the Pinnacles.

Travelmarvel is celebrating the launch of its 2019/20 Western Australia program with a range of earlybird specials.

For those new to the region, for instance, the 18-day West Coast Adventure from Perth to Darwin could be an ideal choice.

Discover the Pinnacles, Hamelin Pool and the Pilbara’s great gorges; meet characters in remote mining towns; get up-close to the dolphins of Monkey Mia; and soak in the landscapes and culture of the Kimberley and Top End.

Prices are from $8395 per person twin-share. Book before March 31 next year and save $1000 per couple.

Phone 1300 205 408 or visit www.travelmarvel.com.au.

Taking bookings for stays from December 1 … a Novotel room in Melbourne’s new-build Accor development.

One of Melbourne’s most anticipated hotel openings of recent years, the new-build Novotel and ibis Melbourne Central, is taking bookings for stays from December 1.

Towering above its prime location on Little Lonsdale Street, Accor’s leading midscale and economy hotel brands will come together in the one property to offer travellers to Melbourne easy access to major dining, shopping and sporting precincts.

Featuring 483 guestrooms, the 35-floor tower is Accor’s first Australian vertical new-build multi-hotel development where two brands will share guest facilities.

Ibis Melbourne Central will comprise the lower tier of the tower and make up 270 premium-economy guest rooms, whilst Novotel will open from level 20 with 213 light-filled 4.5-star guest rooms and suites.

Food and beverage is inspired by the city’s rich ethnic history.

Opening rates start from $186 per room per night.

Visit www.accorhotels.com.

Sunrise yoga classes … find focus beneath the iconic sails.

Sunrise yoga classes will be held on the Sydney Opera House steps on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings from October 10 this spring and summer, offering locals and visitors the opportunity to find focus for their day beneath the iconic sails.

The 10-week program caters to beginners and yoga enthusiasts alike, and is under the guidance of Barefoot Yoga founder Crawf Weir.

Cost for a 60-minute session is $25, with discounted parking available from $10.

Visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com.

SO/ Auckland … a ‘rebellious lifestyle hotel’.

Accor describes its new city-centre SO/ Auckland as a ‘rebellious lifestyle hotel’, and claims that the new property, due to open in November, will ‘shatter conventional hotel norms’.

Each of the seven SO/ hotels in other parts of the world features an artistic vision by celebrated names from the world of fashion and design, such as Christian Lacroix in Bangkok and Karl Lagerfeld in Singapore.

In New Zealand the adventurous WORLD fashion-design team is expected to bring the same spirit of extravagance and boldness.

The hotel’s emblem reflects the volcanic history of Auckland, the natural beauty of New Zealand and the history of the building itself — the former Reserve Bank which at one time housed the country’s gold reserves.

The opening rate is from just over $440 per night if booked 21 days of more in advance.

Visit www.accorhotels.com.

Chiva-Som International Health Resort … to reopen after extensive refurbishment.

A refurbished Chiva-Som International Health Resort, in Thailand’s Hua Hin, will reopen on November 1.

New guest experiences will include the unveiling of more spacious Thai Pavilions in a contemporary Thai style and the new Thai Pavilion Suite featuring a glass-walled private space for about six guests, set amid tranquil gardens and suitable for private breakfast, lunch and dinner, meditation or just for relaxing.

The Emerald Room will be brighter to give a fresh and relaxing ambience inside or on the terrace for breakfast, lunch and dinner while The Orchid Lounge will offer a new layout and style that includes a juice bar and live music corner as guests enjoy an extensive choice of mocktails, teas and other refreshments.

The fitness centre will feature a new reception area, dedicated stretching area, new equipment and exercise studio whilst the library and guest-relations area are being given a new look and feel.

Phone 1300 857 437 or visit www.chivasom.com.

MSC’s Meraviglia … a bonus $400 onboard credit per cabin on seven-night Northern Europe cruises.

MSC Cruises is offering up to $800 onboard credit per cabin during October for Choose Cruise Month on more than 45 itineraries in the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Baltics, Arabian Peninsula and India, Caribbean and Cuba, and a range of repositioning cruises.

In the Mediterranean, for instance, during Choose Cruise Month, MSC is offering an 10-night cruise from $1239 per person twin-share with a bonus $500 onboard credit per cabin.

In Northern Europe, MSC’s Meraviglia will operate seven-night cruises, featuring spectacular fjords, ancient cities and picturesque hamlets, priced from $1099 per person twin-share with a bonus $400 onboard credit per cabin.

Or take a longer 18-night journey from Rio de Janeiro to Genoa from $3059 per person twin-share and receive a bonus $800 onboard credit per cabin.

Phone 1300 028 502 or visit www.msccruises.com.au.

Nature at its most wondrous … on the shore of Patagonia’s Lake Pehoe.

In October next year Latitude 33 will present a chance to experience the extremes of South Amercia’s Patagonian glaciers and Atacama Desert.

The 22-night ‘Deserts and Glaciers’ tour will be limited to 30 guests and provide the opportunity for a number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a tango performance in Buenos Aires and a chance to explore Argentina’s remote city of Ushuaia, often referred to as ‘the end of the earth’.

Travellers will stay in the heart of Buenos Aries for three nights, then journey to Ushuaia for two nights.

Then it’s a transfer to Ventus Australis to navigate the rugged coastline at the southern tip of South America for four nights, allowing passengers to get up close to groaning glaciers, hike secluded beaches, explore lush sub-polar forests and discover elephant seals as well as the many other creatures who call this region home.

After docking at Chile’s Punta Arenas, travellers will be transferred to the Explora Patagonia Hotel for five nights in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park and staying at the only hotel located on the shores of Lake Pehoe.

The itinerary also includes three nights in Santiago, then five in the Explora Atacama Hotel.

Prices are from $20,699 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 636 848 or visit www.latitude33.travel.

Riviera’s Lord Byron … five-star, shore-tour-inclusive cruises across Europe.

English-based Riviera Travel reckons it offers five-star, shore-tour-inclusive cruises across Europe at fares up to 50 per cent lower than river companies more established in Australia.

Australian wholesalers Cruiseco and Cruise Traveller have 2019 fares from $2079 per person twin-share for an eight-day European cruise on the Danube River from Budapest while Riviera’s four exclusive, seven-night solo passenger sailings are available from only $2769 per person.

One of Riviera Travel’s sailings for 2019 — the seven-night Rhine Cruise to Switzerland — has been packaged here by Cruise Traveller in a new 13-night fly-cruise-and-tour holiday.

The ‘Swiss Stunner’ package includes return flights to Europe from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth, the Rhine cruise from Cologne to Basel, a three-night, post-cruise, alpine tour in Switzerland headlined by a trip aboard the famous Glacier Express train from Chur to Zermatt and pre-and-post cruise accommodation in Cologne and Zurich.

Cruise Traveller is also offering a complimentary onboard drinks package with a range of beers and wines with lunch and dinner with this package.

Prices begin at $7695 per person twin-share.

Phone 1800 507 777 or visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au.

Tuscany … Tauck’s adventure will include a keynote address from author Frances Mayes.

Tauck will run a new five-night ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ journey in October next year, celebrating the region’s cultural pleasures and hilltop treasures, and including a keynote address from author Frances Mayes, whose best-selling book of the name became a box-office movie success.

The tour includes hosted accommodation at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, born out of a medieval hamlet 800 years old and embraced by vineyards and olive groves.

This beautiful property will host a cooking class for guests and conduct insider lectures on the history of Tuscan City States.

In Chianti country, guests will spend the day with the Corsini family, whose legacy as one of the oldest families in Florence includes ties to the Vatican, at their Villa Le Corti estate, to sample their wine and olive oil, tour their private villa, listen to stories about the family business, and dine al fresco amidst stunning views of the Chianti Classico region.

Prices are from $6490 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 732 300 or visit www.tauck.com.au.

Hotel Tjampuhan & Spa … built in 1928 for guests of the Prince of Ubud.

Book with TravelOnline and save 25 per cent on an escape to Ubud, one of the cultural epicentres of Bali.

Pay from $353 per person twin-share, including four nights for the price of three at Hotel Tjampuhan & Spa, breakfast daily, welcome cocktail, two bottles of mineral water daily, free wi-fi, shuttle service to Ubud, yoga class, cultural workshops, guided temple visit and return airport transfers — plus the chance to browse art galleries, visit traditional markets and meet cheeky monkeys.

The offer is valid for sale until October 31 this year and for travel before March 31 next year.

Set in the cultural village of Ubud, Hotel Tjampuhan & Spa is 45 minutes from Bali’s international airport.

Built in 1928 for guests of the Prince of Ubud, the hotel is set on the banks of the beautiful Tjampuhan River surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit www.travelonline.com.

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