Travel Update

News from the world of travel

The AJN takes you around the world to see what’s new in travel.

Spicers Clovelly Estate at Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Holiday haven in the Sunshine Coast hinterland

THE Sunshine Coast hinterland is a short drive from Noosa that offers a relaxing change of pace with scenic picnic spots and nature walks in the Kondalilla National Park.

The townships of Maleny and Montville in the heart of the hinterland offer old-world charm as visitors roam around galleries and art and craft shops between coffee breaks at cosy cafes.

The Eumundi market has become an iconic attraction since opening in 1979, attracting visitors from as far as Brisbane to hundreds of stalls offering everything from art and jewellery, local produce to clothes, plus snacks for all tastes. It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

For a relaxing place to stay in the hinterland that combines the ambience of a French country estate with modern comforts and fine dining, check out the boutique Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville.

A suite at Spicers Clovelly Estate.

Set on 22 acres of rolling hills and gardens, the retreat has 16 suites and a three-bedroom cottage while the main lodge building houses The Long Apron restaurant, spa, library and lounge.

While the lodge buildings reflect the charm of a bygone era, the suites have a modern décor and luxury touches such as a king-size bed, marble bathroom with heated floor, free-standing bath and walk-in shower.

The chef-hatted The Long Apron, under the supervision of chef Geoff Abel, offers modern French cuisine from a la carte and degustation menus, and is also open to diners who are not staying at the resort, with some making the journey from Noosa and Brisbane.

Many ingredients are sourced from the vegetable and herb garden on the property and from local producers.

Guests can cool off in the pool nestled in the landscaped gardens, although the statue of a sunbathing lady situated poolside can be a bit disconcerting at first.

There are also walking tracks around the property.

Spicers Retreats founder Jude Turner purchased Clovelly Estate in 2007 and after renovations were completed, the lodge opened to the public in 2010.

Turner purchased another property at the time near Maleny which opened as Spicers Tamarind Retreat and this year was host to a major event in the Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival, part of region’s 10—day Curated Plate Culinary Festival.

The event on August 5 saw hundreds of people descend with picnic blankets on the lawns where singer-guitarist Dan McGahan performed. They also joined in cooking masterclasses and dined on food created by the region’s leading Asian restaurants including the retreat’s award-winning Tamarind Restaurant.

Spicers Retreats has nine properties in NSW and Queensland. Spicers Clovelly Estate is located about 30 kilometres from Sunshine Coast Airport.

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Meriton Suites expands into ACT and Victoria

Newly-opened Meriton Suites in Canberra.

MERITON Suites, Australia’s largest owner-operator of apartment-style hotels, opened the doors to a new property in Canberra on August 19.

The 280-room hotel in the heart of Canberra is the first for the company in the ACT.

A new Meriton Suites with 229 rooms will open in Liverpool on September 23, adding to the NSW portfolio of 16 Meriton Suites.

The first Meriton Suites apartment hotel in Melbourne will officially open its doors on September 26. Located on King Street between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street, it will boast 378 rooms.

The new hotels, built at a total cost of more than $400 million, feature spacious one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites with full-size kitchen and laundry.

Each property has a fitness centre, indoor heated swimming pool, spa and sauna.

Harry Triguboff, founder and managing director of the Meriton Group, said: “We’re delighted to be opening three new Meriton Suites hotels across the nation, another big step for the company.

“Our investment into these new markets is a clear demonstration of our confidence in the continued growth of the domestic and international inbound markets, and the ongoing demand for luxury apartment-style hotels for the modern traveller.”

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Hawaii resort back in the Outrigger family

Kauai Beach Resort and Spa on Hawaii’s Garden Isle.

OUTRIGGER Resorts and Hotels has welcomed back Kauai Beach Resort And Spa on the Hawaiian island of Kauai into the company after a break of almost 30 years since it last managed the property.

The resort, nestled on Kauai Beach on the garden isle’s east shore, is set on 25 acres in the picturesque town of Lihue and features 350 rooms with breathtaking ocean views.

Guests can enjoy meals and cocktails at the resort’s restaurants and bars, while at night there is also live music.

Facilities include four swimming pools, a wellness spa and fitness centre.

The acquisition marks a pivotal step in Outrigger’s expansion strategy and strengthens its presence on Hawaii’s four largest islands, according to Jeff Wagoner, president and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group.

And there are plans for improvements to be made to the Kauai resort.

For 75 years, Outrigger has operated hotels in Hawaii and expanded to properties in Fiji, Mauritius, Thailand and the Maldives.

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