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Y E A R C E L E B R AT I O N E D I T I O N

TINA ARENA

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I NEVER LEFT

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B Y S A N D R A S U L LY


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Twenty years of publishing was something I didn’t contemplate when I was starting out. If there was ever a time to celebrate, this is now as good a time as ever.

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he focus of this year’s ‘Celebration’ edition is to really enjoy the triumphs and achievements of others. This dominated our decision-making process as to what would be on the cover. We wanted someone with achievements worth celebrating, someone with incredible talent, an amazing story to tell and, at the same time, someone who was humble and admired by all. The incredible Tina Arena was the perfect choice. And we chose someone equally talented, articulate, considerate and highly professional to pen Tina’s story. We hope you enjoy reading Sandra Sully’s piece on Tina called I never left. In this issue, we also celebrate the incredible rise to glory of Aussie iconic brands RM Williams and Vittoria Coffee, the ongoing success of the Park Hyatt and the resurgence of Piping Hot. Australia’s newest and most exciting brand on the horizon is Sally Fitzgibbons Inc. This tenacious surfing hero has

Publisher’s Note now jumped into the deep end of international business and philanthropy. In terms of a personal celebration, I am very proud of the incredible images taken by during our Cuba trip this year, and thank Canon for supporting her on this amazing photographic journey. Please celebrate this year’s Classic. Twenty years of publishing would not have been possible without the support of many companies and people from around the world, and from our readers. We celebrate you.

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hile sitting down with the Classic Events team to put this issue together, we were all quite amazed that this was our 12th publication and rather astounded that we’ve been in the publishing business for 12 years.

From our humble publishing beginnings of just a 16-page magazine, to what we now produce – a 300-page, 2.5kg juggernaut – we are incredibly proud of our prestige publication and what it has become. I often reflect on how amazing it is that when you put your mind to something, what you can actually achieve with persistence, perseverance and a whole lot of hard work. Twelve years ago, if you asked me if we would be in the publishing game, I probably would have scoffed, and just look at where we are today! As we lay out each year’s magazine, we feel genuinely excited and proud about what we are producing. And this year is no exception. We would like to thank our continuing advertisers for their support and our celebrity friends who so generously offer up their time and profile to make our product look as good as it does. This year, with my relocation to Dubai, I have had to relinquish my role as publisher of the magazine to some degree, but I have absolutely no doubt that the Classic team will continue to deliver a bigger and better product next year, with the continued support of all included. We hope you enjoy reading this, our 12th edition, as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you.

Publisher Phil Harte - Harte International Consultancy Gulf to Coast -

Produced by Nude Publishing, a division of Nude Creative Pty Ltd www.nudepublishing.com.au

Nude Creative

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Through this between the fabulou mystique of Dubai on of the architectural w bridge to the ever gro

Art Direction, Editorial & Production Nude Creative hello@nudecreative.com.au www.nudecreative.com.au

Christey

Art Director Christey Johansson Food and Wine Director Max Alfieri Photographer Danielle Harte Chief Sub-editor Rae Blair Danielle

Max

Feature Writers Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan Sandra Sully Danielle Harte

Mark Rix Lucas Townsend

International Sales phil@harteinternational.com

Rae

Nicole

Sandra

Australian Office PO Box 856, Sanctuary Cove Queensland, 4212, Australia +61 (0)420 977 959

Classic Lifestyle Magazine is published by Nude Creative ABN 92 148 963 240, on behalf of Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE. Nüde Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE use due care and diligence in the preparation of this magazine but are not responsible for any mistakes, misprints, omissions or typographical errors. Nude Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE print advertisements provided to the publisher but give no warranty and make no representation as to the truth, accuracy or sufficiency of any description, photograph or statement. Nude Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE accept no liability for any loss which may be suffered by any person who relies either wholly, or in part, upon any description, photograph or statement contained herein. Nude Creative & Harte International Consultancy Dubai UAE reserve the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason. ©Copyright – no part of Classic Lifestyle Magazine may be reproduced in part or in whole without the written permission of the publisher. No spam. Email addresses are published for professional communications only and do not constitute an invitation to send unsolicited emails.

International Dubai Office PO Box 128401, Al Karama, Dubai, United Arab Emirates +971 50 575 4159

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CONTENTS Features

TINA ARENA

REFRESHING, INSPIRING & P O W E R F U L … S A N D R A S U L LY I N T E R V I E W S T H E I CO N I C TINA ARENA

PA R K H YAT T

A WA L K I N T H E PA R K F E AT U R I N G D U B A I , PA R I S, S Y D N E Y & M I L A N

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S A L LY FITZGIBBONS

G A I A R E T R E AT

S U R R E N D E R TO T H E ‘ S P I R I T O F M OT H E R E A R T H ’ AT O L I V I A N E W TO N J O H N ’ S H E A L I N G PA R A D I S E

S A L LY M E A N S B U S I N E S S O U T O F T H E WAT E R A N D I N TO T H E O F F I C E

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BELMOND LU X U RY

A N E XC LU S I V E S TAY AT B E L M O N D’ S B O U T I Q U E I TA L I A N P R O P E R T I E S

M AT T B U R K E

K I C K I N G G OA L S

334 CANON SNAPSHOT

CANON SHINES BRIGHT LIKE A D I A M O N D AT C I R C U L A R Q U AY S Y D N E Y H A R B O U R

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TECHNOGYM R A I S I N G T H E S TA K E S I N T H E F I T N E S S I N D U S T RY


SIMPSON DESERT S o u t h A us t r a l i a S 27 º 32 . 5 ’ E 1 37 º 5 6 . 6 ’


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CONTENTS Travel

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MONDRIAN LONDON BE SEDUCED

CUBA

T H E P L AC E T I M E F O R G OT

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F L O AT FR ANCE

A F LOAT I N F R A N C E LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

CLIPPER CUBA CARIBBEAN SUNSET

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CANCUN

RESORTS FIT FOR A KING

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PA R I S M A N DA R I N O R I E N TA L EAST MEETS WEST


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CONTENTS

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JONES THE GROCER J O N E S T H E G R O C E R B E CO M I N G T H E U LT I M AT E F O O D LO V E R S D E S T I N AT I O N

Brands

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D I S CO V E R T H E A N C I E N T S P I R I T O F A LO H A W I T H H AWA I I ’ S A U T H E N T I C H O S P I TA L I T Y

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EMA AR THE CENTRE O F N O W. . . EMAAR SETTING THE PAC E

REEBOK

TA K I N G A S T E P IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Laura Geitz

Fresh from leading Australia to victory in the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Diamonds Captain Laura Geitz talks to us about discovering her passion for Netball and staying focused despite the pressures of competition. 1. Could you start off by telling us your netball story. How did you get into the sport? I started playing netball at 13 years of age. I had a growth spurt when I was 12 and the netball coaches at my school wanted to sign me up to play. I was considering playing hockey, as that’s what all my friends were playing, but I came home from school one day and my older sister Carla had been bought a brand new pair of ASICS Netburners and I fell in love with them. Needless to say I signed up to netball the following day!

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2. Have you come down from winning the NWC yet? Can you describe what it was like to win in Australia? I have… but it did take a while! There was a huge build-up to the NWC and a lot of pressure to go with it, especially when it’s in your own backyard, but it was all very much worth it especially when you experienced walking out in the green and gold in front of a world record crowd of close to 18,000 people - it doesn’t really get any better than that! 3. Being captain of the Australia team, do you feel you need to set high expectations of yourself in all aspects of the game for your teammates to follow? I think it’s a given that any professional athlete has exceptionally high expectations of themselves. I am very lucky to be Captain of a team that is made up of 12 extremely motivated and well driven girls that expect the best of themselves and each other. It’s just a given that we have certain standards and expectations to meet and we are our own hardest critics. As captain you just have to realise that if you lead from the front in a positive manner, your team will follow!

REBEL

T I M E TO C E L E B R AT E

4. With the success of the Diamonds, how do you cope with the expectations of yourself and the team? I like a certain amount of pressure. I believe that’s what gets the best out of me, both on and off the court. In saying that, I like to have certain things in order to cope with the pressure and that includes having family support during competition, keeping honest and open communication up within the team.

and making sure that I am in control and organised of all the things that I can control. That way, I feel like I have got things sorted from my end and I’m in the best frame of mind to tackle any curveballs which come my, and the teams way. 5. How do you mentally prepare yourself and the team before a game? I like to be super organised. This means I have a routine that I work through before each game. In my head I know exactly what the few hours before the game will look like and this helps me to control and prepare properly before I get out on court. 6. What does a typical day of preseason training consist of? Pre-season is an extremely tough time of the season. We nearly complete anywhere from 9-10 sessions in 5 days during pre-season. A typical day will see us out on the field doing cardio training with the afternoon spent on court working through scenarios and set-plays for our team. We alternate the conditioning sessions with weights sessions in the gym. 7. After all that training, where is your favourite holiday destination? I have been to Italy twice and my favourite destination would have to be the Amalfi Coast - absolutely breathtaking! 8. What piece of advice would you give to young netballers? Do your best and forget the rest! 9. What do you do away from netball when you have downtime? I love to spend time with my husband and family…this is the most important thing to me so to just have some time out and enjoy their company does wonders for me. 10. Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 100% my parents…I would have never got to experience or achieve the things I have been lucky enough to experience without their support. They were the ones who supported me from the early days and I will be forever grateful to them!

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THE CENTRE OF NOW WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

EMAAR SETTING THE PACE

Emaar Hospitality Group manages EMAAR’S HOSPITALIT Y and LEISURE PROJECTS across the region. With a substantial portfolio of hospitality assets including Hotels, GOLF RETREATS, a POLO and EQUESTRIAN CLUB, DUBAI MARINA YACHT CLUB, RESTAURANTS and SERVICED RESIDENCES the Emaar Hospitality Group contributes signif icantly to the recurring revenues of EMAAR revenues of Emaar.

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BR ANDS | EMA AR - LEISURE

T

he Arabian Ranches Golf Course is an 18 hole, par 72 Signature Course designed by Ian Baker-Finch, in association with Nicklaus Design. Built as a true desert-style grass course, players love the natural flow of the holes through the sand dunes and wonderful desert landscape, many of which incorporate some truly great design concepts. In 2014, a two year enhancement program was completed, adding spectacular vistas whilst maintaining the integrity of the original design. Playing up to 7, 658 yards it is a true test of championship golf. The provision of tee complexes of varying distance also ensures enjoyment and reward for golfers of all abilities. The luxurious Spanish Colonial Clubhouse was the first in the region to open guest rooms within the Clubhouse, 11 in total. The Ranches Restaurant and Terrace boasts scenic views over the 9th and 18th greens. The perfect setting, any time of day, to enjoy the company of friends and family over exquisite international cuisine.

ARABIAN RANCHES The PERFECT setting anytime of the day T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 23


INSPIRED URBANCHIC Vida Hotels and Resorts is a refreshingly different hotel concept designed for the new generation of Business Executives, Entrepreneurs and Leisure travellers.

O

ne of Emaar’s five award-winning properties is Vida – meaning ‘LIFE’ in Spanish – and this property is nestled in the Old Town precinct of Dubai. With its MANTRA being ‘freedom, intuition, inspiration and responsibility’, this trendy property has an unprecedented level of urban sophistication targeting the new younger generation of business executives, entrepreneurs, and hip leisure travellers. The Vida Downtown property offers 156 deluxe rooms including 10 Premier suites, each with a fresh neutral, yet calming interior. Spacious in its design, the rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi and 42-inch flat screen hotel interactive TVs. Located on the lower floor are four meeting rooms, which can host up to 180 delegates, and a tranquil breakfast and dining area. Not wanting to miss a thing, our two-day visit to Vida was jam-packed with reviews, interviews, tastings, gym workouts and, of course, treating ourselves to the hidden oasis of tranquil four-poster day beds with a cocktail or two down by the pool. DINING After hearing many ‘whispers’ about Vida Downtown being Dubai’s latest ‘in’ place, we were very interested to see what the dining experiences would be like. We booked into Le Serre Bistro and Boulangerie. Le Serre is encased in a beautiful twostory glass facade, and offers a traditional Parisian Boulangerie on the ground floor and a bistro on the first floor. The menu is the creation of flamboyant Nigerian-born chef, Izu Ani. With our close friends, Mark and Zoe, joining us for the evening, the Bistro Manager, Brad Warnock, escorted us to

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our table where we were to be taken on an unforgettable French dining experience. The ambience of Le Serre is elegantly chic, with an abundance of white and cream upholstered furnishings and walls, which are offset by a rich chocolate floor – probably not a place to take your children with dirty fingers. Our menu was left completely up to the discretion of the chefs, who bedazzled us with their creativity. Our entrees, a feast of many, began with lentils mixed with a combination of roasted hazelnuts, carrots, onions and a fabulous lemon dressing, which converted me to a lover of the usually boring lentil. Then came the fresh garden peas with garlic croutons and a white balsamic dressing, a pizza with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and delicious caramelized onions, caprese with mozzarella (to die for!) and a sublime tuna carpaccio. If it were even possible, our main meals ramped up the taste sensations with succulent veal chops, hand-made fettuccini with lobster, grilled Chilean sea bass and slow cooked beef ribs. As Le Serre’s boulangerie is so well regarded, we could not pass up the opportunity to try the desserts, but after such a feast we decided to share only two selections. That was not to be, however, and out came lemon meringue, baked apple tart, passion-fruit cheesecake, crème brûlée and the most mind-blowing baked chocolate mousse I have ever tasted. Fully sated and hardly able to move, we managed to escape to the lounge for an espresso and to talk through the French culinary masterpiece we had just enjoyed. Our experience overall was extraordinary, and we agreed that Le Serre is arguably Dubai’s finest French restaurant.


BR ANDS | EMA AR - LEISURE

T

he Australia Day Qantas Classic Golf Day ran exactly as expected, with the weather a summery 75 Cº and not a cloud in the sky. The 120 happy golfers played around the course in four and a half hours in the morning which was perfect, as Dubai can become a touch warm as the day gets on. Everyone agreed that the Monty was a great course to play – that’s a bonus! I’ve been back to the Address Montgomerie since that event and spent a couple of days there. It is such a pleasure to play a round of golf in the morning, and enjoy the spa treatments in the afternoon. For dinner I caught up with Chef Neeraj at Restaurant Nineteen, where we sat and enjoyed the amazing views and chatted about the menu prepared in their show kitchen. Chef Neeraj had prepared a magnificent five-course degustation menu which featured beautifully flavoured cranberry infused foie gras,a piece of crispy skinned Australian glacier fish, a 200-gram rare portion of Aussie rib eye with a magical port-reduction, and finished with a freshly made frozen yogurt and a deconstructed lemon meringue tart. Even if you aren’t a big fan of the flying Scotsman, Colin Montgomerie, you must congratulate him and Desmond Muirhead on their signature layout. Along with The Address Hotels, this course shows what it truly means to be world-class.

GOLF’S PREMIER ADDRESS

Playing host to World Class Events • MONTGOMERIE GOLF COURSE • DUBAI

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 25


SPORT OF KINGS

Take a step into the exciting world of the DUBAI POLO & EQUESTRIAN CLUB

P

olo in the UAE has come a long way since its humble beginnings when the game was played on sand. The lack of facilities combined with the vision of founder Ali Albwardy to popularise the sport led to the development of Desert Palm in 1994, home to the internationally renowned Dubai Polo Club. Located 20 minutes away from Dubai’s city centre, Desert Palm has become the epicentre of Polo in Dubai and is recognised as one of the leading Polo estates in the world. It provides an idyllic backdrop for numerous international tournaments and has put Dubai on the global sporting map. In addition to housing FIRST-CLASS Polo facilities, Desert Palm is home to an award-winning boutique hotel, 85 Exclusive residences, a Riding School and Riding for the Disabled Association Dubai. The 150-acre Dubai Polo Club is an oasis set between the urban energy of Dubai and the expanses of unspoiled Emirati deserts. The estate boasts lush scenery with views of the famed city skyline. There are four manicured grass fields and a designated stick and ball area, with various training facilities including a track surrounding the grounds to work the horses. Over 250 polo ponies are stabled, trained and played during the year with several Argentinean Polo Professionals on hand during the season, which runs from October to April. The Club offers lessons and instruction for beginners through to

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advanced players and club chukkas are organised six days a week. On Thursdays and Saturdays Hotel guests and Polo enthusiasts can enjoy watching chukkas from the hotel terrace. Desert Palm Retreat is set in the elegant and idyllic grounds of the Dubai Polo Club, uniquely positioned away from the buzz of Dubai city. The boutique low-rise hotel has become one of the most talked about properties in the entire region following its official inauguration in March 2008 by Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai. This CHIC DESERT retreat features a total of 38 guest rooms - 13 beautifully appointed Palm Suites with views over the main polo fields and estate grounds, five Polo Suites, sixty one-bedroom Pool Villas, 13 two-bedroom Pool Residences and a contemporary inspired Presidential Suite - Villa Layali. To complement the naturally modern and stunning suites and villas, guests of Desert Palm can also enjoy the LIME Spa, culinary delights including RARE - the Signature Restaurant offering the finest steak and game plus EPICURE an international all-day dining restaurant with a deli cafĂŠ experience. There is also a bar on site, a beautiful infinity pool and meticulously landscaped gardens that overlook spectacular views of the Dubai skyline. Desert Palm is operated by award winning management company Per AQUUM.


VIDA DOWNTOWN DUBAI BR ANDS | EMA AR - LEISURE

DUBAI POLO CLUB

DUBAI YACHT CLUB

DUBAI POLO CLUB ARABIAN RANCHES DUBAI POLO CLUB

ARABIAN RANCHES T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 27


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BR ANDS | EMA AR - LEISURE

MARINA MAGIC

U

Built as the CENTRE POINT of EMAAR’S Dubai Marina development, the DUBAI MARINA YACHT CLUB is renowned for being the most EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE YACHT CLUB in the region niting a range of dining and lounge outlets with world-class entertainment, the Dubai Marina Yacht Club showcases a full yachting lifestyle experience whether meeting friends over an informal beverage or clients over a lavish private dining event.

DINING AT THE YACHT CLUB With the moored yachts and stunning backdrop of Dubai Marina, the Clubhouse offers a variety of waterfront dining experiences. AQUARA offers a land and sea inspired menu, award winning lounge and innovative themed nights with panoramic views from its iconic terrace. 25°55° Café Bistro gives you the opportunity to admire the Dubai Marina throughout the day as an all-day dining restaurant and simply takes your breathe away. ENTERTAINMENT If you’re looking to enjoy any social scene or corporate gathering at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club you’ll be overwhelmed by the friendly staff and hospitality who cater effortlessly to all you entertainment needs.

AQUARA Set against the panoramic backdrop of the glamorous Dubai Marina, Aquara is a unique dining destination where East meets West; land meets sea. Enjoy Al Fresco dining on the panoramic terrace while taking in the breath-taking sight of moored yachts. This is the perfect place for a pre or post-dinner beverage, to unwind and relax. 5°55° CAFÉ BISTRO Named after Dubai’s nautical coordinates, 25°55° Café Bistro encompasses Dubai’s unique Marina heritage. This fully licensed 25°55° Café Bistro savours an assortment of classic favourites from an international menu, available throughout the day including breakfast, lunch, dinner or beverages. YOTS SPORTS LOUNGE Conveniently housed in the exclusive Dubai Marina Yacht Club, YOTS Sports Lounge is the ideal spot to catch up on all the latest sporting events which is screened on multiple TV screens. Enjoy a variety of promotions including Happy Hour, Midweek Specials and other offers.

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 29


MANZIL WHENHOME IS ARABIC WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

AT THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN DUBAI MANZIL LENDS SOCIAL ENERGY AND CREATES A HAVEN OF COMFORT AND INTERACTION.

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T R AV E L | M A N Z I L - D U B A I

ARRIVING INTO DUBAI I am continually amazed at the evolution of Downtown and as we turn the corner to the “Centre Of Now” the astounding transformation of the MANZIL DOWNTOWN DUBAI became apparent. Located 2 minute walk from the famous FOUNTAIN’S we always feel in touch with all that is on offer and with out the 5 STAR price tag. THE MANZIL has maintained a real cutting edge feel to its brand and once we settled into our room I could not believe the amazing attention to detail and the exceptional fit out on offer. With only 214 rooms the Manzil is a very exciting boutique hotel that stays true to its ARABIC VALUES.

M

anzil Downtown Dubai is an upscale boutique hotel managed by Vida Hotels and Resorts with a contemporary Arabesque design offering engaging service based on Arabic hospitality. Centrally located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, the gourmet dining district of Downtown Dubai, Manzil is within walking distance of The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. The hotel provides a stylised hub for today’s social explorers, energised by being at the heart of things, combined with a unique and efficient meeting space for business guests looking to make an impression. Technology is embraced throughout the hotel to facilitate the efficiency, convenience and opportunities demanded by an active, modern life. Manzil Downtown Dubai is a new upscale lifestyle boutique hotel that celebrates the warmth of Arabian hospitality in a culturally stimulating, tech-savvy setting. The hotel is managed by Vida Hotels and Resorts, the lifestyle hotel brand for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and leisure travelers. Manzil Downtown Dubai defines a distinctive niche in Dubai’s hospitality sector by serving as an international referral point for an ever-evolving and authentic Arab hospitality experience, offering a pragmatic approach suited to a demanding lifestyle. The hotel is designed to appeal to the global urban travellers who want to discover a modern twist on Arab hospitality in a sophisticated contemporary yet comfortable ambience. Visitors from across the Arab world will be able to revel in an imaginative interpretation of their culture. Manzil Downtown Dubai offers a choice of leisure amenities including an outdoor swimming pool and deck, state-of-theart gym, and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. For business guests, the Tawasal desk is a contemporary and casual business hub situated in the hotel lobby. It is available 24 hours a day and is self-service, allowing guests to access the latest devices, enabling them to connect to the Internet and wireless printer.

Defined by the tagline, ‘When Home Is Arabic,’ all rooms in Manzil Downtown Dubai are decorated to evoke the classical harmony of Arabian design. Distinguished by a palette of brown, beige and white, the boutique hotel has 155 standard King rooms, spaciously laid out in 32 sq m, with Burj Khalifa or pool views, as well as 56 Twin Rooms and eight Burj View Suites with balcony spanning 48 sq m. Connected room provision is provided for families. Tastefully adorned, and cosy yet spare, the rooms feature 42 inch LCD TVs, IPTV system for room service, web browsing and music, complimentary Wi-Fi, media hub and tea and coffee facilities are standard. RESTAURANTS & LOUNGES: At the heart of Manzil Downtown Dubai is The Courtyard that lends social energy and creates a haven of comfort and interaction. It also serves cuisines from the wider Middle East with hubbybubbly in an al fresco setting. Boulevard Kitchen, an all-day dining restaurant that serves food from across the Middle East, freshly prepared in an open plan kitchen, in addition to authentic Emirati desserts introduced by an Emirati chef. Nezesaussi, short for New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, serves as the ultimate sports hub in Downtown Dubai, and serves food from the tri-nation countries. The outlet is accessed from a separate entrance within Souk Al Manzil. Fümé, a truly unique concept, offers uncomplicated, delicious food with an international twist, served in a unique vintage-style setting. The 200-seat restaurant will serve its award-winning menu of home-cooked comfort food in a two-storey venue with spectacular views of the Dubai skyline.

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 31


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F E AT U R E S | T I N A A R E N A

INEVERLEFT WITH TINA ARENA A short black with Sandra Sully T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 35


S

ometimes something, or someone, takes you by surprise - refreshing, inspiring, powerful. This was my experience when I caught up with Tina Arena to interview her about her new album ELEVEN. I’d met Tina many times before and my initial reaction is always the same - where does one so tiny pack such a big voice! But this time I noticed something different - a sense of calm strength and a new openness in her always warm greeting. I also noted this was an international music icon void of the usual trappings of stardom - Tina simply wore jeans, tee-shirt, ballet flats and just the slightest hint of make-up. Her only ‘bling’ shone from within, the glow of a woman in control and motivated by life. I had this crazy thought that I was catching up with a dear and respected friend so I quickly checked myself, launched into professional mode and hoped Tina would be as open with her words as her demeanour. What unfolded was a revelation - Tina Arena unplugged and ready to share. Tina is as powerful in person as she is in voice. Her tone, pace and emphasis vary constantly. As both a singer-songwriter and a storyteller she wants to connect with her audience, and she’s both compelling and enthralling as she opens up about her career, her personal life and, in particular, that European hiatus. I knew she had disappeared for a decade, but I never really understood why - until now. Tina never turned her back on Australia to seek bigger markets, but needed time out for herself. It was partly because she wanted to explore her Latin heritage; she also yearned to learn, but mostly she needed to unravel herself, because the girl from Melbourne’s Moonee Ponds, who’d first won our hearts as a child star on the hit TV show Young Talent Time, was lost. “The gap was very, very important,” she says. “I needed to live - I needed to know who I was, what I was doing, why I’m existing.” In the same way so many Australians of my vintage grew up with Tina, Tina grew up with the recording industry - from the vinyls, to CDs, the MP3s and now Soundcloud, Spotify and every other digital rendition of musical artistry. But one thing she never did was venture into music’s dark side, the clichéd path of ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’. As such, she had no demons to address, no self-loathing, but in spite of the clean skin, there were lots of doubts and self-questioning. From the tender age of eight, work had defined Tina’s life. As a member of Young Talent Time, it was six days a week, 52 weeks of the year, for seven and a half years. In 1983, when her time on the show ended, she tried her hand at an office job; an insurance company no less. That lasted just three months. Constrained to a desk simply wasn’t HER. But she wasn’t ‘Tiny Tina’ anymore, and there’s the rub. How would she convince ‘the industry’ to convince the public to embrace the new ‘Teenage Tina’? It was a tough slog. But one thing Tina relishes is a challenge and two of the qualities she proudly possesses and embodies are determination and persistence. America was there; so why not give it a go - a shot? Why not? They didn’t know ‘Tiny Tina’ there! It’s fair to say those years were ‘enriching’ but not necessarily fulfilling. Eventually, and somewhat ironically given the title of her latest album, the breakthrough came ELEVEN years after she left Young Talent Time. It was her 1994 Don’t Ask album release with its string of hits including Chains, Sorrento Moon and Heaven Help My Heart. A year after it was released it was in one in four Australian homes and won ARIA “Album of the Year” in 1995, making Tina the first woman to ever win that award.

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Suddenly Tina was achieving everything she’d been striving for during the past 11 years and her star burned brightly during the whirlwind of fame that catapulted her to the early 2000’s. Then came the epiphany. Everything we’d think would be wonderful in Tina’s life was everything she wanted to shed. Especially the labels: Tiny Tina, child star, pop sensation, multi award winner, multi-platinum album star - the tags, like the accolades, are endless. That’s primarily what the European hiatus was all about escaping the labels and finding the freedom to simply be Tina - perhaps not a nobody, but definitely not the priority. “So I basically just put my business in the corner, which is where it deserved to be at the time - living became the priority,” she says. Something else was happening when Tina went AWOL. She was hurting. Deeply. “I had a complete and perpetual sense of being misunderstood,” she says. “My marriage breakdown was just like an assault, it was very violent. It was horribly aggressive in so many ways.” So were the consequences. “I was spiritually malnourished and emotionally devoid of any kind of love,” she says. “It was a brutal realisation.” The marriage failure was the trigger to question everything, including her successes. “Yeah, totally,” she says. “Everything intertwined. There was no clarity, there was no separation. I was struggling to try to compartmentalise things.” Then Tina stops and drops her voice to almost a whisper. “I had to run away Sandra - I didn’t have a choice,” she says. “It was run away or die. I knew my only salvation was to walk away, because walking away was going to allow me the time to process what on earth I had gone through. “There’s grief, there’s loss, there’s greed, there’s power, there’s ego, there’s narcissism, there’s all sorts of things that are all put in the same basket and you go WOW! You can’t deal with all those things at the same time.” So Tina escaped - to lose the pain and find herself. “People told me I was mad, which I also think is kind of mind boggling, that people would have the balls to say: ‘How dare you check out!’,” she says. “Well...how dare you tell me what you think I should do! Keeping up with the Joneses is not my thing, I certainly hope people have cottoned onto that.” In Europe Tina caught up with herself. Proving the naysayers wrong was never the intent - it’s not Tina’s way, but she did so nonetheless. During her ‘gap decade’ she kept working and also found fame in Europe, singing in French and Italian as well as English. In France alone she notched five million sales and was honoured with the coveted Order du Merit, the French version of a knighthood. “On the other side of the world I had a sense of anonymity and I had less judgement,” she says. “The judgement! I don’t think people understand the level and the grief of that kind of perpetual scrutiny.” Something else Tina found in Europe was the love and family she’d been graving. Her partner, is French artist Vincent Mancini and their son Gabriel was born in 2005.

>>>


F E AT U R E S | T I N A A R E N A

“I had to run away Sandra - I didn’t have

a choice,” she says. “It was RUN AWAY or die.” TINA ARENA

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 37


“Vincent would push me,” she says. “He’d go: ‘Come on! You’ve been in this industry all or your life so why are you so apprehensive about taking a leap and making decisions, learn to trust your instincts.’ And that was when everything started to change.” They’ve been talking about marriage for years. One day it will happen and one thing for certain is it won’t be a contrived traditional affair for this typically unconventional Aussie girl. “True - yet by the same breath, I’m unbelievably conventional,” she says. “So go figure that - my values!” In 2012 it was time to come home. A year later, Tina released her long awaited Reset album - ironically again, the gap between albums was ELEVEN years. Reset went gold in three weeks and then multi platinum, but the statistics pale against the significance of the album title - Tina truly had reset her life in Europe, but it was important the new release happened back home. “Absolutely,” she says. “Because I did feel the Australian public put out those safety nets for me. It was like: ‘Come on kiddo jump, we’ll catch you.’ And they did! They caught me and they were awesome.” Now she’s here to stay. Australia is home for Tina and Australia’s identity is something she will always be proud of and always champion. “I’d always felt that I was apologising for who I was and I got into my 40’s and knew I had to stop that,” she says. “And I don’t want to hear anyone else doing that. I want Australians to stand proud. That’s why this record IS Australian.” Tina’s talking about ELEVEN now, released in November and debuting with “I Want to Love You” - a slow burn ballad showcased in a black and white video, starring Australian actor Vince Colosimo as Tina’s love interest. ELEVEN is a watershed album in many ways. It’s the culmination of a creative collaboration with a clutch of young Australian and European artists yet equally inspired by a new found peace within, and a drive and determination to just be TINA. “That’s why I wrote ELEVEN with these amazing young Australian artists ” she continues. “At first they were asking, why would you write with us kids - well why wouldn’t I write with you kids!” Tina calls the shots these days. There’s no question she’s worked hard and has struggled for her craft, but along the way, she’s also developed a keen eye for business. In an industry, notorious for it’s brutality as it is for it’s spoilt superstars and Divas, Tina has deftly cut a rare and savvy deal for herself with her record company, EMI. For starters, there’s her licence deal. EMI pays her to deliver an album that sounds and looks just the way Tina wants it, and she always own all the masters. The reason Tina likes the EMI relationship is articulated in just four words, yet they sum

up everything she’s been seeking throughout her musical life. “The sense of freedom,” she says. It’s been that freedom and her close knit management team that always propels and pushes Tina out her comfort zone, and fortunately for us, right into our living rooms. When she released Reset, competing on Dancing With The Stars was part of the promotional plan - Tina reluctantly agreed but regretted it 2 weeks later. “I wanted out after the first few weeks,” says Tina. “Because I was totally out of my safety zone and never thought I would get through it,” she says. “It was terrifying. Just because I had grown up in the public eye didn’t mean that it gives me a greater leverage - I’ve always grown up with two left feet! But I was dancing with a man, Damien, who was very intelligent in the way he approached everything. The day he said to me: ‘I’m leading’ was the day I just went OK!” Initially being led was somewhat of a struggle for the confessed ‘control freak’, but Tina came to love the dancing experience and finished making it to the grand final and third position. “I thought that I’d won anyway,” she says. “I’d made it to the end - that was winning for me. Hanging in there!” Finally, there’s the album title. Why ELEVEN? “It’s a spiritual number,” she says. “Again I don’t want to put it in a box. It’s a really strong number, it’s a number that represents somebody who is in charge of their own journey, somebody that has the vision about things and that has a sense of peace and centring. And I think that after the storm, that lasted a few years, it’s indicative and definitely representative of where I am now.” It’s also where she started - her date of birth is 1 November or 1/11. So it somehow seems appropriate that the opening track bursts into life with the lyrics of Unravel Me. And, that’s exactly what Tina has done. If you want to come to know more about Tina Arena, listen to ELEVEN - it’s a powerful and wonderful reflection of a woman I would be proud and honoured to label - as ‘friend’. We all know Tina through her music and all the accolades, and that’s also the best way to tell her story - track by track from ELEVEN - she’s shared her feelings and see if you can relate - meet Tina Arena unplugged. If sportsmen talk on the field - Tina talks through music - it’s the best way to know her.


F E AT U R E S | T I N A A R E N A

“If you want to come to know more about Tina Arena, listen to ELEVEN - it’s a powerful and wonderful reflection of a woman I would be proud and honoured to label - as ‘ friend’.” | S A N D R A S U L L Y T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 39


TINA ARENA

TOP 10 DID YOU K NOW?

1. Tina has duetted with Marc Anthony, Boceli, Donna Summer & Stevie Wonder 2. Tina has starred on West End with leads in CABARET, CHICAGO and NOTRE DAME - hand picked by Andrew Lloyd Webber 3. During the 1990s 1 in 4 Australian homes had a copy of Tina’s DON’T ASK album 4. DON’T ASK is in the top 10 selling Australian albums of all time 5. DON’T ASK sold 3 million copies globally 6. 20-20 - Tina has achieved 20 top 20 singles worldwide 7. 3 billion people - Tina’s biggest audience when she opened the Sydney Olympic Games 8. 2013 NEWS LTD POLL - Tina was voted the #1 Greatest Australian Female Vocalist of all time 9. GOLD - every Tina Arena album has gone at least gold - some have gone 14 times platinum 10. NOW I CAN DANCE - Tina’s biography, released in 2013, is now in it’s 3rd reprint

“Sometimes something, or someone, takes you by

surprise - refreshing, INSPIRING, powerful.” | 40 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

S A N D R A S U L LY


I A B U D LI V E I N T T, DUBAI A Y H D N A R AT THE G 0 16 JANUARY 2 T H U R S D AY

21

PRESENTS THE

THE

GRAND

NIGHT

Join in the celebrations of Dubai’s official Australia Day celebrations at the Grand Hyatt Dubai’s Amphitheater. For more information contact dani@harteinternational.com.au


WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

A WA LK IN THE PA R K

DUBAI • VENDÔME - PARIS NEW YORK • MILAN • SYDNEY As a travel writer, I have had the privilege of staying in some pretty unforgettable destinations and properties, and I’m often asked, “where is your favourite or best place to stay?” With this in mind we decided in this year’s edition to CELEBRATE not only outstanding brands, but most importantly outstanding achievements. At the top of the list sits the PARK HYATT GROUP which has been the consistent benchmark in 5 Star International luxury hotel space. Our stand out properties include The PARK HYATT SYDNEY, NEW YORK, VENDÔME PARIS, MILAN and DUBAI all boasting an endless list of attributes that comes with establishing the world’s leading hotel brand. THE PARK HYATT can be found in 23 countries with 37 locations around the world boasting true international pedigree. The Park Hyatt brand sets an incredibly high standard of customer service, and pivotal to their success is their ability to enlist great leaders. The Park Hyatt offering is delivered with sophistication, character and uncompromising customer service.

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F E A T U R E | P A R K H YAT T - D U B A I

L U X U R Y AT THE CREEK PARK HYATT - DUBAI

Best HOTEL SPA in Middle East - 2015 T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 43


“THE PARK HYATT DUBAI was also the first hotel in the Middle East to feature the concept of a Spa Room, which enables guests to enjoy a premium spa experience without leaving the privacy of their room.”

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F E A T U R E | P A R K H YAT T - D U B A I

T

he transformation of Dubai from a once sleepy middle-eastern fishing village gripping the coastline of the Arabian sea, into a heavy-weight in the international tourist scene, is nothing short of amazing. The positioning of Dubai was to become a master-stroke; one that would require not only significant cash injections but the support of the world’s most luxurious iconic brands. For the plan to succeed, it had to be underpinned with the involvement of the best of hotel brands complete with superior levels of service. Naturally, the Park Hyatt Dubai was an essential inclusion with its polished and flawless global reputation. After selecting their location on Dubai Creek, adjacent to the worldfamous Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, the Hyatt set about delivering a product that would be renown for the highest levels of luxury and customer service. This spectacular property boasts 225 guestrooms and 35 suites featuring the latest in cutting edge technology and each with creek views. All of the rooms are luxuriously appointed, in keeping with the Hyatt brand. The Park Hyatt Dubai was also the first hotel in the Middle East to feature the concept of a Spa Room, which enables guests to enjoy a premium spa experience without leaving the privacy of their room. For the dining options, the Park Hyatt brought in two industry leading restaurants presenting Dubai’s best French cuisine from ‘Traiteur’, and Dubai’s most authentic ‘Thai Kitchen’. The superior quality of the food is inarguable. The dining experience is enriched for guests with the floor to ceiling windows, to make the most of the view, and complemented by the stylish décor. These signature restaurants are supported throughout the property with other food and beverage outlets in the form of cafés, terraces, lounge and bar options.

As you would expect from a luxury property, the ultimate in personal indulgence is also on the menu at the Park Hyatt Dubai. The Amara Spa is now regarded as one of the best spa facilities in the Middle East and has been rewarded with a plethora of accolades and awards. The stunning 25-metre swimming pool is not your average 25-metre pool with in-set palm trees, and four whirlwind pools, one in each corner, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. With only the highest levels of customer service and attention to detail, it is unsurprising that the meetings and banquets division is in much demand after showcasing the most unique and bespoke events. The hotel features five unique venues ideal for business events and conferences, housed in a dedicated building with a separate entrance and reception area. Nestled amongst the 18 holes of the famed Dubai Creek Golf Club course, the Park Hyatt has all the trappings you would expect from a world-class resort and spa. The Park Hyatt is a brand around the world that never fails to please. Underpinned with this reliability, the Park Hyatt properties offer exciting opportunities for discovery, as no two are the same. The personality of each property is finely tuned to its location, providing guests with a journey through local culture, unique finishes and furnishings.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

PARK HYATT DUBAI PO Box 2822, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | www.dubai.park.hyatt.com

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 45


“... For the dining options, the Park Hyatt brought in two industry leading restaurants presenting Dubai’s best FRENCH CUISINE from ‘Traiteur’...”

46 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


F E A T U R E | P A R K H YAT T - D U B A I

AKI RAISES THE BAR New General Manager Mattheos Georgiou { Aki } brings his personal touch and international experience to Park Hyatt Dubai’s executive team and raises the benchmark for the city’s luxury hotels.

D

UBAI, UAE – Park Hyatt Dubai’s NEW GENERAL MANAGER, Mattheos Georgiou has a sharp eye for detail combined with the approachable demeanor of an old friend. Although a Greek national, Mattheos grew up in Germany, but travelled back to Greece frequently to ensure he stayed in contact with his roots. Symbolic of his drive for perfection, Mattheos has the ability to pinpoint a problem and come up with a tangible solution which clearly summarizes his tactical approach. With over two decades of international experience under his belt, Mattheos’s dedication to the Hyatt brand is unparalleled, having joined the brand at the age of twenty and having never left. Mattheos joins Park Hyatt Dubai after his first General Manager assignment at Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, from a transition prior to that at Park Hyatt Tokyo. Mattheos’s enthusiasm for meeting people, dedication to service and his desire to discover the world made him into a pioneering hotelier. He recalls collecting travel brochures as a young boy, whilst his peers would collect, trade and even fight over soccer cards. A strong will to pursue a hospitality career, combined with having an inspiring mentor, has provided Mattheos the tools to excel in this dynamic industry. A large portion of his career path has been dictated by the people he has met along the way, resulting in his landing in his current role. Having worked at flag ship properties including Park Hyatt Ararat in Moscow and Grand Hyatt Hong Kong his knowledge of the brand is unprecedented. The future of Park Hyatt Dubai is now looking even more prosperous, including several dynamic changes to be introduced over the coming year with emphasis on the atmosphere and vibrancy of the hotel. Mattheos is no newcomer to Dubai, having worked at Hyatt Regency Deira for two years as front office manager. “Dubai has matured a lot over the years and has become a larger city with real neighborhoods and a vibrant social scene,” says Mattheos. The involvement and activity of Emiratis in the

hospitality business is a change that Mattheos feels has evolved in the past ten years, and such involvement was not easily seen at the turn of the millennium. Outside the work place, Mattheos is an explorer and he makes it a point to visit at least one new destination every year. The exposure to a large number of different nationalities in the work-place provides access to a little piece of each country, assisting him in the decision of choosing a foreign destination. Mattheos believes it is important to spend time alone in order to explore and really form a perspective of your own without being influenced by the thought processes of others. A satisfying place to do just that and connect with his roots at his Greek farm where he grows olive trees and bottles rich olive oil.

• T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 47


EF 24 - 70MM F/2.8L II USM

THE ZOOM LENS THAT BRINGS YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS CLOSER Taken on tour by Danielle Harte in Paris, France.


B R A N D S | P A R K H YAT T - V E N D O M E

WORDS

BY

: PHIL HARTE

Experience the City of Lights from its central heart at Park Hyatt Paris-Vend么me, one of the most LUXURIOUS 5 STAR HOTELS in Paris.

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 49


WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

GASTRONOMY

T H AT P U R ’ S As I arrived in Paris I knew this was going to be a night to remember for the rest of my life. So much so, that I have decided to feature one of the leading chefs of the world Master Chef Jean Francois Rouquette • Park Hyatt Vendôme - Paris

O

n arrival at the hotel, we were running a little late, so we sent our bags to the room and headed directly to Pur, one of Paris’ leading restaurants in one of Europe’s leading hotels, the Park Hyatt Vendome. As we entered the room, we saw an amazing show kitchen buzzing with gastronomic artistry - 10 to 15 chefs pulling together the most amazing menu providing a six-course, ninecourse and a la carte option. In one of the most intimate restaurants I’ve ever been in, Pur did exactly that. This unique, classic but cosy 50-seat gem was both homely and classy. There was one table for two left, strategically placed at the entrance to the kitchen. And it was ours. I couldn’t have asked for a better spot. As the Sommelier approached from the left, the Maître De appeared from the right and then out came the man, Michelin Star extraordinaire, Chef Jean Francois Rouquette, and his smile was as broad as his shoulders. I couldn’t help but stand straight up, as if royalty had arrived, then out went his hand followed by the customary ‘Bonsoir’. I didn’t know whether to kiss it or just hang on. Thank God the latter sufficed. From that moment, I was glued to his every move. His command of his kitchen and the way it seamlessly delivered its gastronomic delights, was a joy to watch. Our selections couldn’t have been better. Danielle had the Dublin Bay prawns

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with hazelnut sabayon, cauliflower and pickled mushrooms followed by the Blue Lobster grilled with Aztec spices, sweet green pepper chutney and smoked corn with corn chips and homemade spiced ice cream. My selection was the chanterelle mushrooms, hazelnut crumble with sweet and sour mulberries (his mother’s recipe) followed by the Wagyu Beef with roast potatoes in thyme and smoked eggplant. The real treat was that Chef Jean Francois served us himself. The rest of the night just faded into culinary blur. This may sound a little strange to the uninitiated but when you started your working life in the kitchen and have carved out a career as a chef, you really do just sit back in awe of this type of genius. I always thought I was pretty good in the kitchen until I was humbled by the master. It’s interesting, with us being subjected to Pur on our first night, you would think that it would all be downhill from there, but this was nothing further from the truth. Like a typical welloiled Hyatt machine, the incredibly high levels of service in all areas is something that has to be experienced to be believed. Every aspect of this amazing property, from concierge, front desk, the lobby lounge, the rooms, the general service and of course the food and beverage, is something that every other property will, or certainly should, aspire to.


B R A N D S | P A R K H YAT T - V E N D O M E

CHEF JEAN FRANCOIS ROUQUETTE

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 51


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Compromise should never be an option.

THE PRESTIGE COLLECTION Audi maintains a reputation for quality and luxury, and now a range of new Audi models are part of the Prestige Collection. Available from Hertz city and airport locations in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, for those occasions when compromise isn’t an option.

Book today for a ride you’ll never forget. hertz.com.au

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54 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


F E A T U R E S | P A R K H YAT T - N E W Y O R K

PA R K H YAT T N EW YORK WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

DRESSED TO IMPRESS

In August 2014 the BIG APPLE welcomed arguably one of the world’s best hotel brands. The property is impressive - with its soaring glass, black marble and iron façade, and the slick concierge opening the door – everything we’ve come to expect from a top quality hotel in NEW YORK.

T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 55


T

he Park Hyatt has become a leader in hotel luxury and a benchmark for consistency in hospitality excellence. Each Park Hyatt has a distinctly personal and unique local identity expressed in the fit out, the regional selection of food and wine, custom furnishings, curated art and the most amazing aromatic scents. The latest New York property offers 210 guests rooms including 92 suites to choose from, all of which boast state-of-the-art technology including remote drapes, surround sound and hi-speed internet, and completed with luxurious amenities. Ideally located at West 57th Street, guests can easily sneak in a fitness session, either outside in the nearby iconic Central Park, or within the hotel itself. The huge gym is fully fitted out with the latest Technogym equipment and this is complemented with a 25 metre pool, spa and steam room. For those guests who prefer a more zen experience, Spa Nalai provides a stylish

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Manhattan retreat for serenity and wellness. New York is renown for its dining establishments, so the challenge was always going to be how to position the Park Hyatt New York’s new offering: ‘The Back Room One 57’. They’ve nailed it with an American inspired restaurant which offers a sophisticated, intimate atmosphere with dark wood accents, floor-to-ceiling windows, and views of Carnegie Hall. On the lobby level there’s a real sense of informal sophistication. A snappy bar called The Living Room is the place where talented mixologists practice their craft, and there are several quite intimate areas making it a convivial place to enjoy some tapas and creative appetisers. And if you don’t want to leave your favourite pooch behind, the Park Hyatt will accommodate your best friend too, so long as it’s a small one. Two nights at the Park Hyatt New York was an absolute teaser, and created an appetite to steal a few more nights in what is the world’s most exciting city.


F E A T U R E S | P A R K H YAT T - N E W Y O R K

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

PARK HYATT NEW YORK P153 West 57th Street, New York, USA | www.newyork.park.hyatt.com

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HAMILTON ISLAND THE JEWEL OF THE WHITSUNDAYS

“Two nights at the Park Hyatt New York was an absolute tease, and created an appetite to steal a few more nights in what is the world’s most exciting city.”

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F E A T U R E S | P A R K H YAT T - M I L A N

MILANO MAGIC

R I C H TA P E S T R Y • S H O P P I N G • DESIGNER BRANDS • HISTORICAL CATHEDRALS • ARTS • ENCHANTING R E S TA U R A N T S • PA R K H YAT T MILANO SIMPLY DELIVERS This hotel has a fantastic location. It overlooks the GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II: one of the world’s oldest shopping malls housed in a stunning 19th century cast-iron and glass structure. The hotel is nestled at the edge of the PIAZZA DEL DUOMO (the main piazza in Milan) and the Duomo di Milano – the 5th century Gothic cathedral reported to be the fifth largest in the world. A short walking distance away is the world-renowned opera house, Teatro alla Scala and also ultra-chic shopping options in VIA MONTENAPOLEONE and Via della Spiga. We arrived at the Park Hyatt Milano and immediately took in the statement palatial classical design of the façade. As we entered the lobby to check-in and gazed up at the spectacular domed atrium, we were impressed by the spacious interior which featured columns and wall-to-wall terrazzo. This light-filled space was anchored through the placement of unique designer furniture and artwork, notably the Lucio Fontana sculpture Testa Di Medusa and the stunning UNTITLED 2013 by Anish Kapoor which took pride of place in the CUPOLA LOBBY LOUNGE.

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he hotel provides accommodation through 106 guestrooms, including 25 suites, all featuring Ed Tuttle designed interiors. We find our suite, which is decorated in a rich palette of cream, caramel and warm chocolate. The room is accented by Venetian stucco and the bathroom is fitted out in Italian marble (of course) featuring soaking tub and oversized rain shower. The unique and exciting individual pieces carefully positioned in the room completed the picture – it was a visual delight and echoed the personal Park Hyatt touch. After a long journey, we love to blow-off the cobwebs by hitting the gym. Whilst not oversized, the Park Hyatt Milano gym was professionally and thoughtfully equipped. The male and female steam rooms and saunas were a treat, as was the deep tissue massage we had at the hotel’s Spa – one of the many excellent offerings to soothe the weary traveller.

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F E A T U R E S | P A R K H YAT T - M I L A N

DINING The Park Hyatt has a proud tradition of presenting exceptional dining options in their properties around the world, and this is no exception. Apart from quality in-room dining, the hotel offers another four excellent dining options and prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients available from the market in its menus. Andrea Aprea is the executive chef of the hotel’s Michelinstarred ‘Restaurant VUN.’ A chef with an obvious passion for his craft, this young Napoli master focuses on technique, innovation and respect for the Italian gastronomic tradition. “My contemporary cuisine looks to the future, but never forgets its origins,” said Aprea. We booked into Restaurant VUN and were impressed with the elegance and sophistication of the dining room. A bonus was that it only accommodated 45 diners, which created a quiet and relaxed ambience. The service was attentive and unobtrusive, and we enjoyed seeing Andrea Aprea actively interacting with the guests. We chose a six course tasting menu and enjoyed an exceptional meal of Caprese… sweet salted, Octopus Luciana style, Anchovies with courgettes, Candela pasta with pork Genovese style, Baked Sea Bass finished with their signature Baba and completed the meal with the delicious Lemon Sensation. We could ask for nothing more!

HIGHLIGHT We participated in the ‘Run in Milan’ activity on offer at the Park Hyatt Milan. Guests can choose their preferred run length and then join a group of runners who go past the hotel at 6:25 am every day. The group leader of the runners adapts the tour to shorter or longer paths depending on the preference of the guest runner. As well as burning calories, we loved participating as we felt we had the city to ourselves. We had an up-close and personal view as we ran through parks and pedestrian areas of the city centre, past monuments and landmarks whilst most people were still in their bed. When visiting Milan, there is so much to see and do, and four days will never seem enough to take in the history, architecture, great food and wine, and shopping. We tried our best, however, and covered as much of the city as we could. Our stay at the Park Hyatt Milan, from its location to it fulfilling its promise as a truly global luxury hotel brand, was perfect in ensuring our visit was memorable for all the right reasons. F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

PARK HYATT MILAN Park Hyatt Milan, Via Tommaso Grossi 1, Milan, Italy, 20121 | www.milan.park.hyatt.com

ANDRE APREA | EXECUTIVE CHEF

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PHIL HARTE

GLORIOUS SYDNEY HARBOUR

Seated majestically on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, PARK HYATT SYDNEY perfectly personifies contemporary HARBOURSIDE LUXURY, with its coverted location between the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

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F E A T U R E | P A R K H YAT T - S Y D N E Y

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D

escending into Sydney is always a magical experience. The massive QF A380 wings dip to capture that signature view of the word’s most spectacular harbour with the famed Opera House and trophy Harbour Bridge. The taxi navigated its way through the historic Rocks district and down under the bridge in a coveted position our harbourside luxury hotel awaits. We were greeted warmly and personally and our bags were whisked away before we had even exited the taxi. With typical attention to detail, General Manager Marc Von Arnim had ensured that everything possible was made available for us as weary travellers. In our room, breakfast was waiting of fresh berries, Greek yogurt and warm croissants, which was complemented by the incredible aroma of a short black from Vittoria coffee, my favourite blend. Sipping our coffee by the window we stood awed by the mind-blowing harbour view – one that is uniquely Australian or, should I say, uniquely Park Hyatt Sydney, and the view inside was pretty good too. The Park Hyatt Sydney’s contemporary interiors throughout it’s 155 guest rooms and suites have been thoughtfully designed for a luxury ambience and guest comfort. Floor to ceiling glass doors leading to private balconies bring the stunning views inside. The hotel’s dining areas makes best use of uninterrupted views of the harbour, and allows the Executive Chef, Franck Detrait, the flexibility to deliver both an array of private in-room and amazing waterfront dining experiences. The ‘Living Room’ provides a relaxing space for guests to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, morning or afternoon teas or light snacks. The award-winning ‘The Dining Room’ provides an elegant waterfront dining experience offering a contemporary menu featuring local produce and authentic flavours sprinkled with a sophisticated French technique. The food is perfectly complemented by a wine list presented by sommelier Filippo L’episcopo. The 24-hour Butler Service allows guests to enjoy every inch of this iconic property, as they guide guests to the use of the hotel’s facilities including the world-class day Spa and the roof top pool and deck. Importantly, the Butler Service also assists guests to choose from the plethora of festivals, markets and evening events that abound in this vibrant city.

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F E A T U R E | P A R K H YAT T - S Y D N E Y

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EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER service is part of the Park Hyatt’s DNA. Combine this with its majestic position on the world’s most picturesque harbour in one of the TOP 5 GLAMOUR CITIES of the world, & you have all the elements needed to deliver a FIRST CLASS EXPERIENCE.

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F E A T U R E | P A R K H YAT T - S Y D N E Y

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A F LO AT I N FRANCE WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL WORLD

There is no better way to enjoy the splendour of FRANCE than by cruising along the rivers and canals that criss-cross the countryside. The Belmond’s luxury barge, the NAPOLÉON – a péniche-hôtel complete with only six cabins, provided the ultimate Gallic cruising experience along the historic Rhône River.

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“We are on a train hurtling through the countryside of Southern France, cutting a swathe through SLEEPY VILLAGES. Our destination is the MEDIEVAL TOWN of AVIGNON where we will board BELMOND’S ULTIMATE LUXURY BARGE, the Napoléon.”

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e are on a train hurtling through the countryside of Southern France, cutting a swathe through sleepy villages. Our destination is the medieval town of Avignon where we will board Belmond’s ultimate luxury barge, the Napoléon. After our experience with Belmond’s other properties last year (the Hotel Cipriani and their legendary Simplon-Orient Express) we couldn’t wait for our barge experience to begin. For the next six days, we will meander along the Rhône River in luxury, savouring the delightful taste of life through iconic French landscapes. We approached Avignon station and spotted our hosts eagerly awaiting our arrival. Joining us on our barge adventure are John and Sandra Stone from South Carolina and together we will be living the life as we discover the history and medieval past of southern France.

Arriving dock-side gave us our first glimpse of the Napoléon in all its splendour. This 39 meter barge was commissioned in 1991 and features six beautifully appointed cabins and a cosy canopied upper deck complete with hot tub. For this trip, there are only four guests on board, but the barge can take up to 12 guests, with service provided by six crew. Once on the main deck, we were greeted by the Captain and the Napoléon crew with trays of Champagne and canapés. Wandering through the barge, we see the lounge and dining rooms are beautifully appointed. A private bar is provided with a desk off to one side with a computer; a subtle reassurance that WiFi is available should we wish to steal a quick catch-up with the real world. A Bose docking station provided the soft sounds of Nina Simone in the background. We settled into our cabin, and watched as the weather fell apart. That was of little consequence as we could relax on the outside deck under the canopy, with a cocktail in hand. The Napoléon slipped its mooring and we set off for Arles, passing on our way impressive châteaux, quaint villages, olive groves and lavender fields and local kids chasing us along the banks as far as they could go. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 77


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DAY 1 – A R L E S

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE AND VAN GOGH’S INSPIRATIONAL HOME Today was all about settling in to the Napoléon and watching the gorgeous countryside pass us by. We keenly fronted for lunch to put the Chef to the test. After an entree of tiger prawns and poached monkfish, followed by slowly cooked crispy skinned duck with a Burgundy sauce and a magnificent lemon meringue tart, we knew we were in good hands. Meals on board were never really going to be a challenge for Chef Robert as he had all day to prepare three meals a day for his four, yes four, guests – with his backyard of truffle farms, organic produce and fresh fish markets providing all the inspiration. Dinner was equally impressive, with roasted butternut squash risotto and feta entree followed by a main dish of traditional lamb provençal finished with a local apple tart tatin. With dinner completed, we headed out to explore Arles and to see the UNESCO World Heritage listed sites. Van Gough lived in Arles for just over a year, but during that time completed some 300 paintings, among them some of his finest – including The Night Café and the Yellow Room. Arles’ Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus date back to the 1st Century BC, and were well preserved despite their ancient age. The Arles’ amphitheatre is also worth a visit. Built in 90 AD, it was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting during the Feria d’Arles as well as for plays and concerts in summer.

DAY 2 – S T R É M Y

LTI-MEDIA MUSEUM Breakfasts on board were made more special being able to sip our café au lait on the upper deck overlooking fields with wild poppies and castles in the distance. Our destination today is Avignon with stops on the way. We also had the opportunity to explore the limestone quarries of listed heritage site Les Beaux-de-Provence. We spent time at the Carrieres des Baux-de-Provence, where we saw an amazing digital exhibition called ‘Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, the giants of the Renaissance’. This magical and grandiose multimedia show creates the ultimate museum; the limestone surfaces climb to 25-30 meters, and paintings from the greatest Italian Renaissance masters are projected onto the vast walls of rock, pillars and the ground in the quarry. We found ourselves immersed in blankets of gold and multi-coloured tapestries generated from years of artistic genius. On our way back to the barge we visited a medieval castle built in the 15th century by René d’Anjou (Good King René) who was reportedly a most industrious and influential figure of his time. This castle was eventually converted into a public jail which operated until 1920. It is now celebrated as a trophy museum. Back on board, we cruised to Avignon, where we were treated to an up-close view of the famous bridge, Pont Saint-Bénezet, built between 1177 and 1185, spanning the Rhône between Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Avignon. Our captain deftly steered the barge into Avignon and we moored opposite the city gates. We were then treated to a visit of the spectacular Roman Pont du Gard aqueduct. An awesome sight, the aqueduct stands almost 50 m high and is on three levels – the longest measuring 275 m. The Roman architects and hydraulic engineers who designed this bridge created a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece.

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DAY 3 – AV I G N O N

HOME OF THE POPES Avignon holds a special place in religious history as the home to seven successive Popes, who resided there and not Rome, during the 14th century. The Palais des Papes is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, and this fortress and palace was the seat of western Christianity in the 1300s. After our tour of this incredible palace, we browsed the village shops and visited a local boulangerie. Back on the barge we enjoyed a lunch of traditional freshly baked Quiche Lorraine with garden salads and our daily fix of local cheeses, before we were adrift again. The destination was Rocquemaure, which is 12 km north of Avignon, but we had one important stop to do on the way: a tour and wine tasting at the world famous wine region Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is a highlight for aficionados of red wine, but it was also a great opportunity for me to get on the bike and ride through the countryside. Some of the guests, though, opted to be driven the 15 km into the village.

DAY 4

ORANGE AND NAVIGATING THE LOCK We set off early to visit the historical Roman city of Orange, reportedly founded in 35BC. The city boasts two of the finest Roman monuments in Europe: the Arch de Triomphe d’Orange and the Théâtre antique d’Orange. We first headed to the Arch of Triumph, built in 100AD and given as a gift from the Roman Soldiers to the city of Orange. Though the Arch was impressive, the true spectacle proved to be the Roman Theatre. We couldn’t help but gasp at its scale and magnificence. Built early in the 1st century AD, it had, without doubt, the most spectacular stage we have ever seen, and one of only a few Roman theatres that still retains its elaborately decorated background. Standing amongst its 9,000 seats and millions of tons of stone and statues it was difficult to contemplate the history attached to this wonder. Back on board and having enjoyed but another gastronomic delight whilst cruising on our way to Viviers, it was time to take on Europe’s second deepest lock, the Écluse de Bollène. Within this groaning lock, with water pouring in ahead of us, our barge was elevated by an amazing 23 metres. Surrounded by Europe’s Uranium stockpile and acres of wind turbines, we safely emerged from the lock and headed up stream. Once moored, we jumped onto bikes and investigated the charming medieval town of Viviers – marking the halfway point in our journey.


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A tour and WINE TASTING at the world famous wine region Ch창teauneuf-du-Pape. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 81


DAY 5

GRIGNAN’S BLACK DIAMONDS After breakfast, we visited Nyons where we saw a lavender distillery and an 18th century olive mill. Then it was on to the very pretty village of Grignan. Some 45 years ago, l was given a little red tin by my first ever boss, the truly original Master Chef Marcel Clay, Chef De La Cuisine of the famed Carlton Rex hotel’s Gaslight restaurant. In that tin was a single black winter truffle from a tiny village in France called Grignan. Grignan is famous for lavender farms and medieval châteaux and is the pre-eminent centre of the world’s best truffles. How nostalgic this journey had become as memories came flooding back from my first weeks as a budding chef. It was a great thrill to spend a few hours with Master Truffler Gilles Ayme and his trusty hunters Ebelle and Gina. We were enthralled at the complexity and attention to detail required to hunt out and deliver these gastronomique gems. Then it was off to explore the 17th century Château de Grignan and spend the afternoon indulging on foie gras, eye fillet and a freshly baked apple tart at Manoir de la Roseraie. Back on board, and moored on the banks of La Voulte, we sat relaxing on the deck. We had the most incredible vista of the sun setting over the Rhône with a tapestry backdrop of historic castles and châteaux flanked by fields of lavender – the view itself a natural masterpiece.

DAY 6

MARKET SHOPPING IN LA VOULTE Waking up to the smell of freshly baked croissants and café is always hard to beat and that aroma was wafting across to us from the weekly markets busy with all the local farmers, charcutiers and fromagers. It was at this market that Chef Robert invited me to join him to visit the myriad local providers to plan the lunch and final dinner menu to celebrate our last night on board the Napoléon. Back on board for a few more hours of cruising and grazing on a lunch of tapas, fruits and wines. We stopped near Tain to visit the delightful Chez Ferraton winery for a tour, wine tasting and our last degustation of regional specialties. Our last dinner on board was as expected both elegant and somewhat traditional: sautéed scallops with a vodka-laced salsa, perfectly cooked medium rare eye fillet with a truffle and Madera reduction and the finale of a traditional croque-en-bouche. As Champagne flowed and group hugs were had it was the ending of a remarkable journey with Captain John, Chef Robert, Our Guide Poppy, restaurant Manager Kate, Cabin attendant Marina and Deck hand Julian all at the ready to escort us to the station.


T R AV E L | T H E B E L M O N D E X P E R I E N C E - F R A N C E

“ l was given a little red tin by my first ever boss, the truly original MASTER CHEF MARCEL CLAY, Chef De La Cuisine of the famed Carlton Rex hotel’s Gaslight restaurant. In that tin was a single black WINTER TRUFFLe from a tiny village in France called GRIGNAN.”

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As I reflect on the journey, I know it is something I’d love to do again. The Napoléon is like a floating world-best boutique hotel with an equally-renowned French restaurant. It is the perfect way for 12 friends or family members to share an amazing private and bespoke experience. The Napoléon is the epitome of cruising luxury with your own personal staff and where each day is a true adventure.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

BELMOND NAPOLÉON www.belmond.com/afloat-in-france/

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BRANDS

| R.M. WILLIAMS

BOOT LOVERS ROUND THE WORLD REGINALD MURRAY WILLIAMS The company focus is on purposefully designed, beautiful and sustainable footwear, clothing and accessories. The classic men’s and women’s ranges are a testament to hardy elegance featuring on-trend shirts, jeans and jackets, knitwear, skirts and dresses that fuse global trends with quintessential bush styles.

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royal Sultan recently entered one of the Australian R.M. Williams stores and purchased boots, jeans and belts for himself, friends and family, and security staff, including a pair of the new women’s Adelaide boots in gorgeous crocodile leather. Surprising, perhaps, to those outside the company, but for the staff who have worked with R.M. Williams for a number of years, this growing franchise among wealthy, global citizens who appreciate the timeless elegance of Australia’s iconic boots is testimony to their universal appeal to world leaders and outback cattlemen alike. Indeed, it was this aspect that led L Capital Asia, a private equity fund sponsored by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) in 2013 to invest in the business, enabling R.M. Williams to further develop this remarkable Australian story. The company focus is on purposefully designed, beautiful and sustainable footwear, clothing and accessories. The classic men’s and women’s ranges are a testament to hardy elegance featuring on-trend shirts, jeans and jackets, knitwear, skirts and dresses that fuse global trends with quintessential bush styles. They appeal to a world audience with a sense of adventure, and are linked to the maker through the branded embroidery, buttons, distinctive boot tugs and other finishing touches. The foundations of the R.M.Williams business are firmly built on the spirit of RM, the man. Reginald Murray Williams was a serial entrepreneur who spent his many years inventing, reinventing and perfecting new techniques. He investigated new businesses and markets but remained grounded by his upbringing and experience – he was a man happy with hard work. This entrepreneurial, driven spirit remains at the core of the company culture today. Leaders across the globe are drawn to the effortless style and reliability that is at the heart of the brand, as are some of the most famous people on the planet – actors Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman and politicians Bill Clinton and David Cameron to name a few. The R.M.Williams brand is and always has been inspired by the remarkable land of the Australian outback, and the people who live there. The brand is active in rural and remote communities, sponsoring key events around the stockman’s crafts and taking boots and clothing to the far-flung reaches of the country with the travelling Longhorn Express truck and store. R.M.Williams supports community activities such as

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BRANDS

| R.M. WILLIAMS

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BRANDS

| R.M. WILLIAMS

“The classic boot styles incorporate more than 80 hand-held processes, each performed by craftsmen and women with multiple years of training and an eye for quality and detail.”

the Australian Stockhorse Association, The Man from Snowy River Festival and the major agricultural shows in each state. R.M.Williams publishes the bi-monthly OUTBACK magazine, telling the great stories of the outback – ordinary people doing extraordinary things, away from the bright lights of our cities. The craftsmanship of the 300-staff boots, craft and clothing workshop in Adelaide is something special and unique. Many of these staff members have a lifelong dedication to the company, and pass their skills down from generation to generation. The classic boot styles incorporate more than 80 hand-held processes, each performed by craftsmen and women with multiple years’ training and an eye for quality and detail. They also produce remarkable hand-plaited belts, made with more than 1000 plaits – a skill handed down from bushmen, to RM himself, and then to the team that crafts the products today. The iconic elastic-sided boot, made from one piece of leather, is durable enough to stand up to the rigours of the outback, so can certainly take anything you can dish up in town. This one-piece leather construction stands R.M.Williams boots apart from many of the “Chelsea boots” on the market today. Goodyear welting – the strip of leather that runs along the perimeter of the boot outsole – means not only a well-made, durable boot, but also one that can be repaired as good as new with a life expectancy of decades, if well looked after. The simplicity of the design means it can work with jeans in the outback or a suit in the city. From the very early days, RM built his business around making to order. The R.M.Williams museum in Percy St in Adelaide houses RM’s metre-long Remington Rand card machine that dates back to the 1950s, and in which he kept the typed names and addresses of customers, plus their sizes and fabric preferences, long before data-marketing and loyalty programs existed. In keeping with the times, the business is now migrating what was a mail-order catalogue business into a state-of-the-art e-Commerce business, servicing both remote bush customers and international fans. Helping the customer choose the perfect-sized boot remains critical to the enduring success of R.M.Williams. There’s expert staff in store and multiple size and width boot combinations available. The company is investigating new technologies, such as foot scanners, with prototypes currently in testing. Online, customers are given step-by-step instructions to ensure they order the perfect fit for them. Boots are also made to order when a specific leather, size or width combination is not immediately in stock.

A new bespoke program will take choice to a whole new level. Customers will be able to design their own handcrafted, elasticsided boots, right down to the absolute perfect size for each foot, and complete with a personalised message of your choice on the sole. A wide variety of leathers, sole types, stitching colours and elastics will be on offer. The R.M.Williams brand identity has been updated – appropriately using a typeface inspired by the 1940s catalogues. The product line and stores are also evolving, and the move into e-Commerce is already helping to expand global sales of footwear and leather craft, for which demand continues to grow internationally. This year the company launched the new exclusively women’s boot, the Adelaide. Inspired in part by the equestrian Wimmera boot created some 20 years ago as the definitive women’s jodphur boot, the Adelaide provides women with a lighter, more refined alternative to the iconic Craftsman. The spirit of entrepreneurship and focus on quality and durability remains part and parcel of the exciting future of RM Williams, building on the legacy of one man, and continuing to be inspired by the Australian outback. For more information visit: rmwilliams.com for details of your nearest stockiest or to order online.

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Q A N TA S A U S T R A L I A

H I G H F LY E R WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

WORLD’S #1 INTERNATIONAL LOUNGE The flight from SYDNEY to LOS ANGELES is around 14 hours, so it helps to prepare for such a journey by starting out in SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S Qantas First Class Lounge. From my window table I get to watch the ground crew go through there routine, I still have that thrill of another ride on the QANTAS A380. Being a ‘six-movie flight’, this is the only airport we arrive at three hours before our flight departs so we can relax and indulge in either a massage, facial or simply order from the à la carte menu, there are no buffet’s here. The kitchen is run by Rockpool’s Neil Perry, so you know the menu will be special, my favourite dishes include the Salt and Pepper Calamari, followed by the Minute Steak with a delicious bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate topping and a VITTORIA COFFEE, Short Black. As we board our flight, we enter the upper deck to be greeted by those fabulous 6’6” Qantas capsules that will ultimately ensure us of a peaceful night’s sleep, then its into the FAMOUS KANGAROO PJ’S. This tremendous experience is something everyone needs to enjoy, at least once!

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A L LC L A S S

QANTAS’ FIRST CLASS The QANTAS First Lounge in Sydney set a new global LOUNGE benchmark in airline lounge design and service

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when it opened in May 2007.

he First Lounge is a signature element of Qantas’ renewed focus on world-class, innovative design that commenced with the introduction of the airline’s award-winning Skybed in 2003. Designed in tandem with the new Qantas A380 aircraft interiors, the lounge is the beginning of a seamless travel experience for Qantas premium customers – from airport to aircraft. In keeping with the fact that Qantas is an Australian company with a global customer base, the ultra-contemporary design is an amalgam of the best design and materials Australia and the world have to offer. The original design was conceived by internationally acclaimed Australian industrial designer Marc Newson using furnishings and finishes that are amongst the best in the world. Meticulous detail went into the design process and fitout to ensure a style result befitting one of the world’s top tier airlines. The focus was on harmonious design elements to ensure a sense of cohesiveness to the space, which spreads across over 2,000 square metres and encompasses a range of zones from business to entertainment to spa. A spectacular vertical garden – with 8,400 plants designed by internationally celebrated tropical botanist Patrick Blanc – welcomes guests at the entrance. The garden extends across 30 metres of the lounge wall, bringing nature indoors in a dramatic yet sustainable way, cleansing the air and invigorating the senses. Soaring, specially commissioned European oak sculptures segment the lounge into exclusive zones for dining, relaxation, business, library and entertainment. Marc Newson custom-designed many of the lounge pieces,

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including the leather lounge chairs, recliners and sofas made by world-renowned Italian leather manufacturer Poltrona Frau. The dining area features more pieces custom-designed by Marc including dining chairs and tables made by Italian craftsmen Cappellini, complemented by signature design items such as cutlery and crockery produced by Noritake and Alessi. The lounge offers an Aurora Spa – offering customers exclusive signature spa treatments, massages, facials and hand and foot therapies prior to their international flight.

THE SPA The Spa is framed by an extension of the vertical garden and featuring natural elements such as exquisite Swiss quartzite walls and flooring provided by Switzerland’s family-owned Truffer company. The lounge was designed using Feng Shui principles, and the form and shape of the layout have been assessed by an expert in the field as excellent. The lounge has exceeded all expectations, with an extraordinary customer response, often a 100 per cent customer satisfaction rating.

• a library stocked with a selection of newspapers and magazines, best-selling books and board games including chess and backgammon; • entertainment areas with plasma screens showing local and international news, sport and weather, and Sony Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable entertainment systems offering a selection of games and movies; • a vertical garden designed by international botanist Patrick Blanc featuring over 8,400 individual plants; • luxurious individual marble-lined shower suites with individual stereo volume and lighting controls, radiant heating to reduce condensation on the mirrors, and luggage racks; • exclusive furniture and luxurious finishes including leather lounge chairs, recliners, and sofas by Italy’s Poltrona Frau, dining chairs and tables by Cappellini, Tai Ping wool carpets from Hong Kong, marble from Carrara and quartzite from Switzerland; and • state-of-the-art business facilities with 11 PC workstations, complimentary wireless internet access, power and data points throughout the lounge and two private work suites with conference facilities and plasma display screens.

VERTICAL WALL Installation took 3 months in stages and Maintenance is based on a timer set to water every couple of hours as required, along with a device which monitors nutrient levels within soil and replenishes as required. FEATURES OF THE SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL FIRST LOUNGE • huge European oak sculptures that separate the lounge space into defined areas; • an Aurora Spa offering a range of complimentary 20 minute treatments tailored to address customers’ pre-flight needs. • a 48-seat open kitchen restaurant with menus by Neil Perry; • chair-side waiter service throughout the lounge;

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F E A T U R E S | S A L LY F I T Z G I B B O N S

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S A L LY MEANS BUSINESS SALLY FITZGIBBONS’ GREATEST CHALLENGE The desire to succeed in business is dripfed into Modern Australia’s bloodstream. In the era of the entrepreneur, there’s a nationalistic responsibility to scramble whatever cash is lying around and back that idea or that concept and ride the everascending escalator of success.

S PHOTOGRAPH : DANIELLE HARTE

ome find it too late. Others are blinded by implausible ideas or emotional concepts. Few can convert their desire into business success. But for Sally Fitzgibbons, it wasn’t simply a need to thrive in business for as long as she can remember. Rather, the infectiously positive pro surfer set her sights on the titles she’d envisage as an 8-year-old, unwaveringly determined to one day live the success of the idols she’d mimic in the oceans and ovals around her home in Gerroa, NSW. Now 25 years old, she’s realised her dream on the World Surf League. But the sports fanatic is also converting a newfound passion for business building - 30 metres out, from the sideline, perfectly over the black dot. “I still get so much reward from chasing down a world title and improving as an athlete,” says Sally. “But the business side of things, and creating a holistic visions, has offered me the new challenge I’ve needed. Just like I did earlier in my surfing career, I get to learn from those more experienced than me all over again.”

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In 12 years of being a professional surfer Sally’s built a formidably competitive career with nine world tour wins and three runner-up finishes to the world title (’10, ’11, ’12). She’s renowned as being the most committed to her training, and is a figurehead for women making positive change through sport. And now, the well-being enthusiast is spreading her determination into her own channels with the launch of Fitzgibbons International, and the Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation. Launched in December at an extravagant Martin Place event, NSW Premier Mike Baird and some of Australia’s sporting greats helped announce the Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation. The not-for-profit organisation tackles childhood obesity in Australia, and educates Aussie families on the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle. “When I see the look on kids’ faces who I’ve met, and I can see them make that adjustment towards living a healthy lifestyle and being active, that’s what makes it so special! The foundation is about sharing that moment with as many Aussie kids and families as I can.” Finding managerial direction with Classic Lifestyle Magazine’s publisher and founder of Harte International - Phil Harte, ‘Sally’s 2016’ looks a lot busier midway through last year, just the way she likes it. Great new partnerships with Piping Hot, Samsung, CoCo Joy, Technogym, Reebok, Land Rover, Novotel, X Dubai, Tag Heuer and Solar D Sunscreen will spearhead a productive 12-month campaign in 2016. Sally is not the stereotypical, kicking-back surfer. There is nothing blasé about the way she surfs, even less about the way she lives. Nothing better highlights her determination and courage than her 2015 Fiji Pro victory, beating the entire field despite suffering a painful and balance-impairing perforated eardrum.

The story of her Aussie grit went global, but for those close to her it wasn’t surprising. Everything Sally does has purpose, and every decision and effort is to make a step towards the goals she set out for herself. Determination and breathing go hand-in-hand for Sally. You can expect her business, Fitzgibbons International, will be no different. “As an athlete you have to show determination and diligence, no one else is going to get you up at 4:30am to train by yourself,” she says. “I have that work ethic engrained in me and I think it’s put me in a great position to launch a business career.” “In these early stage it’s about finding balance. I’ve never been so happily tired. I love to push myself to the limits in training and I’ve been trying to do it with my business commitments as well. But I’ve learned a real sense of patience as a surfer on tour, so I know this is a marathon not a sprint.” After a 10 year partnership with Roxy, the company’s positioning of the darling smile didn’t resonate with where Sally saw opportunity. She put pen to paper with her first book Live Like Sally and her growing fan-base has continued wanting more and more insight into her lifestyle, health and nutrition decisions. “I was at a real crossroads where I knew I wanted to step out on my own, but it was about making sure the move was sustainable for me to keep chasing what I want to achieve on tour. “Sure, it’s a risky move, but I knew I would never be happy with myself if I didn’t try. I’ve always pursued my gut feeling and that’s what it was telling me to do.” Fitzgibbons International opened operations last September and is taking to market various fitness, nutrition, surf, travel and publishing products, as well as providing a variety of marketing services. The All Australian Beach Body will be one of the first concepts to launch this year. Sally’s digested her own varied fitness program into a tailorable iOS and Android app. “The All Australian Beach Body {AABB} is my initial download of the fitness knowledge I’ve learned over years of being an athlete,” she says. “I’ve learned so much about building a holistically strong body with a huge variety of fitness forms; whether it’s boxing, HIIT, swimming, gym sessions or body weight exercises.” “Training should be fun, it shouldn’t be a chore, and the secret to sticking to your programs is variety. The AABB can be for an exercise first-timer, all the way through to those wanting to push the limits and be their very best athlete.” And as this empire is sure to grow, there’s a simple vision beneath it all: “I want to help people realise, “You know what, I can do anything I put my mind to.’ There’s nothing ever wrong or embarrassing about trying your very best.”

• “I have that work ethic engrained in me and I think it’s put me in a great position to launch a business career.” PROFESSIONAL SURFER

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“In these early stage it’s about finding balance. I’ve never been so happily tired. I love to push myself to the limits in training and I’ve been trying to do it with my business commitments as well.” PROFESSIONAL SURFER

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“Sure, it’s a risky move, but I knew I would never be happy with myself if I didn’t try. I’ve always pursued my gut feeling and that’s what it was telling me to do.” PROFESSIONAL SURFER

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You know what, I can do anything I put my mind to.’ There’s nothing ever wrong or embarrassing about trying your very best.” PROFESSIONAL SURFER

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S A L LY F I T Z G I B B O N S

PHOTOGRAPH : DANIELLE HARTE


Live Like Sally©

Being a professional surfer and travelling the world, I know it can be really hard to stay on track with your health and fitness goals when you’re away from home. Inbalance by Novotel makes it easy for you to make the right choices for your whole wellbeing when you are travelling, with options for everything from exercise to nutrition including my own healthy recipes to a great night’s sleep.

Sally.

b bo n s i g z t i F y Sa ll


速 速 速

Available at: Available at: Available at:


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PHIL HARTE

TRÈSCHIC MONDRIAN • LOS ANGELES MONDRIAN LA is a parallel universe of perpetual possibility, this luxury boutique hotel in the heart of WEST HOLLYWOOD captures everythingthe STRIP stands for – excitement, invincibility and glamour.

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B R A N DS | MO N D RIA N - LOS A N G EL E S

M

ondrian LA is a parallel universe of perpetual possibility. Rejuvenated by Benjamin NoriegaOrtiz, this luxury boutique hotel in the heart of West Hollywood captures everything the Strip stands for – excitement, invincibility

and glamour. Entering Mondrian through its signature, thirty-foot mahogany doors, guests will find the recently expanded lobby, accented with hues of deep purple and complemented by custom-designed furniture, a Lucite indoor swing and a mushroom-inspired concierge desk. Complimentary high speed wireless internet access is offered in the lobby. Herringbone, a restaurant by Enlightened Hospitality Group, James Brennan and Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey, features ocean-to-table cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood and quality meats, while our new Lobby Bar serves a full cafe menu during the day and small plates in the evening. Up in the sky, amid the clouds of Los Angeles, guests can enjoy the stunning view from our Skybar lounge, Los Angeles' mainstay for nightlife. Base, our gift shop, offers curated items tailored for the LA scene. Mondrian is located right on the Sunset Strip, close to Fox Studios, Paramount Pictures, Staples Center, Dodgers Stadium, Hollywood Hills, Santa Monica, Rodeo Drive and Getty Museum.

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LOS ANGELES WHERE TO STAY: MONDRIAN HOTEL POPULATION: 3, 792, 621 CURRENCY: US DOLLARS LANGUAGE: ENGLISH TIME ZONE: PACIFIC STANDARD TIME (PST) WHICH IS UTC/GMT - 8 HRS (19 HRS BEHIND SYDNEY)

WHERE IS IT: he City of ‘The Angles’ is a widely recognised city in the U.S state of California and the second-most popular in the USA. Located in Southern California it has a land area of 469 square miles and is situated on the west side of the United States of America only a 45 minute plane trip to Vegas and six hours from New York City. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: LA is sunshine city all year round, as it has an average of only thirty-five rainy days a year! The average temperature is 19°C, however if you are a winter person you can enjoy temperatures between 15°C - 23°C from December through to February. But if the heat is your favorite time of the year July to September are your times to travel with an average of 26 to 32°C. GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making all your international and domestic travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World which can be located at www. helloworld.com.au Daily flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane/Sydney or Melbourne on the QF A380 are approximately 13-14 hours, with fares ranging depending on your selected time schedule. IN BRIEF: If you’re looking for a city that radiates Hollywood glamour, then look no further as Los Angeles is the place for you. Who could forget the enchanting 1980s movie ‘Pretty Women’ staring Julia Roberts when LA became famous as the place to go where ‘ dreams really do come true!’ With its exclusive celebrity homes scattered sporadically in the lush estates of Beverley Hills, only a stone’s throw away from the luxurious designer brand shopping of Rodeo Drive, you’ll be charmed by the inviting friendly energy it possesses. If you are looking more for a little adventure, then I’d encourage you to visit Universal Studios with its action-packed, thrill seeking rollercoaster/simulator rides, extraordinary movie-set backdrops, themed restaurants and super heroes photo opportunities. By far the perfect family day not to be missed!

LOBBY BAR The clean, simple design of the new Lobby Bar features sleek lacquered white cabinets in the daytime, which unfold into a polished bronze mirror when opened at night,creating a jewel box-like effect. The striking white stone bar completes the fresh, streamlined look, which is offset by a cozy seating nook dressed in purple to evoke the California sunset. Lobby bar serves a full espresso, tea and cafe menu during the day, and a menu of small plates in the evening.

SAYULITA A casual, free-spirited taqueria & tequila bar, is the latest addition to Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles. Inspired by the quaint town on the Pacific Coastline that was discovered by roving surfers in the sixties, Sayulita invokes a curiously eclectic energy and laid back ambiance in the midst of the Sunset Strip. Morgans Hotel Group has brought the experience and energy of this magical beach town to Mondrian, serving the freshest seasonal fruit margaritas and innovative street-style bites, making it the perfect place to enjoy a sunset or escape for an afternoon. Viva Sayulita!

HERRINGBONE Executive Chef Brian Malarkey and Enlightened Hospitality Group bring their acclaimed restaurant, Herringbone, to Mondrian Los Angeles. Featuring ocean-to-table cuisine, Herringbone’s menu showcases inventive ocean specialties from around the world and a variety of surf and turf dishes. Standout menu items include favorites such as the seared diver scallops with crispy sweetbreads and whole fish ceviche, while new additions include daring twists on classic items such as chicken fried sea urchin and waffles.

However if you’re looking for a change of pace, enjoy taking in a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier where you can marvel at a majestic sunrise, roller-bladders or runners pounding the pavements and surfers riding the perfect wave.

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SKYBAR Boasting some of the finest views of Los Angeles, Skybar is an open air, ivy-covered pavilion perched above the Pool at Mondrian Los Angeles. Having been the spot for the hottest nightlife and bar scenes from the day it opened, Skybar's newly re-imagined design brings a fresh approach to this iconic space. A chic poolside lounge by day, Skybar provides an idyllic oasis to take in the sun and enjoy impeccably fresh cocktails. When the sun sets, the pulse of Skybar beats even louder, stirring a seductive energy, aroused by world-class DJ's and Hollywood glamour.


HELLO AIRFARES TO EVERYWHERE

We know there are many choices when it comes to selecting the perfect holiday, let our experts help you get to any destination, any time.

Stella Travel Services (Australia) Pty Limited (ABN 84 003 237 296) trading as Helloworld.


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BE SEDUCED MONDRIAN • LONDON

Think 1920’s cruise ship glamour with an ultra-modern twist, and you get a feel for the Mondrian London. Situated in the SEA CONTAINER BUILDING, right on the RIVER THAMES, this hotel was opened in September 2014. Superbly located, it has 359 guestrooms and suites, with most having spectacular river or city views.

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t’s not until you venture inside the famed Sea Container building that you can appreciate this creative masterpiece, with its chic, sometimes zany, decor and a maritime ‘in the navy’ vibe. The vast copper hull, which sweeps through the centre of the entire building is stunning. In the fit-out, renown British designer Tom Dixon has captured the essence of the original building, exuding old-time glamour with the sex appeal and sophistication of today. The rock star area of the Mondrian is clearly the roof top glass box that is the Rumpus Room, with its panoramic postcard views reflecting the urban feel of the Southbank precinct. The very hip lounge bar draws like a magnet, and the impressive Dandelyans is a modern botanic-styled cocktail bar on the lobby level, featuring celebrity Mixologists entertaining the throngs every night. Venturing underground, the focus is on tranquility with an underwater spa and gym sitting meters beneath the River Thames.

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B R A N DS | MO N D RIA N - LO N DO N

DINING Sea Containers Restaurant boasts one of the best views on the River Thames, and our view of the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral is simply mesmerizing. The menu brings together the best of American and British cuisine. We shared a traditional roast chicken with creamy mash potatoes, sautÊed field mushrooms, kale salad and a delectable home-made apple pie. The venue is remarkably well thought out and offers a simple, creative but still healthy menu. What was particularly impressive was the slick, well-educated staff who delivered this sublime experience. The Mondrian also works really well as a place to do business with its cool lounge areas and quiet places to get away. It offers a whole new experience even for the locals. As I sit on the boardwalk, latte in hand, watching the joggers and busy Londoners, I struggle to find fault in what is fast becoming the real bench mark in the UK hospitality scene.

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“ The rock star area of the MONDRIAN is clearly the roof top glass box that is the Rumpus Room, with its panoramic postcard views reflecting the urban feel of the SOUTHBANK precinct. T R AV E L W R I T E R | P H I L H A R T E

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LONDON

WHERE TO STAY: POPULATION: CURRENCY: LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

MONDRIAN HOTEL 8.63 MILLION ENGLISH POUND ENGLISH GMT (UTC) BST (UTC +1)

WHERE IS IT: London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom standing on the River Thames. London is a leading global city with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, fashion and notably one of the world’s leading financial centres. London also has a diverse range of people and culture with more than 300 languages spoken within Greater London. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: Unfortunately London has the reputation of being a rainy city, however summers are generally warm and sometimes hot, with averages in July reaching 24 °C (75.2 °F). On average London will see 31 days above 25 °C (77 °C) each year and 5 days above 30 °C (86 °F). So choose wisely! GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making all your international and domestic travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World which can be located at www. helloworld.com.au Daily Qantas flights to London via Dubai from Brisbane/Sydney or Melbourne on the A380 are available with fares ranging depending on your selected time schedule.

FURTHER INFORMATION: MONDRIAN LONDON AT SEA CONTAINERS, 20 UPPER GROUND, LONDON SE1 9PD, UNITED KINGDOM WWW.MORGANSHOTELGROUP. COM/MONDRIAN/MONDRIANLONDON

IN BRIEF: Fancy a touch of Royalty? Then a visit to the historic Buckingham Palace is a MUST! Be part of the daily crowds who travel from near and far to behold the mesmerising changing of the Guard Ceremony. If you’re more of an avid historian then I’d suggest a tour on the Big Red Bus touring the streets taking in spectacular views of Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and the gigantic London Eye. If you enjoy live theatre then you have to see a West End show, alongside Broadway in New York, this is the destination regarded as being the place to see the best shows and performers. Mama Mia, Le Miserables and a favorite for the children The Lion King will enchant and delight you, a memorable time not to be missed. Go Shopping - No matter what style of shopping you love, you will find it all in London. From the boutique nature of the West End to the major flagship stores on Oxford Street, London bristles with shopping opportunities. If you love ducking and weaving through outside markets, then look no further than Portobello Road in Notting Hill, with its enchanting true English style culture! Discover an eclectic mix of vintage cameras, typewriters, trinkets and jewellery at one end of town, then enjoy the sweet aromas of fresh farmers markets including gourmet pizzas, olives, cheeses, bread and delicious bakery treats at the other end….a truly unforgettable day!

“I struggle to find fault in what is fast becoming the real benchmark in the UK HOSPITALITY SCENE.” T R AV E L W R I T E R

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There is an insatiable desire in me to explore with a camera in hand, to try and capture a fleeting moment that encapsulate the soul of that place. Krystle Wright, Canon Master canon.com.au


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PHIL HARTE : DAN I EL L E HARTE

THE PL ACE TIME F O R G OT CUBA’S LONG ROAD AHEAD 1959 turned out to be a remarkable year. It saw the deaths of THE BIG BOPPER, Richie Vallens and BUDDY HOLLY (on the flip-side, it was the year of my birth). But for Cuba, the fleeing of its leader Fulgencio Batista during the CUBAN REVOLUTION, Fidel Castro taking over the reins and the subsequent Bay of Pigs f iasco, shaped the country’s fortunes over more than HALF A CENTURY.

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ouching down in this historic time capsule, we felt as though Cuba was aching to share the treasure trove of stories and the remarkable history that has shaped this mystical destination. It is virtually impossible to articulate a new story, one that hasn’t been told about Cuba and its journey. But from an Aussie bloke’s perspective, I was intrigued about Castro, his vision for Cuba and his determination. Following in the footsteps of Fulgencio Batista, who had close links with the US, Fidel Castro decided not to conform, but to run his country under his terms, not be controlled or manipulated but to stand up for what he believed was right for Cuba. Rightly or wrongly, Castro stayed the path, through wars, failed assassination attempts and the occasional uprising; this guy was resilient. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Cuba, which has suffered from the sanctions and the economic isolation – you only need to take a walk through the streets of Havana to see the dire state of the nation. We wanted to get a good feel of the city, so we hired a taxi to drive us around. We stopped many times to take photographs and to chat with the locals and were even encouraged to participate in a game of street baseball with some kids, all of whom had huge smiles on their faces. The younger Cubans are accepting of their world having not known any different economic circumstances. However, it is in the eyes of the elderly that we see the sadness and despair, and the 30/40 year olds bursting at the seams to get out or at least open the gates so that Cuba can become a global citizen.

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Our time in Cuba gave us mixed emotions. We delighted in the great old colourful 1959 Chevys and Cadillacs, enjoyed our interactions with the people and savoured plates of amazing food, but there was something missing and I think it was the true heart and soul of a freed Cuba.

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We were inspired by the people, and could feel the fire in their bellies. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before this once isolated nation overcomes its restrictions. As the sanctions ease, and Cuba starts to reintegrate with the world, I can only wonder what will become of this punished island once the gates are truly opened.

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“Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for CUBA, which has suffered from the sanctions and the economic isolation – you only need to take a walk through the streets of HAVANA to see the dire state of the nation.”

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T H E S TA R CLIPPER CARRIBEAN SUNSET

Our journey started with our driver, Cheska, who picked us up at 9:00 am to take us to our bus transfer. Our destination, Ceinfeugos, a sleepy port city and WORLD HERITAGE SITE, was a four-hour drive south of HAVANA. We arrived to see our magnificent four-masted, 21-sailed Star Flyer tied up to the dock patiently waiting to board the 110 guests from over 15 nations.Check-in was seamlessly smooth and our bags were whisked into our cabin before we were introduced to Captain Yuriy Slastenin and General Manager Carlos Ferreira. After the safety drills and the welcome cocktail function we sat back and took in the world’s best sunset over the CARRIBEAN SEA. We eagerly anticipated setting sail at 10:00 pm.

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DAY 1 Today we anchored of the shores of Playa Ancon and Trinidad and took the opportunity to sample some local culture. Playa Ancon is 12 km south of Trinidad, and was named after a black rock on Punta Maria Aguilar, which once served as a landmark for sailors. Over the centuries, ocean currents have played a part in creating a soft white sandy beach, 4 km long. A few hundred meters offshore there is an excellent reef for snorkeling. Since the late 1980s, Playa Ancon has welcomed tourists from all over the world and now boasts several large hotels facing the warm Caribbean. Playa Ancon is an ideal base from which to explore the architectural treasures of nearby Trinidad and the pine and eucalyptus forests of Sierra del Escambray. Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in central Cuba between the Caribbean sea and Sierra del Escambra. This historic area holds the most finely preserved colonial architecture on the island. In Trinidad you are transported to another era where horse drawn carriages clack along the Plaza Mayor and charming street scenes and warm faces abound. Formerly the centre of the sugar cane industry, the city’s activity now hinges on tobacco processing. With a population of under 75,000, Trinidad is an intimate and isolated destination perfect for the very best experience of the Spanish language and Cuban culture. Back on board, we were constantly impressed with the quality and choice of food being served out of a sailing ship’s kitchen a credit to the Executive Chef Devon Hodges. After my dinner of Pate Maison and a superbly cooked rack of lamb, I took dessert and coffee on the deck under the stars and enjoyed the Caribbean in all its glory. Écluse de Bollène. Within this groaning lock, with water pouring in ahead of us, our barge was elevated by an amazing 23 metres. Surrounded by Europe’s Uranium stockpile and acres of wind turbines, we safely emerged from the lock and headed up stream. Once moored, we jumped onto bikes and investigated the charming medieval town of Viviers – marking the halfway point in our journey.

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DAY 2 We dropped anchor in British territory at Cayman Brac at 7:30 am. Cayman Brac is another of Christopher Columbus’ historymaking discoveries, thanks to Columbus being blown of course in 1503 on his way from Hispaniola to Panama during his fourth trip to the New World. Cayman Brac comprises two low-lying islands, which are perfect breeding grounds for a community of sea turtles. This prompted Columbus to name the islands Las Tortugas. By the time the first recorded English visitor Sir Francis Drake landed on the island in 1585, the islands were known collectively as the ‘Caimanas’ from the Caribbean Indian word for sea crocodile. Cayman Brac lies 143 km north east of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean sea and is the most dramatic of the Cayman Islands. We set off in the ship’s tender to investigate the area. Cayman Brac’s Bloody Bay was first explored and made famous by Jacques Cousteau, and features 1000 feet of nearly vertical cliff wall descending to the ocean floor, a haven for any level of experience diver. We spent a lazy couple of hours with John the local tour guide-come-school bus driver, who is also the retired Police sergeant. It was humbling to hear the day-to-day life of this local who lives in a community of only 1200, and who looks forward to the Star Clipper and its passengers dropping by so he can share his remarkable home and make a few dollars. As we prepared to head back to the Star Flyer on the tender, we were thrilled by a school of massive stingrays, who were so close we could have reached out and touched them.

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DAY 3 At 7:00 am we woke to the grinding of the winches to drop the tons of chain and anchors to secure us dockside in the capital of Grand Cayman, George Town. We were greeted with an impressive line-up of 40foot containers, fork lifts and plenty of local muscle required to load 60 tons of supplies for the continuation of our journey back to Cuba. Grand Cayman is now the centre of one of the world’s largest banking economies and the home of uncounted billions in offshore assets. Tax-free, duty-free and largely restriction-free, Grand Cayman is a magnet for money – we couldn’t wait to see what the fuss is about. George Town is a blend of colourful traditional Caribbean style buildings and high finance corporations. The city has all the high-end luxury brands you would expect to see. But this is only one part of the story. The famous seven-mile beach, a crescent shaped natural wonder, is located on the west side of the island. It is often rated as one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, and the least populated. A trip into north sound to stingray city and the sand bar provided the rare opportunity of playing with the friendly southern stingrays. The attractions of the eastern district are the more traditional and local craftsmen and, along with pristine beaches and azure blue water, it is the real untouched Cayman experience. Around 3:00 pm sails were raised and we headed for Cayo Lago, Cuba.

DAY 4 At 7:30 am we were boarded by Cuban customs patrol and the usual checks were done. We made our way to the top deck and saw the amazing coast-line of a brilliant white sandy beach with the most iridescent blue water surrounding. After breakfast we boarded the waiting tender and made our way to Cayo Largo. Our arrival at the pier was greeted with dolphins jumping meters into the air at the command of trainers. Six guests were invited to become part of the show and we sat delighted watching the play of the dolphins caressing and guiding the guests. Cayo Largo’s flawless scenery and sugarwhite beaches recalls the Caribbean that used to be. The island is a marine wild-life sanctuary and a haven where iguanas roam freely. Sadly, as quickly as we arrived, in came the storm clouds and we knew it was time to escape back to the safety of the Star Clipper. With the crew at the ready, we were under sail in no time, hightailing it out to our final destination Cenfuegous, Cuba.

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DAY 5 Our ship started its final push up river and we woke to the most incredible sunrise. Under full sail, the majesty of the vessel thrilled literally hundreds of elated children waving and racing along side to welcome us into port. We disembarked knowing we’d had another valuable and memorable experience. We were pleased to see our driver Cheska waiting and waving at us. She had driven overnight from Havana to meet us and to ensure that we made our flight back from Havana on time. Cheska’s story is a typical one of the Cuban people. She is a fully qualified structural engineer who needs to wait patiently for the opportunity to use her skills as Cuba hopes to rejoin the world economy. Until then, she remains a taxi driver praying for the day.

“Cheska’s story is a typical one of the Cuban people. She is a fully qualified structural engineer who needs to wait patiently for the opportunity to use her skills as Cuba hopes to rejoin the world economy. Until then, she remains a taxi driver praying for the day.” T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 149


CUBA WHERE TO STAY: HOTEL NACIONAL DE CUBA & BRAVO ARENAL POPULATION: 11, 238 317 CURRENCY: PESO LANGUAGE: SPANISH TIME ZONE: CST (UTC -5) SUMMER CDT (UTC -4)

WHERE IS IT: Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba is a country in the Caribbean comprising the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is Cuba’s capital and its largest city. The United States is to the north of Cuba 150 km (93 mi) away, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to the northeast, Mexico to the west 210 km (130 mi) away, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica to the south and Haiti to the southeast. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: With most of the island south of the Tropic of Cancer, the local climate is tropical, moderated by northeasterly trade winds that blow year-round. The temperature is also shaped by the Caribbean current, which brings in warm water from the equator. This makes the climate of Cuba warmer than Hong Kong, which is at around the same latitude as Cuba, but has a subtropical climate instead of a tropical climate. In general (with local variations), there is a drier season from November to April, and a rainier season from May to October. The average temperature is 21 °C (69.8 °F) in January and 27 °C (80.6 °F) in July. GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making your travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World, which can be located at www.helloworld.com.au It’s important to note that there are restrictions due to the USA embargo and a visa is mandatory, so you will need time to process. U.S. residents, because of the embargo, find it difficult if not impossible to buy tickets to Havana without a Department of the Treasury license, and only licensed travel agencies may sell tickets to Cuba in the U.S. These agencies in turn may only sell tickets to licensed travellers. In general this is a destination that will require you to seek sound travel advice. IN BRIEF: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time, specifically to the 1950s, then this is the place for you. For the enthusiastic photographer or diehard jetsetter you’ll have an abundance of varying compositions to discover including vintage cars, historical cathedrals, eccentric art and a thriving music scene. I encourage you to take an educated tour of Fidel Castro’s political movements, monuments, and military base as it will give you a true appreciation of Fidel Castro’s mindset. It’s interesting to note that recently America and Cuba have made inroads on lifting embargoes encouraging foreign trade, which will hopefully lift the somewhat struggling economy. As a visitor you will be humbled by the resilience and pride of this colourful Cuban culture, their tenacity to harvest and maintain their own natural resources such as sugar, fish, citrus fruits, coffee, beans, rice, potatoes, livestock and most importantly tobacco, is a real credit to them. Enjoy!

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A new flying kangaroo Welcoming the Boeing 787-9 to Qantas From 2017, eight new Boeing 787-9s will join our Qantas fleet. They mark the next generation of service and possibilities for our customers and the airline. A superior performing design, it’s a quieter, smoother cabin experience offering better air quality. With lower emissions and unparalleled fuel efficiency, it opens new opportunities for destinations around the globe. It’s the next exciting leap for our flying kangaroo.


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PHIL HARTE

WHERE EAST MEETS WEST EXQUISITE MON CHÈRE • MANDARIN ORIENTAL • PARIS

When you hear the name MANDARIN ORIENTAL it’s hard not to think ‘Hong Kong’. But it’s not until you arrive at 251 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris that you develop a change of heart. With its award-winning ‘Palace Distinction’, 2 Michelin star superstar French Chef de Cuisine Thierry Marx and a distinctive Parisian design through out, the MANDARIN ORIENTAL PARIS has redefined ‘sumptuous chic’.

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his 138-roomed luxuriously appointed retreat has a subtle air of exoticism and romance along with an enviable location on one of the world’s most fashionable streets. There are 14 different room and suite categories to choose from and with rooms ranging from 37 to 50 m2, the Mandarin Oriental rooms are clearly among the most spacious in Paris. For those with generous budgets, a stay in the Royal Orientale suite might just be the ticket at 15,000 Euro a night. The beautifully landscaped courtyard garden is like looking out onto an amazing Zen-like oasis. This sense of opulence is complemented in the interior with finishes of white marble, dark timber, pale lacquer, glass and striking colours. Throughout the lobby and adjoining hallways guests can enjoy the work of Ali Mahdavi. Mahdavi is a talented Iranian-born photographer with a passion for fashion, and his work is renown for his striking use of light and his vision of women. The interior design of the Mandarin Oriental Paris puts the accent on luxury with an abundance of taupe silk cushions and embroidered taffeta in shades of orange, magenta and plum. The location of the hotel is superb. It is surrounded by haute couture and in easy reach of many of the most famous landmarks in Paris, with a 10 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower, 5 minutes to the Louvre and a 10 minute jog to the Arc de Triomphe. The dining options are a gourmand’s delight. The all-white signature restaurant, Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, provides a blank canvas where the avant-guarde gourmet menu becomes the hero. Their all day restaurant, Camélia, where I enjoyed a truly incredible lobster tortellini and their hero desert, the Saint-Honoré, serves up an eclectic international menu in a beautiful setting. During the summer months, guests are invited to book La Table du Jardin, where 6-8 diners can enjoy their meal in the stunning landscaped garden for a very special experience. The beautifully appointed Mandarin Oriental Spa has been, unsurprisingly, voted as Europe’s best. Among the largest in Paris (900m2 over two levels) its design ensures it is both relaxing and peaceful. The attention to detail for the 14 metre lap pool, spa suites and a fully fitted Technogym reassures that nothing has been left to chance. The Mandarin Oriental Paris takes pride of place within the group’s collection of luxurious hotels. Although this beauty is très français, its legendary service and values are steeped in the orient.

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PARIS WHERE TO STAY: THE ORIENTAL & THE PARK HYATT VENDOME POPULATION: 2, 241, 346 CURRENCY: PARIS LANGUAGE: FRENCH PCET (UTC +1) TIME ZONE:

WHERE IS IT: Paris is the capital of France, situated on the Seine River located in the north of the country. The Paris Region covers 12,012 square kilometres (4,638 square miles), and has its own regional council and president. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: The best time to visit Paris is from June to August, when the weather is just about parfait (perfect). Average highs are in the mid 70s and there are long days of sunshine. Unfortunately, summer is alsoa the most crowded time — and the most expensive. For a significant drop in tourism, plan a trip in the fall or spring. To save some money on your flight and hotel, pack your most stylish heavy jacket (this is Paris, after all) and visit in the winter. GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making all your international and domestic travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World which can be located at www. helloworld.com.au Daily Qantas flights to London via Dubai from Brisbane/Sydney or Melbourne on the A380 are available with fares ranging depending on your selected time schedule. IN BRIEF: As I overlook the picturesque 19th-century cityscape of Paris featuring wide boulevards, historical monuments and stunning views of the River Seine, it’s easy to see why this destination is high on everyone’s bucket list. Paris is known predominately as the ‘Fashion Capital of the World’ featuring designer icons such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Christian Louboutin just to name a few - it radiates quintessential elegance. The Parisian passion for architectural beauty is extremely evident. What would Paris be without its symbolic Eiffel Tower? Built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, it was presented at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. Standing at three hundred and twentyfour meters high, it is one of the most visited monuments in the world with nearly seven million visitors a year! If that doesn’t whet the appetite, I recommend visiting the most enduring symbol of Paris - Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre Dame, a Roman Catholic cathedral, which is located on the eastern half of the Ile de la Cité. It is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and Europe. However one of my all time favorite monuments is the Louvre, which is the most visited art museum in the world. Located in the heart of Paris, this historic building is a former royal palace, built in the late 12th century under Philip II. The remains of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum however it’s the stunning Mona Lisa that steals the show.

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More comfort, more destinations.

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SHANGRI -LA WORDS

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MAKR RIX

A FARAWAY HAVEN OF IDYLLIC BEAUTY AND TRANQUILITY.

Located SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR on Villingili Island, on the southernmost tip of Addu Atoll, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa offers guests a stylish and luxurious experience in a spacious, and BOUTIQUE-STYLE environment. The natural dense vegetation of the island sets it apart from many other MALDIVES RESORTS. The 3 km long island features 12 hectares of lush vegetation, towering banyan trees, 17,000 coconut trees, 45 species of plants, three natural lagoons and nature trails for guests to explore.

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dd to that a beautifully manicured 9-hole golf course with stunning sea views on every hole, located at the Southern tip of the island and featuring the highest point in the entire Maldives, Mount Villingili Summit, standing at a dizzying elevation of 5.1 metres (doubling as the 8th tee) and you have a spectacular island with a broad variety of activities for every guest. My wife and I travelled to Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa from Dubai and after a short 75 minute domestic flight from the Maldivian capital Male to Gan International airport, we were whisked 10 minutes across the lagoon by speedboat to Villingili island. The incredibly warm welcome we received as we set foot on the island set the scene for the next six days. After a five minute ride by buggy we reached our water villa via raised wooden travel ways across intermittent reef and crystal clear water. The villa was stunning and featured vaulted ceilings, a huge free standing bath and an immense walk-in shower room. Additionally the outside shower area was a lovely feature with the reef and marine life visible beneath the decked area. The spacious bedroom overlooked the mesmerizing lagoon and offered uninterrupted views across the lagoon to Gan Island. The immediate impression of the villa was one of light, space

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and high quality facilities. The bedroom’s electric blinds provided a moment of theatre each morning as raising them revealed the turquoise lagoon and the start of another day in paradise. The sense of peace and tranquility was overwhelming and time almost stood still as we lazed on the outside decked area (including a quirky built-in hammock) and watched as the huge variety of fish went about their business directly beneath us. Direct access from the villa to the clear warm water ensured that snorkeling was high on the list of activities and the broad stretch of house reef ensured that we encountered many exotic species, including Hawksbill Turtle, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays, Feathertail Rays and Grouper. To name a few. Getting around the island was made simple by the provision of bicycles to each property. A complete circumnavigation of Villingili would probably take no longer than 30 minutes and every facility had cycle parking areas. The paths were well maintained and easy to ride on or for the less energetic the staff would happily collect you by buggy. Alternatively, a pleasant stroll is the best way to enjoy the flora and fauna on display. A wonderful feature of the resort are the lively fruit bats that constantly fly between the coconut trees keeping an eye on the guests. The Villingili Resort & Spa have thought of everything, even to the point of producing and bottling their own water, still or sparkling. There is a gym, a dive centre, games room, a selection of shops a Kids ‘Cool’ Zone a plethora of water sports available and of course a very impressive spa. Chi, The Spa was our first port of call and we opted for the 60 minute hot coconut oil seashell body and head massage. The views of the Indian Ocean from the spa and the pounding tidal surf on this side of the island is in stark contrast to the serenity of the lagoon but adds to the mystique of Villingili. Wherever you choose to dine in Villingili Resort and Spa the service and choice and quality of cuisine is outstanding. Choose from three restaurants: After our daily early morning round of golf we ate breakfast on the beach at Javvu Restaurant & Bar which is set across two pavilions and has a fresh, cool and sophisticated atmosphere. Our personal favourite for dinner was Dr. Ali’s Restaurant & Bar. Three ‘living rooms’ offering three distinct culture cuisine and dining concepts themed to regional cuisines from the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and the Arabian Gulf. Fashala Lounge was a 10 minute cycle from our villa and offers breath-taking views. The restaurant features fine dining cuisine using local ingredients from the surrounding waters and neighbouring farms. The Yellow Fin Tuna steak was special. If you just fancy a relaxing drink, Manzaru Bar is the perfect spot to people watch and relax to chill-out music. Just the place to lie back and enjoy the views over the lagoon or take in the amazing sunset.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

SHANGRI-LA VILLINGILI RESORT & SPA reservations.slmd@shangri-la.com | www.shangri-la.com

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SOUS CHEF TYSON

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elbourne is clearly positioned as one of the leading cities of the world ,hosting a plethora of international sporting events, Australian Tennis Open, the Australian Grand Prix and has a massive sporting culture that overflows weekly with the most passionate football fans in the country. My last visit took me to the Park and as all that have come before her our experience was world class. Overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens and the cosmopolitan mix of Victorian and modern architecture, Park Hyatt Melbourne offers exclusive, luxury accommodation in the heart of the city. Our beautifully appointed luxury hotel centrally located in Melbourne’s CBD provides a warm ambience and exceptional levels of Renowned for having the largest 240 guestrooms & suites in Melbourne with walk in robes, Italian marble bathrooms and open windows, our hotel provides an unparalleled experience of elegant, contemporary luxury. Guests are invited to enjoy the award-winning ‘radii’ restaurant & bar, the decadent Lounge and Melbourne’s favourite day spa featuring an indoor aquamarine pool, spa, sauna, gym and private sun deck. The hotel also offers a beautiful range of event spaces of varying size and design and caters for anything from intimate and private gatherings to corporate events for up to 450 people. The hotel also specialises in weddings offering a wedding planner, wedding packages, personalised menus and a range of romantic rooms and suites. You will never run out of things to do, as our hotel is conveniently located near the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), home of the Australian Football League (AFL) and test cricket. It is also within walking distance to the Melbourne Museum, the best boutique shopping, cafes, restaurants and theatre districts in Melbourne’s CBD. Melbourne Airport is conveniently located only 25km away. So please spoil your self when next in Melbourne and make a point of dropping in to Radii for Dinner you wont be disappointed.

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PA R K ONTHE PARK

DECO • • COSMOPOLITAN • • VICTORIAN • •

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

PARK HYATT MELBOURNE 1 Parliament Square, off Parliament Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3002 Tel: +61 3 9224 1234 | www.melbourne.park.hyatt.com

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PHIL HARTE

RESORTS FIT FOR A KING

LE BLANC SPA RESORT - CANCUN Mexico’s playground. Combine CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER and pristine white beaches with a resort featuring a world-class spa, butler service, and f ine international dining and you know you are in for a TREAT. Also, one of the best bits – Le Blanc Spa Resort, no kids!

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he Palace Hotel Group is renowned for having the best resort properties in Cancun Mexico and judging by the broad-cross section of guests inhouse, the word is out. In fact, the group has eight dream all-inclusive, luxury resorts in the Mexican Carribean and Jamaica. Le Blanc Spa Resort is only a 15 minute drive from the airport and enjoys a number 1 rating on Trip Advisor (out of the 178 hotels in Cancun), amongst other accolades, and we couldn’t argue. En-route to our venue, via the scenic drive, we saw hotel after hotel lined up one after the next, but none more prominent or inviting as Le Blanc. Standing 30 floors high and with 500 rooms, Le Blanc Spa Resort is renowned for being adults only! And what was really pleasing was that they operate on an ‘all inclusive’ basis, meaning all your food and beverage is covered in the room rate. All day, every day.

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The Palace Hotel Group is renowned for having the best resort properties in Cancun Mexico and judging by the broad-cross section of guests in-house, the word is out. In fact, the group has eight dream all-inclusive, luxury resorts in the Mexican Carribean and Jamaica. Le Blanc Spa Resort is only a 15 minute drive from the airport and enjoys a number 1 rating on Trip Advisor (out of the 178 hotels in Cancun), amongst other accolades, and we couldn’t argue. En-route to our venue, via the scenic drive, we saw hotel after hotel lined up one after the next, but none more prominent or inviting as Le Blanc. Standing 30 floors high and with 500 rooms, Le Blanc Spa Resort is renowned for being adults only! And what was really pleasing was that they operate on an ‘all inclusive’ basis, meaning all your food and beverage is covered in the room rate. All day, every day. The selection of restaurants at the resort were excellent with Italian, French, Asian and international styles, and all day

dining, covered through the stunning Lumiere, Blanc Italia, Blanc Asia and Blanc International restaurants. Each day we ensured that the gym was well utilised and could see that a lot of thought had gone into the gear and layout, with Technogym equipment heavily supported. The world-class Spa facilities lived up to our expectations and were very popular. It wasn’t unusual for us to see many private beds and masseuses hard at work along the beachfront and scattered throughout the intimate gardens. The Spa offered 37 treatment rooms making the resort a true lifestyle retreat. Our suite was set up to take advantage of the uninterrupted views across the pristine white beach broken only by the turquoise ocean – the colours and vast distance creating a breathtaking vista. When people think of Mexico, their paradigm is often of dilapidated houses, restaurants and hotels. Cancun is different. Established only 40 years ago, it is a beautifully manicured resort city that understands hospitality and luxury.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

LE BLANC PALACE Blvd Kukulkan KM-10 Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, CP. 77500 – Mexico | www.palaceresorts.com

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MEXICO WHERE TO STAY: LE BLANC POPULATION: 722, 800 CAPITAL CITY: CANCUN CURRENCY: PESO LANGUAGE: SPANISH & ENGLISH TIME ZONE: CST (UTC -6)

WHERE IS IT: Cancun is a city in southeastern Mexico, located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo; a well renowned tourist destination in Mexico. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: Cancún has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate with few temperature differences between seasons, but pronounced rainy seasons. The city is warm year-round, and moderated by onshore trade winds, with an annual mean temperature of 27.1 °C (80.8 °F). More temperate conditions occur from November to February with occasional refreshing northerly breezes, it is drier and becomes hotter in March and April. It is hottest from May to September, due to proximity to the Caribbean and Gulf humidity is high the year round. GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making all your international and domestic travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World which can be located at www. helloworld.com.au Daily flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane/Sydney or Melbourne on the QF A380 are approximately 13-14 hours, with fares ranging depending on your selected time schedule. INTRODUCTION: The city of Cancun is divided into two sections: the Hotel Zone island with the destination’s beaches and resorts, and Downtown Cancun where the locals live. Most tourists spend their entire vacation in the Hotel Zone, enjoying the captivating idyllic white sandy beaches, however if you’re looking for more of a unique cultural experience, head on down to Downtown Cancun where it has its own inviting attractions. Some parts of Downtown Cancun have seen significant changes over the past few years with beautiful new buildings and unique scenery, and other areas like the famous Market 28 haven’t changed a bit. Located a quick bus ride from the beach, Downtown Cancun has great shopping, a fun community atmosphere, and some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Cancun has long been known for its incredible nightlife and its no secret that the town’s nightclubs really know how to throw great parties. For the fearless tourist, why not book yourself into an unforgettable expedition with the locals and indulge in swimming with Whale Sharks along the Cancun coastline. Or if you’re travelling with young family, watch the hatching of baby Sea Turtles migrate from the sandy beaches into the Caribbean waters. It really is a destination to cater for everyone’s needs…so what are you waiting for!

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uba is only a 45 minute flight from Cancun, which made it tempting to take a quick hop over during our stay. Situated along half a kilometre of silky-smooth sands and turquoise waters, bridging Cancun’s electric energy with Riviera Maya’s exotic charm, the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort provided a tropical vacation vibe in a luxurious setting. Here is another all-inclusive style resort which offered every activity imaginable, night clubs, several great restaurants, and a live stage with international acts through out the year. For us, though, the great attraction was the world-class signature Jack Nicklaus 27 hole golf course and spa. We couldn’t help but to indulge in 18 holes, an afternoon massage and

MOON PA L AC E

MEXICO’S PREMIERE PLAYGROUND WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

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steam followed by dinner. There was a multitude of choices of where to eat: Brazilian, Mexican, seafood, Italian and Caribbean. We opted for a casual dinner and enjoyed the fresh seafood Mexican tacos, which we finished off with home made tiramisu. The true enormity of this resort can be gained by looking back whilst strolling along the beach. Incredibly, there are plans to expand The Moon Palace to fast make it the benchmark in resort living. The Palace hotels can be found throughout Mexico, and their latest offering, The Jamaica Grand, will open later in 2015. There is no doubt this will be another luxury chapter to add to the already amazing story of the Palace group.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

MOON PALACE GOLF & SPA RESORT Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km. 340, CancĂşn, Quintana Roo, CP. 77500 - MĂŠxico | www.palaceresorts.com

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THE PERFECT ENTERTAINER.

Whatever your destination, luxury will share the journey. There’s so much more to a Maritimo. THE ALL NEW MARITIMO S SERIES. S43 S48 S50 S58


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“I don’t think there has ever been a better year in Maritimo’s history and all the planets seem to be lining up for us,” he said.

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BOATING INDUSTRY ICON BILL youngest luxury boat building company, BARRY-COTTER Australia’s MARITIMO, is continuing to expand its product

development program and to grow its distribution network around the world. Founded in 2003, Maritimo is born of the passions of one man – an icon of Australian luxury boat building, BILL BARRY-COTTER. The Maritimo fleet now covers 17 separate models across five different lines – Cruising Motor Yachts, Sedan Cruisers, Offshore Convertibles, Sports Cabriolets and Mustang Sport Yachts.

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TT H HE PE R FEC T E N T ERTA I N ER .

BRANDS

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MARITIMO

Whatever your your destination, luxury will share the journey. Whatever There’s so so much much more to a Maritimo. There’s

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THE ALL ALL NEW NEW MARITIMO S SERIES. S43 S48 S50 S58 THE

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

MARITIMO Greg Haines, Sales & Marketing Manager, Maritimo. | ghaines@maritimo.com.au

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oating industry icon Bill Barry-Cotter and his talented team at Maritimo have enjoyed a stellar year in 2015 with his Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia award, the release of a range of new models and a wave of international success at a series of boat shows stretching from Cannes, to Fort Lauderdale and Auckland combining in what has been the best year yet for the company. With a history in the industry spanning more than 50 years Bill and his team at Maritimo are riding a wave of success that will see 2015 be a year to be remembered “The Queen’s Birthday award was unexpected and humbling and it gave me and the whole team a real boost so we were determined to make 2015 Maritimo’s year,” he said. During the year the company publicly released a number of new models including the M65 Cruising Motor Yacht, the M48 Cruising Motor Yacht, a new M54 Cruising Motor Yacht, the M61 Cruising Motor Yacht and the S48 Sedan Cruiser. The first M61 Cruising Motor Yacht will be completed early in 2016. All the new models have met with positive feedback from the market. Maritimo also released plans for a modified M65 that stretches to 70 feet and provides a yacht fisher rear deck perfect for chasing the big ones. This boat has a base price of $3.115 million. Maritimo’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Greg Haines, said 2015 would go down as the best ever for the company. “Bill’s AM award really sparked the excitement among the team and we are all very enthusiastic,” he said. “We had the best run ever at boat shows around the world and the feedback we have received in places like Cannes, Fort Lauderdale and Miami has been very gratifying with

our industry peers commenting on the superior quality and finishes of our range of vessels,” he said. “To get that sort of feedback particularly in places such as Europe where style is paramount has been great.” Mr Haines said sales had been strong across the board in 2015 and there had been considerable interest shown in the 70 foot yacht fisher version of the M65 as well as the M61 and both the M48 and S48. “We had one three week period where we had a big presence at major boat shows around the globe and the interest in our product was the best it has ever been,” he said. He said Maritimo’s on-water display at Fort Lauderdale was the largest in the company’s history. The display included the M48, the M50, the M58 and the M65. Fort Lauderdale and the World Offshore Championships in November were a highlight for Maritimo and culminated in a ‘Maritimo Owners’ Muster’ with 13 boats and more than 35 people participating. “I don’t think there has ever been a better year in Maritimo’s history and all the planets seem to be lining up for us,” he said. “We have refined our product and stepped up the quality and standard of our finishes and that has resonated with the market. Mr Haines said owners’ focus group research sessions had been conducted and that had formed the basis of some of the new designs and finishes. “As an example the M54, will have a completely new internal layout to any other Maritimo before and some of that design work came about as a result of feedback we received from owners involved in focus groups. A highlight of the year was the completion of Maritimo’s 400th vessel, an M48 Cruising Motor Yacht released at the Sanc-tuary Cove International Boat Show, and the company’s forward order book well stocked as it heads into 2016. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 179


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B R A N D S | M A N D A R I A N O R I E N TA L - ATA L A N TA

GEORGIA ON MY MIND

MANDARIN ORIENTAL SPA TREATMENTS When my husband kindly offered to spoil me with an afternoon’s treatment at the Mandarin Oriental Spa, it was an offer to good to refuse. Upon arrival I was greeted with a friendly smile, a refreshing herbal tea to relax for the hours ahead and a smorgasbord of treatments to choose from. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 183


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Mandarin Oriental What are your key points of difference to other group spas in the world? I think what sets our spas apart are the authentic, holistic wellness experiences that we bring to each property. This really stands out in the urban environments where many of our hotels are located, such as London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai or Paris, where our local guests and members really appreciate having access to these kinds of experiences right in their own neighborhoods. Being an Asia-based company, we also set ourselves apart by drawing heavily on our Oriental heritage, incorporating eastern healing traditions and techniques to impact the wellbeing of our guests. We also specialize in longer, more personalized spa journeys. Each spa includes luxuriously appointed spa suites where guests can simply reserve a two or three hour block of time and the treatments are made-to-order based on their preferences. Can you explain a little about your Mandarin Oriental signature treatments and the concept behind them? The Time Rituals (as mentioned above,) is one of our most popular signature treatments. The guest appreciates the Time Ritual because they can just reserve their time without having to study the spa menu and without having to make decisions about what treatments they will want when they arrive. I think the Time Rituals are also successful because it is a chance for our therapists to curate spa experiences that are based not only on the guests’ needs but on their own strengths and talents. The Spas at Mandarin Oriental are most known for the Mandarin

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Oriental Signature Spa Therapies, which were developed in consultation with specialists in Traditional Chinese Medicine and master aromatherapists. The treatment begins with a private consultation so we can tailor the treatments and the oils in accord with the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy of the five elements. How do you differentiate each of your spas? Each of our spas is unique, featuring a bespoke design, product selection and treatment menu. While each spa features certain signature elements (such as our signature treatments and our luxurious spa suites,) most of the aspects of the spa are customized on a location-by-location basis to bring forth the local healing culture of each destination. In Bangkok, for example, you will see a full range of traditional Thai therapies, while our new resort in Bodrum features an authentic Turkish hammam, and our spa in Paris offers treatments and products from Guerlain, the renown French perfume house Where do you see the spa industry moving in the next five years? Change is ahead. I see three major trends that will change a lot about the way we do business. The first is (not surprisingly) technology. The spa industry is more “high touch” than “high tech” so we try to be immune from technology, but we will be forced to keep up with the times. I expect tablets to play a huge role in the spa of the future and the ways we communicate with our customers will have to shift to reflect the changing social media


ATLANTA WHERE TO STAY: THE ORIENTAL HOTEL POPULATION: 447, 841 CAPITAL CITY: ATLANTA CURRENCY: US DOLLARS LANGUAGE: ENGLISH TIME ZONE EST (UTC-5) EDT (UTC-4)

landscape. The second shift is what I call “wellness everywhere.” Consumer demand for wellness is growing exponentially, which is an opportunity for spas, but also a challenge as a lot of other businesses come into the space to meet the demand. And finally, I think there will be a trend across multiple industries towards greater specialization and spas will be no exception. Spas need to be clear about who their customers are and focus on a clear niche. What is your global vision for the Spas at Mandarin Oriental moving forward in the next 3 years? There are three things that we are focused on for the years ahead. The first is staying close to our core. The media is always interested in fancy new signature treatments but our emphasis is first and foremost on delivering what our customers are looking for. Our top selling treatments are our therapeutic and oriental massage modalities, our personalized time rituals, and our high quality skin care. We plan to focus on these core experiences with a goal towards offering the best treatments in the world. The second vision (which is a natural extension of our first strategy) is a focus on our therapists. At the end of the day, the spa experience is made by the interaction between the therapist and their client. We need to not only attract and retain the best therapists in the world, but help them to

WHERE IS IT: Atlanta is the capital of the most populous city in the US State of Georgia, with an estimated population of 447, 841. The city is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and at 1, 050 feet (320m) above mean sea level, Atlanta has the highest elevation of major cities east of Mississippi River. IN BRIEF: When you first arrive into Atlanta, it’s the vast history that immediately sweeps you off your feet. It was back in 1929 when one of the greatest icons in world history Dr Martin Luther King, proudly stood as an advocate for racial equality and gave the world hope. Plus who could ever forget legendary Rhythm and Blues, Gospel artist Ray Charles, who back in 1960 smashed the music charts by hitting No. 1 with his soulful rendition of ‘Georgia on My Mind’. Atlanta also pays tribute to being the home of Coca-Cola, where you can get a ‘ behind the scenes’ look at the bottling process, taste test more than 100 beverages from around the world and also get as close as possible to the vault containing the ‘Secret Formula’. If you have inquisitive children why not venture to the largest aquarium in the world boasting a 10-million gallon playground for all types of aquatic animals including dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, sharks and more.

grow and “hone their craft.” A great spa treatment is more of an art than a science, so we need to help our therapists be artists. We are developing our training programs with this in mind. The third vision is around innovation. We are opening several new spas, first in Marrakech and Milan and then several more coming in China and the Middle East. I see each one of these spas as an innovation laboratory where we can test new things. The world is changing so fast, we can’t follow a static model. Every new spa has to do its part to carry us into the future. The learnings we get from each new project are funneled back out to the group, so the whole portfolio benefits from our global expertise. What new types of wellness programs are you going to be offering in 2015/16 in your spas? Following our therapist-centered approach to spa, the wellness programs we offer will vary by location depending on the unique specialists that we have in each location. Whether it is personal training by celebrity trainer Ruben Tabares at Mandarin Oriental, London, Tai Chi and mindfulness workshops by Master Hu, the Shaolin monk in residence at Mandarin Oriental, Sanya, or yoga workshops by one of Atlanta’s top yoga instructors, Elizabeth Rowan, at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, we try to bring the best wellness experts available in each region to our guests. We will also move these specialists around. Right now, for example, we have some of the Turkish Hammam specialists from our spectacular new resort in Bodrum, that are offering Turkish spa experiences at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 185


RUNS IN THE LES SCHIRATO - AUSTRALIA’S COFFEE KING AS HE IS AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN As soon as you drive through the wrought iron gates of VITTORIA FOOD AND BEVERAGE’S HEAD OFFICE IN SYDNEY, you are immediately hit with a delicious aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. Walking past the fleet of VITTORIA COFFEE’S gold and brown branded Audi’s neatly lined up in the carpark, an army of immaculately dressed staff who could have walked straight out of an ARMANI CATALOGUE impressively walk by. It becomes immediately apparent this is an Australian business like no other.

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t a time where jeans and t-shirts, beanbags and sleep pods are becoming common in the workplace, the feeling you get walking into Vittoria is one of pure professionalism and high standards. It’s genuinely refreshing. The Vittoria Sydney office is far from the hustle and bustle of the CBD and yet the inviting marble foyer, glass elevator and a striking wall to floor photograph of Hollywood A-Lister Al Pacino sipping on a piccolo all put you in the mood for a coffee. Fortunately the first thing you’re asked is, “would you like a coffee?” From the outset, it’s clear Vittoria Food & Beverage is a force to be reckoned with. Their flagship brand and jewel in the crown, Vittoria Coffee adorns the walls and surrounds of the company office, factory and production facility, which are all housed on the same site. It’s a well known fact the Sydney based roasting facility is the most sophisticated in the Southern Hemisphere, roasting the finest quality beans sourced from producers all over the world. Interestingly, every time the raw green beans are roasted, it’s by blend and not origin. Each batch undergoes 24 steps of quality assurance including moisture, which varies from crop to crop where roast parameters are adjusted to ensure consistency. Brand and image are clearly important to the business and it resonates in everything they do right down to the handmade Vittoria Coffee espresso cups in the office café etched with their iconic gold logo. With a plethora of brands including Vittoria Coffee, Santa Vittoria Mineral

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Les Schirato


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Rolando. Schirato

Water and Jarlsberg cheese, it is hard to imagine that thirty years ago the company was close to financial ruin. Thanks to owner and entrepreneurial CEO, Les Schirato, Vittoria Coffee became a household name and set the scene for Australia’s famous café culture and obsession with coffee. At a time when most family businesses would have publicly listed, sold out or fallen flat in times of adversity, Vittoria Food and Beverage remains a proud family owned business since 1947. The company was founded by two Italian brothers at the end of the Second World War, a time that brought about immense cultural and political change throughout both Europe and the rest of the world. As a result, a new wave of migrants, many of whom came from Italy, were making their way to the sandy shores of Australia. The array of new cultures and communities settling in Australia meant a sudden demand for international and European flavours and foods. The brothers recognised this demand and decided to bring their love of Italian food and beverages to their home of Australia for the rest of the country to enjoy. With a dedication to produce only the finest and freshest products to the Australian market, the brothers began roasting their very own batch of premium, 100% Arabica coffee in their new home of Australia. The coffee production started out in small doses and the brothers began to supply coffee to Sydney’s first ‘Italian style’ cafes and restaurants. As their inventions grew, so did their business. Through their launch of Vittoria Coffee, the Italian style espresso was made famous and on its way to becoming a staple in Australian households. Today, if you walk down any suburban or inner city precinct in Australia, you’re likely to see Vittoria Coffee’s logo and iconic umbrellas casting shade over café and restaurant patrons sipping lattes out of their gold Vittoria takeaway coffee cups. It was this exact strategy to put the brand at the forefront that helped Vittoria Coffee become Australia’s No 1 pure coffee brand, a title the business does not take for granted. The company’s success is no accident, systematically over the last 30 years, CEO Les Schirato has seen the ‘big guys’ come and go, however through sheer hard work and determination Vittoria Coffee became the brand that the ‘big guys’ now try to emulate. You cannot speak of Vittoria Coffee without mentioning Les Schirato, Australia’s Coffee King as he is affectionately known. A powerful and well respected figure in Australian business, Schirato’s passion for business and people is infectious. It’s easy to see why people are drawn to Les, he’s incredibly endearing, a born mentor and clearly a people person. His presence is known from the moment he walks into a room. His staff clearly respect and want to learn from him and peers want to soak just a little of that infectious energy.

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Les’ 40 years of experience in the coffee world has made him one of the world’s foremost coffee aficionado’s. Behind every great success story lies a journey of peaks and troughs, highs and lows. Les Schirato’s resurrection of Vittoria Food & Beverage is a triumph too good not to share. He was born in Sydney in 1955 to Italian immigrant parents. Raised in an Italian household, he was exposed to all aspects of Italian culture from a young age. He grew up on authentic Italian food, sparkling mineral water and of course, fresh Italian coffee, so his love affair with Italian products started long before he embarked on his journey to Vittoria. Les’ connection to Vittoria Food & Beverage started before he finished school when his father was a salesman at Vittoria. Les began working for the company during his school holidays, eventually becoming a full time employee in 1971. After working in the business for some time, Les fell in love with the boss’ daughter, Luisa. He then went to work at Davids Holdings, eventually moving to Fiat becoming the youngest Senior Executive in the country. Luisa remained at the business, and she and Les went on to have two children, a girl, Gabriella and a boy, Rolando. Throughout his varied roles and work experience, Les continued to develop his entrepreneurial flare. His love of Italian food and culture provided a perfect match to his love of meeting and talking to people. His engaging nature, clear leadership skills and unwavering drive and passion would enable him to turn Vittoria Food & Beverage into one of Australia’s great business success stories. In 1981 Les returned to Vittoria and was appointed Group Managing Director in 1993. The company had been through a tumultuous few years and was almost trading insolvent. They were in dire financial straights. Upon his return to Vittoria, Les embarked on a mission to not only rid the company of its debt, (a goal he achieved in 2000) but to secure Vittoria Food & Beverage as Australia’s No.1 pure coffee company. Les understood one of the critical success factors in turning the livelihood of the business around centered on employing the right people for the job. In the coming years he recruited people with a range of skills and expertise to help build the company back up again. With his Vittoria army behind him, Les created a series of guerilla marketing campaigns and clearly defined sales strategies to enhance the Vittoria brand. It was during this time that Les came up with the “White Coffee Bean” campaign. The week leading up to April Fool’s Day, Les submitted a number of print ads to various media outlets around the country, stating that Vittoria Coffee had invented a white coffee bean, which would produce a latte style coffee without the addition of milk. The advert provided a telephone number for customers to call on April 1st to place their orders for this magical bean. When hundreds of people called the number they were informed that the “White Coffee Bean” was in fact a myth to line up with April Fools Day. The customers were sent a complimentary bag of coffee and thanked for their effort. The stint attracted mass media coverage, forcing the company to the forefront of every major media outlet in the country. Determined to define the market and not follow others, Les had a big idea to get vacuum packed Vittoria Coffee into the large retail supermarkets. Despite initial reluctance and take up, the idea worked and Vittoria was the first pure coffee available in major retailers. While his involvement in the food service and retail coffee sphere is immense, Les has also dedicated much of his personal time to working with charities and organizations that support causes he believes in. Through his contribution to charities such as The Starlight Children’s Foundation, The Sydney Children’s Hospital, 190 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


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Tour De Cure and OzHarvest, Les has set an exemplary path for the rest of the Vittoria community to emulate. His charitable efforts were deservingly honored in 2008 when he was awarded an Order of Australia. Having created this successful and now world renowned ‘café culture’ in Australia, the current market compared to yesteryear has meant the coffee industry is a very different game. Increased competition and local coffee roasters pushing the ‘new hipster wave’ of coffee has driven the company further to innovate the brand and continuing to lead rather than follow. Rather than being deterred by a threat of competition, Les Schirato and his son Rolando who is the Managing Director of the business, approach each and every day with the same energy and approach as if they were a tech start up in Silicon Valley. Enthusiastically training Vittoria’s new young generation of recruits, Les, Rolando and their management team keep pushing the boundaries and re-inventing the brand, continuing to build loyalty amongst the next generation of coffee lovers. Even when challenged with the notion that they’re a ‘big’ brand when pitching to a café or restaurant who may express a desire to use a ‘local’ roaster, Rolando has the perfect response “We are a local roaster, we’re just really good at it. People love Vittoria, that’s why coffee drinkers remain loyal to the brand”. A key differentiator at Vittoria is their graduate program, one which recruits, trains and develops high performers into the Vittoria army. It sounds militant in description but upon hearing of the program, it’s no wonder a number of past ‘grads’ as they’re known, are now part of the companies’ management team. Building careers is as important as building brands and Les and Rolando believe their business is only as good as the people working for them. Product knowledge and the skill of not just knowing coffee but being able to make a coffee worthy of the CEO and MD’s educated palettes are paramount to each and every employees’ success. Fittingly, the company’s most successful ‘grad’ is heir to the Vittoria throne, Rolando Schirato. As the Commander in Chief, Les knew his son would follow suit, eventually assuming the position as the leader of the Vittoria army however the position of Managing Director hasn’t just been handed to Les’ son. Like all the other ‘grads’, Rolando had to experience working in every department from the ground up and earn every stripe before becoming one of Australia’s most powerful entrepreneurs. As Les and Luisa’s only son and at just thirty-three years old, Rolando has held a number of positions in the company, having worked his way up through the ranks over the last fifteen years. Rolando’s exposure to the multi-faceted businesses has seen him develop a keen eye for detail and a marketing-savvy brain. Having spent a number of years familiarizing himself within each area of the business, Rolando is committed to do whatever it takes to achieve and maintain the enormous success of Vittoria Food & Beverage. Rolando has been instrumental in bringing to life some of Vittoria’s most famous campaigns. It was Rolando who created the Vittoria Coffee Fashion Series, in which some of Australia’s best-known designers create one-ofa-kind prints to be featured on Vittoria Coffee take away cups. The Vittoria Fashion Series features prints by Ellery, Camilla and Marc, Romance Was Born, We Are Handsome, Dion Lee, Manning Cartell, Bec and Bridge and Nicholas. The campaign has been received with tremendous praise, showcasing the versatility of the Vittoria Coffee brand and further highlighting the alignment between coffee, food and fashion. Above all, the Fashion Series showcases Rolando’s ability to think outside the box, utilizing minimal resources and creating a fresh direction and image for the brand.

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Rolando’s most notable work to date is the Al Pacino advertising campaign. The brain-child behind the idea, Rolando approached Al Pacino on a number of occasions and was met with the same answer: Al Pacino did not endorse any product or company let alone appear in a television ad. But Rolando was relentless. Upon discovering both Pacino and Schirato had family connections in Italy and Pacino’s genuine love of coffee, an agreement was made. Created and executed internally, the Al Pacino ad campaign was filmed at the famous Café Dante in New York City. The campaign was the first time Al Pacino has ever publicly endorsed a product. Now that Rolando heads the next generation of Vittoria Food & Beverage, the possibilities of where his young mind will go seem endless. There is no doubt that he is enormously proud of his father, not only in building the Vittoria Coffee empire from the ground up but also for allowing him the opportunities to learn every aspect of the business. Rolando has assumed his position as the leader of the next generation of people at Vittoria Food & Beverage. The challenge for him will be to marry the Italian history and deep heritage of the Vittoria Coffee brand while ensuring it remains current and in vogue. Based on what has already been seen from him, Rolando is more than capable of looking to the future, while keeping the past in mind. Ask anyone in the Australian food industry, the Vittoria Coffee brand is synonymous with quality. They have built their strategy around alignments with the best restaurants and chefs in the world. For years, Vittoria Coffee has sponsored the top national and state restaurant awards in Australia supporting customers including Rockpool, Icebergs, Sepia, Flower Drum, Rosetta and The Press Club. However, restaurateurs and chefs are not the only people who have caught on to the phenomenon that is Vittoria. Globally, you can step into any one of some of the most luxurious names in hospitality-- The Hilton, The Four Seasons, Sheraton, The Shangri- La, and The Langham or any First Class cabin on Qantas flights around the world—and find yourself sipping on a delectable cup of Vittoria Coffee. After conquering and remaining the leader of the Australian coffee market for a considerable amount of time, it is clear that this company knows coffee. The journey for this thriving business continues to grow and as the United States moves towards an emphasis on quality, barista-made coffee, Les and his son Rolando began investing more resources into the USA. Vittoria Food & Beverage set up their first office in the beach side area of Venice Beach, Los Angeles. In the past 24 months, Vittoria Coffee can now be found in some of California’s coolest places to be seen including Big Sur’s luxury resort, the Post Ranch Inn, the latest hot spot in downtown LA, Church & State and iconic Australian concept store, Deus ex Machina in Venice Beach. Never one to do anything on a small scale, Vittoria has also made their way to the bustling streets of New York City. Their products can be seen in some of the city’s busiest and coolest coffee bars, cafes and restaurants including Dante, Butcher’s Daughter and Flinders Lane to name a few. Vittoria Coffee are now taking the brand global and the genius behind forecasting what would become an essential part of Australian culture must be commended. There is no doubt that the iconic gold and brown logo will remain an Australian coffee treasure for many more generations to come. Given their previous success, it won’t be surprising at all if their expansion into global markets follows suit.

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T R A V E L | B E L M O N D E X P E R I E N C E - I TA LY & S I C I LY

V I VA BELMOND I TA L I A The B E L M O N D collection of Italian hotels offer some of the most extraordinary locations and unique experiences in the world with highlights including The Belmond Villa Sant’ Andrea, an early 19TH CENTURY villa transformed to a private residence with a chic coastal ambience and guest rooms that look across the Bay of Mazzaro in Sicily. It’s big sister property, BELMOND GRAND HOTEL TIMEO sits a few kilometres up the hill in Taormina with a Greek theatre nestled snuggly beside it and unrivalled views of the coastline and MT ETNA. If art is more your thing, head to Belmond’s Villa San Michele in FLORENCE with its frescoes and ancient carvings, while its formal Italian gardens make a delightful retreat.

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FIRENZE M A STERPIECE

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From the moment you enter the grounds of this 15th century ITALIAN RENAISSANCE monastery, heavily influenced by the great Michelangelo, you’re totally immersed in the sprawling lush green gardens infused with sweet smelling lemon trees, roses, lavender and blooming tulips. Belmond Villa San Michele is the nearest thing to HEAVEN to be found on earth!

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he rolling green hills, sweeping postcard views of the Florence skyline and of the historical Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore places us squarely in the famous Tuscany region. Nestled on a hilltop in Fiesole, one of Florence’s most scenic areas, Belmond Villa San Michele overlooks the historic city and the Arno Valley below. Ruled by the powerful Medicis for centuries, Florence abounds in magnificent art and architecture. The capital of Tuscany, it was the birthplace of the Renaissance and the most important city in Europe from the 14th to early 16th centuries. Alongside its treasure-filled galleries, museums and churches, Florence is famous for its picturesque bridges. The most famous of these, the medieval-stoned Ponte Vecchio,

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is lined with jewellery shops which span the Arno River. The Belmond Villa San Michele is an exquisite 15th century 45-roomed boutique property, with the villa’s façade attributed to Michelangelo. The interior has the ethereal beauty and solitude associated with a Renaissance monastery. Guests can choose from double rooms, junior suites, suites or the Limonaia suite and Villa (sized from 80m2). The stunning gardens, once nurtured by Franciscan monks, include a large wooded park and terraced lawns. Guests are invited to relax on a lounger, sip a cocktail among the fragrant blooms or take a tour with the gardeners. A walking path through the woods lets guests enjoy the beautiful surrounds and they can supplement their fitness session with a special exercise station set up along the way.


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Secluded in a corner of the Italian gardens is the Spa’s massage gazebo. With stunning views over Florence, it is a perfect way to unwind and indulge with a special treatment. The fitness centre also has panoramic views across Florence, and a personal trainer is on hand to tailor a workout session which could see guests walking among the Fiesole hills or jogging in the heart of the Chianti wine region. Our highlight was taking part in the Belmond’s exclusive Cooking School where for two hours we were engaged in an explosion of true Italian flavours, herbs and spices. Executive Chef Atillio de Fabrizio greeted us with his warm charismatic charm. After he presented us with our own Belmond Chef ’s aprons, he announced the menu for that day’s lunch, which we were cooking! Our entrée began with a traditional Tuscan Panzanella (Tuscan tomato and bread salad), next Fiesolestyle potato dumplings with fresh tomato and basil, finishing with Chef Atillio’s signature Tiramisu… we were in heaven! Chef Atillio’s enchanting passion for culinary excellence has complemented the Belmond’s Villa San Michele for the past 23 years and it’s easy to see why he is the driving force behind the success of La Loggia Restaurant. With a glass of Prosecco, we slowly savoured every single mouthful of our home-cooked Italian feast… bellissimo! The La Loggia bar and the Pool Restaurant and Bar were 198 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

also perfect places to take refreshment whilst enjoying the panoramic views of Florence. Sitting perched on the hilltop amongst the vibrant gardens, it was as if a tapestry laid out before us had come to life. With secluded terraces and Florence’s only heated swimming pool, guests have fabulous options to dine alfresco with a home-made pizza and a host of signature Bellinis or have a intimate dinner for two on a private terrace with unbelievable views. Our early morning ritual was to stroll through the gardens, seeing the gardeners meticulously manicure the gardens whilst being supervised by a brigade of multi-coloured lizards. Surrounded by the heady fragrance of wisteria, lemon trees and basil, evoked a fantasy that is uniquely Villa San Michele. For our last dinner at La Loggia, we were thrilled to see dining along side us was Mr Dan Brown and some cast and film crew going over the day’s shooting for the next instalment of The Da Vinci Code. We couldn’t think of anywhere better for them to be inspired. Chef Atillio again presented an unforgettable menu with beef carpaccio, handmade macaroni with fresh Lobster, crispy skinned Sea Bass with fresh basil and cherry tomato sauce and sautéed veal fillet with white summer truffle. Dinner was finished off with our all-time favourite, a chocolate soufflé with a burnt orange sauce.


FLORENCE POPULATION: 382, 000 CURRENCY: EURO LANGUAGE: ITALIAN TIME ZONE: CET (UTC +1)

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: ITALY is known to favour a humid subtropical climate, slightly tending to Mediterranean. It has hot summers with moderate or light rainfall and cool, damp winters. Recommended time to travel would be during the June to September period to take advantage of light luggage however if you’re more of a winter fan, travel end of October to December and don’t forget the gloves, scarves and jackets! WHERE IS IT: Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and is most famous for its history, center of medieval European trade and finance and is one of the wealthiest cities of the time. It’s most notably considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called ‘the Athens of the Middle Ages.’ FLORENCE IN BRIEF: Florence really is a city that simply has it all. To appreciate the enormity of this magnificent ancient city, first visit Piazzale Michelangelo, a pretty square that offers magnificent panorama views. Then continue down the windy pathway to Old Town and bask in the beauty of Piazza del Duomo where you will be in awe as you take in the glory of the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori). Marvel at the intricacy of the pink, white and green marble that covers the exterior, and then gaze up at the striking cupola. You’ll also see Giotto’s bell tower (Campanile di Giotto), and the bronze baptistery doors by Ghiberti. Next, stroll to the Accademia Gallery. Head directly inside and make a beeline for the gallery’s most famous exhibit: Michelangelo’s David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. Admire the marble statue, which was carved in the early 16th century, and learn how it is a symbol of strength and youthful, human beauty. If you’re looking to escape the immediate city, head up to the stunning Belmond Property, formerly a monastery, where you can completely relax, sip a glass of Champagne and indulge in some of the finest Italian food I have ever tasted.

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F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

BELMOND VILLA SAN MICHELE Via Doccia 4, 50014 Fiesole, Florence, ITALY | www.belmond.com/villa-san-michele-florence/luxury-hotel

Arrivederci Villa San Michele

The real difference at Villa San Michele is the distinctive and genuine honesty and attention to detail shown by the staff. It was an honour to share the last days with MaÎtre d’ Vitorio, who was retiring after 30 years of service, and a privilege to have been served by him and his team. This special property in its stunning location will remain in our memories forever. I highly recommend you try the Villa San Michele at least once in your lifetime. 200 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


T R U LY SPLENDID WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

For as long as I can remember there hasn’t been one visitor to PORTOFINO, that I’ve met, who hasn’t rhapsodized over their time spent in this part of the LIGURIAN RIVIER A. But we’ve ramped this experience up a notch with our stay at the world-renowned Belmond Splendido. To risk using a hackneyed phrase, I urge you to add this to your ‘BUCKET LIST.’

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his special property has a long history, which started with its life as a monastery. During the 16th century, Saracen pirates attacked it so relentlessly that the monks had little choice but to flee. From the 19th century, Baron Baratta converted the abandoned monastery into an impressive family summer home, with sweeping vistas from every room. In 1901, Ruggero Valentini, who is credited with forging tourism to Portofino, transformed the Villa Baratta into the world-famous Grand Hotel Splendido. Valentini began to host many famous and noble families in Europe at the Spendido, with the Duke of Wellington being the first to sign the visitors book. Throughout the 50’s and 60’s the property became a favorite of Hollywood celebrities with the likes of Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Clarke Gable and Ava Gardner among the many to savour the splendour of the Splendido. In 1985, the Orient Express Hotels (now rebranded to Belmond) took over the property and embarked on the monumental task of a complete refurbishment. On our arrival, we were greeted like a family member coming home after a long absence. With the perfect weather, we felt a strong pull from the heated saltwater pool with the stunning sea vistas. We could see the staff efficiently servicing the needs of the guests, personalizing orders and securing coveted tables, with the heady aroma of freshly baked pizza and home made pasta wafting in the air. We were guided to our suite, which was beautifully furnished with timber floors and luxurious fabrics, walk-in robes with hand crafted twin vanities, marble bath and shower. From our own private terrace the view was a mosaic of turquoise sea, terracotta roofs and potted flowers creating a panoramic canvas. The property offered a variety of accommodation options from double rooms, junior suites, suites and Dolce Vita, Presidential and Ava Gardner Suites (which ranged in size from 50m2). The property was dripping with cascading wisteria and the gardens included hundreds of indigenous olive trees sheltering the bushes of lavender plants and wild herb gardens. The ubiquitous potted red geraniums were a signature statement. The gardens invited investigation, and one couldn’t help but meander each afternoon to seek out a new and secluded vantage point to enjoy the magnificent vistas of Portofino.

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F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

BELMOND HOTEL SPLENDIDO Portofino, Salita Baratta 16, 16034 Portofino (GE), Italy | www.belmond.com/hotel-splendido-portofino/luxury-hotel-italy

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We enjoyed wandering through the village of Portofino. The trick when eating out in Italy is to focus in on the simple and local. Make sure you try the Napoli sauce, the homemade pasta and the plethora of fresh tomatoes, olives and local herbs. Back at the hotel, we found ourselves being seduced by the staff, who coaxed us to the terrace so they could show-off their magnificent freshly-made gnocchi and the mouth-watering Pizza Napoli. Our last day was particularly memorable with a swim in the crystal-clear Mediterranean which we followed with a plate of freshly-made tapas and frothing cappuccino. We then jumped on board our very own 60 ft motor cruiser where we were greeted with a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a tray of delicious canapés. Cruising the coastline gave us a different perspective of Portofino. We cruised past Dolce and Gabbana’s six-storey, 16 million euro villa which over-looked the village and harbour port, and we marveled at the procession of the never-ending monasteries, castles and medieval forts. Whilst we were still out on the water, the sun set most impressively, and we felt there could be no better way to celebrate being in Portofino. DINING Back at the hotel after our cruise, we checked out the spa before getting ready for dinner. We enjoyed a pre-dinner Bellini in the piano bar and caught up with the General Manager, Ermes De Megni. Our final dinner at La Terrazza was to be spectacular. Our table was positioned with uninterrupted and breathtaking views of the harbour below. La Terrazza is renown for its seafood, pasta and regional specialities which are cooked to perfection by Chef Corrado Corti and his team. Tonight, we had the finest of Italian cuisine: starting with delicious home-made tortellini which was stuffed with truffle-laced local prawns, and crispyskinned sea bass with a sauce of sweet cherry tomatoes, local garlic and home-picked olives. This was followed by a locally caught grilled lobster which was accompanied by side dishes of crisp and sautéed garden vegetables with oven-baked pommes au gratin. THE TIR AMISU WAS TO DIE FOR. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 205


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CARUSO ON THE AMALFI COA ST Fresh from our stay at the Belmond Sant’ Michele Florence, we arrived in Naples after a four-hour train ride through the picturesque Italian countryside. NAPLES is (in)famous for its city traffic and we saw first-hand that road rules are treated like just a suggestion. It wasn’t until we hit the outskirts of town, headed for the AMALFI COAST, that the history books started to flip its thousand of pages.

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he road from Naples to the Amalfi Coast provided huge vistas of the majesty of the Bay of Napoli. About nine kilometres east of Naples, Mt Vesuvius loomed large to our left and at almost the same distance again from its base we passed the ruined city of Pompeii. The motorway didn’t last long as the freeways turned into roads into streets then into lanes. Before we knew it, we were on the famous but challenging road leading to the Amalfi coastline. We passed through Sorrento then Positano before winding our way up the alarmingly narrow road to Ravello. Climbing further still, we finally came to the famed Belmond Hotel Caruso with commanding views of the Amalfi Coast. You are never quite ready for what will ultimately take your breath away. The Belmond Hotel Caruso is a former 11th century palace which has been lovingly restored to its former glory. It is perched 350 meters on the highest point at the village of Ravello. As our room was being prepared, we were escorted through the Belvedere gardens which is a heavenly terraced retreat showcasing pomegranate, orange and lemon trees and paths lined with blooming roses, olive trees and a massive array of fresh herbs – the visual experience enhanced with the heady aromas of lavender, jasmine and rosemary. The famous infinity pool didn’t disappoint. We sat pool-side with a delicious margarita pizza in one hand and a Bellini in the other, and were awed by the visual of the infinity pool, 350

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metres above sea level, seemingly suspended between sea and sky. It was easy to see why the Belmond Hotel Caruso is famous for hosting weddings, with several locations within the property all as stunning as the next. The abundance of hanging wisteria in the gardens, the elegant dining rooms with hand painted ceilings or sitting on the edge of the infinity pool with just the two of you, it is a magical place for couples to recite their vows. Once we were in our room, we were delighted to discover beautiful period pieces scattered throughout, wonderful mosaics and a view from the windows impossible to replicate on canvas. Once night fell we headed into Ravello to enjoy what the local village had to offer. The village was alive with families and children enjoying an evening concert, and we spent hours visiting the local shops and cafes and took in the incredible views. Breakfast was bought to our room and set up on the terrace – an incredible way to start the day with picture-perfect uninterrupted vistas of the Amalfi Coast and the glistening Mediterranean coming to life. We headed out early and made our way down to the marina where we boarded a boat and cruised up the coast to Positano. The coastline is like a post-card with clusters of 212 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

villas, hotels and churches remarkably clinging on to the terraced cliff-face. Back at the hotel, and after a session at the Technogym, we checked out the Hotel’s Wellness Centre. The Spa was nestled in amongst the herb gardens and located right on the cliff’s edge. What a view! The strategic location of the Spa ensured guests are easily lulled by the expansive vista, whilst being warmed by the sun amongst the fragrant garden. For our last night, we dined at restaurant Belvedere and enjoyed Chef Mimmo di Raffaele’s traditional Italian specialities of beautifully prepared local Sea Bass grilled with a little fresh lemon and capers, marinated calamari with local olives garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and finished with another one of the best examples of Tiramisu in Italy. Eating in Italy isn’t so much about the Michelin stars or the celebrity, it’s all about local and the fresh, and there is always something from mama. Like all of the Italian Belmond properties, the Hotel Caruso is open from April to October each year, and has only 50 suites and rooms available. My advice is to book well ahead to secure a room and don’t give up as it’s more than worth the wait.


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F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

BELMOND HOTEL CARUSO, Piazza San Giovanni del Toro 2, 84010 Ravello (SA), Italy | www.belmond.com/hotel-caruso-amalfi-coast/luxury-hotel-ravello

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: PHIL HARTE

AN OFFER YO U C A N ’ T REFUSE { Vita Corleone}

When I think of Sicily, I can’t help but think of the connection with the fictional Vita Corleone and his family – such was the impression the 1972 movie The Godfather had on me. But with its stunning coastline, historic architecture and its largest landmark, Mt Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Sicily has taken on a whole new meaning.

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verlooking one of the most beautiful coastlines in all of Italy, and with its own exclusive beach in the enchanting Bay of Mazzaro, the Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is one of Sicily’s premier properties. The property was built in the mid-1800’s originally as a summer family home for Englishman, Robert Trewhella and his wife. Trewhella was engaged by the Italian government at the time to participate in the construction of infrastructure for the country. The property is well located being 5 km from the village of Taormina, by the foot of Mt Etna and a stone’s throw from the Ancient Greek Theatre. With Taormina’s reputation growing as the ‘it’ place to visit for Hollywood celebrities and royalty, it is unsurprising that by 1950 Trewhella’s son, Percy, had transformed the family home into a hotel. In 2010, the Orient Express company purchased the famous villa and it now stands as one of the many jewels in the Belmond luxury crown. Today, guests have a choice from 64 suites and rooms, each with its own unique touches of sumptuous antique furnishings and interior design which evoke the magnificence of the Sicilian tradition.

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The hotel facilities cater for the best of indoor or outdoor healthand fitness. The gym features state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and free weights, and there are personal trainers on hand to tailor fitness programs. The heated outdoor infinity-edge swimming pool is perfect for melting away any stress, or guests can take a dip in the bay, which is teeming with marine life, and discover the nearby caves. Paddle-boarding is also an option. For a bit of pampering, there are also several spa treatment rooms surrounded by tranquil exotic gardens. Guests have many options to spend their days, and it is a real treat to discover this stunning area. Each day we could fish with the locals, snorkel, take a horse for a trek along the coastline or rent a boat and discover the many castles or visit the Grotta Azzurra. It is a photographer’s paradise. For the more adventurous, guests can take a tour of Mt Etna, to see the molten lava and explore craters and lava caverns, and to travel along the Alcantara canyon, and admire its wonderful waterfalls. DINING All of the hotel’s dining and bar areas have sublime water views with charming al fresco options by the water’s edge. The hotel’s terrace restaurant, Restaurant Oliviero, is famous for its local seafood straight from the Mediterranean and we quickly discovered the incredible flavours of traditional Sicilian cuisine. Diners’ appetites are tantalized with displays of the daily fresh catch and all the locally grown produce. All of the food options carefully matched with a selection of the local regional wines. Restaurant Oliviero exudes a refined and elegant atmosphere while still maintaining a relaxed and family feel. For our meal, Executive Chef, Salvatore Gambuzza and his team delivered a mouthwatering feast with seemingly endless tapas-style dishes which included Eggplant Parmigana, marinated king prawns and lightly breaded locally caught Anchovies. No authentic Sicilian dinner would be complete without a home-made cannoli, which was so delicious I had to have two! The Belmond Villa Sant’ Andrea literally offers something for all the family but guests still have a sense of seclusion. But what makes the real difference is the amazing hospitality from the locals and more importantly from the staff, who are themselves locals and proud. Our stay at the Belmond Villa Sant’ Andrea was to be the end of our Belmond journey through Italy and we only wished we had time to stay longer. Oh, and I didn’t get to do ‘The Godfather’ tour this time round, so I have unfinished business. We will definitely be back.

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F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

FURTHER INFORMATION: BELMOND VILLA SANT’ANDREA Via Nazionale 137, 98039 Taormina Mare, Sicily, Italy. www.belmond.com/villa-sant-andrea-taormina-mare/luxury-hotel

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TRAVEL STORIES

“... resplendent in all its glory, the beautiful stone archway and ornate gates, the wonderfully crafted timber doors opening with a warm ITALIAN welcome...” PHIL HARTE

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T R A V E L | B E L M O N D E X P E R I E N C E - I TA LY & S I C I LY

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B R AV O !

With stunning views across the ANCIENT THEATRE OF TAORMINA, through to a sweeping azure coastline with Mt Etna in the distance, this luxurious historic hotel is the PERFECT PLAYGROUND for the rich and famous.

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ach June, the small Sicilian resort town of Taormina becomes a Hollywood mecca for A-list celebrities. They gather for the annual film festival’s movie premiers and parties held in the breathtaking setting of the Ancient Greek Theatre. The picturesque resort town has long been a drawcard for famous artists, musicians and writers since the late 19th century. The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, in fact, was an inspiration for D.H. Lawrence in writing his classic ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’. During the early 20th century the town became a colony of expatriate artists, writers, and intellectuals. Many celebrated artists have had a strong connection with the town including people such as Alexandre Dumas, Truman Capote, Oscar Wilde, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant. Located in the heart of bustling Taormina, some 50 km from Catania, the landmark hotel Belmond Grand Timeo is set high in the rocky hills and is the epitome of pure luxury. Legends abound of Audrey Hepburn and Sofia Loren being guests of

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“It was nearly impossible to take our eyes away from the breathtaking panorama before us with the most magical backdrop that was Mt Etna�

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this fabulous property, and with the sun setting in the distance whilst we were dining on the terrace, it is easy to imagine them wandering through the idyllic park-like setting. The property has an interesting history. It started in 1863 The property has an interesting history. It started in 1863 when a when a 20 year-old painter, Otto Geleng, decided to rent out five of the rooms and call the property ‘Timeo’. Ten years on, Don Francesco bought the house and the ancient Greek theatre and continued to rent the rooms. By 1896, Kaiser Wilhelm II arrived, then after the First World War it hosted guests such as King Edward VII and his wife and D.H. Lawrence. The Second World War took its toll on Timeo and it wasn’t until 1948 that things returned to normality and the fortunes of the Grand Timeo boomed with the Italian economy. In 1998, the Franza family enriched the hotel with all the luxury trappings one would expect. In 2010, the property was taken over by Orient Express (now rebranded to Belmond) to join their stable of Italian luxury hotel masterpieces. When we arrived in Taormina we were charmed by the narrow cobble-stoned streets and mesmerised by the quirky little boutique art galleries, the many local fashion labels and other vendors who specialised in everything Sicilian. On our approach to the Grand Timeo our gaze is drawn to the Ancient Theatre of Taormina – the Greek theatre – where a local soprano was warming up for the night’s performance. Suddenly there it was, the legend living up to the hype – resplendent in all its glory, the beautiful stone archway and ornate gates, the wonderfully crafted timber doors opening with a warm Italian welcome. We were guided through the history-soaked halls, our attention drawn to the frescos and the gallery of timeless artworks and priceless furniture. It was nearly impossible to take our eyes away from the breathtaking

panorama before us with the most magical backdrop that was Mt Etna, covered in snow and draped in a blanket of burnt pink and surrounded by the magnificent Sicilian coastline. The hotel’s décor was impeccable, and the property offered a range of sumptuous accommodation from double rooms, junior suites, suites and a presidential suite. Terraced gardens surrounded the heated swimming pool and the Wellness Centre is nestled in five acres of parkland. Stunning bursts of colour from pots and flowerbeds of hydrangeas, poppies, pansies and lavender, peppered throughout the estate, completed the story-book picture. There are many special places around the property to take refreshment and having a drink on the terrace was a favorite. However, backdropped by Mount Etna and Cape Taormina, the Restaurant’s location was incomparable. Dinner was as overwhelming as the view, with the menu focused on mouthwatering seasonal produce and local specialties like Pachino cherry tomatoes, capers from Salina and Bronte pistachios. Our sensational dishes comprised several courses of local seafood from the bay, homemade Blue potato gnocchi, thinly sliced grilled Sicilian beef and – straight from the infamous menu of The Godfather – was the Duplice Cannolo di Ricotta: the double version of Sicilian Cannolo. As the clock struck midnight, our espresso was all that was left to savour and the sleepy village of Taormina quietly retreated for the day knowing that it will all happen again tomorrow. “… we went into raptures at the sight of Taormina. On our left, closing the horizon, Etna rose, that sky column, as Pindaro called it, which with its violet mass was silhouetted against the reddish sky because all crossed by the burning rays of the sun,v ” Alexandre Dumas.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

BELMOND GR AND TIMEO Belmond Grand Timeo, Via Teatro Greco 59, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy | www.belmond.com/grand-hotel-timeo-taormina/

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SICILY WHERE TO STAY: BELMOND VILLA SANT’ANDREA, BELMOND GRAND HOTEL TIMEO POPULATION: 5.092 MILLION CURRENCY: EURO LANGUAGE: ITALIAN

WHERE IS IT: Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, found just off the toe of Italy’s boot. It has been a crossroads of cultures for 3,000 years, a history reflected in its diverse architecture, cuisine and ancient ruins. Palermo, the capital, offers colorful street life, bustling markets and Byzantine mosaics at the Cappella Palatina. On Sicily’s eastern edge is Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. SICILY IN BRIEF: The success of Francis Ford Coppola’s movie The Godfather, only increased the great intrigue surrounding Sicily as a destination. Who could forget back in 1950 when Michael Corleone played by Al Pacino, was exiled to his homeland of Sicily to escape the mob wars of New York. His epic adventures trekking over the Sicilian countryside showcasing its vast mountain ranges, the Italian’s passion for culture, food and wine quite honestly is where I fell in love with Italy, automatically elevating Sicily to the top of my MUST see destinations. When we arrived at the palatial Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, set on its own exclusive beach, it was as if all of our troubles had miraculously washed away. With a glass of Champagne in our hand at the secluded Bay of Mazzaro Bar, we marvelled at the crystal blue waters and beautiful coastline of Italy. This historic property built by an aristocratic family in 1830 among lush, subtropical gardens retains all the charm of a private residence. If that’s not enough indulgence, why not enjoy a well deserved retreat to a private beach cabana, where you can unwind with your favourite novel and take in a swim or boat excursion to discover one of the many caves tucked around the bay. Belmond’s Villa Sant’Andrea delivers the unimaginable, enjoy!

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PERFORMANCE MASTERED

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IT’S THE O N E T H AT YO U WA N T WORDS

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DAN I EL L E HARTE

Among the foothills near Byron Bay sits a destination that simply delivers a heavenly experience. Olivia Newton-John’s angelic Gaia Retreat and Spa, known as Mother Earth, radiates an inspiring philosophy of deep tranquility and sweet surrender. This spectacular place is nestled on 25 acres in the breathtaking Bundjalung Country hinterland of Byron Bay, the region known as the healing heartland of Australia.

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Majestically poised on the highest point in the BYRON SHIRE, Gaia meaning…spirit of Mother Earth, will seduce you to drift into infinity, with its endless spectacular vistas and the unsurpassed and natural sustainable DESIGN OF GAIA.

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B R A N D S | G A I A - B Y R O N VA L L E Y

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rom the moment you arrive, the busy demands of everyday life seem to mysteriously fall away and you’re swept up on a captivating journey of self-discovery, inner-peace and renewed harmony. The retreat is majestically poised on the highest point in the Byron Shire, and features endless spectacular vistas and unsurpassed, natural sustainable design. Unsurprisingly, Gaia is one of Australia’s most awarded boutique lifestyle pamper retreats. Masters of the art of hospitality, Gregg and Leanne welcome everyone with their infectious smiles as they get down to business to complete a detailed account of their guests’ dietary requirements, fitness and exercise regimes, relaxation and massage requirements. Immediately you feel like you are in good hands, and the knots in your shoulders start to ease. Gaia’s ethos and nurturing environment is a haven to develop, create and actualise whatever it is that you personally are seeking. The calming décor of the retreat is echoed in the rooms. The design is understated elegance, modern luxury, with an eclectic serene Balinese palette. With just 23 elegantly appointed rooms, Gaia is an intimate, boutique retreat. Each guest has a program individually tailored for their personal needs and can cover areas such as detox, weight-loss, health, fitness or general well-being. There are no specific check-in and check-out dates, so they can accommodate your own schedule. The spa cuisine menu changes daily and features organic, locally sourced produce, prepared by world-class chefs. I particularly enjoyed the Sri Lankan chicken curry with pumpkin, peas and mixed spices. And when it’s time to leave this oasis, the Gaia staff provide ongoing support to transition you back into your everyday life. Now that’s the one that I want!

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“Withan invigorating day of yoga, TRAIL HIKING, massage treatments and healthy living under my belt, its time to soak up GAIA’S MOTHER EARTH energy and enjoy a relaxing warm bath. One of the greatest pleasures in my life is allowing myself to BREATH a little deeper, slow up the thought process and just be more present in the moment. Finding this piece of heaven has been a true GOD send and I encourage everyone who is looking to take a STEP FORWARD in restoring balance into their lives, to look no further than GAIA RETREAT… let Gregg and his team empower you’re life too.”

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GAIA RETREAT AND SPA 933 Fernleigh Road, Brooklet NSW 2479, Australia | www.gaiaretreat.com.au

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DANIELLE HARTE


T R A V E L | S A N TA M O N I C A

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: PHIL HARTE

S A N TA MONICA NOIR

CALIFORNIA • USA

Santa Monica over the years hasn’t been renowned for LUXURY ACCOMMODATION, with rows of one and two bedroom surf shacks and the occasional two and three story apartments Santa Monica has really come of age.With tourism bursting at the seems venice beach, GOLDS GYM and the FAMOUS PIER will no doubt enjoy a new level of sophistication all thanks to Shutters on the Beach. Shutters brings with it a remarkable cache a new degree of A lister cliental music executives, ad agency types and of course the nouveau rich families. Don’t get me wrong, SHUTTERS IS VERY COOL, laid back not at all full of its own importance, so when you decide to spend a few nights just relax, take your shoes off and enjoy something very special.

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on’t get me wrong, Shutters is very cool, laid back not at all full of its own importance, so when you decide to spend a few nights just relax. Take your shoes off and enjoy something very special. Shutters on the Beach recalls both the traditional architecture of America’s quintessential beach resorts and inviting cottages of the Southern California coast. Three separate buildings comprise the structure, all visually linked by elaborately detailed slate-grey shingled siding, flower-covered trellises, balconies and cabana- striped awnings. The front of the hotel opens onto the Santa Monica beach promenade. The

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

PARK HYATT DUBAI PO Box 2822, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | www.dubai.park.hyatt.com

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tallest buildings embrace the sun-drenched pool deck. Public spaces are warm and inviting with a mixture of custom furnishings and white painted wood paneled walls, accented by dark wood floors and details. The lobby boasts two large fireplaces, intimate conversation areas and a large balcony overlooking the ocean. Throughout the hotel, original artwork, lithographs and stunning objets d’art add charm, sophistication and style. Artists represented in the hotel’s collection include David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, William Wegman, Richard Diebenkorn and Claes Oldenburg.


T R A V E L | S A N TA M O N I C A

Shutters on the Beach houses 186 gracious guest rooms and 12 suites in a design evoking a sense of comfortable luxury that one might experience in a richly appointed yet unpretentious beach home. Renowned interior designer Michael S. Smith was commissioned in 2005 to re-invent the rooms, updating each with an in-room reading library, decorative objects with a worldly, residential feel and only the finest in textiles and furnishings, many of which are configured to yield views of the coastline and Pacific Ocean with sliding shuttered doors open to a balcony and balmy ocean breeze. Semi-gloss white with subtle blue and yellow accents covers the walls. Four-poster beds, comfortable lounge chairs, walnut desks and nightstands, and custom-made white linens add to the hotel’s residential charm. All guest rooms and suites offer 42-inch flat screen LCD televisions with in-room entertainment systems featuring movies on demand and video games, in-room inspiration reading library along with a selection of DVD’s, in-room safe, in-room coffee service, luxurious bath products, Shutter’s signature whale, the finest linens and lush robes, Wi-Fi high speed internet access, and two-line cordless telephones with data port. In addition, each room and suite offers expansive bathrooms with hardwood floors, 15” LCD televisions, large whirlpool bathtubs and a fully equipped “Bath and Beach Chest” including an innovative selection of travel “must haves” as well as shutters that open from the bath to allow views to the outdoors. Specially designed rooms to accommodate the needs of the physically challenged are available. The 12 private suites at Shutters on the Beach replicate the residential tone set in the guest rooms, accessorized with items and appointments such as hand-made needlepoint pillows and a selection of coffee table books, magazines and games. All guests in the Ocean View suites with the rack rate receive complimentary transportation to and from three area airports. Shutters on the Beach offers two luxurious one-bedroom 1,350 sq. ft. presidential suites in the Ocean House building and one large 1,500 sq. ft. suite in the Beach House. These top three suites offer full ocean views featuring extra-large bathrooms with oversized oval whirlpool bathtubs, additional powder rooms, full-sized living rooms with fireplaces, dining tables to seat four - six, additional fireplaces in the master bedrooms and galley kitchens with full-size refrigerators, in addition to all amenities featured in the guest rooms and other suites. Guests of Shutters on the Beach may take advantage of the numerous services and amenities available, including 24-hour room service; complimentary shoe shine; same- day laundry and dry cleaning; twice-daily maid service; The Cottage gift shop; valet parking; business center; and departure services. Complimentary house-car transportation in the hotel’s Tesla S class is available to guests of Shutters’ suites and oceanfront rooms. The concierge will assist with business needs, restaurant reservations, entertainment, limousines, airline tickets and sightseeing tours and also provide knowledgeable information about local and Southern California attractions and cultural events. 1 Pico is situated on a prime coastal stretch of sand, with majestic views across the boardwalk and out to the Pacific Ocean. With an enhanced décor courtesy of designer.

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LOS ANGELES

WHERE TO STAY: SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH POPULATION: 3, 792, 621 CURRENCY: AMERICAN DOLLARS LANGUAGE: ENGLISH TIME ZONE: PACIFIC STANDARD TIME (PST) WHICH IS UTC/GMT -8 HOURS (19 HOURS BEHIND SYDNEY)

WHERE IS IT: The City of Santa Monica is a widely recognised city in the U.S state of California and the second-most popular in the USA. Located in Southern California it has a land area of 469 square miles and is situated on the west side of the United States of America. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: Santa Monica is sunshine city all year round, as it has an average of only thirty-five rainy days a year! The average temperature is 19°C, however if you are a winter person you can enjoy temperatures between 15°C - 23°C from December through to February. But if the heat is your favorite time of the year July to September are your times to travel with an average of 26 to 32°C. GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making all your international and domestic travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World which can be located at www. helloworld.com.au Daily flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane/Sydney or Melbourne on the QF A380 are approximately 13-14 hours, with fares ranging depending on your selected time schedule. IN BRIEF - close by: If you’re looking for a city that radiates Hollywood glamour, then look no further as Los Angeles is the place for you. With its exclusive celebrity homes scattered sporadically in the lush estates of Beverley Hills, only a stone’s throw away from the luxurious designer brand shopping of Rodeo Drive, you’ll be charmed by the inviting friendly energy it possesses. If you are looking more for a little adventure, then I’d encourage you to visit Universal Studios with its action-packed, thrill seeking rollercoaster/simulator rides, extraordinary movie-set backdrops, themed restaurants and super heroes photo opportunities. By far the perfect family day not to be missed! So take in a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier where you can marvel at a majestic sunrise, roller-bladders or runners pounding the pavements and surfers riding the perfect wave.

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PHIL HARTE

THE GRAND OA SIS

THE NAME SAYS IT ALL

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ouching down at Dubai International Airport amidst a swirl of spice and Arabian heat, mere moments pass before you are plunged into the serenity of The Grand Hyatt Dubai, the Middle East’s Best Luxury Hotel Spa. Located in the central district of Al Jaddaf, GHB is just minutes away from some of Dubai’s most popular landmarks, including the Wafi City Shopping Mall, the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Creek & Gold Course, and importantly for business travellers, the airport. Stately in both size and stature, GHD has appointed each of its open spaces and private rooms with stylish Arabic finishings, including several timber dhows suspended from the atrium ceiling, above a flourish of tropical ferns. Bathed in sunlight, it’s like watching a fleet of ships part through the clouds. Among the hotel’s 674 rooms, there are 42 suites complete with separate office and living spaces. The highly coveted Royal Suite sweeps across 264 square metres in the towers’ highest section, framed by a panorama of water, city and sky. Ideal for six guests, it offers separate work, living and bar areas, and superior concierge service around the clock. While exclusive Royal Suite guests might order something in-room or enjoy privileged access to the Grand Club Lounge, the hotel’s exclusive breakfast and cocktail lounge, gustatory excellence abounds in all of GHD’s 13 restaurants and bars. From Singapore’s celebrated Peppercrab restaurant, to the

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authentic Indian tandoor eatery iZ, to Vinoteca Italian wine bar, each venue offers an inspired and refined dining experience. To avoid a bout of eater’s indecision, make a dining plan for each day. Among your chosen should be Manhattan Grill, where I enjoyed a New York Cut Prime Beef that took wood-fired dining to a new level. Pamper time unfolds in the award-winning Ahasees Spa & Health Club, which offers a plethora of luxuriant face and body treatments, administered by its personable beauty team. If you choose sweat over sparkle, the gymnasium’s Technogym cardio and strength equipment, including the revolutionary Multi-Kenesis exercise system, is waiting on the ground level. Days warmed by the Tropic of Cancer are cooled by the hotel’s 2,200,000-litre leisure pool, which is traced by date palms, cabanas and pearl white umbrellas. Watch your children become aquatic explorers in the mini pools, slides and water games, while you kick back with a fruit platter and glass of something bubbly. Guests also enjoy access to the 20-metre indoor, temperaturecontrolled indoor lap pool. Equipped with an underwater sound system, it redefines the meaning of freestyle. If you’re staying for business, GHD is a leader in innovative, highly connected function and meeting spaces, the latter complete with state-of-the-art multimedia and integrated video conferencing facilities. For us, the hotel’s level of technology and adaptability is a particular stand out, and make it the perfect location for the 2016 G’DAY Dubai celebrations among GHD, Qantas, Harte International and esteemed guests. This year, iconic Australian singer-songwriter Tina Arena will grace the event with her soaring vocals in a spectacular live show. Besides the event itself, we look forward to spending more time in this contemporary Arabian palace for its location, design and devotion to comfortable luxury.

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T R A V E L | H YAT T R E G E N C Y - D U B A I C R E E K

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PHIL HARTE

A H YAT T MAKING A S TAT E M E N T HYATT REGENCY DUBAI CREEK HEIGHTS Not unlike the AIRLINE INDUSTRY, the hotel and hospitality business is just as competitive. With many brands merging and with the big brands spreading their wings into new territories, there is none doing it better than HYATT HOTELS AND RESORTS.

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ontemporary, accessible and judiciously designed, the HYATT REGENCY DUBAI CREEK HEIGHTS offers guests of Dubai Healthcare City an exclusive series of hotel and residential towers that are far and away the district’s most luxuriant. A stone’s throw from the International Airport and various business and entertainment districts, the hotel rests conveniently at the centre of a bustling metropolis, whilst offering its 463 rooms spectacular views of Dubai Creek. Luxurious and connected, it redefines and integrates business and leisure. HRDCH is just ten minutes from the internationally apprized Dubai Mall, the Financial District and the Wafi Mall. Dine out, shop ‘til you drop and then jump on the Metro just a short stroll away to explore the rest of the city. It goes without saying that every detail of our stay at HRDCH was bespoke and comfortable. Of the 463 room, 76 are spacious suites, with the two signature Royal Suites marking the epitome of extravagance. Both of these sprawl across the entire top floors of each tower.

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T R A V E L | H YAT T R E G E N C Y - D U B A I C R E E K

Dubai’s beauty pours through every window, and while relaxing in the spacious marble bath, one can absorb the brilliant spectrum of colour, as the city’s iconic sunsets melts over the horizon. The hotel features three world-class gym and spa facilities, which are separate for men and women, and a magnificent pool deck with panoramic city views. Thinking fit quickly finds itself on the agenda. Every evening is punctuated with authentic gastronomy across the hotel’s various eateries, including the 24-hour Market 24 Deli, Sufra’s Mediterranean and my favourite, Dubai’s best taste of Mexico in La Tablita – a must when visiting Dubai. Meetings and events are true standouts at HRDCH with 3,200 square metres of flexible meeting space, two ballrooms and 13 meeting suites. From expos to product launches to rock concerts, this hotel adapts in style and scale for every event. With kid-friendliness a marked part of the brand’s offering, HRDCH provides excellent on-site kids’ club amenities, and childcare and babysitting services so that when you’re working – or playing – the young ones are being well cared for. Perhaps they’re enjoying themselves as much as mum and dad. When travelling, I’m always looking for ease and convenience, and in these areas, Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights never disappoints. Excellent rooms, top-end gyms and business facilities second to none – this hotel is faultless from beginning to end.

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T R A V E L | H YAT T - A L R I G G A

THE PL ACE WITH A H YAT T TOUCH WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

AFFORDABLE DUBAI • HYATT PLACE

Not unlike the airline industry, the hotel and hospitality business is just as competitive. With many brands merging and with the big brands spreading their wings into new territories, there is none doing it better than Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

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nown globally for the luxury 5 star offerings, the Hyatt has boldly entered the economy accommodation market. Several hotels have attempted a similar challenge with varying results but I can honestly say the Hyatt has got it right. Hyatt Place/Al Rigga is an incredible product and amazingly has delivered in virtually all areas. Having enjoyed the Hyatt Place/Al Rigga and being so impressed with the fit out, I struggle to categorise it as an economy hotel. This is an hotel that delivers excellent overall value for money. For the business traveller where the budget is a primary consideration, the Hyatt Place/Al Rigga is an excellent alternative where the perfect blend of work and play can be achieved at a lower price point than demanded by the 5 star properties. Located in the oldest part of Dubai in Deira, it is conveniently located near the airport, and enjoys close proximity to souks, The Dubai Mall and the Al Mamzar Beach Park. Enjoying all the amenities of a much higher-rated hotel this 210 guest room hotel has an additional 84 well-appointed apartments, 1 and 2 bedroom studios, 24 hour StayFit gym with an outdoor pool, and a unique 24/7 Gallery Market in the lobby providing ‘grab and go’ snacks, salads, sandwiches, pastries and beverages – a great place for casual meetings. Meeting space is compact but very functional with five meeting rooms, full AV support and full catering facilities this is a godsend for the thrifty business traveller. So if it’s a business trip or a family holiday you must remember to look at Hyatt Place/Al Rigga.

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HYATT PLACE/AL RIGGA Dubai, United Arab Emirates | www.dubaialrigga.place.hyatt.com 252 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


T R A V E L | H YAT T - A L R I G G A

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PHIL HARTE

A H YAT T LANDMARK DUBAI’S CULTURAL HUB • HYATT DEIRA

Uniquely located in the heritage area of Dubai, in the heart of Deira, the Hyatt Regency Dubai is one of the trophy hotels in the United Arab Emirates.

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DUBAI’S ONLY REVOLVING RESTAURANT - AL DAWAAR

CLUB OLYMPUS GYM AND SPA

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ith over 35 years of history, the Hyatt Regency is the peerless landmark property in this part of Dubai, and conveniently located to the airport it is an attractive property for business and leisure travellers. Perched on the shores of the Arabian Sea, guests are surrounded by everything local and authentically Arabic. Nearby there is an abundance of Gold, Spice and Textile Souks allowing total immersion in the incredible tradition that is Dubai. The local fisherman and their many trawlers are a drawcard for visitors, encouraging a wander around the markets to engage with the traders. Deira, located in the oldest part of Dubai, is a melting pot of many cultures and has witnessed the growth of Dubai explode into a cosmopolitan tourism hub. The excitement that surrounds the Hyatt Regency is the planned growth as a result of the official declaration of Deira as a heritage area. The property boasts some 421 guest rooms, including 26

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suites, all overlooking the Arabian coast. There is no shortage of luxury here: marble bathrooms, iPod docking stations, complete wireless technology throughout, the Regency stays true to the highest of Hyatt standards. Dining is a real treat, being spoilt for choice with 11 outlets throughout the property, from poolside snacks to Dubai’s only revolving restaurant, the Al Dawaar. The Hyatt Regency Deira is renowned as a venue for fabulous weddings and successful meetings with the availability of over 1,157 m2 of meeting space and 12 meeting suites, all equipped with the latest in technology. Guests also have no excuse for not keeping in shape whilst they are away. The hotel has arguably one of Dubai’s best gym and spa facilities: the Club Olympus Gym and Spa includes three tennis courts, a fully equipped Technogym, jogging track, great pool deck and aerobic suites. As Dubai continues to tell its story of history and heritage, The Hyatt Regency Deira will be right in the middle continuing to set the standard.


DUBAI POPULATION: CURRENCY: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: TIME ZONE:

2, 106, 177 DIRHAMS ENGLISH/ARABIC (UTC +4)

WHERE IS IT: Dubai is located along the souther coast of the Persian Gul on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The emirate of Dubai shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast and the Sultanate of Oman in the southeast. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE, which includes Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Sl Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, with Dubai being the most populated city of the emirates. BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: Dubai has a tropical desert climate, so plan your trip away from the summer months of June through to September as it can be extremely hot, both humid and very dry, with an average high around 40 ºC. Winter, however, is warm and short with an average high of 23 ºC. GETTING THERE: Our recommended travel agency for making your travel bookings and travel insurance is Hello World, which can be located at www.helloworld.com.au IN BRIEF: In recent years Dubai has emerged as a thriving global city and business hub of the Middle East proudly showcasing its symbolic skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Standing a phenomenal 828 meters high and 160 stories tall, this striking building is the Arab world’s tribute to the art and science of modern engineering and design - a symbolic beacon of progress of the new dynamic Middle East. Dubai has also been called the ‘shopping capital of the Middle East’ boasting more than 70 shopping centres, including the world’s largest shopping centre, the Dubai Mall. Here you can enjoy watching sharks swim in a giant indoor aquarium, skating on ice skating rink, taking in a movie at Reel entertainment Cinemas, try a rollercoaster ride at Sega Republic, shopping at all the latest designer fashion brands and labels, restaurants and watch the stunning water fountain. The list is endless!

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HYATT REGENCY DUBAI, DEIR A, DUBAI Dubai, United Arab Emirates | wwww.dubai.regency.hyatt.com

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THE ANCIENT SPIRIT OF ALOHA WORDS

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J A S O N M CC L E A N

AUTHENTIC HAWAIIAN HOSPITALITY When it drizzles on a sunny day in Hawaii, the locals call it “pineapple juice.” However I didn’t come across this juice during my time at the birthplace of surfing. Pineapples make another dent in the Hawaiian lingo as a term when older parents are “surprised” by a pregnancy, then the baby is called a “ratoon crop.” This is the bonus fruit that grows after a pineapple plant’s initial harvest...

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ast July I took a crop of my own to the golden shores of Waikiki. The warmth of the sunshine was only topped by that of the Hawaiian people, and both were a much needed contrast from a cold Sydney winter. We bedded down in a room with one of the most spectacular Pacific Ocean views I have ever experienced at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort, located between the bustling shopping and restaurant hub of Waikiki’s city centre and the idyllic sands of Waikiki Beach. My only connection with Waikiki was an odd one, but one I thought I’d make the most of, it involved pineapples. My grandfather was a pineapple farmer in Queensland. As a child I had access to the freshest sweetest pineapples in the country. So reading the tourist brochure in the foyer about the Dole Plantation, I found myself reminiscing about that yellow juice.

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T R AV E L | H AWA I I

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I put it on my to do list but first the lapping waters were beckoning. I walked across the street , past the statue of legendary Duke Kahanamoku, between the palm trees and straight onto the world famous Waikiki Beach. This reputation has not been given lightly as you instantly blend into the Aloha lifestyle of Hawaii. It’s strange how sitting around lapping up the sunshine tends to build up an appetite but it did and it was time to experience one of the true highlights of the Trip, the Japengo Restaurant at the Hyatt. This was my favourite restaurant during my stay. The food is locally sourced and celebrates the seasons. It is incredibly fresh with local fish being a firm favourite along with pineapple cocktails of all shapes and sizes. The highlight of the Hyatt was definitely the food, from Japengo through to the huge breakfast buffet at SHOR featuring honey from the hotels own bees. The pool bar has a perfect list of cocktails which hit the spot as the sun sets over the kaleidoscope of blues.

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We all loved Aloha Friday which happens from 4:30 – 6:00 pm each Friday evening just near the waterfall in the Great Hall. There’s a Polynesian show, hands on Lei making demonstrations, hula dancing, Polynesian art tattooing, and a Samoan Fire knife dancer. I found time to slip away from the family and indulge in the 10,000 square feet of massage and treatment heaven. I am now hooked on the Lomi Lomi – the local Hawaiian massage done with firm sweeping hands. Another positive is the shopping. There are actually sixty boutiques and shops scattered throughout three levels of the hotel so you really don’t have to go far for all your Hawaiian activities. Also whatever you do, don’t moss the farmers’ markets which are held in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency every Tuesday and Thursday 4 – 8 pm. The food is amazing and I particularly loved the local Jerky which was a taste sensation.


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I like to sample a few hotels on holidays so we also stayed at the Hyatt’s other hotel in Waikiki, the Hyatt Place. It’s got a great position without the beachfront price tag. Just a block away from the dazzling Waikiki sands, the hotel offers everything you could want from an ocean view and a stroll to all the major attractions including Waikiki Aquarium, the 108-acre Kapiolani Park and the shopping, dining and entertainment of Kalakaua Avenue. It’s not often a hotel will give you something that really is free but here you can feast at no extra charge at the Kitchen Skillet which offers an incredibly fresh array of starters for your day including Asian specialities. Somehow we always tend to end up in the cocktail bar, it must be my passion for pineapples and it’s definitely not pineapple drizzle being served. At coffee to Cocktails Bar, the signature cocktails are the tropically fruity Mai Tai, Pina Colada and Mohito and they all go down a treat. Happy Hour is from 4 – 7 pm daily and offers Long Board and Big Wave beers for $6 and Mai Tais for $7. Whilst shopping around the main area of Waikiki and Ala Moana a 15 minute walk away can do some damage to the plastic, if you want to set it on fire, go to the Waikele Premium Outlets. You’ll need a few spare suitcases for your 24 km trip from Waikiki. The 50 stores will totally blow your hula away. Ralph Lauren, Coach luggage, Kate Spade are just some of the shops on offer with prices slashed up to 80% in some places. Sing up online at premiumoutlets. com for a free VIP coupon book with vouchers for extra discounts. In 2014, over 25% of Australians travelling to the US ended up in Hawaii with most of them arriving first stop in Honululu. Flowery shirts, ukulele music, Bruno Mars, surf and sushi bring a vibrant new side to the surf culture that you don’t see in Australia. Be seduced by the main island and don’t forget to suck on a pineapple.

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LOVI N G LIFE Area Vice President/Hawaii at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa David Nadleman, brings a plethora of international hotel and resort experience to the islands of Hawaii There is a reason Hawaii is the trendsetter for so many destinations looking to increase tourism. It is here that island life gave rise to a hospitality industry that worked within the cultural norms to define paradise for people the world over. In short, the tourism industry kept the authentic experience and people loved it. The most vital thing one must learn about Hawaiian culture is the true meaning of Aloha. Many visitors to Hawaii recognize the word as an international greeting from the islands. What our guests learn when they arrive is that Aloha is ethereal; it is a way of sharing of oneself that we refer to as the spirit of Aloha. Within the word there is “ha” which translates to the breath of life and so the one word represents feelings expressed on a deep emotional level as if they are a part of the soul. For the hospitality business this is a differentiating and defining cultural experience. While there may be similarities in other destination locations you cannot find this meaning and act of Aloha anywhere else. Hawaii imparts safety, healthy food and outdoor activities, as well as natural beauty and a strong business community. Even more incredible is that each island delivers a completely different paradise from the others. One’s memories of Oahu will be vastly different from the experiences from Kauai or Maui. Hawaii is, and always will be, where the bar is set for tourism. The Hawaiian Islands have long been a paradise dream vacation for many people the world over. With beautiful sandy beaches, temperate climates and incredible scenery, leisure and business travelers alike have seen Hawaii as the ideal gathering place. In time, Hawaii has become a gateway to the United States for many visitors from Asia, Japan in particular, as well as Oceania. Each year our numbers grow in visitor arrivals from these fabulous locations and we find ourselves adapting to changes in perceptions and likes and dislikes to fulfill new cultural needs. On our property, for example, in recent years we have incorporated cultural favorites like miso soup or Vegimite to our breakfast menus while never compromising the foundation of that authentic Hawaiian philosophy. The travel industry is constantly evolving and our challenge as a destination will be to grow with consumer expectations and needs. In 2015 Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa underwent a $100 Million renovation of our guest rooms. In these changes we included what is now the number one item on all traveler lists – fast and free Wi Fi. We also installed Toto Washlets in every bathroom, 55 inch television sets and we have completely removed all paper from the rooms and gone digital to help the environment and meet the expectations of today’s more tech-savvy traveler. Like all Regency brands, our hotel is also focused on the fundamentals that bring guests back – service, social experiences, and a welcoming atmosphere.

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HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLES Discover Oahu’s pineapple heritage at the Dole Plantation. This started out as a fruit stand in the middle of the fields in 1950 and now it boasts the world’s largest maze, a garden tour of hibiscus, bromeliads and other tropical flowers and a Pineapple Express train which meanders through the pineapple fields. It’s a 40-minute drive north of Waikiki. Just follow the H1 and H2 highways to the Kamehameha Highway. Buses run from Waikiki to the Ala Moana shopping center, to connect with the Circle Island service; it’s an 1 hour 45-minute trip.

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Jones Sharing Plate


Procuring, making & selling the finest gourmet food we can lay our hands on, we are jones the grocer. Gourmet Food For Everyday Living. Australia

New Zealand

Singapore

UAE

Qatar

Thailand

Bahrain

jonesthegrocer.com


OH! MISTER JONES

jones the grocer has become the ultimate food lover’s destination in many international locations. The group has grown to ten stores throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, with plans of further expansion in existing and new territories.

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ones the grocer was first opened in 1996 in Woollahra, the affluent suburb of Sydney, Australia. The concept of a combined cafÊ and grocery store, and which included long communal tables and a walk-in cheese room, was well ahead of its time. Determined to bring passion to high quality food products, the store quickly gained a reputation for fine food, great cheese and the best coffee in Sydney. By 2003, jones the grocer was ready for expansion and started developing a network of franchised stores. In 2005 long standing Melbourne based food distribution and importing business, Senselle Foods, acquired jones the grocer and integrated the sourcing, purchasing and franchisor management functions into its core business. Jones the grocer has become the ultimate food lover’s destination in many international locations. The group has grown to ten stores throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, with plans of further expansion in existing and new territories. ABOUT JONES THE GROCER jones the grocer is an Australian origin food emporium focused on providing natural, preservative and additive free ingredients and products produced by the finest artisan suppliers from Australia and around the world. Our architecturally designed stores across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar aim to inspire a love of great food and provide customers with a full gourmet experience. 270 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


BR ANDS | JONES THE GROCER

Each jones the grocer store offers a wide selection of speciality artisan groceries, an international walk-in cheese room, an extensive European delicatessen, meals to takeaway, a showcase of seasonal tea and coffee and freshly baked bread and pastries. Beyond groceries, customers can explore jones the grocer home wares, gifts and hampers, books and a growing collection of children’s cooking accessories. Also in-store, customers are be able to experience an interactive tea and coffee counter where a dedicated barista showcases freshly ground, seasonal, single origin and cup of excellence beans brewed using methods that best suit the characteristics of the bean or leaf. Customers can also enjoy a full culinary experience at jones the grocer Doha with master classes and food appreciation events regularly held in our stores. Each jones the grocer store has a vibrant and contemporary café offering customers a friendly and inviting place to gather with good company and to enjoy great food! Our a la carte menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner serves modern Australian cuisine with international influences. True to its origins, the food is fresh, uncomplicated and delicious using natural ingredients, many of which are available on the grocery shelves in-store. The shelves at jones the grocer are filled with exciting ingredients, attesting to our ongoing commitment to offer customers cooking inspirations with each visit, and to innovate and lead the dynamic global food scene. From easy to make mid-week meals to intricate special occasion delicacies, jones the grocer aims to present customers with exciting flavours to explore for any culinary endeavour. We are proud to offer such a diverse and vibrant range of products, many of which are exclusive to jones the grocer and individually handpicked from around the world for their highest standard of quality and flavour. using traditional techniques and incorporate only the freshest local ingredients, free of additives, artificial colours and preservatives. At jones the grocer, our people are passionate about great food and excellent service – that’s our hiring criteria! We provide friendly and welcoming service from the moment our customers step in the door. Whether it’s helping them choosing a menu dish, a cheese or grocery item, our highly trained staff are able to give expert advice to help make that perfect selection easy.

“... At jones the grocer, our people are passionate about great food and excellent service...” T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 271


jones burger Premium 100% Australian wagyu beef, melted tasty cheese, smoked aioli, pickles, yellow mustard, caramelised onions & ketchup. Made with time and love, from bun patties and smoking our own garlic for the mayo. Dish may vary based on store and country location.


Procuring, making & selling the finest gourmet food we can lay our hands on, we are jones the grocer. Gourmet Food For Everyday Living. Australia

New Zealand

Singapore

UAE

Qatar

Thailand

Bahrain

jonesthegrocer.com


Annata, 69 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest NSW 2065 W W W . A N N A T A S Y D N E Y. C O M


F E A T U R E S | R E S TA U R A N T S

R E S TA U R A N T S TO REMEMBER AUSTRALIA is apparently the world’s wealthiest country. That’s if you believe the hype printed in Sydney’s DAILY TELEGRAPH newspaper. You can bet your truffle-infused sautéed potatoes there’s one thing that’s for sure and that is we are certainly the world’s most expensive. If you don’t believe me, take a good hard look at your restaurant receipt the next time you dine out.

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m I the only gourmet diner in Australia who flips out at shelling out a whopping fifty-five bucks for a steak, to then be asked by the waiter with their heavily starched white apron if I would like a side order of mushies or spuds to go with that…? You would? Okay that’ll be another $8-12 on top, by the way. If that’s not copping it in the hip pocket enough, I’m slapped with a $6-a-person breadbasket…thanks for coming and do dine with us again. What the hell happened to a slice of bread and a few side dishes coming with your oversized white dinner plate? The way it stands, when I dine out, I’m up for about $90 for my main meal plus another $22 chucked in for an entrée, and a few drinks. The costs soon escalate to $130 and that’s if I’m dining alone. Has this country gone stark raving mad? Often when I’m travelling, I have a transit stop through Heathrow airport in London. So on one recent trip I thought I’d try out everyone’s favourite love-to-hate-him chef Gordon Ramsay’s joint. Sure the service was good, as was the food. But you know what? It’d want to be for the prices they were charging, I almost had to leave my left…uh…elbow as a down payment.

After ordering my poached eggs for what seemed like a reasonable enough 10 quid ($20) I was most unimpressed to see Gordon didn’t chuck in a slice of toast and some jam and butter on the side...for that little luxury I needed to hand over another 6 quid ($12). A pot of tea was 3 quid, and then an automatic tip put on the bill of 15%. Brekkie on that lovely London grey morning came to $44. Maybe I should have stayed up at the lounge. It is this culinary theft that is becoming all too frequent in our nation’s – and even the world’s – eateries and it’s thanks to the so-called celebrity chefs floating around who believe having their name linked to a restaurant equals daylight robbery. You can bet your mandolin slicer they’re not. But there is good news folks, the return of good old-fashioned cooking and service is on its way back to our dinner plates. Over on the north side of Falcon St in North Sydney, Lee’s Fortuna Court are still serving up Australia’s best Chinese and the world’s best lamb pancakes. Don’t forget to slip into The Local at Neutral Bay before or after dinner. George or Erica Gregan should be there churning out Sydney’s best coffee and desserts. They also do a mean brekkie… a regular for me when I’m in Sydney.

>>>

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HYATT REGENCY | Korea

PARK HYATT | Dubai

In Queensland, it’s all about the Gold Coast, CHICHETTI has opened at Isle of Capri after its huge successes at Byron Bay, and at Ephriam Island you must drop into ARTICHOKE, Executive Chef and owner Grant Madgwick has truly understood fine dinning ,with a twist .If you’re hanging around a few days, check out Italian specialty Ristorante Fellini – just a stone’s throw away at Marina Mirage. For Coffee on the coast its over at CAPRI ON VIA ROMA where Pomeroy’s have really set the benchmark with great blends and an amazing array of Herbal tea’s - ask for the Japanese Green Lime tea.

“But there is good news, folks, the return of good old-fashioned cooking and service is on it’s way back to our dinner plates.” While you’re in the village you must try Australia’s number one Italian restaurant, Ioesco Cucina & Bar. If you’re after relaxed family-style dining with what is simply the most divine Italian food then this is the spot for you. With each dish even better than the last, there is nothing on Ioesco’s menu that will disappoint. For my tips, you can’t go past the Beef Wellington and their special board’s lamb shanks. And THEN there is the dessert pizza – you won’t find it on the menu but feel free to ask for it. Hard-working owners and personal friends of mine, Max and Amanda Alfieri are there six days a week, be sure to say hi from me. Some of my international favourites include the Park Hyatt in Dubai. Not only do they have arguably the best hotel in town but a Thai kitchen to die for and a Friday brunch you couldn’t even jump over. On the other side of town is the Le Serre Bistro and Boulaugerie at the Vida Hotel Downtown and it’s an absolute must stop-in. And for Dubai’s best steak, drop in to the Grand Hyatt and try the ‘Manhattan Grill’. Up in Asia, the magnificent Grand Hyatt Hong Kong houses One Harbour Road on level eight while down on level two is Grissini’s – a

IOESCO Sancturary Cove

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MONDRIAN London

‘PUR’ PARK HYATT | Paris

beyond fabulous Italian eatery that offers some of the best Italian food in Asia. On the lobby level lies the newly opened The Steak House and with these offerings there is little need to even leave the hotel to sample some of the best food in the world. The Hyatt Regency Incheon in Korea is a great hotel and the restaurant concept is not all that dissimilar to Singapore’s Hyatt – with eight wonderful gastronomic options including; Italian, Chinese, sushi, a steak house, a magnificent deli and pastry shop plus a Korean BBQ and noodle house. In London, one of my favourite spots is Langham’s. In Vegas, it has to be Alexe’s at the Wynn and The Palm at Caesars Palace. And then once satiated, head over to New York New York for a true ‘Sin City’ style of memorable theatre, Zumanity. In summary, my top hot spots around the world, are the Park Hyatt in Istanbul, the Four Seasons on Madison Ave in New York, the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong and the Park Hyatt Dubai. And at the top of my list, and my standout 2012 find, the astounding Pur at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris. All of these first-class properties come completely and wholly with my highest recommendation. You have my word they won’t disappoint.

“At the top of my list, and my standout for 2015 is the newly opened, and celebrated, Annata, led by Christian Blair and with Head Chef Jimmy Richardson in the kitchen; there is a lot to be excited about.” - PHIL HARTE

ANNATA | Crow’s Nest

CHEF ATILLIO DE FABRIZIO

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WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

BY THE GR ACE OF GOD ANNATA – FINALLY SYDNEY HAS A NEW BAR AND DINING BENCHMARK “Annata, Crow’s Nest, is only for those interested in an innovative food and beverage experience’. Their focus is on innovation, uniqueness and discovery.

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F E A T U R E S | R E S TA U R A N T S

“We have been uncompromising on our vision of delivering a first-rate customer experience.”

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he Sydney bar and dining scene on the north shore has just stepped up a few notches with the opening of new restaurant, Annata, in Crows Nest. Led by Christian Blair and with Head Chef Jimmy Richardson in the kitchen, there is a lot to be excited about. With a mod-Aus share-plate focus, the menu is creative and contemporary, with respect shown for sustainable provenancebased seasonal ingredients. On the beverage-side, there is a focus on high quality premium wines available by the glass and bottle, premium spirits and bespoke cocktails. Quality boutique beers, ciders and other beverages round out the offering. The front of house is in good hands. Christian Blair has made a significant name for himself in the Australian bar scene, having been involved in some of the nation’s finest and most awarded bars and restaurants. He cut his teeth in Adelaide working in several high profile bars and hotels prior to moving to Sydney when managed the iconic ‘Eau de Vie’ speakeasy bar (three time Australian cocktail bar of the year) before moving to the Rockpool Bar and Grill to further his knowledge of wine and fine dining. His personal achievements in the last three years have included finalist positions at the national level in three

international cocktail competitions. “Annata is for consumers who are interested in experiencing a quality food and beverage experience focussed on innovation, uniqueness and discovery,” said Blair. “We have been uncompromising on our vision of delivering a first-rate customer experience.” The magic in the kitchen happens under the leadership of Head Chef, Jimmy Richardson. An exciting emerging talent on the Australian restaurant scene, Richardson has worked both in Scotland and Amsterdam before moving to Sydney to hone his craft in some of Australia’s most awarded kitchens. Such places include two-hatted restaurants Café Paci and the Bridge Room working alongside Pasi Petanen (Citi Chef of the Year 2016) and Ross Lusted (Sydney Morning Herald Chef of the Year 2014). “I am constantly inspired by the freedom chefs in Australia have to produce food which brings the best out of seasonal ingredients,” said Richardson. “In Europe, we learn the techniques in the context of a traditional framework. Here, we can devise an innovative menu which makes the most of the vast array of fresh, quality food we have available to us, to delight and satisfy our guests. ” “Crows Nest already has a vibrant dining scene, and we are excited to be a part of that. What we are offering is unique to the north shore of Sydney and now people can think of coming to Crows Nest rather than heading over the bridge for their food and wine discovery experience,” said Blair.

• F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

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T- H E N N E S S Y- C O L L E C T I O N . C O M . A U / M O E T- C H A N D O N T O E X P E R I E N C E V I S I T W W W . M O E T- H E N N E S S Y- C O L L E C T I O N . C O M . A U / M O E T- C H A N D O N

Enjoy MoĂŤt & Chandon responsibly


PHOTOGRAPHY : DANIELLE HARTE

WWW.POMEROYS.COM.AU

CAPRI ON VIA ROMA Shopping Centre - Shop 3G10 15 Via Roma, Isle of Capri, QLD 4217

for franchise enquiries contact sales@pomeroys.com.au


T R AV E L | H U N T I N G TO N B E AC H - U S A

SURF CITY USA WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

HOME OF THE US OPEN

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“I remember growing up as a 10yr old and watching the many sitcoms that massaged there plots around the cute little surfer chicks and the buff blond haired SURFER GUYS hanging out all day on HUNTINGTON BEACH California.�

T

here was a certain air of excitement almost and a real sense magnetism drawing you to the shakes, board shorts a game of beach volleyball and that belief that this was as good as it gets. Lets fast forward know 46yrs and here I am hanging out on the Huntington Beach Pier with USA Open Surf champ Sally Fitzgibbons waiting for her first heat of the open. Nothing has seemed to changed though, same cute chicks, long haired surfer guys and a raging surf community that is was Surf City USA.

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T R AV E L | H U N T I N G TO N B E AC H - U S A

OPEN CHAMP - SALLY FITZGIBBONS

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“It wasn’t long before I fell into the chilled out surf culture, its like a poison, nothing seems to be urgent anymore you just get about our business and if it isn’t done today, tomorrow’s just around the corner.” The next week was truly awesome up every morning for a run along the seemingly endless beach front then back for a great breakfast on the deck of the Shorebreak Hotel only 50 meters from the pier. I had the chance to meet up with Executive Chef Damon Kelly of Zimzala, not you typically highly strung type,very laid back and up for any challenge. Each night was an adventure, Wagu Burgers, Baby Back Ribs or the Hanger Steak and there wasn’t something on the menu, he was happy to create special al a carte. It wasn’t long before I fell into the chilled out surf culture, its like a poison, nothing seems to be urgent anymore you just get about our business and if it isn’t done, tomorrow’s just around the corner. The Shorebreak was a very cool 220 roomed Surfers Paradise where all the competitors would stay and hangout over the Open, the lobby each night would fill with tunes of the 80’s and a live musician takes requests where the barman would handcraft cocktails to order until late. YOU JUST KNEW THAT SHOREBREAK WAS THE PLACE TO BE!

US OPEN 2015

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SA LLY FI TZGIB B ONS WO R LD SURFI NG C HA M P I O N


Each night we would take a stroll down Main street where you could chill, with buskers playing, and enjoy the Farmers’ Markets or simply eat at one of the great cafes littered up and down the beach front and throughout there many side streets. Having eaten through the entire menu at Shorebreak we decided to visit the Water Table Restaurant at the Hyatt regency. A quick phone call and I tracked down my old friend and former GM Cormac O’modhrain of the Hyatt Regency and we arranged a reunion at the Water Table. Having completed a huge refurbishment this was a remarkable night of dinning on the patio with the executive chef Manfred Lassahn (Manny). Manny’s best of the night was a little puff pastry shell filled with a beautifully baked fig topped Caramelised onions and a drizzle of Balsamic. As the week heated up Huntington beach swelled to capacity, picture perfect weather and with the entire community embracing what was to become a world class event. Each night on Main st was an adventure and as the crowds increased it never felt uncomfortable, everyone simply “Hanging Out” Next year can’t come fast enough for me as I am eagerly planning flights and encouraging friends to join my next surfing Safari, incidentally. I don’t surf !

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T R AV E L | H U N T I N G TO N B E AC H - U S A

“NEXT YEAR can’t come fast enough for me as am eagerly planning flights and ENCOURAGING FRIENDS to join my next surfing Safari, incidentally. I don’t surf !” WATER TABLE RESTAURANT - HYATT REGENCY HUNTINGTO BEACH

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The Reebok brand has undergone a huge renaissance over the past couple of years, clearly defining themselves as an out and out fitness and training brand. To entrench the brand in this space Reebok pinned their allegiance with (at the time) a small but established workout brand, CrossFit. Founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, CrossFit is a fitness company that is promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and also as a competitive fitness sport, testing its participants and athletes across a mixture of elements from high-intensity training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises in any individual workout. Reebok has quietly built up a healthy relationship with CrossFit, which has gone from 18 gyms in 2005 to more than 10,000 gyms across the globe. A specific sport needs specific gear, and the investment into research and development to provide the sport with the best all-round footwear and apparel to train and or compete in the sport has ensured the Reebok brand of some very loyal followers. Cont.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 | reebok.com.au


Reebok’s partnership extended to the CrossFit Games, a competition that is born out of the huge fitness crazed community that has adopted this fitness movement as their sole extracurricular activity. The CrossFit Games are the pinnacle of the sport, with the aim to find the world’s fittest man and woman on earth. Held every summer since 2007, the CrossFit Games have evolved from humble beginnings at the ranch in Aromas, California to the modern day coliseum at the much larger venue of the StubHub Centre in California. Each year the Games are a more comprehensive test of fitness and the athletes raise the bar to reach unprecedented heights year on year. Several unique characteristics define the CrossFit Games. The Games change every year and the details of each workout are not announced until right before each event. Athletes train yearround for a competition that is almost completely a mystery. When they reach the StubHub Centre, they put their training and mental fortitude to the test and take on a rigorous, broad-ranging test of overall physical capacity. After four days, CrossFit’s aim is to announce the ‘Fittest on Earth’, a term phrased by the brand itself. If you ask any Games competitor of the rigors of the event, it is a term that is certainly well earned.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 | reebok.com.au


the search for the

FITTEST person on earth


LIFE’S SHORT P L AY HARD Rebel Sport’s continued growth and development became realised and a new exciting chapter began, starting with a rebrand.

I

t was 1985 when the very first Rebel Sport store was opened in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown by former Barbeques Galore Chairman Sam Linz and his business partner Ian Dresner. Linz chose the name ‘Rebel’ from the liquor chain he had developed in South Africa before migrating to Australia. Little did he know that this brand would one day become a household name. Success came quickly with the promise of exceptional customer service and quality products proving popular with its customers. By the time Rebel Sport opened its Sydney Mid-City store in 1992, the brand boasted six stores across New South Wales and Victoria with many more to come. In 1993, Rebel Sport first listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and in 1996, won the prestigious Sporting Goods Retailer of the Year Award for the Southern Hemisphere. Since those humble beginnings the company’s story has been one of change and growth. Rebel Sport’s history has seen its ownership shift between Harvey Norman, Archer Capital and most recently in 2011, Australia’s most prominent sports and leisure retailer; the Super Retail Group, whose brands include Super Cheap Auto, BCF, Rays Outdoors and Amart Sports. This transition occurred over a 10 year period which saw significant expansion of the company across Australia. Now under the management of SRG Sports Division Managing Director Erica Berchtold, the potential for Rebel Sport’s continued growth and development became realised and a new exciting chapter began, starting with a rebrand. ““rebel’s new look stores and identity articulates our commitment to becoming Australia’s leading and most inspiring sports store destination,” said Berchtold. Today, rebel is Australia’s most inspiring and innovative sports store with a motivated team that encourages customers to embrace their sporting and fitness passions with great advice and pioneering products from the world’s best brands. As the world of sport, fitness and well-being has continued to evolve,

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rebel has grown alongside it. Technology innovations such as smartphones and wearable fitness trackers have revolutionised the way that people workout and focus on their fitness to better understand their bodies and strive for improvement. What was once the exclusive advantage of the professional athlete is now being used by the weekend warriors looking for that extra edge. “We’re enormously proud of our products. It’s what defines that inspiring rebel experience. We continue to partner with the best, most well-known and well respected brands in the world through traditional retailer/buyer relationships as well as exclusive partnerships. We offer the latest in sporting technology and an inspiring range of sporting footwear, clothing, fan gear and equipment. We have also experienced success with our private brands strategy, particularly with our private brand offerings in the fitness accessory category. This is something we will continue to develop as we look to present our customers with innovative, good value solutions to their fitness needs.” - General Manager of Retail, Ed Fredson. Another achievement of the company include its strong sponsorship portfolio, including the City2Surf and Blackmores running events, Netball Australia and Cricket NSW, to name a few. In 2015, rebel celebrated three years as the official sports retailer of the NRL and since 2009, has partnered with Sydney’s ANZ Stadium to offer event patrons the same great range of supporter wear they can find in store. These events support a healthy lifestyle and boost the sporting culture of Australia which we are all so proud of. rebel, however, is not just innovating via their product offering and sponsorship opportunities; they are also seeking out new and exciting ways to interact with their customers. While traditional channels to market still plays a vital role, rebel is now reaching out to their customers through social media and online resources. Customers can follow and interact with rebel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest information from their favourite sports, brands, as well as enter to win competitions and get health & wellness ideas. In 2013 rebel established a loyalty program,

ERICA BERCHTOLD


rebel Active, to strengthen the relationship with its customers and reward commitment through engagement, exclusive offers and experiences. rebel Active has also given greater insights into customers’ interests, purchase behaviour and the importance of the customer experience, meaning that rebel can continuously improve its offerings to remain personal and relevant to their audience to ensure that the customer is always at the centre of everything the brand does. rebel Active now has more than two million members with over 430,000 members joining in the last financial year alone. Customer satisfaction is paramount to rebel’s success and they have set themselves the goal of achieving the highest customer satisfaction ratings in their field. To achieve this, rebel considers its 4,500 team members as their greatest assets and is committed to further enhancing their skills through career development and training. Each of rebel’s team members bring their own passion, knowledge and experiences to every interaction. So, rather than talking to a salesperson, customers talk to somebody who can match their intricate needs to their ambition. Their aim to have the highest team-member retention in the specialty retail sector. With the consumer experience a central focus of the company’s offering, rebel is using technology and innovation to offer

customers a new and exceptions in-store experience. The first of 3 new concept stores will be opening in Bondi in November 2015 and will showcase rebel’s commitment to delivering its customers a world class experience. rebel’s commitment to their customers’ consumer experience has already yielded more than 38 million store visits in just 12 months. In store sales are then complemented by more than 35,000 visits to the rebel online store each and every day. In Australia we have been lucky enough throughout 2014/15 to be at the forefront of many international sporting events, increasing the sports profile of Australia. By hosting the Asian Cup football Tournament, the Cricket World Cup and the Netball World Cup, Australians passion for sport has been lifted and grassroots participation increase nationwide. As partners to some of these events and helping customers engage with them through support wear and product offerings it has been an equally exciting time for rebel as it was for Australian Sport. Looking forward rebel would love to be a part of more international events to promote sport in Australia and promote Australia as a country that loves sport! The past 30 years of rebel has been a whirl wind journey and rebel expects nothing less for the next 30 years to come. But for now it’s time to celebrate. JOIN THE PART Y!

“Rebel Sport’s continued growth and development became realised and a new exciting chapter began, starting with a rebrand.” M A N AG I N G D I R EC TO R

|

ERICA BERCHTOLD

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www.rebelsport.com.au

THE LIFE EDITION | 2015


www.rebelsport.com.au


Laura Geitz

rebel ambassador

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BRANDS

Fresh from leading Australia to victory in the Netball World Cup Australia in Sydney, Diamonds Fresh from leading to victory in the Captain Geitz intalks to usDiamonds about Netball Laura World Cup Sydney, discovering her passion for Netball Captain Laura Geitz talks toandusstaying about focused despite the pressures of competition. discovering her passion for Netball and staying focused despite the pressures of competition.

1. Could you start off by telling us your netball story. How did you get into the sport? I started playing netball at 13 years of 1. Could you start off by telling us your netball story. How did age. I had a growth spurt when I was 12 and the netball you get into the sport? I started playing netball at 13 years of coaches at my school wanted to sign me up to play. I was age. I had a growth spurt when I was 12 and the netball considering playing hockey, as that’s what all my friends coaches at my school wanted to sign me up to play. I was were playing, but I came home from school one day and my considering playing hockey, as that’s what all my friends older sister Carla had been bought a brand new pair of were playing, but I came home from school one day and my ASICS Netburners and I fell in love with them. Needless older sister Carla had been bought a brand new pair of to say I signed up to netball the following day! ASICS Netburners and I fell in love with them. Needless to say I signed up to netball the following day! 2. Have you come down from winning the NWC yet? Can you describe what it was like to win in Australia? I have… 2. Have you come down from winning the NWC yet? Can but it did take a while! There was a huge build-up to the you describe what it was like to win in Australia? I have… NWC and a lot of pressure to go with it, especially when but it did take a while! There was a huge build-up to the it’s in your own backyard, but it was all very much worth it NWC and a lot of pressure to go with it, especially when especially when you experienced walking out in the green it’s in your own backyard, but it was all very much worth it and gold in front of a world record crowd of close to 18,000 especially when you experienced walking out in the green people - it doesn’t really get any better than that! and gold in front of a world record crowd of close to 18,000 people - it doesn’t really get any better than that! 3. Being captain of the Australia team, do you feel you need to set high expectations of yourself in all aspects of 3. Being captain of the Australia team, do you feel you the game for your teammates to follow? need to set high expectations of yourself in all aspects of the game for your teammates to follow? I think it’s a given that any professional athlete has exceptionally high expectations of themselves. I am very I think it’s a given that any professional athlete has lucky to be Captain of a team that is made up of 12 exceptionally high expectations of themselves. I am very extremely motivated and well driven girls that expect the lucky to be Captain of a team that is made up of 12 best of themselves and each other. It’s just a given that we extremely motivated and well driven girls that expect the have certain standards and expectations to meet and we are best of themselves and each other. It’s just a given that we our own hardest critics. As captain you just have to realise have certain standards and expectations to meet and we are that if you lead from the front in a positive manner, your our own hardest critics. As captain you just have to realise team will follow! that if you lead from the front in a positive manner, your 4. team Withwill thefollow! success of the Diamonds, how do you cope with the expectations of yourself and the team? I like a certain 4. With the success of the Diamonds, how do you cope with amount of pressure. I believe that’s what gets the best out the expectations of yourself and the team? I like a certain of me, both on and off the court. In saying that, I like to amount of pressure. I believe that’s what gets the best out have certain things in order to cope with the pressure and of me, both on and off the court. In saying that, I like to that includes having family support during competition, have certain things in order to cope with the pressure and keeping honest and open communication up within that includes having family support during competition, the team. keeping honest and open communication up within the team.

| REBEL

and making sure that I am in control and organised of all the things that I can control. That way, I feel like I have and making sure that I am in control and organised of all got things sorted from my end and I’m in the best frame of the things that I can control. That way, I feel like I have mind to tackle any curveballs which come my, and the got things sorted from my end and I’m in the best frame of teams way. mind to tackle any curveballs which come my, and the way. 5. teams How do you mentally prepare yourself and the team before

a game? I like to be super organised. This means I have a 5. How do you mentally prepare yourself and the team before routine that I work through before each game. In my head a game? I like to be super organised. This means I have a I know exactly what the few hours before the game will routine that I work through before each game. In my head look like and this helps me to control and prepare properly I know exactly what the few hours before the game will before I get out on court. look like and this helps me to control and prepare properly before I get out on court. 6. What does a typical day of preseason training consist of? Pre-season is an extremely tough time of the season. We 6. What does a typical day of preseason training consist of? nearly complete anywhere from 9-10 sessions in 5 days Pre-season is an extremely tough time of the season. We during pre-season. A typical day will see us out on the field nearly complete anywhere from 9-10 sessions in 5 days doing cardio training with the afternoon spent on court during pre-season. A typical day will see us out on the field working through scenarios and set-plays for our team. We doing cardio training with the afternoon spent on court alternate the conditioning sessions with weights sessions in working through scenarios and set-plays for our team. We the gym. alternate the conditioning sessions with weights sessions in the gym. 7. After all that training, where is your favourite holiday destination? I have been to Italy twice and my favourite 7. After all that training, where is your favourite holiday destination would have to be the Amalfi Coast - absolutely destination? I have been to Italy twice and my favourite breathtaking! destination would have to be the Amalfi Coast - absolutely breathtaking! 8. What piece of advice would you give to young netballers? Do your best and forget the rest! 8. What piece of advice would you give to young netballers? Do your best and forget the rest! 9. What do you do away from netball when you have downtime? I love to spend time with my husband and 9. What do you do away from netball when you have family…this is the most important thing to me so to just downtime? I love to spend time with my husband and have some time out and enjoy their company does wonders family…this is the most important thing to me so to just for me. have some time out and enjoy their company does wonders for me. 10. Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 100% my parents…I would have never got to experience or 10. Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 100% achieve the things I have been lucky enough to experience my parents…I would have never got to experience or without their support. They were the ones who supported achieve the things I have been lucky enough to experience me from the early days and I will be forever grateful to without their support. They were the ones who supported them! me from the early days and I will be forever grateful to them!

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Jess Jess Fox Fox

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Penrith Canoeist Jess Fox burst onto the scene in 2012 after taking silver a gutsy London Penrithhome Canoeist JessinFox burst performance onto the sceneatinthe 2012 after Olympics. Taking time out from a well-earned break, Jess taking home silver in a gutsy performance at the London tells us what inspires her and how she is preparing for Rio Olympics. Taking time out from a well-earned break, Jess 2016. tells us what inspires her and how she is preparing for Rio

2016. 1. You have been an absolute inspiration to Australia! Can you tell us a little about your background and 1. You have been an absolute inspiration to Australia! how you tell got ustoa where you are today ? I’ve been Can you little about your background and inspired by many Australians to get to where I am! how you got to where you are today ? I’ve beenI guess it all startedAustralians with my parents who were bothI inspired by many to get to where I am! Olympic kayakers Mummy raced for France, Dadboth for guess it all started -with parents who were GB and they moved to Australia when I was 4 to Olympic kayakers - Mum raced for France, Dad for coach thethey Australian team.when I grewI up GB and movedkayaking to Australia wason4the to sides of the river banks and eventually tried it out coach the Australian kayaking team. I grew up on the myself, after banks my first of the tried whitewater sides of and the river andtaste eventually it out rapids, I was hooked! I have been fortunate to train in myself, and after my first taste of the whitewater Penrith the site of the Sydney Olympics for Canoe rapids, I was hooked! I have been fortunate to train in Penrith - the site of the Sydney Olympics for Canoe

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Slalom - since I started, with a good group of friends, a very supportive high with school in Blaxland HIgh that Slalom - since I started, a good group of friends, allowed me to train and compete while studying. a very supportive high school in Blaxland HIgh thatI was 18 when I qualified for the London Olympics andI allowed me to train and compete while studying. it was the most incredible experience to represent was 18 when I qualified for the London Olympics and Australia on that stage... it’s left me motivated to train it was the most incredible experience to represent and keep on learning, and better to have another Australia that stage... it’s leftmyself me motivated to train shot at the Olympics in Rio 2016. and keep learning, and better myself to have another

shot at the Olympics in Rio 2016. 2. How are you feeling as we are fast approaching Olympic Qualification? Excited! I just finished up 2. How are you feeling as we are fast approaching with the World Championships finished up Olympic Qualification? Excited!where I justI finished up 1st in the C1 and in the K1(Olympic event) I finished with the World Championships where I finished up 4th... bitC1 frustrating to K1(Olympic be at the footevent) of theI podium, 1st in athe and in the finished but an encouraging step towards Rio. Every race is a 4th... a bit frustrating to be at the foot of the podium, good andstep Olympic selection trialsrace willisbe but anexperience encouraging towards Rio. Every a one of the toughest races, as only one woman can good experience and Olympic selection trials will be qualify the Olympics. So I can am one of to therepresent toughestAustralia races, asat only one woman qualify to represent Australia at the Olympics. So I am


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hoping draw lessons and great performances hoping to to draw onon thethe lessons and great performances this season prepared best I can trials of of this season to to be be prepared thethe best I can forfor trials next February. next February.

special. overcome great odds where special. SheShe hashas overcome great odds to to be be where sheshe and done it with great passion, attitude and is, is, and hashas done it with great passion, attitude and humility. humility.

Speaking Olympics, how will your training 3. 3. Speaking of of thethe Olympics, how will your training change leading Olympics? Living change leading upup to to thethe RioRio Olympics? Living in in Australia a big advantage train well Australia is is a big advantage as as wewe cancan train well through November February while many of through November - February while many of thethe European and athletes struggle with cold! European and USUS athletes struggle with thethe cold! I’llI’ll base myself in Penrith and will travel to Rio base myself in Penrith and will travel to Rio in in November check whitewater course November to to check outout thethe whitewater course to to getget some training Olympic course. The first focus some training onon thethe Olympic course. The first focus is to be well prepared for the selection trials, then is to be well prepared for the selection trials, then I I look towards more specific preparation cancan look towards more specific preparation onon thethe RioRio course. course.

If you could give any piece advice someone 7. 7.If you could give any piece of of advice to to someone wanting kayaking and canoeing, what wanting to to getget in in to to kayaking and canoeing, what would that Australia quite hard into would that be?be? In In Australia it’sit’s quite hard to to getget into whitewater rivers scarce! there whitewater as as thethe rivers areare scarce! ButBut there areare many lakes, rivers and theres always ocean many lakes, flatflat rivers and theres always thethe ocean too! There are many kayaking clubs, or surfclubs that too! There are many kayaking clubs, or surfclubs that offer paddlesports. Tasmania some great rivers, offer paddlesports. Tasmania hashas some great rivers, there some great clubs Perth, Melbourne and there areare some great clubs in in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Check Australian canoeing website Sydney. Check outout thethe Australian canoeing website - canoe. org.au a great sport a whole body canoe. org.au . It. It is is a great sport forfor a whole body workout(it’s (it’snotnotjustjustthethearms!!) arms!!)and andit itletsletsyou you workout discover places you can’t access foot. discover places you can’t access byby foot.

What’s best way describe feeling 4. 4.What’s thethe best way to to describe thethe feeling of of representing Australia at that level? Pride! Pride representing Australia at that level? Pride! Pride to to wear green and gold, pride represent your wear thethe green and gold, pride to to represent your family,friends, friends,sponsors, sponsors,fans, fans,and andwhen whenyou’re you’re family, surrounded by incredible Australian sportsmen and surrounded by incredible Australian sportsmen and women there great pride being Aussie and women there is is great pride in in being an an Aussie and being a part of that team! being a part of that team! How tough mentally during competition 5. 5. How tough is is it it mentally during competition watching the other athletes before your run? What’s watching the other athletes before your run? What’s going through your mind during event? going through your mind during thethe event? In In thethe canoe slalom we get to train on the whitewater course, canoe slalom we get to train on the whitewater course, don’tgetgetto topractice practicethethespecific specificgate gate butbutwewedon’t combinations before race. have analyse combinations before wewe race. So So wewe have to to analyse from the bank and trust in our training and skills that from the bank and trust in our training and skills that negotiate 18-23 gate course that is set wewe cancan negotiate thethe 18-23 gate course that is set onon the day. I like to watch the other athletes before the day. I like to watch the other athletes before so so I I learn much from them I can. What’s tough cancan learn as as much from them as as I can. What’s tough is is sitting start pool and hearing times that sitting in in thethe start pool and hearing thethe fastfast times that are being put down! It’s in those moments that I need are being put down! It’s in those moments that I need focus myself, race plan and I tell myself that to to focus onon myself, mymy race plan and I tell myself that if they pull those times, if they cancan pull outout those fastfast times, so so cancan I!I! Whowould wouldyou yousaysayhashasgiven givenyou youthethemost most 6. 6.Who inspiration to follow your dream and to continually inspiration to follow your dream and to continually push best you parents were push to to be be thethe best you cancan be?be? MyMy parents were always inspiring and believed from start. always inspiring and believed in in meme from thethe start. My mum is my coach and while that can be tough, My mum is my coach and while that can be tough, it’sit’s also a big advantage because knows best and also a big advantage because sheshe knows meme best and knows when to push me harder. I also draw knows when to push me harder. I also draw inspiration from many athletes around inspiration from many athletes around meme in in mymy sport and others - Anna Meares is one that comes sport and others - Anna Meares is one that comes to to mind. I met her in 2004 when she returned from mind. I met her in 2004 when she returned from thethe Athens Olympics. time I was only years Athens Olympics. AtAt thethe time I was only 10 10 years oldold and I knew I wanted to go to the Olympics! Being and I knew I wanted to go to the Olympics! Being onon same team 2012 was very thethe same team as as herher in in 2012 was very

What does a typical day consist you? 8. 8.What does a typical day consist of of forfor you? I I usually train twice a day once on the whitewater, usually train twice a day - once on the whitewater, andthetheother othersession sessionalternates alternatesbetween betweena agym gym and session,conditioning/cardio, conditioning/cardio,or orflatwater flatwaterphysical physical session, session. 6.30 most days, water from session. I’mI’m upup byby 6.30 most days, onon thethe water from 8-10, followed video analysis session, physio 8-10, followed byby video analysis of of thethe session, physio treatment, uni work or other comittments e.g public treatment, uni work or other comittments e.g public speaking,school schoolvisits, visits,sponsor sponsorengagements, engagements,etc., etc., speaking, and back training second session. I often and back to to training forfor thethe second session. I often squeeze a nap there too!! squeeze in in a nap in in there too!! Stepping away from competing, what you like 9. 9.Stepping away from competing, what dodo you like with your downtime? While I love travelling to to dodo with your downtime? While I love travelling and seeing world with kayak, I love being and seeing thethe world with mymy kayak, I love being home and catching with friends over some good home and catching upup with friends over some good coffee! I live really close to the Blue Mountains and coffee! I live really close to the Blue Mountains and I I reallyenjoy enjoyescaping escapingthethebusy busydays daysand andcity citybyby really exploring beautiful scenery here. exploring thethe beautiful scenery here. Lastly Jess, what’s next you? I am currently 10.10.Lastly Jess, what’s next forfor you? I am currently writing this from a quirky coffee shop East Village, writing this from a quirky coffee shop in in East Village, NYC ! I’m enjoying a one week holiday (without NYC ! I’m enjoying a one week holiday (without mymy kayak!) and then back some hard training kayak!) and then it’sit’s back to to some hard training to to prepare a big season ahead! I am studying prepare forfor a big season ahead! I am studying a a bachelor of social science (psychology) and bachelor of social science (psychology) and communications online and have a couple exams communications online and have a couple of of exams to to complete when I get back and then I can enjoy complete when I get back and then I can enjoy thethe Australian summer training and look forward Australian summer of of training and look forward to to NationalChampionships Championshipsin inearly earlyJanuary Januaryand and National Olympic trials in February. Olympic trials in February.

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| TECHNOGYM

WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE Italian industrial designer, Nerio Alessandri set about improving the design of gym equipment, tinkering with his own concepts in his garage 30 years ago. Finding acceptance for his sleek, ergonomic and versatile pieces, at just 22 years of age, he founded Technogym, now the world’s leading “Wellness Company” with an holistic approach to body, mind and spirit.

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oday, under the guidance of President Nerio Alessandri, the company has grown to international stature, employing 2,200 people in 14 branches across Europe, the US, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and South America. It exports 90 percent of production to over 100 countries and has equipped 65,000 wellness centres and more than 100,000 homes around the world, reaching a staggering 35 million people. Exclusively to CLASSIC, Nerio Alessandri shares the evolution of Technogym, his motivation and vision of a Wellness economy with long-term benefits to society.

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What inspired you to apply you skills to designing gym equipment? I was a young industrial designer very passionate about sports. In the 80s I was a member of a gym in my hometown, Cesena, and I noticed that gyms lacked technology and design. They were very basic. I saw an opportunity for innovation by creating something safer and easier to use. So I designed and built my first machine during my free time in the evenings and on weekends. I had a vision to do something that would help people live better. The first machine was a great success and the gym I sold it to, ordered a complete line, so Technogym from a hobby became a full time business. I was lucky because I turned my hobby into my job. Then in the years that followed, thanks to the work, commitment and passion of my team, we created a strong international brand recognised as ‘The Wellness Company’. What were the keys to Technogym’s success in those early years? Technogym was a dream: I leveraged my two passions: design (TECHNO) and sport (GYM). The first few years were exciting times. We had no money to invest, no assets to rely on, but lots of energy, ideas and creativity and above all a dream. With no capital, we tried to be creative and innovative in all the fields: product first of all, but also marketing, promotion and services. I strongly believe that luck does not happen, but people can become lucky by never giving up, keep trying and working hard. In the early ’90s the switch from fitness to wellness was the idea that made the difference and made our company boom. What is the Technogym philosophy? I believe that fitness is an important component of the Wellness lifestyle. More than thirty years ago, when the world was dominated by the fitness culture made of muscles and appearance, at Technogym, we launched Wellness, an Italian lifestyle with roots that lie in the philosophy of “Mens sana in corpore sano”, coined 2,000 years ago in ancient Rome which can be paraphrased as “Wellness is the balance between the body, mind and spirit”. This can be achieved through regular 306 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

physical exercise, a healthy diet and a positive mental attitude. Wellness allows us to improve our quality of life, feel good about ourselves and others, to have more energy and creativity at work and above all live better and longer. What is the Wellness Valley? The Wellness Valley is a project I launched in 2002. The idea was to develop the Romagna area (the eastern part on the coast of the Emilia-Romagna region), creating the first district in the world that forms a benchmark for quality of life. Using Technogym as the catalyst, we mobilised all stakeholders in Romagna (companies, public administrators, tourism operators, schools, universities and the public health system) to work together to improve public health, boost the economy through the increased manufacture of innovative products and services, and raise the quality of the environment in order to attract more and more qualified people who were in search of a Wellness experience. After 10 years, 35 best practices have been developed, from Technogym becoming the world leader in Wellness technology, to the launch of food companies specialising in bio-organic food, to tourism operators selling sports holiday packages to the area, and the public administration which promotes physical activity and encourages the population of the region to be healthy. Tell us about Technogym’s HQ, the Technogym Village. The Technogym Village has been developed as a hotbed of ideas, where innovation and scientific research can be shared. It’s the world first Wellness Campus and it represents a global reference point for the Wellness lifestyle. The project has been developed by the renowned Italian Architect Antonio Citterio, and it is inspired by the concepts of Eco sustainability and bio architecture. The village combines the production sites, the company headquarters including our research and development centre, a Wellness centre including an avant-garde gym, a conference centre, and a restaurant serving zero-mileage food. For us the Technogym Village represents the starting point of a new era for the company.


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Being wellness is strategic for our positioning, in designing our new HQ , we wanted to create a place to inspire the world about it. Wellness is not a concrete product but an experience and in order to understand it you need to live it. We wanted to create a place where our customers, our partners and all the industry stakeholders can come and understand our vision by experiencing it themselves. And then of course, we wanted to create an inspirational location for our staff. We want to be world leader in designing wellness solution, so first of all we need ourselves to work in a wellness environment and to put in practice what we promote. Why are aesthetics an integral part of Technogym Personal products? Design plays a very relevant role in Wellness; harmony and beauty are always far more attractive to people than basic functionality. For example, if you think about the 1980s and the very basic fitness equipment available, gyms were just a place just for the true sports addicts – the design appeared complicated and put people off going. Today however, thanks to design, attention to detail and ease-of-use, gyms are for everybody. The Personal line represents the highest level in terms of technology and performance mixed with the outstanding design by the internationally renowned architect Antonio Citterio. I decided to work with him because I was looking for an Italian designer who could interpret the wellness philosophy and bring it to the design of our products. This cooperation has taken to the development of wonderful Personal line and to the Technogym Village project, our new HQ in Cesena we inaugurated last year and has now become the global reference point for the promotion of a Wellness Lifestyle. Technogym supplies a number of teams, organisations and athletes. How do these partnerships impact your business? The association with the world of sport is very important for two reasons. Firstly, working closely with the best athletes in the world gives us extremely valuable feedback on our products. For example the Olympic Games are an incredible opportunity

| TECHNOGYM

for our team to share thoughts with people coming from all over the world, with different cultures and perceptions, and from a wide range of sport disciplines. Secondly, sport is important for branding and marketing, as athletes inspire people to improve their lifestyle and practice regular physical activity. Technogym has been a sponsor for the last five Olympic Games and again for Rio 2016. What has this alliance meant to the growth of the brand? We have been chosen as official supplier of the Olympic Games thanks to the quality and performance of our products and the innovative technology we offer. I believe the expertise of the company and the reliability of the brand in the world of sports have made the difference and it makes us very proud. In addition to this, London 2012 Olympics were a unique chance to promote wellness as a social opportunity and to get increasing numbers of people interested in regular exercise. In fact the London Olympics for the first time represented a long-term investment in a healthier country; alongside with the Games the City of London and the British Government ran a comprehensive program to attract the population to regular physical activity. This is part of our socially responsible commitment to promoting physical exercise as medicine. How does Technogym continue to evolve? At Technogym, research and innovation have always represented the key values behind the development of products and services. We work always keeping in mind the need of the end-user. Every single detail is important in offering the best experience, this is why we have a team of more than 200 people made of industrial designers, engineers, physiotherapists and doctors who work every day in creating the wellness product of the future. We are the only company able to provide a total wellness solution made of not only equipment but also, apps, devices and contents, interior design services, training and education

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VIVID SNAPSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY

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VIVID SYDNEY 2015 was bigger, brighter and more fantastic than ever. Kicking off on May 22- June 8, the spectacular festival of light attracted more than a million locals and tourists, all keen to capture their own interpretation of the festival through the lens of their own camera. CANON AUSTR ALIA is always there to help people capture Vivid in the best light.

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ivid Sydney is a brilliant opportunity for artists, every-day people and creative industry professionals to realise their vision on a grand scale. An estimated 1.7 million people attended the festival in 2015. Vivid literally transforms the beautiful city of Sydney into a canvas for creative expression; a meeting of the best and brightest minds from around the world to help turn the city into an outdoor gallery of delightful lighting projections and sculptures. A record 130,000 people stepped into Canon HQ where they were entertained, educated and inspired. It’s always Canon’s hope that every person that participates in Vivid leaves feeling more confident about their photographic skills, as they learn tips and tricks from award-winning photographers – as well as having an incredibly fun time soaking up the carnival atmosphere Vivid is famous for. Canon is deeply involved with Vivid and is committed to helping people do more with what you see; from inspirational photo challenges, guided light walks and access to all the latest gear. It’s Canon’s wish that people stretch their imagination and explore their creativity to discover their own unique way of seeing this spectacular festival of light. No matter what your skill, Canon Ambassadors are always on-hand, roaming the festival attractions to help people capture and share their Vivid Sydney experience. As Canon puts it: No One Sees It Like You. Canon’s top priority for Vivid is to ensure a long-lasting impression on all who attend – whether you’re a budding photographer, a professional looking for extra inspiration or somebody who rarely picks up a camera. It’s Canon’s goal that Vivid will be the springboard for a new passion for photography or that the experience will reignite a love of photography that, perhaps, had been long forgotten. During Vivid, people were welcome to come inside Canon HQ where they could borrow equipment, go on a walking tour with photographers – learning new tips and tricks – then return to HQ where they can download their photos and choose a favourite to be printed. Everybody was able to leave with a photograph worth framing. Canon’s Trade Marketing Manager Natalie Ungurian said Canon’s goal is to help everybody attending Vivid who visits Canon HQ to achieve more than they thought they could achieve with their images. “We wanted Vivid to be such an amazing event for everyone. Our wish was for them to walk away with something special as well. People just loved being able to print off their favourite photo to take home with them. The walking tours are always incredibly popular. They could be booked online before the festival. Then, when they arrive, one of our photographers would walk them through the key installations, teaching them how to take the perfect shot,” said Ungurian. “Most people say they leave the walking tours with extra confidence that they can take a better photograph, or that they know things about their camera they didn’t know before. It’s all about empowering photographers, whether you’re a beginner or highly experienced.” For the walking tours, people could either bring their own camera or borrow an entry-level Canon camera. Then they’d be on the tour to use their cameras and get tips before returning to Canon HQ where you can print off your favourite photo.

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Canon’s top priority for Vivid is to ensure a long-lasting impression on all who attend – whether you’re a budding photographer, a professional looking for extra inspiration or somebody who rarely picks up a camera. C A N O N ’ S TR A D E M A R K E TI N G M A N AG ER

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No matter what your skill, Canon Ambassadors are always on-hand, roaming the festival attractions to help people capture and share their Vivid Sydney experience. C A N O N ’ S TR A D E M A R K E TI N G M A N AG ER

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So everyone would leave with a piece of art that they can be proud of! Most people were just gobsmacked to see what is achievable with night shooting or how to use long exposures.” Canon was lucky enough to use some of the ‘Canon Masters’ during Vivid 2015, including highly-acclaimed travel photographer Richard I’Anson. “People were able to get priceless advice from Richard, who is one of the world’s best photographers. Vivid attendees were able to write up his tips for how to shoot whatever photos they were keen to shoot. It was a great experience for all. That’s key for us, that all these things help people enjoy Vivid. We wanted to make it engaging and hands-on, let people try the products, print off whatever photo they like and really enjoy the images.” Canon HQ is always a hive of activity, with lights, music, entertainment and Canon staff on-hand to help with photography or printing questions. By the end of each evening, there were queues of people printing pictures - not only photographs from the night – but images from weddings, graduations, birthdays. One thing Canon wanted people to take away with them is the idea that you don’t just take pictures and forget about them. You should print them off, frame them, keep them around your home or office or any place you can look at them regularly. “Vivid lets people get one-on-one with other photographers and learn from each other. It’s a great interaction with people sharing a similar passion. If you rent a camera, at the end of the session you keep the memory card. We don’t do many big events but Vivid is a place we feel it is very relevant for us to take part. We let people play with new products, rent a camera – there are no sales involved and the Canon crew are there as volunteers.” “We know the products more than anyone so we feel we are the best to show people how it’s all done. We volunteer for Vivid because we’re so passionate about helping people on their journey. I think most people walk away feeling very proud, with a sense of achievement. They might already own a camera but they’re not fulfilling their potential. We get them to the next step of their photographic journey.” During Vivid, Canon joined forces with Sydney radio station 2GB for a competition, asking people if they want to be part of the Canon crew. The winner had to give his/her reasons, as well as convincing Canon they embodied Canon’s values and ambitions. “The winner told us that her husband had loved photography and, after he passed away, she started taking photos. But she didn’t really know how to use her camera very well. So with Canon’s help, she began taking photos again as a new passion for her. We had a party for our winners and she made a very touching speech, thanking everybody for the helping hand in discovering her passion. So we love to be a stepping stone to inspire people and help achieve their dreams; even if it just means giving them advice and pointing them in the right direction.” “My message to people who come to Vivid is to please come to Canon HQ , ask questions, borrow a camera, come on a walking tour and enjoy Vivid at the same time. You will leave with a print of your favourite photo, taken by you, as well as a sense of achievement. Vivid is such a special event and Canon is there to help you enjoy it even more. Canon HQ is a vibrant area with performers, lights, music – you can enjoy Vivid with us and we promise to elevate the whole experience for you!”

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PHOTOGRAPHER WARRICK EADY CLAIMS VIVID 2015 I urges anybody who wants to get more involved in their photography to visit Vivid in 2016 and get involved with the Canon Collective.

“It’s just impossible to leave Vivid and go through the experience with Canon, without feeling inspired. The Walking Tour with Canon is just fantastic. Vivid was all around Circular Quay and the Rocks and in front of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. It began with taking photos of the Opera House and trying different techniques, like long exposures, and trying to shoot the actual images that were projected onto the Opera House,” said Eady. “It was quite challenging just because of the way the projectors worked but the Canon team were on-hand to give advice. Their tips and tricks are always awesome. The walking tours are fantastic. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time you’ve used a camera, the experts can explain any level of skill and are always happy to help.” Warrick set himself a list of challenges to accomplish during Vivid 2015. “When I went to Vivid in 2014, I wanted to photograph everything but this year I worked out more of a plan which made it more fun and challenging for me. I made a time-lapse video which was a first attempt for me and it went really well. I still have a lot to learn but, for a first attempt, I was really happy with it,” he said. 316 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

“The best thing about Canon being at Vivid is I left there feeling very inspired and confident about my photography. It’s also great for your peace of mind to know that if you get stuck, you can wander back into Canon HQ , grab a Canon person and if they can’t help you, they’ll find somebody who can. During the second week, photographer Kyrstle Wright hosted a contest that I was lucky enough to win. She’d just gotten off a plane and was jet lagged but she was great taking people through the contest and giving tips about long exposures and other techniques. It was a very cool night and just being able to hang out with an experienced photographer like her was fantastic.” Warrick urges anybody who wants to get more involved in their photography to visit Vivid in 2016 and get involved with the Canon Collective. “It really is a fantastic experience and just having the Canon team there to help, makes the Vivid experience even more special,” he said.


I’ve been covered in multiple layers of dirt and sweat with the blistering sun hitting my face. I’ve stood there so frozen to the core that even my bones felt cold. Krystle Wright, Canon Master canon.com.au


C R Y S TA L CLEAR Krystle Wright is a young Australian adventure sports photographer who claims her stubborn streak and refusal to give up is what keeps her at the top of her game. She travels the world, documenting extreme sports like base jumping and high-lining. It’s a huge jump from her days as a high school student who was unsure what to do with her life.

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“I came to the end of high school and had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew it wouldn’t be an office job as I struggled keep any focus if I was locked inside four walls. Music, sport and art would captivate all of my attention. I thought about a degree for photography and laughed, “How do you make money out of photography?” But my Mum said, “You always seem to take great photos.” So I enrolled in photography on a gamble and photography has consumed my life ever since,” said Wright. “Back in 2008 I started shadowing photographers from a Brisbane newspaper. I spent a shift with a man who was such a bastard to me. He said, “You should give up on being a sports photographer. You’re never going to make it.” Some people might have broken down in tears but, instead, I thought, “I’m going to prove you wrong.” So instead of deterring me, his comments fuelled my passion. Wright claims her job gives her the best excuse to travel all over the world, connecting with inspiring people wherever she

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goes. One of her most memorable photographic trips was in 2010 in Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic. “It was a month long base jumping expedition. I had no mountaineering experience but that didn’t stop me! I was 23 and it cost me about $13,000 to get there. But it was worth every cent. I put myself in a couple of hairy situations but I’m a Type 2 personality so I loved the idea of being cut off from civilisation and being absolutely present in the moment.” Krystle has suffered numerous injuries in the line of duty including being in a crash with a tandem pilot in Northern Pakistan when she was trying to shoot photos of world champion paragliders who were trying to break the world altitude record. “Unfortunately, when we tried to take off, things went wrong fast. Through a combination of our attention not 100 percent focussed and Mother Nature shifting her course, we were caught off guard and thrown into the steep hillside where I was knocked out cold for several minutes. From the time of the accident and arriving at the hospital, it took a total of 12 hours. Amongst the injuries were a haemorrhage to my left eye (which was full of blood for 5 weeks), 10 stitches to the forehead along with several injuries including torn ligaments, bone bruising and multiple fractures.” When Krystle arrived back home to Sydney, she had no choice but to keep working to manage medical bills amongst other living expenses and returned to her shifts in covering the AFL. “I turned up to the game on crutches whilst wearing my moon boot and with my left eye filled with blood. As I entered the field to take my position, The Sydney Swans happened to be walking past me and all seemed to look at me with horror – not because of my leg injury but because of my blood-filled eye! Everyone who saw my eye was horrified but it was the least to worry of my injuries as it wasn’t painful.” Krystle’s latest adventure has been shooting, with Canon Australia, a documentary based on her shoot in Moab. This story has a big emotional impact on Krystle as it is the seventh time she had been there to attempt the ‘perfect shot.’ “I initially had a very vivid dream back in 2010 before heading to Baffin Island on the BASE jumping expedition. In this dream, I was an eagle flying high above my friends as they leapt off the cliff’s edge. I wanted to be that eagle and capture that dream image! Though Baffin would not be the place to execute the shot as the airline denied the paramotor engine. Listening to tales each night of Moab from the other BASE jumpers, little did I know that this would become my perfect solution in finding the right setting.” Moab is an adventure hub with a range of sports including mountain biking, rock climbing, paragliding and plenty more. When Krystle went to Moab in 2010 she hired a paramotor pilot and managed to capture one of her most well-known shots of base jumpers in action. “But the scale wasn’t working. I got an incredible photo though it wasn’t the shot I had originally dreamt of. My perfectionist attitude combined with stubbornness lead me back to Moab again and again over the course of 4.5 years. I owe so much to my dear friend Mario Richard who in 2012, would introduce me to the perfect location of The Mysteries. Once I saw The Citadel desert tower, I knew I had found the solution. We planned to return later in the year once the weather had cooled but anything that could go wrong did. Through multiple visits,

we finally line up for a shoot in March 2013 though through actions out of my control, I watch the dream shot play out right in front of my eyes for only my mind to capture. And so we plan another attempt for later in the year but before I could return to Moab, Mario passed away in a BASE jumping accident in Italy. I was shell shocked and absolutely devastated and I forgot the project for some time.” Mario Richard, from Quebec, passed away in August – fifteen months later Krystle had returned to Moab for this incredible project in conjunction with Canon Australia. “The whole Moab experience has made me a better person. An eight minute film can only cover so much. But this project has been amazing, a huge part of my life. I approached Canon and asked them to support the project and it has been a great partnership. I also think I’ve succeeded in telling a true story, an authentic story where things don’t always go right. Being a creative person we deal with so many other factors, so it’s been a fantastic way to show people what a photographer’s life is really all about.”

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V I VA LAS VEGAS WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

WHATEVER HAPPENS, STAYS

TROPICANA LAS VEGAS provides a casually elegant experience on the Las Vegas Strip just minutes from the airport, convention centers and top entertainment stadiums. After a complete SOUTH BEACH-INSPIRED transformation, our resort is now one of the best casino hotel properties with all-new rooms and suites, a casino, award-winning restaurants, a spa and f itness center and FIRST-CLASS ENTERTAINMENt. 320 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


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e had the chance to sit front and centre at the acclaimed stage show “The Rock Vault” a journey back through the 70’s and 80’s hits of rock and roll. The Tropicana started with a fresh redesign of each and every one of our Las Vegas hotel rooms and suites. We made them bright and breezy with custom furnishings and all the best amenities. We were completely spoilt with 3 nights at the presidential Loft. Known for their skyscraper views and luxury accommodations, penthouses tend to bring to mind the finer things in life, Tropicana Las Vegas’ two-story Penthouse Lofts are no exception. The luxurious Penthouse Lofts are appointed with the perfect mix of texture, color and lighting, making them truly an impressive sight to see. When entering through the lower level of these residential-style quarters, we immediately experience a sense of relaxation surrounded by a soft palette of warm colors that are similar to a South Beach sunset. In the elegant living room you will find a contemporary couch and sleek chaise lounge in front of a 50-inch TV, as well as other custom furnishings that are tastefully made of bamboo. There is also a wet bar with granite countertops and hardwood flooring throughout the main level. The original artwork by an acclaimed

Latin artist and added chic white plantation shutters to let in natural light by day or the Vegas city lights by night, but only if you would like. When you’re ready to lie down and rest for a while, make your way to the second floor of this apartment-style suite via an elegant spiral staircase there you will encounter an ultra-plush king-size bed complete with a with Euro Top Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress and luxury 300-thread-count linens. Inside the connecting full bathroom, there is also a his-and-hers vanity to ensure that you enjoy all the comforts of home and then some. Finally, the Tropicana Las Vegas Penthouse Lofts have two entrances – one on each story – so we could enter our oversized Las Vegas suite by simply taking the elevator to the next floor if you don’t feel like taking the stairs. Then, there was the 50,000-square-foot casino that offers all the best Las Vegas games, including your favorite slots and table games, was enhanced with the addition of a new Tropicana high limit area, a state-of-the-art race and sports book. We also chose the 2 new restaurants that have become two of the best in Las Vegas From there Italian trattoria, Bacio, to there steakhouse, Biscayne and 24-hour café, each Tropicana dining venue has been recognized for its exceptional food and customer service. Other highlights include the addition of a modern spa and fitness center – which is a Mandara Spa, in case you are familiar with luxury spa brands – as well as a pool that was named one of the best Las Vegas pools, meeting space had been expanded and now boasts one of the best convention facilities (100,000 square feet) in Las Vegas allowing the Tropicana to excel across all meetings and conventions.

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VIKKI’S SUMMER PASSION The sights and sounds of different cultures and places inspired Vicki Scotts’ taste for travel, and eventually, her desire to create beautiful, wearable resort wear in 2014 VIKKI AUSTRALIA.

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icki Scotts stops to think. She looks up to the burgundy bougainvillea that brushes the sandstone cocoon of her home, then turns… “Summer,” she smiles. In one word Vicki sums up what her resort wear collection, Vikki Australia, means to her - and what she wants it to mean to us. Vikki Australia is about everyone finding their own style in the collection and we all have our own images of summer - beautiful colours, easy days and special moments with family and friends. “Family and friends are the soul of Vikki Australia,” she says. The inspiration for the label is a career which spanned two decades - and, the globe. Vicki started at the bottom and worked her way to the top of the hospitality world, holding management positions with 5-star icons such as Cunard, New York’s Plaza Hotel and Hawaii’s Hilton. “Hospitality is a great teacher,” Vicki says. “You grow close to everyone from movie stars to house keepers and you quickly learn that in essence, we’re all the same. We all want to be loved by family and friends and we all want to look and feel beautiful.” The seeds for Vikki Australia were planted during her eight years as Sales Director on board the QE2.

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“I noticed a gap in the resort wear market,” Vicki explains. “Beautiful resort wear should not be the domain of the rich and famous - everyone deserves to look and feel gorgeous on holidays. And, every day for that matter! So I always had this idea that when I settled in one place, I would love to create a resort wear range that suits all sizes and budgets. I started collecting ideas from different cultures and places we visited on the QE2 so Vikki Australia is a little like a melting pot of world influences.” Love and then motherhood cured Vicki’s wanderlust and she’s now settled - happily ensconced with her family at Sanctuary Cove on Australia’s Gold Coast. She launched Vikki Australia last summer and has just released her second range. “It’s my baby,” she laughs. “Vikki Australia is just one year old so we’re still finding our feet, but we’re through the teething stage and I’m really thrilled with this summer’s offering. This year the focus is on high quality colour-fast cottons and silks. The handcrafted embroidery remains the Vikki Australia distinction but we’ve also upped the ante on that with more intricate designs.” The ‘we’ is essentially Vicki… “With more than a little help from my family and friends,” she adds. Her appreciation is shown in the collection. Vicki has named each garment to reflect the personality of someone who means something to her. “The Wendy Tunic is the most stylish design in the collection and it was a given that would be named after the most stylish designer I know - my beautiful sister, Wendy Heather,” Vicki says. “Wendy’s trademark was wool and she enjoyed incredible success - even receiving an award presented by Prince Charles

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“Family and friends are the soul of VIKKI AUSTR ALIA.” D I R E C TO R

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“I named the Charlotte Marie Kaftan after PRINCESS CAROLINE’S equally beautiful daughter and the Tatiana Kaftan is named after the wife of Princess Caroline’s eldest son.” D I R EC TO R

and the late Princess Diana. I’m not a designer, but I knew the look and feel I wanted to create and Wendy travelled with me to India last year to guide me through her world and help with the fabric choices and the easy-to-wear styles I was wanting to create. That meant a lot to me.” Then there’s Wendy’s daughter, singer/songwriter Bella Hunter. “I couldn’t stretch the budget for a model for this summer’s range and Bella, who lives in America, was visiting,” Vicki says. “I asked would she mind and her response was instant: ‘Of course Aunty Vicks!!’ Like Bella, I think the pictures are beautiful.” The Bella Kaftan is one of Vicki’s favourite pieces in the new range and she also named a showpiece from the 2014 range, the Isabella Kaftan, after her niece. The Gillian Tunic and Diana Kaftan, both featuring Swarovski crystals, as well as the Roslyn Tunic Top are named after Vicki’s other sisters. Extended family members and workmates are also recognised. And, then there are friends. “Danielle Hart lives nearby and she’s become a dear friend,” Vicki says. “I love Danni’s spirit and her pride in her Māori heritage. One of my favourite garments in the original range is made from beautiful soft cotton with a Māori print. There was only one name it could be - the Danielle Tunic.” Other garments capture memories of her school friends like Fiona who always looks stunning in bright colours and Alexander who loves Mexico, music and dancing. During her life Vicki has also crossed paths with celebrity some garments honour those who have left a lasting impression or icons whom she has not met, but who have inspired her with their own style, such as Grace Kelly. “My idol,” Vicki says simply. When she worked at the Plaza Hotel Vicki looked after Grace Kelly’s daughter Princess Caroline and her family during a three-month stay in New York. “Princess Caroline is the most beautiful woman inside and out,” Vicki says. “A gorgeous flowing chiffon garment just reminded me of her. I named the Charlotte Marie Kaftan after Princess Caroline’s equally beautiful daughter and the Tatiana Kaftan is named after the wife of Princess Caroline’s eldest son - I remember her as being incredibly exotic and I thought this piece would look divine on her.” Hollywood royalty has also inspired Vicki. “I was privileged to meet Penelope Cruz when she was in Australia this year,” Vicki says. “Penelope is one of the most naturally beautiful women I have ever seen in my life and she struck me as being incredibly warm and easy going. As crazy as this might sound, I instantly thought of a wonderful

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summer’s day when I met her. There’s a special garment in the new collection which I think really captures the essence of summer and when I first saw it, it reminded me of Penelope - it’s a beautiful acqua piece that features the extraordinary embroidery skills of the Indian friends I work with and I’ve called it the Penelope Tunic.” is personal - to Vicki and also to everyone who finds their own look in her collection. In every way, the label is a reflection of Vicki - her travels, her warm personality and natural style, the people who have inspired her and those she holds dear. So while on the subject of names, why Vikki? “I’m a Gemini,” she laughs. “But it really came down to a style choice - we were designing the logo and Vicki didn’t look quite right so we changed it to Vikki, which has a nice symmetry.” Then she turns again to thought and that burgundy bougainvillea. “Perhaps it was also unwittingly about drawing a line between my business and my personal life,” she muses. “My own friends and family would understand that - and, to them, I’ll always be Vicki with a ‘c’!”

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Michae Clarke Michaell Clarke

MS Dhoni MS Dhoni

Chris Gayle Chris Gayle


Mitche n Johnson ll Johnso Mitchell

Eoin n Morgan Eoin Morga

Joe Joe Burns Burns

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STILL KICKIN’ GOALS

MATTHEW BURKE NOW A TOP TEN to be the best rugby fullback in the world during NETWORKER Considered an era of Australian success in the late 1990s and early 2000’s.

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heir was time where I would make the news in the sporting world. My job now is to report the news in the sporting world. A former professional rugby union player for 13 seasons sees me now read the Sports News on Network Ten in Sydney. It’s a new career that has me in touching distance of all the major events on the sporting calendar. The good thing is that unlike the old days when after a game I would wake up sore and sorry, now I get to watch the events unfold without the threat of being injured. The interesting scenario about a professional sportsperson is that they die a life twice. You have your career on the field and then through injury, old age or if you are lucky to exit on your terms, the time comes when you are forced to hang up the boots, making the transition into the real world. That transitional phase of your life is quite daunting and confronting. Even though you were at the top of the tree in your sport, doesn’t necessarily mean you will make a successful change to the business world. What does help though are the disciplines you learn in the sporting world to adapt to life in a suit. You have to quickly understand you are not person that people converse about over water cooler anymore. That’s someone else. You’re the guy that now joins in that conversation. The bloke that walks in the streets like the rest of the population, and that for some athletes, that lack of recognition, can be a major falling down. Upon finishing my career in Australia, I still chased the rugby dream in the UK, playing in the English Premiership for Newcastle. Rubbing shoulders with arguably one of the most famous names in World Rugby, Jonny Wilkinson. My time in the UK certainly prolonged my career. I was able to squeeze another 4 seasons out of my body, till that moment when I stepped awkwardly and tore my ACL. No more Rugby for me, but I was Ok with that, because after playing professionally for 13 years, I thought myself as one of the lucky ones. I spanned the amateur-professional era, I won trophies, played Rugby World Cups, made great friends and I had fun. I played a hobby for a living and got paid. What could be better. The memories that flood back to me when I think about my career were highlights both on and off the field. Making my debut as a 20 year old against South Africa in my home town of Sydney. We won the game but my lasting memory will be dropping a high ball with just about my first touch in test Rugby.

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In front of 45 thousand people and in a team game, you quickly realise you are all alone. Then there were the wins. At one stage of my career, our team, the Wallabies, held every trophy that was available. The Bledisloe Cup, the Tri-Nations, the Rugby World Cup and the incredible series win over the turing British and Irish Lions. Our Bledisloe Cup run spanned form 1998 till 2002, and I will always remember three of those games fondly. Apart form wining the series 3-0 in 1998, a couple of big moments happened to me that season. I scored all the points in Game 1 in Melbourne with the headline reading the following day, Burke 24 - All Blacks 16. 5 weeks later pleasure and pain. We won Game 3 in Sydney giving us a clean sweep over the All Blacks, but in the process of scoring the match winning try, I dislocated my shoulder, sidelining me for 9 long months. 2002 was the last time the Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup and it came down to a kick after the bell from yours truly. I calmly slotted the winner (not) to retain the trophy. The fact being the game should have been in the bag 7 minutes earlier had I landed a conversion from a try. It was all about setting the drama. The 2001 Lions series will go down as one of the best in history. Suffering heavy defeat in the First test and struggling in the Second, a remarkable turn around of fortune was engineered by Joe Roff scoring 2 ties. Sydney was the decider where both teams played some incredible Rugby, with the hosts coming out victors 29-23. Yet the fondest memory of my career is still November 6 1999, Millennium Stadium Cardiff, where we earned the right to call ourselves World Champions after victory over France. The culmination of hard work, dedication, commitment, disappointments but plenty of desire. So as I sit in my suit bringing you the latest in the world of sport, I empathise with those current athletes and what they are going though having already walked their journey. I just hope they are able to live and enjoy a second life like I am doing now.


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ITS A WR AP CACTUS IMAGING - INDUSTRY BENCKMARK Rather than simply reacting and following the industry, Cactus are thinking about the next thing in the evolution of printing. That is why they are at the forefront of the industry today

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late night discussion over a bottle of wine between two newspaper executives in an Auckland pub 22 years ago not only changed their lives, but the future of the Australian printing industry.With no actual hands on experience in print production between themselves, Kiwis Warwick Spicer and Keith Ferrel decided to ditch the security offered by the publisher of The Sunday Star. Spicer - who was Chief Executive - and Ferrel - who was sales manager - got together a business plan to open the first printing company in Australasia to offer a large-format printing solution that was done without a plate, ink or type form - electrostatic printing. “Warwick came across the technology by accident and identified the commercial opportunity. He then badgered me to join him,” Ferrel says. “It was a little bit crazy, as we were a couple of middle-aged men leaving well-paid positions to start a business in a world we knew nothing about.” But the risk paid off for the duo, with Cactus Imaging experiencing strong demand first in New Zealand and later in Australia through its commitment to high quality print production in a timely and cost effective manner. Underpinning the success was Ferrel and Spicer’s urge to ensure that at all times Cactus Imaging was at the forefront of technology, employing the very latest equipment and work flow management systems. According to oOh! Media CEO, Brendon Cook, Cactus Imaging impressed from the day they started in Australia. “They were constantly investing in technology to keep meeting the speed demands of our clients. They were never afraid to reject work if they did not feel that they could deliver on it - although that is a rarity,” Cook says. Today, the company commands some 60 per cent of all printing from the out-of-home industry. It has also become a major player in printing for the construction, entertainment and events, and retail industries. Part of ASX-listed Opus Group, Cactus Imaging continues its commitment to investing in Research and Development (spending three to five per cent of its turnover), relationships with clients and suppliers and a one-family work culture. Now led by Warwick son, Nigel Spicer, with support from Keith Ferrel who remains in the business, Cactus Imaging is looking at new market opportunities and more environmentally-friendly solutions to introduce to the market. “Both my father and Keith were great mentors. They have instilled in me the values that were the foundations for Cactus

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Nigel Spicer Group Manager

Imaging’s success,” says Nigel, who joined the company in 1996 as a sales rep before working his way up to Group Manager in 2008. “I am particularly impressed by the culture where all of the 78 staff in Australia and New Zealand are like family and share our desire for success. As a result, we have strong and stable team with many being around the company for 15 years.” The importance of team is shared by Ferrel who was quick to share the credit when named the FESPA (Federation of European Screen Printers Association) 2014 World Printer of the Year. “I don’t consider the award a personal success – the whole team can feel like they have won with me. You can’t have an achievement like this without a good team,” he says. Wrapping up Australian properties When Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games, one of the most photographed landmarks was Westpac Bank’s Martin Place Branch featuring a wrap with swimmers powering up the side of the building towards a live medal tally. It proved a great marketing success for the banking sponsor of the Games. For Cactus Imaging the production of the wrap, gave them global recognition. Cactus Imaging was the first to deliver such a building wrap into the Australian market, with the creation of large format building


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wraps for ANZ in the 1990s. Through the innovative solution, it converted the bank’s Sydney office into a giant bookcase and had tape measure spanning the height of its Melbourne office. “It was unique – the first in Australia of such a size. We had to develop a solution by which we were able to print out hundreds of panels and then weld them together in a way that would withstand a one in one hundred years wind,” Keith Ferrel said. Most recently, the company completed another high-profile project with long term-customer Scaffad to wrap the Sydney Town Hall tower while it was undergoing restoration. According to National Sales Director of Scaffad, Adrian McMurray, the relationship between the two companies started eight years ago, when the founders of Scaffad identified an opportunity to use construction site scaffolding and hoardings to improve visual appeal and be used as an advertising medium. “In partnership we have delivered good results – from the Sydney Town Hall job, which was recognised by Architectural Digest as one of the top architectural wraps, through to hoardings,” McMurray said. “They have been ridiculously consistent in delivering to the brief we give them and together we have been able to provide our clients with a product that exceeds expectation.”

EMBR ACING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IN AN AGE OLD INDUSTRY While some Australians have resisted the march of new technology in the printing sector, Keith Ferrel and his team at Cactus Imaging are actively embracing digital technologies. “While many may see technology as a threat to age-old traditions, we believe it presents us with opportunities to deliver results above clients’ expectations,” Mr Ferrel said. Ferrel says that, through investing in the latest print technology, the company has been able to deliver greater quality printing, more cost effectively and in a timely manner. But investment in technology does not stop there – the company has invested heavily in building its own technology to ensure all of its staff and clients can keep across the status of jobs and project timelines. According to Lindsay Barnes, General Manager of Fujifilm, Cactus Imaging is well known in the industry for its readiness to push print manufacturers to develop new solutions to deliver better results for its clients. “Rather than simply reacting and following the industry, Cactus are thinking about the next thing in the evolution of printing. That is why they are at the forefront of the industry today,” Barnes said. As with all other major printing suppliers, including HP which has Ferrel sitting on their customer advisory board, Fujifilm has benefited from Cactus Imaging’s proactive approach to technology and the recommendations they make about what features their printers need. T H E C E L E B R A T I O N E D I T I O N 2 0 1 5 | 337


IN ALL ITS GLORY! WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

‘THE GRANGE’ ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

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C H R I S G AY L E

rriving at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel is nothing short of spectacular. In fact, it’s quite awe inspiring as I arrived at sunrise along Godliman St, immersed in all things biblical as the magnificence of St Paul’s Cathedral appears in all its glory. This flagship property of the Grange Independent Hotels, is consistently one of the best located in London with facilities to rival any in its class. Being fortunate enough to score a room during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, I was not surprised to here that several of the World Cup Teams had called the Grange home for the past 4 week duration. Notably, this was also a haven for many of the sporting elite including Indian Cricket Greats King Sir Vivian Richards, to the King of 20/20 Jamaica’s Chris Gayle. This elegantly appointed establishment showcases a contemporary glass interior with finely stated furnishings with a true corporate hub atmosphere. The meeting space is first class for conferencing and special occasions, whilst several very cool retreats from the Sky Bar to the ground floor Sports Bar, has a little something for everyone. Whilst travelling internationally frequently, I’ve always enjoyed a visit to the Gym for a hard earned cardio workout, to boost the fitness level. Technogym equipment is featured throughout, which is perfect as I jump onto the spin bike and sweat it out for the next hour. If you’re looking for more of a leisurely time at the Grange Hotel, there is an impressive 25 metre indoor pool plus the option of pampering the soul at the Ajala Spa; complete with facial treatments, massages, steam and sauna. Surrounded by a selection of bars, cafes and restaurant, the Grange Hotel hangs it hat on the world renowned Benihana’s restaurant. As a chef I’m always appreciative of traditional Japanese style cooking, its culture, and the consistency to use the freshest ingredients which are all locally sourced. The atmosphere here is electric and lifts up a notch as the flamboyant Mr Gayle, Wallaby Rugby Legend Matt Burke and England’s One Day Captain, Eion Morgan all make their entrance and thrill local guests. Saturday night proved to be a memorable evening with the Wallaby’s playing the host nation England. As we retired to the Sports Bar to join 100 very enthusiastic locals, we proud Aussies cheered with our glasses raised high as we scored an unforgettable win! There’s something about a hotel bar that beats the local pub anytime…I guess that when the games over and done, its just a mere short elevator ride to level 5 and into bed! With London fast becoming a destination on everyone’s to do list, I encourage you to book into the Grange Hotel as I know you will be equally as impressed.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

GR ANGE ST. PAUL’S 10 Godliman Street, London EC4V 5AJ Tel: 020 7074 1000 | Fax: 020 7074 110 | www.grangehotels.com

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PHIL HARTE

THE CHURCHILL HYATT REGENCY • LONDON

“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!” x Churchill

This remarkable statesman has been immortalised appropriately at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel Portman Square London, England.

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eing renowned for the great tactics and creating the ultimate battle plan, Winnie, as he was most fondly regarded, commanded the forces of Great Britain to take on all enemies. Not unlike our modern day General, Australian Cricket Captain Michael Clarke, who was entrenched in the war room planning his assault on that very determined British empire. In a sporting first, England and Australia were to play their historical Ashes Tour firstly in the motherland, England and then second on home soil in Australia. With the 2012 Olympics interrupting the traditional cricketing calendar year there was to be no other way. For the cricketing stalwarts, this was music to their ears and what a battle this was shaping up to be. As the many thousands of sponsors and spectators planning their individual journeys to the ‘Old Bailey’ from around the world, we at Spartan believed we would get ahead of the game and bunker down at the landmark Hyatt Regency Churchill hotel – how appropriate, and didn’t we take advantage of the name and location? Strategically positioned 15 minutes drive from the famed Lords Battle Field, The Churchill enjoys a fantastic location in Portman Square, London. It was a logical centre point for a media and corporate meet and greet, and a special announcement of the new Spartan cricket range with our headline Ambassador, Aussie Captain, Michael Clarke. With the Hyatt Regency Churchill allowing us to taking over the ballroom, we readied to host an intimate dinner with the Australian captain. As the day progressed, we were shaping up for a full house of VIP’s and media when a breaking news story hit the headlines; the Australian Captain announces his retirement at the end of the current tour.


T R AV E L | LO N D O N

“The decision to choose the Hyatt Regency Churchill wasn’t difficult as my experience with this group globally has always been FIRST CLASS. With every challenge met and the staff in all areas of the hotel simply doing their job, thus bringing this well-oiled team together when needed most, under extreme pressure and delivering the desired result.” The evening will be remembered by all as one of those ‘money can’t buy’ experiences, as all guests had the unique opportunity to be presented by Spartan and Michael with their own personalised MC 329 History Bat, photographs and that very sort after signature. With thanks to Qantas, Hyatt, Spartan and Michael, these guests will continue to talk about ‘that night’ at The Churchill. If not for the slick professionalism of the Churchill team, this day could have been a whole lot more challenging; fortunately it was hit for six! All those concerned left this memorable day with even more memorable moments. As always, the Hyatt Regency Churchill met every challenge with gusto, with staff in all areas of the hotel doing their job to the best of their abilities. Throughout the hotel our demands were non-compromising

with the highest quality of accommodation and customer service: from the concierge, to the gym and of course the food and beverage department, they must all meet my own ridiculously high standards. As a former chef, I take this component of the hotel very personally and I work closely with the Executive Chef and the F&B Director to deliver a special and unique style of event, each and every time. The Hyatt Regency Churchill for me has one of the best club lounges in the world. Not just a trimmed down version of the main restaurant, but a uniquely boutique experience available all day and with the service that gives you a real sense of being. The gym is compact but efficient, the meeting space is as good as it gets and the rooms are not the usual undersized British boxes – The Hyatt Regency Churchill is truly a five star product.

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MULTI AWARD WINNING MODERN ITALIAN DINING IN THE HEART OF BYRON BAY

19/20 108 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Phone 02 6685 6677 bookings.byronbay@cicchetti.com.au

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MULTI AWARD WINNING MODERN ITALIAN DINING ON THE GOLD COAST

Capri On Via Roma, 15 Via Roma, Isle of Capri QLD 4217 Phone 07 5526 8868 bookings.gc@cicchetti.com.au

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S E M I N YA K ’ S SECRET WORDS

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PHIL HARTE

VILLA BIDADARI • BALI’S BEST KEPT SECRET

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At the core of this beautiful country are the incredibly kind natured people that first put Bali on the tourist map. Their dedication to ensuring you have the best experience possible in Bali and the way they go above and beyond for strangers in their own country is humbling. We could all benefit by taking a leaf out of their book and adopt some of the subtleties of their life. Recently I was invited to spend a few days at what has been regarded as one of Bali’s best boutique properties two years running, Villa Bidadari - Bali. Having never heard of it before, I did what any savvy traveller would do and hit up Google to do a bit of investigating. After reading countless positive reviews from guests and media alike, I decided I just had to see it for myself. Villa Bidadari located approximately 40 minutes from the International Airport, offers you a comfortable, sensual and best-in-class experience in the heart of Seminyak. With a range of luxury villas available, Villa Bidadari has created a unique option that delivers on quality, affordability and a desire to stay true to the stunning surroundings of the city. With plenty to do and see around Seminyak, Villa Bidadari is the perfect option for a romantic stay or for an adventure with your family – packages cater to all ages and interest. Boasting some of the most magnificent beaches in Bali, this region is a popular tourist destination built upon glorious sunsets, traditional ceremonies and true cultural moments. Nothing creates a string of exciting memories more than a truly unique getaway to a hotspot that delivers on attractions and activities. So next time you are looking to enjoy a high-end getaway complete with luxury accommodation and tranquil beauty of Bali, look no further than Villa Bidadari.

F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

VILLA BIDADAR www.balibidadarivillas.com

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ARMANI/ AMAL FRESH • INNOVATIVE • REGIONAL INDIAN CUISINE

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few months ago it was my pleasure to enjoy a night at the famed Armani Ristorante at the Burj Kalifa Dubai. You get a real understanding of just what goes into delivery a world class experience well before the first course comes out. Being seated on the outside deck with views of the Magical Burj Fountains was spectacular and as Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion choed the Prayer, you start to appreciate the effort and attention to detail that goes into a night at the Armani. Tonight was not much different other than our dinning experience was to be with the acclaimed Sameer Sehgal, Head Chef at Restaurant Amal. As we were seated Sameer was first to the table eager to discuss the menu, or not ! as he wanted to simply dazzle us with his own choices. Over the next 2 hours we went through an incredible culinary journey from his home town of Punjab, Northern India that left us spellbound. The Armani is all about “the Remarkable” and true to form our night at Amal was just that.

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Fresh and innovati cuisine


ive regional indian

RISING ABOVE

CHEF SAMEER

The rigours of working in a busy culinary environment gives Chef Sameer a unique sense of ‘completion’, with the sounds of the kitchen music to his ears, providing creative inspiration in his quest for perfection on a plate. A British national with North Indian heritage, he considers his choice of profession a lifelong journey of discovery. Originally hailing from the Punjab, a love of good food ran in the family and is the foundation for his own culinary philosophy, which is rooted in quality-led home-cooked food. With over 20 years’ experience, Chef Sameer began his professional journey at the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology in Chennai, India, where he gained a diploma in hotel management. Schooled in the management side of the industry, he quickly realised that his true talents lay in the kitchen where the opportunity to create dishes and see diners relish new flavours and taste experiences gave him a sense of direction. He has also developed a broad culinary repertoire, with sound knowledge of European, Mediterranean, Indian, Thai and Arabic cuisine that has seen him work for leading hospitality brands in India, the UK and the UAE. Positions with Oberoi Hotels’ in Bangalore and Calcutta provided a thorough grounding before he decamped to London to join the team at high profile boutique property, Blakes Hotel, before taking on a new challenge at legendary hospitality icon, The Dorchester, where he was premier sous chef. A development role as executive chef with Kerry Foods in the UK allowed him to diversify his professional knowledge outside of the hotel world, but he was enticed back to the industry – and to a new location – with a posting at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City as executive sous chef prior to joining the Armani Hotel Dubai team in November 2013 as head chef of Armani/Amal. Chef Sameer’s remit covers everything from menu planning and training to guest engagement as well as additional responsibility for the smooth execution of high value dining events. A strong believer in putting people first in order to deliver excellence every time, he is very much a front-of-house chef who loves to interact with his guests. He is also a proud father of two young children who loves nothing more than spending quality time with his family in his own kitchen, and sharing the secrets of his mother’s cooking.

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Armani Hotel Dubai +971 4 888 3888 or email dubai@armanihotels.com armanihotels.com


Armani Hotel Dubai +971 4 888 3888 or email dubai@armanihotels.com armanihotels.com

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Classic Lifestyle magazine is the annual 350 page publication available exclusively through Qantas Business Class and First Class Lounges gl...

Classic Lifestyle Magazine - The Celebration Edition  

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