REST AND RE­JU­VE­NATE

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - SU­SAN BUGG

Put that cock­tail down, think twice about all-night par­ties and all-you-can eat buf­fets ... our love for healthy hol­i­days is grow­ing. A sur­vey by travel search app Skyscan­ner shows about one in 10 Aus­tralians, stressed and ex­hausted by work, are plan­ning on tak­ing a break to con­cen­trate on their well­be­ing this year. Other than rest, trav­ellers are look­ing to im­prove their health and life­style and to re­con­nect with them­selves.

And men­tal well­be­ing is our main con­cern. The top picks for well­ness get­aways that Aussies are plan­ning in­clude mind­ful­ness/med­i­ta­tion re­treats (33 per cent), fol­lowed by fit­ca­tion type hol­i­days such as yoga re­treats (16 per cent), weight loss cen­tres (11 per cent), de­tox re­treats (9 per cent), and fit­ness boot camps (6 per cent),

A Skyscan­ner rec­om­men­da­tion for a healthy get­away is Ka­malaya Well­ness Sanc­tu­ary & Holis­tic Spa in Thai­land, a top tip backed up by well­ness pro­fes­sion­als this week. For the sec­ond year in a row, the re­treat, set amid the lush is­land land­scape of Koh Sa­mui, has been named World­wide Health & Well­ness Des­ti­na­tion of the Year at the World Spa & Well­ness Awards. Ka­malaya was the only Asian re­sort in the short­list of five prop­er­ties in Italy, Switzer­land, Ger­many and Aus­tria. It ticks all the well­ness re­treat boxes, mix­ing east­ern and west­ern heal­ing ther­a­pies, whole­some food and fit­ness prac­tices such as yoga.

The One&Only Spa at Emi­rates One&Only Wol­gan Val­ley, in NSW, was named ho­tel spa of the year for Asia and Aus­trala­sia.

MARVEL AT DIS­NEY­LAND PARIS

At­trac­tions based on a new gen­er­a­tion of movie favourites are part of a $3 bil­lion makeover an­nounced for Europe’s top tourist des­ti­na­tion, Dis­ney­land Paris. Many of the French park’s at­trac­tions were ren­o­vated in prepa­ra­tion for its 25th an­niver­sary last year, but the new project, slated to be­gin in 2021, marks its big­gest trans­for­ma­tion since it opened in 1992.

Dis­ney­land Paris has two theme parks – Dis­ney­land Park and Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Park – and seven themed Dis­ney ho­tels. The new de­vel­op­ment will ex­pand Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Park, adding three new ar­eas based on Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars, along with new at­trac­tions and live en­ter­tain­ment. The park has had 320 mil­lion vis­i­tors since 1992 and rep­re­sents 6.2 per cent of France’s tourism in­come.

The Marvel magic starts early; if you’re vis­it­ing this Euro­pean sum­mer, you’ll see a new sea­sonal at­trac­tion, the Marvel Sum­mer of Su­per He­roes.

$1M HARD TO CATCH

The big prize barra has eluded the line in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s third an­nual Mil­lion Dol­lar Fish con­test.

From Oc­to­ber to Fe­bru­ary, ea­ger an­glers try to catch one of 101 tagged bar­ra­mundi re­leased into Top End wa­ters. One hun­dred fish carry a $10,000 prize tag and one comes with $1 mil­lion. That’s the one that got away this time around, though 13 ea­gle-eyed an­glers have caught a $10,000 fish in­clud­ing a chef from Kakadu, a fi­nan­cial ad­viser from Humpty Doo, and a Dar­win-based boil­er­maker.

AIRBED TO PLUSH COM­FORT

It’s a far cry from the airbed on the floor that started the whole thing.

To mark its 10-year an­niver­sary, Airbnb has re­vealed a raft of changes, in­clud­ing new lev­els of ac­com­mo­da­tion de­signed to com­pete with lux­ury ho­tels.

Airbnb Plus is the newly in­tro­duced top tier of the ac­com­mo­da­tion site, with in­spec­tors per­son­ally check­ing each home against a 100-plus point checklist cov­er­ing clean­li­ness, com­fort and de­sign. The cri­te­ria in­clude ease of check-in, a fully equipped kitchen and avail­abil­ity of en­ter­tain­ment such as Net­flix.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, Airbnb Plus “is in­tended for guests look­ing for beau­ti­ful homes, ex­cep­tional hosts and added peace of mind”.

Syd­ney and Mel­bourne are among the 13 launch cities around the globe.

Prices start from $77 a night for a room in a St Kilda apart­ment and range up to $1401 for a lux­ury fourbed­room home with a pool on Syd­ney’s North Shore

The com­pany also flagged plans to add more B&B and bou­tique ho­tel list­ings, with ded­i­cated list­ing types to be added to ac­com­mo­date those cat­e­gories in the com­ing months. New col­lec­tions will also be added to the site, in­clud­ing fam­ily stays, wed­dings and hon­ey­moons.

CAP­I­TAL BREAKS

Cap­i­tal city com­pe­ti­tion is healthy in Aus­tralia, but which one works out as the most af­ford­able place to take a hol­i­day? Well, it turns out Mel­bourne not only car­ries the of­ten-spruiked ti­tle of most live­able city in the world, it’s also top value for vis­i­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to book­ing site Wo­tif.com, Mel­bourne is the win­ner, only marginally, over its next clos­est ri­val, Bris­bane. The Vic­to­rian cap­i­tal’s $633 price tag is based on the av­er­age cost of flights from other cap­i­tals, the av­er­age price of a night’s ac­com­mo­da­tion and com­par­isons of ba­sic cost-of-liv­ing data for hol­i­day es­sen­tials such as a cof­fee, public trans­port ticket, a beer and restau­rant meal.

Bris­bane av­er­aged out at $635, Ade­laide $654, Syd­ney $669, Ho­bart $672, and Can­berra $759. The more dis­tant Perth and Dar­win log­i­cally came in at the tail end at $898 and $939 re­spec­tively.

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