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Corporate Travel Gets A Cool Make-Over.

Corporate Travel Gets A Cool Make-Over.

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When it comes to business travel it’s about function over fuss.

All you want when you’re on the road is a central location and a clean, quiet room.

Mainly you just want a quiet room.

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New York vibes in the middle of Sydney.

Australia has been a little behind on the made-for-business hotels Asia and Europe do very well…but that’s set to change with the arrival of KAFNU – a boutique hotel aimed squarely at the corporate traveller.

Offering 16 immaculate rooms, the hotel sits inside the brand new KAFNU work precinct which means hotel guests benefit from business centric bolt ons such as hot desks, high tech meeting rooms and podcast and media studios.

This is the perfect place to meet a client without feeling like you’re asking them to a hotel. It’s like having an office away from home in a cool but very professional environment – KAFNU is private and geared toward getting your job done.

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Industrial design meets sleek functional minimalism.

Fifteen minutes from the airport and ten minutes to the CBD, it’s location is perfect and sitting just outside of the city means that at night it’s whisper quiet.

All air-conditioned rooms boast a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, free movies, high speed wi-fi and private modern bathrooms (showers – no baths).

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The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, a virtual gym and a bar but if you want room service you’ll need to rely on Uber Eats.

KAFNU is an adults only hotel – not because it doesn’t like children – but because it takes corporate travel seriously. The rooms, the ambience, the location is all business and not set up for kids entertainment or safety.

The hotel offers extraordinary value and in a very modern move, scales pricing to meet demand, day of the week and season, but expect to pay about $150 per night.

I know?!!! Extraordinary value for a truly unique work oasis.

FOR ALL ENQUIRIES AND BOOKINGS HEAD TO WWW.KAFNU.COM OR CALL +61 2 8324 7000

ALL IN THE DETAILS.

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Kafnu mixes industrial design features with colour.

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The fresh white bathrooms comprise a separate shower, toilet and vanity area.

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All the beds are comfy as clouds and dressed in cool, plush shades.

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Very Scandinavian in function an design it makes unpacking and packing a snap.

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All the rooms have original artworks from Gillie&Marc which are available to buy at nearby gallery.

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Paris Must-Do’s.

Paris Must-Do’s.

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Last month, I visited Paris for the launch of Huawei P30 Series ( the P30 and P30 Pro smart phones with a camera like I’ve never experienced).

I spent a frantic few days in the city visiting old favourites – including a visit to Notre Dam before the fire for which I will be forever grateful.

I was given a Huawei P30 Pro to road-test while in Paris and the “P” must stand for photography because the camera in this handset has set a new bench mark (take a look at the art I printed from my shots HERE)

Words don’t do the super powers of this camera justice – the detail that it captures is truly astounding.

There is no definitive guide to Paris – every trip I add something new – so here is my current list of musts when in the city of lights.

HELP RE-BUILD NOTRE DAME.

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Captured with Huawei P30 Pro

I took this picture ten days before the fire.

Notre-Dame is the true heart of Paris ( Île de la Cité). It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve visited or how many candles I lit there – she remains my favourite church in any city anywhere.

The loss of history at this level is incomprehensible and we must continue to visit Notre Dame as they rebuild it.

BLOW DRY AT DAVID MALLET.

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David Mallet is the most celebrated hair stylist in Paris – he also happens to be Australian. With two salons (one is in the Hotel Ritz) and a client list which includes everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg to Gwyneth Paltrow, David pioneered the ‘lived in look’ that French women own and the rest of the world want.

The salons themselves are a treat, filled with antiques and if you’re lucky David’s bull terriers. This is the Paris splurge you want to make. Book waaayy ahead to avoid disappointment. www.david-mallet.com

RIVER CRUISE AT NIGHT.

This is something I had never done and never would of thought to do unless it had been organised for me.

Paris from the water at night offers a very different perspective of the city – the scale, the lights and the romance.

I would take the most lo-fi cruise available. This is not about food and drink – it’s about breathing in the city from its very heart beat.

Check out the video I shot with the beautiful Kate Waterhouse while out at night on the Siene.

BREAKFAST AT LE LOBBY.

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There are few hotels in Paris as breathtaking as The Peninsula. I could not recommend breakfast there more highly. If weather permits, request a table outside at Le Lobby the main breakfast parlour. Sit back, watch the locals and inhale the perfectly pressed pink and grey linen tablecloths topped with shiny silver flatware. Order the house-baked croissants, a fresh pamplemousse juice and compote of fresh red berries. It doesn’t get much better or more Right Bank than this. www.peninsula.com/en/paris/

MARTINIS AT HOTEL RITZ.

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Captured with Huawei P30 Pro

Two things: 1) Bar Hemingway is a piece of history – Fitzgerlad, Hemingway, Copper, Porter – that no one should miss. 2) The drinks that they serve at the eponymous bar at the back of the Hotel Ritz Paris no one should miss.

That’s all you need to know. Dress up and put it on. www.ritzparis.com

RESTAURANTS TO TRY.

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Chez Julien.

Chez Julien is old school and fabulous. Set right on the Seine, I like a lunch table on the terrace and recommend the classics: steak frites, foie gras, whatever duck is going and a crème brûlée. The flatware is heaven, the blue painted windows chic and the service achingly French. www.chezjulien.paris.

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Grazie

From the family behind the inimitable concept store Merci comes this delicious Italian pizzeria. You’ll smell it before you see it and the wood-fired, super-thin base pizzas are worth the inevitable wait. Order everything with burrata. The scorched fennel is incredible as are all the desserts with special mention to the panna cotta which wobbled to perfection. www.graziegrazie.fr

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Bistro Allard

Taken over by Alan Ducasse in 2013, this old school french restaurant is in my opinion one of the best French experiences in Paris. The tiny rooms, the red velvet banquette, the crystal champagne coups – it’s Fitzgerald and Zelda. Then there is the food which is everything right about French cuisine – duck wiht olives, fish in beurre de blanc, snails and brûlée like no other. www.resturant-allard.fr

THREE MUSEE MUSTS.

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Captured with Huawei P30 Pro

There is no BEST museum or gallery in Paris. They are all bucket-list destinations. When people ask me to pick a museum in Paris: it’s Musee d’Orsay, Decorative Arts Museum at The Louvre and Musee De l’Orangerie

Over the years I have slowly made my way through most but these are the ones that keep draw me back every time. None of them are high commitment. You can spend an hour or a day. That’s there beauty.

FACIAL AT AMBASSADE BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE

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Look no further than this historic skincare clinic – housed in a former presidential residence – for the quintessential French facial. Biologique Recherche is the brian child of Dr. Philippe Allouche and is a medicinally minded brand that is a favourite of French women. Which is the only reason you need because who doesn’t want skin like that? You can read about my experience here.

SUGAR CREPES.

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Walk. Eat crepe. Walk. Eat another crepe. Repeat.

These actions cancel each other out.

My favourite thing to do when 3pm fatigue sets in is: crepe, espresso, sunshine.

WANDER LE JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG.

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To say I know this park intimately is an understatement. My sister used to live across the road so there isn’t much I haven’t done in this park. Sun, rain or snow the view of the French Senate is one of my favourites in Paris. There is a magic to this park and a spectacular place to take photos all year round. There is an Angelina at the bottom of the gardens and a chocolat chaud at the end of the day is pretty unbeatable.

Parent tip: with kids under 4, head to the protected kids area called Le Jardin Roserie. With sandpits, grassy areas for picnics and splash pools for toddlers in summer, it’s a whole world of fun for little ones.

I flew to Paris as a guest of Huawei. This is not a sponsored post.

All editorial ideas an opinions are my own.

Postcards From Akora.

Postcards From Akora.

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When I was in Christchurch last month, I took a little road trip down the east coast to Akaroa– a heavenly French settlement about 45 minutes from the city.

There are some places where you just can’t find the right words to describe it…this tiny hamlet is one of those places.

You need to see it to understand all of its charm.

Here are my postcards from this petite France au bord de la mer…

MY TRIP IN SNAPS.

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In Sky Glamour.

In Sky Glamour.

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My grandmother was an incredibly chic woman.

She was always immaculately dressed. Even for gardening.

Never was a hair out of place. Or an opportunity for lipstick missed. She was such a lady and proud of it.

I have strong memories of time spent in her wardrobe watching her pack for trips overseas.

She and my grandfather were avid cruise travellers back when ships were more like the Titanic.

Grand, special experiences that required outfits to match.

Two weeks ago on a flight to Christchurch, I discovered that glamour travel is still very much alive on board the A380 Emirates Business Class.

Who knew 36,000 feet in the air could look (or feel) this good.

GLAMOUR STARTS WITH SERVICE.

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The Emirates Loungein Sydney is expansive. The chairs are comfortable and plentiful, the food is delicious and there’s plenty of natural light.

It’s also one of the quieter airline lounges I’ve been in -full of very polite travellers who respect the experience.

The lounge sits right alongside the departure gates so it’s a very quick walk (even in heels) once boarding commences.

And again, the transition was like magic:  boarding pass, smiling staff and suddenly you’re onboard the incredibly cool upper deck.

The Emirates media screens are bigger than a lot of televisions ( 23 inches wide) and really they become your entire world once onboard.

The airline’s ICE (Information, Communications, Entertainment) Media System offers 2,500 channels of entertainment which includes everything from latest release movies through to television box sets, music, podcasts, music and games.

All the media can be controlled via touch screen, corded controller or a tablet which means you can operate the system from any seat position you find yourself in.

I seem to always cry in movies on planes  but not his flight other passengers weren’t subjected to my sobs because I was cocooned in my silent space.

Which was excellent because I could sob even more.

One cool, techy feature is the ICE System is the ability to see outside the aircraft from your seat – and I don’t mean out the window.

Emirates have installed cameras in the tail, underside and nose of the plane which provide aerial views of the outside world as you fly.

GOOD TO KNOW:Each passenger can access 20MB of data for free. Additional access is charged at reasonable rates or free for members of Emirates Skywards Scheme. It’s possible to send SMS and emails via the in-seat satellite phone and international power sockets are available for those who wish to use laptops or charge devices.

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THESE SEATS ARE A THING.

Let’s call it like it is: the main reason people choose to flyBusiness Class is for space and privacy.

Well the main reason travellers choose Emirates Business Class over other carriers is because THESE seats win on both.

They’re more like an apartment.

The staggered ( 1-2-1) configuration is legendary with each flyer given a totally private and spacious cubicle.  

When I fly, I relish in the alone-ness.

No phones, no email, no one asking me to find them something, cook them something…just no one.

So an Emirates A380 single seat right on the window is the VERY definition of flying heaven for me.

From the beautiful wood panels and soft cushioning to the individual mini bar and mega media screen, there’s nothing that has not been considered in the design of these seats. 

And nothing not to love.

When it comes to sleeping, privacy comes into its own as you turn the seat into a flat bed complete with the softest of pillows and duvet. Also. the Emirates eye shades are the best in the sky. Make sure you don’t leave it on board.

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Dining on board is an experience.

You could genuinely eat from take-off to touch down.

Meals are served on crisp white linen with polished cutlery and there’s a choice of three main courses and four desserts (at dinner). 

I chose a smoked salmon appetiser followed by steak with asparagus and potato dauphinoise. Emiratesis renowned for their chocolate desserts (usually two choices on every menu) but I’m a die-hard cheese platter traveller.

I find it just goes so well with a glass of pinot noir (which arrived perfectly paired from an extensive list) and my second movie ♥♥♥

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There’s a bar on the plane.

I really don’t have to say much more than that do I?

Oh hang on…there’s a mixologistin the bar on the plane who can make you any kind of drink you want.

Anytime on the flight.

I know.?!

The bar which is exclusive to First and Business customers harks back to the days of sophisictaed travel and provides the perfect place to stretch your legs, make small talk (if you so desire) or just play the grown-up, glamorous travel game.

Like I am here. Complete with high heels.

Eat, Play, Ski…In Vail

Eat, Play, Ski…In Vail

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If you’re a skier then Vail Colorado will already be on your destination wish list.

And if it isn’t, then you need to bump it straight to the top.

Saxon broke his ankle on Christmas Eve so our December adventure was derailed.

However fate works in strange ways and that’s how we found ourselves skiing in March under bluebird skies with mountains of snow.

It was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken as a family and can’t wait to return.

There is so much to do both on and off the slopes, here’s my eat, play and where to stay guide to magical Vail.

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A FAMILY THAT SKIS TOGETHER…

No matter what type of snow sport you’re into,  Vail Mountain has some of the best terrain in the world.

The third largest single mountain ski resort in the United States (just behind Big Skyand Park City) Vail features seven bowls over twenty-two kilometres.

My family are all at different skiiing levels. One of the most brilliant things about Vail is that the peak is super easy and then the mountain divides into green, blue, black and crazy runs on the descent.

This means you can still ski as a group – just choose your level and meet at the bottom.

I highly recommend booking an instructor– even if it’s just for your first day. The mountain is huge and an instructor takes the stress out of navigating the lifts & runs and will show you the best spots to eat, take pictures and ski.

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GOOD TO KNOW: All instructors have staff cards that give them (and their students) discounts at certain restaurants which is very handy when it comes to kids and snacks.

There are good options for private, group and an excellent ski school. To book head to www.vail.com

When travelling to any overseas ski destination it’s a very good idea to book your  mountain passes and ski hire (if you need it) ahead of travel.

You can now book an Epic Australia Pass which includes Perisher, the USA and Japan at www.perisher.com.au

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WALK IN THE SNOW.

You don’t have to be a skier to take in the magic of the snow.

There are lots of places at the base off the mountain that make for pretty walking but you can also catch the gondola up to the mountain restaurants and Vail Adventure Ridge (which is an awesome place for kids with zip lines and taboganning)  and take a snow stroll.

In snow boots of course. Ball gown is optional.

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 EAT LIKE EVERY MEAL IS YOUR LAST.

My family loves American food and all its cousins (Mexican, Spanish, Italian) and when we’re stateside we gravitate to the classics – big steaks, burgers, tacos, ceviche, cookies and anything with peanut butter.

There are so many delicious food options in Vail (far better than a lot of other neigbouring ski resorts) but here’s a list of my on-and-off mountain favourites.

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ON THE MOUNTAIN.

For Casual: At the top of Eagle Barn Gondola you’ll find  Bistro Fourteen; a warm, ski-in/ski-out restaurant with a beautiful outdoor space for sunny days. This fast became our favourite coffee spot.

Lulu rated it the best hot chocolate in Vail…and she tried the mall.

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For Less Casual:My favourite on mountain dining option is The 10th, a more upscale ski/ski out restaurant located mid Vail.

It offers great soups and salads  the buratta salad is all time!) and you have to order the kids dessert which is fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies the size of a saucer.

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For Mexican:I would have missed Los Amigosif it wasn’t for my instructors recommendation. This little authentic Mexican joint sits at the edge of Lionshead Village and is cheap, delicious and a local favourite.

And the margarita’s are fabulous.

OFF THE MOUNTAIN.

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For Date Night:  We fell in love with the food and vibe at Sweet Basilan Italian inspired restaurant in the heart of Vail Village. The lighting is chic, the food is developed but not pretentious and it’s home to the worlds best margarita (it’s literally called that) and Saxon and I reckon they are.

For Traditional With Twist:  One of the best new restaurants,  Mountain Standard Vail is set on the river level in Vail Village.  Make sure you arrive hungry because the portions are American size and everything is delicious.

The bar is jumping, the drinks are strong and the kitchen brings a little of Denver’s wild west with regular chants and pot clanging heard regularly throughout the eatery.

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For Drinks: Add a Spicy Bacon Bloody Maryfrom Tavern on the Square to your list of drinks you never thought you’d order but will love.

This is a great place to try special cocktails and you can be as dressy or casual as you like.

For a more swept up (and dressed up) après-ski scene, you’ll want to hit The Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons or Frost Bar at The Sebastian.

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For Family Special: The stunning Four Season’s Vail  signature restaurant Flame, is a traditional steak house with all the polish you’d expect from this style of property. Huge room, plush booths, dark lighting and special serviceman it’s a fabulous night,  and it’s right next to one of the prettiest pools I’ve ever seen.

ICE SKATING AT THE ARRABELLE.

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This is a great non-skier activity.

We stayed at The Arrabelle At Vail which has it’s own ice rink.

It is purely magical to be spinning around the ice surrounded by snow covered mountains and the European architecture of this special resort.

The rink is open everyday in winter from 1-9pm.

DOWNTOWN.

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Vail is divided into two parts: Vail Villageand Lionshead.

They two ends are the perfect mash-up of Ralph Lauren Americana and European village vibes.

The streets of the entire town are heated so there’s never snow on the streets which makes wandering much easier and the two areas are connected via a shuttle bus which runs constantly.

You can shop for everything from collegiate sweatshirts (we did) to vintage fur. Obviously there is a broad range of ski wear – I grabbed some absolutely great end of season bargains.

There’s a lot of interesting local art and of course food of every kind – make sure you go the Fuzzwigg’s Candy Factory for traditional American candy.

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Take time to walk along Gore Creek.

This beautiful estuary runs through the valley from east to west and directly through the town.

There’s a walking path along the banks which is breathtaking – particularly when the snow is melting and the surrounding nature is more visible.

And then at night, well…the whole town twinkles.

DON’T FORGET BEAVER CREEK.

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Beaver Creek Resort is about half an hour away from Vailand an awesome addition to your trip.

Stunningly beautiful, it’s one of the few moutains in the world that has green runs at 3000 feet.

So no matter how much of a beginner you are, Beaver Creek Resort allows you to experience epic views without the fear that you can’t ski down.

I would recommend an inscructor or a group ski school to maximise your time on the mountain and not waste any time on your day trip.

My favourite eating spot was the outdoor terrace BBQ served daily at Talonsrestaurant which is a traditional ski in/out restaurant high on the slopes.

We were spoilt with skies like an Australian summer – so eating burgers on the terraces was a total buzz.

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GOOD TO KNOW: The EPIC AUSTRALIA PASS is the best way to maximise your skiing both locallyand overseas. You get:

♥ Unlimited, unrestricted access to Perisher for the 2018 season.

♥ Five consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley, Japan for the 2018 – 2019 season.

♥ Access to Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe region of California; and Stowe in Vermontfrom November 2018 – April 2019 (holiday restrictions apply)

♥ 10 days combined betweenWhistler Blackcomb, Vail and Beaver Creekduring the 2018/2019 season, from November 2018 – April 2019 \(holiday restrictions apply). The days do not have to be used consecutively.

♥ 7 days of skiing or snowboarding at each of Crested Butte, Okemo and Mount Sunapee with no blackout dates, a total of 21 days.

For more information and bookings head too www.perisher.com.au

We visited Vail as guests of Vail Resort Group. Thank you for an incredible experience.