Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Since we first published this blog by Måns Zelmerlöw, his song Heroes won the Eurovision song contest in Vienna (23 May 2015).  Here the Swedish singer writes about his travels with Select Collection. 

A mix of Australia's best - sophisticated Sydney, sandy beaches, Bohemian Byron, craggy blue mountains, luxurious hotels - and tennis all the way up to the grand finale - The Australian Open...

The Langham, Sydney

When you've been on the road for a day and a night, you need a fond welcome and a lovely place to rest your weary feet. The Langham in Sydney gave us just that. The hotel was bright and fresh, our equally bright and spacious room had a bath that overlooked the tennis court. (Yes we asked Select Collection to arrange hotels that offered tennis or were close to tennis courts.)

Within walking distance of the hotel is the Opera House where our first leisurely wine lunch took place. The following day we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel with stylish service. Staff at the hotel were all knowledgeable and helpful. During the nights we spent in Sydney, The Langham managed to convey that elusive sense of feeling at home away from home.

The Langham lobby

Getting acclimatized at Bondi Beach - surfers on the blue and carefree leisure


After some hectic and wonderful days we felt the need to rest. Our party are all aged around 30 when rest becomes desirable sometimes. After an hour's drive from Sydney, entertaining ourselves with a quiz, we turned into the peaceful establishment Lilianfels Blue Mountains. The tranquility here is in the air and the first thing that greeted us was the eternally green tennis court, which we later became acquainted with. 

We stayed in a peaceful and spacious room with magnificent views of the Blue Mountains and for the rest of the time we could eat amazing Caesar salads, swim in the indoor and outdoor pool, and visit the beautiful otherwordly lookout Three Sisters, steps away from Lilianfels.

Rugged Blue Mountains - and a viewpoint just a few steps from our hotel

Byron Bay

In Byron Bay we spent three nights at the magnificent Byron at Byron, an establishment in the highest class in our opinion. Located a short taxi ride from Byron Bay itself there was everything we could wish for: excellent service, top class accommodation and infinity pool, all a short walk from a largely untouched and deserted beach and a fantastic restaurant. And then of course the tennis court with the beautiful green artificial turf. 

The days flowed by between six hour lunches, tennis sessions, pool and beach hangouts, and moments in the gym. We had the pleasure to spend Australia Day here and after a good long lunch at the hotel we joined the magnificent evening and night pulse of city and beach.  The only thing we regret is that we did not spend more time here!

Unspoilt Byron Bay coastline fringed by sand dunes and rainforest

Australian lifestyle 

Pool by the rainforest

Park Hyatt, Melbourne

The wonderful city of Melbourne was our last stop on the trip. The Australian Open waited, and also our last accommodation, the Park Hyatt. Imposing, grand and luxurious. The hotel felt great right from the start. The marble glittered and the jacuzzi in the room was inviting. 

The service felt international and all needs were met; everything from transportation to room service. Plus the final proof of the reception's benevolence when they offered us late check out and the ability to use their beautiful spa area while we waited for our night flight back to Sweden. The hotel location was good for us, walking distance to Melbourne Park and the city centre. Did we play tennis? Of course, on the hotel rooftop against the background of the city's skyscrapers. A lovely end to a magnificent trip.

Rooftop tennis for Måns and party  - Park Hyatt

Read more about the Park Hyatt on the SELECT COLLECTION WEBSITE and check out our Australian itineraries. All our itineraries are tailor-made and this one for Måns Zelmerlöw followed a tennis court trail  (as he and his male companions were on the way to the Australian Open and wanted to play tennis all along the way). 

Måns Zelmerlöw itinerary - by Select Collection

Sydney (3 nights)-Blue Mountains (2 nights)-Byron Bay (3 nights)-Melbourne (5 nights)

Måns and party were met by our representatives, Southern Crossings, who really know how to treat our VIPs.

Of course Sydney was a highlight and offered everything, almost....

To quote from Måns' picture-studded itinerary...

Sunny and stylish, energetic and inviting, Sydney shines all year round. Ferries, yachts, jetboats and harbour cruises share the sparkling waters framed by the world famous white sails of the Opera House and coathanger-like Harbour Bridge. The colonial sandstone warehouses of the lively Rocks district nestle at the foot of tall glass towers and contrast with the modernity of the neighbouring Darling Harbour.

To give more feeling of adventure and true Australian bush we suggested they should move out of Sydney for a few days and discover the nearby beauty of the Blue Mountains - driving themselves with 4WD and staying at Lilianfels near the fabulous Three Sisters. 

Ninety minutes west of Sydney lies the World Heritage Wilderness of the Blue Mountains National Park. Its dramatic sandstone cliffs, thundering waterfalls and eucalyptus forested gorges invite bushwalkers to stretch their legs. Its charming art deco cliff-top villages will entice you to wander their café lined streets.

The usual must, The Barrier Reef, was left out as January is the rainiest month up North. Instead we felt that as a young and active entertainer Måns would like the easy-going cultural scene of Byron Bay, its endless beaches and its very Australian lifestyle.

Just two hours south of Brisbane, surfers and dolphins ride the waves whilst celebrities chat over cocktails and soothsayers sip their smoothies. The hip side by side with the hippy, Byron Bay is a melting pot of surf culture, alternative philosophies and hedonistic indulgence. Subtropical rainforests blanketing mountains forged by ancient volcanoes reach out to the sparkling coastline of endless beaches, crowned, at Australia’s most Easterly point by a single white lighthouse.

As with all the properties we offer, luxury is a keynote, and each is chosen in view of the special interests of our clients The reason for including Park Hyatt Melbourne is obvious. They would be at the Australian Open and in their time back at the hotel everything should be on tap. The luxurious Park Hyatt lies in the midst of what Melbourne is best known for - its shopping, culture and dining. It has great spa facilities.  Apart from that its tennis court enjoys the open heavens amidst cityscape...

Equally passionate about sport and ballet, food and fashion a new face of Melbourne – cosmopolitan, avant garde, conservative – is revealed at every bend of the Yarra, in every tiny city arcade and in each of the colourful suburbs of the city fringe.

By the way: the "guest entry" at the 2015 Eurovision  - Australia - gave top marks to Måns Zelmerlöw and Heroes. And Australia gave great marks to Måns.

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