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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

RAIL Europe (raileu­rope.com.au) has re­leased France Rail Pass Pre­mium, which fea­tures first-class pas­sage and the ser­vices of a pri­vate concierge across the 31,000km of the French rail net­work; the concierge can as­sist in plan­ning a hol­i­day, in­clud­ing rec­om­men­da­tions and book­ings for restau­rants, tick­ets to shows, spa treat­ments and per­sonal shop­pers; from $300 for a three­day pass (reg­u­lar France Rail passes start at $263) Garuda In­done­sia (1300 365 330) is of­fer­ing up to 32 per cent off fares to In­done­sia for book­ings made and paid for by June 30 (ex­ec­u­tive class) or July 8 (econ­omy class) for travel to De­cem­ber 19; Syd­ney to Jakarta or Den­pasar (Bali) econ­omy class re­turn, for ex­am­ple, is now $608 a per­son, in­clud­ing taxes The re­cently ren­o­vated beach­side Novo­tel Bali Benoa at Nusa Dua(ac­corho­tels.com/ 1922) has launched win­ter Hot Deals from $US69 ($65) a night for two plus taxes; valid to De­cem­ber 23 and must be booked on­line Philip­pine Air­lines (1300 888 725) is sell­ing busi­ness class com­pan­ion fares from Syd­ney and Mel­bourne to 17 cities in Asia; the spe­cial deal is on sale to June 30 for travel to Septem­ber 30 and al­lows two peo­ple to travel in busi­ness class for not much more than econ­omy Aus­tralians ap­par­ently like to hag­gle for ac­com­mo­da­tion bar­gains, as award-win­ning on­line provider ubid4­rooms.com.au is re­port­ing a 15 per cent rise in busi­ness for the first half of the year; hol­i­day homes have been added to the in­ven­tory of Aus­tralian and New Zealand ho­tels Robert DeNiro and Barbra Streisand are among the celebri­ties who’ve holed up at the farm­house of in­te­rior de­signer and au­thor Kathryn Ire­land in south­west France; Pic­nics in Provence (pic­nic­sin­provence.com) has room on its Septem­ber 1-8 sor­tie to this pic­turesque get­away, in­clud­ing in-house chef, ex­cur­sions, pri­vate wine tast­ings and cook­ing and art classes.

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