Laura Bradley

November 16, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

Howard Smith Wharves unveils culinary team

Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves precinct has unveiled its culinary team. Joining the venue is David Finlayson, who hails from Scotland and has worked for award-winning tapas bars in Hong Kong and London, Patrick Friesen from Queen Chow in Sydney, Damien Styles, a Brisbane local who currently heads up The Fish House in Burleigh Heads, Steven Forrester, who has worked across the UK, France and Australia and Michael Hardy, who has just returned to Australia after working in Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu.


Opinion

It’s basically the Howard Smith Wharves version of the A Team, except there’s more of them, and their activities are completely unrelated.


Laura Bradley

November 16, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

Newest Melbourne hotel welcomes first guests

Ahead of its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 10, Novotel Melbourne Central and ibis Melbourne Central has completed a soft opening and welcomed its first guests. The dual-branded hotel, which has added 483 midscale and premium economy rooms to Melbourne’s hotel industry, is located on Little Lonsdale Street amid laneway dining and shopping precincts. In addition to its diverse array of rooms and suites, the hotel houses three restaurants and bars helmed by executive chef Michael Smith.


Opinion

I’m going to imagine this as a hotel opening surrounded by pillows and feathers.


Laura Bradley

November 16, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

When Adelaide came to town

Last night a group of Sydney-based event professionals met with industry representatives from Adelaide at Hacienda Sydney for the Adelaide Expo Hire event. The night allowed attendees to meet business development manager for the Adelaide Convention Bureau Casey Smith, business development manager for the Adelaide Convention Centre Laura Chapman and a range of employees from Adelaide Expo Hire. Guests also received an update on the city’s business events activity, which last year included more than 247 events.


Opinion

I was there! Thank you for the chocolate frog, and apologies to the Adelaideans that our famous Sydney weather was a no show.


Laura Bradley

November 15, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

AccorHotels cleans up at World Luxury Hotel Awards

The Annual World Luxury Hotel Awards, which took place in Bali on Saturday night, saw AccorHotels Pacific snag four coveted gongs. New Zealand’s Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown, MGallery by Sofitel took out the award for best Luxury Adventure Destination. Hotel of the arts, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was presented with the Luxury Historical Hotel award. AccorHotels’ French Polynesian properties, Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach and Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island were awarded Luxury Beach Resort and Luxury Honeymoon Hotel respectively.


Opinion

This title could be misinterpreted as a hotel giant providing janitorial duties. As far as I know, they did not.


Laura Bradley

November 15, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

New appointments for iconic NZ hotels

Chateau Tongariro Hotel and Wairakei Resort Taupo, two of New Zealand’s most iconic hotels, have just appointed two recruits to senior roles. David Stavert has joined the properties as general manager, replacing Kathy Guy who had been at the helm for two decades. David was most recently the general manager of The Sydney Boulevard Hotel. Lee Watkins has taken up the newly-created post of director of sales and marketing for the hotels, and previously worked in sales for the Auckland Convention Bureau.


Opinion

With Lee’s experience, it looks as though MICE groups will be a focus for the hotels!


Laura Bradley

November 15, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

IHG debuts voco brand on the Gold Coast

Along with Christmas stamps and a full set of polymer notes, Australia can add “voco hotel” to the list of things it’s achieved before any other country. IHG debuted the upscale brand on the Gold Coast yesterday, an occasion which brought together Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate and CEO of Destination Battista for ribbon cutting duties. Voco Gold Coast is situated in the heart of Surfers Paradise and features 389 rooms, two swimming pools and 800 square metres of event space.


Opinion

No one uses stamps anymore anyway, so I’m calling this the biggest Aussie achievement of our time.


Laura Bradley

November 14, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

Qantas announces direct flights to Uluru

From April next year, Qantas will operate a direct route between Uluru and both Darwin and Adelaide. The new twice per week route is expected to draw more people to Central Australia from Asia and Europe via Darwin, as well as strengthening the territory’s business event conditions. Flights between Alice Springs and Darwin will also be upgraded to B737 aircraft rather than B717s, delivering up to an extra 1300 seats per week on the route, including business class.


Opinion

Let’s just hope the prices aren’t astronomical. I mean… who said that?


Laura Bradley

November 14, 2018 · Sydney, Australia

Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ unveiled in Chinchilla

After a two-month, nation-wide pursuit by travel site Wotif to create Australia’s next oversized attraction, a nine-metre-wide watermelon, aptly named ‘The Big Melon’, has been unveiled in Chinchilla, Queensland. The Big Melon joins a cast of similar gargantuan fruits in the state, including the Big Pineapple and Big Mango, and beat out some stiff competition, such as The Big Tulip in Mittagong. Chinchilla is a town in the Western Downs region, and hosts a Melon Festival every second February.


Opinion

The uninitiated (tourists) must think we’re a right odd bunch. I was secretly gunning for the Big Tulip, but this is exciting news none the less.