It’s been a while, but last week I officially re-entered the very luxe world of Luxperience. Think the highest of high-end hotels. One of a kind experiences. All very ThisMagnificentLife. Over 4 days and 3 nights of events, countless exchanged business cards and back-to-back meetings I learned and in some cases tasted the world of luxury travel that is like no other.
Luxperience 2019 is an invitation only forum that brings together airlines, destination marketing people, unique accommodation, travel buyers and media from across the planet.
These are the people who influence today’s elite traveller. As Australia’s leading luxury and experiential travel trade exhibition all of travel’s hot topics were discussed from over-tourism, the impact of climate change to influencer marketing.
Around the world in just 3 days
Monday saw all of us lucky delegates descend on the Australian National Maritime Museum for the Luxperience 2019 Awards and Welcome to Sydney party. Aunty Donna Ingram graciously offered the official Welcome To Country before the awards that recognised the travel industry’s best-in-class.
Lunch with the Catalan Tourism Board was anything but ordinary. Top Australian chef, Jordan Toft, gave us a live cooking demonstration and tasting of traditional Catalan thyme soup followed by a lunch of savoury and sweet classics.
Learning about the wonders of Rwanda was another highlight. The African nation is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest luxury travel destinations. Rwanda is now home to a number of luxurious resorts including One and Only and InterContinental. It is a conservation and wildlife success story. The endangered mountain gorilla are starting to thrive at the Volcanoes National Park while over 700 different bird species call Nyungwe National Park home.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism – Todd Mitsuhata
At the media-only press conference, Todd Mitsuhata surprised most of us, when he let us know Australia is Santa Monica’s number one international market. It makes sense. We share a laidback attitude but obviously Santa Monica does everything with a more than a touch of American razzmatazz. You can if so inclined in winter, surf in the morning and still have a enough time to hit the powdery slopes at the San Gabriel Mountains.
This 5.6km stretch of coastline is everyone’s idea of California. It’s California-chic restaurants, fabulous shopping and of course, that pier. Currently at Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel, you can (until the end of October) sample a little of that So Cal vibe at the Santa Monica pop-up experience. Think farmer’s markets, early morning yoga, fabulous food and sunset live music sessions. For more: santamonicaatpierone.com
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok – Nuntiva Wirotworachai
Overlooking the prestigious Royal Bangkok Sports Club in the Thai capital’s fashion end, this Andre Fu designed hotel opened late last year to stellar reviews. Proudly blending Thai charm with luxurious comfort, the celebrity architect looked to the hallowed New York Waldorf Astoria for design cues. The hotel prides itself on the city’s most spacious rooms and suites.
Noma alumni Chef Rungthiwa—(‘Fae’ to her friends) helms the much lauded Front Room restaurant. It seems that now you haven’t really been to Bangkok if you haven’t taken tea at the hotel’s sumptuous Peacock Alley or sipped cocktails on one of two rooftop bars.
Pearls of Australia – Penny Arrow
For over 70 years, the Brown family have been harvesting fine, Australian South Sea Pearls two and a half hours north of Broome. It’s also where the local Bardi-Jawa people have carved and inscribed pearl shells with ochre to tell their stories for quite a bit longer.
Third-generation pearler James Brown capitalised on the magnificent Cygnet Bay location bringing tourists to learn the Pearls of Australia story while staying in safari tents and renovated pearler shacks. The next chapter of the story is now at Broken Bay on NSW’s Central Coast where tourists can tour the waters on a vintage Halvorsen and marvel at the lustrous gems at the Shellar Door while sipping Champagne.
Pearls of Australia offers destination experiences or as Pearls of Australia’s Chief Marketer, explained, “educational experiences … to see touch and feel pearls. A bespoke experience with access to all areas”.