__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN MYKONOS


Always checking and re-checking Rachel Bacon, Engineer, Brisbane

qantas.com/rachel Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901


LIFESTYLE® 650

H O M E E N T E R TA I N M E N T S Y S T E M

Details mean everything. So Bose® compromised on nothing. The best 5.1 system from Bose, made for your music, movies and TV and designed to sound every bit as stunning as it looks. Small omnidirectional speakers, a wireless bass module and wireless rear surround speakers deliver an astonishing audio experience that melts luxuriously into your room. The glass-topped console has 4K pass through and 6 HDMI™ inputs, plus Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi® technology to wirelessly stream music any way you prefer.


MALL OF THE EMIRATES | +971 4 409 8888


This year more than ever the Classic Lifestyle Magazine has good reason to celebrate, not only because it’s her 21st Birthday but for me I had a chance to include my entire family. Danielle has continued to show us her remarkable photographic skills with stunning images echoed via the support of Canon Australia, using their latest camera the 1DX Mark II. Tayla our daughter, has joined our team after excelling at graphic design school and graduating this month with honours. Plus our sixteen year old son Ryley, joined me on tour to London supporting Harte International with a major event featuring the great Sachin Tendulkar. He also had the unique opportunity to experience his first ever restaurant review at the Capital’s Michelin star - Outlaw’s restaurant which he still proudly boasts about today. As is every parents challenge, how do we guide our offspring in the right and fulfilling direction? Well it seems I hope, that the culture of the Classic Lifestyle Magazine has provided the answer. As many of you may remember from last year’s edition, we featured the iconic Tina Arena - ‘I Never Left’. In keeping with tradition in celebrating people on the rise, we feature the meteoric success of the Koi Boys; you may recall their infectious harmonies on the hit show The Voice, earlier this year. The maori trio - Danny, Naz and Kevin have just released a new album ‘Meant to Be’ not surprisingly it has skyrocketed in New Zealand to number one! With that in mind, in next years edition we have teamed up the Koi Boys to undertake a ‘Holistic Journey’ back to their maori heritage with Danielle leading a photographic

pilgrimage across the North to the South Islands. We will keep you informed via Instagram Classictraveller as we are looking to entice the Canon Collective Team to join us…keep tuned! Throughout this 21st edition we have included some ‘little hidden gem’ destinations including Dubrovnik’s medieval ‘Game of Throne’ city; Moscow’s Red Square and Sri Lanka’s diverse wonder lust. The rugged whitewash beauty of the Greek cliff tops of Santorini; the art of making limoncello along the Amalfi Coast and a magnificent encounter swimming with Whale Sharks in the Maldives. In closing, I feel incredibly humbled by the continuous generosity and support shown from all of our readers; our long term partnerships and new sponsorships; family and friends who have impacted our distribution unconditionally, thank you warm heartedly. Looking forward to celebrating at Canon’s Sun Studio’s in December 2017 Classic’s Coming of Age. Enjoy everyone…

Publisher Phil Harte - Harte International Consultancy. UAE. Produced by Nude Publishing, a division of Nude Creative Pty Ltd www.nudepublishing.com.au Art Direction, Editorial & Production Nude Creative hello@nudecreative.com.au www.nudecreative.com.au

Nude Creative

Art Director Martha Clegg Food and Wine Director Max Alfieri Director of Photography Danielle Harte Social Media Editor Tayla Harte Max

Danielle

Sub-editor Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan Feature Writers Sandra Sully Danielle Harte Mark Rix International Sales phil@harteinternational.com

Tayla

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

www.hm-services.com.au hms@hm-services.com.au


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | T H E C U LT U R A L E D I T I O N C O M I N G D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7

T H E WA R R I O R W I T H I N

|

BY DA N I EL L E H A RT E

F O L L O W U S @ C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 11


BOUCHERON | COLLECTION SERPENT BOHÈME MALL OF THE EMIRATES | +971 4 409 8888


24

CONTENTS Travel First Leg

M AG A R I

WHERE DREAMS B E CO M E R E A L I T Y

32

Magari Estates is an unparalleled, boutique and luxurious members club that has been created by two families, whose desire was to share unique and exclusive localised experiences in the Veneto region to a select few. The Pellegrino and Fasoli families are the founders of Magari Estates, and provide the opportunity through their business to a small group of people throughout the world. The experiences, relationships and wealth of knowledge of Italy and the Veneto region that is shared between the group has allowed Magari Estates to offer

BELLISIMO

a members club which is incomparable in its idea and output. Whether it be entry to private wineries, access to amazing restaurants which are off the beaten track, or being chauffeured by a local to explore the region.

PA L A Z ZO V E R S AC E G O L D COA S T A U S T R A L I A

The Directors of Magari Estates have a wide range of experience, skills and passions which makes Magari Estates ever more diverse and unique.

56

48 L EG E N DA RY H O S P I TA L I T Y A T R A N Q U I L 5 S TA R LIFESTYLE EXPERIENCE IN THE HEART OF BUSTLING CO S M O P O L I TA N

76

WOR LD R E NOW N E D PRESTIGE

S E M I N YA K SEDUCES

IN TRUE INDONESIAN STYLE THE WESTIN W I L L S E D U C E YO U WITH ITS SOULFUL SERENITY

A C R E AT I O N O F LU X U R I O U S A M B I E N C E A N D S O P H I S T I C AT E D S T Y L E

88

100

ALL INCLUSIVE

DAY S I N PA R A D I S E D E VOT I N G F U L L T I M E F LOAT I N G I N T H E B A L M Y I N D I A N OCEAN

108

EPITOME O F FA R EASTERN ROMANCE A N I N T O X I C AT I N G B L E N D O F L U X U R Y, HISTORY AND COLONIAL DESIGN

D I SCOV E R TH E WON DER

A T R I P T O S R I L A N K A’ S S H A N G R I L A H A M B A B AT O A W I L L A W A K E N Y O U R IN N ER CHILD WITH ITS A DV ENTU ROUS LIFESTYLE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 13


NEW

Wireless. And ready to track your workout. SOUNDSPORT® PULSE WIRELESS HEADPHONES Push your workout to the next level with Bose® SoundSport® Pulse wireless headphones. Designed with a built-in heart rate sensor, they make it easy to track your performance without missing a beat of your music. The StayHear®+ Pulse tips are designed to stay secure – even during intense workouts. And they’re sweat and weather resistant with a battery life of up to 5 hours per charge.

The Bluetooth word mark is a registered trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such mark by Bose Corporation is under license.


120

CONTENTS Travel Second Leg

S TA R T SPREADING THE NEWS

128

A S U B L I M E M I X O F C A P T I VAT I N G D E S I G N , T H O U G H T F U L LY R E F I N E D S I G N AT U R E S A N D G E N U I N E S E R V I C E AWA I T YO U AT L A N G H A M P L AC E N E W YO R K

MOTHER RUSSIA

I CO N I C L A N D M A R K S - T H E KREMLIN, THE RED SQUARE, S A I N T B A S I L’ S, T H E B O L S H O I T H E AT R E

144 THE HEART OF R OYA L L O N D O N

152

5 S TA R ’ S I N C E N T R A L LO N D O N T H AT S T I L L R E S O N AT E S W I T H E C H O E S O F H I S TO RY R E AC H I N G B AC K TO T H E T I M E O F SHAKESPEARE AND ELIZABETH IST

POMP AND CEREMONY

E N C H A N T E D R O YA LT Y, D I G N I TA R Y A N D C E L E B R AT O R Y RENOWNED FOR ITS TR ADITION AND S E R V I C E T H AT R E I G N S I N LONDON ’S WEST END

158

ITS ALL GREEK TO ME

164 THE GLISTENING MEDITERR ANEAN COA S TLI N E

F O R S H E E R E S C A P I S M , N OT H I N G B E AT S H O L I DAY I N G O N T H E M E D I T E R R A N E A N E X P LO R I N G A N C I E N T S I T E S, A N C H O R I N G I N Q U I E T B AY S A N D S E R V I N G U P DELICIOUS MEALS

POSTER HOTEL FOR LUXURY WITH ELEGANT BEAUT Y CH A R AC TERIS ED A N D S T YLED OF THE ANCIENT TIMES

180

W H AT H A P P E N S IN VEGA S…

W E LCO M E TO W H E R E D R E A M S CO M E TO P L AY T R A N S F O R M I N G T H E MODERN LAS VEGAS EXPERIENCE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 17


LIFESTYLE® 650

HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

Exclusive technologies The difference doesn’t just come through in the sound and design. You’ll find Bose innovation in other ways, too. Stream just about any music you want. Instantly. SoundTouch® lets you stream music through Spotify ® or other music services directly through your Lifestyle® system.

Engineered so setup is always simple Unify® technology walks you through system setup with guided onscreen messages, whether it’s plugging in wires or programming your remote.

Performance that adapts to your layout. ADAPTiQ® audio calibration fine-tunes the sound specifically to your room and the things in it. So when you hear it, you hear it at its absolute best.

WIRELESS BASS MODULE A wireless bass module this small shouldn’t sound this big. Not everyone knows how to reduce low-note distortion on smaller modules—but we do. The result? Deep, thunderous bass you’ll feel from a speaker you’ll hardly notice. And that’s not all that went into it.


Size that surprises. Sound that astonishes.

O M N I J E W E L™ S AT E L L I T E SPEAKERS A new chapter in our history of getting big sound from small speakers. Powerful dual-opposing drivers face each other inside to deliver omnidirectional sound. One thousand precisely perforated grille holes and a seamless aluminum-extruded exterior further enhance the acoustics. The result is true 360° coverage from each speaker, giving you a more spacious home theatre experience from our smallest satellite speakers ever. And the rear speakers? Wireless.

Music services may vary by country. Spotify is a registered trademark of Spotify AB. SoundTouch and the wireless note design are registered trademarks of Bose Corporation in the United States and other jurisdictions. A home Wi-Fi network and Internet access are required. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance®. The Bluetooth ® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Bose Corporation is under license. HDMI connection may not allow transmission of copyright protected material, depending on the capability of the signal source. The terms HDMI and HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface, and the HDMI Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC in the United States and other countries.


‘Nubra Valley Camels’ made possible by Nick Melidonis


196

CONTENTS Travel Third Leg

CANON

T H E A R T O F LO O K I N G AT T H I N G S D I F F E R E N T LY

256 246

TIMELESS BRITISH ST YLE L E G E N DA RY S E R V I C E A N D TIMELESS BRITISH STYLE I N A N I CO N I C C H I C AG O LANDMARK, THE PERFECT B L E N D O F CO N V E N I E N C E A N D LU X U R I O U S CO M F O R T

A N DA Z LOS ANGELES GOLDEN GODS OF SUNSET STRIP

272

264

MORE THAN A S I LV E R LINING

S I LV E R S E A S A R E DESIGNED FOR THOSE WHO DELIGHT IN THE THRILL OF DISCOV ERY WHILE INDULGING MIND A N D B O DY I N T H E M O S T L AV I S H SURROUNDINGS IM AG IN A B LE

326 A N C H O R S AWAY

VIA ROMA

290

ONE OF THE CITIES MOST IMPOSING PA L AC E S, R I C H I N H I S TO RY A N D LO C AT E D O N O N E OF THE MOST C E L E B R AT E D A N D TA L K E D A B O U T STREETS IN ROME

PA R K H YAT T DUBAI

U N PA R A L L E L E D ELEGANCE AND LU X U RY

W H E T H E R YO U R E S H A R I N G F I S H O F T H E DAY, A CO C K TA I L AT 5 P M O R OY S T E R S AT 7 P M , A L L W I L L CO M P E T E W I T H B R E AT H TA K I N G V I E W S A N D L I F E LO N G M E M O R I E S AT T H E A N C H O R AG E

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 21


Club World the smart way to travel Business Welcome to our Club World business class cabin where style and service go hand in hand and where time is your own to relax, work or sleep as you choose on our spacious seat that converts to a fully flat bed. Visit ba.com


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | M A G A R I E S TAT E S

MAGARI ESTATES Magari Estates is the realisation of a dream – the dream of two who forged a partnership and created a place which reflected their remarkable Italian heritage, their families traditions and their undeniably rich Italian culture steeped in the arts, architecture, literature, cuisine, wines and music. A unique opportunity afforded to a discerning few. Magari Estates is like no other. It is a home away from home, an escape where you are welcomed by familiar faces, where service is top tier, where staff are at the ready to cater to your every whim, desire and pleasure.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 25


CAVALIERE STEPHEN PELLEGRINO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Driven by a love of history and restoration of beautiful buildings, Stephen Pellegrino has culminated his expansive property development credentials with his rich Italian ancestry to create Magari Estates. With his passion for all things Italian, Stephen has been inspired to build a legacy that enables the discerning traveller to experience the richness of authentic Italy. Stephen was awarded the order of merit by the President of the Republic of Italy and on 2 June 2007 was knighted, giving him the status of “Cavaliere” in recognition of his involvement in literature, the arts, economic, social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities. Stephen’s experience in the Veneto region has spanned over 40 years of travelling to Italy with friends and family. He has many fascinating and endearing connections in the region and is excited about sharing his wealth of experiences with Magari Estate Members.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | M A G A R I E S TAT E S

Magari Estates is an unparalleled, boutique and luxurious members club that has been created by two families, whose desire was to share unique and exclusive localised experiences in the Veneto region to a select few. The Pellegrino and Fasoli families are the founders of Magari Estates, and provide the opportunity through their business to a small group of people throughout the world. The experiences, relationships and wealth of knowledge of Italy and the Veneto region that is shared between the group has allowed Magari Estates to offer a members club which is incomparable in its idea and output. Whether it be entry to private wineries, access to amazing restaurants which are off the beaten track, or being chauffeured by a local to explore the region. The Directors of Magari Estates have a wide range of experience, skills and passions which makes Magari Estates ever more diverse and unique.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 27


Formally a nobleman’s home, built in the 16th century, the villa

Magari Estates see their members as travel aficionados,

is now being transformed by the Magari Estates families into a

who demand quality living in all forms.

world class private estate. All care has been taken to maintain the buildings history and integrity through its design. Thick stone walls provide a cool retreat from the sun and create a nostalgic feel to its former history. The renowned architect has taken inspiration from the spectacular countryside with a contemporary feel within the walls of once an ancient home.

The concept of Magari Estates was to provide and showcase more than a hotel. Its primal desire is to give its members an all encapsulating experience of what Italian cultural is known best for, its culture, food, wine and environments. Magari members receive exclusive wine produced solely for them; have a local concierge who tailors individual itineraries including access

Ambient views over rolling vineyards surround the estate,

to places that are off limits to the public, creating experience

the design of each suite has respected the environment and

that cannot be simply acquired or booked.

maximised vistas over the countryside. The day spa which exceeds expectation offers all year swimming, sauna, steam room, spa treatments, gym and more to ensure members can relax in luxury and comfort at their private retreat.

All this can be shared due to the relationships and experience between the Pellegrino and Fasoli families.


PAUL PELLEGRINO PROJECT DIRECTOR

Having grown up around his father’s restoration activities and the rich experiences of travelling with his family to Italy, Paul has developed a love of art, architecture, building and design. Paul has spent his entire career in the property industry. Initially starting in commercial real estate, Paul then progressed to large scale property development projects throughout Australia. Paul is passionate about incorporating art and architectural design into his buildings to create timeless and historic living spaces for the future occupants to enjoy, making the Magari Estates project a perfect complement to his passions. Paul’s whole life has incorporated time spent in Italy which has created many friendships, associations and experiences that he is eager to share.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 29


MATTEO FASOLI MANAGING DIRECTOR

Matteo’s family has been producing high quality wines from the Verona region since 1925, and it was a natural thing for Matteo to enter the family business. Matteo has had an exciting and prosperous career and lifestyle within the wine industry, currently travelling to 38 countries and exporting over one million bottles of Fasoli Gino wine annually. Matteo is a proud local resident of Verona and is extremely excited about showcasing his local area to Members of Magari Estates. Through his knowledge of the area, relationships and connections with local businesses and places of interest, Magari Members will enjoy a rare and privileged, in-depth experience of Italy that is totally unique, authentic and inspiring. Matteo brings a wealth of experience, invaluable hospitality expertise and intimate local knowledge to Magari Estates.

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


Magari Estates, perfectly situated away

the estate make each day an adventure,

from the tourist masses yet conveniently

whether it be exploring local markets

close to the most undeniably beautiful

or hitting the slopes in the alps there is

places in the world, where you can

something on offer for all.

indulge your passions at your own pace, the options are endless.

Magari Estates the first of its kind in Italy, arguably the first of its kind in the world.

The estate is located within the viticultural

A private retreat created to be intimate

zone of Valpolicella, only 25 minutes from

and welcoming. A place where centuries

the city of Verona. Within close reach

of history converge, where cultures and

you can be in the canals of Venice in 60

modernity collide.

minutes, touring the twisting roads of Lake Garda in 40 minutes, shopping in designer boutiques in Milan in 90 minutes. Then the endless options of small towns and villages that are within day trips from

To secure your place in history go to the website magariestates.com or email reservations@magariestates.com for further information.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 31


B E L L I S S I M O

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | PA L A Z ZO V E R S AC E - G O L D COA S T

Palazzo Versace Gold Coast, Australia

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 33


WORDS

T

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

hroughout the world we have become quite conditioned to the many variants in the ratings system.

As economies develop, along with their insatiable appetites to out-do each other, the hotel industry continues to test itself and look for the Holy Grail of hospitality. As we experience the traditions of Europe’s four and five stars, even boutique properties, we compare throughout the United States its eclectic styling with the nouveau riche desperate to express their new-found edge. Then there’s the explosion of Dubai’s pure luxury. When you think it has stopped, along comes the category of pure decadence, from the sublime to the ridiculous. With this comes a level of opulence rarely experienced by the masses. Having bedded down in the remarkable, it becomes clear to us how and why this new ‘category de decadence’ has found its niche. The new wave of hotelier has spurned from the luxury fashion houses of Europe, from Dolce and Gabbana to Georgio Armani, and with the latest offering in Dubai, the famed Palazzo Versace. I’m proud to say that on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, it was in fact the first fashion label hotel leading the way with a magnificently located property, dripping with all the trimmings of Gianni and Donatella Versace. Being 2000 it was met with mixed reactions and struggled to find its way. But as time moved on, slowly but surely the well-credentialed Australian market embraced what has become the luxury destination. The real bonus for us is that being a single property (or two), they don’t come to the party with a plethora of self-absorbed management and visionless head office executives stifling innovation and being hamstrung by policy. They can really make their mark. Having enjoyed one of our best three days on the coast ever, Danielle and I selected Palazzo Versace Gold Coast as the celebration hotel for our 20-year anniversary. It’s hard not to be a little overwhelmed when you pull up, greeted by two gleaming Rolls Royce vehicles. On entering there is this flood of colour and design across thousands of tiles and fabrics, and a view perfectly framed like a natural tapestry – brilliant white sand, palm trees and crystal clear water. This is the postcard image of what is the Gold Coast.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | PA L A Z ZO V E R S AC E - G O L D COA S T

GRAND ENTRANCE TO THE PALAZZO VERSACE GOLD COAST

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 35


Our suite was as expected: a magnificence of design and textures throughout, showcasing the furnishings and an ensemble of handmade Versace crockery. Renowned for its megastar appeal, one would assume the Versace is reserved for the rich and famous only. Alas not true. But at any given time you might have Johnny Depp, Celine Dion, Pink or the Stones – just to name a few – meander through the lobby, or simply laying by the pool. The Versace boasts an exciting team headed up by General Manager Surbash Basrur, PR queen Jasmine Webb, Sales and Marketing Director Takehiro Ito. Having three days gave me plenty of time to catch up with Vie’s Executive Chef David Pommier, who dazzled us with his homemade pate, crabmeat lasagna, sautéed scallops and a sensational chocolate mousse, which I matched with my usual Vittoria short black. Restaurant Vitase was also amazing. As we arrived, Surbash and Jasmine surprised us with an anniversary dinner – a masterful six-course degustation selected by Surbash, supported with carefully selected wine pairings. Nobody can ever criticise the Gold Coast for not competing with the other big sister cities. This hotel has it all: world-class food with thoughtful and intimate hospitality techniques. On our final night it was a family affair, as we also celebrated our daughter’s 21st birthday. What better way to enjoy it with kids and the world’s best seafood buffet? It’s always difficult to rate a buffet. However, suffice to say this one needs to be on your bucket list when you next head to the Gold Coast. As the sun rose over the Broadwater it was time to get ready for the next leg of the adventure. With the Rolls Royce ready and packed, what better way to head out but in true Versace style? From our first to our final memory, it was pure luxury all the way.

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

PALAZZO VERSACE GOLD COAST 94 Seaworld Drive Main Beach, Gold Coast Australia | palazzoversace.com.au

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


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 ’


ADELAIDE TOBACCO SUEDE Cr afted for women R M W I L L I A M S . C O M


FOR A HOLIDAY YOU’LL WANT TO TELL EVERYONE ABOUT

With 40 years experience, no one knows the world quite like we do. So wherever you want to go, let our experts create your perfect holiday.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S C H E D U L E F I R S T L E G

T R AV E L SCHEDULE 2016

Preparing for thirty days and 43,000km, have you ever imagined that you could survive with purely carry-on luggage

APRIL TO JUNE APRIL 27

Arrive at The Versace Gold Coast

Celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary highlighted with a Rolls Royce transfer to Coolangatta Airport

MAY 1

Depart to Hong Kong flying Hong Kong Airways from Coolangatta

Mandarin Oriental concierge with a chauffeured transfer

MAY 3 - 5

Arrive at the Grand Hyatt

MAY 6 - 8

Arrive at the Langham

MAY 9 - 11

Arrive at the Peninsula

MAY 12

Depart Hong Kong for Denpasar, Indonesia

MAY 12 - 14

Stay at the Double Six Hotel

MAY 15 - 17

Stay at the W Hotel Seminyak

MAY 16

Fashion Shoot Ellen & James

MAY 18

Denpasar to Singapore

MAY 18 - 20

Stay at the Raffles Hotel

MAY 21

Fly Singapore to Maldives

MAY 21 - 23

Stay Taj Exotica Maldives

MAY 24

Transfer to Lilly Beach via small sea plane

MAY 24 - 29

Whale Shark excursion

MAY 30

Fly Male to Columbo, Sri Lanka

MAY 30

Opening Ceremony of Shangri La, Hambatotan Resort

Attended by the President and dignitaries

JUNE 1

Depart Sri Lanka via Hong Kong to Gold Coast

IN TOTAL HARTE INTERNATIONAL REVIEWED 1 AIRLINE, 24 RESTAURANTS & 10 SPA/GYM FACILITIES, 1 SIGNATURE GOLF COURSE & 11 HOTELS INCLUDING ALL LEVELS OF HOSPITALITY, CUSTOMER SERVICE, ACCOMMODATION & MEETING SPACE.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 41


GOLD COAST

T H E N E W G AT E WAY

Celebrating an unforgettable journey at 30 thousand feet

WORDS

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

BY

:

PHIL HARTE


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | H O N G KO N G

A

longside the great surf and sunshine, the Gold Coast offers residents the advantage of two airports: Gold Coast Airport, located near Coolangatta, and Brisbane Airport, just over an hour north. The infrequency of international flights from both these airports, however, means we often have to commute to Sydney for a big trip. But here’s the good news: Hong Kong Airlines has recently chosen Coolangatta as its Australian gateway! In celebration, we decided to do our own road test to Hong Kong. We were pleasantly surprised. Departing at a civilised 10.00am, we boarded the A330 and entered a very classy Business Class cabin with excellent felt bed seating.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 43


As is always the case, the staff were extremely helpful. The in-flight movie menu offered plenty of choice, while the food menu presented some small but sensible meals. Most importantly at this stage, we were on time. These days, there are little if any differences between airlines, but when someone decides to break out and get it right, it actually does make a big difference. Hong Kong Airlines has also introduced a ‘Sweeten You Up’ campaign, whereby passengers can celebrate a milestone occasion on board, from wedding anniversaries to children’s birthdays. Just jump online to register (call.centre@ hkairlines.com). The ‘Sweeten You Up’ campaign allows the crew to engage with the passengers, and also creates a sense of theatre throughout the flight. It’s a very nice touch! Being a daytime flight, we arrived into Hong Kong at 5.30pm following a quick pick-up at Cairns. Arriving into Hong Kong Airport, we were able to enjoy their new terminal. It’s an absolute breeze going through customs here – the staff at this airport always look to make things simple. Before our return flight we were lucky enough to spend some time in the Business Lounge, where we sampled some of the dim sums and wonton soup made to order. The lounge offered all of the expected services, including a seamless check-in, WiFi, showers and excellent workstations equipped with Apple desktop computers. When we finally boarded our plane home at 9.20pm – perfectly on time – we went straight to bed to rest out heads on these beautiful fluffy pillows for a seven-hour sleep. We always wonder about new carriers – will the product be up to scratch? Will they last? But from my experience, it all looks promising for Hong Kong Airlines, especially without the traffic congestion of Kingsford Smith to get home to the coast. Gold Coasters, the Hong Kong Sevens 2017 is looking pretty good to me, and with Hong Kong Airlines flights priced this attractively, you know who to fly with. Hong Kong Airlines hongkongairlines.com

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | M A N D A R I N O R I E N TA L - H O N G K O N G

WE ARE

FA N S

A masterpiece of luxury and contemporary design

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 45


WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

L

ocated in the heart of central Hong Kong, the Mandarin Oriental is a 30-minute cab ride from the airport and just a two-minute walk from the Star Ferry, which will also take you to Macau. The hotel is renowned for its remarkable customer service, which some say makes up for its small size. Yet, in our view, this was one of its advantages; the building has the intimacy and privacy of a boutique. Incredible artwork climbs the hotel walls while sculptures punctuate the open spaces. The tasteful selection of colours and textures has become a signature of the Mandarin Oriental hotel group. Our room was filled with an array of statues, luxurious fabrics, striking stone finishes and a priceless view, looking straight out over the harbour. After settling in with our chilled champagne and handmade chocolates, we began the hard work – choosing just one of the 24 available types of pillow. We soon found our hungrier selves at Man Wah’s, a superb Cantonese restaurant where we enjoyed prawn and lemongrass dumplings, Australian wagyu Cantonesestyle sizzling steak, pumpkin and crabmeat steamed buns and tiger prawns with lobster bisque. Keeping this three-hour lunch in mind, I took to the gym and burned it off with Technogym’s latest equipment. After a long cycle I moved into the steam room to wind down, surrounded by the spicy scent of cinnamon sticks.

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


C L A S S I C T R A VBERLAL N ER AN DA R IREIN TA L L- H O N G K O N G D S| |MM AN DR A IRNI NO O EN TA

REMEMBER TO FILL OUT YOUR EVENING PILLOW MENU

Meanwhile, Danielle worked on her relaxation in the spa, where she enjoyed Chinese herbal compress and reflexology massages, acupuncture, a luxurious sesame and ground rice body scrub and a green tea and algae body mask. After our gym and spa sessions, feeling completely invigorated, we let our minds enjoy some down time with a quality in-room movie, backdropped by the harbour’s twinkling lights. It’s no wonder the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has been nominated for the world’s top 11 hotels, with its spa rated Hong Kong’s top three five-star experiences. From here on in, we are definitely fans.

Www.mandarinoriental.com/HongKong

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 47


LEGENDARY H O S P I TA L I T Y

A Tranquil 5 Star lifestyle experience in the heart of bustling cosmopolitan Hong Kong

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

O

ur last visit to Hong Kong allowed me to meet up with my good mate, Managing Director of The Langham Hong Kong, Shaun Campbell.

It had been some seven years since our days in Melbourne and following Shaun’s meteoric rise to Managing Director this was the perfect opportunity to experience his hotel in Kowloon. With its longstanding British heritage, The Langham has been a symbol of tradition and impeccable hospitality since 1865. Despite its size, with some 550 rooms, the lobby still has that sense of warmth and comfort found in any boutique property.

MANAGIND DIRECTOR, LANGHAM HONG KONG, SHAUN CAMPBELL AND PHIL CATCHING UP OVER TEA

Fortunate enough to know the boss, we were personally led up to the magnificent Director’s Suit. As we entered we could have been back in the 1950s Hollywood; the room was striking with Art Deco touches, shelves stacked with first edition books, Chesterfields artwork, a director’s bungalow and mirrored hallways leading into the master bedroom. Inside the bedroom hung a dazzling chandelier, whose shapes and sparkles threw off the mirrored ceiling. Many hotels have started including themed suites to entice regular guests and frequent travellers searching for that little something extra.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | T H E L A N G H A M - H O N G KO N G

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 49


LANGHAM HONG KONG

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | T H E L A N G H A M - H O N G KO N G

LANGHAM’S DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TRIO

We also had the opportunity to sample one of only three Chinese restaurants in the world boasting three Michelin Stars. Tang Court, serving authentic Cantonese masterpieces from the Tang Dynasty, didn’t disappoint with its six-course degustation. We enjoyed smoked cod with honey syrup, blue point oysters with a port wine jus, stir fried lobster with shallots and spring onions, stir fried wagyu with onions and wasabi, seafood rice with a creamy parmesan sauce and, finally, a baked sago pudding filled with lotus seed paste. What The Langham lacks in harbour views it certainly makes up for with a delicious drink – served in the classy artesian bar – and great food, now being cooked on their newly released grill. All of The Langham hotels, located in London, Hong Kong and Chicago, remind their guests of the true meaning of hotel sophistication. We know that consistency is the key with any great hotel brand. As we were checking out, the lobby was bustling with media, paparazzi and Guiallian designers setting up to celebrate their new range of high teas. Our busy departure was not unlike our arrival, with limos weaving silently around the entrance and people meeting and greeting on the path. Shaun ensured every detail was perfect and that nothing was overlooked. It’s always refreshing to see the boss steering the ship.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 51


As we entered we could have been back in the 1950s Hollywood; the room was striking with Art Deco touches, shelves stacked with first edition books, Chesterfields artwork 52 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | T H E L A N G H A M - H O N G KO N G

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 53


The lobby was bustling with media, paparazzi and Guiallian designers setting up to celebrate their new range of high teas.

LANGHAM’S LITTLE BLACK DRESS

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


WORLD RENOWNED

PRESTIGE A creation of luxurious ambience and sophisticated style

WORDS

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

BY

:

PHIL HARTE


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | G R A N D H YAT T - H O N G K O N G

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 57


ARTWORK BY PAUL YOUNG ADORNS EACH HALLWAY

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | G R A N D H YAT T - H O N G K O N G

I

t has been some three years since we stayed at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and on my last visit it was undergoing an extensive refurbishment throughout the entire property.

Today also just happened to be the re-opening of the Grand Cafe and what a triumph with a plethora of offerings from Korean, Japanese, Cantonese and even the good old wagyu burger. But the really impressive additions were the bakery and desert offerings.

Approaching its 27th year, the Grand has certainly established itself as a landmark hotel of Asia and sitting attached to the HK Convention Centre, it makes for the first choice of the Business traveler.

It’s unusual to have a hotel showcase from deserts up, but as you enter, it’s all about the freshly baked breads, cherry crumbles and the mouthwatering home-made ice creams, pistachio, rum and raisin, chocolate mousse and the mango sorbet. The cool thing is they have set up a “Grab and Go” counter style, a short black, hot freshly baked muffin, read the paper and you’re gone.

Having the second best harbour in the world (Sydney is our #1), we arrived to be greeted by GM Philip Yu and escorted to their new corner suite 2225. As we entered, we became speechless, from the polished timber floors, the amazing sculptures, Paul Young artwork adorning the walls and the incredible lounge/dining room that seemed to merge in with the remarkable uninterrupted views from the bedroom to the bathroom. With full wall-to-wall technology and designer furnishings, the Grand has clearly put its stake in the ground of the luxury hotel space.

Aussie pastry chef David White was on hand to share some of his home-made specialties. He even threw in the Strawberry Romanoff, an 80’s classic. Touring the kitchens with Grand Cafe Chef de Cuisine Marc Briol and Executive Chef Gerhard Passrugger, I was thrilled to see such an inspired team working with only the freshest of local produce and having the ability to create most dishes “al a minute”, guests chatting with their personal chef, creating as they

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 59


go, a little chili here, a little soy there, the first truly interactive culinary customer experience. The following morning we couldn’t wait to sample my favourite floor, the Grand Club and as we entered, there was our good friend Scott Lui with his customary smile and genuine hug, he was so happy to see us back and so proud to give us the grand tour of his new look Grand Club. Today is our last and there is a lot to do, lunch at One Harbour Road, a quick meeting in the Grand Cafe, 430pm couples massage at Latitude Spa and dinner at Kaetsu. One Harbour Road is without doubt one of Asia’s best, so we order the favourites: steamed prawn dumplings with a selection of sweet chili, hot chili and hotter chili, hand-made crispy spring rolls, their signature wok-fried chili prawns with crab roe and a lamb fillet hotpot, to top off the lunch there is always room for the signature mango pudding and a last minute jasmine tea. PHIL MEETS UP WITH GRAND CLUB’S MANAGER SCOTT LUI

You really find it hard to not have a great time at One Harbour Road. With uninterrupted views, 2.5 hours went flying by and with manager Jack Ho, a 20yr veteran looking after us, you know it won’t be long until we return. Up on level 11 is Latitude, a very unique concept with 20 accommodation rooms, retreat suites where you check in for a health and wellness stay, daily massage, yoga, gym sessions and tailored healthy menus to ensure your stay has been meaningful. This brings us to the last supper. Kaetsu is located on the mezzanine floor, and over the past 15 years for some reason I have not managed to experience this remarkable restaurant. Booking in for teppanyaki, you usually know what to expect. Well, not this time! Chef Calvin Kwan was nothing short of spectacular. This was without doubt our best-ever Japanese experience, a selection of sashimi, Kuruma Prawns with crispy Kadaifi, egg yolk and mustard.

GRAND CLUB’S LIVE COOKING STATIONS GRAND CAFE’S CHEF De CUISINE, MARC BERIOL AND EXECUTIVE CHEF, GERHARD PASSRUGGER, PHIL HARTE

Hokkaido scallops, green peas and spring onion-Iwate A4 Wagyu sirloin, seasonal vegetables en papillot, the thing I loved was that chef Calvin created a series of masterful reductions in a series of miniature copper pots. Sakura shrimp with Mentaiko shrimp roe and fried rice. We all know that deserts really aren’t their cup of tea, but Calvin created a banana flambé with home-made rum and raisin ice cream and drizzled melted hot chocolate over a crispy praline. WOW!! So as the sun comes up on Victoria Harbour and breakfast is served, it’s hectic on the water below, with taxi’s, junks, cruise ships and the famed Star ferries, all frantically playing their part. It’s just another day in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

GR AND HYATT 1 Harbour Road Hong Kong | hongkong.grand.hyatt.com

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


A CAR FOR EVERY OCCASION Whether it’s a family escape, a luxurious get-away or travel for business, Hertz has a diverse range of modern vehicles and is sure to have the perfect option to drive your trip. Join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards to make the most of your rental. Members receive priority service, experience faster pick-ups and drop offs and can earn points to use for free rental days.

For more information head to hertz.com.au

BR ANDS | EMA AR - LEISURE


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | P E N I N S U L A - H O N G KO N G

GRANDE DAME OF THE FAR EAST WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

Unmatched classical grandeur and timeless elegance

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 63


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | P E N I N S U L A - H O N G KO N G

I

t’s Saturday morning at the famed Peninsula Hong Kong and I’ve taken a corner table in the lobby, so I can get a sense of the hotel’s magnetism.

Known as the ‘Grande Dame of the Far East’, the Peninsula was created in 1928 and is Hong Kong’s oldest hotel, a true icon in its own right. The lobby, which is glowing with ornate gold leaf, oozes grandeur with 12-meter high ceilings, a grand staircase and a team of porters who swing open the double glass doors on your arrival. It also has a plethora of luxury stores, including Prada, Cartier, Rolex, Piaget, Graff, Van Kleef & Arpels and Louis Vuitton. As a fleet of Rolls Royce vehicles arrives, I watch as one of many trophy-wedding parties emerge. This is the social elites’ number one choice for weddings in Hong Kong. I look across the lobby, amazed to see a line-up of guests who look to be waiting for a store opening or celebrity appearance. But it’s just the queue for the renowned Peninsula high tea. There are around 100 waiting and 150 already seated, so it’s clearly living up to its fame. As the string quartet plucks and strums from the balcony, it’s like reliving the glamour and nostalgia of a bygone era. Arriving at suite 2115, our first surprise is the extraordinary finishes and furnishings, all designed with simplicity, chic elegance and subtle modern accents.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 65


As well as spectacular views of Victoria Harbour, the room comes with the latest technology, including iPads in each room for lighting, curtain and air conditioner control, free global calls via Voip and a personal work station with printers and stationary. Beside the bed we find phones, adapters and headsets. Just as we settle in, some fresh jasmine tea arrives for our own Peninsula high tea. During our brief stay we dine at Spring Moon, a traditional Cantonese restaurant, where we enjoy braised goose broth, barbecued pork neck, a plate of steamed garlic and broccoli, special crab fried rice and a beautiful mango pudding to finish. Lunch is at the famed Felix’s restaurant on the 28th level. Arriving via the private elevator we are pleased to see a more avant-garde design with a stunning view of Victoria Harbour, which glistens before our window table. A carefully selected eight-course degustation menu is offered to showcase the flair of this world-class eatery. Part of that is beef tataki with wasabi balsamic dressing, pickled onions, chilli and white asparagus mousse, and sea eel tempura on a bed of avocado salsa, roasted baby corn and salted sprouts. Our main course is a spectacular roasted Challans duck breast with honey caramelized eggplant, olive oil and confit of green mango. To finish, we ordered a deconstructed Miyazaki mango Pavlova with passionfruit sherbet and passionfruit mousse. It’s a pleasant diversion from traditional Cantonese and a beautifully though-out experience with the menu to match. The afternoon ritual is into the gym for an hour followed by a steam. We use gyms religiously as we travel, so world-class equipment like Technogym is imperative. We also love a well-equipped weight room, stretching area and steam room. The Peninsula adds their signature inclusions, including the abundance of towels and robes, quiet areas to recuperate, a full array of branded toiletries and a plunge pool. All of this completes what I think is the best part of my day. At 2.30pm the line to high tea is still out the door, and the orchestra is still tinkering away. I manage to sneak in for a fabulous serve of prawn dumplings and some crispy prawn spring rolls. The Peninsula hotel group has 10 properties so far, which is the right amount to be boutique and iconic at the same time.

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


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

BEDSIDE TECHNOLOGY MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 67


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | P E N I N S U L A - H O N G KO N G

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

THE PENINSULA HONG KONG Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong | hongkong.peninsula.com

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 69


As a trusted advisor to private businesses, we share our clients’ drive to be better off. Kelly+Partners are the trusted advisor to some of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and business owners across a variety of industries. All of our senior team are business owners themselves and bring that lived experience and understanding of the mindset of business growth and risk management to the clients.

K

elly+Partners was founded on a handshake, and a determination to challenge the status quo, in 2006 as a small group of accountants dedicated to providing advice and expertise at the highest levels.

We maintain a ratio of associates to partners significantly below that of other firms and our partners are equity owners who have made a minimum 10-year commitment to be with the firm ensuring continuity of advice to our clients.

Kelly+Partners have achieved extraordinary results following the distinctive visions of our founders – a cohesive team of advisors intensely focused on helping our clients manage their entire financial universe and solving our clients’ most important problems.

Our structure ensures our business revolves around:

We have experience in the fields of accounting, taxation, business advisory, audit, taxation consulting, wealth management and family office services . Our specialty is counsel to private business owners, individuals and families of significant wealth to keep control of, preserve and grow their wealth. We have some of the largest, most complex and demanding businesses, owners, individuals and families across private advisory matters in Sydney and nationally. We have a track record of original and groundbreaking solutions and innovations that have had a dramatic impact on the way business is conducted in our industry and are regarded as thought leaders. Our distinctive ownership and operational structure defines our approach.

● a careful selection of clients ● limiting the number and type of matters we undertake ● focusing on matters that require the attention, extensive experience and sophistication of our partners ● having the scale and depth to do the best work for our clients and not losing the personal relationship ● the flexibility to bring the right expertise to bear without regard to factors extrinsic to providing the best service and advice ● working together on a task-force basis on all of our matters, bringing to bear the requisite mix of people and expertise across practice areas. Our structure and approach attract talented and entrepreneurial accountants, who enable us to achieve excellent results for our clients in complex and critical matters. Determined to be the best, not the biggest.

kellypartners.com.au


It’s not the big who beat the small anymore, but the fast who beat the slow. It’s not the amount of marble in your reception, but the relevance of your insight. It’s not an accident who succeeds today, but a deliberate choice of a capable team. It’s not the latest management fad, but proven principles. It’s not that things are bad, it’s just that good isn’t great. It’s not those who talk about business, but those who, like you, are doing the business. We help business owners who want to be better off.

#betteroff kellypartners.com.au


CELEBRATED PLANTATION GRILL

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | D O U B L E 6 - B A L I B R A N DS | MO N D RIA N - LOS A N G EL E S

DOUBLE

6

BEACH HAVEN

Bali may be known for backpacker bars and surf beaches, but behind the island’s beguiling surface beats a property bursting with a culture all on its own

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 73


B

ali’s hospitality spearhead Kadek Wiranatha made the courageous decision to demolish his family club and enter the world of luxury hospitality with the Double-Six Luxury Hotel.

his wasn’t, however, a completely unanticipated move; Kadek had long since established his reputation as a consistent and innovative restaurateur with Ku De Ta, Chez Gado Gado and Cocoon, internationally renowned beachside nightclubs and restaurants located in Seminyak.

DOUBLE 6 LUXURY PENTHOUSE

Arriving at the intimate boutique-style property, comprised of 146 exclusively designed and furnished rooms and penthouses, Kadek’s decision made immediate sense. Australian restaurant legend Robert Marchetti heads the hotel’s Plantation Grill, which is now a flagship eatery in Seminyak. Meanwhile, the hotel’s other restaurant, Seminyak Italian Food opposite Double Six Beach, offers exciting and innovative modern Italian. We stayed for the next three days in one of the penthouses, which offered a 24-hour butler service, our own alfresco rooftop loft and spa bath, a private cinema and breathtaking views of Double Six Beach. Relaxation isn’t hard to find in these suites; if you’re not slipping into a dream while semi-submerged in the bathtub, you will while lounging on the comfortable, smartly appointed furniture.

DOUBLE 6 BEACH SUNSET AQUA PERLA SPA

Meanwhile, eating breakfast never looked so good. On our first morning we ordered breakfast on the terrace and enjoyed the warmth and glow of the rising sun. To treat our bodies, we headed to the Acqua Perla Spa for a 2.5-hour couple’s indulgence treatment. This all-over body treatment is a must for beauty and massage lovers. During our stay we enjoyed both the hotel’s signature eateries. For us, Plantation Grill stood out most, offering a fascinating menu of freshly caught local seafood prepared with Balinese culinary finesse. I can’t remember how long it had been since I’d eaten a traditional prawn cocktail with such noteworthy cocktail sauce! Laced with a little Tabasco, lemon and Worcestershire sauce, however, this was one I’d never tried before. Piquant, rich and sea-salt fresh. Our mains included a freshly caught and expertly prepared lobster Thermidore, a succulent mediumrare wagyu eye fillet with garden vegetables and a singular side of baked macaroni and cheese. The meal’s finale arrived in the form of a sublime chocolate soufflé and – of course – my favourite short black.

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

DOUBLE-SIX LUXURY HOTEL 66 Double Six Beach, Seminyak, Bali | double-six.com

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


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W H OT E L - B A L I

S E M I N YA K SEDUCES In true Indonesian style The W Bali will seduce you with its soulful serenity

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 77


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W H OT E L - B A L I

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

CHIC W BALI SEMINYAK

T

hree years ago, we had a chance to visit the fabulous W Hotel Seminyak, Bali. Our time there was quite special, as it was over Christmas with the family and it was their first time on the island. Things tend to simply roll on by in Bali, no big hurry, no need to rush and never too many changes, except for the W. This very hip luxury property has gone from cool to super cool in three years and having just spent the weekend there, it was to be the Woobar, Starfish Bloo and restaurant Fire that really turned up the heat. Bali over the years has had a reputation of targeting the conference groups, backpacker market and holiday makers. It has really fallen a little shy of seducing the high-end luxury clientele. Seminyak has fast spread its wings via a plethora of high-end clothing stores and interesting restaurant concepts. Along with that comes the odd celeb chef and the adventurous Sydney and Melbourne entrepreneurs hoping to make a new start in an ever-growing market. The W has not wavered in its pursuit of excellence and ensuring that the overall experience is both memorable and somewhat breath-taking and you always know there will be a little something extra. Restaurant Fire has opted to feature an array of the world’s best steaks with an impressive table side presentation of the best cuts personalised by the executive chef Jack Yoss, with an array of cooking options and suggestions. From Australia to New Zealand, Wagyu to Black Angus, Tomahawks to Strip Loin, all complemented with BÊarnaise, black peppercorn and a host of mustards, salts or a simple jus.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 79


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


T RHAO VT EE L L |- B A L I C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W

W BALI SEMINYAK - WOO BAR

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 81


STARFISH BLOO COMMUNAL TABLE FOR YOU AND 20 OF YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS

Starfish Bloo has become renowned for its Sunday brunches, arriving at 1130am, you will quite easily find yourself lounging in a bean bag with a cocktail desert or short black some five hours later, wondering does life really get much better,and as the waves come crashing up to the shore the sun starts its retreat on the horizon, celebrating its tapestry of orange and pinks with the odd bolt of lightning off in the distance, threatening but only teasing.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W H OT E L - B A L I

WWW.ETSY.COM/SHOP/ELLENNJAMES ELLENANDJAMES PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELLE HARTE T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 83


WWW.ETSY.COM/SHOP/ELLENNJAMES ELLENANDJAMES PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELLE HARTE

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W H OT E L - B A L I

Knowing that you can't possibly eat another thing, you hear the haunting call of the famous WOOBAR, subtly concocting their own mix of tunes, headlining only the best DJ's on offer, and as sounds waft over nearby Seminyak the locals start their pilgrimage to this allconsuming music fest that now dominates the hip and trendy night scene of Bali. The WOOBAR is notorious for their signature cocktails laced with cinnamon, citrus cake, Cointreau, brandy, lemongrass, ginger and the odd splash or three of Grey Goose. There are no limits, as you succumb to the intoxicating vibe that is the WOO!! We were incredibly fortunate to be part of the W media launch for the world’s first in-house sound studio. The W has joined with Coca Cola, Pioneer and a host of music partners to build a world class studio, allowing local and international muso's to collaborate, along with opening the doors to in-house guests to either cut a demo or simply fulfil a passion.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 85


RELAXING AT THE W RETREAT AND AWAY SPA

PRIVATE AND SECLUDED ONE BEDROOM VILLA

Our last night was quite unexpected, being invited to the Ice Bar joining a select group to enjoy a wine maker’s dinner with a twist. As is expected by W, there was to be no sit-down stuffy six course "how do I get out of here" dinner but a very well thought out live seven course degustation with live stations offering of marinated NZ lamb, braised duck, crispy pork belly, and beautifully poached salmon with lime and lemongrass. All this and a host of carefully selected wines with roaming semoliares , with settings of lounges scattered around the grass, an eclectic group of VIP's with just the right tunes pulling the whole night together. It became clear that Bali was in good hands with the W team's passion and pride that seems to always be part of the Balinese DNA. 86 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


EUGENE TAN TURNS WALLS INTO WINDOWS

AWARDS 2016


EPITOME OF

FA R E A S T E R N

Romance

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | R A F F L E S - S I N G A P O R E

Despite Singapore’s popularity, I had yet to experience the country’s flagship hotel.

I

n 1987, a century after the first opening of the Raffles Hotel, the Singaporean government marked it a national monument.

After its nostalgic debut in the 1830s, Dr Charles Emmerson took on the lease and created his very own beach house. It wasn’t until his death that the Starkies brothers from Armenia acquired the lease and opened the doors of the Raffles Singapore, boasting ten luxury rooms. With the inclusion of two new wings and 44 additional suites, Raffles became the first hotel to include powered ceiling fans and electric lights – the future looked bright. The 1930s Depression led to the brothers’ demise, both declaring bankruptcy and forcing the hotel to close. Shortly after, a private company called Raffles Inc. took control. Surviving W WII and the Japanese occupation, a full refurbishment was undertaken, which restored it to its original glory of 1915. These multimillion-dollar renovations guaranteed the hotel a lifetime of luxury. Raffles has enjoyed the pomp and ceremony of kings, queens, movie stars, writers, musicians and heads of state, all of whose photographs are showcased in the Raffles Hall of Fame. As I strolled through the hallways and balconies, across the original timber floors and beneath the array of crystal chandeliers, I couldn’t help but feel part of history. As our butler escorted us to suite 205 we felt as if we’d gone back in time. Indeed, when we walked into our room, it was like crossing the threshold into 1915, with all the beauty of the stained timber floors, the high ceilings, powered ceiling fans and timeless brass switches. Beautiful period tiling led into the ensuite.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 89


With it fast approaching 4.30pm, we hit our religious workout at the gym, which is discreetly located on the pool deck. Despite being small, it’s well equipped with an excellent steam room and outdoor pool, surrounded by the concrete jungle of modern-day Singapore. That night we explored the hotel’s many shops and eateries. When Danielle heard that it was the home of the famous Singapore Sling, there was no question about our first stop. Long Bar at Raffles has been serving up the famous Sling since 1915. Before we’d even sat down to enjoy a casual night of alfresco dining, Danielle had sampled three of their very best. It was to be an early night and as we meandered back through the hallways and signature boutique stores, we quickly realised how easy it was to love this place. Waking to a brilliant sunrise, the gardeners were out in force and the staff were busily preparing for breakfast in the Tiffin Room, which included fresh croissants, fruits and eggs to order. Even early in the day the lobby became a hive of activity, which made us feel like we were in another century. Lunch was enjoyed at the magnificent Raffles Grill, where we were thrilled by the mastery of their Michelin Star guest chef, Roberto Rispoli, who’d flown in from 11 Carpaccio in Paris. Having curated a selection of his signature dishes, which reflected his cooking philosophy and interpretation of authentic Italian cuisine, Roberto presented his menu with abundant pride, knowing we were there to critique as well as enjoy. We started with grilled octopus and tomato marmalade, fennel seeds and a seafood bruschetta supported with coral sauce, followed by the medium-rare seared swordfish with eggplant parmigiana, black olives and a delicious tortellini carbonara. Dessert was an exquisite lemon infinity with lemon cream, candied lemon, lemon sable, lemon ice cream and meringue. After lunch, as always, we hit the gym in preparation for a big night at the Long Bar Steakhouse. This traditional steakhouse was a dream with only the best beef on offer. Unsurprisingly, we decided on the Australian fillet with freshly made Béarnaise and scrumptious sides of sautéed mushrooms, roasted broccolini and silky creamed potato. For dessert we enjoyed traditional profiteroles with chocolate crème. One must see the magnificence of Raffles Singapore to believe it. This colonial masterpiece is rightly protected by the government and cannot be categorized within the usual hotel ratings. Raffles is a hospitality destination where you’ll be swept back in time. All aspects of this time capsule have been meticulously restored with the dedication and attentiveness of the exceptionally proud staff. Finally, as we enjoyed our last day indulging in a eucalyptus and lavender body scrub and a full-body deep tissue massage, we had time to reflect and wonder what life was like at the famed Raffles Singapore of 1915.

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

LOBBY RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE TORTELLINI CARBONARA


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | R A F F L E S - S I N G A P O R E

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

RAFFLES SINGAPORE 1 Beach Road Singapore | raffles.com/singapore

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 91


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J E X O T I C A - M A L D I V E S

EXOTIC MALDIVES

WORDS

A

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

As we began the descent towards Male in the Maldives, the A330 tilted just so, letting us pear down the wing at the thousands of scattered islands, a string of pearls in a bowl of crystal blue. As the plane banked, rocking slightly from side to side, a teal hue reflected off the water and flushed through the cabin. Suddenly our windows became postcards, framing the white sand and coral beneath the ripples.

By this stage the cabin was aloud with gasps and the shuffling of bags and camera gear; no one wanted to miss this incredible arrival shot.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 93


Finally, after a smooth touch down, the doors swung open and we looked beyond the blazing tarmac to see a crowd of smiles and waves. Casting off from our private boat launch we watched the palette of aqua and China blues bleed into each other, awestruck. The Maldives must be, we thought to ourselves, the most sought-after resort destination on the planet. For 20 minutes our boat navigated the bustling harbour and endless wakes of passing jet boats and passenger ships. Suddenly we saw a resplendent turquoise belt wrapped around a fastapproaching island ahead. This was home of Taj Exotica Resort and Spa. It’s difficult to choose the right words to capture the island’s beauty – if there are any. We hope that Danielle’s shots do the majesty of this environment justice. As we prepared to dock, the deep blue water faded into crystal with hundreds of fish and manta rays flitting and swooping beneath the surface. A turtle floated lazily under the pier, crabs sidestepped up the nearby shore. A short buggy ride took us to our paradise home – a spacious, sunlit villa suspended over the teal water. Leaving as quickly as it arrived, a thunderstorm temporarily turned the sky into a molten orb of cloud, lightning and streams of sun. As the clouds retreated to the horizon, we opened our doors to welcome the breeze of the Indian Ocean that lay miles before us. The ocean’s sparkle competed with our private infinity pool, where we intended to enjoy the iced bottle of champagne and chocolate truffles left for our arrival. Taj Exotica Resort and Spa features world-class facilities, restaurants, spas, gyms, boutiques and overwater and beachfront villas on just 700 x 20 metres of sand – a remarkable feat of design. We passed our days at the Taj Exotica as if in a dream: watching magnificent sunrises and schools of fish hover around our pier, taking yoga classes and strolling the powder-white sand, our path to the restaurant each day. There were no decisions to be made, except choosing our next activity. Should we kayak, snorkel or take off for the horizon on a jet-ski adventure?

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J E X O T I C A - M A L D I V E S

SINGING AND SWINGING IN THE INDIAN OCEAN

PRESIDENTIAL OVERWATER VILLA - TAJ MALDIVES

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 95


On our last day we captured some incredible shots from a swing anchored 100 metres offshore. As the final sunset melted over us, the tide washing over our feet, we turned to each other and paused – the smiles said it all. To match the sunset – if it were possible! – we enjoyed our last dinner at The Deep End, a fine dining restaurant perched over the water. Prepared by our host chef Abhishek Dhyani, I enjoyed the Norwegian tooth fish, chargrilled with a light beurre blanc and served with freshly sautéed garden vegetables. Opposite me, Danielle enjoyed the broiled lobster with grilled asparagus and velvety hollandaise sauce. Dhyani’s signature dessert, ‘the Opera’, was delicious and entertaining. After a platter of fruit purees, crumbles and berries topped with chocolate shavings, the masterpiece arrived: a frosted chocolate sphere. One tap and the delicate walls caved onto a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream hidden within, while Pavarotti’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ played softly in the background.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J E X O T I C A - M A L D I V E S

Our regular midnight strole along the over water villa boardwalk TAJ EXOTICA

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 97


LOCAL ROCK LOBSTER WITH PESTO RISOTTO

On our last morning we walked along virtually untouched sands, the odd hand or footprint, likely left by a groundskeeper who would rake the shore by hand each day. As our boat docked, a rush of sand crabs disappeared into the water. We waved goodbye to the Maldivian staff, who gave us a beautifully warm farewell and hoped we would be back. We hoped so too.

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

TAJ EXOTICA RESORT AND SPA Emboodhu Finolhu, South Male Atoll Republic of Maldvies | taj.tajhotels.com

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

BODUBERU WELCOME PARTY


Compromise should never be an option.

15% OFF PRESTIGE COLLECTION Audi maintains a reputation for quality and luxury and a range of Audi models are available from the Hertz Prestige Collection. To celebrate our exclusive partnership with Audi, we’re giving you 15% off the Prestige Collection. To take advantage of this offer visit hertz.com.au and enter Promotional Code (PC) 310223 when making your booking.

T&C’s: [1] Offer available for rentals commencing 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017. [2] This offer is applicable for rentals in participating locations in Australia only. [3] Offer excludes taxes, fees, optional products and services, fuel, additional charges such as airport taxes and sundry fees and the GST that applies to these charges. [4] This offer may not be combined with any other offer, discount promotion, special offer or coupon. [5] Offer applies to the following vehicles groups subject to availability: Intermediate Auto Fun (H5), Fullsize Prestige (F5), Intermediate Prestige SUV (V5), Fullsize Prestige SUV (J5). [6] Visit hertz.com.au for full terms and conditions.


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | L I LY B E A C H - M A L D I V E S

ALL INCLUSIVE Days in Paradise devoting full time floating in the balmy Indian Ocean. When planning your Maldives adventure, there’s no doubt that several new and exhilarating options will have you asking many questions. WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 101


LILLY BEACH

A

rriving at the departure gate, it was to be our first flight on a seaplane. I immediately recall 007 careering down the dock, guns blazing, explosions and a last minute lunge for the open door, as his getaway of choice lifts off.

Seaplanes are very cool, especially with luggage stuffed into the cabin along with the 15 other passengers. You aren’t really concerned about the laid back seating or the onboard snacks and cocktails; this is all about the take off. With everyone clicking frantically and selfies galore, we are up and gliding comfortably at 5,000 feet and the sights are magical. Before the sweat has dried from my brow and my heart rate has settled, it’s time to tighten the belts as the captain swoops in on Lily Beach, tilting side to side. We start waving to the welcoming committee on land, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new guests. 102 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

Flaps down and in we go for a perfect touch down, gliding across nature’s magical aquarium. As like all island resorts the greetings are incredibly welcoming with drums, leis and the signature cocktail, all to set the scene for what is to come over the next week. The island of Huvahendhoo houses a paradise that draws its visitors into a world of wellbeing. Lily Beach Resort and Spa is the first five star, all-inclusive Platinum Plan resort in the Maldives. This means there is nothing else to pay – no gigantic bill on departure – because all your food, drinks and mini bar are covered 24/7. Boasting 125 villas, from deluxe beachfront to the magnificent overwater collection, the resort also offers four 180-square-metre Villa Sunset Suites.


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | L I LY B E A C H - M A L D I V E S B R A N DS | R.M. WILLIAMS

LILLY BEACH

OUR PRIVATE SUNSET VILLA LILY BEACH RESORT, MALDIVES

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 103


JUMP, JUMP - AS IF WE WERE NAVY SEALS, IN WE WENT AND LIKE AN

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | L I LY B E A C H - M A L D I V E S

DANIELLE’S SOLO DIVE COMES FACE TO FACE WITH THE BEHEMOTH

ON TIME TRAIN CAME THIS BEHEMOTH, 4 METRES LONG AND 2 METRES WIDE

When entering our villa, the hallway is a window to the sea with six metres of toughened glass and a menagerie of turtles, rainbow-coloured jack fish and manta rays on the other side as if orchestrated, part of a never ending show, changing by the minute. The accommodation is certainly luxurious with linen covered daybeds, natural stone and polished timber finishes. Each room, from the bathroom to the bedroom, enjoys a magnificent view of this breathtaking aquatic playground. Eager to explore the island, it is into our gym gear readying for the daily workout. As found, the health club was perfectly equipped with a gym, tennis courts and spa. Over the following seven days our schedule was to include treatments, fine dining, reviews and a chance to swim with the whale sharks! Each evening was unique in its own way: from amazing sunsets to laying on the wharf feeding the thousands of fish, reef sharks and manta rays.

This was to be my first time and it was met with a little trepidation. As I started drifting I became transfixed by the myriad of marine life and the hypnotic colours. At first you feel vulnerable, but then a sense of calm takes over and you aimlessly float in awe. Today it’s early to rise and as like no other, this day will prove to be our greatest challenge – facing off with a whale shark. Our day started with a 30-minute jet boat ride out to the edge of the Atoll. On approaching we went from the clear and turquoise water to the rolling deep blue. As we left the safety of the reef, it was as if we were dropping of the Earth’s edge. Our guides were frantically readying us when the dreaded sound echoed – “Jump! Jump!” – like we were navy seals. In we went and like an on-time train came this behemoth, four metres long and two metres wide. I had a bird’s eye view, but like a puma Danielle pounced, Canon in hand, fearlessly snapping away and capturing the moment.

You very quickly lose track of time in the Maldives, as there is no reason to set the alarm or go to bed early. There are so many options each day; your challenge is what to do next!

Still trying to catch my breath, throngs of tourists started gathering. But the wife was still shooting, only surfacing for a quick gasp of air and it was back down again.

Each afternoon Danielle and I would book the tennis court for an hour and then finish with some snorkeling around our villa.

Swimming with a whale shark was a dream come true and as we started our trip home you can only imagine the tales told. T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 105


A VIEW TO DIE FOR AT SUNSET

Our last couple of days were spent perfecting our snorkeling skills and seeking out the schools of reef sharks, manta rays and turtles. From our Sunset Villa 401, we spent our last night with a little room service, perched out over the reef. It was our butler who created what was to be a magnificent finale to our time at Lily Beach, beautifully preparing miso and wonton soup, Peking duck pancakes, sizzling steak and freshly baked profiteroles.

PURE LUXURY WITH DAILY BUTLER SERVICE

As outlined earlier, this is the first all-inclusive Platinum Plan resort in the Maldives. So at 6.00am, when the seaplane arrives to pick us up, we knew there was no bill. We can’t thank the incredible staff at Lily Beach Resort and Spa enough for their genuine hospitality. We were so amazed to see the pride in their work, rarely seen at home. ARABIAN RANCHES 106 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | L I LY B E A C H - M A L D I V E S

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

LILY BEACH RESORT AND SPA Huvahendhoo, South Ari Atoll Republic of Maldives | www.lilybeachmaldives.com

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 107


LANKA

DISCOVER THE WONDER

Until recently, elephants, tea and cricket were Sri Lanka’s national symbols – then the country’s first and most exclusive resort, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, opened its doors. WORDS

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

BY

:

PHIL HARTE


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | H A M B A N T O TA R E S O R T A N D S P A - S R I L A N K A

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 109


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | H A M B A N T O TA R E S O R T A N D S P A - S R I L A N K A

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 111


ENJOYING SHANGRI LA’S DELUXE SUITE

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


D

uring the resort’s official opening, the sleepy coastal village of Hambantota on the southern most tip of Sri Lanka came to life, teeming with dignitaries, world press, a few hundred industry leaders and Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, and his cabinet. Although we had accepted an invitation to review Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa months earlier, it wasn’t until we arrived, amidst all the commotion, that we realised what a privilege this was. Set upon a 145-acre coconut plantation on the country’s south coast, this expertly designed property is the Shangri-La hotel group’s latest tropical and uniquely Sri Lankan addition. President Sirisena directed the opening with help from guests from Colombo in a celebration felt by the local Sri Lankan and international tourist communities alike. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa is the first of two Shangri-La hotels in Sri Lanka and the third in the Indian Ocean. The beachside resort features 300 rooms, the country’s biggest and most entertaining kids club and extensive wedding and event facilities. Listen up, golfers. This is the first Sri Lankan hotel with its own 18hole, par-70 golf course. Part of the Shangri-La’s Golf and Country Club, the course was designed by renowned golf course designer Rodney Wright and incorporates three individually landscaped zones. During the opening a cavalcade of limos and helicopters swept across the resort’s perimeters, lending a cinematic air to the event. The country’s best dancers and performers, however, reminded us of the resort’s down-to-earth origins.

AFTERNOON FEEDING TIME WITH THE LOCAL HERD

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony in the lobby we headed to the resort’s lagoon to marvel the flying colours of a Cirque du Soleil-style extravaganza.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 113


Then, still star struck by the performance, we settled into a gala dinner of authentic and mouthwatering Sri Lankan cuisine. Familiar with such events, it was fantastic to watch the smooth mechanics of the resort’s Sri Lankan and international management team. As one of the first lucky guests we experienced the resort’s early steps in what will be a long journey of success. Chefs were still sampling tasting menus, spa therapists were still honing their skills and the rooms were completely untouched – there was significant pressure to perform. But despite this, no department – from customer service to dining – fell short. For a memorable finale we were invited to dine in the resort’s latest concept eatery, Sera (meaning ‘lemongrass’), a brave and progressive street-style restaurant. Sera’s talented chef, Annie, prepared us shrimp spring rolls, lychee-flavoured red duck curry and spicy wok-fried tiger prawn with succulent black bean sauce. Lucky for us, the staff were extra attentive, eager to earn glowing first reviews. Adjoining the restaurant is a lush herb and vegetable garden, from which the kitchen picks its ingredients. Picture yourself against an ocean backdrop, sharing platters of prawns with your family, with fresh basil wafting through the salty breeze. This takes the Chef ’s Table concept to another level. Among the countless impressions left by the Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa was the passionate General Manager, Mathis, whose enthusiasm and capacity to rally his team stood out during the opening celebrations. Ever the photographer, Danielle was in her element shooting her first presidential gathering. You’ll see by these spectacular images just how unforgettable this night in Hambantota was.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | H A M B A N T O TA R E S O R T A N D S P A - S R I L A N K A

WELCOMING SRI LANKA’S PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA

LET THE FESTIVALS BEGIN

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

SHANGRI-LA’S HAMBANTOTA RESORT AND SPA Chithragala, Ambalantota, Sri Lanka | shangri-la.com

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 115


T R AV E L SCHEDULE 2016

From the wedding anniversary to the Rolls it was a sea plane to the Maldives and swimming with the whale sharks that provided the life long memories. -Danielle Harte

IN TOTAL HARTE INTERNATIONAL REVIEWED 19 RESTAURANTS, 1 CLIPPER, 2 AIRLINES, 7 AIRPORT LOUNGES, 8 SPAS & GYM FACILITIES, 6 HOTELS INCLUDING ACCOMMODATION, CONFERENCE & MEETING SPACE, CUSTOMER SERVICE AND OVERALL HOSPITALITY.

JULY TO AUGUST JULY 21

Arrive at Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney to indulge in a pre-flight Lunch and Spa treatment

Depart on the QF A 380 Sydney to Los Angeles

JULY 21

Arrive into LA connect via South West to New York

Stay at the Langham Place, 400 Fifth Avenue

JULY 21 - 23

Langham review of the Al Fiori restaurant

JULY 25

Depart JFK to Moscow via British Airways

Stay at the Park Hyatt Ararat, Moscow

Russian Massage - voted our worlds best!! (4hours long)

JULY 29 - 31

Depart Moscow to London via British Airways

Transfer to Langham London

Langham Restaurant review - Landau Roux

AUGUST 1 - 3

Stay at the Taj Buckingham Gate London

Enjoy the Cinema Suite & review 80 days Around the World Restaurants

AUGUST 4 - 7

Depart London to Athens via British Airways

Stay at the Grand Bretagne Hotel review Roof Garden Restaurant

Visit the Olympic Stadium dinner review at the St George Hotel

Transfer from Grand Bretagne to the Port of Piraeus to embark on the

Star Clipper bound for Venice

AUGUST 7 - 16

Santorini, Mykonos, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Hvaar

AUGUST 16

Arrive in Venice depart to Las Vegas on British Airways August 17

AUGUST 17 - 20

Stay at the Mirage Hotel on the Strip

Enjoy ‘LOVE’ show starring the Beatles

AUGUST 21

Depart Las Vegas to LAX to Sydney

AUGUST 23

Arrive in Sydney QF A 380

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


NEW

The best from Bose® just got wireless. QUIETCOMFORT® 35 WIRELESS HEADPHONES W O R L D - C L A S S N O I S E C A N C E L L AT I O N . QuietComfort® 35 wireless headphones are engineered with world-class noise cancellation that makes quiet sound quieter and music sound better. Free yourself from wires and connect easily to your devices with Bluetooth® and NFC pairing. And enjoy up to 20 hours of wireless listening per battery charge. S I LV E R

BLACK

QC35.BOSE.COM.AU

The Bluetooth word mark is a registered trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such mark by Bose Corporation is under license.


N YO

Langham Place New York, the United States The Big Apple!

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


EW ORK

C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M P L AC E - N E W YO R K

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

A sublime mix of captivating design thoughtfully refined signatures and genuine service await you at Langham Place New York

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 121


T

here is something special about the descent into JFK International Airport – you automatically get a sense of excitement and grandeur. New York City is a city like no other.

New York City boasts many hero sites and holds many remarkable memories: from the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street, to the Empire State Building and the Yankee Stadium, to the monument site of 9/11, one of the country’s greatest disasters. At 5.30pm, after passing through it, the Midtown Tunnel spat us out right onto Lexington Avenue, then Madison Avenue and finally to the corner of West 37th and the famed 5th Avenue. In the city’s most coveted district, Midtown Manhattan, stands a limestone tower that soars 57 storeys into the sky. Located between Bryant Park and the Empire State Building, the hotel we chose embodies sharp metropolitan style and captures the dynamic spirit of the city. Here we were at Langham Place New York and what a location it was, right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, number 400 5th Avenue. This is just two blocks from the Empire State Building, eight blocks from the Rockefeller Centre and a 10-minute walk from Central Park. Peak hour in NYC is not for the faint hearted. But as our door opened and the signature doorman moved swiftly towards us, offering a pleasant “Welcome to the Langham”, we felt relieved. Before we knew it, our bags were out, the limo was gone and we were in the hands of the sleek reception team at Langham Place New York. Staff at New York hotels are unique; it’s as though they were the very instigators of the hospitality business. From Stephanie at the front desk to David at the concierge, the team at Langham Place New York were like a well-oiled machine. Our mission – and “we did choose to accept it” – was to review two of New York City’s best restaurants: Ai Fiori and its sister property Marea at Central Park, both Michelin Star gems. It was also Danielle’s mission to capture some hero shots of this majestic city. Arriving to our Empire Suite we were thrilled to see that as well as a fabulous view of the iconic Manhattan skyline, it also boasted modern luxury and urban sophistication. All rooms and suites featured indulgent amenities, including Swedish Duxiana beds and large marble bathrooms with gentle rainfall showers that peek through oversized glass windows. The bonus was our own washing machine and dryer discreetly tucked away. When was the last time your hotel room had these? Five-star properties tend to only offer over-priced laundry services, so this was a surprise! We also enjoyed the luxury of a neat little kitchenette with an oven.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M P L AC E - N E W YO R K

MODERN LUXURY IN MID TOWN MANHATTAN

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 123


AI FIORI WHICH MEANS ‘AMONG THE FLOWERS’ A TRUE MICHELIN STAR EXPERIENCE

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M P L AC E - N E W YO R K

After showering and getting dressed, we headed down to our 8.00pm dinner reservation at the acclaimed AI Fiori, which means ‘among the flowers’ in Italian. On entering we marveled an amazing gallery of art and photography, which adorned the walls of the bar and restaurant. Our waiter John was – as is the norm in New York – a budding playwright who was moonlighting three nights a week – a remarkable feat given that his food and wine knowledge was exceptional. We left the menu selection to him – a great decision. The signature starter, crudo di passera, was spectacular: fluke crudo topped with American sturgeon caviar and meyer lemon. This was accompanied by the capensate, seared scallops with smoked eggplant, Castelvetrano olives and pickled radish. Our restaurant reviews are usually all about pacing ourselves. But just when we thought there was time to rest, out came a number of incredible chef ’s suggestions, including the spaghetti with crab meat, lemon and bottarga chilies, and the Ligurian crustacean ragu, sepia, scallops and spiced Molina, which was my favourite dish of the night. Main courses were exceptional, as expected. I enjoyed the Australian lamb en crepinette, duck fat potatoes and bagna cauda with leek confit, while Danielle lost herself in the signature Long Island duck, kohlrabi, broccoli rabi and the most succulent pecan and plum reduction. Our opening night’s feast was enjoyed over two hours, with John and the team ensuring it was memorable. AI Fiori is one of the many restaurants created by chef Michael White. We couldn’t wait for the next day’s luncheon at Marea. Marea means ‘tide’ in Italian and as seafoodlovers we were more than thrilled to try out this two-Michelin Star eatery. TOP TO BOTTOM: ZUCCHINI SOUP, FLUKE CRUDO, ASTICE

Lunch reviews are distinct from evening meals because usually the kitchen, at this time of day, wants to turn over the lunch crowd more quickly. Meanwhile, an evening meal tends to be a more intimate affair. While the place was bustling when we arrived at 12.15pm, our table was the only one reserved, offering an expansive view of this very classy, contemporary layout. As with AI Fiori, the walls were adorned with fabulous prints, paintings and a few sculptures, all for sale and set up like a working gallery. Excited for the ensuing gastronomic splendour, we were given the heads up on the signature dishes: – Crudo, sliced raw fish and shellfish, dentice, pacific snapper, tonnato and crisp. – Tonno, big-eye tuna, oyster crema and crispy sun choke. – Seppia, cuttlefish tagliatelle, sosoffrito, crudo, bottarga di muggine.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 125


A VIEW FROM TOP OF THE ROCK - NEW YORK CITY

The mains were headlined with the hero fusilli pasta, which was made of durum wheat. We enjoyed red wine braised octopus and bone marrow, followed by a beautifully prepared wild striped bass with eggplant, spring garlic, pistachio and home calabrase. There are three Michelin Stars between these two restaurants, but it was the single-star eatery that we loved most – AI Fiori at Langham Place New York. We really enjoy an evening out over a rushed lunch service, and found John’s engaging service a huge, winning difference. On day three, we head down for checkout and slid into a cab, bound for JFK International Airport. F U R T H E R I N F O M AT I O N

LANGHAM PLACE NEW YORK 400 5th Avenue, New York The United States | langhamhotels.com

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


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN NEW YORK


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | A R A R AT P A R K H YAT T - M O S C O W

MOTHER RUSSIA

ARARAT PARK HYATT MOSCOW, RUSSIA WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

The best situated 5 star hotel in Moscow just a few minutes’ walk from the iconic landmarks such as the Kremlin, Red Square and Saint Basil’s Cathedral, our luxury hotel was within the immediate vicinity of the famous Bolshoi Theatre and Parliament House.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 129


ARARAT

PA R K H Y A T T MOSCOW

ARARAT PARK HYATT, GM - AREA VP, STEPHEN ANSELL

Stephen Ansell was born in London, however was lucky to live all over the world due to my Fathers occupation. My first experience with Hyatt was when I was 6 years old and my family was accommodated at the Grand Hyatt Singapore for a month during relocation. TIPS-I never travel without my passport and a work out in the gym is the perfect jet lag remedy, beats anything else that I have tried! Largely thanks to my journey with Hyatt I have had the opportunity to live and work in 10 countries. This has provided my family and I with a lifetime of experiences for which we are truly grateful. Things I love about Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow The tranquility of the Armenian Church and the beauty of the Moscow’s historical views which brighten my mood every day.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | A R A R AT P A R K H YAT T - M O S C O W

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 131


THE FAMED BOLSHOI THEATRE ACROSS FROM THE RED SQUARE AND THE KREMLIN

I

t’s difficult to find a region with more history, intrigue and skullduggery than the USSR.

Since the days of the Cold War, we’ve held considerable curiosity about the Kremlin and the Red Square, always wondering what is really going on with our comrades. The USSR had been on my bucket list for some time, so the first thing I did while planning this trip was book into the best hotel, in the best location – that is, the Red Square in Moscow. We flew with British Airways, who have daily flights from Heathrow. After sourcing our mandatory visas and confirming four nights at the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow, we were ready to see what all the fuss was about. After landing at Domodedovo International Airport, we enjoyed a 30-minute taxi ride to the centre of Moscow. As we turned off the main artery there they were in all their glory – the famed Red Square, the Kremlin and the fabulous Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow. Located in the very heart of the capital, the five-star Park Hyatt has the best location in Moscow. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Kremlin, the Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Parliament House, the famous Bolshoi Theatre

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | A R A R AT P A R K H YAT T - M O S C O W T R AV E L | C U B A

ARMENIAN CHRISTIAN CHAPEL

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 133


and the central business and luxury shopping districts, including GUM and TsUM. The personalised service and outstanding quality found at this timeless residential-style hotel is unmatched in Moscow. It caters to the discerning traveller seeking privacy, luxury and elegance. Arriving at any Park Hyatt always gives me a sense of relief. General Manager Stephen Ansell was at the lobby waiting for us, while Public Relations Director Julia was anxious to show off their trophy. After check-in, we headed straight for our room with bags in tow. I must say, I loved seeing those beautiful double doors swing open when the key swiped – we knew what was on the other side was going to be special. Our suite was spectacular, spread over two floors and 250 square metres. The sleek yet cosy interior was created by renowned designer Tony Chi, who included all the trimmings of worldclass luxury. As well as the most sophisticated electronics, furnishings and finishes, we also enjoyed our own kitchen, private chef and a bathroom with an Arabescato marble Jacuzzi and uninterrupted views of the Kremlin. Park Hyatt offers 208 beautifully finished rooms, including 29 expansive suites renowned among Moscovites for their grandeur and design. The hotel offers a handful of fine dining restaurants and bars, including the legendary Café Ararat, known for its Armenian specialities; the Conservatory Lounge & Bar, named one of the best bars in the world by Architectural Digest for its panoramic views over the city and outstanding contemporary design; the elegant Neglinka Lounge; The Park Restaurant and Japanese restaurant, Enoki. Our first dinner was enjoyed with Stephen, who hosted the evening at the Conservatory Restaurant, complete with their signature Armenian cuisine. To our delight, Executive Chef Sebastian Kellerhoff also joined us. Here we sampled a personal selection of the chef ’s favourites, starters of Armenian cheeses, goat, lori, Chanukah and Armenian spiced eggplant salads. Our mains included veal cutlets, lamb racks, lamb kebabs, crayfish and chicken straight off

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

KAMCHATKA CRAB BRUSCHETTA


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | A R A R AT P A R K H YAT T - M O S C O W T R AV E L | C U B A

EXECUTIVE CHEF SEBASTIAN KELLERHOFF

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 135


the grill, accompanied with grilled vegetables and an array of red and green plum sauce. While the homemade baklava served afterwards did not disappoint, the Gata and Ashtarak vodka and coffee served on the outdoor terrace, with views of the Kremlin, the Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Bolshoi Theatre, were awe-inspiring. As the sun was setting, Danielle was eagerly snapping away. You will sense how mesmerised she was by the sheer beauty of mother Russia in her Canon image gallery. At 4.00am the next morning, we headed out for our traditional city run, returning at 5.15am for a sunrise photo shoot, breakfast and the full hotel tour. Modern and elegant conference rooms and beautifully decorated banqueting facilities are venues of choice for any occasion, including business meetings, social events, weddings and exquisite Moscow festivals. The single most amazing asset of the Park Hyatt is the spectacular inhouse Armenian Christian chapel that holds only some 30 guests. I was totally overwhelmed by the detail and splendour of this unique facility. If you’ve booked your wedding day celebrations here, you can top it off by spoiling the bridal party with a day at Quantum Spa & Health Club, which features a host of massage, body and skin treatments, an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna. We would finish each day with a onehour workout in the Technogym, Moscow’s best cardio facility, followed by a four-hour treatment in the spa. I’d like to emphasise here that this was truly the world’s best spa experience. It was so memorable that neither Danielle nor I could muster the strength to go to dinner afterwards – that’s saying something. The Russian bath treatment we chose combined national traditions and the modern art of spa-beauty and cosmetology. The ‘Original Russian’ bath treatment began with a sauna and massage, given with a selection of branches (oak, birch or eucalyptus).

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | A R A R AT P A R K H YAT T - M O S C O W T R AV E L | C U B A

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 137


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN MOSCOW


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | A R A R AT P A R K H YAT T - M O S C O W T R AV E L | C U B A

QUANTUM SPA HOME OF THE RUSSIAN MASSAGE

Spending time between the soothing warmth of the sauna and the coolness of the plunge pool helped to relieve stress and discomfort. The treatment ensued with a full-body peel, which took place on a warm marble table, a honey mask designed to remove toxins, and a relaxing eucalypt soap massage, with the therapist easing our tired bodies and improving our skin balance. After that we had a 10-minute 80-degree sauna, before indulging our skin with another peel, this time lemon and ginger. Then it was back to the sauna for another 10 minutes, a cold shower and another soak in the plunge pool. Next it was back into the sauna, another honey and salt full-body mask, applied inside the sauna by our therapist Tatiana, and then a few more alternations between the shower, the plunge pool and the sauna. Just when we thought it was over, we found ourselves being lightly whipped with eucalyptus branches, which had been soaked in

lemon and vinegar, for a good 10 minutes – front and back like a scene out of Pulp Fiction. After the whipping, we plunged for the final time into the pool and returned to the bed for a deep tissue wash and full-body massage. This experience is impossible to articulate, so let me say this: this treatment is a regular Russian ritual not for the faint-hearted. You must – and I mean must – book in for this treatment on your next visit. You can thank me later. We spent our final day relaxing around the hotel, enjoying the brilliant service, penning the final notes and editing our library of photographs. Our opinions have changed significantly about Moscow. Since it’s only a 3.5-hour flight from London on BA223, you owe it to yourself to make the trip. It goes without saying that the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow is the only place to stay. We enjoyed a magnificent summer in Moscow, and will definitely be back to enjoy a traditional winter at the Kremlin. T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 139


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

ARARAT PARK HYATT MOSCOW 4 Neglinnaya Street, Moscow, Russia | moscow.park.hyatt.com

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

STATE HISTORY MUSEUM ON THE RED SQUARE


T R AV E L | C U B A

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.


Understated elegance defines First Welcome to First, our most luxurious cabin yet. The First suite is a haven of style and comfort where sophisticated and contemporary British design meet impeccable service and attention to detail. Whether you want to unwind or get down to business, you’ll find you’re equally well equipped. Visit ba.com


TAJ 51

THE HEART OF ROYAL LONDON WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

5 Star’s in central London that still resonates with echoes of history reaching back to the time of Shakespeare and Elizabeth Ist

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J 5 1 B U C K I N G H A M G AT E - L O N D O N

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 145


We arrived to Taj 51 Buckingham Gate with great expectations; the address itself conjures up all kinds of luxurious images. Shortly after checking in, our personal butler came to meet us, took us directly to our suite, arranged all our restaurant bookings and transfers, and spent 20 minutes setting us up for the three-day stay. It wasn’t until our 4.00am city run that we fully realised the hotel’s prime location – not even 200 metres in we were knocking on Buckingham Palace’s front gate. Taj 51 Buckingham Gate is discretely located in SW1, the closest hotel to Buckingham Palace, and is just a short walk to St. James Park, Westminster and Mayfair. Recognised for its considerable architectural merit, it comprises three grand Victorian houses overlook ing a ma n ic u red Shakespearean courtyard, where in the warmer months guests can enjoy tea and a glass of champagne. Around the garden a plethora of pastel colours contrasts strikingly with lush greenery, while the tiered central fountain, ordained with a cherub, provides a melodic backdrop for al fresco dining. This esteemed address has played host to many dazzling weddings, private events, parties and milestone celebrations. After twilight, a magical incandescence illuminates St. James Courtyard, certifying the hotel’s standing as London’s ‘inner sanctum’. Here you will be able to unwind in total tranquillity. Taj 51 Buckingham Gate is unlike any other five-star luxury hotel in London, offering a wider choice of suites and residences than almost any other in the city. The hotel caters especially to families, state delegates and business executives with more space and flexibility.

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

THE DON’S OFFICE AND THE BOLLYWOOD SUITE


The cleverly designed suites offer expansive living areas to relax or work in, and fully equipped kitchens, giving guests the option of in-suite dining. When opting for a meal out, guests can choose between the hotel’s Michelin starred Quilon and the contemporary European restaurant, Kona. While checking in we were both a little weary – having landed at 5.00am – and were keen for a shower and a short nap. As we arrived to our suite, escorted by our butler, we entered arguably the most magnificent room in the country. The Cinema Suite was inspired by 1940s and 50s Hollywood and Indian cinema, with its imposing study inspired by Ray, Cappola and Bergman. Each wall was a work of art with striking Nina Campbell wallpapers in burnt orange, black and red, and curios collected from over 32 cultures. The Cinema Suite is an urban cocoon featuring cutting edge technology, an 85-inch plasma cinema screen and a state-of-the-art 3D home theatre system. Split between Bollywood and Holly wood themes, with a Godfather-inspired study, the twobedroom suites display sumptuous silk drapery, magnificent oak f loorboards, priceless antique furniture and rare, exquisite ornaments. Still dazed by the majesty of our abode, we enjoyed a classically themed Jungle Book morning tea with a couple of close friends, in which each of us was presented with a personal limited edition of the book. It’s touches like these that see the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate stand alone – and ahead – in this luxury market.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 147


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J 5 1 B U C K I N G H A M G AT E - L O N D O N

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 149


On the first night we were invited to experience the hotel’s flagship city eatery, the Bombay Brasserie, which is only a short taxi ride away. Established in 1982, Bombay Brasserie offers a magical journey through contemporary Indian cuisine mixed with some traditional classics. Operations Manager Shailesh Pandya presented us his favourite dishes, including chicken tikka, prawn marsala, bhindi amchuri and black lentils served with traditional naan, roti and rice. The hero dish of the night was the palak patta chaat, made with crispy fried baby spinach, yoghurt, dates and tamarind chutney topped with pomegranate. During our stay we also enjoyed more of Kipplings Jungle Book high tea, which featured curried egg mayonnaise on brioche buns and sultana coronation chicken wraps. One of the evenings was to be an amazing culinary adventure of 80 different flavours from around the world, starting with Laurent Perrier champagne and hors d’oeuvre in the St. James Courtyard. WELCOME TO TAJ 51 CHEF SRIRAM OF THE MICHELIN STARRED QUILON

After this it was on to The Bistro for entrees of seared yellow fin tuna, and then on to the hero restaurant, the Michelin starred Quilon, a signature south Indian styled gem featuring chef Sriram’s fabulous fish curry. Second mains were served at Kona, where the headline was the saddle of lamb, where we finished off with a mouth-watering lemon meringue. This night was a masterstroke of the Taj that celebrated an entire array of signature dishes over one evening. Our final day was spent recuperating from the memorable dining experience. We headed down to La Sultana De Saba wellness centre for a simply wonderful Malaysian body scrub, a deep tissue massage and a steam and spa to finish. The Taj 51 Buckingham Gate is a truly luxurious masterpiece that you need to experience at least once.

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

TAJ 51 BUCKINGHAM GATE 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London United Kingdom | taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk

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


Tap into a world of easier travel Download the Qantas App. All your journey needs. Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901


P O M P

A N D

CE RE M O N Y My introduction to the Langham took place at their feature London property. Here I was enjoying high tea, when suddenly I could hear an incredible performance sounding from across the road at the BBC – U2 playing a live rooftop show.

W

ith an amazing position at Langham Place on Regent Street, the Langham is positioned in the shopping mecca of London, surrounded by every known luxury brand imaginable. Oxford Circus, Carnaby Street, Trafalgar Square and the theatre district of Leicester Square are all within a short stroll. At the heart of West End, the Langham has enchanted royalty, dignitaries, celebrities and discerning guests for 150 years. And with its location just metres from the BBC, it’s no wonder you might trip over the odd celebrity or two during your stay. Our suite was beautifully appointed and unusually large for United Kingdom standards. On the first floor, our window perfectly framed the Langham Place church and the famed BBC balcony. With fine furnishings, lush beds and contemporary amenities, the rooms and suites define a new level of luxury in the Kingdom. Despite the unmatched views of the electrifying movement of London, they also create the feel of an intimate haven. Working in collaboration with celebrity chefs Albert Roux OBE and Michel Roux Jr., the Langham, London offers guests the chance to discover real afternoon tea and, at Artesian, the art of afternoon drinking. Artesian has been voted the ‘World’s Best Bar’ by Drinks International for four consecutive years.

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

Serving afternoon tea to the cream of London since 1865, the dazzling Palm Court delights guests with a bespoke version of the afternoon tea tradition created by award-winning Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden. We spent our first night relaxing at Palm Court with a fresh, zingy lobster salad, an exquisitely roasted rack of lamb and finally – as indulgence – some homemade crème brûlée. Shortly after arriving, having been in the air for several hours, we also decided to relax with a coffee and enjoy the in-house three-piece band that crooned through a night of jazz and Motown. The renamed Roux at The Landau sees father and son Albert and Michel Roux Jr. working together for the first time in over 20 years, bringing the Roux family’s legendary culinary expertise and creativity to their second West End address. Eating out in London really excites me – the quality of service and attention to detail at the finer dining restaurants are a treat. Making your way through Roux at The Landau’s vaulted wine corridor is remarkable, as you can browse a selection of rare and unusual wines from around the world, and enjoy them in a beautifully appointed private dining room.


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M - LO N D O N

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 153


RESTAURANT ROUX AT THE LANDAU LANGHAM HOTEL REGENT STREET LONDON


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M - LO N D O N

DIVER CAUGHT ORKNEY SCALLOPS

The combined forces of Chef de Cuisine Oliver Boon and Restaurant Manager Franco Becci make a dream team that guarantees the highest standards of service and culinary excellence at one of the best London restaurants. Well aware of Roux’s reputation, expectations were high for this two-Michelin Star master, whose outstanding culinary team is headed by Executive Chef Chris King. After a lengthy chat about the exciting new Australian truffle market, he then prepared a signature truffled risotto, diver-caught Orkney scallops and Dover sole with fresh peas, shiitake mushrooms, sea herbs and a mouthwatering beurre noisette. Dessert was also spectacular with a Grand Marnier soufflÊ, orange marmalade and chocolate sorbet.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 155


Breakfast at The Landau is arguably one of the best: a combination of buffet and a la carte, fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, freshly baked treats and eggs cooked any way, served with succulent Cumberland sausages. You can also enjoy a fantastic Sunday Brunch with classic offerings of Scottish smoked salmon, beef Wellington, truffled eggs Benedict and a Bloody Mary station. The Langham Health Spa is a hidden treat, where the Chuan Spa London offers a luxury haven in the heart of West End. With its philosophy steeped in the values of traditional Chinese medicine, this exemplary hotel spa offers guests the ultimate in relaxation through individually planned holistic journeys, which include therapies designed to rebalance and revitalize the body and soul. Chuan Spa London features six private treatment rooms, including a couple’s spa suite, pre- and post-treatment relaxation area, upgraded male and female changing facilities, herbal steam rooms, saunas and a vitality pool. Lifestyle facilities include a fully equipped fitness centre with state-of-the-art Technogym cardio and resistance equipment and free weights, as well as a 16-metre swimming pool. Guests enjoy full access to these facilities.

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

The Langham, London is a 10-minute cab ride from Paddington Station and is just minutes from everything else – when in London, it’s all about location.

THE LANGHAM, LONDON 1C Portland Place, Regent Street, London United Kingdom | langhamhotels.com

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M - LO N D O N

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 157


IT’S ALL

G R EEK

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

TO ME


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | G R A N D E B R E TA G N E - G R E E C E

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

There are two signs of a great travel experience: endlessly recounting it to your friends or going back to build on the memories.

H

otels and resorts have become all-too-familiar homes away from home, with many holidaymakers booking the same room year after year to enjoy the personalised service and the guarantee of another memorable trip. Cruising and sailing have become the industry’s biggest growth segments, with guests being able to enjoy multiple destinations while enjoying the comfortable accommodation on board their vessel of choice. For the past two years we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing one of the very best ships in the world. Admittedly, we’ve become repeat offenders ourselves, calling the Star Clipper our home away from home. In 2014 we spent a week circumnavigating Corsica in the south of France, setting out from Monaco and stopping in San Tropez, Cannes and Nice. In 2015 we ticked off number three on the bucket list by exploring Cuba and the Grand Caymans, dropping in to deserted islands, enjoying barbeques and swimming with dolphins, all in the company of a group of Aussies, funnily enough.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 159


In 2016, the year of the 31st Olympic Games, we enjoyed a 10-day Star Clipper tour that departed from Athens, Greece and visited the Greek Islands – Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu – Montenegro, Croatia and finally Italy’s city of love, Venice. The Star Clipper is the kind of trip that lets you choose how social or intimate you’d like to be. We shared our trip with a group of American, French, German and English guests. This 112-foot, four-masted Clipper is the envy of all those cruise ship behemoths that struggle to get close to shore. The Clipper so easily zips in and out of the coastal cities with just 103 on-board, quiet like thieves in the night. Before boarding the Star Clipper, we were able to visit our good friend Tim Ananiadis, the General Manager of the city’s best accommodation, Hotel Grande Bretagne. Located in the heart of Athens, the Grande Bretagne – otherwise known as ‘GB’ – is a stone’s throw from the Parthenon, the Acropolis and the original Olympic stadium. The GB is certainly very grand, with high ceilings, period art and a magnificent tapestry adorning the lobby, and afternoon tea served on Versace crockery. Our suite 524 was as expected – meticulously maintained and appointed with its own sense of decadence from a time gone by. After unpacking we headed straight to the hotel’s sister property, the King George, which adjoins the Grande Bretagne. The King George also exudes class and an abundance of history, with chandeliers, wall-to-wall marble, spectacular artwork and a notably out-of-place but undoubtedly trendy portrait of the late musician David Bowie.

THE GRANDE BRETAGNE IN ALL ITS GLORY - ATHENS, GREECE


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | G R A N D E B R E TA G N E - G R E E C E

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 161


GRANDE BRETAGNE ROOF GARDEN AND ALEXANDERS BAR

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | G R A N D E B R E TA G N E - G R E E C E

Our first review was Tudor Hall, a fine dinning treat with incredible views. As we sat down at our terrace table, it was hard to contain our smiles as the sun set over the Parthenon. Before long our waiter was pouring the chilled Taittinger and handing us menus of spectacular Greek cuisine.

SEABASS CONFIT WITH OLIVE OIL, CELERY PURÉE, ZUCCHINI AND CAPERS, LEMON AND PARSLEY SAUCE GRILLED NEW ZEALAND LAMB NOISETTES, CARROT PURÉE WITH CUMIN AND SWEET BABY CARROTS WITH SESAME SEEDS

For an entrée I enjoyed a refreshing yellow fin tuna tartar with chilli and lemongrass dressing, while Danielle had the seared scallops with capsicum and garden pea purée. Our main course was straight from the trawler – grilled sea bass with salsa verde and freshly caught grilled snapper, served with a squeeze of lime and sautéed garden vegetables. This incredible meal was typical of the local offering. The piece de resistance was the Ekmek Kataifi, a traditional Greek dessert so stunning we momentarily forgot the meaning of diet. Over the next few days we had the opportunity to relax in the GB spa with daily deep tissue massages, workouts and steams, which kept us prepared for our evenings on the GB’s famous 8th floor brasserie. As we entered the terrace bar the sun was setting over the famed Parthenon, the Parliament House and the Olympic stadium. Every day we couldn’t wait to claim one of those terrace tables so we could savour the view as well as the food and cocktails. The Grand Bretagne prides itself on serving only fresh and local seafood, which is delivered straight from the trawlers. The lamb served is from New Zealand and the beef is from Australia and the United States.

GUANAJA 70% BITTER CHOCOLATE SPHERE WITH CARAMELIZED HAZELNUT, COGNAC ICE CREAM AND CARAMEL ESPUMA SMALL OVEN-ROAST CHICKEN WITH HERBS AND LEMON

Chef was very keen on the Classic review, presenting many of his personal specials and introducing us to real Greek cuisine. We enjoyed homemade fettuccini with sautéed lobster splashed with homegrown Napoli sauce, tuna tartar with pureed aubergine and marinated sea bass lightly steamed on a bed of sautéed garden legumes. Despite its economic and social hardships, Athens is still a city imbued with an amazing history and infectious passion. You could spend a long time exploring the city and still never discover each and every part of its character. After three wonderful days at the GB we enjoyed a late checkout in order to take advantage of the late breakfast and enjoy one last look at this historic city.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 163


ALL HANDS ON

ON DECK FOR SHEER ESCAPISM, NOTHING BEATS HOLIDAYING ON THE MEDITERRANEAN EXPLORING ANCIENT SITES, ANCHORING IN QUIET BAYS AND SERVING UP DELICIOUS MEALS

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R

In typical Grande Bretagne style, we were escorted to Port Piraeus. As we arrived, there was the Star Clipper in all its majesty, ready for a new journey to Venice. After a slick 30-minute check-in we were on board, unpacking in our suite and then onto the deck to wait for the final bell. Here we met some old friends and made new ones, passing around cocktails before dinner was served. As the Clipper cast off and slid smoothly out of the port, Athens shrunk into the distance and morphed into another wonderful memory.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 165


GET LOST IN THE LANES AND THEIR STREET ART

O

ur journey begins at the port of Piraeus in Athens, with our first sighting of the Star Clipper generating a wave of excitement for the passengers, who came from all corners of the globe.

Having had the pleasure of two previous Star Clipper trips – to Corsica in 2014 and to Cuba in 2015 – we had known what to expect. There really is something special about ocean travel. The Star Clipper oozes nostalgia and provides a certain level of intimacy, with only a 110 on-board. We enjoyed the very personalised service, as well as the company of our fellow seafarers. Unlike those monster cruise vessels that accommodate 3,0005,000 guests, we felt quite at home on this four-masted Clipper. The fleet comprising the Star Clipper, Star Flyer and Royal Clipper was launched in 1992 and now boasts vessels that visit the Caribbean, Asia and the Mediterranean, with varying lengths of journey.

night on the deck, and enjoy somewhat comedic but nonetheless enjoyable games, made all the funnier with crew participation. There are also talent shows, karaoke and nightly discos. This is a genuine opportunity to let one’s hair down, throw caution to the wind and say ‘What the heck!’ with your new friends. It all makes for great memories. Considering the limited kitchen space, dining on-board is a triumph. The crew delivers a seven-course a la carte menu every night, offering an array of seafood, steaks, pasta, fresh salads, soups and desserts. On our last night we enjoyed an impressive pate maison, mushroom quiche, seafood parcels, grilled lobster tails and chateaubriand. Lunch and breakfast are from an extensive buffet that meets most dietary requirements. While each day commences with an hour of yoga, I always found time for a five-kilometre run at every port. This lets you forget about the calorie count.

Once on-board all meals and a select number of activities are included, as well as WiFi, which allows you to keep in touch with people at home or work obligations around the clock – or post those crucial images onto Facebook and Instagram.

During our last evening we also had the opportunity to join the captain’s table with several select passengers, all of which had over 20 trips under their belts and swore by the Star Clipper. For us, this confirmed the theory that returning to the same travel product or company can be extremely rewarding.

If you decide to journey on the Star Clipper, you can enjoy a host of excursions. These are at an additional but very worthwhile cost. Otherwise you may wish to hang out in the two on-board pools, do a little snorkelling, stroll the many fabulous beaches or sit in a café to absorb the local culture. Guests can dine and hang out every

When you’re next planning a cruise or a sail, take our advice and seriously consider the Star Clipper fleet. You won’t be disappointed.

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

Luckily for us, the Star Clipper will be launching a new Super Clipper in October 2017, which will boast accommodation for 300 guests and all the latest in sailing technology.


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R

ATHENS TO MYKONOS Waking up to a brilliant sunrise while skimming across the Aegean Sea is difficult to explain – the speed, movement and colours were simply incredible. According to mythology, the island of Mykonos took its name from the hero Mykonos, who was the grandson of the god Apollo. Since visiting Mykonos in the 1990s, this once-sleepy fishing town has become a tourist Mecca, boasting luxury stores and hundreds of cafes and restaurants. The island, somewhat sadly, seems to be losing its innocence. While it once had to struggle with Pirate Barbarossa, who conquered the island during the Ottoman Empire, today it’s being overtaken by a new invader. After a day of losing ourselves in the maze of shops and cafes, we headed back to the Clipper, climbed aboard and prepared to set sail for the famed island of Santorini. T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 167


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R

SANTORINI TO CORFU

We arrived to Santorini at noon with great anticipation, as this island is known as the jewel in the Greek Island crown. It was amazing to watch the island’s brilliant white washed buildings and azure domed roofs – as blue as the surrounding ocean – creep up on the horizon as we approached. On arrival we were able to appreciate the size of this volcanic mass, which dwarfed all visiting ships with its sheer, 600-foot-high cliff face. Access to the island is via man-made cable cars or the traditional ride on the local donkey, which easily deserves the €5 donation by endlessly climbing the steep alleyways and roads. Many guests were grimacing at the thought of the animal’s hard work. Despite the stif ling summer heat, we could have spent days winding our way through the maze of trattorias, cafes and boutiques, climbing ever so gradually over the cobblestone paths until we hit the peak. The breathtaking vista from the top really makes that climb worthwhile. The descent was somewhat more forgiving, and as the Clipper came closer we couldn’t resist a dip in the ocean whilst waiting for our ride back. Each night on board was a feast of anecdotes and stories shared with new friends, with whom we gathered around the bar, forgetting the time and letting the DJ seduce us with his carefully selected tunes. His music kept us out until the early hours.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 169


The third day, which began with a very late start thanks to the DJ, was spent sailing north of Corfu. What a way to recuperate from the night before, gliding over the glassy ocean without so much as a ripple. A day on board allowed us to catch up on emails and stories, and enjoy some much-needed downtime.

FESTIVAL DAY IN DOWN TOWN CORFU

The next day we were back on the deck again, stretching and twisting to the commands of our yoga instructor Paige, who also led us into a meditation. As we tied off, the gangplank was lowered and we all scrambled off to discover the churches and ancient forts of Corfu, the second largest of the seven major Ionian islands. Since Corfu was filled with celebrations, with thousands of revellers parading through the streets, we decided to explore the fort that was built in 1823, which also presented a challenging trek. Once we conquered the climb we enjoyed the spectacular city views that stretched out over the Aegean, where tourist ships and local boats moored into docks, excited to join the festivities.

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


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN SANTORINI


It was amazing to watch the island’s brilliant white washed buildings and azure domed roofs – as blue as the surrounding ocean – creep up on the horizon as we approached.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R

MONTENEGRO TO DUBROVNIK Lunch was enjoyed on board while we headed to what I called the must-see stop over of the journey – Montenegro. Montenegro has been a fascinating destination since the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the beginning of its official independence in 2006, which came after a federation with Serbia. Boasting the production of 007’s Casino Royale, this seductive and romantic country has some of the most picturesque and romantic scenery in the region. We entered the UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor, where we were dwarfed by the 250-metre-high mountains, which are peppered with villas and small hotels. This proud 620,000-strong community loves to showcase Montenegro’s magnificent churches, chapels, forts and natural beauty. Waking to the trademark sunrise, we approached the famed Port of Dubrovnik, the southern most point of Croatia. Protected by traditional ancient walls and forts, this UNESCO-listed site is also the venue for the Scientific, Scholarly and Literary Conference and the World Tourist Congress.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 173


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R

As 8.30pm rapidly approached, we were amazed at Mother Nature’s colour show – a molten sunset split by the late arrival of a lone sailor streaking across the horizon.

Dubrovnik is truly spectacular, surrounded by magnificent mountains and resort-studded hills that tumble into the sparkling blue ocean. As the throngs of sailing ships and cruise liners approach the port, they are met by dozens of kayaks, jet skis and rowboats teeming with well-wishers. We spent the day here wandering the many alleyways and side streets, and climbing the hundreds of stairs that led us to the city’s apex, where the views left us speechless. These views let you appreciate the magnificence of this previously war-torn country. Our departure was smooth as usual while we enjoyed the mandatory cocktail on the deck. Dubrovnik is a city with a rich history, and a place in which everybody can lose and find themselves.

DUBROVNIK TO KORCULA

Our third-last stop was at the former Greek colony, Korcula, a well-known shipbuilding port. In fact, Korcula is renowned as the birthplace of ship building, dating back to 1214. Documents also attribute the development and production of tar, a much-needed material for ship builders, to this place. As 8.30pm rapidly approached, we were amazed at Mother Nature’s colour show – a molten sunset split by the late arrival of a lone sailor streaking across the horizon.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 175


DANIELLE FINISHES HER SAIL BOARDING IN MONTENEGRO ANOTHER HAPPY SAILOR

KORCULA TO HVAR

On the ninth day we slowly approached Hvar and its beautiful beaches and lavender fields, for which it has become one of the most popular stops on the Dalmatian Coast. While the Clipper anchored offshore, we enjoyed the town’s vast cultural splendour, dating from the 15-17th centuries. Hvar also boasts one of Europe’s oldest theatres, which is perched on the first floor of its 16th century Arsenal and the 15th century Hektoroviceva Palaca. With only two days of the adventure left, we opted to relax on the beach with a little tapas and local rosé, patiently waiting for another magnificent sunset.

HVAR TO MALI LOSINJI

Day 10 was the final stop at Mali Losinji, a very sleepy seaside village that offers plenty of opportunity to lounge in the harbour cafes and take a deep breath. Here we were also able to remember the trip’s beautiful stories and look over our photos. This entire journey underscored the enormity of the world’s cultures and history; every history lesson was fascinating. Finally on board for our final meal, the mood became a little more sombre. But with a Vienna schnitzel, sautéed prawn linguini and a huge bowl of ice cream, we were very happy to simply chill on the aft deck. With a coffee in hand, we watched the lights of Mali Losjinji fade into the distance.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R T R A V E L | H YAT T - A L R I G G A

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 177


THE 3 AMIGOS HARRY, ALAN AND WITH PHIL

STAR CLIPPER PORTING IN VENICE

We woke on the final morning at 5.30am to set up the tripod for our entrance into Venice and its stunning Grand Canal. As the first people on deck we set ourselves up on the bow with some freshly brewed coffee, enjoying the slow pace of our morning while the crew hastily prepared the 15 sails around us. Before long the aroma of breakfast wafted up from the gallery, calling us down. As we arrived to arguably the world’s most romantic city, Venice, located in north-eastern Italy, the sun rose over the many cathedrals, drawing gasps from all on-board. Danielle’s Canon DX1 had never worked so hard, racking up over 5,000 images and counting. She captured many of the canals as they wove in an intricate, picture-perfect network of water and stone. The equally stately Star Clipper was able to carve its way through the Grand Canal with ease, bound for its final landing point. After covering 1,195 nautical miles, and visiting 10 cities across three countries, we took our usual window seat to enjoy our final breakfast. As we cruised down the Grand Canal, we bid farewell to our new friends, especially to Alan and Harry from Fort Lauderdale. We had spent several days with these guys exploring the cities and sharing some brilliant memories – Danielle and I are already talking about our next trip together.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S TA R C L I P P E R

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 179


W H A T

H A P P E N S

I N

VEGAS

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | M I R AG E - L A S V E G A S

Welcome to where dreams come to play transforming the modern Las Vegas experience

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 181


M

irage comes from the Latin word ‘mirari’ which means to look at, to wonder at, and nestled in the heart of Las Vegas Boulevarde, the Mirage Hotel and Casino is just that.

Its mirrored facade reflects the abundance of neon lights and competing hotels, yet the active volcano which erupts nightly ensures you won’t miss this hotel. I have been a regular in Vegas for 30 years and seen all the changes including the Mirage which has been one of those bar setting icons that everyone needs to experience at least once. A huge sign sits atop the glistening Mirage beckoning guests into Cirque de Soleil’s LOVE which is a journey of the Beatles mystery tour including Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Hence it was a must that we checked this out with our first night in town seeing as front and centre, watching hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s from the Fab Four, arguably the greatest boy band of all time. It’s not just shows that give guests the wow factor. Hotels in Vegas have become giant human mouse traps luring in the unsuspecting punter. Here you can come face-to-face with some of nature’s most exotic and majestic creatures at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat whilst exploring, learning and playing in an enchanting world of Bottlenose Dolphins, White Tigers, Lions and Leopards.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | M I R AG E - L A S V E G A S

FASTENING YOUR SEAT BELT WITH SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 183


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | M I R AG E - L A S V E G A S

Yet there’s more than just entertainment in this US town, there’s food, and plenty of it seducing customers with only the best. As fast as restaurants arrive they can be gone in a magic flash because Vegas is a tough town with the motto ‘perform, or else.’ One restaurant which is truly performing is The Heritage Steakhouse offering New York’s Tom Colicchio’s signature Tabasco peppered American skirt steak, poached lobster and sautéed scallops, with truffle risotto and roasters mushrooms. From steak to Chinese to Mexican, every night there is something different on offer at The Mirage. A real surprise was the secret door leading to the VIP Villas. These were once only reserved for the high rollers, but now anyone who has the 4K plus per night tariff can stay there.

FEEDING TIME WITH THE BOTTLE NOSE DOLPHINS

The villas come with everything imaginable, home cinema, his and hers’ bathrooms, period pieces, everything the best money can buy. Another plus about the villas is 24/7 butler service that will make every dream come true from show bookings, golf tee times, limos, intimate dinners by your own pool and pillows from the pillow menu with a night cap of choice. Great resort properties need a great spa and at the Mirage Spa it’s as good as it gets from relaxing deep tissue sports massages with scented oils and a masseuse that understood the art of deep tissue. After treatments, guests have access to the steam room and plunge pool as well as the world class technology of TECHNOGYM, free weights and a personal TRX corner. The Mirage is a key member of the MGM MIRAGE GROUP who continues to push boundaries and raise the proverbial bar when only the amazing will do.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 185


THE MIRAGE’S INCREDIBLE LIST OF RESTAURANTS TOM COLICCHIO’S HERITAGE STEAK Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak adds a modern twist to traditional culinary staples. A newly renovated open kitchen adds tantalizing appeal to both sight and smell.

PORTOFINO

World-class executive chef Michael La Placa gives an unforgettable modern twist to classic Italian foods.

PANTRY

Centrally located to provide convenient access, the restaurant features wholesome favorites made from the freshest sustainable ingredients.

FIN

With beautiful Asian decor and a relaxing waterfall to set the mood, enjoy large portions of delectable meat and live fish prepared and served family-style.

THE STILL

The Still, is the ultimate sports junkie haven with 27, 65” flat screen TVs and a dedication to craft beer, cocktails and mouth-watering food.

CARNEGIE DELICATESSEN

Enjoy East Coast favourites in this classic & fast casual setting in the centre of the Strip.

STACK

American contemporary dining in a sleek hardwood setting is what sets STACK apart from the rest. Perfect for a quick bite before a night out on the town or a full meal.

LVB BURGERS AND BAR

Featuring a mouthwatering selection of gourmet burgers, and salads. Shake it up with a delicious old fashioned milkshake or spike it up with an adult friendly milkshake.

SAMBA

Rodizio is a traditional Brazilian form of cooking where meats are skewered and rotated Rotisserie-style.

CRAVINGS

Cravings Buffet satisfies even the biggest appetites and thirsts with eleven international cooking stations, unlimited beer and wine.

JAPONAIS

East meets West at Japonais. The Chicago and New York favourite treats you to a menu of classic Japanese cuisine with an American twist. Voted one of the top 66.

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

FINE DINING AT TOM COLLICCHIO’S HERITAGE STEAKHOUSE SIGNATURE TABASCO PEPPERED AMERICAN FLANK STEAK


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | M I R AG E - L A S V E G A S BR ANDS | VIKKI AUSTR ALIA

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 187


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | M I R AG E - L A S V E G A S

THE MIRAGE HAVE RELEASED THIER EXCLUSIVE VILLA

The Mirage was the most expensive hotelcasino in history, with a construction cost of US $630 million. The hotel’s distinctive gold windows get their color from actual gold dust used in the tinting process.

SERIES WITH PRIVATE ENTRANCE AND CHECK-IN FACILITIES 24-HOUR BUTLER AND CONCIERGE SERVICE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 189


REVEL IN YOUR PRIVATE PARADISE CENTER-STRIP


The Villas and Lanais are the only luxury suites on the Strip that give you the exclusivity of your own private backyard. Celebrate in an atmosphere tailor-made for lavish gatherings, with private heated pools, Jacuzzis, personal putting greens and the finest custom furnishings for your comfort and entertainment.

For more info and reservations, visit themirage.com/thevillas or call 800.637.0295.


www.vittoriacoffee.com


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

PIZZA HUNTING: POWER OF THE PEOPLE

Thanks to the Internet, photographers can now produce niche photography projects that may have otherwise been unattainable – Chloe Cahill and Ho Hai Tran are a beaming case study of this. By creatively connecting their work with a truly passionate community, they’ve been able to take their passion-project-come-publishing-foray, Pizza Hunt, worldwide.

Ho and Chloe’s idea was destined for success from the beginning. “A lot of people around the world have experienced what we felt ¬– the emotions of the past, and the nostalgia” Ho explains. That nostalgia, which was the catalyst for Pizza Hunt, struck them during a Pho-fuelled road-trip to Cabramatta in Sydney’s western suburbs. The pair drove past a tired, old Pizza Hut dine-in building, which had been given new life as a Salvation Army store. Despite the conversion, the building still triggered long-forgotten memories, and filled the two with a heady excitement for what could be. Driven by this experience, and the potential for more just like it, the pair resolved to photograph every dine-in Pizza Hut building which remains, in whatever form they took – with that Pizza Hunt was born.

“We were just so enamored by the idea, and still are,” admits Chloe. This passion (and obsession), which started in Australia, has led them across the ditch to New Zealand and further afield to the United States – the home of fast food. “When we went to the states and shot it, we didn’t have initial plans to make it into a book or put it on Kickstarter. It was just curiosity for us,” says Ho. After two years they had built a cache of images, which is when friends and mentors began encouraging them to consider doing something with the body of work. A book seemed to make sense “because it’s the study of a single structure in about a hundred different guises,” explains Chloe. “There was some more work to turn it into a book, but the two years of work we’d done prior was really laying the foundations and all the grunt work,” she says. T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 193


COPYCAT PRINTING, CALIFORNIA, PENNSYLVANIA, USA

Tom Preston, one of the backers excitedly exclaimed “Such a sweet idea! Brings back the memories of all you can eat in Gizzy as kid, good times. Can’t wait to see this book!”

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

GREAT WALL, GLENDALE HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, USA


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

JK RESTAURANT, NORTHCOTE, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

The pair self-funded the first two years of the project, but when it came to creating a high-quality coffee-table book they realised they could do with some help – queue Kickstarter. While producing the book with the help of the Kickstarter community, they still stayed true to their creative vision, making sure the idea stayed pure. “If we were just pursuing it for other people I don’t think the quality if the work would have been there,” Ho admits. “It’s quite a nice high-spec book with a beautiful linen cover and really nice stock,” says Chloe. Tom Preston, one of the backers excitedly exclaimed “Such a sweet idea! Brings back the memories of all you can eat in Gizzy as kid, good times. Can’t wait to see this book!” Pleasing their newfound community didn’t stop there, “once we exceeded our goal we offered a cool enamel pin,” Chloe proudly mentions. So looking back, are the pair surprised by how Pizza Hunt took off? Chloe thinks so,”especially because we worked on this for a number of years before we shared it.” Really they shouldn’t be so surprised, their effort and dedication to this project was incredible. Chloe says it herself – “this was definitely the most research intensive project we’ve done to date.” But, aside from the obvious hard yards put in, what do they think creators need to focus on, to get their photography works funded? Chloe’s advice – “It’s all about getting it in front of the right people.”

BOURBON STREET BAR & LOUNGE, IRONDALE, ALABAMA, USA

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 195


THE SHOT Embarking on a passion project is an interesting rabbit hole to venture down. WORDS

BY

: KRYSTLE WRIGHT

As an artist, I am always searching for ways to grow and evolve in the medium of photography. I know this will come through when I push myself outside the comfort zone. I came into this shoot with no expectations and a clear concept in my mind, and as usual it doesn’t quite go exactly to plan, but that’s the beauty of working in the outdoors. The concept was to see what it would be like utilising a drone to position the Speedlites – it’s not easy to access waterfalls and get into the desired position. I rigged myself to a rope attached to a tree, overhanging the lip of the waterfall, and shot the kayakers as they paddled underneath me. One aspect of this shoot – which I had not fully considered – was the fact that each time the kayaker would paddle over the edge, I would only have one shot. I absolutely love this because it really focuses on quality over quantity. Over the three days of the shoot I may have only shot enough to fill one roll of film (without including the test shots when setting the flashes).

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

When I first got into photography, with my Kodak disposable cameras that I’d take on school camps, I remember planning out my shots. I would allow only 3 or 4 photos per day, so the roll of film would last the whole trip. I felt like this shoot encapsulated a similar feeling, and it brought up a lot of excitement and also nervousness. It’s important to remove the guarantee, as it strips away the method of playing it safe. It’s a scary feeling to realise that this all might fall apart, but it also pushes me to be on my toes and not fall into a lazy rhythm. Often as a nomad, I am by myself and I worry that maybe I’ve become too accustomed in being by myself. But when I can share my passion with other similar like-minded friends, wow, what an incredible atmosphere to be a part of. The momentum and vibe amongst the group was absolutely amazing and made the whole experience worth it! For now I am happy with what we all achieved together, though I know in time, my mind begins to tick over and start thinking how can I evolve this project and raise the bar again.


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

SPECIAL THANKS: ERIK BOOMER / LARKIN CAREY (FALKOR AERIALS) / SARAH PARK / MATT PARK / MICHAEL ORI / JOEY JONAITIS / RUSH STURGES / DANE JACKSON / RAFA ORTIZ / DAVID FUSILI / DAVID SPIEGEL / ROB FUSILI / CANON AUSTRALIA / CANON USA / NRS / F-STOP GEAR / KEEN /

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 197


I M A G I N AT I O N “Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; chess players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.” G K Chesterton

Imagination is as priceless and as highly sought-after as true love…the great thing that distinguishes us from robots. Along with creativity, imagination is the currency of success for us all. But what happens when we lose it? Do we REALLY lose it? At what point do we stop imagining dragons when we see weirdlyshaped clouds? Must a traumatic event occur for us to stop doodling pencil sketches of wizards emerging from tunnels being chased by flawed beauty queens bearing unicorn horns? Perhaps imagination ends with childhood, a cruel blow that many of us never recover from. If you’ve ever seen the film version of a book you loved, and left the cinema disappointed, it’s most likely because the film you imagined in your head, while you were reading the book – was a heck of a lot better than anything the movie director brought to life. Eragon – we’re pointing the finger at YOU (the movie in my imagination was far superior to yours…but why?!) An exception to this might be the Harry Potter books, but that’s only because JK Rowling struck an arrangement with the film producers that the films must almost perfectly reflect the books, scene by scene. Paediatrician Robert Guaran doesn’t believe adults actually lose their imagination. Instead, our childhood imagination actually morphs into something else. Something more useful. “What happens is kids go through various stages of development and they experience ‘magical thinking.’ They don’t really understand the world, or science. They don’t understand things like gravity so they make up stories to explain things in the world,” Guaran said. 198 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

“If you don’t know all about science, then you make up stories. Imaginative play or creative play is an important component of all childhood. It peaks at nine or ten years of age. Then you go through adolescence, where you have an idea that you’re immortal, and all powerful – this is especially true for men. So we don’t really lose our imagination, it just changes.” Well, it changes…but at what price? As a child, it’s a huge compliment to be told “You have a very active imagination.” As an adult, that phrase quickly morphs into an insult, especially when used in the middle of a conversation about relationships, accusations involving illicit love affairs or – even worse – when you declare you’re on track to being the CEO of a company that opens an office on Venus. But all is not lost. Even the brainiest of us - scientists – tap into their childish imagination when the going gets tough. “A scientist can show us how imaginative adults can be. They see a problem and use their imagination to come up with a solution: it might be the atomic bomb, or it might be medication that can cure a disease,” Guaran said. “So what they are doing is taking all the knowledge they’ve got and say, ‘Ok, with all this knowledge, what’s the next step?’ They take their knowledge and they use their imagination to produce something extraordinary.” So all is not lost. Our imagination never really leaves us. Even if we try to pretend we’ve outgrown our creativity, our imagination is right there waiting for us. Like a long lost friend. Well, imagine that.


Fly in British style Fly with us to more than 110 cities in Europe and experience the world-class service that the British are famous for. Discover more at ba.com


BEEF MASSAMAN

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

SIMPLE AND IRRESISTIBLE

Covering the globe it’s brought us back home to Irin Micky and her team at north Sydney’s, Simple and Irresistible

2

016 was a torrid and truly eye opening year around the restaurant scene.

During the European summer we had a tendency to gravitate towards the Mediterranean, specifically Italy, Croatia, Greece and the Grand Bretagne’s fabulous roof top GBs. This gave us plenty of choice, experiencing both local street eateries, traditional restaurants and on board luxury cruise ship dining.

As per last year, little has changed in respect to the “Fresh and Local” policy and the overrated, overpriced contemporary nonsense that has become also tiresome. Having done a few trips to London, we were able to drop in on a couple of the Michelin star eateries: Michael Roux at Landau Roux, the Langham Hotel and Nathan Outlaw at the Capital Hotel Knightsbridge, both of which were spectacular. A stay at the Capital or eating at Outlaws is a must next time you visit London. We went around the world in eighty ways with the Taj Buckingham Gate who put together four hours of culinary wizardry, as we covered their four eateries in one night. Quilon’s Michelin star was certainly shining. The Taj group wouldn’t be Indian without the famous Bombay brasseries: the original being in Kensington and the new location at the Taj Dubai. The UAE still strives for perfection and I couldn’t find a better Thai Kitchen than at the Park Hyatt Dubai.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 201


CHEF MAX ALFIERI RESTAURANT IOESCO

Over the creek at the newly opened Palazzo Versace is an Italian gem, Enigma. The US was not to be out done. Michelin starred Al Fiori at the Langham on Fifth Avenue was the stars and stripes standout. Chicago impressed with visual and edible masterpieces to delight and indulge, served with a dramatic backdrop of the Chicago River. Restaurants were a mix of classic and contemporary cuisines with a very cool open kitchen. Travelle kitchen+bar was playful yet refined, casual yet elegant, an incredible dining experience led by Chef Ricardo Jarquin. LA as always was a blast with Vittoria coffee hosting our stay and sampling LA’s latest hipster venues, Butcher’s Kitchen, Bondi Harvest and Jessica Biel’s Au Fudge. On board Silverseas, we were treated to great Italian fare and as we stopped along the Amalfi coast, there was a huge choice offering magnificent home style cooking. Let’s not forget Asia and the incredible One Harbour Road at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, along with their new Grand Café and across the harbour, the Langham Hotel’s three Michelin star Tang Dynasty. Each year Sydney boasts what I believe to be Australia’s best Chinese at Lee’s Fortuna court with their magnificent lamb pancakes and just down the road at North Sydney you will find Micky serving up the “find of the year” with her beef massaman at Simple and Irresistible. And to finish off where we started, the Italian theme was never more prevalent than on the Gold Coast with new comer at Isle of Capri, Cicchetti. The stand out, and still untouchable as Queensland’s number one Italian with Chef Max Alfieri’s spaghetti bolognese is IOESCO at Sanctuary Cove.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

CHEFS DAVID POMMIER AND TOM BYROM RESTAURANT IOESCO

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 203


V E NTU R E

C A PITA L

O U T L A W S


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | C A P I TA L - L O N D O N

DAVID AND KATE LEVIN

T

here are a number of key trends becoming apparent in travel as the luxury seasoned traveller becomes very demanding, especially in terms of privacy and enjoying a sense of family, whereas the frugal holiday traveller is enjoying the share accommodation found on AirBNB which allows you to bunk in with a family if you choose this option. Traditional global brands are becoming nervous as the remarkable growth in companies such as AirBNB continues to escalate. Adding to their worries are the independent boutique properties springing up everywhere making for a hospitality revolution. One boutique hotel giving the competition something to worry about is the Capital at 22 Basil Street Knightsbridge, just behind Harrods. Although my job was to review Nathan Outlaws Michelin star restaurant, Outlaws, situated in the Capital, I found myself wanting to also write about the charming hotel that houses this top notch London eatery. Choosing a London restaurant can be incredibly frustrating because of overpriced meals and odd concoctions of flavours, even when they have many awards. Thus I’ve become a little sceptical of the “Michelin Star” thing until I came to Outlaws. Chef Nathan Outlaw left me speechless with his remarkably creative menu. I may sound a little excited, because I am. Most current chefs are losing the plot and completely overthinking what should be simple, fresh, local as possible and uncomplicated.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 205


I began sampling the talents of Nathan firstly with a silky smooth salmon Mousse with fresh grissinis. This was followed by an entree of lobster risotto flavoured with fresh orange segments and basil, a serving of freshly grilled octopus, almonds and sherry vinegar bread sauce.

Cesar has the accolade of being the youngest ever UK Keeper of the Quaich. This is a Society at the heart of the Scotch whisky industry. It was founded with the purpose of promoting the heritage and quality of Scotch whisky on an international level through its members in 83 countries.

For main I decided upon a lightly grilled Sea Bass garnished with a freshly crumbed oyster, poached leeks, olive oil and a fluffy lime hollandaise sauce.

Next door sits the Levin Hotel, a 12 bedroom townhouse also run by the Levin family. Also part of the stable is the London Bakery delivering to high end restaurants, hotels and clubs across London.

Both Dannie and I rated our desserts as the best we have ever tasted - a salted chocolate fondant tart with homemade strawberry ice cream, raspberries and pistachios and a dish of heavenly Elderflower cream, strawberries and verjus.

Let me give you an example of the very personalised service, hard to find throughout the globe. At breakfast I was eager for a bowl of Greek yoghurt. Unfortunately it was not available on the buffet, so the restaurant manager organised a bowl to appear for me within minutes and assured me there would be Greek yoghurt available throughout my stay.

It’s not just an evening meal that one can salivate over at The Capital. It’s known for honouring the tradition of Great British Afternoon Teas with favourites such as Victoria Sponge, Bakewell Tart, crumpets and scones with delicious homemade jams. Then there is the bar. Overseeing this sophisticated scene is the supreme Whisky master, Cesar Da Silva. I’d highly recommend the degustation menu of cocktails for two and the selection of wines from Levin Wines in the Loire Valley.

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

Under the stewardship of owner David Levin and general manager Kate Levin, the Capital boasts one of London’s hospitality Crown Jewels with uncompromising levels of customer service and hospitality. The rooms are beautifully appointed and the location is more than convenient within walking distance of the Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Harrods and Knightsbridge tube stations.


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | C A P I TA L - L O N D O N T R AV E L | C A N C U N - M E X I CO

HEAD CHEF TOM BROWN AND EXECUTIVE CHEF NATHAN OUTLAW

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 207


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | C A P I TA L - L O N D O N

WHISKY MASTER CLASSES WITH CESAR DA SILVA 1. Discovery Journey £1500 per person. Cesar’s selection of six of Scotland’s rarest whiskies paired with six of the UK’s finest cheeses is for true whisky aficionados. This sensory pilgrimage includes a whisky cocktail and lasts for one hour. 2. Whisky & Cheese Pairing £45.00 per person An impressive range of whisky is expertly matched with a selection of British cheese. Try a Talisker (18yr old) with Roqueford or blue D’auvergne and perhaps a special release Kilchoman – the most recent Islay distillery – with Tonne de Savoie or Epoisse.

LEFT: CESAR DA SILVA CONDUCTING ANOTHER MASTER CLASS

3. Around The World £195 per person. Whisky enthusiasts can expect to enjoy the Midleton Very Rare 2010, a magnificent blend of the finest distillates and one of Ireland’s most exclusive whiskies; an award winning single malt Yamazaki 18 Year Old, an excellent example of Japanese whiskies, a Pappy Rip Van Winkle 20 year old, one of the longest aged bourbons in the world and an Ardbeg Supernova 2015 – Committee Release created to celebrate the conclusion of Ardbeg’s experiments in space. Due to the rarity of the featured whiskies, this experience will be available for a limited time only. 4. ‘Fine and Rare’ Whisky Class £185 for two guests. A whisky experience including the long-gone Ardberg Supernova Committee Release, Ben Nevins 43 year old, and Strathilsa 1965. Each whisky is expertly matched with perfectly complimented British cheeses.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 209


CESAR DA SILVA’S SELECTION OF FINE WHISKIES HAVE INCLUDED: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

62 Gun Salute (£2000 per bottle) – one of the most exclusive blended whiskies, named in celebration of the Queen’s birthday; Auchentoshan (£750 per bottle) only available for purchase on the Queen Elizabeth 2 Balvenie 1972 vintage cask (£1500 per bottle) one of 150 made Glenfarclas 50 years old (£4500 per bottle) one of only 87 decanters made Bunnahabhain 1971 (£1500 per bottle) this distillery is celebrating its 125th anniversary Lord of the Isles (£1100 per bottle) one of Ardbeg’s most exclusive whiskies

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

THE CAPITAL 22-24 Basil St, Knightsbridge, London United Kingdom | www.capitalhotel.co.uk

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


There’s economy class. Then there’s World Traveller. There’s more to our World Traveller cabin than just great value. With our award-winning service, ergonomically designed seating, extensive in-flight entertainment and complimentary meals, it’s the smart way to fly economy class. Visit ba.com


BELMOND VILLA SAN MICHELE Heaven to be found on earth

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | I TA LY

GABRIELLA, PIETRO, AMANDA AND MAX ALFIERI

J

uly each year has been our much needed family time and we have all agreed that a trip home to our roots was long over due.

The planning was a family affair and we thought it would be cool to drop in on a couple of the worlds best hotels and do a little work on the way . First was the Villa san Michaele in Florence were legendary Chef Attilio was on hand to share a few of his specialties. Belmond Villa San Michele is nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, enjoying unparalleled vistas of Florence, stretched out before it in all its classic splendour. Dating from the 15th century, the Villa’s facade is attributed to Michelangelo. Step inside and you experience the ethereal beauty and solitude of a Renaissance monastery that is as much a part of Italy’s culture as the country’s greatest cathedrals and galleries. Today, Belmond Villa San Michele is recognised as one of the country’s finest small boutique hotels. Stroll in the Italian gardens, bursting with lemon trees and fragrant roses, and savour superb Tuscan cuisine on the alfresco loggia as if in a private home. In just a short time, our culinary school in Italy has established a worldwide reputation for excellence. Foodie vacations at Belmond Villa San Michele are taken to a new level with an expert cooking class. Tuscany is famed for its cuisine—learn the secrets to recreate the dishes in your own kitchen. Executive Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio teaches “hands-on” lessons, which means you will be preparing, tasting and cooking alongside him. Small classes ensure that each student enjoys individual attention. Our next stop was the famed Belmond Caruso at Ravello on the Amalfi coast where we visited the world renowned Lemonchello plantations and sat by the infinity pool with Italy’s best Margarita Pizza.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 213


CARUSO O N T H E A M A L FI COA S T

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | I TA LY

FROM VILLA SAN MICHELE, CHEF ATILLIO DE FABRIZIO

BELMOND HOTEL CARUSO A former 11th century palace set on cliffs beside the Amalfi Coast, Belmond Hotel Caruso seems to drift on a ‘balcony’ above the Mediterranean Sea. It is a triumph of the restorer’s skill. Its ancient walls and fresco-covered ceilings have been carefully preserved to make it a work of art in itself. Stroll through the terraced gardens or lounge beside the stunning infinity pool. From Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello is yours to explore. Take a boat trip to Positano or discover Roman Pompeii. Wherever you turn, both inside the hotel and out, a world of heritage, culture and beauty awaits. Famed for its superb selection of fresh, local Mediterranean dishes, Belmond Hotel Caruso’s Belvedere Restaurant offers diners an unforgettable experience. Chef Mimmo di Raffaele takes guests on a tantalising journey of discovery. Traditional Italian specialities inspire innovative dishes. Dine in the elegant indoor dining room, the atmospheric outdoor terrace, or in the al fresco area close to the pool, surrounded by ancient rose bushes. Spending time with both Chef Mimmo and Chef Attilio was so memorable and it continued to confirm that simplicity is the key and with mountains of fresh produce and oceans at there door step, there commitment to the traditional is refreshing. So when you are planning your next culinary adventure please drop in on the Belmond properties. www.belmond.com

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 215


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S Y D N E Y F E AT U R E S | V I V I D F E S T I VA L - 2 0 15

VIVID A BIRDS EYE VIEW

Watch in amazement as Sydney comes ALIVE with an enchanting light and laser show.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 217


S

ydney HeliTours is proud to be a locally owned and operated business servicing the growing tourism, corporate charter, major events and film requirements of the Sydney and NSW region. They provide premium quality and professional helicopter services from their base at Sydney Airport, Mascot. Helicopters evoke many images when they come to mind. Luxury, a chance to escape to secluded destinations, excitement, adventure, and mystery. They are able to take you from the middle of the busy, manic city and then, after a short flight, land in the remote Australian wilderness, touching down on the lush grass of a lavish resort hidden away from the madness of the city. This seems far away in the mind of someone sitting in their office considering their next vacation. However, for the pilots at Sydney HeliTours, landing at luxurious destinations is a daily event. There are so many incredible destinations right on Sydney’s doorstep. The vast sandstone gorges and escarpments of the Blue Mountains, the exclusive beauty of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, the expansive vineyards of the Hunter Valley, the pristine coastline of the NSW Central Coast,

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

just to name a few. And Sydney HeliTours visits them all. Sydney HeliTours offers a range of services including scenic flights over Sydney Harbour and Sydney’s beaches, lavish luncheon tours, day trips into the surrounding regions of Sydney, corporate incentive tours, corporate travel, A to B transfers, and large group transfers. Whisking people off to unknown destinations however, is only part of the job at Sydney HeliTours. They also specialize in aerial filming and photography. Earlier this year, Sydney HeliTours teamed up with Canon and the Canon Collective to shoot Vivid Sydney testing the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with several skilled photographers. Canon Collective brought amateur photographers and professional photographers, along with several Canon ambassadors together to test the new Canon addition and to take some spectacular shots of Vivid Sydney. Helicopters are a great platform to demonstrate the latest in camera technology while providing a unique experience to Canon Collective photographers. We have been

CHIEF PILOT FORREST SHORE


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S Y D N E Y

amazed by some of the images shot from Sydney HeliTours’ helicopters at night. And fortunately with this new partnership, there are even more opportunities arising from Canon Australia and Sydney HeliTours with future aerial-photography ventures to come. Sydney HeliTours excels in the tourism and corporate sectors with their modern fleet of well maintained executive helicopters. They have a range of low time and beautifully presented helicopters to choose from. From piston engine to turbine, single engine to twin engine, three passenger helicopters to seven passengers, the options are endless. Their fleet includes Robinson 44s and a Robinson 66, perfect helicopters for private scenic flights and aerial photography. The Agusta 109 Grand New and Airbus Helicopters EC130 are always a sight to see and ideal for corporate transfers. Their deluxe leather seats allow you to relax in comfort whilst looking out the large windows, offering unrestricted views to the world below. The distinct nature of helicopter travel allows complete ease and freedom of travel. Helicopters can land from large airports to small patches of grass next to houses. Moreover, the impressive nature of these incredible machines brings most people to a

HARTES ALOFT - CARE OF SYDNEY HELITOURS AND CANON AUSTRALIA

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 219


If you are looking for a little piece of paradise hidden in the Australian bush, a way to get from A to B in luxury, or group transfers and rewards in style, look no further

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S Y D N E Y

standstill. Helicopters are perfect for picking up important clients for your next business venture meetings or simply transferring clients from work site to work site in a comfortable, fast, and efficient manner. A move guaranteed to impress. However, it is crucial not to forget your staff and other important members of your corporate environment. Sydney HeliTours offers exclusive tailored corporate incentive tours, team building events, and scenic flights. And if you have a large team, not a problem. They can cater for up to 60 passengers at a time. No need for large airliners any longer. Whether you are taking your staff to a race day, a golf trip along one of the NSW Central Coast’s incredible courses, or long lunches finished with a scenic flight over the blue waters of Sydney Harbour, Sydney HeliTours’ expert team is there to assist in all capacities. But, helicopters aren’t only restricted to scenic flights and long lunches. Have you ever felt the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you are late to an important work meeting? Sitting in traffic as it crawls along the highway? Or sitting at the airport watching your aircraft’s flight time go back further and further on the departures board? There is need to worry about any of this when flying on a private helicopter. No lengthy battle with

people at check in and major security screenings, no lining up for your flight, no squeezing into the tiny seats of cattle class, no battle with the person in front of you as they put their seat back, no lengthy taxiing down the runway, and no need to stare at a rotating baggage carousel looking for your case with the bright red lock before battling airport taxi queues. It seems with today’s modern busy world, time is everything. Sydney HeliTours offers a fast and efficient A to B transfer service by helicopter for executives and corporate personnel saving time and the stress of being trapped in traffic. The flexibility of a helicopter allows them to land at a wide range of locations as well as all airports throughout Australia, getting one to their destination swiftly and in comfort. Safety is always a key issue in aviation. Sydney HeliTours has an enviable 100% safety record and are regarded in the industry for professionalism and customer service, ensuring every passenger is a VIP. If you are looking for a little piece of paradise hidden in the Australian bush, a way to get from A to B in luxury, or group transfers and rewards in style, look no further. Luxury, privacy, relaxation, and peace of mind are waiting for you with the helicopter team at Sydney HeliTours.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 221


VIVID 2016

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

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

|

N ATA L I E U N G U R I A N


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S Y D N E Y

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 223


AN

R E T R E AT Relax and rejuvenate - your personal haven in the heart of the city.

H

aving lived in Dubai for now 10 years, watching the growth has been nothing short of remarkable.

The original hub was set along the famed Sheikh Zayed rd between the world trade centre and the financial district, today the makeup has changed significantly. Leading the charge as the premier corporate hotel is the Shangri La Dubai, with all the technology and service of a perfect meetings and convention property and still providing the slick trappings of a luxury leisure hotel. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, offers 302 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, as well as an exclusive Horizon Club with special benefits. The hotel is located only 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport and five minutes from the World Trade Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre, Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. We took inspiring culinary journey through Asia, Europe, India and South America. I was in need of something different to entertain and I was amazed to find the best Vietnamese eatery I have ever been to, Hoi An, it will blow you away, not only with the remarkably contemporary approach but the outstanding service, it is a must visit on your next trip.

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

The hotel’s restaurants boast staff from the nations of each featured cuisine, ensuring a most authentic dining experience with a dash of Shangri-La’s renowned service. Named after the quaint Vietnamese fishing port, Hoi An is Dubai’s only authentic Vietnamese restaurant and a favourite among the local UAE foodies. Its intimate and stylish ambiance is complemented by an extensive menu offering a wide variety of delectable Vietnamese dishes served in traditional style on bamboo platters and lotus leaves. With an entirely Vietnamese team, both the kitchen and the service team, Hoi An offers a mesmerising blend of authentic Vietnamese flavours and traditional hospitality. The big plus for Danielle and I was the 2 great squash courts situated in the heath club giving us daily sessions, the ShangriLa Hotel, Dubai, has the facilities and services to ensure total satisfaction. Relax and rejuvenate in the tranquil waters of the swimming pool, or take a breath and unwind at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, offers a comfortable retreat in its 302 exceptionally spacious guestrooms and suites. Arabian-inspired luxury and warm earth tones are enhanced by rich sycamore veneers and original local artworks.


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S H A N G R I L A - D U B A I

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 225


DUBAIS PREMIERE MEETING AND CONVENTIONS VENUE

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S Y D N E Y

Here is truly an intimate and welcoming sanctuary in the heart of a vibrant metropolis.

During our stay we had a chance to look at the refurbishment plans that will certainly take the Shangri La to a new level. Here is truly an intimate and welcoming sanctuary in the heart of a vibrant metropolis. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining at Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. Meet friends for coffee or tea, stop for a light lunch or celebrate a special occasion with a memorable meal. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, offers a range of sophisticated dining options through our eight restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. Meetings and conventions come second nature here with world class facilities and only a short walk to the World Trade centres front door. As all Shangri La’s the service and attention to detail is second to none and with multiple global properties you know what to expect.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 227


No.1 AUSTRALIA’S

WH ERE FA M ILY COMES FIRST

T

he crowds rarely disperse at The Butcher’s Daughter, a sprawling all-day café on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. The New York transplant, known for its wellness ethos, sun-bleached fittings and vibrant SoCal vibe, has attracted a fervent following since opening earlier this year. Athleisure devotees, health-conscious yogis, glossy-haired models and stubble-wearing actors all converge here for cold-pressed juices, buckwheat pancakes and spicy kale salads, and for the exceptional organic coffee roasted across the Pacific. Front and centre in the picturesque space is an elegant espresso machine imprinted with the name of Australia’s leading premium coffee brand: Vittoria Coffee. In the last two years, that name has sprouted all around the US, in high-end restaurants, crowd-pleasing cafes and acclaimed hotels. Vittoria Coffee is served at iconic lodgings such as Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, the Hollywood Roosevelt in LA, and the Avalon in Palm Springs. It takes pride of place at a custom-designed bar at W Hollywood, and at the brand-new Pendry San Diego. In West Hollywood, one can order Vittoria at jam-packed Asian-style eatery E.P. & L.P., at Jessica Biel’s family-friendly restaurant, Au Fudge. At Spring, a sophisticated French restaurant in downtown LA, it caps off a meal by chef Tony Esnault. In New York, the coffee is available at well-regarded restaurants including Piora, Flinders Lane and Nourish Kitchen & Table. In total, there are close to 100 high-profile accounts, but you get the sense this is still early days for the brand. “It’s all about positioning ourselves in the right place from the start, working with clients who are committed to delivering quality who we can build long term relationships with like Neiman Marcus, where we have just partnered to open an espresso bar in Beverly Hills,” says Rolando Schirato, the company’s Managing Director. The younger Schirato, who took the reins of the company two years ago, has made the North American market a focus of late. Café ownership has never been part of the Vittoria approach; roasting and wholesaling is the modus operandi established by the company’s renowned chief executive, Les Schirato, over the last five decades. “Our success has come from being different,” says Schirato senior. “We take on the biggest food companies in the world, so we need to stand out with our personalised service. That’s why we do so well in food service. Our clients trust us.”

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | LO S A N G E L E S

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 231


In Australia and New Zealand, Vittoria Coffee has long been available at more prestigious restaurants than any other brand. It’s the coffee preferred by award-winning chefs, including Guillaume Brahimi, Peter Doyle, Shane Delia, Anthony Lui, and George Calombaris, all of whom serve it in their restaurants. Now, the rest of the food world is catching on. The brand currently exports coffee to 20 countries, including Thailand, Canada, and Singapore, and supplies five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants across much of Asia and the Middle East. The opulent Wynn Palace, a new arrival in Macau, is a recent customer. So too, the corporate offices of Emirates airline in Dubai. “No matter the market, our strategy remains the same and that’s partnering with the best, to ensure our brand is well represented as it is the only way to build a premium positioning for the long term” Rolando says. “We could cut a deal and sell 100 containers of coffee in China but, unlike publicly listed companies, we’re not interested in shortterm gains. Everything is a long-term play for us.” That thinking is underscored at the company’s multi-million-dollar facility in Sydney, the most advanced of its kind in the region. The gleaming headquarters are a receptacle for the world’s best arabica coffee beans from Brazil to Ethiopia, which are painstakingly tested, tasted and funneled through a pair of enormous Probat roasters from Germany. By meticulously calibrating beans from around the globe, Vittoria produces a collection of proprietary roasts with different compelling flavour profiles. Customers can select between after-dinner blends, single-origins and organic options among others. “It’s about maintaining the flavour profile you have created year after year, even when you can’t source the same beans—we are famous for doing this. I travel extensively and I know that the quality of our coffee is second to none. It is not a largely known fact internationally, but it is widely recognised in the industry across the globe, and consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the sophisticated coffee culture in Australia,” said Rolando. Indeed, why else would Starbucks launch a flat-white coffee if not for the growing prominence of Australian coffee? Much has been made in the US of the “third wave” of coffee operators: small independents that have improved the average cup of joe from coast to coast. But Vittoria, an Italian-Australian legacy brand with a history of roasting since 1958, is a tantalising proposition for many American hospitality ventures. “ “Our American customers really appreciate the heritage of the brand, our story and the fact that specialty coffee has been our focus since the 50’s” says Rolando. The company can scale according to the client: from a small café to a major hotel chain. But no matter the size of the partner, the attention to detail is the same. From staff training to servicing coffee machines, special events to marketing initiatives, Vittoria is known for delivering a multi-faceted approach.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | LO S A N G E L E S

To spread the message in the US, Schirato has established satellite offices for the brand in both Los Angeles and New York, and most recently established partnerships in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Atlanta. As a third-generation family business, they are inclined to hire staff members they are familiar with. “Over the years we have built a strong team, with people who share the same vision and beliefs as Rolando and myself,” says Schirato senior. “We want the industry to know that at Vittoria there is a family of human beings who care—large organsations don’t have that.” The LA team, for instance, is headed by Jake Bedwell, Schirato’s cousin, and two other seasoned Australians Dave Harper and Sam Trude who are both long term friends of Schirato Jr. When well-known Sydney chef Guy Turland opened a branch of his Bondi Harvest café in Santa Monica recently, he reached out to Vittoria’s LA team for guidance, equipment and coffee. Turland, in turn, documented his experience with Tastemade, the video network known for its food and travel content. Participation in networking events has been integral to Vittoria’s US outreach. Rolando Schirato is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), an invitation-only network of chief executives younger than 49. YPO regularly hosts conferences for its 22,000 members, including recent Food & Beverage network related events in Napa Valley and a business growth conference in New Orleans. “YPO has helped me build a US network for the business in a relatively short period of time,” says Rolando. The company’s stateside expansion is strategically incremental. To focus on the east coast, Vittoria showcased its wares at the annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) trade fair in Chicago in May of this year. The NRA show is the largest gathering of the hospitality industry in the US, and attended by more than 42,000 buyers. Many of them stopped by the sleek Vittoria espresso bar, curious to learn more about the stylish brand. The stand, composed of dark wood, marble and brass, was equipped with 2 x 3 group Faema coffee machines, and a nitro cold brew tap system attended by four dapper baristas. “It was an ideal event to meet premium partners from eastern and southern states,” says Rolando. “It enabled us to demonstrate our capabilities in a full working environment showcasing everything that we pride on ourselves on, delivering for our customer’s scale, combining Italian heritage with Australian execution.”

“People love the taste of our coffee, and it’s very satisfying to see the brand being so well received in this market.”

ABOVE ROLANDO SCHIRATO AND HIS FATHER, VITTORIA CEO, LES SCHIRATO

Educating American drinkers about the way Vittoria makes coffee was another important aim. When attendees asked the baristas for “a black coffee with cream and sweetener”—a typical request—they were persuaded to try a perfectly made flat-white or latte instead. Sampling the elevated product is the easiest way to convert a customer, especially for those who are accustomed to consuming stale diner coffee. It’s why Vittoria is now being stocked by some of the foremost names in hospitality from New Zealand to New York. “People love the taste of our coffee, and it’s very satisfying to see the brand being so well received in this market,” says Rolando. “We’re in no hurry. We are happy to approach markets with a long term plan, our main objective is to do it well, not just to do it. Over time we aspire to change drinking habits, one cup of coffee at a time.”

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 233


CALIFORNIA COFFEE

Vittoria has well and truly planted its flag in California—so much so that you can now navigate the Golden State by hopping between venues from north to south. Here is a smattering of the storied hotels, leading restaurants and cool cafes that serve Vittoria.

VENUE: POST RANCH INN LOCATION: Big Sur, California, just south of San Francisco. THE VIBE: Perched high on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking hideaway features ocean rooms with curved walls, tree houses on stilts and spacious cabins with cantilevered terraces. SERVING: As befitting this destination hotel, Sierra Mar restaurant serves elaborate multicourse menus. Think black mussels cooked in embers, black sesame fried eggs, and Monterey red abalone. COFFEE ORDER: An Americano, similar to a long black, to accompany the bracing ocean views from the restaurant and rooms. VENUE: W HOLLYWOOD LOCATION: At the intersection of iconic Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. THE VIBE: With oversized lamps, patterned carpets and pink banquettes, the lobby of this hotel has an electric charm. There’s a Bliss Spa, rooftop pool and burlesque shows. SERVING: Hollywood power brokers and tourists dine at Delphine, the hotel’s swanky restaurant. Signatures include kale salad, halibut ceviche and wild prawns and uni. COFFEE ORDER: You’ll need a triple-shot macchiato to conquer Tinseltown. VENUE: THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER LOCATION: Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. THE VIBE: A good-looking crowd, including models and well-known actors (we spied Tobey Maguire recently), descends on this boho venue every single day. The space is fetchingly decorated with plants, ropes and copper accents. SERVING: Billed as a “vegetable slaughterhouse”, this café focuses on vegetarian dishes, seasonal salads and juice flights. COFFEE ORDER: An almond milk latte suits the dairyand gluten-free set.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | LO S A N G E L E S

VENUE: AU FUDGE LOCATION: Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. THE VIBE: This bustling restaurant, marketplace and creative space for parents and children has been described as “Soho house for kids.” That would have something to do with actress Jessica Biel being one of the owners, and the celebstudded patrons. SERVING: Mums sip mimosas and nibble on Cobb salads, while their pampered offspring enjoy organic cookies. Au pairs can spirit children away to the playrooms. COFFEE ORDER: A frothy cappuccino for mum and a babyccino for bub. VENUE: SPRING LOCATION: South Spring Street in downtown LA. THE VIBE: An atrium dining room, complete with pepper trees, pendant lights and a tiered fountain, transports Angelenos to the south of France. Downtown LA is currently undergoing a metamorphosis reflected in this gorgeous new arrival. SERVING: Helmed by acclaimed chef Tony Esnault, of Church & State, and his partner Yassmin Sarmadi, Spring excels in French staples such as salade niçoise, fish stew, and escargot. COFFEE ORDER: A French press of Vittoria’s organic blend served in a beautiful vessel. VENUE: AVALON HOTEL & BUNGALOWS LOCATION: Palm Springs, two hours drive from LA. THE VIBE: Kelly Wearstler designed this sophisticated oasis in the desert, which hints at Palm Spring’s halcyon days with its black and white palette, yellow flourishes and seductive pools. SERVING: Chi Chi specialises in crowd-pleasing, Latininflected dishes like enchiladas, sopes and banana leaf roasted pork. COFFEE ORDER: Order a cold brew by the main pool, dotted with sunflower lounge chairs and billowing white tents. Or retire to your Hollywood Regency-style room equipped with its own Espressotoria machine by Vittoria.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 235


A DAY OUT ALONG ABBOT KINNEY BOULVEARD

VITTORIA ON THE GO

VENUE: NEIMAN MARCUS LOCATION: Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills LA THE VIBE: A true reflection of coffee and fashion going hand in hand. This premium marble clad bar on the 4th floor with tuxedo clad baristas delivers the personalised service that customers have come to expect. SERVING: From club sandwiches to caviar or seared tuna, each delectable dish can be paired with people-watching whilst relishing in your fashionable acquisitions of the day. COFFEE ORDER: An espresso prior, during or after shopping is an absolute must.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | LO S A N G E L E S

STORE DIRECTOR JASON

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 237


A ROOM WITH A

VIEW An intoxicating fusion of Extravagance, Heritage and Contemporary Style

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J - D U B A I

F

or eight years I’ve enjoyed watching Dubai evolve as a city of grandeur and luxury that never forgets its rock star reputation.

However, I have often found myself questioning why they have erected buildings in such bizarre and seemingly isolated locations, often without much surrounding infrastructure. But alas, as Dubai continues to evolve, it continues to surprise. Somehow, every time, the development of the city comes together and dazzles residents as much its visitors. Even more amazingly, Dubai’s formidable capacity to grow – and grow quickly – rubs off onto each individual development, as we’ve seen with the Taj Dubai.

Taj Dubai is 20 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from the beach and waterparks, located roughly between the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Mall. Here it offers proximity to the excitement and style of Downtown and the mind-boggling magnificence of the Burj Khalifa. Just a short stroll from the lobby is arguably the world’s most dynamic precinct. In typical Taj style, the entrance blends soaring ceilings and contemporary design with palpable Indian vibrancy. The décor’s lilac silks, teal crystal, polished brass and accented mirrors come together with dramatic effect.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 239


On our stay we soaked up the true sophistication of the Taj, with the Burj Khalifa perfectly framed from the lounge and bedroom – an image that adds to the hotel’s stately quality. The suite had everything we needed: irresistibly soft furnishings, state-of-the-art in-room technology, a spacious bathroom with double sinks and wall-to-ceiling marble, all finished with world class amenities. A personal butler was also assigned to tend to our needs – just in case. There was plenty of culinary decision making to be made between the Gastro Pub, the Eloquent Elephant and a fabulous outdoor bar named Tesoro. Here we watched sunsets stream endlessly behind the Burj. This being the Taj, I couldn’t go pass the Bombay Brasserie. Immediately I expected great things, as I’ve dined on multiple occasions at its Knightsbridge property in the United Kingdom. Chef Ajay Negi guided my exploration through this mouthwatering cuisine with prawn masala, succulent tandoori chicken splashed with fresh yoghurts and the world’s best lamb cutlets. It was like sitting at a banquet table in Jalandhar. I spent the last day enjoying a 90-minute healing treatment in the contemporary Jiva Spa, followed by a 30-minute soak in the bath – the perfect antidote for this avid traveller.

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

TAJ DUBAI Burj Khalifa Street, Business Bay, Dubai United Arab Emirates | taj.tajhotels.com

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

VIEW OF THE BURJ KHALIFA FROM THE LUXURY SUITE. ELOQUENT ELEPHANT AND BOMBAY BRASSERIE


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | TA J - D U B A I

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 241


FIND YOUR MUSE INTRODUCING SILVER MUSE – ARRIVING APRIL 2017 With less than 300 suites, Silver Muse will be the epitome of Silversea excellence. A small, intimate ship with uncompromised levels of service, comfort, design and accommodation, she will offer tailor-made experiences to last a lifetime. From tranquil niches and observation areas to an unprecedented spacious pool deck, outdoor lounges and three open-air restaurants, our tailor-made outdoor spaces have been conceived so that time spent aboard is most definitely, time well spent.

Intimate Ship s Ocean-view Suites s Butler Service s Complimentary Beverages s Menu by Relais & Châteaux s Included Gratuities

For more information or to book, please see your Travel Professional, call Silversea on 1300 306 872 or visit silversea.com Terms & Conditions apply, visit Silversea.com.


MEDITERRANEAN

USA & CANADA

SOUTH AMERICA

11 – 14 day voyages departing from April to August 2017

14 or 16 day voyage departing in September 2017

12 – 19 day voyages departing from October to December 2017

A Mediterranean cruise is the first thing on everyone’s bucket list. From Barcelona to the Aegean Sea, our intimate ships explore the farthest reaches of Southern Europe. After all, this is their home.

The autumn colours of Silversea’s Canada and New England cruise is one of nature’s great spectacles – cruising this coastline will leave you with memories that last much longer than just a season.

A land of stunning extremes – from the world’s highest waterfall, longest mountain range, driest desert to largest rainforest, a continent where the unexpected is never a surprise.

EXPERIENCE SILVER MUSE IN ALL-INCLUSIVE LUXURY

Soak up the ambience and award-winning gastronomic pedigree of what is surely the most comprehensive dining experience at sea. Eight superb restaurants mean more choice than ever while our unrivalled culinary excellence raises the bar in offshore dining.

Bvlgari® Bath Amenities s Pratesi® Fine Bed Linens s Spacious Walk-In Wardrobe s Pillow Menu s Complimentary WiFi

All renderings are intended as a general reference. Features, materials, finishes and layout may be different than shown.

>>>


HELLO CRUISE

Whatever corner of the world you want to experience, let our experts create your perfect cruise holiday.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | S C H E D U L E

T R AV E L SCHEDULE 2016

Spending time in the original Olympic city, this inspired and reaffirmed my rant on page 341 -‘The begining of the end’.

SEPTEMBER TO OCTOBER

SEPTEMBER 22 SEPTEMBER 22 - 24 SEPTEMBER 25 SEPTEMBER 27 SEPTEMBER 27 - 29 SEPTEMBER 30 OCTOBER 1 - 3 OCTOBER 4 - 14 OCTOBER 13 OCTOBER 14 OCTOBER 14 - 16 OCTOBER 17 - 19 OCTOBER 20 - 21 OCTOBER 22 - 23 OCTOBER 24 - 25 OCTOBER 26TH OCTOBER 27TH

IN TOTAL HARTE INTERNATIONAL REVIEWED - 21 RESTAURANTS, 7 SPA’S & GYM FACILITIES, 1 TRAIN, THE SILVERSEA’S BOAT CRUISE INCLUDING ALL ACCOMMODATION MEETING SPACE AND HOSPITALITY.

Stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney Living Room restaurant review Transfer to Qantas First Class Lounge for Lunch and Spa treatment Depart on the QF A 380 bound for Los Angeles Arrive into Los Angeles and stay at the Andaz Hotel West Hollywood Transfer to Union Station LA and embark Amtrak’s Southwest Chief bound for Chicago Arrive into Union Station Chicago and transfer to the Langham Chicago North Wabash Avenue, Chicago Langham Hotel stay with complimentary Chuan Spa treatment Depart Chicago for Rome via British Airways Arrive into Rome, transfer to the Westin Excelsior Restaurant review of Cafe Doney Transfer to Silver Seas at the Port of Civitavecchia Depart 8pm bound for Athens via the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Agostoli, Pathos, Mykonos, Kusadasi Danielle’s birthday celebration sunup at Mykonos Arrive into Athens, lunch at the Grand Bretagne Depart Athens on British Airways bound for Abu Dhabi/Dubai Stay at the Park Hyatt, Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi Review the Beach House at Park Hyatt Transfer via seaplane to Dubai landing at the Boardwalk Bar, Park Hyatt Dubai concierge meets us at the dock Restaurant review of Traiteur & enjoy a couples spa at Amara Spa Stay at Palazzo Versace Restaurant review at Enigma Stay at the Taj Dubai Review the Bombay Brasserie Restaurant Shangri La Dubai Restaurant review of Hoi An (modern Vietnamese) Depart Dubai bound for Sydney QF A 380 Arrive Sydney 6 am

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 245


GOLDEN GODS OF SUNSET STRIP

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | A N DA Z - LO S A N G E L E S

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

I

t was 1985 and I’d managed to secure a coffee with the great rock n roller, Little Richard, at his ‘home’ at the Hyatt on Sunset, Sunset Boulevarde, West Hollywood. Back then, the rock star lifestyle was all about throwing TVs out of hotel rooms and having three day parties, so I wasn’t surprised on my first meeting to see Little Richard on day two of a three day bender in a smoke filled room, playing the keyboards. I was there to pick up memorabilia for my very own Oz Rock Cafe which was soon to be open in Kings Cross, Sydney. Fast forward and it’s Friday morning 2016 and instead of some smashed celebrity I will be meeting with GM Henning Hopper, the brand new boss of the newly released ANDAZ hotel, a sexy, new, cutting edge offering from the Hyatt group. On setting foot into my old stomping ground, I found the lobby adorned with magnificent images and priceless pieces of music memorabilia. Memories flooded back. In 1976 the Hyatt corporation took over the management and the hotel became the Continental Hyatt House, a soon to be staple for travelling musicians.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 247


Jim Morrison lived at the hotel during his residency at the Whisky A Go Go until he was evicted for hanging off the balcony by his fingertips. Led Zeppelin often took the entire 11th floor hosting activities such as manager, Richard Cole riding his motorcycle through the corridors and trying to hit billboards across the road with beer bottles or throwing furniture off the balconies. These shenanigans caused the hotel to be known as ’The Riot House’. The mid 70s at Hyatt House was home to so many iconic moments in Rock n Roll history. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin screamed, “I’m a golden God” during an interview from his balcony. Keith Moon, drummer of the Who climbed up one floor from where he was staying to Robert Plant’s suite to serve him a cocktail. Keith Richards mooned the world from his balcony and dropped a TV on to the Sunset Strip. Thanks to these antics, the lobby bar is now called the Riot House bar. Boasting some 239 rooms with spectacular views of the Hollywood Hills on one side and the Sunset Strip on the other, the hotel also offers LA’s highest rooftop pool in a private cabana. Dining at the Riot House offers typical farm to table Californian cuisine with Chef Justin laying out an exquisite spread of yellowtail poke, avocado, purple radish, and ginger. Followed by a trio consisting of early squash soup with black truffle, cheese and brioche; a fig and squash flat bread sliver with bitter greens; and broken burrata with apricot and quinoa tuile. Direct from the local farmer’s market comes ingredients such as fresh corn, brussels sprouts, and mascarpone made into a delectable risotto. Our main was a lacquered Mary’s farm chicken, fig and Espelette pepper, with baby heritage carrots. We finished with a very smart play on cheese cake being crossed with a creme brûlée with a crispy top of toffee and streusel. I look forward to the development of a true Rock and Roll menu with their signature Led Zeppelin “Stairway” Burger and a Little Richard Tagliatelle carbonara. The Andaz is also a great place to have a perfect conference, wedding or meetings when you want to impress. Such incredible heritage means there is nothing off limits at the drinking hole of Rock and Roll.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | A N DA Z - LO S A N G E L E S

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 249


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

ANDAZ WEST HOLLY WOOD 8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA United States of America | westhollywood.andaz.hyatt.com

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


A new flying kangaroo Welcoming the Boeing 787–9 to Qantas Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901


THE SOUTH WEST

CHIEF WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

The sleeper train from Los Angeles to Chicago is America’s romantic rail ride not to be missed

M

y love of train travel continues. This time it’s from Los Angeles to the windy city of Chicago.

Amtrak is well known for its commuter style train journeys threading across the greater USA whilst offering all three classes: economy, couples’ sleepers, and a family size sleeper. Our trip to Chicago starts out on what feels like a very cool 1930s movie set but is actually Union Station in down town LA. There’s something quite nostalgic and relaxing about train and sea travel. No abrasive security checks and no queues that are now common place at airports around the world. Looking out the window of our First Class lounge we see the Southwest Chief preparing for the trip, finalising catering and security checks.as we wait for the mandatory “all aboard”. The train moves into action as we convert our seats into two bunk beds. Bathrooms and showers are down the hall and each room has all the basic amenities required: power points, panoramic

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

windows and wi fi - to ensure that life still goes on. Steve, our cabin master drops by to make us feel welcome and takes dinner reservations. All in all, the Southwest Chief delivers as expected. 7pm and dinner is served. We sit at a share table with other couples, not a personal favourite but Danielle loves the chit chat and always enjoys new company. The dining car has two levels and below us is a café. As you wander further on you can enjoy the clear top viewing car where all classes meet. I find train travel is a great time to reflect on my hectic life style. The Ks roll by unfolding forever changing scenery from acres of corn fields with farmers hard at it through to the grand and majestic Mississippi river. Enjoying two nights on board gives us time to catch up on stories and editing of Danielle’s fantastic images.


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | LO S A N G E L E S - C H I C AG O

OUR JOURNEY BEGINS IN LOS ANGELES, A 42 HOUR TREK THROUGH THE MID WEST AND ON TO CHICAGO

Our final push into Chicago comes and with it the excitement of spending three nights at the Langham, Dannie’s first time to this legendary city. As we walk through the terminal, I realise here I am in the same spot the as the shoot-out scene between Kevin Costner and Al Capone’s mob in the Untouchables. Although the entire journey lasts two nights, 42 hours in total and covers 3045 kilometres, I realise although it’s easy to head on down to the airport, catch a plane from LA and in around three hours be in Chicago, it wouldn’t have the same romantic feeling as a train journey. I love it and every couple of years I make time to jump aboard.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 253


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


ARRIVING INTO UNION STATION - EXCITED TO BE IN CHICAGO

Rail Plus is Australasia’s leading international rail specialist, offering travellers the ability to book and ticket an unrivalled range of rail passes and point-to-point train tickets on major networks across Europe, the UK, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, the company not only offers live inventory on Amtrak’s extensivenetwork - which covers more than 500 destinations in 46 states – it also offers a range of independent rail packages that combine Amtrak’s iconic journeys with top-quality hotel accommodation, sightseeing tours, transfers and selected meals. For more information visit www.railplus.com.au.

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

R AILPLUS railplus.com.au

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 255


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M - C H I C AG O

T I M E LE SS B R I T I S H

S T Y L E

Legendary Service and Timeless British Style in an iconic Chicago landmark, the perfect blend of convenience and luxurious comfort

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 257


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M - C H I C AG O

I

t was an easy decision to revisit the windy city because Danielle had never enjoyed the home of the misunderstood Al Capone or seen the Cubs or even the legendary Bulls sinking a few baskets which made things even more exciting.

We decided to arrive into Union Station via a cross country pilgrimage on the famed Amtrak, Southern Chief. Our arrival was one of nostalgia and being amazed at the volume of passengers. Handling approximately 120,000 passengers on an average weekday, Union Station is one of Chicago’s most iconic structures, reflecting the city’s strong architectural heritage and historic achievement. On exiting onto Canal St, Stanley, the limo driver, was anxiously waiting with a traditional “Welcome to Chicago”. A quick fifteen minute ride took us across several bridges and down famed Michigan Avenue, arriving at North Wabash Avenue and the legendary Langham Chicago. This majestic skyscraper perched over the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan legendary hotel hospitality was established and is housed since 1865, and designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe. With a riverfront location in downtown Chicago, our hotel was mere minutes from the Loop, Grant Park, Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, and Navy Pier. It provided the perfect blend of convenience and stylish comfort that we expect of the Langham. With a swift check in, we couldn’t wait to explore the hotel and especially the spa and gym.

IT’S LIKE STEPPING BACK INTO REGENT STREET LONDON

Our first task was to be indulged by the hotel’s traditional afternoon tea, as per our stay at the Langham London, this famed British pastime was brilliantly executed with classical Wedgwood crockery upon which was served up freshly made scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream with an amazing assortment of cakes, macaroons and sandwiches and let’s not forget the forty or so signature teas. Coming up to 4pm it was workout time so we took advantage of the world class Technogym for an hour and relaxed in their award winning Chuan spa, and allowed ourselves to be seduced by the eucalyptus steam, eager to simply wind down after the two day train adventure. Our suite was on level twelve and its understated elegance made it hard to believe we were in the heart of cosmopolitan Chicago. Warm, neutral tones accented by rich textiles and dark woods created open and inviting spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided breathtaking views of the city skyline and Chicago River and it offered all the modern conveniences and signature amenities. No detail had been overlooked. Visual and edible masterpieces will delight and indulge, all with a dramatic backdrop of the Chicago River. Restaurants were a mix of classic and contemporary cuisines with a very cool open kitchen. Playful yet refined, casual yet elegant, a dining experience at Travelle Kitchen + Bar was a real delight, led by Chef Ricardo T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 259


AFTERNOON TEA AT THE LANGHAM, WHERE TRADITION LIVES ON MASTER BATHROOM AND GRAND BATHROOM AND BEDROOM

Jarquin, Travelle Kitchen + Bar serves Seasonal American cuisine featuring ingredients sourced from around the country. Prior to dinner we got lost in the bar, gazing out, watching the busy city wind down and the river come alive with water taxis, floating restaurants and cluttered tourist boats with the tourists peering in and snapping away at the brilliant skyline and amazing architecture. It was hard not to be impressed by the magnificent art that adorned the lobby walls throughout and the very stylish digital art that was the hero, entertaining us as our fourth cosmopolitan arrived. Chef Jarquin came out and went through his ideas for dinner so we left it up to him to prepare his signature, Berkshire Pork chop with BBQ plum, lime and sautÊed mushrooms. Danielle enjoyed the pan fried Halibut with steamed zucchini and cherry tomatoes and to finish it was a simple affogato and a home-made Lemon tart. Our table was perfectly positioned so we could enjoy a bird’s eye view of the kitchen, and the magical light show that was Chicago. 260 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | L A N G H A M - C H I C AG O

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 261


As the restaurant quickly filled and the bar proved its celebrity status, it was clear to see why the Langham was Chicago’s hot spot. Our three night stay saw us at every chance waiting on the banks of the Chicago river or atop select buildings to steal the amazing sun-ups and sunsets. The Langham has without doubt the best location in Chicago. In fact it was metres from the production of Batman and Transformers, giving hotel patrons a director’s view of daily shoots. We have now savoured Hong Kong, London, New York and now Chicago, all brilliantly providing that consistent Langham style. Three days is nowhere near enough time in this iconic city. We were glad that it was spent in its most iconic hotel.

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

THE LANGHAM, CHICAGO 330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago USA | langhamhotels/chicago.com

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


More personal space Discover more personal space in World Traveller Plus, our premium economy cabin. With wider seats and more legroom, you can sit back and relax in comfort, with the latest in-flight entertainment, complimentary cuisine and power sockets for your electronic devices. Visit ba.com


VIA ROMA One of the city’s most imposing on one of the most celebrated and

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

palaces, rich in history and located talked about streets in Rome.


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W E S T I N E XC E L S I O R - R O M E

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

H

aving spent some of our best times in Italy over the past three years, we were excited to book the fabulous WESTIN EXCELSIOR for a few days. Located a few minutes from the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, the Westin Excelsior has been Rome’s most celebrated hotel, since 1906 having been the meeting place for most of the international rich and famous set, along with the art and cultural society types. Awash with tradition, it offers the nostalgic glamour left by many a celebrity. It has played host to such stars as Joan Crawford, Orson Wells, the Princess of Monaco, the Rolling Stones, Paul Newman and the Kennedys to name but a few. Today, the Excelsior boasts 316 guest rooms and 11 meeting rooms including a magnificent winter garden. The fitness facilities are world class, with a very cool running shoe rental program, just in case you left your Asics at home. Our room was on the sixth floor. It was a fabulous two bedroom suite with tiles, furnishings and decor consistent with the period and showcasing vistas across the roof tops, a living postcard of Vatican City. Opulence is found from the rooms to the foyer which boasts crystal chandeliers, oriental rugs and comfortable armchairs.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 265


THE ORUM BAR GIVES AN ART DECO TOUCH TO THE CLASSICAL AND REFINED AMBIENCE

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W E S T I N E XC E L S I O R - R O M E T R A V E L | G R A N D H YAT T - D U B A I

The marble entrance is staffed by attentive employees who are always friendly and ready to assist. After a day of pounding the streets, shopping, sightseeing and eating, the spa offers a wonderful respite with sauna, steam room massage and Turkish baths. There is also a gym fully equipped with the state of the art Techno gym equipment for those who need more exercise. We skipped the running machines and headed to the famous ORVM Bar instead for a superbly made cosmopolitan by mixologist Marco before a signature dinner for two at Cafe Doney. James Foglieni, Executive Chef, was on hand to impress with some homemade fettucine arrabiata followed by a veal parmigiana and sautÊed garden vegetables. Danielle enjoyed a trio of grilled cod, Madagascar prawns and chilled octopus. Dessert was kept traditional with a home-made Tiramisu and an espresso. Each morning, breakfast was at a table on the curb of Via Veneto with fresh crusty bread, poached eggs chunks of parmigiana, lashings of Greek yogurt and fresh berries. We love Rome and to stay at the city’s masterpiece is a real bonus. Make like Sean Connery, Kevin Costner and Condoleezza Rice and enjoy the WESTIN Excelsior Rome, it promises a unique and memorable experience.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 267


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN ROME


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W E S T I N E XC E L S I O R - R O M E

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 269


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | W E S T I N E XC E L S I O R - R O M E

OUR FAVOURITE VIP EXPERIENCES Private tour of the Vatican after hours including secret rooms. Forget queueing for hours, exclusive access to the Sistine Chapel, the Room of Gold and Bramante’s Staircase is granted by Italy’s Best rung by Luca and Lorenzo Guerrieri. Scoot around Rome on a vintage Vespa like Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday

TOP: ALTARE DELLA PATRIA

Scooteroma Tours offer you a guide and Vespa for four hours whether it be tasting pastries in Trastevere or following the trail of La Grande Bellezza. Our pick is the Fellini & La Dolce Vita Tour driving tour for all the Fellini fanatics.

LEFT: TREVI FOUNTAIN MIDDLE: COLLOSEUM

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

WESTIN EXCELSIOR Via Vittorio Veneto, 125, Roma Italy | westinrome.com

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 271


MORE THAN A

S I LV E R LINING

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S I LV E R S E A S

Silver Seas are designed for those who delight in the thrill of discovery while indulging mind and body in the most lavish surroundings imaginable

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 273


I

t’s been two years since our first cruise on the Silver Shadow from Vancouver, Canada, to Anchorage, Alaska.

I did not hesitate at the opportunity to do it all again, particularly knowing it was to be on the sister ship, The Silver Cloud, from Rome to Turkey, cruising along the Amalfi coast and via the Greek Islands. Our trip started in Sydney, ten days prior to boarding our cruise in Rome, with a wonderful spa treatment and lunch in the Qantas First Class lounge. First stop was LA for three days to review the very hip Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood, cross the US with Amtrak, arrive in Chicago to review the Langham hotel before connecting on BA to Rome, three days at the Excelsior before taking a second train to the port of Civitavecchia where the fabulous Silver Cloud would be moored waiting to welcome the 198 international guests that would begin their ultimate cruise. The Silver cloud has a capacity for 300 guests with one crew member per passenger and with only eight decks, this is as intimate as you can get with every luxury you will need. On arrival we spent a total six minutes checking in before arriving at our suite, complete with a queen size bed, walk in wardrobe, bathroom, shower, and a living room with desk and a fabulous verandah to enjoy the sunset as we headed out for the Amalfi coast. As we started unpacking, our personal Butler arrived to offer us a cold bottle of Champagne and ay freshly squeezed orange juice to celebrate our departure. Roland then set up our dinner reservations for the next nine nights, took our clothes for pressing and booked our shore tours. The Silver Sea’s mandate is to ensure that nothing is too much trouble and the real bonus is that there are queues of people waiting to board like the conventional cruise ships we have grown to loathe.

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

A STROLE THROUGH SORRENTO AND A COFFEE ON THE BALCONY OF THE VITTORIA HOTEL


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S I LV E R S E A S

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 275


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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S I LV E R S E A S

As we glided across the glass like Mediterranean, we fast became the envy of the floating cities, all with some three to four thousand passengers on board. This product is just incredible and makes everyone feel extremely special. On board you have everything that a five star hotel can offer and some. There’s a full butler service tendering your every need which will have you spending days deciding what, if anything you want to do from daily workouts or hours in the spa, getting pampered with scrubs, rubs and steams or just relaxing by the pool and deciding on whether it’s to be the bar and grill for lunch or a bowl of home-made pasta at La Terrazzo. Dinner is another dilemma. Will it be the fine dining at Le Champagne restaurant, some Italian, sitting on the aft deck sipping cocktails or Roland up setting up a table for two on your private verandah in your suite? Life really doesn’t get much better than the Silver Cloud with daily stops and bespoke tours to wineries, ancient ruins, Limoncello farms or a private golf club for a leisurely eighteen holes. Once all has been arranged, booked and scheduled it’s time to say ‘arrivederci’ to the historic city of Civitavecchia and commence our adventure with the first stop, the story book Sorrento followed by the Amalfi coast. Growing up, I had heard of these mystical Italian resort destinations but wondered were they truly so incredible? The picture perfect hill sides and terraces littered with villas and hotels clinging to cliffs, hanging precariously as if painted on a tapestry of pure history. The pallets of pastels defy imagination as these towns and villages that sprawl a mere 52 km along the coast leave you spellbound wanting to become part of this envious lifestyle. Sorrento boasts dozens of amazing cafes and restaurants set along the cliff face and along the shores with hundreds of locals and tourists alike taking in the magical sunsets, enjoying a plate of grilled octopus, plates of home-made pasta and the ever present Margarita pizza.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 277


As we walked up the hill it burst open to a plethora of boutique shops and more cafes. It was as if Hollywood had built a set just for the day, yet this is it, day after day with thousands of tourists arriving and sharing in the dream that is Sorrento. After a short cruise overnight to the jewel in the Amalfi Coast, we awaken to a spectacular sunrise at the foot of Ravello and we can’t wait to head up the hill to visit good friend Yolanda at the Belmond Caruso hotel. Amalfi is one of the most popular resorts and stop overs along the famed Amalfi Drive, Italy’s celebrated corniche that hugs the mountainous coast and carves its way through sheer rock. Opulent villas, cloaked in brilliantly coloured bougainvillea, hide behind high walls and wrought iron gates. Waves pound against the steep shoreline and tortuous bends challenge a steady stream of tourists. We arrived into the heart of town to see Cathedral Sant’Andrea, a marvel of ancient Arab-Moorish architecture. The church dominated the lively piazza and it was not until we started to walk up the steep cobbled road that we found ourselves at the front door of one of nature’s most fabulous agricultural masterpieces, ‘the Amalfi Lemon Experience’.

SALAVATORE ACETO OWNER OF THE AMALFI LEMON EXPERIENCE HARD AT WORK WWW.AMALFILEMONEXPERIENCE.IT

Salvatore Aceto and his remarkable family and ancestors have been defying logic since the 1700’s cultivating acres of terraced lemon farms. Around ten acres with thousands of citrus trees produce the most sought after lemons in the world and make for the world’s best Limoncello. Danielle and I spent a few hours climbing the terraces, getting to understand the selfless commitment and dedication required to ensure that these farms are passed down from generation to generation. The prize for us was enjoying a slice of arguably the greatest home-made lemon cake known to man and sipping on a shot of local Limoncello as the sun set over the acres of Lemon trees. Please visit lemonexperienceontheamalficoast. blogspot.com -The recipe is there. Messina, on the north east tip of Sicily, was the next stop. It looks out across the strait of the same name within sight of the toe of Italy’s boot. Sicily is famed as the location of Europe’s only active volcano, Mt Etna, and for its strongly parochial agricultural society protected by the illustrious, yet secretive Mafioso. After Sicily we headed to Greece. Argostoli was our first stop. It boasted breathtaking natural scenery, lush forests and dizzyingly high cliffs dropping down to the glittering azure seas. The Silver Cloud approached the Corinth Canal with the support tug boat to guide us through this amazing man made canal that was concepted in 602 BC. The emperor Nero was the first to actually attempt to construct

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S I LV E R S E A S

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 279


THE CORINTH CANAL

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S I LV E R S E A S

the canal, personally breaking the ground with a pickaxe and removing the first basketload of soil in CE 67, but the project was abandoned when he died shortly afterwards. The Roman workforce, consisting of 6,000 Jewish prisoners of war, started digging 40–50 m wide trenches from both sides, while a third group at the ridge drilled deep shafts for probing the quality of the rock (which were reused in 1881 for the same purpose). According to Suetonius, the canal was dug to a distance of four stades (approximately 700 metres), in other words about a tenth of the total distance across the isthmus). A memorial of the attempt in the form of a relief of Hercules was left by Nero’s workers and can still be seen in the canal cutting today, Other than this, as the modern canal follows the same course as Nero’s, no remains have survived. The company’s initial capital was some 30,000,000 francs, but after eight years of work it ran out of money and a bid to issue 60,000 bonds of 500 francs each flopped when less than half of the bonds were sold. The company’s head, the Hungarian István Türr, went bankrupt, as did the company itself and a bank that had agreed to raise additional funds for the project. Construction resumed in 1890 when the project was transferred to a Greek company, and was finally completed on 25 July 1893 after eleven years’ work.

THE CATHEDRAL OF MESSINA THE CHURCH OF THE ANNUNZIATA DEI CATALANI

As we navigated our way through the canal we were left with only one metre either side, exposing the sheer lime stone cliff face with no room for error. Thousands of onlookers and well-wishers perched precariously above us on small bridges, whilst dozens of fox scampered up the hillside and eagles swooped in a frenzy objecting to the intruders. We inched closer to the final bridge with a gate which opened, and miraculously descended to 25 metres allowing us to pass. Ruptures of applause broke out from the hundreds of locals who were gasping with excitement as the Majestic Silver Cloud slithered through and continued the rest of its journey, heading to Santorini. Santorini is without doubt one of the most visited and romantic of the Greek islands. Sitting atop of 600 meters of volcanic rock, Santorini plays host to hundreds of thousands of tourists a year. We found ourselves lost in the myriad of lanes and alleys, finally relaxing at a local winery, soaking up the melting sunset over the Aegean Sea. Santorini is unmistakable with its classic white washed buildings and the azure coloured domes dotted throughout the hill side. As 730 pm approached it was time to take the traditional donkey down the winding path to our awaiting tender, back on board the Silver Cloud.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 281


Our next stop for the day was Turkey’s Kusadasi then back to Greece and the magical village of Patmos. Patmos’ hillsides were littered with monasteries of the Apocalypse and windmills. Just 34km of island plays home to only 2800 people living in three villages. Celebrity didn’t miss Patmos hosting the legendary Jackie Kennedy Onassis for a number of years. Each evening on the Silver Cloud delivered a story book ending to each magical island with dinner on the aft deck as we departed under the glow of the thousands of lights that flickered on the hillsides like a techno coloured tapestry. October the 13th, Danielle’s birthday was to be the pinnacle of the cruise as each year I try to find a more exotic location for this celebration. This year she awoke with the verandah and bed set with balloons as we anchored at Mykonos for a spectacular sunrise. Being in the event business, I had everything organised and like clockwork, in came our butler, Roland with the order of fruit and Greek yogurt, two hard boiled eggs, freshly baked croissants, juice and an extra hot Cappuccino. The final day of our cruise was spent getting lost in the maze that was Mykonos. We were like mice scampering around the never ending boutiques and cafes, stopping off for the odd espresso and a bowl of freshly grilled octopus and a Greek salad with fresh home-made feta. Life on the Greek islands is something to behold, with fisherman arriving all day and throngs of little old Greek guys hanging out at cafes, catching up with the news. We picked up a scooter and spent hours riding around the hills. Danielle was in her element, snapping away and waiting for what was to be a postcard sunset. My final task was to set up our farewell dinner. I selected a couple of newly found mates to join us, secured the best table on the deck and arranged for the staff to arrive right as we were to order dessert with a chocolate mousse birthday cake singing at the top of their voices. The night was a hit, so you can rest assured that I’m OK for a few weeks at least. The Silversea’s staff were outstanding in making all the nonsense happen for this special party. Each night we had world class dining options, fresh entertainment in the showroom, drink options on three floors and a really cool little casino on the fourth deck. You may pay a little more, but as they say you get what you pay for. The accommodation is as good as any five star hotel with a first class spa and gym. The food is excellent and overall the service levels are the real glue that holds this magnificent experience together, and makes you want to rebook. 282 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | S I LV E R S E A S

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 283


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN MYKONOS


INTO THE WILD

DISCOVER THE MAJESTY OF THE KIMBERLEY

2017 KIMBERLEY EXPEDITION CRUISES In the northwest corner of the world’s smallest continent is a land of overwhelming vastness and stunning natural splendour. The ruggedness of its sun-scorched gorges and numerous cascading waterfalls perfectly capture the dual nature of this remote treasure, while its rich Aboriginal presence dates back 40,000 years. Equal parts lush and raw, it is a place of both unforgiving terrain and unforgettable beauty.

The freshly refurbished Silver Discoverer is the perfect platform for exploring the Kimberley, with an expert team of guides and lecturers, 12 Zodiacs and a swimming pool. Silversea Expeditions 10-day Kimberley voyages depart April to May 2017. All-inclusive voyage plus a complimentary flight over the Bungle Bungle Range. Jaco Island

Darwin Wyndham Cruise/Explore Kimberley Coast Broome AUSTRALIA

Untouched Lands s Ocean-view Suites s Butler Service s Expert Expedition Team s Zodiac & Shore Excursions s Complimentary Beverages

For more information or to book, please see your Travel Professional, call Silversea on 1300 306 872 or visit silversea.com Terms & Conditions apply, visit Silversea.com.


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | P A R K H YAT T - A B U D H A B I

ARABIAN C O A S T A L

WORDS

BY

:

C H I C

PHIL HARTE

The Ultimate Arabian Boutique Hotel that embodies understated luxury, renowned for its art and design to exceptional food and wine

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 287


L

ocated on Saadiyat Island’s nine mile stretch of private beach, the Park Hyatt enjoys the seclusion of a private retreat with world class accommodation including beachfront villas and remarkable sprawling suites featuring a very slick contemporary style with bespoke designer furnishings. The Park Hyatt offers a true luxury experience, with limousine transfers filled with cool water and cold towels for the 15 minute ride to Saadiyat Island. A personal butler greets me on arrival whilst my bags are swept off to suite 524. He hands me my itinerary which he has mapped out for the next three days with first stop being the massage table for a deep tissue treatment at Atarmia Spa. Second stop is Abu Dhabi’s largest resort pool, framed by rows of native palm trees shading the many inviting daybeds both by the pool and on the beachfront. Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest Park Hyatt. It has an incredible location with the Arabian coast on one side and the world class Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on the other. Eighteen of the holes were designed by golfing legend Gary Player. The entire course features 72 holes with spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf and over a third of the course has views of the Saadiyat coastline where dolphins are regularly spotted. A first choice for conference, business, with exceptional meetings and event space, the Park Hyatt has also become the venue of choice for weddings in the region. There are several restaurants and bars, including the oceanfront Beach House which offers exquisite tapas including cold and hot dishes, such as the classic Rusa Salad and hearty Sevilla Spinach and Chickpea Stew, to the much-loved Patatas Bravas and Pulpo Gallega.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | P A R K H YAT T - A B U D H A B I

GREEN SIDE AT THE SAADIYAT GOLF CLUB - ABU DHABI

Whether you’re a charcuterie lover or a cheese aficionado, a meat eater or a vegetarian, there is a dish for everyone. The award winning Park Bar and Grill is simple, offering all prime cuts of meat and fresh seafood straight from the chargrill. Tonight Chef Dennis Fretzner prepares an entree of home-made pate followed by a prime cut of Australian tenderloin and beautifully grilled lobster from Oman, freshly whipped béarnaise and a side of sautéed mushrooms, beans and a tossed garden salad. I was bullied into a heavenly chocolate fondant with a scoop of home-made vanilla ice cream. Definitely the pick of the desserts on the island. The Aussie Executive Sous Chef, Joshua Duncan, hails from Neilson Bay, on the NSW Central Coast and has brought his down under skills and craft to further enhance the exciting culinary experience. Having just flown in from London, the flight timing had me here for cocktails and supper with a little time to walk along the pristine beach.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 289


Iconic masterpieces such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

After a weekend in Abu Dhabi, Dannie and I headed for Dubai via hire car where Danni photographed the Grand Mosque before a short detour to Ferrari World and then checking into the sister property, The Park Hyatt Dubai. Boasting another golf course location, I found myself thinking this could be the start of a beautiful golfing friendship, enjoying two of the world’s best hotels and world class courses. Both are perfect stop over destinations between Australia and the UK. Both architecturally and culturally Abu Dhabi boasts not only the world’s most magnificent mosque but the Emirates’ most impressive hotel. The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas is in close proximity to Saadiyat Cultural District allowing guests to visit upcoming iconic masterpieces such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. These are just a few minutes from the city’s centre and the Abu Dhabi Corniche and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | P A R K H YAT T - A B U D H A B I

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

PARK HYATT ABU DHABI Saadiyat Island - Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates | www.abudhabi.park.hyatt.com

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 291


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


T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 293


To relax. To refresh. To leave our lounges feeling your best. To Fly. To Serve. Discover our luxurious lounge at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1.


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | P A R K H YAT T - D U B A I

UNPARALLELED

ELEGANCE&LUXURY 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

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 295


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 world-famous 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.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | P A R K H YAT T - D U B A I

OUR FOUR FAVOURITE ATARMIA SPA PACKAGES 1. OPULENCE OF ATARMIA

4.5 hours Chakra-Balancing Diamond Dust Body Polish Zaytoun Oriental Hair and Body Wrap Mineral Whirlpool and Steam Bath Mineral Hot-Stone Massage Choice of Opulence Caviar or Diamond Experience Facial

2. LUSTROUS ATARMIA 4 hours C + C Body Polish C + C Anti Oxidant Body Wrap Mineral Whirlpool and Steam Bath Jomi Luma Massage La Alternativa Facial

3. OPULENCE RITUAL 3 hours Diamond Magnetic Body Polish Diamond Ice Lifting Facial

4. LUSTROUS RITUAL 2.5 hours Lomi Juma Massage La Alternativa Facial

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 297


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

PARK HYATT DUBAI - BEST HOTEL SPA IN THE MIDDLE EAST PO Box 2822, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | www.dubai.park.hyatt.com

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


Skip the queue and start the journey

That’s Gold. • Members receive priority gold service • Experience faster pick-ups and drop-offs • Earn points to use for free rental days*

Gold Plus Rewards

Join now for free at hertz.com.au/goldplusrewards * A free weekend day starts at 550 points. Points do not expire as long as the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® member has either earned or redeemed points through rental activity in the prior 24 months.


DESIGNER DIGS IN DUBAI WORDS

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

BY

:

PHIL HARTE


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | PA L A Z ZO V E R S AC E - D U B A I

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 301


D

ubai has the reputation of offering the best brands in the world in one of the fastest growing nouveau riche utopias. The latest hotel brand to join the luxury ranks is only the second Palazzo Versace in the world, with the original sitting on the Gold Coast of Australia.

This iconic fashion house was the first of its kind, launching its hospitality label in 2000 in Queensland Australia, and opening the door for the many like-minded fashion houses to establish the new and anxiously awaited “Category De Decadence “ With Armani to follow in Milan and Dubai, LVMH with Cheval Blanc in the French ski fields of Courchevel, the world has also seen major collaborations with Oscar De La Renta, Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld in Berlin. Bvlgari has recently joined the fold with rumours that Dolce& Gabbana will throw its proverbial hand bag into the ring in Milan. That all said, it is a constant race to deliver the ultimate in luxury and the pinnacle of decadence. There is no doubt these fashion labels plan to do whatever it takes to outshine their counterparts and to persuade the millions of luxury disciples that this is the ultimate in today’s hospitality. The Palazzo Versace Dubai has spared no expense and has followed

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

in the original footsteps of its Australian sibling. Led by the original CEO Sandra Tikal, it has risen to the task of delivering the second and most grand Versace property in Dubai. Being close to Donatella herself and responsible for ensuring all the brand guidelines are adhered to, Sandra is committed to setting the highest benchmark in this most challenging of categories. Arriving into the property, the trademark silver shadow Rolls Royces were sparkling at the entrance and as the huge embossed doors swung open, I was met with a magnificent tapestry of hand laid terrazzo tiles in the trademark Versace colours, along with a virtual showroom of only the best in Versace furnishings and fabrics complete with signature crockery. Every piece of furniture and fabric that adorns the hotel’s 215 rooms and suites and one hundred and sixty nine residences, has been designed and tailor-made by the House of Versace exclusively for the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai. Each of the hotel’s eight restaurants and bars are designed to have an al fresco terrace to reflect the heritage of Palazzos, where the internal court was the informal space to meet, dine and enjoy the weather. The three outdoor pools are decorated with mosaic tiles and surrounded by palm trees and flowers. Here, ‘luxury’ lies in the material: parquet flooring, a canvas of elaborate white and cream boiseries, and a pastel palette of silk furnishings. The Palazzo Versace’s rooms and suites are furnished


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | PA L A Z ZO V E R S AC E - D U B A I

GLAMOUROUS LUXURIOUS AND DECADENT

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 303


The Versace name is steeped in history and intrigue which only adds to the mystique of Gianni and the continuing vision of Donatella. We all need to be a little decadent at least once.

with the Versace Home Collection that features uplifting colours of turquoise, blue, beige, gold, and salmon. Dining at Versace was truly a memorable experience knowing that only the best in Italian cuisine would do. Vanitas is a world class delight with charming and elegant interiors of a signature Italian restaurant, set against the luminous waters of the Dubai Creek which acts as the perfect backdrop for an intimate experience. With an emphasis on classic Italian food, Vanitas is a luxury restaurant with finesse, where the chefs deliver expertly crafted Italian flavours using specially imported produce and herbs picked fresh from the hotel’s gardens. Inviting good friends Mark and Zoe Rix, we spent two hours surfing through some of Italy’s culinary masterpieces including burrata caseificio artigiana, grilled octopus with fennel, homemade tortellini di ricotta with slow cooked lamb and pumpkin gnocchi. Then it was time for the hero dessert of affogato and a homemade tiramisu. As expected, the waiting staff were career waiters, full of verve and oozing enthusiasm and a genuine excitement for their craft as they delivered a superb night. The Versace name is steeped in history and intrigue which only adds to the mystique of Gianni and the continuing vision of Donatella. We all need to be a little decadent at least once.

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

PALAZZO VERSACE DUBAI Culture Village, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | www.palazzovesace.ae

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | PA L A Z ZO V E R S AC E - D U B A I

AN EMPHASIS ON CLASSIC ITALIAN FOOD, VANITAS IS A LUXURY RESTAURANT WITH FINESSE

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 305


DRIVE THE DREAM The Audi R8 has joined the Dream Collection and is now available for hire in Melbourne and Sydney. With a powerful V10 engine and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, the beautifully designed Audi R8 is a thoroughbred supercar that delivers thrilling performance. Book today for a ride you’ll never forget.

hertz.com.au


LOCAL PRESENCE

GLOBAL REACH A celebration of diversity and unique qualities of these premier properties

WORDS

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

BY

:

PHIL HARTE


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | LO N D O N

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 309


B

ack in January 2015 I was the key note speaker at the Global Hospitality Services conference held at the Grange St Pauls hotel in London.

It was a fascinating and inspiring event allowing me to not only speak to a couple of hundred hoteliers but listen to there individual challengers, being mino’s in an industry of sharks, largely fighting there own battles in the global market place. The Brain Child of Hospitality industry master Tony Matharu whom implemented a simple and very aggressive plan that was to amalgamate the loners and the independents and create strength in numbers. With some 300 prestige properties covering all major markets GHS is now a significant force driven by elite industry leaders. Over the past 3 months we visited a few properties and were overwhelmed at the diversity, not only in the properties but the unique local and bespoke hospitality that still allows each hotel to express there own style and individuality. The proven revenue-generating sales and marketing solutions are the bi product of there united strategy for these independent hotel. At GHS do not replace your brand, but rather to grow your brand and enhance your global presence. GHS partners know that it will accurately identify and drive opportunities for them; creating awareness and incremental revenue. We act as an international extension of our partner hotels’ sales and marketing teams through the provision of unrivalled collective experience. By increasing awareness and driving new business opportunities, we allow our partners to allocate more time to focusing on other areas of their business and local markets.

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

WHAT IS GHS? BRAND As GHS they do not impose a brand. Partner Hotels retain and enhance their brand through GHS’s extensive sales and marketing activities

ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountable, strategic and transparent; GHS ensures that resources are maximised to achieve agreed targets

SALES STRUCTURE

With over 50 international sales personnel, working as an extension of a hotels sales team, conducting over 850 corporate appointments and 150 MICE and leisure meetings A global sales office network with key locations from London to Hong Kong, Sofia to Sao Paulo, New York to Delhi. The GHS team is located in all key areas across the globe Specialised meetings, incentives, conferences, events, and leisure sales teams

SALES PENETRATION

GHS covers over 30 global key feeder countries Organises roadshows for corporate, leisure and MICE in all major cities


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | G R A N G E - LO N D O N

THE HISTORY OF GHS GHS is a professional hotel sales and marketing company launched by hotel sales experts to fulfil the growing need for personalised, innovative hotel sales support in the competitive global marketplace. The GHS team is comprised of hotel experts collectively possessing over 250 years of experience. GHS currently has offices in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa with more offices opening regularly.

GHS SERVICES AT YOUR FINGER TIPS

With a highly devoted team of hospitality professionals and former hoteliers being the pillars of its unrivalled collective success, GHS is dedicated to offering the best services with knowledge and expertise. The team at GHS ensures that the clients get the support they need right from building a hotel to launching it, marketing it, providing sales services, and offering IT and other procurement solutions to ensure continued growth.

IT SOLUTIONS:

To further enhance the performance of our hotel partners and allow them to stay ahead of the competition, GHS provides integrated end-to-end solutions to fulfil all their IT needs. With many years of experience in developing bespoke applications for the hospitality industry, GHS has developed unique insight and expertise of the ever-changing hospitality industry. GHS ensures that we are ahead of the field, enhancing and improving technology to ensure that they remain the finest available in the market. Years of continued investment in new technologies and development of new interfaces makes us a pioneer and leader in the development of award-winning bespoke hospitality solutions.

AJALA SPA:

Ajala Spa is a luxury collection of award winning spas.

IN-ROOM AMENITIES:

A unique fusion of therapeutic body care and sophisticated natural fragrance from the award winning Ajala Spa range. Shampoo, conditioners, shower gels, and body lotions subtly nourish and moisturise the skin. Ajala Spa men’s range includes specially formulated after shave balm and shower gel. Ajala Spa products are suitable for vegans and free from unfriendly skin ingredients. Exclusively available through GHS and renowned throughout the world, the Redwood & Feller name has a rich heritage that is synonymous with traditional English elegance. Established in 1902, Redwood and Feller are bespoke tailors, honoured by Royal Appointment to Her Majesty. With an emphasis on understated luxury, elegance, and style at the heart of their identity, Redwood and Feller products carry this ethos forward into the modern day, with a range of luxury hotel amenities that denote distinction and quality, using only the finest natural ingredients. The full range comprises five exclusively formulated products for the most discerning. So you would be wise to google this out fit, contact@g-h-s. com, you will be amazed at the available options, in London alone there are 16 of the Grange hotels, a leading partner of the global Hospitality Services group .

GRANGE T O W E R B R I D G E LONDON Traveling exstensivley for business it is hard to find a more brilliantly located Hotel. On arrival we enjoyed the approach over the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London which allowed me a perfect track to take my run each morning. I found that’s the daily 10k was a breeze with amazing architecture and bridge crossings littering the banks of the thames. The helpful and plentiful Staff were always on hand and the meeting facilities were second to none.The Grange Tower Bridge is a 5-Star hotel, situated close to the Tower of London and in London’s historic core. During the hotel’s construction, the excavation of Prescot Street led to the unearthing of an ancient stone mausoleum and intricately patterned glass dish – throwing new light onto the area’s rich local history The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel has several in-house outlets, where you can drink or dine at your convenience throughout the day, the Tower Bar – offering a choice of light snacks and hot and cold beverage, the Tower Grill - serving modern grill dishes and delicious continental fare. Knight’s Lounge - serving classic afternoon tea along with snacks and an array of wines, spirits and beer. In-house facilities include a contemporary grill restaurant, a luxury health and fitness club with a 25meter pool and the world class Ajala spa . Each day was a simple 5 min walk to the tube and it was anywhere from there, london is all about mastering the Tube once you get that right and that you are at the right hotel, london becomes your best friend and the Grange certainly ticked everyone of our boxes.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 311


LUCK OF THE IRISH

The hotel Riu Plaza, The Gresham Dublin is one of the best hotels in Dublin city and is an institution known throughout the world.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | G R E S H A M - D U B L I N

TALK ABOUT LUCK, IRELAND 40 / ALL BLACKS 29 - 2016 WILLIAM LUND WILL RIP

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 313


A

s has become quite consistent with the GHS properties, position is the key and as we arrive in to Dublin the Gresham is located right in the heart of downtown.

On check in we were overwhelmed at the grandeur and this was prevalent through out with the rooms screaming history and the fabulous period furniture showcased around the rooms, lobby and public area’s. Recently renovated the Building is very classical and modern whilst still maintaining its historical feel. In 1817 Thomas Gresham purchased 21-22 Sackville Street and commenced business there as a hotel. Thomas Gresham is a fascinating person. He was a foundling child, abandoned on the steps of the Royal Exchange, Sir Thomas Gresham a famous merchant-politician in the Elizabethan era. Thomas Gresham came to Ireland, and as a very young man obtained employment in the service of William Beauman of Rutland Square, Dublin. After some time, and while still comparatively young, he became butler to this family. This was an important position in the Georgian household, with its complicated domestic structure. In 1817, Thomas Gresham left William Beauman’s household to open a hotel in nearby Sackville Street. How he acquired the capital to undertake an enterprise of this kind is not known. Today, Gresham Hotels is now a privately owned company consisting of four properties in Brussels, Cork, Dublin and Hamburg. This grand hotel is a landmark building with original period features including stunning Waterford crystal chandeliers This recently renovated 4+ star hotel is located on Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Conner Street. The hotel is also close to the shopping districts of Dublin City and the Gate Theatre The Gresham Hotel Dublin is a popular dining venue and is frequented by locals and visitors alike. Toddy’s Brasserie is a popular choice for lunch and evening meals, it was difficult to avoid the daily Guiness and those locals aways willing to offer a shout . There is no doubt that the Irish pride them selves on hospitality and as well as being extremely courteous they are incredibly proud of there home town.

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | L’ O R O L O G I O - F L O R E N C E

FIRENZE MASTERPIECE HOTEL L’OROLOGIO - FLORENCE

Each floor of the hotel is a homage to a maison of luxurious wristwatches: Rolex, Vacheron -Constantin and Patek Philippe.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 315


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | L’ O R O L O G I O - F L O R E N C E

A

rriv ing at the Hotel L’Orologio was a real surprise as it was anything but traditional, Boutique in size is defiantly the feel but without compromising on what it offers… Very elegant and classy feel…. as well as it being in a brilliant location. When this hotel opened in December of 2009 it became an instant success. The hotel’s ancient walls protect an elegant interior where quality details surprise guests at every turn. The Hotel L’Orologio overlooks Santa Maria Novella, one of the most beautiful and ancient squares of Florence, in the true centre of town and just a few minutes from the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. The décor is inspired by the art of “haute horlogerie” with a fascinating collection of paintings, photography and accessories on display exhibiting a great passion for watches Each floor of the hotel is a homage to a maison of luxurious wristwatches: Rolex, Vacheron -Constantin and Patek Philippe. The rooms feature quality materials, marble bathrooms and curious details such as door handles in the shape of watch hands and sink taps that look like winding crowns of watches. With breathtaking views of the Basilica, the breakfast room is found on the fourth floor in an authentic Renaissance loggia. L’O’s top floor breakfast room provides a stunning vista and an inspiring way to begin the day. Il Bar da L’O is a perfect place to have lunch.

THE HOTEL L’OROLOGIO OVERLOOKS SANTA MARIA NOVELLA, ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND ANCIENT SQUARES OF FLORENCE

A huge antipasto bar, fresh salads, soups and pastas keep this tiny eatery is very busy with locals. The staff were very welcoming and eager to give you all the directions and advice on where and how you need to really enjoy this beautiful City. T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 317


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

S A N T A

MARIA

WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

A cornerstone of Florentine hospitality that unites the art of accommodation for which the city is known and an elegant, charming atmosphere.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 319


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


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

C

entral and panoramic, the Hotel Santa Maria Novella is a traditional 4-star accommodation characterised by an environment brimming with charm. It can be found in an ancient building rich in history and art, strategically positioned in one of the most beautiful squares of Tuscany’s capital. It is furnished in a classic style with lacquered wood panelling, French furniture and important antique items. The rooms, all luxurious and different from each other, are decorated with taste and refinement, having romantic four-poster beds and bathrooms in fine marble. The experience of guests’ stays are enriched by the fully-equipped gym, sauna and the terrace on the sixth floor with a panoramic view over Piazza Santa Maria Novella and out to the Florentine hills.

AN ANCIENT BUILDING RICH IN HISTORY AND ART

The traditional Tuscan art of hospitality distinguishes a discreet yet impeccable service. This is why the Hotel Santa Maria Novella has long been the first choice for those seeking true Florentine style. Splendid rooms and suites, luxuriously furnished with attention to every detail, to experience the true harmony of Tuscan hospitality. Whether you are here for work or leisure, choose the accommodation that will make your stay in Florence special and unforgettable.Your journey starts here. From the hotel, located in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, opposite the splendid Basilica, the Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi gallery and all the city’s major attractions are within easy walking distance.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 321


Slim soundbar. Thunder bass. Full-on surround sound. You wont believe what the SoundTouch® 300 soundbar can do on its own. But for even more impact and to feel like you’re at the centre of the action, add the Bose® wireless bass module and wireless surround speakers anytime.

B O S E ® ACO U ST I M A S S ® 3 0 0 WIRELESS BASE MODULE The difference between hearing bass and feeling thunder starts the moment you add this wireless bass module to the SoundTouch® 300 soundbar. QuietPort™ technology and a highly advanced DPS virtually eliminates distortion and delivers surprisingly deep clean sound from something so small.


S O U N DTO U C H ® 300 SOUNDBAR The SoundTouch® 300 soundbar looks slim. But the sound? Anything but. That’s because every cubic inch of it is packed with technologies that make everything you listen to or watch sound clear and spacious. Music. Movies. TV. Everything. And its designed with high-quality materials, so it looks as great in your room as it sounds.

B O S E ® V I R T U A L LY I N V I S I B L E ® 3 0 0 WIRELESS SURROUND SPEAKERS They take spacious to a whole new level. Add them to the SoundTouch® 300 soundbar and feel what its like to be in the middle of what you listen to or watch. These small speakers are designed to blend into your room. And because they’re wireless, connecting them to your soundbar anytime is easy.

Music services may vary by country. Spotify is a registered trademark of Spotify AB. SoundTouch and the wireless note design are registered trademarks of Bose Corporation in the United States and other jurisdictions. A home Wi-Fi network and Internet access are required. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance®. The Bluetooth ® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Bose Corporation is under license. HDMI connection may not allow transmission of copyright protected material, depending on the capability of the signal source. The terms HDMI and HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface, and the HDMI Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC in the United States and other countries.


A CLASSIC INDUSTRY

THRIVING AMID DIGITAL DISRUPTION

W

hile the demise of the printing industry has been much anticipated with the emergence of the internet, a leading Australian printing company has set themselves up for a strong future through market diversification and investment in technology.

Despite operating in a challenged market as a result of digitisation, 24-year-old large-format printing specialist Cactus Imaging has delivered strong year-on-year growth. Its business success saw Australia’s largest Out Of Home media company oOh!media acquire the company earlier this year. “When the dotcom boom arrived, many said our future was bleak and then, with the emergence of the digital age, experts said the industry’s fate was all but sealed,” said co-founder and General Manager - Operations of Cactus Imaging, Keith Ferrel. “The influx of digital signage solutions, including for large format billboards, which makes up a large part of our business, was seen as the final nail in the coffin, but here we are today with a business that is stronger than ever. “If we stood still, we could have very well been living the dire forecasts about our industry. Instead we treated the digital disruption of our industry as an opportunity and not a threat and adjusted to our audience.

production output - delivered quicker and more cost effectively - compared with the printing methods of other wide-format printers who used plates, inks and type forms. “Just as investment in technology gave Cactus Imaging an edge in the 90s, it continues to do so today,” said Ferrel who is regarded as one of the most influential and well respected industry figures within the Asia Pacific region and a key advocate for the $US980 billion global printing industry. “Investing in technology has presented us with opportunities in new markets such as retail, the exhibition industry and commercial and residential interior design. “In the past four years we have seen the business shift from being almost completely reliant on the Out Of Home industry to a business that is active in four strong growth markets. “With the latest digital printing technology, we can now deliver high quality printing on a wider range of materials such as fabric, latex and various other substrates. “As a result, we now provide retailers with point-of-sale marketing solutions that are lightweight and easy to install by store staff. We create exhibition displays that are cost effective and easier to transport. We also produce wall coverings for commercial and domestic interior design projects. “These three markets present great growth opportunities for us, as does our foundation market the Out of Home industry.

“We saw significant opportunities to grow and prosper in the changing landscape by diversifying into new markets and investing in new digital technologies to deliver new quality product offerings and ran with it.” Ferrel, a former newspaper sales manager in New Zealand, and his then boss, Warwick Spicer, founded Cactus Imaging – Australasia’s first printing company to offer a wide-format printing solution using electrostatic printing technology - in 1992. The technology soon saw Cactus Imaging become a market leader in New Zealand and then Australia through the higher quality print 324 | C L A S S I C M A G A Z I N E

“Even with the growth of large format digital billboards, I believe there is a very strong long-term future for the classic billboard in the Out Of Home sector.” GENERAL MANAGER - OPERATIONS OF CACTUS IMAGING, KEITH FERREL AND APPLE CO-FOUNDER STEVE WOZNIAK

The view is shared by Brendon Cook, the CEO of oOh!media, who, when announcing the acquisition of Cactus, said “While digitisation of Out-of-Home provides new opportunities to engage with audiences like never before, classic Out-of-Home has and will continue to play a critical role in brand building for advertisers, both independently and in partnership with digital assets.”


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

PRINTING AN EMERGING DESIGN TREND When Australia’s leading pet insurance underwriter, PetSure, set about creating a new head office in Chatswood, it not only wanted the interior design to reflect the brand and culture but create a fun and motivating environment that would inspire its team. In addition to a collaborative tiered seating “town hall” amphitheatre and kennel inspired meeting spaces, another fun element of the fit-out is the custom-made large format prints including “petamonials” and pet graphics adorning the walls printed by Cactus Media. Working with a leading workspace collaborative design and construct team comprising The Bold Collective and JDV Projects, Cactus Imaging not only printed and installed the wall covering, but consulted and advised on print and substrate options. “When PetSure moved into their new offices at Chatswood, our employees were excited about working in a custom designed work space that aligned to our values of Pets, People and Passion,” said Annette Finck, Head of HR at Petsure. PETSURE’S NEW HEAD OFFICE IN CHATSWOOD

“The commentary from our recent employee survey showed our employees love their new work space so much so that this was a driver in recommending PetSure as a great place to work.” The design and construct team’s use of unique prints is part of a growing trend in interior design to create unique spaces through the integration of custom designed wide format printed wall covers. Australia’s leading wide-format printing specialist, Cactus Imaging, has experienced a growth in demand from interior designers for digital prints due to the wide benefits it brings. Nigel Spicer, General Manager of Cactus Imaging, says: “One of the key attractions for wide format digital printing is that it can provide bespoke applications to life without the exorbitant costs of traditional options. “Not only is it a cost effective and efficient option for interior designers to make a splash in commercial and residential design, but the quality of the print these days is photorealistic. “What’s more, you are able to print on a wide range of substrates to give a luxe look for much less.”

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 325


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R | A N C H O R AG E - AU S T R A L I A

Anchors Away WORDS

BY

:

DAN I EL L E HARTE

Whether you’re sharing fish-of-the-day for lunch, a cocktail at five or a plate of oysters at seven, all will compete with daily breathtaking views and life long memories at Anchorage.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 327


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


C L A S S I C T R A V ECLLL A ES R S I| C ATNRCAHVO R LAEGRE -| ALU R AI LOI N A EL OSCTAT

W

hen the ‘Canon Collective’ team announced an exclusive weekend workshop earlier this year at the Anchorage Port Stephens, I couldn’t wait to lock it in and jump onboard with all cameras blazing. The picturesque Hamptons’ style seaside resort, situated only a short drive from Sydney, overlooks a sapphire crystal marina flanked by twenty six golden beaches. With such a breathless backdrop, it was clear to see why this was the number one choice for the ‘Canon Collective Photography Event.’ Upon arrival, I was greeted with a joyous ‘Christmas in July’ theme with friendly smiles of staff and the uncanny voice of Santa Claus in the background cheering, “Ho ho ho”. I was thrown into celebration mode. However, with an action packed photography line-up in front of me, I regrouped and headed down the palatial garden path to unwind in our incredibly spacious garden view

room. Complete with magnificent northerly facing views of Corrie Islands National Reserve, our room radiated a sophisticated elegance that left us feeling totally re-energised with an inviting king size bed, quaint plantation shutters to bathe the room with light, ensuite and cosy verandah perfect to soak up the cool winter sea breeze. The guest services also include room service until late, guest laundry facilities, complimentary wifi and best of all, the property was non-smoking. With the voluminous convention facilities just a stone’s throw away, I eagerly proceeded to meet up with the Canon team leaders to embrace the schedule of workshops ahead. On offer was the opportunity to photograph with Canon Ambassadors Richard I’Anson and Darren Dew, both world-renowned legend photographers.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 329


Immersing myself in the wanderlust of travel photography, has become a passion I absolutely crave. Speaking from my own experience, the key to capturing extraordinary composition is not only practice, but location, location igniting that special spark within. Here at The Anchorage, we were totally spoilt for choice with a gorgeous sunset sail, photographing dolphins and whales, a scenic ocean helicopter ride, a four wheel drive to nearby Stockton Beach photographing the magnificent dunes and wildlife, and a sunrise photoshoot overlooking the marina. I have to tell you, l had to pinch myself as I was in photography heaven! With our first evening drawing to a close, we celebrated with a light-hearted ‘Meet and greet’ outside on the Anchorage marina deck with a delicious assortment of hand-crafted canapés, fresh seafood. What struck me instantly was the pride when speaking with the local staff on the availability to source all natural produce and delicacies e.g. fruit, vegetables and of course seafood. The Gallery Kitchen, the signature restaurant was testament to this as it featured a delicious mouth-watering menu consisting of truffle risotto, foie-gras terrine, an assortment of spectacular wines. Also featured was high tea for weddings and special occasions, gourmet breakfast and a very creative locally inspired lunch menu. Next on the list of weekend indulgences was setting aside time to unwind, relax and rejuvenate in a little pampering of my own at Spa Lucca. There is an incredible choice of treatments available from their highly-skilled and attentive therapists, so my advice is to choose carefully. I, however, reconnected, and left behind the everyday stresses and strains and indulged in a Babor Sea Creations’ Deep Sea Facial, unlocking the ant-ageing secrets of the sea and the ever essential deep tissue massage. An absolute must. Superb! With the wind at my back and the romantic sea breeze whistling through my hair I managed to snap a few last minute shots of this truly remarkable resort. So now it was time to depart and the staff was on hand to bid us farewell from their home and head on back to the hustle and bustle of the big city, Sydney. So many wonderful experiences were shared here at The Anchorage, new friendships were formed, exotic locations were discovered. It’s really difficult to pinpoint just one. All I know is that I will be back sooner rather than later, with the family.

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


TAKEN ON TOUR BY DANIELLE HARTE IN XXXXX


The Social Revolution is here.

#summerdress

Music Festival

#myfashion


Mermaid Beach

Summer Holiday

SHARE

DISCOVER

SHOP

www.konvo.com

Made with ♥ in Australia

ENJOY


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

MEANT TO BE A LITTLE

KOI As I stand eyes closed - is it PRINCE, SINATRA, SNOOP DOGG or MJ Their talant is sublime, you be the judge, The Koi Boys will astound you.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 335


F

or almost a decade, the residents and guests of Broadbeach, Gold Coast have been harboring a well-kept secret: a trio of all-singing, all-dancing, allharmonising entertainers, who take the floor of a restaurant every Sunday to sing genre-spanning covers ranging from Motown classics through to current pop hits. That was, until earlier this year, when the trio, now known as The Koi Boys, made their charismatic first appearance on The Voice Australia. And with that, much to the joy of audiences in Australia and New Zealand, the GC’s best-kept secret, was out. Performing the doo-wop classic “Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream),” The Koi Boys’ energetic audition prompted all four judges to spin around and the audience to jump to their feet. “That was so much fun! Your harmonies were in perfect pitch, you had dance moves… This is supercool!” exclaimed Delta Goodrem. “You guys melted my face off,” said Joel Madden. “That was the best vocal audition we’ve had tonight,” gushed Jessie J, who eventually became the group’s mentor. The Koi Boys are Danny Faifai, Kevin Keepa and Ngahere “Nuz” Ngatai: three passionate and highly experienced musicians hailing from New Zealand and based on the Gold Coast. They were the first trio to ever audition on The Voice Australia, and were a hit among fans, both locally and across the Tasman. Knocked out before the finals, the band’s eviction caused outrage on social media, had Jessie J fielding interviews surrounding her decision to send them home, but certainly put the trio on the map as clear crowd favourites. Originally set-up as a casual covers gig-cumjam-session, the trio has been crooning, dancing and entertaining as a collective, at the same venue, for over eight years. Their “Sunday Session” show at Koi Dining and Lounge Bar is must-see for those visiting the Gold Coast, and has become so popular that it sells out weeks in advance. “We all came from separate groups,” says Danny, who met Kevin busking on the street in New Zealand over 25 years ago. After they both relocated to Queensland, they met Nuz when he auditioned for the group in 2008. “But it wasn’t until we all came together that the magic really worked – you know, when you find

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

THE KOI BOYS ARE DANNY FAIFAI, KEVIN KEEPA AND NGAHERE “NUZ” NGATA


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

that spark? It took off from there. We didn’t even have a name until just before we were auditioned for The Voice.” A quick peruse of YouTube and you’ll see the recorded performances, clips and fan iPhone uploads that led to The Koi Boys being scouted by the talent show’s producers and holding an invite to audition. One of the videos, a prohibition-era cover of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, has racked up over a million views. The group’s debut album, Meant To Be, sees The Koi Boys bottle the energy, character, enthusiasm and genre-spanning talent that has earned them their passionate fan base and notoriety as one of the most entertaining live vocal trios in the country. It ticks off Motown, funk, RnB, pop and more. There’s a surprising cabaret-style cover of The Weeknd’s “The Hills”, a smooth, Latin rendition of “Hotline Bling” by Drake and of course, “Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream).”

MEANT TO BE IS A MENAGERIE OF SONGS WITH ONE AMBITION: TO ENTERTAIN, BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONE TRUTH THAT LIVES AT THE HEART OF THE KOI BOYS. AS OF THE 1ST OF NOVEMBER THE KOI BOYS ALBUM GOES NUMBER 1 IN NEW ZEALAND.

If anything, Meant To Be is a showcase of the group’s sheer musical diversity and hard-to-box sound. The album also sees the trio’s first foray into songwriting, with three originals appearing on the record. Working with producer Robert Conley (Montaigne, Tina Arena, The Delta Riggs, Darren Hayes, Thelma Plum) The Koi Boys made a decision to each take on a song individually, and come together to collaborate at the end. The result is “Yes”, a sweet love song about the beauty of marriage written by Kevin; “Angels Have to Fly”, a stunning reggae track written by Nuz after his cousin died from epilepsy and “Meant To Be (Waiata’s Song), a heartstringpulling ballad written by Danny for his wife. “We wanted the songs to be relatable, to connect with our audience – because that really is what we’re here to do,” says Kevin of the three tracks. Meant To Be is a menagerie of songs with one ambition: to entertain, because that is the one truth that lives at the heart of The Koi Boys. “We perform and have performed just about every genre. The reason we do this is to please, or at least try to please everyone in our audience,” says Danny. “The show has been about connection and entertainment. That hasn’t changed. Our album has very much been made with the same idea. We want to please the old people, the young people, the middle-aged people, the depressed people, the happy people, the people in love, the lonely people–everyone. To do this, we’ve gotten very comfortable singing all genres of music.”

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 337


You want the best sound. So Bose made the best soundbar.

S O U N DTO U C H ® 3 0 0 SOUNDBAR


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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R

THE BEGINNING OF

THE END WORDS

BY

:

PHIL HARTE

This is where we have a group of ‘FAT CATS’ suckling from the Olympic breast and draining the life out of any unsuspecting country, that is so naive to think holding the games in their country will be the golden ticket to financial resurrection.

S

ome 10 to 12 years ago it was becoming increasingly apparent that both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games would indeed implode.

In spite of the enormous popularity in sport and the billions of dollars associated with all sport, we are finding because of the increasing levels of graft and corruption associated with the majority of sporting bodies, two of the world’s biggest sporting events are doomed, unless we commit to a dramatic strategic change. It has been well documented that under the table payments, bribes and votes for purchase are common place and it is with tax payers’ and public money, your money, that these inducements are paid. Four editions ago, I featured a story on the World Football Federation and its corrupt methods and last year it came back to bite them on the proverbial arse! As we saw, the votes for the 2020 World Cup in Qatar were bought, and Sepp Blatter was at the helm. Why have we had to tolerate this commercially impotent and criminally divisive administrator? Thank God he has now gotten his just desserts. The Olympic Games are another ball game altogether. This is where we have a group of ‘FAT CATS’ suckling from the Olympic breast and draining the life out of any unsuspecting country, that is so naive to think holding the games in their country will be the golden ticket to financial resurrection, or is there another motive? In fact why don’t you ask the Greek government how their profit and loss sheet ended up? If Australia was truthful, they got out

of it by the skin of their teeth. It was pure Aussie street smarts that came up with the volunteer programme to keep running costs down and this model has now been implemented throughout the last three Olympics. Why don’t we simply have a closer look at Rio and see if their books will be balanced? As for the poor old Com Games, no one is putting their hands up to host them, and it looks as if it’s down to the sunny old Gold Coast of Australia to roll the proverbial financial dice in 2018. I would love to quote the litany of criminal behaviour, fraud and the misappropriation of public and government funding but let’s simply come up with the simplest of solutions, and it is simple. Let’s look at the incredibly successful commercial operational model of the US Masters and the US Open or maybe the jewel, Wimbledon. These are three of the most well run and profitable sporting events in the world of sport. Now don’t you think that we could identify a suitable location that would be completely unbiased, a neutral zone, a country that is in need of rebuilding infrastructure, housing, employment, education, health care systems and of course tourism? What is wrong with taking the Olympic Games back to Athens and creating a truly original Olympic city and God forbid, help rebuild their economy? The Olympic movement squanders literally billions of dollars every four years and along the way gets caught up in a plethora of unsavoury junkets and bribes that ultimately ends up as some convoluted corrupt and criminally infected quagmire.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 341


Surely if we developed an Olympic city that would become a global sporting mecca for all to use and we were to ultimately create the perfect level playing field, we would not only eradicate the corruption and the need for a so called committee to oversee the junkets and the misappropriation, we could really do something unbelievably positive. By creating this sporting Utopia, we would then sustain it by staging the special Olympics, the world champs for all individual sports. We would continue to upgrade the facilities and technology year on year and hopefully create a much needed legacy for our children and their children. As for the poor old Commonwealth games, a similar model will be its saviour, or we can all just hold our breath and hope. As of this morning Boston has opted out of the Olympic bid race and LA has become the front runner. Do they not know the state of California is virtually bankrupt? What are they thinking? It’s similar to a story I released in the same edition ‘Jail the Pope’. The reason for all the cover up was because with a Vatican like environment no one dares challenge the authorities ie the clergy, who, not dissimilar to the Olympic committee, believed they were untouchable. Look what is happening to the clergy now. We, the public, are the true financiers of the Olympics and we should not have to put up with this kind of gross deception and mismanagement. Just think of the possibilities.

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


C L A S S I C T R AV E L L E R B R A N D S | TECHNOGYM

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 343


B O R ABora MOST LUXURIOUS OVERWATER BUNGALOWS

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | B O R A B O R A - TA H I T I

WORDS

BY

:

N I C O L E L E N O I R -J O U R D A N

BORA BORA’S If you are ever going to treat yourself, splash out on a holiday to Bora Bora. There is nothing on earth more decadent than diving off the stairs of your private overwater bungalow into a vast lagoon that is your own personal pool. The water is the perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold. The turquoise palette of the lagoon defies belief and looking down upon it from your glass bottom floor is an experience unrivalled by anything on the planet. The overwater bungalow was created for the heaven that is Tahiti so it’s a given that this is where you’ll stay. Here’s our choice of our favourite resorts built over Bora Bora’s stunning lagoon.

FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA Each of the 100 overwater villas presents a mini oasis with eight boasting infinity plunge pools, a truly unnecessary addition when you have acres of private lagoon to snorkel, lie on your back or just blow bubbles at the fish. You cannot fault this resort from the staff through to the food through to the incredible spa with 72 foot soaring ceilings. Set on 54 acres with an internal private lagoon, decadence surrounds you from the daily raking of the beach sand through to the red coral like chandelier with lights on the top of each stem. There is an infinity pool, tennis court and guided snorkelling tours of the lagoon sanctuary as well as kayaking, catamaran cruises, windsurfing and shark feeding. There are four on site restaurants offering Polynesian, French and Asian specialities. The Sunset Bar offers the end to a perfect day with a pina colada and a sunset. www.fourseasons.com/BoraBora

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 347


ST REGIS BORA BORA The St Regis and Four Seasons rival each other for luxury. Set on 44 acres with its own heli-pad, private yacht and personal butlers, this decadent resort has been home to many a celebrity including hosting Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s honeymoon in 2006. The resort offers 100 over water bungalows, the largest in Bora Bora with the smallest being 1,550 square feet, and they come either with a private garden, sun deck or even the unnecessary plunge pool. The Spa Miri Miri is set on its own private island and is reached by a passing golf cart. There are multiple restaurants including the famous Lagoon by Jean-Georges. There’s also a tennis court, bridal boutique and an internal private lagoon teeming with brightly coloured fish. www.stregisborabora.com

LE MERIDIEN BORA BORA Le Meridien was the first to introduce the overwater bungalows with glass floors. It’s magical in the evening to put the floor light on and watch what swims beneath you. The resort has a prime location with the best views to Mount Otemanu. One of the highlights is the Turtle Centre which rehabilitates turtles. The project began when an injured turtle was brought to the hotel by a guest. From there on, the concept for the Turtle Centre emerged. Over the past ten years, Le Meridien Bora Bora has continued to invest in the centre which has its own conservationist and a special program to ensure a lively and successful future for turtles in Bora Bora. Besides turtles, there is free snorkelling equipment, canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, paddleboards and even children’s windsurfing boards. Of course there is a wellness centre where one can enjoy massages and there are two restaurants and a cocktail bar with the best views in Bora Bora. www.lemeridien-borabora.com

LE MERIDIEN TAHITI If you’re travelling to Bora Bora or any of Tahiti’s islands, there’s usually an obligatory overnight stay in Papeete. Le Meridien is one of the best hotels in Papeete situated in a quiet location around 20 minutes by shtuttle bus from the hotel. Papeete does not offer the same luxury and turquoise waters as Bora Bora yet there is still many reasons to visit from buying some Tahitian black pearls to watching one of the heaviest waves on the planet, Teauhupoo which is the place of battle for the Billabong pro every year in August. There’s also the Paul Gaugin museum, deep sea fishing, temples, lava tubes and more. Le Meridien Tahiti offers overwater bungalows although there are just twelve. Most decided to stay in on one of the rooms. The corner suite offers an undercover verandah which looks out to sea past grassed lawns and tropical gardens. When not sipping cocktails, you can play tennis, swim in the pool, or enjoy some food at one of the two restaurants or poolside bar or sampling the art at L’atelier. This art space has been developed by Le Meridient Tahiti for guests to enjoy and even meet with contemporary artists from across French Polynesia and also international artists. Se next to the lagoon, L’Atelier offers a wonderful tropical setting for lectures, art workshops and openings where one can learn techniques and be insired by artists who are creating original works, sometimes onsite. www.lemeridientahiti.com

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


C L A S S I C T R A V E L L E R | B O R A B O R A - TA H I T I

BORA BORA’S BEST RESTAURANTS LAGOON RESTAURANT BY JEAN-GEORGES Dine under the stars whilst sharks swim underneath the glass floor. World class cuisine at the St Regis.

BORA BORA YACHT CLUB

Polynesian with a French twist with sensational views.

LA VILLA MAHANA

There are just seven tables in this private villa and it must be booked months in advance.

RESTAURANT ST JAMES

French Polynesian fusion cooking with evening manta rays swimming by, hoping for scraps.

ARII MOANA

Four Seasons best restaurant looks out on to the lagoon and Mount Otemanu and offers fine dining Polynesian/French fusion style.

T H E C L A S S I C B I R T H D A Y E D I T I O N 2 0 1 6 | 349


/SpartanSportingGoods


www.vittoriacoffee.com

Profile for Classic Lifestyle Magazine

Classic Lifestyle  

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

Classic Lifestyle  

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

Advertisement