Blu babymoon

Planned romance is a fraught area, especially when life’s absurdities get in the way. That’s what happened with The Spark and I on our recent babymoon to Sydney’s five star Radisson Blu. I’m only six months pregnant but the next few months are crazy and before we know it, we won’t have had time to […]

What you want in a hotel

Lately I’ve been asking people about what they want in a hotel. The response is surprising. It’s not better technology, bigger rooms or fancier service. People want basic stuff, done well. Here’s the top 10: 1. Real milk. Australian travellers seem to hate UHT and coffee creamer. 2. Real coffee, not instant. Please give us real coffee, preferably not in […]

Hotels vs serviced apartments

Do you have a preference? I have just compiled the annual Hot 100 Hotels, Resorts and Venues for the magazine that I edit and I’ve noticed that a lot more serviced apartment hotel brands have sprung up. What’s even better is that they’re kinda sexy. In the old days, serviced apartment hotels were only a […]

Club Med is my spiritual home

CLub Med

It’s probably a terrible enditement on my character that after all these years of searching, my spiritual home is a fancy summer camp. Club Med is the best. What started out as a humble post-war getaway for Frenchies has evolved into the perfect extrovert’s holiday. By day, you mountain bike, do yoga, swim and learn fun […]

1888, Pyrmont


I don’t know who to thank for the revolution in Australian hotels but 1888 is another example of the good things that are happening here. ‘Boutique’ used to mean a) poisonously expensive, b) frilly curtains and bowls of potpourri, or c) uncomfortably small. These days, thanks to a mysterious force, boutique means interesting, well thought […]

The Diamant Hotel and TEDx Sydney 2013

The Diamant Hotel, Potts Point

Being selected to be in the audience at TEDx Sydney 2013 rocked my world but presented some logistical challenges. I live in Tamworth. TEDx was in Sydney. I subsequently planned a mental couple of days catching up with friends and attending the conference, all with a nightmarish Greyhound commute thrown in. It was exhausting to even think about. […]

Takao Kanko Hotel, Kyoto

I booked my entire Japan itinerary in a panicky, online way because I quickly realised that the entire freaking world knows about this cherry blossom thing. Hence, most hotels have been booked out for quite some time. Like, since 1982. It is nothing short of remarkable that I managed to find Takao Kanko Hotel. I […]

East Hotel, Canberra

East Hotel

I am a little bit in love. We only just met but I think it’s going to be quite the affair. The first thing I noticed was the Nespresso machine in Room 523. ‘You’re a caffeine addict too, Mr East?’, I wonder. Then I see the furnishings; the teal, mustard, grey and blue colour scheme, the framed […]

Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza Canberra

Enormous rooms at the Crowne Plaza Canberra

I adore staying in hotels and Crowne Plaza Canberra was no exception. Located bang in the centre of town, the hotel is a short walk from a lot of Canberra’s major attractions, including the Floriade flower show on the shores of Lake Burley-Griffin. I have long been a detractor of Canberra, whining about the arctic temperatures, brick-and-tile […]

Look Polished at Vibe Sydney

Vibe Sydney Pool Vert

Sometimes you just need to drink Champagne, paint your nails and giggle like, well, a girl. Recently I did this exact thing with my dear friend, Mona T, who also happens to be my boss at Sultanate of Oman Tourism. Our office had been nominated for a big, fancy industry award so we needed to […]