Saturday, December 5, 2009

Upgrade and Save at Club Med Kani

Customers who upgrade their room choice when staying at the stunning Club Med Kani in the Maldives will save a huge 40%.

Club Med Kani in the Maldives remains the most popular Club Med honeymoon destination in Asia Pacific for New Zealanders. 53% of honeymooners who choose to spend their special holiday with Club Med do so at the stunningly beautiful Kani resort in the Maldives.

Kani is renowned as a dream holiday destination with miles of white-powder sand and crystal clear turquoise waters, the perfect retreat for couples and friends.

Club Med Kani, nestled on its own private island and a short boat ride from the capital of Male.

Club Med 5 night ALL INCLUSIVE package (includes flights, transfers, accommodation, meals, beverages, activities, nightly entertainment) from:

$4,350 per adult Deluxe Beach Bungalow – saving from $1,700 per adult

$4,990 per adult Overwater Lagoon Suite – saving from: $2,150 per adult

Sales: 22 Nov – 24 Dec

Travel: 01 Mar 10 – 31 Oct 10

For further information phone 0800 288 200, or click on to

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Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas Now Open

Butler service, a gymnasium, a kids' club, free wifi and a conveniently located international poolside restaurant.

Special opening rates at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas, which are valid until 31 March 2011, can be booked online at

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Warning on Holiday Season Luggage Loss

More than 8000 Australians will have their travel plans disrupted by lost and delayed baggage this holiday season, Australia’s number one online travel insurer has warned.

Worldwide, about 1800 bags a day disappear forever, either lost or stolen, so it’s worth taking a few steps to minimise the risk.

10 simple precautions travellers can take to help ensure their luggage arrives intact:

• Tags – Ensure all items have clear, sturdy luggage tags that won’t tear off. Record your phone numbers for both home and destination. Some travellers prefer to list their office address to avoid suggesting their home is vacant.

• Itinerary – Place your contact details and itinerary inside your luggage, so you can still be located if external tags are lost and your luggage is opened for inspection.

• Lock up - Locks and straps provide a deterrent to theft, but remember some destinations like the US only allow TSA-approved locks that can be opened by customs inspectors.

• Stand out – A brightly coloured bag, luggage tag or strap reduces the risk of your luggage being mistakenly claimed by another passenger on arrival.

• Timing – Arrive at the airport with plenty of time for check-in. A last-minute check-in or tight connection increases the chance of your bags missing the flight.

• At check-in – Ensure all old destination stickers have been removed from your luggage and that staff affix the correct destination stickers at check-in. Be sure to keep your portion of the luggage sticker provided at check-in (usually affixed to your boarding pass).

• Connections – Don’t book tight connections. Ask at check-in whether your luggage is checked through to your final destination or whether you’ll need to collect your luggage and re-check while in transit at another airport (especially if you booked flight sectors separately).

• Carry on – For short journeys, consider travelling with carry-on luggage only. This is especially worthwhile with airlines that charge for checked luggage. Even if you check-in your main bags, place valuables and a few essentials items of clothing in your hand luggage, just in case.

• Pick-up – Ignore other distractions at the airport and go straight to the luggage carousel once you’ve arrived and cleared customs, keeping a close eye on bags as they emerge. Keep bags close to you and never leave them unattended.

• Travel insurance – Always have adequate travel insurance, even if travelling for short periods or domestically. Insurance covers not only loss and theft, but can also provide a clothing allowance if luggage is delayed. Keep receipts for your possessions where possible or consider making a photographic record of luggage contents, in case you need to make a claim.

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Barolo restaurant brings the best of Northern Italy to The Langham, Auckland

Barolo restaurant has opened with a flourish at The Langham, Auckland bringing authentic Northern Italian food and wine to New Zealand.

Taking its inspiration from Northern Italy’s Piedmont region, the famed home of the international slow food movement and a region regarded by many as Italy’s greatest food region, Piedmont is currently enjoying a gastronomic renaissance and Barolo restaurant is a true slice of this foodie wonderland.

Barolo blends the distinctive style of Piedmont cuisine with its rustic flavours by using the freshest local ingredients while paying tribute to the region’s renowned food influences including hazelnuts, white truffle, grissini, chocolate and unforgettable red wines.

Many of the dishes on the Barolo menu are ‘truffle friendly’ as truffles are an exquisite feature of the region and further enhance any dish with their unique ambrosia. The food experience is ably complemented with an extensive and stunning wine list including the world renowned Italian red wine and the restaurant’s namesake, Barolo. Barolo is commonly referred to as the king of red wine and the finest New Zealand white wines have been chosen to feature alongside other Italian reds such as Barbera and Barbaresco.

Chef-Patron of Barolo, Alberto Usseglio, who is originally from Piedmont himself, brings together the passion and integrity of Northern Italy, presenting a special menu of traditional food with rich and subtle flavours presented in elegant simplicity.

“I am very excited to bring the flavours of Piedmont to The Langham and to celebrate the food and spirit of my birthplace. The capital of Piedmont, Turin, was once the capital of Italy and home to the House of Savoy the former kings of Italy, so we can now also dine like kings! As the country’s leading five-star hotel The Langham, has seized on the opportunity to bring ‘cucina Piemontese’ to our doorstep,” adds Alberto.

The role of Chef-Patron role itself is particular to Barolo and enables Alberto to manage all aspects of the restaurant while greeting and interacting directly with guests each evening during service.

Jeffrey van Vorsselen, Managing Director of The Langham, says that Barolo is a rare food and wine experience and one that will further set The Langham apart from other hotels and diminish the stigma he believes currently surrounds hotel restaurants in New Zealand.

“I am delighted to introduce Barolo as a truly Northern Italian dining experience and one which is currently unseen in the country. This restaurant is in fact the first step in a revolutionary food and beverage journey that The Langham is currently undertaking, as we implement a culinary vision reflective of our status as New Zealand’s leading luxury five-star hotel ,” adds Mr van Vorsselen.

Barolo is located on the lobby level of the The Langham, 83 Symonds Street. Reservations are recommended. Open 6pm till late, Tuesday to Saturday.

Bookings can be made directly by calling: 0800 61 62 61.

Christmas at Barolo

Christmas Eve Dinner: 6pm-10pm. Six-course Christmas menu. $130.00 per person

Christmas Day Lunch: 12 noon – 3pm. Six-course Christmas menu includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne. $165.00 per person.

Christmas Day Dinner: 6.30pm – 10pm. Six-course Christmas menu including a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne. $165.00 per person.

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Treetops Lodge, New Zealand – Winners of Best Eco Lodge in Australasia and Best New Zealand Luxury Lodge in prestigious World Travel Awards

After many months and a rigorous nomination and voting process in the 16th year of the renowned World Travel Awards, Treetops Lodge & Wilderness Experience, Rotorua New Zealand has been rewarded with two winning titles: WINNER: Australasia’s Responsible Tourism Award and WINNER: New Zealand’s Leading Luxury Lodge.

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel industry, the 16th World Travel Awards are recognised as the highest vote of excellence and are complied from the opinions of 167,000 luxury Travel Experts from around the world.

This is first time that Treetops Lodge has appeared as top of two categories of this remarkable list of the World’s best and with the lodge offering everything from guided walks amongst the indigenous 800-year-old forests to the newly launched Wild Food Cooking School, Treetops Lodge’s guests have everything to gain.
John Sax owner of Treetops Lodge adds, “with the Lodge winning Australasia’s Responsible Tourism Award combined with the title of New Zealand’s Leading Luxury Lodge, we have gone on to prove once again that eco-friendly does not mean compromising luxury.”

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Te Papa presents the blockbuster exhibition, A Day in Pompeii, in the Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4, from Saturday 19 December until Sunday 25 April 2010.
Adult, $15; child (age 5-15), $5; concession, $12. Children under 5 years old have free admission. Family group concession prices are available.

Featuring over 250 objects, this remarkable exhibition gives visitors an unparallelled insight into the everyday life of a bustling Roman town – and of the catastrophic disaster that entombed Pompeii and its inhabitants for more than 1700 years.

Highlights of A Day in Pompeii include a magnificent bronze gladiator’s helmet and armour, exquisite gold jewellery, a six-metre wide garden fresco that once graced the outdoor dining area of an opulent Pompeian villa, and an immersive 3-D theatre reliving the dramatic eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

Visitors will experience walking through the streets of Pompeii encountering remarkable treasures from beautiful marble statues and fine mosaics to everyday items like cooking pots, wine jars, and even carbonised food. A virtual house tour allows visitors to experience the original beauty and elegance of one of Pompeii’s finest houses, known as the ‘House of Vine’.

Also on display will be perhaps the most poignant records of Pompeii. Archaeologists discovered hollows in the ash made by victims that succumbed to the eruption. Copies of the casts, made by pouring plaster into the hollows, reveal the tragedy of people and animals on that last fateful day.

This exhibition has been developed by Melbourne Museum in association with the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei. Te Papa is the only New Zealand venue for A Day in Pompeii.

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Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum’s stunning new exhibition, Blue Water Black Magic – A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake, will open to the public with free entry from 1pm on Saturday 12 December.

The $9.5m exhibition has been created in partnership with Te Papa with the support of the Blake Family, the New Zealand Government and Auckland City Council.

Featuring the 1995 America’s Cup-winning boat, NZL32 – Black Magic, the exhibition commemorates the life, work and achievements of Sir Peter, while also profiling many other key players, innovative designers and thinkers in New Zealand’s boating industry.

Voyager CEO Paul Evans says Blue Water Black Magic – A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake is an enduring and impactful tribute to a New Zealand hero.

“Sir Peter was New Zealand’s finest yachtsman and one of our foremost environmentalists, so all the project partners have stretched themselves to create a truly iconic and memorable museum experience,” says Mr Evans.

“Blue Water Black Magic – A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake incorporates the latest in exhibition design know-how to create an engaging, educational and fun exhibition that will inspire a new generation of New Zealanders to achieve their dreams.”

Interactive stations sit alongside audio visual content and valuable objects to create an enriching experience with particular appeal for families and young people. Themes of teamwork, leadership, global thinking and responsibility are explored throughout the exhibition, emulating the personal qualities that are a lasting legacy of Sir Peter’s life.

The exhibition also features a specially-made 80-minute video tribute, Blakey, which vividly documents Sir Peter’s path from schoolboy sailor to fearless leader.

Blue Water Black Magic – A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake is located at the northern edge of Hobson Wharf, in a newly rebuilt Voyager wing designed by renowned New Zealand architect, Pete Bossley.

Voyager will remain open until 9pm on Saturday 12 December, returning to regular hours and admission prices from Sunday 13 December.

Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum
Corner Hobson & Quay Streets
Viaduct Harbour
Ph: (09) 373 0800

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Auckland Seafood Festival

Festival organizers expect event to sell out

Tickets for the fourth annual Auckland Seafood Festival are now on sale through i-Ticket. This three-day event held at Halsey Street Wharf over Auckland's Anniversary holiday weekend 2010, celebrates New Zealand's seafood industry and the close association Aucklander's have with the sea.

The Auckland Seafood Festival offers visitors a chance to experience a wide range of delicious New Zealand seafood, sample wine from a special Glengarrys collection of NZ vineyards and enjoy entertainment for young and old on show throughout the weekend.

With activities like surfcasting & The Auckland Fish Filleting competition, Auckland
Seafood Cooking School demonstrations and fishing industry activities like oyster schucking and the traditional Blessing of the Fleet we believe it’s the ultimate seafood day out.

New features include a customised Macs Brew Bar featuring beer & seafood matches, the Oyster & Champagne tent, a pop-up Movenpick store, and customised ‘seafood matching’ cocktails from 42 Below.

Add in the traditional Blessing of the Fleet, the perennial crowd favourite the ‘celebrity slippery pole’, commercial fishing boats on display and the Pak n Save mussel barge which is needed to supply the estimated 25,000 mussels that will be devoured over the three days, and there is most definitely something for everyone.

Auckland Seafood Festival - Saturday 30th January - Monday 1st February, noon to 7pm daily – for more info visit

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Auckland Museum - free entry for Aucklanders

From the 1st December 2009 Auckland residents will not be expected to pay a donation for Museum entry for a 3 month trial period.

During this period the suggested donation will move from $5 to $10 for non-Auckland rate payers.

All other Museum products will be unaffected.

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