Respected chef launches unique food tour
Tawnya Bahr, a respected Australian chef and food consultant, has created a new range of specialist food experiences that offer the rare chance to taste, savour and explore Australia’s exquisite food produce, with the aim of breaking down the barriers between farmers and food lovers. Itineraries can be tailored to suit the level of cooking experience and a typical tour might include farm, vineyard or aquaculture visits, personalised tastings, hosted meals by an iconic Australian chef and meet-the-producer sessions. Airfares from Sydney or Melbourne, ground transport and selected overnight accommodation can also be arranged. Click here for more information.
Ayers Rock Resort has launched a new bush tucker trail that will take guests on a journey of indigenous flavours as they sip and taste signature cocktails and dishes that incorporate traditional bush tucker ingredients at every restaurant throughout the resort. Guests can experience modern Australian cuisine with hero ingredients that reflect the diets of indigenous people. Some classic jazz ups include braised pork belly with Australian plum chilli sauce and macadamia nut salad or traditional wood oven pizza topped with kangaroo and emu strips. Click here for more information.
Wharf to Winery trip is plain sailing for delegates
Delegates can now explore the beautiful vineyards and taste world class wine from the Murray River region in Victoria with a new daily ‘Wharf to Winery’ cruise launched by Murray River Paddlesteamers. The trip will take delegates from the historic Port of Echuca to Morrisons Winery, where they can enjoy a two course seasonal menu in amongst the spectacular local scenery, whilst meeting with the local winemaker and sample the award winning wine. Click here for more information.
Incentives hit a different gear with Queensland’s new driving experience
Australia’s Great Beach Drive has been launched by Nature Coast Tours to provide over 200 kilometres of spectacular beach driving, capturing the dramatic coastline, scenery, and wildlife along Queensland’s Sunshine and Fraser coasts. The full journey covers two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, a World Heritage-listed Marine Park and the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island. The new product provides self-drive 4WD options or guided tours across the region. Click here for more information.
Cape to cape luxury walk and stay launched
A new small group walk – Cape To Cape, Walk By Walk – in Western Australia’s Margaret River, offers delegates a chance to enjoy world-class food and wine, luxurious accommodation at two oceanfront small luxury hotels of the world, and spectacular walking on the best sections of the cape to cape track. Exclusive experiences can be tailored to suit different types of adventures and the walking is limited to between three and five hours each day, with plenty of time free for guests to relax or conduct team building activities. The track is is considered by many to be Australia’s premier coastal walk. Click here for more information.
BridgeClimb introduces new corporate packages
BridgeClimb has made it easy for any type of group to experience the climb of their lives by launching three new corporate packages designed to deliver unity, motivation and inspiration for groups and teams. Features of the new corporate packages include VIP welcome receptions, corporate branding options, and pre and post climb food and beverage offerings. Popular for its globally recognised special events such as Vivid Sydney, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and Chinese New Year, BridgeClimb can also offer tailored climbing experiences for groups ranging from 10 to 10,000. Click here for more information.
Q Station finds the cure for an ultimate incentive day
An outbreak of an unknown disease has occurred at Q Station Manly and survival is only certain for those who can find the vaccine. In a first-of-its-kind team building activity, Q Station’s has launched ‘Outbreak’ for the ultimate incentive experience for teams and groups. Delegates can race to find the required survival equipment, solve puzzles to identify the virus and then strategise to enable the team to the be the first to collect the vaccine. Offering a choice of 13 flexible, naturally-lit function and meeting spaces, Q Station caters for up to 200 delegates. Click here for more information.
Famed country station reopens for outback fun and adrenaline tours
Home Valley Station in the Kimberley region in Australia’s north has re-opened its doors to guests on following its annual hiatus over the wet season. Located close to the mighty Pentecost River at the front foot of the majestic Cockburn range, delegates can experience the exhilaration of barramundi fishing, soak up the unforgettable scenery of Australia’s outback and be inspired by the region’s indigenous people. Additional activities include horse riding tours, helicopter and boat fishing tours, a tour of the station and new adrenalin fuelled Airboat Adventure Rides. Click here for more information.
Sydney home to world’s top concierge
The world’s most esteemed association of hotel concierges, Les Clefs D’Or, welcomes Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s longstanding Chief Concierge, Colin Toomey, as its international president. This year, Mr Toomey celebrates his 20th year with the 565-room hotel located in the historic district of The Rocks. There is nothing about Sydney that Mr Toomey does not know and he is the first and last point of contact at the hotel, playing an integral role in any five-star standard of service. The hotel has 18 function rooms and boardrooms, including a covered outdoor venue, available for groups of 10-400 guests. The hotel can also help with creating themed experiences that will put a twist on the common meeting or event package. Click here for more information.
Sofitel comes to South Australia
A new Sofitel Luxury Hotel is to be built in Adelaide’s CBD, which will be the first for the brand in South Australia and will include 250 rooms, as well meeting and conferencing facilities. The five star property will also include an array of hospitality features including a restaurant, four bars, a swimming pool, health and fitness centre and a signature club lounge. The new development will play a major role in the continued development of Adelaide as a destination of choice for international business events and is expected to open shortly after the stage two completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s East Building and the proposed Adelaide Airport expansion. Click here for more information.
Novotel Sydney launches virtual concierge
Novotel Sydney is the first in the renowned hotel chain to launch a virtual concierge service for guests. Available in 15 languages, it not only provides guests with information about the the hotel, but also suggests places to enjoy – boutiques, restaurants and points of interest. Different sections will allow you to discover the hotel’s services and a selection of over 100 local activities and attractions chosen by the hotel. You will also find real-time flight and weather information. For guests moving between Novotel hotels in different states or countries they will be able to access all the hotels’ (which are equipped with the Novotel Virtual Concierge) information and local recommendations, before they arrive and in just one click. Click here for more information.
MCEC expansion plans get green light
The Victorian State Government has confirmed the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will go ahead. The $210 million development will ensure MCEC remains Australia’s largest convention and exhibition space by expanding the South Ward precinct to offer a range of flexible spaces and to meet the changing needs of the business events industry. The project is expected to result in an additional 74,000 international visitors annually. Currently the centre attracts more than 1,000 events and 1.5 million visitors every year, and is recognised globally for its excellence in event delivery. Click here for more information.
The Langham is one of Sydney’s most luxurious hotels. Featuring 98 rooms and suites, this elegant hotel is located in the historic Rocks district, close to all the city’s iconic attractions. Popular with business groups thanks to its ability to also host small to medium sized meetings and events in stunning spaces, this beautiful hotel is also home to Chief Concierge, Ms. Phoebe White, who is a member of Les Clefs d’Or.
What are some of the key ways you recognise (treat) business events guests at The Langham?
We focus heavily on understanding what business events guests need from the moment they arrive at our hotel. From a professional welcome, to an early check-in when they are staying with us, to immediate access to WiFi, right through to speciality information regarding their event that we need to understand prior to their arrival. As a Concierge Team, we also recognise some of the specialised tasks and last minute errands business event guests require on many occasions, so we pride ourselves on being able to service these requirements in a luxury environment [and very quickly!]. And of course, local tourism information, which is critical for visiting guests.
What does your perfect day in Sydney look like to you?
Wake up at The Langham, Sydney; a morning swim in our world renowned pool, then breakfast on the terrace of your signature suite. From there, its exploring The Rocks by foot with a coffee in hand – all those gorgeous cobblestone streets and of course, the moment when those historic streets hit our beautiful harbour! Lunch by the water somewhere fabulous is a must [I highly recommend the ferry out to Manly and pizza and a glass of wine at Hugos] then back to the hotel for a sunset gastronomical cocktail in our Palm Court Bar – which has beautiful sunset views through Parisian Shutters. It’s all about sunshine, water and good dining in Sydney!
What has been the best feedback you’ve received or what is the most rewarding part of the job?
Meeting fascinating guests and connecting with incredible people, who are mostly from abroad. And of course, assisting people when they need it most. I’ve come to appreciate that every guest has a different story, different preferences, bespoke needs – especially here at The Langham, Sydney where expectations are very high. It’s a true feeling of satisfaction when you can make the impossible “possible” or recommend the perfect experience based on a guests criteria.
What advice would you give to someone visiting Sydney for a business event?
Experience the hotel you are staying at completely and ensure every element of your needs are attended to, especially in true five star luxury environments where staff thrive on assisting guests. Business Events can have long itineraries and require a lot of your attention and networking energy, so enquire about gym facilities and swimming pools for relaxation. Don’t be afraid to request specialised requests like ordering off The Langham, Sydney’s pillow menu – that is what it is there for! Explore the city you are visiting and where possible, try to extend that experience, by visiting other recommended locations at the end of your itinerary.
Adding The Wow Factor –Spectacles To Add To Your Business Events
May 22-June 8, 2015 – Vivid Sydney
May 29-June 7, 2015 – Melbourne International Festival
June 3-14 Sydney Film Festival
June 21-August 31 – The Canberra capital Region Truffle Festival
July 1-21 – Brisbane Good Food Month
September 5-26 Brisbane Festival