LOUVRE AT LAST

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - SU­SAN BUGG

Huge cel­e­bra­tions are ex­pected in the United Arab Emi­rates in Novem­ber when Louvre Abu Dhabi opens.

Said to be one of the most am­bi­tious cul­tural projects un­der­taken in the world, Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first mu­seum of its kind in the Arab world, and fo­cuses on shared hu­man sto­ries across civil­i­sa­tions and cul­tures. It’s set in a build­ing de­signed by French ar­chi­tect Jean Nou­vel, who said the mu­seum was open­ing af­ter “11 years of stud­ies and con­struc­tion”.

His struc­ture will be an at­trac­tion in it­self. Vis­i­tors will walk through the prom­e­nades over­look­ing the sea be­neath the mu­seum’s 180m dome, com­prised of al­most 8000 unique metal stars set in a com­plex geo­met­ric pat­tern. In­side will be art­works, arte­facts and loans from France’s top mu­se­ums from pre­his­toric ob­jects to com­mis­sioned con­tem­po­rary art­works, and it will also house a chil­dren’s mu­seum.

Sym­po­siums, per­for­mances, con­certs, dance, and vis­ual arts by renowned con­tem­po­rary and clas­si­cal artists are planned for the mu­seum’s Novem­ber 11 open­ing.

The in­au­gu­ral spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion,

From One Louvre to An­other: open­ing a mu­seum for ev­ery­one, opens on De­cem­ber 21, and traces the his­tory of Musée du Louvre in Paris. Tick­ets for the mu­seum will cost 60 AED (about $A20) for gen­eral ad­mis­sion and 30 AED for vis­i­tors aged 13 to 22.

LOUVREABUDHABI.AE

MAKE AND TASTE BALI

Food­ies and gourmet trav­ellers have a new choice in Bali cook­ing classes.

Rimba Jim­baran Bali by Ayana has in­tro­duced a cook­ing school where ho­tel guests and vis­i­tors can learn the fun­da­men­tals of In­done­sian cui­sine – how to make a Ba­li­nese sam­bal or tra­di­tional gado gado, for ex­am­ple – us­ing lo­cal in­gre­di­ents.

The hands-on lessons will be con­ducted in an open-air struc­ture with eight gas cook­ing sta­tions and a cen­tral com­mu­nal ta­ble crafted from re­cy­cled sail­ing boat tim­ber. Guests can choose a class ($A80), or an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence which in­cludes a lo­cal mar­ket tour and Ba­li­nese of­fer­ing cer­e­mony ($A90).

AYANARESORT.COM

LOUNGE FOR EV­ERY­ONE

Few of us can af­ford to fly first or business, but now we can all get a taste of the lux­ury life. The pay-per- visit air­port lounge trend is spread­ing around Aus­tralia, with a new ope­nac­cess lounge open­ing at Mel­bourne Air­port last week. The new Marhaba Lounge, lo­cated in the in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal, is open to pas­sen­gers de­part­ing Mel­bourne on any air­line.

Lounge ac­cess costs $65, or $35 for kids un­der 12, for up to four hours.

Mel­bourne Air­port’s chief of prop­erty Linc Hor­ton de­scribes the lounge as “a beau­ti­ful space with ca­pac­ity to seat 200 peo­ple, fea­tur­ing a mil­lion dol­lar view with a con­tem­po­rary fitout”.

“We’re ex­cited for the fu­ture and proud to open Aus­tralia’s first marhaba ex­pe­ri­ence,” Hor­ton says.

Fa­cil­i­ties in­clude show­ers, free WiFi, a buf­fet and se­lec­tion of pre­mium Aus­tralian wines. There’s also a quiet zone for re­lax­ation and Hudson Cof­fee barista bar.

It’s the first lounge in Mel­bourne to of­fer non-mem­ber ac­cess. Most air­port lounges at Aus­tralian air­ports are re­stricted to business or first class trav­ellers with spe­cific air­lines, al­though a few – such as the SkyTeam Lounge in Syd­ney and the Plaza Pre­mium Lounge in Bris­bane – also al­low ac­cess to pay­ing cus­tomers, while Dar­win Air­port has the pay-per­visit Catalina Lounge.

The trend to non-air­line lounges looks set to spread in Aus­tralia, with the pres­i­dent of dnata, Gary Chap­man, fore­shad­ow­ing fur­ther ex­pan­sion plans.

MARHABASERVICES.COM

IN­STA HIP IN MYAN­MAR

Built in 1901, The Strand in Yan­gon is known as one of south­east Asia’s most en­dur­ing land­mark ho­tels.

In con­trast to The Strand’s colo­nial el­e­gance, its man­age­ment com­pany, GCP Hos­pi­tal­ity, has just opened a new gen­er­a­tion of bou­tique ho­tel in the Myan­mar cap­i­tal, one sure to cap­ture the In­sta­gram gen­er­a­tion as much as clas­sic ho­tel lovers adore The Strand.

Ho­tel G Yan­gon is now open in the lively dis­trict of Yaw Yaw Mingyi, a few min­utes’ drive from the world­fa­mous Sh­wedagon Pagoda and down­town Yan­gon with its his­toric colo­nial build­ings, and a few min­utes’ walk from Bo­gyoke Aung San Mar­ket and the cen­tral rail­way sta­tion.

The ho­tel’s open-plan lobby and ad­ja­cent Ba­bett Eatery & Bar have been de­signed to be a com­mu­nal space and all-day din­ing venue for guests and lo­cals alike.

Sim­i­lar to other Ho­tels G, its 85 rooms are clas­si­fied from the base level up as “Good”, “Great”, “Greater”, and “Great­est”. Rates start around the $US60 mark in­clud­ing dis­counts avail­able as an open­ing spe­cial.

In Aus­tralia, Ho­tels G is set to open a “Cam­pus” ho­tel in Perth next year.

HOTELGYANGON.COM

NEW ROOMS IN AUS­TRALIA

Back at home, bush hol­i­day-mak­ers will be de­lighted that a cabin, car­a­van and camp­ing park is set to be de­vel­oped on the site of the his­toric Mt Gipps Ho­tel, about 13km east of Bro­ken Hill.

The 1890 ho­tel, which shut down in 1987, is be­ing re­de­vel­oped by out­back NSW tourism brand Out of the Or­di­nary Out­back, and will re­open in March next year as the Bro­ken Hill Out­back Re­sort.

As part of the plan, the orig­i­nal ho­tel is be­ing ren­o­vated to house a bar and res­tau­rant.

At the other end of the scale and fur­ther into the fu­ture, Can­berra is get­ting a new lux­ury ho­tel.

Mel­bourne ar­chi­tects Fen­der Kat­sa­lidis, whose many projects in­clude Ho­bart’s renowned MONA build­ings, have been en­gaged to de­sign a lux­ury ho­tel for the Garema Cen­tre site in the city’s cen­tre. It’s set to open in 2020.

PIC­TURE: MO­HAMED SOMJI TRAVEL

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s struc­ture will be an at­trac­tion in it­self.

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