One & Only Resorts, Ultimate Family Experiences.

Having just completed a few days in Sydney at ‘Luxperience’, a luxury travel industry exhibition, I am inspired more than ever to highlight to you (and wet your appetite) for some of the worlds key luxury destinations and experiences, along with some of the amazing offers and exclusive amenities that I am able to access as a part of SmartFlyer and as a Virtuoso affiliate. (Who doesn’t love a little travel inspo!)

So, I thought I’d start with our wonderful travel partners ‘One & Only Resort’s, and pinpoint some of the ultimate family experiences on offer from within their resort collection around the world.

From Australia to Dubai, Mexico to the Maldives, there is a beautiful family escape just waiting for you at One & Only resorts, and with their dedicated ‘Kids Only’ programs, Mum & Dad will be able to take advantage of some time alone, in some of the worlds most beautiful destinations.

Check out a few of my favourites from their portfolio below, and hopefully it inspires you to start planning your next family holiday.

Don’t forget to look out for the exclusive amenities that you’ll receive when you allow me to plan it for you, so if you are inspired, please contact me on kate@smartflyer.com.au

Kate xx

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My smart move into the world of ‘SmartFlyer’

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Well, as another financial year comes to a close, and I gather up my faded receipts (I know, I really need to get with technology), I want to thank you for once again being a part of my journey, and allowing me to be a part of yours.

As an independent travel ‘stylist’, I don’t take your support for granted. I know that when it comes to booking travel, you have a plethora of choice, so I am honoured that you have chosen me to work with you to make your travel dreams a possibility.

Now, what’s business and pursuing your passion without change? It’s time for a shakeup.

You may have started to notice that some of my personal business branding has switched from Riche Travel to Smartflyer Australia, and I’m about to explain what that change is all about….and it’s exciting!

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Discover Phuket, It’s no one ‘Beach’ wonder!

As you’d imagine, Phuket has plenty of amazing beaches and the destination itself was made famous by ‘The Beach’, but it’s easy to get a little stuck or swayed by the idea that Patong is the best beach destination for a Phuket holiday, and that Maya Bay (Part of Koh Phi Phi off the coast of Phuket, and the location of ‘The Beach’) is the most idyllic spot to visit.

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Sydney’s new wave of Luxury hotels (and they might surprise you!)

For most of us, when you’re asked to name one of the worlds most luxurious cities, destinations like Paris, New York, Milan or Tokyo would probably spring to mind in an instant.

While Sydney is definitely up there in terms of most ‘expensive’ cities in the world, it may not be one of the obvious choices for the ultimate luxury destination, however the opening of the Langham Hotel Sydney, may just change all of that.

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72hrs in Dubai – A photo journal

As an Aussie, the reality is we are far far away from anywhere when it comes to travel, and you know you’re getting old when you can’t fathom taking that long haul flight from Sydney to the UK (around 24hrs + transit time all up) without a stopover.

Where once you just wanted to get there and make the most of your destination, you’re now trying to plot and plan your itinerary to avoid (at all costs) spending any longer than 13hrs on the plane in one stint.

The good news for Australian travelers (and visitors) is that there are some pretty cool places to break the journey, and my current fave is Dubai. Not only is it the perfect stopover point in terms of time spent on the aircraft, but with so much to see and do, it will actually become a part of the trip and not just somewhere to lay your head.

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What does LUXURY TRAVEL mean to you?

It’s a cold but sunny winters afternoon in Sydney and I’ve just returned from fabulous Shanghai.

I was lucky enough to attend the annual ILTM ASIA event, where I wrapped up 3 days of back to back appointments with some of the worlds very best travel experts.

Even though my heels have only just been kicked off, I’m already reflecting on my experience this year, and I have to say that I leave feeling inspired and excited to share all that I’ve discovered with you.

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Lust List – Top 5 romantic destinations!

It’s that day of the year again that people literally love or hate, Valentines Day!  Whether you buy into it or not, it’s everywhere, so I figured I would embrace the day and share with you my Top 5 LUST worthy destinations for romance!

I’ve also been planning some splendid honeymoons lately, and have found some spectacular locations for you and your loved one to lap up the luxury & indulge in some alone time, from the cliché (yet undeniably lust worthy), to the off the beaten track, here are 5 of my faves!

Lake Louise – Canada

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What can I say? I’m a sucker for the snow, and to me nothing says romance like an  embrace in the mountains. Snow falling softly, crisp mountain air, a warm crackling fire, blankets to rug up in, a bubbling outdoor Jacuzzi and glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate… tell me this isn’t romance bliss!

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise knows how to do romance. Often found on the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler “Gold List” for hospitality excellence, It’s set amongst souring mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and on the iconic emerald lake.

From a sleigh ride for two around the lake to ice skating hand in hand. A picnic hike into the mountains or a couples massage at their award winning day spa. Star gazing by night or Après & afternoon tea for two after a day of skiing…. the opportunities for romance are endless, and the mountains are sure to bring you closer to the one you love.

Santorini – Greece 

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This is a no brainer, and Santorini has been listed as one of the worlds most romantic destinations for decades, but it’s certainly one that’s got to be seen and experienced to believe.

Iconic Oia sunsets, private yachting, gourmet dining, wine tasting, donkey rides (if your romance needs a little adventure) .. the list goes on, and my favourite property in which to experience it all from? Canaves Oia Hotel.

A luxury property, set into the Cliffside with elegantly designed suites for you to enjoy this spectacular destination. A member of ‘Small luxury hotels’ of the world’ this property is small in size, but big on bliss and I can imagine you relaxing poolside, set against the traditional white buildings, overlooking the sea. Can you?

The Daintree – Australia

Australia has wonderful diversity when it comes to romantic escapes. From the outback to the city, the beaches and the mountains… but nothing whispers romance like tropical seclusion and walking barefoot on a pristine private beach, miles from anywhere.

The Daintree rainforest, Queensland offers the opportunity to get lost in the moment, and the private islands and eco lodges will whisk you away into your own private love bubble. Experiences like sailing, diving, snorkelling, hiking, wellness programs and fine dining, will ensure that there is something for even the most active ‘I can’t sit still’ couple.

One such destination is the Bloomfield Lodge, a beautifully remote, captivating, boutique property, on the fringe of the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland. It’s one of Australia’s most exclusive getaways, and the Eco lodge combines luxury accommodation with gourmet dining, and is also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It was also recently ranked No1 in Forbes Magazine as the ‘Worlds Best Remote Hotel’… and with a range of accommodation options there is something for everyone.

Bora Bora – Tahiti

Tahiti would be on the list of almost any ‘bride to be’, as her dream Honeymoon destination, and having planned countless visits for my clients, their reaction is always the same… ‘Breathtaking’, and Bora Bora is always described to me as if they have stepped out of a dream and into reality, so it’s somewhere that certainly has to be experienced to be believed.

Bra Bora is an island in French Polynesia, and is surrounded by barrier reef and a shimmering aqua lagoon. In the centre of the island lays an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu. This volcano and lagoon set the backdrop for one of the romantic destinations you could visit, and a trip to Bora Bora wouldn’t be complete without a stay at the stunning St Regis, Bora Bora.

One of the most exclusive resorts in the region, they proclaim to match blissful Polynesian paradise with flawless signature service, and by all accounts they do! Another property to make a regular appearance on the Conde Nast Traveler “Gold List”, the St Regis, Bora Bora provides a tropical paradise with a contemporary Asian flair!

If the stunning location isn’t enough to transport you to world of bliss, their selection of romance activities certainly should. From the Miri Miri day spa to a private island photo shoot. Champagne sunset cruises, personal dive trips and much much more, it’s a haven that will leave you speechless from the moment you arrive.

Taj Mahal, Agra – India

While I admit this isn’t the 1st place you think of when you think of ‘romantic destination’s, and surely the likes of Paris or The Maldives would be ahead of India on my list, but nothing has moved me more in my travels, than standing in front of the ‘Taj Mahal’ .. The worlds greatest declaration of love. I thought it would be a miss not to have this on my list.

You’ve seen pictures of her in books, magazines and in movies all your life, but nothing can quiet compare to that moment you walk through the arch way, and see her standing there in all her glory. Time seems to stand still, and every image you’ve seen of her vanishes away, as they in no way do her justice. There is an awe and a kind of magic that seems to radiate from her and despite the tens of thousands of people swarming around you, it sort of feels like it’s just the two of you. To share that moment, with the one you love would undoubtedly bring you together, and while most women would nudge their partner and ask ‘would you build something like this for me?’ it’s undeniably one of the worlds most romantic buildings, and perhaps a little less cliché than the Eiffel Tower in France or the Sydney Opera House.

For your stay in Agra, romance it up at the beautiful The Oberoi Amarvilasm Agra. One of Agra’s most luxurious properties, you can wake up to the view of the Taj Mahal from your room, and watch her dance in golden light of the morning sun.

The resort will leave you and your loved one feeling like an Emperor or Princess, in surroundings of pavilions, manicured lawns, reflection pools and a selection of dining choices that will fulfil your appetite after a day or two exploring Agra.

So take your partners hand, wake up to the Taj Mahal, and share a moment under the archway at the greatest monument of love in the world.

That completes my choice of 5 Lust Worthy Romantic Destinations, but the list could go on and on. Everyone’s idea of romance is different, and could be as simple as a candle lit dinner at home, dressed in style. I’d love to hear your ideas of your favourite romantic destinations, as I’m always planning honeymoons and looking for fresh inspiration.

As for today and the dreaded V DAY…If you are lucky enough to be with the person you love, do more today than send a card because you have to. Simply celebrate what you have and never take it for granted. Then plan your next romantic getaway, and let me know if I can help 😉 hehe

Happy Valentines day to all of my loves…. You know who you are xxx

Kate x