|Australia’s Kings Canyon|
QT Sydney Opens on Site of Iconic Buildings
Design Hotels’ newest member in Australia, the QT Sydney, has opened in two of the city’s most iconic buildings: the historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theater. While the facades have been restored to their former glory, the interior has original features, curated digital art installations, eclectic artifacts and quirky design pieces inspired by the retail and theater history of the buildings. Architect Shelley Indyk kept the original timber floors from 1929 for the rooms in the Gowings Building. The adjacent State Theater rooms have exclusively designed Rothko-inspired carpets and rugs, along with bowler hat lamps and light fittings. The dark stone bathrooms have oversized signature baths and large separate showers with pin spot lighting.
Hilton to Open Noumea Hotel in 2013
In New Caledonia, Hilton Worldwide has signed a franchise agreement with GLP Hotels for a 154-room conversion project to be known as Hilton Noumea La Promenade Residence. The property, currently the La Promenade, opened in 2008 on Anse Vata Beach and will undergo a refurbishment before officially opening under the Hilton Hotels & Resorts banner in mid-2013. This will be the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts branded-property in Noumea. The hotel will have 21 Junior Suites, 68 Deluxe Suites, 20 Executive Suites and 45 Royal Suites and a restaurant, bar, health club and outdoor swimming pool.
Avalon Reports River Cruise Sales Up
Asia is witnessing growth in river cruise sales for 2013, according to Avalon Waterways. The company says its cruise sales in China for next year are up nearly 90 percent. Vietnam and Cambodia are showing even more promise, with river cruise sales on the Mekong up more than 150 percent for 2013.
Goway Offers Outback Desert Safaris
Guided four-wheel-drive Outback Desert Safari trips to Australia are among the latest offerings from Goway. The three-day/two-night Goanna Dreaming 4WD Camping Safari, priced from $685, visits Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Valley of the Winds and the Lost City. Camping equipment and meals are included. Also three days and two nights, Eco-Adventure Hotel Safari, starting at $2,688, includes hotel accommodations and meals and visits Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta, Walpa Gorge “Windy Gully” and Uluru.
Island Escapes Opens Fiji Airport Lounge
There’s a brand new lounge service for travelers departing from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport, courtesy of Islands Escapes. The Tabua Lounge offers a quiet space away from crowded terminals. After guests clear immigration, the lounge is a short walk away. Guests can enjoy hot and cold snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, free Wi-Fi, computer workstations and cable TV, as well as international and local magazines and newspapers.
Ibis Christchurch Reopens
Good news from Christchurch, New Zealand. In a further sign of the city’s rebirth since the 2011 earthquake: The Ibis Christchurch has reopened, becoming the first city center hotel to do so since the disaster.