Spicers Tamarind, Maleny
Set near a waterfall in a stunning rainforest in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland just 3 kilometres east of Maleny, the 5-star Spicers Tamarind Retreat is an intimately unique retreat where Thai style meets the tranquillity of the Australian bush. Here you can do as little or as much as you want:
* Relax in the outdoor cedar hot tub on your own balcony
* Cosy up in front of your indoor wood-burning fireplace
* Be pampered in our on-site, purpose-built day spa
* Learn the intricacies of Thai cuisine at one of our cooking classes
* Savour the culinary skills of award-winning chefs at our restaurant, The Tamarind
* Explore the beauty of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
* Take a stroll along Obi Obi creek and nearby Gardners Falls
* Just soak in the soothing sounds of the waterfall and abundant wildlife....
Cape Lodge, Margaret River
Sitting on it's own secluded vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River wine country is one of Australia's finest boutique vineyard lodges. As you meander down the winding driveway of our intimate country estate you will discover
why the 5-star Cape Lodge was voted Luxury Travel Magazine's Best Boutique Hotel in Australia and listed in Conde Nast Traveller's World's Best 100 Hotels Gold List in 2011.
Surrounded by stunning forest, lake and parkland scenery, Cape Lodge is only minutes away from pristine beaches, spectacular coastline and the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean and neighbours the great Margaret River Wine Estates of Mosswood, Vasse Felix, Cullen and Pierro.
Novotel Barossa Valley Resort
The 4.5-star Novotel Barossa Valley Resort is set in a natural amphitheatre, overlooking Jacobs Creek in the heart of the Barossa Valley, just 55 minutes from Adelaide. All 140 guest rooms provide modern comfort and contemporary decor along with private balconies boasting panoramic views across the Barossa Valley and the Jacobs Creek vineyards. With a range of activities on offer, from golf to the indulgent Day Spa, you can be as active or relaxed as you choose.
Culinary Delights, Vietnam
HIGHLIGHTS: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hoi An - Hue - Saigon.
An indulgent fusion of taste and experiences on a Vietnam tour that is full of exciting culinary delights for those who enjoy real gourmet experiences. Whether it is dining in a charming 1930's inspired villa, enjoying a simple home cooked meal or visiting the local markets for fresh ingredients, each culinary experience is a tantalising fusion of two great world cuisines – Chinese and French. Learn traditional cooking techniques and skills on your Vietnam tour and try them out on your friends when you return home.
Day 1 Hanoi - On arrival you will be met and transferred to the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel for two nights.
Day 2 Hanoi - Your culinary journey begins with a visit to the local 'wet market' to learn about the fresh Vietnamese produce that is used in everyday cooking. Continue onto the home of a 'true Hanoian' who learned her culinary skills from her grandmother, a former chef who once served the French elite in the 1930's. See how to prepare and cook authentic northern Vietnamese cuisine before sitting down to enjoy a delightful meal. This afternoon, visit Ba Dinh Square to view Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, his wooden cottage and the One Pillar Pagoda, the Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. This evening, dine at 'La Verticale', set in a charming 1930s villa. Meet the acclaimed Chef and owner Didier Corlou, who has lived in Vietnam for 15 years and has a clear love affair and appreciation of Vietnamese food.
Day 3 Hanoi - Halong Bay - Travel to Halong Bay via the rich farmlands and villages to join your overnight cruise onboard the "Emeraude". Observe the natural beauty of the unique grottoes that rise towards the sky as you leisurely sail the emerald green waters of the bay.
Day 4 Halong Bay - Hoi An - Watch the sun rise over the bay before your return to the pier and transfer to the airport in Hanoi. Fly to Danang where you will travel to the charming ancient town of Hoi An and stay two nights at the Life Heritage Resort. Dine tonight at one of Hoi An's best restaurants famous for its original and creative cuisine that has been described as Vietnam-Latin-American-Japanese fusion.
Day 5 Hoi An - A delightful morning visiting a local farming family where you will experience their daily lifestyle and discover the flavours of fresh Vietnamese cuisine and organic herbs. Learn how to make tam huu, a local delicacy and then enjoy a light home cooked meal including bang khaoi, a speciality savoury pancake wrapped in rice paper. This afternoon, a walking tour of the ancient town will take you to the unique Japanese covered bridge, a Chinese communal house and the colourful market.
Day 6 Hoi An - Hue - Set off this morning on a walking tour to the colourful 'wet market' in search of the freshest ingredients most common in Vietnamese cooking. Join a fun class where you will not only learn step-by-step cooking techniques but also herbal remedies and the tricks of vegetable carving. Your efforts will be rewarded with a delicious lunch cooked by yourself. This afternoon, travel north to Hue and stop at the fishing village of Lang Co. Stay two nights at the La Residence Hotel and Spa.
Day 7 Hue - Start the day with a visit to the vibrant Dong Ba Market to see its abundance of fresh produce and then join a cyclo tour through the 'Old City' to Tinh Tam Lake. Travel onto the Imperial Citadel, built in the early 19th century and modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and visit the Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh – the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty. Dine tonight at the private 'garden house' of one of Hue's most famous architects where the lady of the house will personally prepare your meal and serve in the traditional Vietnamese manner.
Day 8 Hue - Saigon - Transfer to the airport for your flight to Saigon and stay three nights at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza. Your tour will include Cholon (Chinatown), the traditional Medicine Museum, the Reunification Palace, History Museum, Opera House, City Hall, the Central Post Office, Dong Khoi Street and Ben Thanh Market.
Day 9 Saigon - Morning visit to a local home where your host will take you to a local suburban market to select ingredients to make a selection of favourite Vietnamese meals. Your host will teach you the secrets and techniques of preparing the dishes which you will enjoy as your lunch today. Return to the hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 10 Cai Be Mekong Excursion - Take a two hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be, where colourful floating markets, emerald rice fields and lush waterways are the highlights of this region. Board a local boat to explore the floating markets and stop at the cottage factory where 'pop-rice', rice paper and coconut candies are made. Continue by boat to Dong Hoa Hiep Island and observe the daily lifestyle of the rural people. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at Hoa Tuc Restaurant where refined Vietnamese food is served.
Day 11 Saigon - Farewell Vietnam as you transfer to the airport.
Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville
Indulgence Within Range... Set on nine beautiful hectares in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the 5-star Spicers Clovelly Estate is one of South East Queensland's most luxurious and intimate accommodation experiences with a focus on premium food and wine. Comprising just 10 suites to ensure the highest levels of personalised service are maintained, the Estate offers old world charm in a contemporary setting where guests can be swept away in the romanticism of a country escape.
From pampering day spa treatments to a fabulous French inspired menu showcasing the fresh and simple flavours of locally sourced produce - this is comfort and indulgence at it's finest. Savour the fresh air on a relaxing forest walk, find the perfect picnic spot overlooking stunning Lake Baroon, visit a tranquil waterfall to watch the resident platypus play or shop for treasures in the charming village of Montville just five minutes away. There's so much to discover at Spicers Clovelly Estate.
Highlights of Tuscany
Experience the highlights of the Tuscan Chianti region, whilst staying at a traditional farmhouse. A cooking class will give you a hands-on introduction to Tuscan cuisine whilst visits to Siena and San Gimignano will allow you to explore some of the most picturesque towns in Tuscany.
The Louise, Barossa Valley
Appellation restaurant and The Louise are South Australia's outstanding food, wine and luxury accommodation destination for discerning travellers. Appellation restaurant is widely acknowledged as one of Australia's finest regional dining experiences offering fresh, seasonal cuisine and an outstanding wine list presenting the best of the Barossa, Australia and iconic wines of the world.
The 5-star Louise offers absolute luxury and inspired design with private terraces, gated courtyards, soft contemporary furnishings, rain showers, luxe amenities and spacious ensuites. Original glass art and artworks from Australian artists are featured throughout the property. Professional and informed staff are keen to share their local knowledge; The Louise specialises in creating bespoke authentic Barossa wine and cultural experiences. A Member of Luxury Lodges of Australia and Small Luxury Hotels of The World.
Hunter Valley Indulgence
Located on its own private vineyard in the Hunter Valley, the 5-star Spicers Vineyards Estate is an intimate retreat focused on personal service and gourmet indulgence. Complete your experience in this fabled wine region with a structured tasting of the Winemaker's Selection portfolio in the Tyrrella's original homestead or Private Bin room.
Contact Travel Associates for more information
Sebel Heritage, Yarra Valley
The 4.5-star Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley is Victoria's source of indulgent sensations, from world famous wines to fabulously fresh regional produce, breathtaking scenery, remarkable golfing experiences and sensual spa and health retreat. Positioned at the gateway to the Yarra Valley, this world class resort offers guests total luxury, surrounded by two championship golf courses and right on the doorstep to over 80 Yarra Valley Wineries.
Mercure Yarra Valley
Less than an hour's drive from Melbourne, the impressive 4.5-star Mercure Yarra Valley offers 65 rooms and elegantly appointed spa suites, with picturesque views over the vineyard and the undulating hills of the Yarra Valley.
Natskin Spa Retreat at Balgownie Estate is the perfect escape from it all and can cater for a wide variety of needs, covering a wide spectrum of leisure and relaxation pursuits.
Chateau Yering, Yarra Valley
A sweeping driveway through the heritage-listed gardens takes you to Chateau Yering, a gracious 5-star hotel only 50 minutes from Melbourne. The hotel is a member of the French based association Relais & Chateaux. The property offers thirty two luxury individually designed suites offering unsurpassed rural views.
Guest lounges with open fires are the ideal place for conversing with friends over a glass of Yarra Valley wine. The fine dining restaurant Eleonore's, with it emphasis on regional produce matched with local wine has been recognized with numerous culinary awards and the vibrant Sweetwater Cafe serves breakfast, light meals and luscious cakes throughout the day. Chateau Yering - you'll never want to leave.
Jacobs Creek Retreat, Barossa Valley
The 5-star Jacobs Creek Retreat at Moorooroo Park is a privately owned vineyard estate situated in the heart of the world famous Barossa Valley. Located down a no-through road, surrounded by shiraz vineyards and towering red gums, the retreat is perfect for an intimately secluded and peaceful getaway.
Nestled within the Moorooroo Park gardens is the ancestral homestead of the Nitschke Family. These historic stone buildings originally built in the 1840's have been transformed into a selection of Luxury accommodation Suites, all uniquely designed and furnished to create a world of pure relaxation and tranquillity. The property is home to 7 suites, across 4 different room types, covering all styles of stays from an overnight getaway, to a week long escape.