LETTER FROM OVERSEAS EDITOR

Happy New Year! This year begins with a bang as we bring you the first ever HOT LISTS from Executive Edge Travel & Events. February Getaway reveals an index of the most extraordinary treasures which define the gold standard in international travel. We’ve selected the top hotels, cities, spas, restaurants, cruises, views, most romantic islands and ultimate adventures straight from the lips of our seasoned travel professionals – their favourite places of all time, in their words. It’s the best of the best. You won’t need any other list this year to inspire your next holiday.

At Executive Edge Travel & Events, we pride ourselves in delivering the best travel advice in Australia. The expertise, passion and knowledge about global travel at EE is unprecedented in Melbourne and it’s prime time we showcase our very own version of worldwide gold lists. Seven of our senior leisure consultants, including two of our directors, have compiled their very own HOT LISTS which constitute custom-made individual choices from around the globe based upon their endless travel experiences. Each list provides fresh insights, special discoveries and unique perspectives from the most discerning avid travelers in the business. Our consultants will share with you the type of personal, inside information tourists never get.

Getaway 2010 delivers new sections including Edge Travel Tips, Edge Check In, Edge View, Edge Events and Edge Web to aid in your travel pursuits. In Edge Web this month we spotlight Haiti and its need for relief contributions. Please go to www.redcross.org/ to donate what you can. Also, be sure to check out Edge Check In for this month’s Editor hotel pick – a unique or buzz worthy hotel around the globe for you to literally check into. Want to be aesthetically awed? Edge View illuminates a formidable view somewhere in the world which you have to see for yourself to believe. It might even spawn your next holiday….

So cheers to 2010’s holidays! I wish you grand adventures this year which reaffirm your enduring passion for travel.

Sincerely, Kimberly Rosbe

Editor at Large

FEATURE

1st Annual Worldwide HOT LISTS

SALLY’S HOT LIST

Off the Beaten Track Find – Namibia

Villa Rental Pick – Cabris, Southern France (Cottages and Castles)

Best Small Boutique Property – Mollies in Auckland

Favorite Travel Experience – Croatia

Most Romantic Place in the World – Evason Hideway Resort Koh Samui

YVONNE’S HOT LIST

Off the Beaten Track Pick – Wild Canopy Resort Mudamalai, India

Best Boutique Hotel – Amanjiwo, Java

Best View – Walking Cinque Terre, Italy

Favourite Travel Experience – Luang Prabang, Laos

Secret Hideway – La Chevre D’Or, Eze, France

GINETTE’S HOT LIST

Off the Beaten Track Pick – Mekong Delta in Vietnam/Cambodia

Best Restaurant – Maison Boulud, Beijing

Best View – Qualia, Hamilton Island

Most Romantic Place in the World – Soneva Gili, Maldives

Favourite Travel Experience – Kruger National Park, South Africa

SHIRLEY’S HOT LIST

Favourite Cruise Destination – South America

Off the Beaten Track Find – Hakone Open Air Museum, Tokyo

Greatest Adventure – Hot Air Ballooning over the Serengeti, Tanzania

Best View Restaurant – Aquaroma, Hong Kong

Favourite Museum – Frick Museum, New York

DEBRA’S HOT LIST

Best Restaurant – M on the Bund, Shanghai

Favourite Large Hotel – Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Best View – Grand Canyon

Favourite Travel Experience – Centara Grand Beach Resort Koh Samui

Choice City – New York

AMY’S HOT LIST

Best Family Island – Castaway Island, Fiji

Off the Beaten Track Find- Bungle Bungles, The Kimberley

Best View – Cable Beach, Broome

Most Romantic Place in the World – Club Med Kani Maldives

Favourite Large Hotel – Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

ANTHONY’S HOT LIST

Best Destination Spa – Six Senses Erawan, Phuket

Choice City – Seoul, South Korea

Best View – Felix Bar Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

Best Airline – Malaysia Airlines

Favourite Restaurant – Kah Jok See, Phuket

NamibiaSossusvlei Sand Dunes, Namibia

SALLY BIRD
Director

QUOTE: “Africa. There is no place more awe-inspiring. I’ve been there four times and the continent’s rawness and authenticity never fail to amaze me. For most travelers, Africa can be very daunting as it’s so vast and offers a completely different experience in every country. Having been to so many of Africa’s unique countries on my own and with groups and witnessed many of the variations it has to offer, I can say with confidence that I could suggest the perfect African holiday for any occasion.”

EXPERTISE: Africa, Southern France, Thailand, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong

HOT LIST

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK FIND – Namibia

Namibia offers the most contrasting landscapes of any country I’ve seen but all of Namibia’s great wonders do need patience to get there. Some of the places are eerily silent and to me Namibia embodied a sort of pre-historic feel. Even though it’s off the beaten track, I would still return as I found it mesmerizing.

VILLA RENTAL PICK – Cabris, France

Last summer my husband and I rented a villa in a tiny village in the South of France called Cabris through a company called Cottages and Castles. It certainly wasn’t about the luxury facilities or décor of the villa, it was ALL about the location, the view, the vibe and authenticity of the little village. My vision of renting a villa in France involved daily croissants and coffee from the friendly patisserie in a charming French village just a short walk away with access to fresh local produce, quaint restaurants, stunning views and friendly people. I wanted to feel like a local for a short while. Cabris had all this to offer and more.

BEST SMALL BOUTIQUE PROPERTY – Mollies in Auckland

Mollies is a beautifully furnished, but not too precious, small boutique hotel that feels like a house but with the excellent service of a 5-star hotel. The owner takes great pride in her “house,” greeting all the guests personally and even supporting local artists and entertainers with small performances almost nightly in the foyer, which is like seeing a show in your very own living room. It has an eclectic but very elegant dining room/restaurant which does an incredible degustation menu that shouldn’t be missed.

FAVORITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE – Croatia

Island-hopping in Croatia remains my favorite travel experience. For something that was unplanned I never felt uncomfortable or uneasy. I was just pleasantly surprised by everything including the pristine waters, the incredible scenery, delicious food and wine, fabulous people and low cost. I found it really affordable for Europe. They are still catching up in terms of hotels/resorts in Croatia but if you manage your expectations, you won’t be disappointed.

MOST ROMANTIC PLACE IN THE WORLD – Evason Hideaway Resort Koh Samui

There are so many romantic places in the world but for me this place topped my list. How could it not? We had 180-degree views of the ocean from our decadent but not pretentious villa. We had our own private plunge pool overlooking the ocean. We had a bath that offered panoramic views of the water. We had 24-hour butler service. We had total privacy. We had our own wine fridge and beautiful fresh food delivered to our villa. We even had our own private beach. We had everything a romantic holiday could possibly include.

JavaBuddhist Temple Borobudur, Java

YVONNE VERSTANDIG
Director

QUOTE: “I have a passion for all aspects of travel. I love big cities as well as small towns and quaint provinces. I am happy in both the cold and the heat. I get a thrill out of adventure and action but can still enjoy time out on a stunning beach for some much needed R & R. I would travel to any part of the planet in search of my next unforgettable experience. Most of all I really get a thrill out of the extraordinary experience and not the ordinary! My passion for travel drives me to go the extra mile for my clients and find something unique and special for every trip I create together with them.”

EXPERTISE: adventure and experiential travel, ski destinations, India, Oman, Thailand, Indochina, Spain, Italy, cruising, family holidays

HOT LIST

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK PICK – Wild Canopy Resort Mudamalai, India

Our family spent 2 nights ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ style in tree houses in central Karnataka, India. We actually had to climb a long wooden ladder up to our abode high in the trees. The tree house was a 2 bedroom, 2 level house equipped with all the necessities (ie. shower/toilet), so once we were up there we didn’t need to come down until our early morning walk in search of tiger and leopard. We did take time to fall asleep, though, lying awake with smiles on our faces as our tree house shook from the vibrations of nearby wild elephants passing by. In daylight we swam in water holes, 4-wheeled through the jungle alongside running boars, trekked for wildcats and visited shelters for injured monkeys.

BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL – Amanjiwo, Java

I recently celebrated a special anniversary with my husband at this tranquil property in Borobudur, central Java. Not only was the resort itself an architectural wonder (built in the same design as the 8th century Buddhist Temple Borobudur) but the 32 individual villas were each a private haven to return to after the day’s activities. Staying in an Aman resort is an experience in itself. All staff know who you are, which villa you are staying in, how you like your breakfast served, when you are about to leave the resort, when you are returning, when you have your massage booked, etc. We had our own private driver and guide at hand to lead us on our treks and cycle trip. One morning we went on a cycle trip through the nearby villages for a few hours until finally I noticed something that I hadn’t as of yet…and that was a tourist! One of the trip’s highlights was visiting the spectacular Borobudur temple at sunset. We partook in a half hour private meditation session in a temple that was opened just for us and then spent an hour listening to Buddhist monks chanting. When we thought it couldn’t get better than this, we were taken to the resort’s tobacco fields where dinner was waiting. Romantically lit by lanterns, we lounged on a daybed in the middle of these fields with our own chef and waiter serving up local Javanese food.

BEST VIEW – Walking Cinque Terre, Italy

Hundreds of photos later and hours on our feet, my family and I managed to walk from the southernmost village of Cinque Terre, Riamaggiore, to the northernmost village of Monterosso. Cinque Terre comprises five villages that dot a portion of the rugged coastline along the Italian Riviera. The walk is not only an endurance test but the most exquisite day’s hike. The views are stunning from every turn but perhaps the most surreal of them all was the view approaching Vernazza from the south. We pinched ourselves as we looked down upon this colourful fishing village which snakes its way down the cliff all the way to the sea with shops and little pizzerias lining tiny lanes with white and red checkered tablecloths. A welcome sight as we were starving!

FAVOURITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE – Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is a quaint and spiritual Unesco listed town in Laos – a hidden gem and the highlight for my family and I on our recent trip to Indochina. It was just our style – the combination of a truly mystical town with stunning scenery, culture and adventure. We had a couple of action packed days riding mountain bikes, trekked through unspoiled countryside to a nearby hill tribe, elephant safaris, kayaking and boat trips down the Khan and Mekong Rivers and zip lining through the forest. Every night we returned to the quiet streets of Luang Prabang to witness the orange robed monks walking amongst the temples and stupors that are such a feature in this small village.

SECRET HIDEAWAY – La Chevre D’Or, France

High up in the hills above the coastal villages of Villefranche and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in the South of France lies the medieval village of Eze. This quaint village is a pedestrian only village where the tiny cobblestone streets wind their way up to a zenith view of the Cote D’Azur. Walking through these lanes you pass many little doors and archways, the majority of them belonging to shops. But there are a number of them that actually are the rooms and suites of La Chevre D’or. Little does the passing tourist realize that behind these doors lie the beautiful rooms of a special Relais & Chateaux property. In fact, we often got lost ourselves when trying to find our way back to our room as the hotel is spread throughout the village and hidden so well. We really felt immersed within medieval France with no one realizing that we were even staying there…a true secret hideaway.

JavaSoneva Gili Maldives

GINETTE PETERFREUND
Senior Leisure Consultant

QUOTE: “There must be some gypsy in my genes. I am never happier than when I travel encountering human ingenuity complementing nature’s grandeur. What a partnership! After 10 years in the travel business, I still look forward to every trip. The pleasure I share planning clients’ itineraries immerses me in different cultures which enriches my knowledge and my senses. Travel broadens my mind and also my smile.”

EXPERTISE: India, Asia (in particular Bali, Cambodia and Vietnam), Paris

HOT LIST

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK PICK – Mekong Delta in Vietnam/Cambodia

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is a fertile agricultural zone filled with history and culture. Chugging along the Mekong River travelers can see people working the land as they have for centuries plying their products on river boats. Bankside villages provide glimpses of traditional lifestyles. The rich countryside is evident in the abundant production of rice, vegetables and fruit. Floating farms, floating homes, floating boats crowd the river which is the main artery of southeast Vietnam. Amazingly, cultural differences are evident as the border to Cambodia is crossed. Neighbouring nations express their different characters immediately through the architectural differences.

BEST RESTAURANT – Maison Boulud, Beijing

Adjacent to Tiananmen Square the former United States embassy has wryly been transformed into an impressive eating establishment. Maison Boulud serves exquisite French inspired food using the best of local produce. Attentive staff display an awareness of the art of fine dining. Find pleasure in this fine gastronomic experience in an unexpected political venue.

BEST VIEW – Qualia, Hamilton Island

No views are better than those at Qualia, Australia’s premium holiday resort on Hamilton Island. From the moment the plane circles the coral atolls and dips over the turquoise seas, the Whitsunday Islands promise a tropical paradise. And each of Qualia’s elegantly contemporary pavilions provide breathtakingly unbroken views of the Whitsunday Passage through their floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Every scenic pinnacle is matched by service, food and product of the loftiest standard.

MOST ROMANTIC PLACE IN THE WORLD – Soneva Gili, Maldives

At Soneva Gili guests arrive at their utterly private overwater bungalows by speedboat and can step right into the ocean from their bungalow deck. A twenty minute walk encircles the small island where paradise is found. Water is everywhere with aquatic sports of every kind available. Every desire is catered for. Snorkeling, diving, island hopping, luxurious spa treatments, delicious food – Soneva Gili pampers the body and the soul.

FAVOURITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE – Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park in South Africa is an iconic safari destination. At Sabi Sabi travelers encounter ‘The Big Five’ in their natural habitat viewed at close range from open air vehicles. Flying in to Sabi Sabi passengers can pass over a herd of elephants lumbering along with their family. Transferring to the luxury compound, guests are greeted by a giraffe sentry at the hotel gates. African themed rooms with décor by local artisans evoke the native culture.

JavaMasai Village, Tanzania

SHIRLEY BORDEN
Senior Leisure Consultant & Master Cruiser

QUOTE: “My area of expertise is international travel with an emphasis on incorporating cruising. I’ve been in the industry more than 25 years and have travelled to approximately 75% of the places most clients would like to see. I’ve obtained my accreditation with the cruise council at a Masters Level more than seven years ago. I specialize in business and first-class travel and service is what is most important to me. I always say, “You are only as good as your last sale.”

EXPERTISE: International First Class Travel; cruising specialist

HOT LIST

FAVOURITE CRUISE DESTINATION – South America

Cruising is becoming more popular every year. Board your cruise ship and you are transported to another world – a floating hotel with restaurants, tours and entertainment and all you have to do is unpack and decide what to do. I have done too many cruises to count over the years, but forced to choose I’d say that South America is my favourite cruising destination. The sights are really special from the fjords of Chile to the large cities of Buenos Aires and Rio De Janeiro to little known places such as Parati (a world listed heritage township) in Brazil to the magic of the Amazon. Cruising South America you also have a few days at sea which gives you the opportunity to enjoy the cruise ship – the art auctions, bridge classes, computer classes, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, bingo, gambling and much more.

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK FIND – Hakone Open Air Museum

Ninety minutes by train away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, Japan, is Hakone National Park. Within the park is the Hakone Open Air Museum which was opened in 1969. This is the permanent home of approximately 120 works of sculpture including Rodin, Picasso, Henry Moore, Miro and an amazing array of contemporary sculptors. The setting creates a balance of art and nature with beautiful views of the surrounding valleys and mountains that change with the seasons.

GREATEST ADVENTURE – Hot Air Ballooning over the Serengeti, Tanzania

An experience of a lifetime with spellbinding photo opportunities from a different perspective was in store for me when I hot air ballooned over the Serengeti in Tanzania. Airborne you can simply enjoy floating over treetops and waterholes watching all the animals below. Take in the scenery and the panoramic beauty of the Serengeti. Landing catch your breath, drink champagne, enjoy an English breakfast on the plains with silver and china, and toast to one of the most memorable adventures of your life.

BEST VIEW RESTAURANT – Aquaroma, Hong Kong

Situated on the 29th floor, this restaurant combines wonderful food and astounding views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. The perspective from the floor to ceiling windows really allows you to appreciate how Hong Kong has grown and the lights make you feel that you have been transported to another city. The menu is large and you can choose from either Italian or Japanese. There is also a trendy bar to just have drinks and snacks while taking in the panorama of Hong Kong.

FAVOURITE MUSEUM – Frick, New York City

Henry Clay Frick made his fortune in the steel industry. In 1914 he built a home which showcased his collection of European art. I think Frick is one of the nicest museums in New York City since you feel you are in someone’s private home. Start your tour with a free video presentation in the Music Room and afterwards take advantage of the personal audio tour as you wander around this intimate and wonderfully organized museum. Do not leave without visiting the gardens at this lovely house.

JavaOne Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

DEBRA EUSTICE
Senior Leisure Consultant

QUOTE: “April 2010 will find me celebrating 30 years selling retail travel – OMG! I have mainly handled clients who are looking at the tourist side of travel, city stays, sightseeing, attractions with a more mainstream focus rather than exotic or off the beaten track destinations. Honeymooners, senior travelers, first time travelers have always been a large portion of my clients. Over the years I have won awards from Trafalgar Tours and Qantas Holidays and owned my own retail travel agency for 7 years before coming to Edge.”

EXPERTISE: 4-star holidays; coach tours of Europe, UK, US, Canada, China, Asia, Australia; mainstream cruising

HOT LIST

BEST RESTAURANT – M on the Bund, Shanghai

Located in a historic Nissin shipping building constructed in 1921 with amazing views of the historic Bund and the modern Pudong skyline across the river, you’ll find a truly memorable fine dining experience at M on the Bund. Serving up modern European food, classic favorites together with a mixture of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.

FAVOURITE LARGE HOTEL – Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

The Mandarin Oriental is an iconic Bangkok hotel in operation for 130 years situated on the Caho Phrya River. The hotel has been home to many famous celebrities and royalties over the years. Each time I stay at the “Oriental” it’s like coming home – a luxury hotel with a feeling of warmth and friendliness with a staff which never seems to change and who goes out of their way to make everyone feel special.

BEST VIEW – Grand Canyon

Visually overwhelming in size, 446 km long, width from 6.4 km to 29 km and depth 1.93 km, the Grand Canyon just takes your breath away. Whether you hike or take a mule ride down into it, take a helicopter flight over it, or gaze at the stars above it, the Grand Canyon is awe-inspiring. With 6 hotels located in the national park area, the canyon also provides one of the best hotel views I have ever experienced.

FAVOURITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE – Centara Grand Beach Resort Koh Samui

Since I generally visit Koh Samui every second year, my colleagues asked why I keep returning. Well the answer is easy. Koh Samui is a relaxing, casual, time out holiday for me. A week on Chaweng Beach at Centara Grand Beach Resort and the stresses of everyday life fade away. Early morning walks on the beach followed by breakfast then lying in the sun or under a palm tree with a good book is my idea of pure bliss. In the afternoons I explore the markets whilst investigating restaurant choices for that evening. Cocktails on the beach at sunset followed by a sumptuous meal and a night cap before heading off to my big comfy bed and then it all starts again the next day.

CHOICE CITY – New York

“Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today,” as the song famously proclaims. So many things to see, so many places to go, one stay is never long enough. Soho, Greenwich Village, Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, Broadway, Central Park, Times Square, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, The Guggenheim, Ground Zero, Grand Central Station, The Yankees, countless restaurants and shops, just to name a few. Manhattan is so easy to get around via the subway instead of expensive taxis. The feeling you get when you are in New York is that you are as big as those skyscrapers and you can conquer the world!

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EDGE WEB

Donate for Haiti

Edge Web connects to the world through interactive sites for world travelers and citizens of humanity. This month we spotlight the unthinkable earthquake disaster in Haiti in hopes we can lend a hand. On January 12th a series of strong earthquakes struck Haiti devastating the already impoverished country and all but destroying its capital Port-au-Prince claiming over 150,000 lives to date. Nothing short of a global army of aid is needed right now. The people of Haiti require action from the international community to support emergency relief and development efforts. Please go to http://www.redcross.org/ and click on DONATE NOW. Any little contribution can make a world of difference when everyone pitches in.

EDGE VIEW

Norway’s Northern Lights

Vincent Van Gogh once said, “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” Norway’s Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle personify his vision. Edge View will focus upon a breathtaking view somewhere in the world which commands a trip to see. This March cruise the dramatic Norway coastline to above the Arctic Circle to experience this mysterious and elusive vision for yourselves.

EDGE CHECK IN

Boath House & Spa, Scotland

Don your favourite plaid wool tweeds and make your way through sheep-lined rural roads to Scotland’s Highlands and the beautiful Boath House & Spa. The eight-room Regency mansion lovingly restored ten years ago by Don and Wendy Matheson is set on 20 acres of manicured gardens near a picturesque lake in classic Scottish grandeur. Highlights include the hotel’s art gallery housing the works of over 30 locals artists, and of course, Michelin Star Slow Food Chef Charles Lockley. His 6-course daily changing menu uses seasonal produce and organic specialties from the hotels’ very own gardens.

www.boath-house.com

EDGE TIPS

Staying Healthy in the Air

How many of us have boarded a plane perfectly healthy only to come down with a cold or worse soon after the flight? Cramped conditions and deoxygenated cabins present a challenge to our immune systems. This year the global swine flu epidemic heightened our anxieties while flying. Never fear – use these two simple tips to remain well when in the air.

  1. The most common way to contract an illness while flying is to pick up a bug from a contaminated surface. So after you touch overhead bins, lavatory doors and tray tables, wash your hands. If you can’t wash your hands, use antibacterial wipes or alcohol-based sanitizer hand gels.
  2. Dehydration can exacerbate flu symptoms and weakens the immune system, so perpetually drink water before, during and after your flight. Avoid carbonated and alcohol drinks. Not only will you feel better by keeping hydrated, but maintaining fluid levels helps your body ward off a host of other maladies.

EDGE EVENTS

Edge Events in Getaway will keep you updated with the latest upcoming functions, events and occasions for our leisure and corporate clients. Stay tuned…

EDGE PHOTO COMPETITION

Edge Around the World

New year, new winners! Edge Around the World Photo Contest continues into 2010 as long as the entries keep coming. This month’s sentimental photo which captured the judges eye was submitted by Caitlin Faiman in front of the Colosseum in Rome. Congrats Caitlin! Please see Yvonne Verstandig to accept your travel prize.

Our well-traveled clients, keep sending your entries. Next issue coming out beginning of April, our favourite client’s photo will be chosen and featured in GETAWAY and receive a gorgeous travel prize. For consideration in the April issue, entries must be received by March 10th. (details below)

Simply shoot and win! Executive Edge Travel & Events continues its all-client worldwide competition with exciting bi-monthly travel prizes. Everyone can participate and has a chance to win. Only three simple steps to enter:

  1. Book your trip with Executive Edge Travel.
  2. Take a photo in a fantastic unique location of you or your family which clearly displays the Executive Edge white travel wallet or other Edge promotional material. The better the background, the more spectacular the setting, the more likely you will be chosen.
  3. Email your photo, name and location to our Office Manager Athina Morfis at athinam@executiveedge.com.au

1st Annual Worldwide HOT LISTS (cont’d)

Java

El Questro, The Kimberleys, Australian Outback

AMY WASBUTZKI
Senior Leisure Consultant

QUOTE: “I am a huge fan of Club Med. I have a young family and repeatedly find that Club Med vacations offer the ideal holiday experience. Our children are always entertained and love Club Med’s Kids Club leaving time for my husband and me to relax by the pool. Then we can reconvene as a family in the afternoons and spend time together swimming or enjoying any number of activities. Nighttime brings dinner and a show and the best part is that everything is inclusive – meals/entertainment/drinks.”

EXPERTISE: Club Med Holidays; Fiji, Asia, Europe, America, Mauritius

HOT LIST

BEST FAMILY ISLAND

Castaway Island, Fiji

My children still talk about our holiday on this small magnificent island in Fiji. We stayed in a traditional beach bure and whilst the kids ran around with their new found friends, my husband and I went snorkeling, kayaking, and relaxed on the beach gazing out at the pristine turquoise water. Castaway Island is the perfect place for families who appreciate a boutique atmosphere. It has one pool, one restaurant and a pizzeria. This is actually ideal as you feel very safe and everything you need is within reach.

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK FIND

Bungle Bungles, The Kimberley

In the Kimberley region in Western Australia, the Bungle Bungles are incredible towering rock dome formations only discovered in the 1980’s. I went on a helicopter ride over the Bungles (absolutely petrifying, by the way, as there were no doors!) then we camped in luxurious tents in the bush. Magnificent walks and nature at its best.

BEST VIEW

Cable Beach, Broome

I was with a group having drinks and nibbles whilst watching the sunset at Cable Beach and I’ve never experienced a sunset like that. The colours were magnificent shades of pink, orange and yellow and we were all mesmerized at the vision before us.

MOST ROMANTIC PLACE IN THE WORLD

Club Med Kani Maldives

At Club Med Kani we stayed in an overwater bungalow. The crystal clear water was a magnificent turquoise and an absolute pleasure to wake up to each day. Every morning our ritual was to slip off the end of our personal pier into the 30-degree water and linger before breakfast in total privacy.

FAVOURITE LARGE HOTEL

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

Fantastic city property next to the Petronis Towers. The hotel is elegant and extravagant with luxurious yet very comfortable rooms. The attentive staff couldn’t do enough for you and the service was outstanding.

Java Six Senses Erawan, Phuket

ANTHONY BROWNRIGG
Senior Leisure & Corporate Consultant

QUOTE: “After working as a travel agent for 16 years in virtually every capacity, boutique leisure and corporate travel is where I belong. I believe that having worked in so many different environments within the industry I have been afforded countless wonderful experiences and resources. As a result, if I don’t know the answer to something, I certainly know who will.”

EXPERTISE: All of Asia

HOT LIST

BEST DESTINATION SPA

Six Senses Erawan, Phuket

You’ll find a very private tranquil setting despite Six Senses’ easy accessibility from Phuket Airport. A short drive to the marina followed by a 5 minute launch transfer to experience fantastic ‘fishetarian’ cuisine, too good to be true massages, and an abundance of activities. Mobile phones are not allowed to complete the escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Travelers will leave feeling totally rejuvenated.

CHOICE CITY

Seoul, South Korea

In Seoul the virtues are endless – boasting the consecutively rated best airport in the world, friendly and polite locals, abundant shopping, scrumptious Korean BBQ and a clean, easily accessible city.

BEST VIEW

Felix Bar Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

Arrive when the sun is setting to watch the light show over Hong Kong Harbour. The Felix Bar serves up chic cocktails to a funky crowd amidst its Philippe Starck design. Always the ideal starting point for a night out on the town in Hong Kong.

BEST AIRLINE

Malaysia Airlines

Competitively priced top tier carrier with multiple flights each day out of most major capital cities in Australia and an excellent worldwide network. Superb business class product and cabin crews which continually win top accolades. Good connections in Kuala Lumpur with many stopover packages available which include domestic flights within Malaysia. KLIA is also a well-appointed and traveler friendly airport with the KLIA Express train taking travelers quickly and easily into central KL for excellent shopping in between flights.

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT

Kah Jok See, Phuket

Hidden away just out of the main drag of Phuket town, Kah Jok See has excellent Thai cuisine, jazz tunes and a well-heeled crowd of locals and international visitors.