TRAVEL HOT LIST

LIFE HACKS FOR JETSETTERS, FROM THE GLAM­OUR TO THE NITTY GRITTY: WHERE TO GO, HOW TO FLY AND WHERE TO STAY, FROM CELEBRITY SPOTS TO SE­CLUDED WILDER­NESS, RE­STORED BEAU­TIES TO BRAND NEW DE­SIGNS.

The Australian - Wish Magazine - - NEWS - STORY DAVID MEAGHER IL­LUS­TRA­TION STEVE SCOTT

BEST TRAVEL AC­CES­SORY Qan­tas Cash

There are plenty of travel debit cards out there but what we like about Qan­tas Cash is its con­ve­nience. The Mastercard debit fea­ture is al­ready built into your Qan­tas Fre­quent Flyer card, which means one less piece of plas­tic to travel with. You can load up to 11 cur­ren­cies and lock in ex­change rates; you can also eas­ily switch be­tween de­fault cur­ren­cies with the ac­com­pa­ny­ing app. Most im­por­tantly, it al­lows you to min­imise var­i­ous fees and at the same time you can earn Fre­quent Flyer points when you use it.

LUG­GAGE IN­NO­VA­TION Ri­mowa’s elec­tronic lug­gage tag

Ap­par­ently one of the most com­mon rea­sons suit­cases go miss­ing is be­cause of an un­read­able or dam­aged air­line lug­gage tag. Ger­man suit­case maker Ri­mowa has come up with a clever so­lu­tion: the air­line's lug­gage tag is in­te­grated into the ac­tual suit­case and vis­i­ble via a dig­i­tal screen. Elim­i­nat­ing the need for a pa­per tag means pas­sen­gers can check in at home us­ing a part­ner air­line’s app (at this stage it’s only Lufthansa but more air­lines are in the works) and send the tag in­for­ma­tion di­rectly to the suit­case via Blue­tooth. At the air­port it’s just a case of drop­ping your bag off and board­ing.

SMOOTHEST SE­CU­RITY SCREEN­ING Am­s­ter­dam Schiphol Air­port

Se­cu­rity is a nec­es­sary fact of travel so any air­port that makes an ef­fort to cre­ate a bet­ter pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence gets full marks from us. Se­cu­rity at Am­s­ter­dam’s Schiphol air­port was re­designed last year, and while the queue length some­times looks daunt­ing, the de­sign of the se­cu­rity area makes the process sur­pris­ingly smooth. There are tubs for plac­ing your items in at de­fined spots in the prepa­ra­tion area, which min­imises push­ing and shov­ing, and it has been de­signed to al­low for faster pas­sen­gers to con­ve­niently pass slower ones.

BEST BUSI­NESS LOUNGE Qatar, Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional, Doha

It’s hard not to be im­pressed by the sheer scale of the al-Mour­jan Busi­ness Lounge at Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Spread over 10,000sq m it pro­vides busi­ness-class pas­sen­gers with mul­ti­ple din­ing and re­lax­ation ar­eas. There is some­thing for every­one, with des­ig­nated quiet ar­eas as well as fam­ily rooms and a chil­dren’s nurs­ery. One of the lounge’s best fea­tures, how­ever, is that it has been de­signed with the solo trav­eller in mind – there are plenty of seat­ing op­tions with pri­vacy screens for those look­ing for some much needed soli­tude.

BEST FIRST LOUNGE Eti­had First Class lounge, Abu Dhabi

Mer­ci­fully there are no an­nounce­ments in Eti­had’s new First Class lounge in Ter­mi­nal 3 at Abu Dhabi In­ter­na­tional Air­port when it’s time to board your flight. That said, the lounge is so com­fort­able and re­lax­ing you might eas­ily for­get about your flight and find your­self rush­ing for it at the last minute. The am­bi­ence here is more five-star ho­tel lobby than air­port lounge. There’s an a la carte din­ing area, a bar and a spa­cious and quiet re­lax­ation area. There’s a Six Senses Spa in the lounge as well as beauty ser­vices for a wet shave or man­i­cure while in tran­sit. And if you’re trav­el­ling in the air­line’s A380 Res­i­dence you'll have your own pri­vate lounge and bath­room fa­cil­i­ties.

MOST ENTERTAINING SAFETY VIDEO Qan­tas

You know the drill – even if you’re a fre­quent flyer you should pay at­ten­tion to the safety demon­stra­tion as ev­ery air­craft is dif­fer­ent. Safety demon­stra­tions, how­ever, are all pretty much the same: that is to say dull. Qan­tas’ new video, which was rolled out ear­lier this year, is part safety demon­stra­tion and part tourism pro­mo­tion for Aus­tralia. Filmed at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around the coun­try it’s cer­tainly one of the in­dus­try’s more orig­i­nal and watch­able safety demon­stra­tion videos. If you haven’t seen it yet, find it on YouTube.

MOST IN­NO­VA­TIVE SEAT PROD­UCT Eti­had Air­ways’ A380 and Dream­liner Busi­ness Class seats

Eti­had calls its A380 and 787 Dream­liner busi­ness class seats Busi­ness Stu­dios. The clever dove­tail cabin de­sign with rear and for­ward fac­ing seats cre­ates roomier “pods” with more space and pri­vacy for pas­sen­gers. The cabin con­fig­u­ra­tion also means that each seat, which is 55.8cm wide and re­clines to a fully flat bed, has di­rect aisle ac­cess. But one of the fea­tures we like the most with this seat prod­uct is the abil­ity to ad­just the firm­ness of the seat cush­ion so you can feel the lux­ury where it counts.

THE NEW HO­TEL WITH AN UN­USUAL HIS­TORY The Water­gate, Wash­ing­ton D.C.

When the Luigi Moretti-de­signed Water­gate Ho­tel opened in 1967 it quickly be­came pop­u­lar with politi­cians and celebri­ties alike. Then in 1972 the ho­tel gained no­to­ri­ety be­cause of its con­nec­tion to the bur­glary that took place in the ad­ja­cent Water­gate of­fice tower, which even­tu­ally led to the down­fall

of pres­i­dent Richard Nixon. The ho­tel closed in 2007 and re­cently re­opened af­ter a $US125 mil­lion makeover. The 336-room ho­tel now boasts in­te­ri­ors by the Lon­don-based de­signer Ron Arad. Through­out the ho­tel there are nods to its past such as the staff uni­forms by Mad Men cos­tume de­signer Janie Bryant or pen­cils that are en­graved “I stole this from the Water­gate Ho­tel”.

MOST AN­TIC­I­PATED FU­TURE NEW YORK HO­TEL OPEN­ING The Whitby

The Lon­don-based ho­tel com­pany Fir­m­dale opened its first New York out­post in 2009 with the Crosby Street Ho­tel in Soho. In De­cem­ber the com­pany is ex­pected to open the doors to its sec­ond Man­hat­tan prop­erty, this time in Mid­town on 56th Street be­tween 5th and 6th Av­enues. The Whitby will be sim­i­lar in scale to Crosby Street with 86 rooms and suites spread over 15 floors. The en­tire top floor will be one pen­t­house apart­ment with two pri­vate ter­races. In­te­ri­ors will be by de­signer and co-owner of Fir­m­dale, Kit Kemp.

MOST AN­TIC­I­PATED FU­TURE LON­DON HO­TEL OPEN­ING The Welling­ton

Very lit­tle is known about this ho­tel but that hasn't stopped ex­cite­ment about it build­ing. It was an­nounced ear­lier this year that Hollywood ac­tor Robert De Niro to­gether with part­ners Ira Drukier and Richard Born plan to open an 83-room ho­tel in Lon­don’s Covent Gar­den to be called the Welling­ton Ho­tel. If it is any­thing like the Green­wich Ho­tel in New York which De Niro and co. opened in 2008, then ex­pect it to be the hottest place to stay in Lon­don when it opens in 2019.

MOST AN­TIC­I­PATED FU­TURE PARIS HO­TEL OPEN­ING The Lute­tia

Com­pe­ti­tion from Asia-based lux­ury ho­tel chains en­ter­ing the Parisian mar­ket (Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Penin­sula, Raf­fles) has forced the city’s grand dames to book in for a much needed facelift. The Ritz Paris re­opened this year, the Ho­tel de Cril­lon is cur­rently closed for re­fur­bish­ment as is the Lute­tia on Left Bank which is due to re­open mid-2017. The Lute­tia has been owned by the Al­rov Group since 2010 and will be the third ho­tel to open un­der its Set Ho­tels ban­ner, join­ing the Cafe Royal in Lon­don and the Con­ser­va­to­rium in Am­s­ter­dam. As with those two ho­tels, there’s been an em­pha­sis on de­sign with a star ar­chi­tect over­see­ing each project – David Chip­per­field in Lon­don and Piero Lis­soni in Am­s­ter­dam. For the Lute­tia it’s the French ar­chi­tect Jean-Michel Wil­motte.

MOST PRI­VATE AUS­TRALIAN HO­TEL Satel­lite Is­land, Tas­ma­nia

To be fair, ho­tel may be over­stat­ing it when it comes to Satel­lite Is­land. Pri­vacy and seclu­sion, how­ever, are guar­an­teed – Condé Nast Trav­eler de­scribed it as “thrillingly re­mote”. The 34-hectare is­land in D’En­tre­casteaux Chan­nel be­tween Bruny Is­land and the Tas­ma­nian main­land has only been avail­able to rent since last year and is the ul­ti­mate is­land get­away. Only 40 min­utes from Ho­bart the is­land can ac­com­mo­date up to 12 peo­ple. While there you have sole use of the is­land apart from the na­tive fauna and the is­land’s man­ager, who is on call if you need him.

BEST NEW HO­TEL IN SYD­NEY Ovolo Woolloomooloo

The Hong Kong-based Ovolo Ho­tels is the third ho­tel op­er­a­tor to oc­cupy this site in the his­toric Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo. The first op­er­a­tor was Star­wood’s W brand, which opened in 2000 af­ter an ex­ten­sive restora­tion of the unique tim­ber struc­ture. In 2007 Taj took over the prop­erty and re­named it Blue Syd­ney. The ho­tel, how­ever, failed to main­tain the buzz cre­ated around its ini­tial open­ing. Ovolo com­mis­sioned Has­sell ar­chi­tects to breathe new life into the 100-room ho­tel. The re­sult is a trans­formed space that is light, bright and buzzing once more.

BEST NEW HO­TEL IN CHINA The Tem­ple House, Chengdu

This is Swire Ho­tels’ third prop­erty in its House Col­lec­tive, af­ter the Op­po­site House in Bei­jing and the Up­per House in Hong Kong. While Chengdu might not be on every­one’s radar as a holiday spot, its po­si­tion as China’s sixth-largest city and a fi­nan­cial and IT hub means that it at­tracts its fair share of busi­ness and con­ven­tion trav­ellers. The ho­tel was de­signed around a re­stored tra­di­tional court­yard build­ing and the 100 guest rooms are gen­er­ous in size with the small­est at 63sq m.

A NEW TAKE ON DOWN­TOWN Four Sea­sons New York Down­town

Reser­va­tions are now open for Four Sea­sons’ sec­ond ho­tel in New York City. The new 185-room ho­tel will open later this year on Bar­clay Street, ad­ja­cent to the fa­mous Wool­worths Build­ing. The ho­tel is part of the 30 Park Place com­plex which will also be home to 157 Four Sea­sons Pri­vate Res­i­dences and will be the tallest res­i­den­tial build­ing in the Down­town area. The tower was de­signed by Robert AM Stern ar­chi­tects and the ho­tel’s in­te­ri­ors are by the Yabu Pushel­berg de­sign house.

Clock­wise from right, a Ri­mowa suit­case with elec­tronic flight tag; the pala­tialltil bbusi­nessi llounge att DDoha’sh’ Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port; Qan­tas’s new take on the safety demon­stra­tion; and the re­lax­ation room in the Emi­rates first-class lounge...

Clock­wise from right: the Water­gate Ho­tel lobby; Robert De Niro’s Welling­ton Ho­tel in Lon­don; the Tem­ple House court­yard in Chengdu; and Satel­lite Is­land in Tas­ma­nia

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