Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Westin's decade of delights

I have happy memories of wonderful nights spent at The Westin Melbourne. When it opened - yes - it was 10 years ago - I refused to leave my room as I had become so attached to the pillows supplied. Another time after foolishly inviting me to try the 'Heavenly Beds', there was another sit-in - make that not leaving the bed for anyone siege situation. I might be known as a troublemaker but as a more than satisfied guest - what do they expect?
Bringing Westin innovation and style to Melbourne now for 10 years, The Westin Melbourne has sold more than 1000 Heavenly Beds to guests; it displays a permanent art collection; and is now ready to 'refresh' the 262 rooms at a cost of $5.5 million.
The Westin Melbourne is offering a 10th Birthday Celebration package as well as special elements to add to your stay for $10. Package rates per room per night start at $315, guests can select an upgrade; an extra late 2pm check out; a pair of Heavenly bath towels to take home; 1000 bonus Starwood Preferred Guest points or 24 hour Internet access for only an additional $10 each.
if you haven't stayed at this lovely hotel give yourself a treat and enjoy a special weekend away in Melbourne. I would love to go back again, but they haven't forgiven me for stealing the King size mattress - they found me stuck in a lift with it!
More on The Westin Melbourne's 10th Birthday at www.westin.com.au/melbourne

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More and more Moorea

I just received a press release saying: "you deserve Tahiti". Well, yes, of course I do! Tahiti's magical Moorea Island is home to host of walking trails, water activities including dolphin watching, stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal clear lagoons and mountain peaks - something for everyone.

Elegant Resorts and Villas is offering a taste of Moorea in a seven-night package, staying five nights at the decadent Sofitel Moore la Ora Beach Resort in a luxury beach bungalow - ooh la la!

There's breakfast included for $3745 (twin share) and an option to upgrade to a superior overwater bungalow for only $330 per person. return economy airfares and taxes are included on Air Tahiti Nui from Sydney, along with a night before and after the Moorea stopover in a classic mountain view room in Tahiti's beautiful Sofitel Maeva Beach Resort along with all transfers - this offer is valid until 16 December 2010.

I do deserve a trip to Tahiti, now!

For more information on Tahiti go to http://www.tahitinow.com.au

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pearls & Opera in the Kimberley

In September, Get Up & Go will be sailing on the Orion in and around the Kimberley. This is a 'wish list' kind of holiday - but there's a couple of fantastic special cruises happening before I go, see below:
Exquisite pearls and fine opera combine as naturally as champagne and caviar or Orion and the Kimberley, and this year two Orion Kimberley voyages provide exclusive inclusions for those interested in the finer things in life.
Join either 10 night Orion voyage and receive an invitation to the highlight of Broome's cultural events calendar of the year, OPERA UNDER THE STARS®, featuring performers of national and international acclaim including soprano Antoinette Halloran, tenors Aldo Di Toro and Stuart Skelton, and baritone, James Clayton.
• 19 August 2010 Pearls of the Kimberley or
• 29 August 2010 Kimberley Expedition
In addition, the Pearls of the Kimberley voyage incorporates Orion’s first visit to Rowley Shoals plus a Paspaley Pearls special event held at their South Sea Pearl Farm, Kuri Bay, including a cocktail party featuring opera singers flown in for this exclusive private performance.
Both voyages include Orion’s signature Kimberley explorations highlighting the visual drama of 3000km of Kimberley coast with its ancient indigenous rock art, vast tidal changes, emerging reefs, dramatic waterfalls and prolific marine life – all experienced in a relaxed atmosphere of five star comfort under the watchful eye of 75 professional crew.
Visit: www.orionexpeditions.com

Monday, July 12, 2010

Packing tips

The key is to roll your cloths! And if you are backpacking take as little as possible! – Teddy Cook
Prepare the clothes you intend to take, then halve the pile. – Shenee Tuck
Yes, roll! And charge someone else with halving your pile before it goes in the bag! – Jane Nicholls
Passport and credit card is all you need. – Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan
Pack and then remove half of what you have packed. If you are going o/s take waterproof jacket and pants......you stand out like a sore thumb but heck it can be a life saver in some of the cold windy countries– Joan Morgan Pack a sarong to double as a towel, a large scarf to keep warm in flights and for a quick modesty fix, and house keys in the hand luggage! – Belle Jackson Never trust airlines - only check-in what you can afford to lose or at least be without for a few days. – Martyn Paterson
Always carry-on a spare set of clothes, toiletries, medications & leave a copy of your itinerary inside your suitcase.
If you are travelling on low-cost airlines - particularly in Europe where they prefer you to not check-in luggage - make sure your carry-on bag is big enough to switch heavy items from your suitcase.
·Always pack a large empty plastic bag in your suitcase when you leave home. Then stick all your unwashed clothes in it as you travel. This has saved me from the dirty sock horror many times. – Bruce Heilbruth
If doing a lot of road trips don’t wear white! Red, orange & pink are good colours in dusty areas! – Tiffany Snowdon
Any more for any more?
Post your tips now . . .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tin Can Mail

The tiny South Pacific island of Niuafo’ou in Tonga is also known as Tin Can Island. It's because Niuafo’ou has no harbour and no wharf, and in the early days of European visitation and settlement, during bad weather, passenger and cargo ships would give it a miss as there was no way of either landing or picking up freight or passengers.
But because mail was so important to the tiny community (there are still only around 650 people living there today) an ingenious local storekeeper came up with the idea of getting mail out to ships in bad weather by using old tin cans in which biscuits had earlier been delivered to his grocery store.
He put the mail inside the tins, soldered them up so they were watertight… and had a powerful local swim them on a floating pole out to ships standing in rough seas off the island.
Ship’s captains refilled the tins with the mail for Niuafo’ou, and the habit quickly became known as Tin Can Mail; a local postmaster later convinced the Tongan government to print special Tin Can Mail stamps for the island, and these are still used today and treasured by stamp collectors around the world.
Our pic shows a postcard mailed from the island in 1936 with the official Post Office cancellation DISPATCHED BY TIN CAN MAIL.
Written by David Ellis, who continues to seek out the weird and wacky from around the globe.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Picture perfect

Answering queries as to where the pictures on this month's banner came from, here you are:
the maze garden at Villa Parma, part of the Peppers Spring Resort in Daylesford, Victoria; detail of the ancient sandstone cliffs on Maria Island, Tasmania (read all about it in the October/spring edition of Get Up & Go); yoga students on the lawn of Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua, New Zealand and the outdoor cafe on top of Whistler mountain, BC Canada. I visited all these places in the name of Get Up & Go magazine . . . someone's got to do it.