Atlantis, The Palm review, Dubai: This is the ultimate fly-and-flop destination

Bangalay Luxury Villas, Shoalhaven Heads review: A truly restful retreat on the NSW South Coast

Banyan Tree Bintan review, Indonesia: A little bit of Bali that’s 45 minutes from Singapore

Blackbird Byron review, NSW: An adults only highlight of the hinterland

Hinterland accommodation at Mullumbimby Creek, NSW. Photo: Supplied Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE What was once a banana farm in the rolling hills of the Byron Bay hinterland seduced James and Stella Hudson away from the hustle of the central Sydney bar scene. The bush, the birds and the aspect didn’t hurt either. They arrived, […]

Capitol Tokyu hotel review, Japan: Lobby by famous architect Kengo Kuma

The design of the lattice-like, timber-clad lobby was intended to create a calm, elegant and distinctively Japanese ambience and environment for guests. Photo: Getty Images Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE When this posh 251-room Tokyo hotel first commissioned “starchitect” Kengo Kuma to design the building’s lobby, they couldn’t have imagined the considerable […]

Cruise ship review: Scenic Eclipse sets new standards for ocean cruising

A Deluxe Verandah Suite on Scenic Eclipse. Photo: Ulli Seer Our rating 5 out of 5 THE SHIP Scenic has won a loyal following with its fleet of impressive river cruisers and its all-inclusive philosophy. The sleek Scenic Eclipse, designed to look more like a superyacht than a cruise ship, is the company’s first ocean-going […]

Elizabeth Unique Hotel review, Rome: A true beauty in every sense of the term

Elizabeth Unique Hotel, Rome. THE PLACE Every hotel, even the bad ones, are unique in their own way but if it there’s something that makes this extremely good Rome hotel unique, as per its moniker, it’s the fact that with its delicate, pleasingly feminine tonings, it feels rather more Parisian in style than Roman. Most […]

Airline review: FlyDubai economy class, Dubai to Almaty, Kazakhstan

FlyDubai Boeing 737-800s takes off. Photo: Supplied THE ROUTE Flight EK2216/FZ735 Dubai to Almaty (Kazakhstan) THE AIRCRAFT FlyDubai operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800s (it also has 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, but these remain grounded, restricting the airline’s capacity). CLASS Economy, seat 15C (aisle). THE LOYALTY SCHEME FlyDubai shares Emirates’ Skyward Miles […]

Airline review: Vietnam Airlines 787 business class, Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney

Business class on board Vietnam Airlines’ 787 Dreamliner. THE ROUTE VN773, Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney THE PLANE Boeing 787-900 THE LOYALTY SCHEME Lotus Miles, compatible with SkyTeam alliance Vietnam Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Chad Slattery CLASS Business, seat 1D (aisle) DURATION 7 hours, 35 minutes GOING GREEN Vietnam Airlines is renewing its […]

Gezi Hotel Bosphorus review, Istanbul, Turkey: The best views in town

A deluxe Bosphorus view room. Photo: DCM Here’s something I didn’t know about Istanbul before visiting for the first time recently. It’s not just a city split in two by the Bosphorus, the strait that connects the Black Sea and, eventually, the Mediterranean; the western (European) side of the city is also divided, by an inlet called the Golden […]

Glass bridge in China breaks, trapping tourist 100m above ground

The tourist was trapped 100 metres above ground after glass panels in the Piyan Mountain bridge fell out during high winds. Photo: Supplied High winds in north-east China’s Jilin province led to a glass bridge shattering on Friday, trapping an unlucky tourist 100 metres up on Piyan Mountain, Longjing. After it shattered, pieces of glass […]

Hoshinoya Tokyo, Japan hotel review: A traditional Japanese inn reinvented for city living

The front desk at Hoshinoya Tokyo. Photo: Masashi Kuma Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE The 84-room Hoshinoya Tokyo, which opened in 2016, has achieved the impossible: a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, experience in the heart of the city. Hoshino Resorts is an upscale Japanese chain focused on local culture and tradition, […]

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow review: A luxurious introduction to the mood of Moscow

The majestic Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow. Photo: Supplied Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE Moscow is a fascinating city, with landmarks of its colourful and turbulent history around almost every corner. So what could be better than staying in a place that has borne witness to all that turmoil, played an active role in […]

Hotel Figueroa, Downtown Los Angeles: A boutique hotel with a feminist backstory

Hotel Figueroa, Downtown LA. Carved into the original walls throughout Downtown LA’s historic Hotel Figueroa is a curious insignia, an inverted triangle that appears faintly Masonic, or perhaps a mysterious clue from a Dan Brown novel. It is, in fact, the original iconography of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), a womb-like representation of feminine […]

Hotel Gardena Grodnerhof review, South Tyrol, Italy: A gourmet hotel and spa that wholly deserves its accolades

Outdoor whirlpool, Gardena Grodnerhof Hotel & Spa. Photo: Supplied Our rating 5 out of 5 THE PLACE Hotel Gardena Grodnerhof is a 54-room, multi-award-winning member of the Relais & Chateaux group. Ortisei, its home, is a neat and affluent little town in northern Italy’s Dolomites, and a fine base for exploring the World Heritage area at any time of year. Cable cars […]

Hotel Indigo Review, Bali: Packed with personality

The pool at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach, Bali. Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach THE LOCATION You’ll have a front row seat for Seminyak’s famous sunsets here, thanks to the hotel’s position slap bang on Double Six beach. Stretching 4.7 hectares back from the sea, the lobby end […]

Hotel review: Fullerton Sydney, heritage to the letter

The hulking Italian Renaissance Palazzo-style building is now looking a treat, but the spectacular ornate atrium-like interior of the historic section of the hotel, which is enclosed by a massive glass roof, also commands full attention. Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE If there was ever a company best positioned to rebadge the […]

St. Regis Venice hotel review: There’s nothing more desirable than this location

The St. Regis bar. Photo: Niall Clutton THE PLACE St. Regis Venice THE LOCATION Just four minutes’ walk from St. Mark’s Square, hard by the designer shops lining the Calle XXII Marzo, the St. Regis Venice could not be more centrally located. Yet this is a hotel that hides in plain sight; to reach the entrance, you […]

Hotel review: Zephyr Mountain Lodge, Winter Park, Colorado, US

Zephyr Mountain Lodge, Winter Park Resort. Photo: Carl Frey Winter Park Read our writer’s views on this property below THE PLACE In Grand County, Colorado, Winter Park Resort sits at 2743 metres and offers more than 1200 hectares of diverse skiable terrain. The valley is surrounded by the Arapaho National Forest and the wilderness areas […]

Hotel Son Brull, Mallorca, Spain, review: An effortless blend of the historic and the contemporary

The heated infinity pool is surrounded by daybeds and the sunny terrace has views across an ancient olive grove. Photo: Supplied. Our rating 5 out of 5 THE PLACE Hotel Son Brull, which sits at the foothills of northern Mallorca’s craggy Serra de Tramuntara mountain range, was a Jesuit monastery 300 year ago and 600 years before that, an Arab […]

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk review, San Antonio, Texas: Down by the riverside

San Antonio’s Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. Photo: Supplied Our rating 4 out of 5 THE PLACE When Hotel Valencia Riverwalk opened in San Antonio in 2003, the Texan city was abuzz about its first boutique hotel, but after 14 years it was getting a little frayed around the edges. After a $US10 million top-to-bottom renovation in […]

Keio Plaza Tokyo hotel review: An easy, spacious stay with a view of Mt Fuji

A king room at the Keio. Photo: Nacasa & Partners inc. THE PLACE When the Keio train line built a 48-storey 1435-room hotel near its station in Shinjuku in 1971 it looked over fields, houses and a water treatment plant. Today Shinjuku is the high-rise 24-hour beating heart of Tokyo, but the newly-improved Keio Plaza […]

Knickerbocker Hotel review, New York: The perfect spot to enjoy a bite of the Big Apple

Rooftop views over New York. Photo: Nikolas Koenig Our rating 5 out of 5 THE PLACE The Knickerbocker was reportedly the first luxury hotel in Times Square when it opened in 1906. It played host to legendary political heavyweights, actresses, oil tycoons and sports figures but closed 15 years later because of financial distress. It […]

Meson Panza Verde hotel review, Antigua, Guatemala

Meson Panza Verde Restaurant, La Sala. It is a sad truth universally acknowledged by budget travellers, that you can usually afford to spend only one night in a “splash out hotel”. You know, the posh hotel you luxuriate in for 24 hours to help soften the blow of the other cheap motels, Airbnbs or hostels […]

Montage Beverly Hills, California review: Supreme comfort and service

The mosaic-tiled pool is on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Photo: Supplied Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE Montage Beverly Hills, a Spanish Colonial Revival style building of more than 200 rooms including 55 suites, evokes old-world Hollywood glamour, despite its relative youth. Opened in 2008, a sweeping driveway with two Californian fan […]

Norfolk Island accommodation review: A stay on Australia’s remote ecological wonderland

This comfortable house at Anson Bay is perched on a spectacular clifftop between a deep blue sea and a verdantly vegetated, seabird-besieged hillside, festooned with endemic Norfolk Pines. THE PLACE The beautiful people may bay for Byron Bay. The celebrities may lord it up on Lord Howe Island. But in these challenging times, ordinary folk […]

Qvest Hideway hotel review, Cologne, Germany: Surpasses every expectation

Qvest Hotel in Cologne. Photo: Supplied THE PLACE Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany, renowned for the 12 Romanesque churches in its old town – you can barely turn your head in the city without seeing a church spire. THE LOCATION Cologne is my partner’s hometown and we wanted to stay somewhere historic and […]

Raffles Istanbul review, Turkey: A superb hotel in one of the world’s greatest cities

What the contemporary Raffles Istanbul lacks in history, it compensates for with an abundance of culture and style. Photo: Supplied Our rating 5 out of 5 THE PLACE You could be forgiven for believing that there’s only one Raffles and, in a sense, you’d be right. The historic Raffles Singapore recently unveiled an impressive and […]

Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges hotel review: Superb location – the new incarnation of Sails

Outdoor pool at Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges. Photo: Mark Lane Our rating 4 out of 5 THE PLACE Known to locals and three decades of guests as Sails, the hotel’s name was changed in 2018 to signal completion of a five-year $25 million reinvention. It now goes by the catchy name Sails Port Macquarie […]

Self-isolation at home: Here’s my ‘hotel review’ of staying with my in-laws

It’s a rambling beast of a property, with what real estate agents would describe as a ‘leafy outlook’. Photo: Ben Groundwater What do travel writers do when they can’t travel? Review their own houses – in the style of Traveller’s usual hotel reviews. Desperate times… The Place There’s a distinct and welcome touch of hominess […]

Supermoon and lunar eclipse, May 26, 2021: Qantas launches scenic supermoon flight

Qantas has announced a special flight over the Pacific to see this month’s supermoon and lunar eclipse. Photo: iStock “Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars,” were lyrics made famous by Frank Sinatra’s voice, but Qantas passengers may well be singing the same tune this month. In the latest of several novelty flights […]

Terragong 1858 review, Jamberoo, Kiama, NSW South Coast: The prefect contemporary B&B

Terragong 1858 was built in 1858 as a gentleman’s country residence. Photo: Supplied Our rating 5 out of 5 THE PLACE Terragong 1858 was built in 1858 as a gentleman’s country residence by the Irish-born John Marks, then a NSW parliamentarian and later mayor of Kiama. Cedar cut from the property and locally-quarried blue metal […]

The Convent Hotel review, Auckland, New Zealand: Get thee to this nunnery

Built in 1922, the white-washed hotel is designed in Spanish mission-style. Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE God bless New Zealand. In an act of divine, if delayed, intervention, the trans-Tasman bubble has inflated and we can all feel a little less cloistered. I’ve reserved three nights at The Convent Hotel, a 22-room boutique […]

The Dixon Hotel review, London: The station that’s real pleasure to serve time in

Views over London. Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE Part of the Autograph Collection – a group of boutique-style hotels pooled under the Marriott umbrella – The Dixon has breathed new life into the former Tower Bridge Magistrates Court and Police Station. Melding restored Edwardian period features and funky contemporary design, this snazzy […]

The Hotel Alexandra review, Copenhagen: A charming boutique hotel in a great location

Rooms at the Copenhagen Hotel. Our rating 4 out of 5 THE PLACE The Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen has such a reputation for acquiring vintage furniture that the staff often field phone calls: “We’re going to be emptying our late aunt’s summer house, are you interested?” And it really does feel less like a hotel […]

The Line DC review, Washington DC: Effortlessly cool

On the rooftop. Photo: Bartek Nikolajczyk-Sherman Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE It goes without saying that the capital of the United States, Washington DC, is the seat of government and government bureaucracy. But it’s also one of the most dynamic cities in the country: modern, multicultural and surprisingly cool. THE LOCATION In Adams […]

The Milestone hotel review, London: Get the royal treatment at this old-school hotel

The Conservatory. Photo: Supplied Our rating 4 out of 5 THE PLACE Part of the Red Carnation collection of hotels, celebrating its centenary this year, the Milestone exudes old-world English charm with its cosy public rooms, antique furniture and oak panelling. Founded by Beatrice Tollman, the family-owned Red Carnation group is known for its thoughtful […]

Travel deals: Enjoy $1500 bonus value on this cross-continent holiday

On board the Indian Pacific with My Holiday Centre Photo: Andrew Gregory Enjoy $1500 bonus value on an eight-day cross-continent holiday with a flight to Perth, exploring the city and Rottnest Island, and then taking the legendary two-night rail trip aboard the Indian Pacific to Sydney. Visit the gold-mining town of Kalgoorlie, the desert landscape […]

Lazy Bear Lodge review, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada: There’s a bear or 900 in there

A hand-built labour of love, Lazy Bear Lodge is warm, cosy and completely unique. Our rating 4.5 out of 5 THE PLACE We’ve all dreamt about it: pulling up sticks and setting up a guesthouse in our favourite holiday spot. Having the vision and wherewithal to actually do it, however, is another story. One who […]

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