Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
New to our Select Collection, Palazzo Versace is a destination in itself. The hotel exudes total glamour – close to all the attractions of Australia’s high living Gold Coast. Every single detail at the hotel is pure House of Versace …absolutely everything.
This celebration of Italian haute couture lies next to Marina Mirage, where the high life happens among loads of local restaurants and boutiques. Just over the road, the famous golden sandy beach is frequented by surfers and sun lovers, and stretches all the way from Surfer’s Paradise (20 minutes walk to lively Paradise).
The location of the hotel is perfect if you want to enjoy the beach, eat out or enjoy boat watching. It lies in the marina, where lovely, big luxury yachts coexist in harmony with local fishing boats.
DESIGNED BY VERSACE
Pillows, bathrobes, slippers, cushions, small perfume bottle in the bathroom to your beach towels…everything is designed by Versace. All floors are marble (more than 11,5 Million Australian Dollars has been spent on the floors only), and a magnificent chandelier that hangs in the foyer was purchased by Gianni Versace to place in one of his villas.
The food and beverage side of the hotel was not an issue, you can choose from everything, and we mean everything. From burgers to sea food buffets, from beer to Cristal. And of course there is a Versace shop in the hotel (we just had to buy their gorgeous beach towels).
This is really a top high end property for you who are looking for the best possible materials, fine dining and service…it was truly like living in the world of Versace. Close to a very Australian holiday experience – the Gold Coast and its attractions.
WHO SHOULD STAY?
Couples who like perfection and the fine things in life, enjoy shopping and dining choices, sunshine and swimming, and want to see how Australians surf the waves.
HOW TO GET TO PALAZZO VERSACE
We had a private limousine transfer booked from Brisbane International Airport to Palazzo Versace, which took 45 minutes.
COMBINATION FOR SOME JUNGLY AUSTRALIA
Though Versace has Italian finesse, the Gold Coast is still very robustly Australian with its love of fun, surf and sun. For another “very Australian” experience we moved on to Byron Bay, an "alternative" destination full of local restaurants, bars, cafes and interesting shops, where you feel the hippie era still. The beaches at Byron are pristine and go on forever. And the rainforests drape down from mountains to beach.
We stayed at the appropriately named Byron at Byron, which is entangled in rainforest, 10 minutes from Tallow Beach. An exceptionally friendly property where the bungalows are on stilts joined by wooden walkways through the rainforest - full of lorikeets and other colourful birdlife.
WHO SHOULD STAY?
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
UNDERSTATED LUXURY IN PARADISE
New to our magnificent Maldives Collection. A 45 minutes sea plane flight from Male' over breathtaking azure waters, Zitahli Kuda lies in the Noonu atoll. On arrival to the island you are greeted at the jetty by a troupe of friendly staff (and the GM), and escorted to the jetty lounge for an arrival drink and registration.
The beaches are incredible and pristine. Vegetation is still low rise, so you get an immediate sense of the compact size of the resort (approx 700 x 500m). But this does not feel like a disadvantage: it was good to have ones bearings instead of being in a maze, and it's really nice to amble around the island on foot and not rely always on buggy service.
We stayed in a stunning overwater Deluxe Aqua Villa. The outdoor terrace of our villa had amazing views, and you can snorkel from your villa.
Decor is modern, clean lines, easy on the eye, functional. What is striking is the space: land and water villa categories range from 175–400sqm. The bathrooms are huge. Super Deluxe Villas also offer spacious plunge pools on the beach or over the water.
TIP : Two-bedroom villas offer good value for families.
In comparison to other islands within this category for this amount of personal space, the rates are excellent. The new management is working really hard to create the in-villa living experience with personalised bar, espresso machine, indoor + outdoor day beds, private dining etc.
In villa dining round the clock and private candlit dinners are VERY attractive options. Although the resort was full, we did not see a soul in the evening (with the exception of the half board restaurant Breeze early evening). Which was a great shame as the bar and Mosaic restaurant were very pleasant. But to counter this there are some offers for dinner and drinks to tempt guests from the relaxing privacy and romance of the accommodation.
The spa has a pretty reception area and simple and adequately equipped treatment rooms, offering a very reasonably priced selection.
Activities include diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkling safaris, catmaran sailing and sunset dolphin cruises.
IN A COCONUT SHELL
Zitahli is an unpretentious resort offering good value, very spacious accommodation, and good snorkelling on the house reef (with an on‐site Werner Lau managed dive centre offering a good selection of excursions).
WHO SHOULD STAY
Not for people who want to be seen. However, an accomplished resort for splurging Honeymooners or aspirational clients, looking for an element of barefoot Luxe with embodiments of modern living in vast personal space.