Read the guide books or study the websites before you visit. But the savvy visitor will hit the streets to discover the real Seoul: its people. They’re warm, fun-loving and intensely fascinated by tourists. Korean artists and fashion aficionados flock to Seoul. Local designers have a multitude of outlets in the city, from street markets and shops to a small precinct called Ssamzie in the high-octane Insadong area. Here you’ll find outlets selling fashion, jewellery, locally-made eyewear, and arts and craft. Much of what you’ll find would be at home in chic fashion boutiques in any major city. Here you get designer wear at bargain prices.
Seoul is fast emerging as the cultural and arts hub of Asia. Until now it has been one of the lesser travelled cities in the region for Australians, but this is changing. More flights are coming on line and with it, more competitive offerings. So why Seoul? Like many Asian countries, Korea has endured its share of upheaval and uncertainty. But since the 1980s it has experienced rapid growth and stability, making it one of Asia’s safest countries. While safe can mean boring, there’s nothing dull about this city of 10 million people. Much of its energy is driven by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, arguably Asia’s most proactive. Under their guidance, the city plays hosts to a range of activities which have turned this ancient city of tradition into a modern city of remarkable contrast.
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Twice a year, the city hosts a seasonal artistic and cultural extravaganza called the Hi Seoul Festival. The next one runs from May 1 – 9, and is one of around 300 festivals in Seoul during the year. Local artists rub shoulders with foreign imports. It’s an eclectic mix of the old, the new and well, the unusual. The city comes alive, because festival organisers use as much of the city as they can. And it’s free! Seoul has great accommodation, but it’s hard to go past the Grand Hyatt. It recently underwent a total renovation of its 601 guestrooms and suites. It is an elegant hotel made all the more alluring by its location on historic Mount Namsan. It sits on 18 acres of waterfalls and landscaped gardens, but is only 10 minutes from downtown Seoul. It even has an ice skating rink in winter. Further information: www.seoul.grand.hyatt.com Seoul is well serviced by the major airlines, and there are plenty of fly and stay packages. This is a city worth discovering. Start your journey at http://english.seoul.go.kr/ n
Photographs - Ken Duncan
Photographs - Nick Rains
They say more people have climbed Mt Everest than visited the Sub Antarctic islands off Australia and New Zealand. The reason is partly to do with interest and partly due to limited travel options. Most people travelling south have their eyes firmly fixed on Antarctica, billed as the last great wilderness. Well, the traveller with a nose for adventure will put the Sub-Antarctic way up the list. It is the last great wilderness; remote, beautiful beyond words, windswept and a showcase of Nature’s rare and enticing gifts. The very fact that so few people go there is all the more reason to make it your ambition. All of this might sound too intrepid for the average traveller. So do you have to brave a tinny and a tent to experience it? Thanks to the MV Orion, arguably the most beautiful expedition ship in the world, the adventure is nothing less than a five star affair. More on this vessel in a moment.
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There are only a handful of cruises to the region during the southern Summer, either departing Hobart or Bluff at the tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Typically, a cruise will run to around 12 to 14 days and take in Milford Sound and islands including Stewart, Snares, Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie, home to Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE). Most of the islands are uninhabited by humans, the rest shelter a handful of scientists and researchers. But as far as the animal kingdom goes, they’re as busy as Flinders Street Station on a Friday night. Typically, you will spend your days observing Sooty Shearwaters, Hooker Sea Lions, New Zealand Snipe, Royal Penguins, ‘wandering’ Albatrosses, and myriad plant life that almost assaults the senses. To aficionados of nature this is manna from Heaven. For the rest of us it’s…well, manna from Heaven, because you won’t find such abundance or rarity anywhere else in the world. Quite honestly, words alone can’t adequately describe the experience. You have to see, hear and understand to appreciate an area that for most of us may as well be Mars. The best way is in the company of experienced expeditioners, and that’s where the Orion also plays an important role. This magnificent ship, to be joined by a sister vessel in 2011, has regularly travelled south since it first came to Australia in 2005. Even then it was a new ship having been acquired by the visionary Sarina Bratton. (When not heading south, the Orion travels along the Kimberley, around PNG, the South Pacific and up to Asia). A maximum of 106 passengers are feted in every way imaginable. Superb food and wine, fabulous accommodation, itineraries that do justice to the term ‘off the beaten track’, and the highest safety standards place the Orion among the leaders in expedition cruising. The Orion isn’t cheap, but then neither is good wine. Both have their place and both are there to be valued. Start your journey at www.orionexpeditions.com n
It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, although its windy disposition has been unfairly used against Wellington as a tourist destination. New Zealand’s capital city is many things, but beyond its political dimension it is a city where the arts and culture shine, where food and wine excel and where there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to exploring. There is so much to commend it is almost impossible to know where to begin. There are however two very different activities that are must-see and do for every visitor. These activities are quintessentially New Zealand, but universal in their language.
Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand Whereas you can spend hours at most museums, you could easily spend days exploring Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. The way this innovative, exciting and challenging tribute to a great country has been realised represents a collaborative genius that other organisations would do well to study. Collections cover five areas: art, history, Pacific, Maori, and the natural environment. It may sound academic, but once you arrive at Te Papa you enter a world of interdisciplinary and interactive exhibitions, events and education programs. Further information: www.tepapa.govt.nz
Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience While the rest of the world was debating the merits of conservation, New Zealand was creating the blueprint. A perfect example is Zealandia. The idea was to effectively “turn back the clock” to create an environment that existed before the arrival of humans. This has been achieved with the world’s first fully-fenced, predator-free urban wildlife sanctuary on 225 hectares and barely ten minutes from the city centre. It didn’t happen overnight, but over time some of New Zealand's most endangered native animals are not only safe but repopulating the area. A highlight for any visitor is the Sanctuary by Night Tour. As the name implies, it begins at dusk and small groups under experienced guides wander around this pristine ‘island’ looking and listening out for endangered native birds and wildlife including the spotted kiwi, saddleback and tuatara.
Further information: www.sanctuary.org.nz Wellington is not only blessed with wonderful restaurants, but also a great choice in accommodation. One of the best in terms of price, facilities and convenience is the Copthorne Oriental Bay. Most hotels boast a fitness centre, this hotel has an arrangement with the Freyberg Pool & Fitness Centre within walking distance. Now that’s a gym! Further information: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz For information on Wellington, you can’t go past Positively Wellington Tourism. Its people have a passion for their city and it shows. Find them at www.wellingtonnz.com n
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SHOOTING STARS For most of us, photographs are markers that identify a particular time, place or occasion in our lives. But not for everyone. For a select few they represent another aspect of ourselves, the one we hope will result in a decision that could change our lives. This refers to the ‘headshot’, a single image or folio of images that is de rigueur for the actor, entertainer and model. Arrivals + Departures followed LA-based celebrity photographer Danika Singfield and expatriate Australian actor Jonathan Patrick Moore as one worked her magic so that the other could cast his spell.
There are two occasions when it’s acceptable to stretch the truth about how you look. The first is when you post an image of yourself on an internet dating site. We’re not talking about lying, as in substituting a photograph of Angelina Jolie when in reality you look like Ugly Betty. In this case, a little tweaking using Photoshop is okay. The second is when you send a headshot to a casting agent in the hope of being called in to audition. If Danny DeVito walks in when the director was expecting Matt Damon, your chance of everlasting fame probably ended at that moment. Photoshop might help, but nothing beats a great photographer. Welcome to a world that few of us ever see or appreciate. Every actor, entertainer and model needs a headshot. There’s no substitute. Never has been and probably never will. It’s one of the tools of the trade and it’s no less important than the stethoscope is to the doctor or the spirit level to the carpenter. You may think that Angelina, Betty, Danny or Matt are so famous they don’t need to submit a headshot. Think again. In the frenetic world of entertainment, time-poor executives use it like a cabbie uses a GPS in East LA. But great photography doesn’t just happen. It takes more than an expensive camera to find the essence of the subject. The photographer needs patience, insight, arrogance and self-belief to create art that others will covet. It’s not unusual in Hollywood – the epicentre of the global film industry – for a manager or agent to turf a client’s folio and demand new images from a different photographer before they’ll submit their client for an audition.
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Okay, so you just pissed two grand down the toilet. But this is how the industry runs, and everyone knows the rules. Even if you have the wallet of a Rockefeller, it won’t necessarily buy you the result you’re looking for. It’s all about the chemistry, the improbable reaction between two individuals who may never meet socially, but who aim to achieve an intimacy in the space of a day that would make Tiger Woods blush. So how does it work? There’s no relationship counsellor you can consult, and don’t even think about asking your sister’s best friend’s cousin. It comes down to research. One industry insider said the best option is to study the work being produced by photographers, preferably of an actor or a model you know or know of. “If you see that person through different eyes and if the image tells you something about them you didn’t know at an emotional level, then trust your judgement and call the photographer,” she said. It might be one of the most expensive calls an actor can make, but anyone serious about working in the industry knows that there are no half measures with something as important as this. A fake diamond may look great to the untrained eye, but an expert will pick it straight away. It’s true that many people have enjoyed long and illustrious careers without a headshot or one that did them no favours. They’re the lucky ones. The images in this essay were shot in one day a few weeks after Danika and Jonathan met for coffee to discuss the shoot. The skill of the photographer is not only what she sees through the lens, but what she instinctively feels when planning the shoot. Photographer and stylist: Danika Singfield
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MY STORY: DANIKA SINGFIELD Photography was LA-based Danika Singfield’s great passion, but it wasn’t until she modelled in Europe working with some of the great fashion and commercial photographers that her passion became more than a pastime. “I love to shoot people and I love capturing moments,” she says. “It sounds funny but it’s true. I love natural beauty and capturing that in my subjects. When I say beauty it’s not always beautiful, it’s real.” Danika is one of LA’s most coveted young photographers. Her work has been credited with giving clients the edge in a highly-competitive market. “Once you stop learning about the people you photograph and disconnect from their story, you can find yourself hopelessly out of touch,” she says. “It’s extremely important to find the truth in your subject, no matter what that truth is. I love that feeling and what it ultimately delivers through the lens.” There are many photographers she admires, all of whom have informed her work at some level. High on the list are Peter Lindberg, Paolo Roversi and Henri Cartier Besson.
“I love Lindberg’s way of capturing beauty in a raw form, it’s not always pretty but it always feels like there is a story behind the photo. “I’m drawn to Roversi for how he makes women look so elegant, soft, beautiful, and timeless. “I admire Besson and his ability to capture real life which is one of the most difficult things to do as a photographer.” Perhaps it’s the optimism of youth, but Danika rejects the ordinary by reaching way beyond her comfort zone. She’s learnt well from the masters; now perhaps they can learn something from her. More: www.danikasingfield.com n
// TRAVEL feature
BALINESE HONEYMOON HOLLYWOOD-STYLE
The Island of the Gods is a long way from the City of Angels, but the journey capped off a ‘match made in heaven’ for an LA couple on their honeymoon. Michael Krape caught up with them on their return from the recently-rebranded AYANA Resort and Spa Bali.
Unless you’re grounded and in possession of your senses, living in Los Angeles can play with your mind. Everyone you meet is an actor or in some way connected with the most ubiquitous industry on earth. On the rare occasion you meet someone who lists their occupation as say shop assistant, beware. They’re probably delusional. In reality, Hollywood occupies only sixty square kilometres. It’s more of a backlot. But reality will always play second fiddle to the fantasy of men like Cecil B DeMille or the creators of Desperate Housewives. Their world has no physical borders; it’s a state of mind akin to John Lennon’s plaintiff cry in ‘Imagine’. Getting into the industry is hard. Getting out is harder. Most people succumb to the siren call of fame and fortune. Even if their star wanes, as so often happens, they simply become a postscript, the bookend to the starlets and wannabes at the other end of the food chain. Like a punch drunk boxer who reacts blindly to the sound of a bell, the Hollywood addict smiles on cue as soon as a light is turned on. Never mind that it’s the neighbour’s security light.
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“Too often you stay at a resort and somehow the experience feels forced,” she says of a recent visit to the Caribbean.
“Paradise Beyond Our Comprehension” Shannon and Gabe landed at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai Airport and were met by a representative of the five-star AYANA Resort and Spa Bali at Jimbaran. The resort is located on the south-western tip of the island and has the distinction of being one of the finest properties in Bali. “It was paradise beyond our comprehension,” Gabe recalls on first seeing the resort. “We passed the security gates and were awe-struck by the sheer beauty of the setting. I remember saying to Shannon that this would be a great place to make a film.”
“At AYANA we felt the level of service was delivered in a very real and organic way. The people here just seemed to ‘get it’, and to understand what guests want without having to articulate it at every opportunity.” Increasingly, high-end properties in Bali are becoming destinations within destinations. They cater for every need so other than sightseeing, there’s no reason to leave. Is that a good thing? Obviously it doesn’t auger well for street vendors and shopkeepers, but tourism is multi-layered and finding a market niche – and keeping it through service delivery and product definition – is critical to survival.
“I told him I wasn’t ready to share it with the world!” Shannon adds quickly. In spite of the extensive research, neither was prepared for what was unfolding around them. The resort occupies 77 hectares on limestone cliffs high above the Indian Ocean. Formerly the highly-credentialed Ritz-Carlton Bali, the resort was refurbished and reopened under its new brand in early 2009 with 290 guestrooms and 78 private villas. In a destination renowned for superb service and facilities among its resorts and hotels, it’s hard to imagine any place that stands head and shoulders above the rest. According to Shannon, it’s often difficult to distinguish one five star property from another.
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AYANA has cleverly integrated the physical setting and the natural beauty into its core product giving guests a wealth of experiences whether in their rooms, or the bars, restaurants, spa and leisure facilities. The resort has two very distinct vantage points – the cliff top where the rooms and most of the facilities are located, and the beach below with its famous Spa on the Rocks.
Given their respective networks, Bali is likely to experience an eventual surge in visitor numbers particularly from the West Coast of America. Gabe believes that having weathered the global financial crisis, Americans will again start travelling but look for new destinations beyond the traditional markets. “Bali is not on the radar of most Americans because it can take more than 20 hours to reach,” he says. “But having come here we asked ourselves ‘why did it take us so long?’ It was perfect in every way.” Postscript: none of the staff or management knew the background of Gabe or Shannon. •
abe Cohen is a Talent Manager at G Management 360, one of the entertainment industry’s top management companies. Clients include Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Kiefer Sutherland, Anne Hathaway, Christina Applegate, Kirsten Dunst, Salma Hayek, and Australian actors Bojana Novakovic, Josh Lawson, Daniel MacPherson and Damian Walshe-Howling.
hannon Walker is personal assistant to S Hilary Swank, multi Academy Award-winning American actor and producer.
Getting there: Bali is serviced by many international airlines including direct services from Australia with Jetstar and Pacific Blue. Staying there: AYANA Resort and Spa Bali was named Asia’s Leading Luxury Resort and Asia’s Leading Luxury Villa at the 2010 World Travel Awards. Rates begin from US$189 (+21% tax & service) per night while Villas start at US$579 (++) per night. Visit www.ayanaresort.com for details. n
“One of the best meals I’ve ever had” As part of their honeymoon package, Gabe and Shannon had a four hour spa service before being treated to a private dinner. Well, ‘private’ might be stretching it given that it included seven musicians, two dancers, a waiter and personal chef followed by two guitar-playing singers. Of course, the food was nothing to sneeze at. “Probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had,” says Gabe. “Living in LA, we are surrounded by the drive for ‘more’,” Shannon says. “The mindset is driven by career and achievement, yet here we were astounded by the way people live in harmony and contentment and a desire to please. “People have very little in terms of material possessions, but they value relationships in ways that I wish more Americans did.”
THE PERFECT DISH
Sebastien Archambault may be one of the most innovative chefs of his generation, but his appointment to the Andaz West Hollywood was still considered a risk. Michael Krape meets the man who is creating history at this exciting new neighbourhood hotel. Hyatt is an enduring brand in an industry prone to change. Its success is due in part to the quality of its foodservice; a pillar on which the brand has built its considerable reputation. Typically, a Hyatt employee will move from hotel to hotel in line with promotion. A good example is Sean Cummings, executive chef of the Park Hyatt Melbourne who featured in our Summer, 2009 edition. Sean previously worked at Hyatt hotels in Queensland, India and New Zealand before arriving to head the Melbourne operation late last year. When Hyatt decided to venture into unchartered territory with the Andaz concept (see separate story), Michel Morauw, General Manager of the Andaz West Hollywood, took the unusual step of appointing a chef who had never worked in a Hyatt hotel beforeâ€Śin fact, had never worked in any hotel! His reasoning was simple: treat the restaurant as if it has no connection to the hotel, but make it central to the hotelâ€™s success. The reality is that guests often venture outside hotels to eat, in the mistaken belief that the most creative dining is on the street. Rather than try to convince them otherwise, the savvy manager brought the best to run RH, the ground floor restaurant that pays homage to the hotelâ€™s colourful albeit controversial past. And in Sebastien Archambault he discovered a young chef who not only dares to be different but delivers on the promise in spades.
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8.00 | am 11.30 | am 7.30 | pm The 33-year old, French-trained chef previously worked in several Michelin star-rated restaurants, including Le Pirate in Corsica. While his approach reflects the quality of his teachers Alain Ducasse, Jean-Francois Rouquette and Guy Savoy – his maturity shows in his willingness to test the margins.
Sebastien generally meets suppliers in the morning. Where possible, Andaz purchases locally – be it seasonal fresh produce and even beer. This morning he arranged for Alan Weiss of West Central Produce to meet me. Alan is a supplier of truffles, among other delicacies, which is a feature of Sebastien’s signature dish. At US$800 per kilo, it’s important to trust your supplier and this relationship is clearly a close one.
Quite simply, if you’re in LA and you don’t eat at RH, you’re missing out on one of the city’s great dining experiences. After an approach by Arrivals + Departures, Sebastien agreed to prepare his signature dish, Perigourdine Poached Egg with Mushrooms Foie Gras and Black Truffle, and to reveal the recipe which has food writers scrambling for their superlatives.
7.00 | am His brigade has already been hard at work but Sebastien Archambault left the hotel a few hours earlier, after catering a celebrity dinner. He always oversees breakfast which is served a la carte rather than buffet style. This is in keeping with the Andaz philosophy that combines two abiding principles: home and neighbourhood.
Dillon rum baba with vanilla whipped cream
* Each Wednesday morning, Sebastien visits the Santa Monica Organic Farmers Market where he often buys fruit and cheese. The rest of the time he buys through local suppliers.
Lunch service begins. The kitchen will operate without respite until 2.00pm at the earliest. There are also functions to be catered in the upper floors and room service as well.
3.00 | pm Each Monday, Sebastien meets with his two sous chefs to discuss the week ahead. French chefs can be dictatorial in the relationships with staff; this is not Sebastien’s way. He’s clearly picked the best people available and the mutual respect is evident, especially as RH features an open kitchen where the public can see (and hear, if they choose) everything that goes on.
9.30 | am Michel Morauw and his executive team meet each morning to review their respective departments and to reflect on feedback from guests. Typically this will include the executive chef, and the heads of food and beverage, sales, marketing and communications, accounting, rooms and engineering.
10.30 | am At the end of the meeting, Sebastien assembles his team prior to their preparation of the lunch service. Issues raised at the executive meeting are canvassed here, but it’s also an opportunity for the brigade to discuss menu planning and general housekeeping.
I’ve invited five people to join me as guests of Sebastien, Michel and the effervescent Kim Okeson, director of marketing & communications. My guests are Natalie Blair, a Logie Awardwinning actress, and David Hoflin, who are best remembered for their roles on the long-running Network Ten series ‘Neighbours’, Jonathan Wood from ‘All Saints’, Dan Bennett, TV writer and producer with Network Ten, and Talia Krape (my daughter) who is a Latin and Bollywood dancer in LA.
11.30 | pm I thought four hours would be more than enough time for our degustation dinner, but how wrong I was. We’re meeting Nic Adler at his seminal Sunset Strip club, The Roxy, but the food and spirit of the evening has blown us away. We could have gone another hour and not touched the sides. As one of my party said, “I thought I’d been wined and dined at the best places in LA, but this takes the cake!”
6.00 | pm The evening service begins, with the brigade assembling in the kitchen. Sebastien will oversee dinner in RH and room service, and banqueting if this is required. In closed kitchens, the executive chef sometimes ventures into the public space for a grand entrance. As the kitchen here is open, he is on view for the entire meal service.
Sebastien Archambault CV At six years of age, Sebastien Archambault was cutting potatoes and preparing frog’s legs in the family’s provincial restaurant. Since then, Sebastien has worked at Raymond Poincaré under Alain Ducasse, and at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Le Bourdonnais and Pur’ Grill under JeanFrançois Rouquette. He also worked at Guy Savoy’s Bistro Les Bouquinistes. Before heading to LA, he was executive chef at Le Pirate in Corsica. n
SAFE AS HOUSES
A timely reminder to secure the things we love As we move into the Australian summer holiday period, we need to think about how to best secure our homes and businesses so we leave with the peace of mind that allows us to fully enjoy our break. Too often, people think that locking up the house and business and pocketing the key is enough to secure their assets while they are away. “We need to do more than that and there are some practical steps we can take,” Graeme Hiscock of Hiscock Insurance Brokers says. “Computers, valuables, money and art works are the most obvious targets for would be burglars. They are readily disposable and can be quickly converted to cash.
“So removing computers, particularly lap tops, and making sure external hard-drives and back-ups are relocated to an independent location is a good start,” Graeme says. Burglars aside, what about a fire or flood? Both can destroy homes and businesses and all within them in virtually a heartbeat. “Businesses should take care that sensitive documents are securely stored in a fire proof safe”. For many in the travel industry, 2010 was Annus Horribilis. If it wasn’t a volcano spewing ash over Europe causing major flight delays, it was bird strikes and engine failures that threw travel plans into chaos. With aircraft totally grounded, the flow-on effect for business and leisure travellers was enormous. Major additional costs were incurred for loss of deposits and bookings for connecting travel, additional accommodation costs, cancellation penalties, not to mention the effect on the movement of goods and services. While these types of events are largely unforseen, we need to take their possibility into account and pre-plan for them as best we can.
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Graeme has given the following tips for people ready to pack up and travel for their holidays. 1 Take out good quality travel insurance cover. Too many people think “it can’t happen to me” or “we can’t afford it” or “any cheap cover will do”. But the consequences of inadequate or even worse, no cover, can be far more expensive in the long run. “Having good travel insurance is as fundamental as having your passport,” Graeme says. 2 Security lighting is important, as are appropriate deadlocks on doors and windows. Generally these will bring down the cost of insurance. As a final reminder, Graeme urges travellers to carefully read the conditions of their travel insurance cover to make sure you are familiar with any age or pre-existing medical conditions limitations of the cover. “Travel should be and mostly is fun,” he says. “But life is full of uncertainty and a holiday can end in tears if luggage is lost, flights delayed, there is a medical emergency or if you haven’t taken the right precautions in your home and business. “Some sensible planning together with sound insurance cover will give you the ultimate peace of mind when you’re ‘on the road.’”
Details about Hiscock Insurance Brokers can be found at www.hiscock.com.au n 3 A back-to-base alarm for your home or business is important. While an external alarm might scare off a would-be burglar, neighbours can be blasé about calling police. A monitored alarm will automatically bring a security service to your premises. 4 If you have a Skype account, you can locate webcams into certain areas of your property. This means you can self-monitor at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. 5 When travelling overseas, register your travel plans with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This service is free and will alert the relevant DFAT authority in the countries of your intended travel in the event of an emergency. Register at http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au
Limited edition so it will (hopefully) appreciate in value while you sashay around transfixed by the time-piece and not the time!
WHAT’S HOT WITH GAMBLE
Samsonite has finally nailed the market with a range of groovy luggage named Cosmolite, the lightest and strongest case they’ve ever made. Believe it or not they ran over it with a truck! Gutsy effort, guys. (We’d have been more impressed if you got a baggage handler’s cart on to the job).
Cerrone has launched the first item in its long-awaited Manhattan Collection, a stunning range of Art Deco jewellery starting with the diamond ring. All I can say is Yes! Cerrone, I love you! Anton opens at Chadstone, The Masstige Capital of Australia.
Your make-up will never look crusty again. Jan Marini has launched Age Intervention Prime worn under your foundation to give a smoother finish to your make-up. It makes your skin feel like silk and your make-up will not get creased around your expression lines.
Omega has bonded ceramics and liquid-metal to create the Planet Ocean Liquid-metal time-piece.
I’ve been using Results Rx range for the last 3 months, and I have to say I love the night cream, it smells great and tingles. My skin looks clear and clean. A little Dermabrasion would maximise the potential of this product. Moving on to into the world of fashion. Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood was the toast of London Fashion Week this year for this fabulous range of wild looking shoes, available in Australia at Scanlan & Theodore.
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Anton Jewellery 03 9654 1166
2 Autore Doge Palace Reflection pearlautore.com.au 3 Gypsy Dance collection from Owl of Eden email@example.com 4
Manhattan Collection Art Deco ring by Cerrone 02 9328 6355
Raoul Crown entertainment complex 03 9699 9638
6 VERTU constellation collection 02 8399 3005 7
Samsonite Cosmolite 03 9549 3444
8 Speedo Watches speedo.com 9 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Liquid metal & Ceramic timepiece omegawatches.com 10 VodkaO asmliquor.com 11 Nicholas Kirkwood shoes Dio Dato 02 9328 5207 12 Age Intervention Prime 13 Results Radiance advskin.com.au
GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK AT NISEKO The refurbished Green Leaf Hotel at Japan’s premier ski resort is another triumph for one of the world’s leading tourism operators.
Skiers will tell you that the most beautiful sight of all is a snow-capped mountain. Japanese skiers ‘in the know’, beg to differ. For them, beauty begins with Japan’s most picturesque river, Shiribetsu. It runs a little over 125 kilometres from high up Mt Fuedake through the valley below Mt Yotei, past Niseko and eventually discharging into Iwanai Bay on the Sea of Japan. Flowing around the base of one of Japan’s most famous ski fields presents a wonderful counterpoint to the pleasures that await an increasing number of skiers who head to this mountain idyll.
This, after all, is Japan. A country steeped in tradition, as ancient as life itself. There are stories everywhere, all of them available to the visitor and for free. They begin in the valley and continue towards Niseko Village in the heart of Japan’s premier ski resort where this story begins. It’s here that Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corporation has invested in a major refurbishment of one of its properties, part of a portfolio of hotels and resorts that it owns and manages across Asia and Europe. YTL is well established as one of the world’s most progressive investors in hospitality, cement, construction, rail, property development, utilities, and technology incubation. But for now, with the northern winter about to welcome its guests, all eyes are on this mountain resort in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island.
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It’s the communal spaces that set the Green Leaf Hotel apart from other accommodation in the village. The après-ski crowd can be demanding, so the designers have created the only roof-top bar in Niseko with a welcoming wood-burning fire pit.
There are regular hotel shuttles that service the Village, enabling guests to access neighbouring ski areas, onsen, and restaurants. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the hotel and the adjacent ski fields which are some of the best in the world.
Known as ‘Altitude’, it can be directly accessed from the slopes. It has a stunning view of Mount Yotei and the Konbu Range to the west.
Getting there: Regular air services arrive at New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Hokkaido from all major airports around Japan and a number of destinations around Asia. Guests can also transfer through any of Japan’s major airports.
Japan is famous for its onsen (hot springs), and the hotel has its own with one of the most beautiful natural rock pools in Niseko. The onsen features men’s and women’s pools and originates from a 100% natural mineral spring, renowned for its therapeutic qualities.
Redesign of the ski-in, ski-out Green Leaf Hotel was undertaken by New York design firm, Champalimaud. Their brief was to ‘embrace art’, and this has been beautifully realised with each guestroom – all 200 including king/twin connecting rooms and corner suites – featuring original artworks by celebrated Japanese artist Soichiro Tomioka. Art installations by Emi Shiratori appear throughout the hotel. Soichiro Tomioka, who died in 1994, was the preeminent artist famous for his winter landscapes. For seven years he lived in New York where his work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and other leading galleries. Emi Shiratori, who is the hotel’s artist-inresidence, is a Sapporo-based artist and graphic designer. Her murals appear in the hotel’s lobby entrance and the façade of the Spa, and her unique iconography features on guestroom doors and ski-lockers.
Among its other features is ‘Tomioka White’, a lobby lounge with a fireplace and full service bar, the Green Leaf Spa, Ski Valet & Flex Space which is a ski-in, ski-out guest amenity that has been designed to accommodate events, parties and movie screenings, and ‘Goshiki’, an international and Japanese fusion buffet open throughout the day. Every guestroom features views of Mt. Yotei or the ski slopes plus all of the amenities expected of a great hotel. Beyond the hotel there are plenty of activities and adventures that begin at Niseko Village. These include the Niseko Village Snow School which is accredited by the Ski Association of Japan, First Tracks Cat Skiing for advanced skiers and riders, Snowmobile Adventure which offers exhilarating tours of forest trails surrounding Niseko Village, guided Snowshoe Tours, a fun and easy way to see the beautiful natural surroundings, horseback riding, snow rafting and reindeer sledding.
Staying there: The Green Leaf Hotel has created a number of attractive packages starting from US$399 plus 5% tax per person on a twin share basis for two nights in a deluxe room. It also includes breakfast and dinner for each guest. There is a complimentary onsen (hot spring) experience per person. Until April 30, 2011 and subject to availability. Surcharges may apply during peak periods. Further details available at www.ytlhotels.com Reservations & information: Jane Basiuk, YTL Hotels & Resorts, Australia Toll Free: 1800 66 77 31 or email firstname.lastname@example.org n
His visit to Sicily, at the invitation of Maria Sanciolo-Bell, has resulted in a remarkable series of paintings, which have been described as connecting the spirit of the original inhabitants of Australia to Sicily through unique arts projects of relevance to both nations.
A fascinating exhibition highlights an Italian institution resident in the heart of Melbourne
It is part of Echoes Events’ Spirit of Two Islands: Terra Sicula – Terra Australis - a program of cultural events that connect the two countries.
One more expatriate Australian painter in Italy is unlikely to turn anyone’s head. After all, the country is not only one of the most visited in Europe, it’s also one of the most painted, sculpted, written and sung about. Where the art becomes interesting is when the painter is an Australian Indigenous artist whose style is immediately recognisable as being from a distinctly local school, whose motifs are almost always associated with the country of one’s birth. At first blush it might seem odd, a little like Dame Edna on the catwalk at a Gucci fashion launch. But Palm Island-born Billy Doolan, described as “one of the most collectible of living artists from Queensland”, is a man invested with wonderful insight and a deep connection to the land, not only his own.
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The exhibition which runs until February 28th, 2011 is currently showing at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (The Italian Institute of Culture), Melbourne.
ITALY THROUGH THE EYES OF AN ARTIST
The Italian Institute of Culture is part of a national network of Italian institutions entitled Sistema Italia. The network is co-ordinated by the Embassy of Italy in Canberra, which is currently directed by His Excellency Gian Ludovico de Martino di Montegiordano. Other members include the various Consulates, Chambers of Commerce and Institutes located within Australia. The Institute’s role in particular is to put into practice Italy’s cultural policies in Australia as indicated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy in Canberra. It does this by organising cultural events and language courses in order to stimulate the circulation of ideas, the arts and sciences. In terms of cultural initiatives the key focus in recent years has been to promote contemporary Italian culture. Examples of this include the invitation of Vincenzo Cerami (co-screenwriter, ‘La Vita e’ Bella) to participate in the Melbourne Writers Festival and the International Contemporary Music Competition ‘Unique Forms of Continuity in Space’. The latter initiative, which reached its third edition this year, was carried out in collaboration with ABC Classic FM and the University of Adelaide as well as a number of other entities. It involved 12 young composers from 10 different countries, and more than 20 poets whose works inspired the compositions written for the initiative. The Competition culminated in 4 concerts which were performed in various venues in Melbourne and Adelaide. Numerous collaborative efforts have also been realised with local galleries and museums such as the Melbourne Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria, prestigious musical institutions such as Monash University School of Music, Melbourne City
Opera, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Victorian College of the Arts, and government institutions such as the City of Melbourne, the Organising Committee of Melbourne and the State of Victoria. In addition the organisation is a supporter of the Italian Film Festival, the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival, the Swiss Italian Festa, Umbria Jazz and the Woodend Winter Arts Festival. The Italian Institute of Culture is, in short, an active and valuable addition to the local cultural and social landscape, and one can’t imagine a more appropriate setting for the Doolan exhibition. The Institute can be visited from Monday to Thursday (9.00am-1.00pm / 2.00pm-6.00pm) and Friday (9.00am-1.00pm). Coffee facilities and a reading room are also available to the public. •
he Italian Institute of Culture is located at 233 Domain Road, T South Yarra, just a few minutes from the Melbourne CBD, the Botanical Gardens and Fawkner Park. Further details can be found at http://www.iicmelbourne.esteri.it/IIC_Melbourne