W Hotels launch an island food trail with Three Blue Ducks

W Brisbane’s celebrated Three Blue Ducks restaurant will jet set their signature paddock-to-plate ethos to W Bali – Seminyak and W Maldives. W Hotels set the stage for curating unique culinary and travel experiences for guests, and will have global foodies making waves to attend the two social dinners on 30 August in Bali and 6 September in the Maldives.

Three Blue Ducks chefs, Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy, have designed menus inspired by their passion for travelling the world to share great food, with a more sustainable approach to living. The chefs will take over each island kitchen for one night only at a vibrant dinner at both Starfish Bloo, W Bali – Seminyak and Fire on the Beach, W Maldives. A selection of dishes from each menu will then be available for guests to experience at these two locations from November 2019, giving guests a taste of Three Blue Ducks all season long.

W Bali – Seminyak x Three Blue Ducks Dinner at Starfish Bloo – Chef Darren Robertson will take the helm at W Bali – Seminyak’s Starfish Bloo plating up fresh, tropical flavours with locally caught, sustainable seafood, such as lobster, oysters and raw swordfish.

Date: Friday 30 August 2019
Price: Starting at 1.1M IDR (Approx. AUD$113)
Bookings: Visit wbaliseminyak.com

W Maldives x Three Blue Ducks Dinner at Fire on the Beach – Chef Mark LaBrooy will steal the scene when he takes over W Maldives’ Fire on the Beach for a rustic-yet-natural beachside BBQ dining experience. Guests will dine under the stars and feast on a menu showcasing local produce, including charred occy, Maldivian chilli lobster and coal cooked green jobfish.

Date: Friday 6 September 2019
Price: Starting at $425 USD (Approx. AUD$606) – including beverage selections
Bookings: Visit wmaldives.com

Local food lovers wanting a Three Blue Ducks experience closer to home can head to the Ducks latest residence at W Brisbane. Mixing Queensland’s vibrant yet laidback culture with their ‘real food’ philosophy, The Ducks have created a culinary destination through an ever-evolving seasonal menu and epic views across the Brisbane River. Being their only Queensland restaurant, they have guests coming back time again craving their fresh, local inspired dishes, including Moreton Bay bugs with charred cavolo nero and XO butter.

Source: W Hotels

Qantas Frequent Flyers given a million reasons to fly carbon neutral

Qantas began incentivising Frequent Flyers to fly carbon neutral in early July with an offer of 10 Qantas Points for every dollar they spend on reducing their carbon footprint. It is the highest standard earn rate of any Qantas Frequent Flyer initiative.

In the short time that Points have been on offer, Qantas has seen a 15 per cent increase in frequent flyers choosing to offset their flights and rewarded them with over one million Qantas Points for flying carbon neutral.

To help grow their Fly Carbon Neutral program, Qantas partnered with the Harvard University Sustainability, Transparency, and Accountability Research (STAR) Lab to better design and communicate sustainability initiatives.

The STAR Lab brings together a group of scholars at Harvard University who research and assess new business initiatives aimed at improving accountability, sustainability and generating positive social and environmental impacts.

Qantas Loyalty CEO, Olivia Wirth: “We know how much Australians value Qantas Points and how they can influence the choices people make as consumers.It’s great to see the power of points motivating customers to offset their flights and helping us towards our goal to halve our net emissions by 2050. Around 10 per cent of our customers already choose to offset their flights, which is one almost every minute. We’re hoping the added incentive of Qantas Points will continue to drive numbers higher as awareness of the initiative grows. The initial increase we’ve seen is really encouraging.”

There are 40 projects around the world that Qantas buys carbon credits from. More detail on those projects can be found here: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/qantas-group/acting-responsibly/our-planet/carbon-offsetting.html

Source: Qantas

Go West in Sydney this Winter with artist-in-residence Aaron Favaloro

West Hotel Sydney, a Curio Collection by Hilton has launched its third creative initiative as part of the Meet the Creatives series. During July and August 2019, West Hotel will host its winter ‘artist in residence’ program – a fun, stylish collaboration with celebrated fashion illustrator, Aaron Favaloro.

Aaron Favaloro is one of Australia’s rising fashion illustrators. His artworks have been recognised by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Demi Moore and Donatella Versace. His collector pieces hang in the homes of global superstars like Gigi Hadid, Khloe Kardashian and Charlotte Tilbury.

As part of the collaboration with West Hotel, Aaron will create exclusive artworks, which will be on display throughout July and August at the hotel. Guests will also have the opportunity to sit for the artist when Aaron Favaloro offers guests a personalised portraiture artwork, created on the spot, as a complimentary collector piece they can treasure and take home as part of their West Hotel experience.

Each hotel guest will also be gifted with a limited edition postcard artwork, encouraging guests to connect with loved ones via the traditional method, sending this special collector item to anywhere in Australia courtesy of West Hotel.

“When I first visited West Hotel, it reminded me of my favourite Chanel handbag that I often illustrate into my artworks – incredibly striking, designer and timeless. I’ve never collaborated with a hotel, yet West Hotel’s ethos, along with its rich colour tones with touches of sapphire and use of premium materials like jade-coloured marble – it captured me from the get-go. West Hotel evokes a feeling of pure escapism, and there was a natural synergy that I wanted to re-create in my illustrations,” said Aaron Favaloro.

Jane Lyons, General Manager of West Hotel, continued, “the Aaron Favaloro x West Hotel collaboration is an exciting one. As Australia’s first Curio Collection property, our hotel offers a chic, bespoke design, and is an attractive option for guests that are looking for a style-conscious stay rather than a run of the mill Sydney hotel experience; Aaron’s illustrations portray that kindred energy – fun, fresh and full of panache.”

To further complement the ‘artist in residence’ collaboration, West Hotel’s Solander Dining and Bar will offer two limited edition cocktails throughout July and August, ‘The Clutch’ and ‘The Messenger’.

West Hotel launched its Meet the Creatives last year, with the first event a collaboration with artists Weave Dibden-Neck of the By Weave label, and Eight Eight store, who created ‘his and hers’ designer fashion pieces for guests. The second in the series was its ‘Sleep Amongst Botanics’ room takeover that allowed guests to sleep under a blooming room created by the homewares and lifestyle design house, Bonnie and Neil.

Source: West Hotel 

Margaret River & Southern WA top Lonely Planet's Best in Asia Pacific list

Margaret River & Southern WA Tops Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia Pacific 2019 Global travel authority Lonely Planet has named Margaret River & Southern WA as the number-one Asian-Pacific destination to visit in the year ahead.

Expanded this year to include Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Best in Asia Pacific is Lonely Planet’s fourth annual agenda-setting list of the region’s 10 best destinations to visit in the next 12 months.

Announcing Margaret River & Southern WA’s top-ranking, Lonely Planet enthuses: “Take one look at Meelup Beach and you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life: the West Australian bush parts to reveal ocean the hue of a Bombay Sapphire bottle, which is typical of the coastline stretching from Margaret River to the state’s south. Beyond the sand, some of the country’s slickest wineries, breweries and restaurants lie between tracts of tall-tree forest and kangaroo-dotted farmland.”

Lonely Planet adds: “Locals have long felt their turf rivals the east coast travel trail; now, 17-hour direct flights from London to capital city Perth put it at Europe’s fingertips. Adding to the argument are coveted food and culture-amped festivals, from Gourmet Escape to Truffle Kerfuffle and Taste Great Southern. There’s also amazing surf, whales aplenty and DIY coastal hikes with paved sections, improving accessibility for all.”

“Asia Pacific has it all,” says Lonely Planet’s Media Spokesperson for the region, Chris Zeiher. “Its food delights the senses, its forests and seas teem with life, and its cities fizz with culture and creativity. Our experts have explored this vast region’s highlands, islands and everything in between to find the best places to visit this year.”

“From primate-filled jungles to mirage-like lagoons,” Chris says, “their recommendations reflect a part of the world increasingly determined to protect its most prized possessions at the same time as it charges whole-heartedly into the future.”

Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia Pacific 2019 is available online, with accompanying articles to each destination, at lonelyplanet.com/best-in-asia-pacific.

1. Margaret River & Southern WA, Australia

2. Shikoku, Japan

“This somewhat off-the-beaten-path haven is finally being discovered by non-Japanese visitors, with an increasing number of international flights winging into the main cities of Takamatsu and Matsuyama.”

3. Bay of Islands & Northland, New Zealand

“Northland is the cradle of the country’s culture and history –both for the indigenous Māori people and for the European settlers who followed them. The two formally came together with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, and 2020 sees the 180th anniversary of that key nation-building event.”

4. Singapore

“Singapore was one of the brightest stars in the 2018 movie blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, and the Lion City is hipper and hotter than ever. 2019 offers a chance to participate in the city’s bicentennial, but also to celebrate more than 700 years of Singapore’srich, diverse history.”

5. The Cook Islands

“A visit to the Cook Islands, 15 tiny islets, far-flung over a swathe of the deep-blue, breezy Pacific Ocean, is bound to rejuvenate even the most jaded. And locals on the main island, Rarotonga, are welcoming visitors off an increasing number of international flights to their Polynesian paradise.”

6. Central Vietnam

“Hue’s vibrant cuisine showcases the city’s imperial legacy, while south in Hoi An’sstoried laneways, local dishes include fragrant cao lầu noodles. Seafood stars in nearby Danang, and the city alongside the Han River is becoming one of Vietnam’s most exciting urban destinations.”

7. Fiji

“From solar-powered resorts that serve locally harvested food to coral reef restoration projects and limited plastic usage, this vulnerable island nation has moved headlong into eco-tourism. October 10, 2020, will mark the island nation’s 50th year of independence, called ‘FijiDay’

8. Palawan, Philippines

“These are the heady days when new air routes and upgraded roads make it easier than ever to explore the dramatic seascapes and wildlife-laden jungles of the slender 400km-long main island (also called Palawan) before it inevitably becomes more developed.”

9. Beijing, China

“Beijing is changing fast as the new decade approaches. In a bid to battle the smog, an eco-friendly bike-sharing scheme has launched, and the rapidly expanding subway is expected to reduce traffic congestion. High-speed links will soon race passengers to the extraordinary, Zaha Hadid-designed, starfish-shaped BeijingDaxing International, the world’s largest airport, which is slated to open later this year“

10. Cambodia

“The skyline of Phnom Penhis on the up, bringing sky bars and designer dining; the Southern Islands are generating a beach buzz thanks to new boutique and luxury resorts; colonial-era vestiges are under restoration in Battambangand Kampot; and in remote areas like Koh Kongand Mondulkiri, wildlife spotting is drawing visitors off-the-beaten track. New airlines are making connections between Siem Reapand the South Coastsmoother, with hydrofoils whisking people to the islands.”

To celebrate this year’s Best in Asia Pacific, Lonely Planet is giving visitors to lonelyplanet.com/best-in-asia-pacific the chance to win a tour of their choice to explore the region with G Adventures–the small group adventure travel specialists. There are over 250 tours to choose from across Asia and Pacific, and the winner will receive a $5,000 voucher from G Adventures to spend on their favourite, plus $4,000 towards two return flights.

Source: Lonely Planet

Thyme For A New Spa At Garden & Villas Resort, Italy

Garden & Villas Resort on the island of Ischia, off the coast of Italy, have extended their green thumb to the newly refurbished spa launching an herbal inspired spa menu just in thyme for the Italian summer.

The resort’s new spa features a wide range of body and face treatments, with signature treatments inspired by the natural essences from the resort’s abundant gardens. Highlights on the new menu include the range of Garden Massages using lavender, lemon or thyme along with the Mint and Rosemary Body Toning Treatment.

Each herb used has been carefully selected for their various healing properties: Lavender for its ability to reduce inflammation and minimise the ageing process; Lemon for its ability to boost energy levels and to improve digestion; Thyme to improve circulation and strengthen the immune system; Mint to reduce muscle aches and pains and Rosemary for it’s ability to heal the body.

Signature treatments are available in the newly refurbished spa which fittingly is built into a naturally formed cave on the grounds of the sprawling 3-hectare garden centric resort. Produce grown in the garden is mindfully used throughout Garden & Villas Resort’s menus in line with their zero-miles food philosophy so it is only fitting this same philosophy now carries through to the resort’s spa menu. In addition to herbal treatments, the new spa also features a thermal pool with jets to massage various body ailments.

Characterised by lush vegetation, Ischia is known as the Green Island with its huge parks, beautiful beaches, lush landscapes and breath-taking sunsets. The volcanic island is also home to over 100 thermal springs making it the ideal wellness destination. Garden & Villas Resort, located in the heart of Ischia, is home to nine villas housing the guest rooms.

To experience Garden & Villas Resort’s new spa, the resort is offering a Summer Dream package which includes an overnight stay and Buffet Breakfast, one dinner per person at Il Corbezzolo restaurant by the pool and one massage 30-minute massage per person. Prices start at €210 per person per night (approx. AUD 340 per person per night). * Subject to availability and conditions apply. Minimum 2-night stay required.

Getting to Ischia:
Ischia is a 90-minute ferry ride from Naples departing Calata di Porta di Massa to Ischia Porto and Casamicciola Terme. A quicker option is the ferry in Pozzuoli, which is closer to Ischia, or one of the hydrofoils departing from Molo Beverello in Naples to Ischia, Casamicciola and Forio.

Source: Garden & Villas Resort