Private jets, music festivals, hotel openings… what you need to know in the world of travel for this week.
See the Great Barrier Reef – while you’re 35,000 feet in the air
Forget regular in-flight entertainment: from 27 June, Qantas is going super-high-tech. Thanks to a partnership with Samsung and Rapid VR, flights from Australia to Los Angeles (plus the First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne) will show a 360-degree 3D film about the Great Barrier Reef. From their plane seats, passengers will be able to experience – through 3D Virtual Reality headsets – the largest living structure on earth (and look like cool extras in a sci-fi movie in the process).
In addition to the Virtual experience, Qantas will also be providing additional flights between Brisbane and Hamilton Island, in a bid to boost tourism to the Whitsundays.
Olivia Wirth, the Qantas Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, says, “It’s a fantastic way for us to give our customers a unique experience of the Great Barrier Reef and Hamilton Island, which we expect will translate into more people choosing to visit the Whitsundays for the next holiday destination.”
“The Force is strong with this one” – cool new Star Wars livery for Japanese airline
It was Star Wars Day earlier this week (“May the fourth be with you”) and the trailer for <Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens> (out in December) has been released. We didn’t think it was possible to be more excited, but we’ve just discovered that loveable droid, R2-D2 is taking to the skies later this year, and our inner geeks are, well, geeking out! All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline, is introducing <Star Wars>-themed livery, following a five-year deal with The Walt Disney Company (whose subsidiary, Lucasfilm, produces the <Star Wars> movies). ANA’s newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft has been painted to resemble C-3PO’s best mate. So far, we don’t know how many aircraft will get the makeover, or on which routes they’ll operate, but frankly, we don’t care!
Holiday like a (very rich) superstar with Four Seasons
It was only a few weeks ago that the new Four Seasons Private Jet was unveiled.
With extraordinary itineraries that crisscross the globe, travelling to secluded islands, urban centres alive with culture and everywhere in between, it’s possible to discover up to 10 international destinations on a single private jet journey. And what a journey, with air travel, ground transportation, all meals and beverages, and planned excursions all included, not to mention luxurious accommodations – at Four Seasons properties, of course. The jet itself features 10 Four Seasons-trained crew, including a concierge and global guest services manager, and an executive chef and sous chef. “Our aim is to recreate the hotel experience on the Four Seasons Private Jet, which means creating innovative meals using fresh ingredients, served on the finest tableware and linens, all with impeccable Four Seasons service,” says chef, Kerry Sear (nominative determinism at its best!). “The only real difference is that occasionally we have to do a little juggling when there’s turbulence!”
Hot on the heels of this extraordinary launch, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay has just announced that it’s teamed up with Bentley Bahrain to custom-design a luxurious Mulsanne especially for guests. Available for stylish airport transfers, as well as for hourly use in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia (for sightseeing, shopping or just getting from one place to another in comfort and style), the handcrafted Mulsanne features complimentary WiFi and Four Seasons amenities on board, and two drivers have been specially trained to operate the car.
So where to next for Four Seasons and its über-luxurious take on extraordinary travel experiences? The sky’s the limit (and the road!).
Turkish delight – new Jumeirah hotel opens in Bodrum
Opened on 1 May, Jumeirah Bodrum Palace is the second property in Turkey for luxury hotel company, Jumeirah Group. The hotel’s 135 rooms, all with sea-facing views and spacious terraces, are made up of generous suites, villas and a six-bedroom palace.
The 110,000m2 resort features a wide selection of restaurants and bars, eight (yes, eight) family pools (in addition to 49 private villa pools) and a signature Talise Spa, with 12 treatment rooms and a range of luxury hamams. A wide range of water sports includes parasailing, windsurfing, water skiing, fishing, sailing and scuba diving, or guests can just relax on the gorgeous Aegean coastline.
Special opening offers include a four-night package, with an extra two nights at Jumeirah’s first property in Turkey, the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, in Istanbul.
The U.S. debut of the world’s biggest music festival
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the world’s biggest music festival, Rock in Rio. It all started in 1985, in Rio (in case the name didn’t give it away), and over the years has attracted more than a million attendees, reached a TV and radio audience of more than 100 million Brazilians, and successfully transferred to Europe with concerts in Portugal and Spain.
It consistently attracts the biggest names in the music industry, with an insane list of past acts that includes Queen, Prince, George Michael, Oasis, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, Muse, Guns N’ Roses, Elton John, AC/DC, Coldplay, Lenny Kravitz, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Run DMC, Justin Timberlake, Robbie Williams and Arcade Fire.
And now Rock in Rio is hitting the US for the very first time, kicking off in Las Vegas on 8-9 May, and culminating on 15-16 May. This year, Metallica and No Doubt are two of the acts taking to the rock stage, while the pop stage will host acts including Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
So if you’re heading to Las Vegas in the next week or two, check it out. If not, start booking for the next Rock in Rio – be it Brazil, Portugal or the USA!