Stay in the loop with the travel world with this week's top news...
The New York Edition opens in style
The New York Edition is the latest offering from visionary hotelier and Studio 54 co-founder, Ian Schrager. Opened on May 12, it’s located in New York’s iconic 41-story Clocktower Building, directly across from Madison Square Park.
Blending the old and the new in sophisticated, charming, individual style, and with an exceptional level of service – all the signature elements of the Edition brand – it features 273 über-chic rooms and suites, and jaw-dropping views of New York City. There’s also the Clocktower restaurant, run by Michelin-starred Jason Atherton, plustwo bars, meeting rooms and a buzzing lobby.
It opened with a fashion-filled party and there’s a three-month festival of events to celebrate the launch, so if you’re going to be in NYC over the coming months and want to somewhere super cool to stay, this might be the place for you.
Discover more: The New York Edition
Epic Grand Tour of Oman announced
It’s one of the best-kept secrets of Arabia, but the wonder that is Oman is set to be celebrated in an incredible event, to coincide with the Sultanate's 45th national day celebrations.
On 28 November 2015, around 25 truly classic cars will set off on the first Oman Grand Tour – a 20-day, 3,000-kilometre classic car rally. From sub-tropical, ancient Salalah – home of the finest frankincense – the rally route will follow Oman’s sparkling coast, through the vast Wahiba Sands and up into the high, cool mountains of Jebel Akhdar. After visiting legendary Muscat, the tour will then continue north through Musandam – the Norway of Arabia – before finishing in neighbouring Dubai.
Organised by Rally Royale, a VIP premium rally venture focused on lifestyle Grand Tours, this epic event is the first of its kind in the region, and will feature classic cars from iconic brands including Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Bugati.
So if you’re the owner of a pre-seventies classic car and fancy heading off on the trip of a lifetime around an ancient land, staying at some of the world’s finest hotels, “roughing it” in luxury desert camps, enjoying local culture and marvelling at the breathtaking landscapes of shimmering coastline, mountains and oases in desert sands, then register now and start polishing that vintage chrome.
Discover more: Rally Royale Oman Grand Tour
We’re not quite sure how Australia got a gig at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (the clue is in the name, people!), but frankly we just don’t care. Australians have been massive fans for what seems like forever (SBS has been broadcasting Eurovision for more than 30 years), so it seems somehow perfect that we’ll be joining the party to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of this annual kitsch-fest.
In 2015 it’s being held in Vienna, after Austrian trans singer, Conchita Wurst, won last year. With the famous “bearded lady” as the reigning champion (and instant global gay icon) and the universally adored Graham Norton as the host, it’s no shock that Eurovision has a massive gay fanbase (hey, Abba won for “Waterloo” way back in 1974!). Vienna’s even debuted some special gay-themed traffic lights in anticipation of the event. Dozens of lights in the Austrian capital are now showing male or female gay couples with hearts – in red for “stop” and green for “go”, natch – instead of the usual single man. Genius.
If you’re going to be in Vienna for the sold-out final on Saturday 23 May, we seriously hope you’ve already got your tickets (and that you don’t hear “nil points” – to be said in a French accent – when voting commences for Guy Sebastian’s entry for Australia). But even if you haven’t got tickets you can still enjoy live performances by participants, as well as DJs, food, drink and other shenanigans, at Vienna’s Eurovision Village, located in the square in front of Vienna City Hall until 23 May 2015.
Not a Eurovision fan? There are other great events taking place in Vienna around this time, including the annual Wiener Festwochen Vienna Festival. It’s the city’s largest cultural festival, with nearly six weeks of music and performing arts. Events range from free to around €150 (roughly AUD$210), and take place in various locations across the capital from 14 May to 21 June 2015. There’s also the Lange Nacht der Kirchen (Long Night Of The Churches) on 29 May 2015, an annual open-night event, with free concerts, theatre performances and exhibitions at more than 150 Viennese churches. You can also join local tours (mostly in German), and climb up domes and church towers. And maybe say a prayer that Australia gets invited back to Eurovision next year.
Discover more: Eurovision Song Contest
One World Observatory opens
A brilliant new observation deck, The One World Observatory, opens in New York City on 29 May 2015.
Housed on levels 100, 101 and 102 of One World Trade Center – the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – it will be accessed via one of five special elevators called Sky Pods. They’re among the fastest elevators in the world, and take less than 60 seconds to get to the Observatory, where incredible 360-degree views of New York, innovative interactive exhibits and world-class dining options – again with sweeping panoramic views – all await.
The One World Observatory is set to become a top attraction in New York City – all tickets are timed admission, valid for a specific time and date, so be sure to book tickets online in advance.
Discover more: One World Observatory