Voy­age to learn­ing

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Luxury -

LUXE AND LEARN: Sil­versea Cruises has en­hanced its on­board Sil­ver Per­spec­tives En­rich­ment Pro­gram with the ad­di­tion of fur­ther ex­pert lec­tur­ers cov­er­ing fields such as science, health, mu­sic, naval history and literature. The ini­tia­tive also cov­ers Re­lais & Chateaux’s only cook­ing school at sea and a se­ries of wine-themed voy­ages ac­com­pa­nied by in­ter­na­tional vint­ners. The fam­ily-owned Ital­ian cruise line op­er­ates five all-suite ships and three ex­pe­di­tion ves­sels with itin­er­ar­ies cov­er­ing seven con­ti­nents and more than 700 ports. More: sil­versea.com.

HOUSE RULES: Swire Ho­tels has launched The House Col­lec­tive brand to en­com­pass its three “House” prop­er­ties and strengthen their haven-like char­ac­ter and strong de­sign cre­den­tials. The trio com­prises The Up­per House in Hong Kong, The Op­po­site House in Bei­jing and The Tem­ple House in Chengdu, China, un­veiled ear­lier this month. The new prop­erty is in a tra­di­tional court­yard build­ing and of­fers 100 stu­dio rooms and 49 guest res­i­dences, three restau­rants, a bar and day spa with a tea­house. More: the-house-col­lec­tive.com.

HANDS-ON HOTE­LIERS: It was 30 years ago this month that David Hay and Michael Speers of Thorn Park by the Vines in the Clare Val­ley first saw the orig­i­nal Thorn Park es­tate, with a shear­ing shed, dam and 135-year-old stone homestead “in need of ren­o­va­tion”, and turned it into one of South Aus­tralia’s best-loved coun­try-house ho­tels, with a gourmet rep­u­ta­tion to match. These two con­sum­mate hosts have been run­ning the smaller Thorn Park by the Vines, with three en­suite dou­ble gue­strooms and fine food from Hay, since 2009 and have also opened Thorn Park on the Is­land at Pen­neshaw, Kan­ga­roo Is­land, a chic three-bed­room hol­i­day rental, and Thorn Park in the City, a one-bed­room apart­ment for short or mid-term leases in Ade­laide. More: thorn­park.com.au.

PACK­AGED TREATS: The award-win­ning By­ron at By­ron re­sort and spa in north­ern NSW has a cut-price Chas­ing the Win­ter Sun pack­age that in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion, buf­fet break­fasts, house wine with lunch in The Res­tau­rant, day spa vouch­ers and daily bike hire. From $315 a night for two. More: the­by­ronat­by­ron.com.au.

DO NOT DIS­TURB: In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Danang Sun Penin­sula Re­sort on Viet­nam’s cen­tral coast has opened three Sun Penin­sula Res­i­dences in a cor­ner of a pri­vate bay with ocean views and di­rect beach ac­cess. Villa Hi­bis­cus and Villa Frangi­pani each ac­com­mo­date up to six guests and fea­ture two pools, while the smaller Villa Ix­ora sleeps four. The res­i­dences were con­ceived by Bangkok-based ho­tel spe­cial­ist Bill Bens­ley (who also de­signed the 107room re­sort, which opened in 2012) and are aimed at fam­i­lies and house-party groups who can book per villa or as one es­tate. More: danang.in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal.com. ON THE MOVE: AndBeyond has in­tro­duced six new mo­bile camp­ing sa­faris in Botswana’s wildlife-rich na­ture re­serves. The jour­neys, on set dates through to Fe­bru­ary, are de­signed for two to six trav­ellers and range from six to eight nights. Des­ti­na­tions in­clude Chobe Na­tional Park and the Oka­vango Delta, sa­faris progress be­tween camp­sites set up with en­suite tents and some de­par­tures in­clude a fi­nale of a few nights at one of the op­er­a­tor’s lux­ury lodges. More: andbeyond.com.

FRESH NEW LOOK: Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Port Dou­glas Re­sort, which opened in 1987, has be­gun a $40 mil­lion “game-chang­ing ren­o­va­tion” to re­vamp its 294 guest rooms, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of “swim out” ac­com­mo­da­tion with di­rect la­goon ac­cess from pri­vate bal­conies. The pro­ject in­cludes the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Mi­rage Coun­try Golf Club and the re­sort’s main build­ings, sur­round­ing pools and land­scap­ing of sub­stan­tial trop­i­cal gar­dens, and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by early next year. More: sher­a­ton­port­dou­glas.com.

RIVER ROVERS: APT’s 2016 Europe River Cruis­ing brochure in­cludes a port­fo­lio of prod­ucts with two new book­ing of­fers. Pas­sen­gers who re­serve and pay 10 months in ad­vance re­ceive an Early Pay­ment Dis­count of $200 a per­son on seven-night cruises and $400 a per­son on 14-night cruises. There are also deals for party book­ings of five peo­ple or more and fly-free of­fers from Aus­tralia on a se­lec­tion of cruises along pop­u­lar rivers such as the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Bordeaux and Por­tu­gal’s Douro. Book by July 31. More: 1300 196 420; ap­tour­ing.com.au.

SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

The Tem­ple House, Chengdu, China, above; Sun Penin­sula Res­i­dences at Danang, top right

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