ARM­CHAIR TRAV­ELLER

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

Cul­tural rites and tribal prac­tices, from ex­treme tat­too­ing to cheek skew­er­ing. Not for the squea­mish. Mon­day, 2.30pm, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic.

Pouty Sofie All­sopp (sis­ter of al­to­gether more lik­able Kirstie) juices up real-es­tate lemons and gets them sold. Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Life­Style. de­signed with sig­na­ture white-on-white stripe and grey pip­ing; em­broi­dered with the Westin bone on one side and paw print on the other; sil­ver zip­per clo­sure for easy wash­ing’’. www.westin-ho­tel­sath­ome.com; guests@sleepmaker.com.au.

THE per­fect venue to try the Heav­enly Bed is at the Westin Syd­ney, which oc­cu­pies his­toric premises within the for­mer GPO build­ing plus a 31-storey mod­ern tower with eyrie-like views across the CBD. The award-winning prop­erty opened in 1999 so there has to be some sort of feng shui syn­ergy with the Heav­enly Bed’s 10th birth­day. Best prices at present are the Early Bird & The Worm early-book­ing deals. Book 30 days in ad­vance and save up to 40 per cent; good rates are also avail­able when book­ing 21, 14 or seven days in ad­vance; all in­clude free buf­fet break­fasts for two. There are also week­end pack­ages cov­er­ing three nights for the price of two. (02) 8223 1111 or 1800 656 535; www.westin.com.au/syd­ney.

FINDS of the week: The Aus­tralian Hi­malayan Foun­da­tion is cel­e­brat­ing the 25th an­niver­sary of the first Aus­tralian as­cent of Mt Ever­est, by Tim Macart­ney-Snape and Greg Mor­timer, with a fundrais­ing din­ner on Septem­ber 18. Mor­timer will de­liver the 2009 Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary Memo­rial Ad­dress and pro­ceeds go to the foun­da­tion’s com­mu­nity projects in the Hi­malayas, in­clud­ing one of the lead­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams in ru­ral Nepal. At the Sof­i­tel Went­worth Ho­tel Syd­ney; tick­ets from $150 a per­son, with cor­po­rate ta­bles, hosted by em­i­nent ad­ven­tur­ers, avail­able. www.aus­tralian­hi­malayan­foun­da­tion.org.au.

OLYMPIC gold medal­list Cather­ine Free­man has launched a char­ity ini­tia­tive in con­junc­tion with P& OCruises. Ev­ery P& OCruises’ voy­age from Aus­tralia will of­fer a Walk the Decks ses­sion in which pas­sen­gers can make a vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tion to the Cather­ine Free­man Foun­da­tion’s schol­ar­ship pro­gram, which gives Palm Is­land girls the op­por­tu­nity to study at board­ing school on the main­land. The ini­tia­tive was launched by Free­man and Syd­ney Swans stars Michael O’Lough­lin and Adam Goodes aboard Pa­cific Dawn at Syd­ney’s Dar­ling Har­bour ear­lier this week. Sounds a bril­liant way to do­nate to a wor­thy cause and shift some buf­fet bal­last. www.pocruises.com.au.

loves: Shang­hai’s his­toric Peace Ho­tel is be­ing re­stored to its full art deco grandeur and the re­furb will be un­veiled next year by man­age­ment com­pany Fair­mont Ho­tels & Re­sorts. Among the eight restau­rants and lounges will be a re­vamp of the muchloved Jazz Bar, a Shang­hai in­sti­tu­tion since the 1930s. The famed Peace Hall, re­freshed and ready for action, will re­tain its sprung-wooden dance floor, surely a keeper of se­crets from the age of cabaret and gala par­ties. Given the amaz­ing rate at which Shang­hai’s spiky sky­line changes and old build­ings make way for new, the restora­tion is a mir­a­cle. www.fair­mont.com. loathes: Wait­ing so long for the

tele­vi­sion se­ries based on Alexan­der McCall Smith’s Botswana books. It aired last year on the BBC. Why the de­lay in Aus­tralia, where the Scot­tish au­thor’s books are such big sell­ers?

DEALS OF THE WEEK

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines’ sale; new travel passes from Air Pa­cific; kids stay and eat free in Bris­bane; Lon­don ho­tel rooms for less than $200 with bonus ex­tras; $1000 a cou­ple off Euro­pean river cruises. Th­ese and other money-sav­ing of­fers are fea­tured in

hol­i­day deals, up­dated daily:

www.theaus­tralian.com.au/travel/dd

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