Garuda Indonesia Inflight Dining Review!

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Garuda Indonesia ChampagneA New Definition of Travelling Style

I finally made it on board Garuda Indonesia to experience their new Premium inflight service – I’m winging my way to Marrakech via Jakarta and Amsterdam with the airline of Indonesia.

I have fond memories of Garuda Indonesia and the years I spent travelling to Bali and beyond. In those days it was an Economy ticket on a 747 with stops in Jakarta, Abu Dhabi, Zurich then London, it was the longest (and cheapest) way to Europe in 1986 but I loved it!

Anyhow, back to the champagne – it’s a deliciously chilled Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose onboard Garuda Indonesia today and paired with their new fine-dining menu and genuinely warm inflight service (they won the World’s Best Cabin Staff Award for 2014 and the 5-Star Airline Award for 2015 from Skytrax ) I’m feeling quite content.

Garuda IndonesiaI chose the European Menu for lunch today:

Hot Smoked Lemon Pepper Crusted Salmon, Beetroot and Blue Cheese Salad, Pistachios and Walnut dressing – v tasty

Char grilled Victorian Beef Tenderloin, Peppercorn Sauce and Capsicum Tartlet,
Roasted Hassleback Potatoes & Wild Carrots.

Genmaicha Green Tea – Bancha green tea w/ grains of roasted and puffed brown rice

A selection of Satays prior to landing – delish!

Satay Selection Garuda Indonesia

Needless to say all went perfectly with the Billecart!

Stay tuned —- Next flight – Jakarta to Amsterdam!

The Packing Chronicles – The LV Keepall!

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Flat Lay CollectionThe Keepall | by Travys Carinci – The Luxury Flyer

The Keepall is one of the most iconic bags recognised around the world, it has been a Louis Vuitton classic since the 1930’s. Designed to define the modern traveller, this bag allows one to create their own story and has been designed to cross the worlds oceans, fly through the skies and travel through continents by rail. No matter what type of trip you are taking, the Keepall embodies the true art of travel and to pack it right is a skill that every traveller and owner of this bag must have.

It is said that one can fit an entire weeks worth of clothing into this bag… that is correct, but one must learn to pack it right. It has taken me some time to master this art form… but I can now guide you step by step how to pack the Keepall.

Shoe Wall

My first step is to lay everything out that I need for an entire weeks getaway.

I first grab my favourite pair of loafers and monk strap shoes, now you can take more than this for the week but it’s a personal choice. I take the shoes and put all of my socks inside before packing them in first. I place them around the outside of the bag’s wall. This will ultimately create a barrier around the bag. Once I have all my desired shoes placed around the outside of the Keepall’s wall I add my button up shirts, t-shirts and sweaters. To avoid creasing, I neatly fold them and place them down flat inside the barriers that you have created with your shoes.

Rolling Shorts

Next take items like shorts, pants and shirts and roll them up tight in a barrel-like form as displayed in the picture above. Once this is done take the rolled items and place them down the walls of the bag packing them in tight. You can also place small items such as belts and ties down the sides of the bag to save as much space as possible.

Bag Sweater

One item of clothing that has always proven difficult to travel without creasing is the blazer. I have discovered an easy 2 step method to minimise creasing that will fit perfectly into your Keepall. The arms of the blazer must be folded back as displayed in the image below then simply fold the jacket in half and gently place on top, this must be the last clothing item that is packed in the Keepall. This method can also be used for bomber jackets and trench coats which will also need to be placed on the top of the bag.

Jacket Keepall

If you choose to travel with and e-reader, iPad or small laptop this can also be placed on top or down the side of the bag to save space.

The bag should all now be packed in nice and tight, ready to go wherever the urge takes you.

Keepall on Deck

To me this bag defines the way I travel. It’s always ready for an immediate departure, whether I’m taking a quick overnight trip into the city, a weekend away, a camping trip or even a day trip to the beach, my Louis Vuitton Keepall gets the workout it deserves and is my number one go to. If you are already fortunate enough to own a Keepall you know the value it has to you and the personal stories that come with it.

Brent’s Marrakech collection – Bag – Louis Vuitton Graphite Damier Keepall, Blazer – Zara, Chinos – Acne, Swimwear – Orlebar Brown, Custom  shirts – P Johnson Tailors. Sydney, Shoes – Croc Monk Strap – Carlos Santos (bought in Amsterdam) & Suede Bow Loafer Calpierre (bought in Capri), Sweater – the classic navy striped Breton by GANT

Flying Reimagined!

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Nicole Kidman for EtihadETIHAD AIRWAYS – FLYING REIMAGINED

You know my favourite airline is Etihad… it has been for sometime, ever since my first experience in their premium First Class service Sydney – London in 2011. The experience then was one of refined luxury – think martinis in proper martini glasses (yes I threw a few back!) and an onboard chef to step me through the extensive gourmet fare served on board. When I slipped those doors shut of my exclusive suite and bedded down, I could have been the only passenger onboard that 777-ER. It’s as close to heaven as I ever could have imagined.

Well now Etihad have done it again – it’s flying reimagined indeed – along with the new premium products including the exclusive Residence, First Apartment, First Suite and Business Studio they now have the elegant Nicole Kidman as brand ambassador for their latest global advertising campaign.

Here are some interesting facts about the making of the television commercial:

The commercial was shot on board their new flagship Airbus A380 and in three locations around the world: Abu Dhabi, Marseilles and Prague.

In their hub of Abu Dhabi, the three buildings featured are Bab Al Bahr Towers, the Louvre and the Abu Dhabi International Airport Control Tower. These buildings are amongst those that inspired the design of their new livery and they all feature traditional Emirati design patterns, influenced by light and geometric patterns.

The Foster & Partners Vieux Port Pavilion in Marseilles was chosen to reflect the airline’s focus on design. The 17th century baroque hall of the historic Strahov Library in Prague represents knowledge, learning and the desire to innovate and lead.

Contact me today to book your next flight to Europe with the very fabulous Etihad Airlines – I just happen to have the best fares around!

*Image and video courtesy of Etihad Airways

 

Travys Carinci – The Luxury Flyer!

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Travys - My AsstsitantMeet Travys – my Personal Assistant and in-house, resident luxury flyer! Travys’ addiction for luxury travel started at an early age on a family holiday to Bangkok where he jetted up Business Class, and checked into the swank Banyan Tree Hotel… clocking Ashley Olsen jumping out of a car and checking in at the same time. It was right then and there he knew he was destined for life of luxury travel and celebrity encounters.

A self-confessed “AV GEEK” – Travys is your man when you want to know the best seat on the plane, what type of aircraft and which airline flies between which cities. He is literally a walking encyclopedia of airline trivia!

Travys and I now work together offering my clients travel insider intel of the highest standard. Follow him here on the blog where he’ll be covering the latest in luxury airline news along with designer travel destinations, fashion and a full run down on the latest must have travel accessories.

Follow the blog for Travys’ Luxury Flyer updates weekly and you can also follow him on Instagram and Twitter

For more of the Luxury Flyer follow Travys’ personal blog here

Gaia’s 10th Anniversary!

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GAIA RETREAT AND SPA 10TH ANNIVERSARYOlivia Newton-John with Brent

Australia’s most awarded spa retreat Gaia recently turned 10 and I was lucky enough to be invited to share in the celebrations as a guest of the co-owners Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Warwick Evans and Olivia Newton-John.

Olivia Newton-John, Brent , Gregg Cave and Daniel IngramWhile it rained down outside… inside the created tropical oasis of Kakura House we dined on delicious canapés produced from the talented chefs of Gaia’s kitchen, while being entertained by local indigenous performers and their traditional dance… then we were privy to an intimate performance from Olivia Newton-John herself. She entered the stage singing “Have You Ever Been Mellow” (one of my all time favourites) going on to sing “Magic” and finishing with “Grace and Gratitude” that brought the house down. The show wrapped with Venetta Fields singing “Chain Reaction” followed by The Samba Blisstas… an infectious drumming troupe that really got the party jumping!!

Olivia Newton-JohnIn the crowd were Kerry Armstrong (looking divine), Deborah Thomas, music royalty John Farrar and his gorgeous wife Pat, Venetta Fields and hoteliers extraordinaire, Peter and Rowina Thomas from The Lyall Hotel Melbourne.

Deborah Thomas, Olivia & Kerry ArmstrongIt was an honour to share such an intimate and special celebration for this very special retreat. Thanks to Gregg Cave and the entire Gaia team for having me and for an unforgettable event.

Highlight of the evening?? … meeting the lovely Livvy one more time of course!

*selected photos courtesy of Gaia Retreat

Byron by Design!

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photo 1

Jai Vasicek – Polynesian Beauty Porthole

JAI VASICEK

Byron Bay artist and designer Jai Vasicek I discovered perusing Instagram one evening. Go follow him, he has the most refreshing feed on Instagram and I found him just in time – I love following his coastal beach adventures vicariously.

Anyhow, this Byron Bay based artist creates one of a kind, high impact artworks. These collectable “portholes” are part of Jai’s signature style and his wall murals are also coveted – think life-size Polynesian beauties surrounded by palm trees and banana leaves.

Jai’s fresh and inspirational design has made me a devoted collector (and I’m not alone). Next on my “it” list is a life size deer, wall mural … oh and his anchors are must-haves too!

Jai Vasicek - Palms Porthole

Jai Vasicek – Palms Porthole

Jump over to his website to shop online or visit his fab store in Byron Bay in Northern NSW.

Ahoy TraderPhoto credit Jai Vasicek

AHOY TRADER

Shop 1 / 3 Marvell St 
BYRON BAY  NSW 2481
AUSTRALIA

HOT TIP:

Spend the weekend soaking up the Byron vibe and stay where I stay in chic style at Atlantic Byron Bay, a unique coastal estate of three original beach cottages that have been transformed into Caribbean styled plantation houses  …. this hip boutique hotel has everything you need. AND I just happen to be heading here again next weekend for a very flash, secret event (all will be revealed soon).

Byron Bay is my number one go-to beach escape right now! Follow the blog for all the fun!

www.atlanticbyronbay.com.au

ATLANTIC BYRON BAY

Atlantic Byron Bay Atlantic Byron Bay Atlantic Byron Bay Atlantic Byron Bay Atlantic_driftwood12Atlantic Byron BayPhoto credit Atlantic Byron Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caviar Skies!

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First Class Dining Garuda IndonesiaFIRST CLASS DINING EXPERIENCE – GARUDA INDONESIA

Garuda Airlines is really upping the ante with it’s new inflight food and beverage service and we were invited to the exclusive media launch in Sydney recently to get a taste of this new First and Business Class experience so I decided who better to send than my assistant Travys (and resident Luxury Flyer), to taste his way across the skies … here’s what he thought!

First Class Dining Garuda IndonesiaGaruda Airlines is a proud member of the Skyteam Alliance flying the flag of Indonesia and calls the hubs of Bali and Jakarta Home. Garuda offers two flights daily to Indonesia from Sydney, one to Jakarta and one to Denpasar Bali offering two cabin classes on these flights – Business and Economy , and on long haul services operated by the Boeing 777-300ER, an additional all new first class cabin to European destinations. (It’s stunning!)

Now – onto the food!!

First Class Dining Garuda IndonesiaEnjoy a la carte dining in the premium First and Business Class cabins with a wide selection of exquisite fine dining, including traditional Indonesian specialties like Soto Kudos and complimentary wines to match. All meals are prepared fresh to order by your very own on board chef and these chefs have been sourced (dare i say poached!) from some of the worlds finest hotels and restaurants.

Here at 38 thousand feet, Garuda’s inflight dining signature is all about the five course banquet  – it’s a delicate extravaganza (including caviar!) or perhaps just indulge in something light like a divine seafood broth, I got to experience them all and was very impressed …not only with the taste of the prepared dishes but also their immaculate presentation!

Garuda’s all new First Class lets you relax in the comfort of your very own private studio enjoying the wide range of on demand entertainment on offer or simply snuggle up and sleep the hours away on your 180 degree flat-bed and enjoy the warmth of the Indonesian hospitality on board as your dedicated crew members cater to your every whim.

Contact us today to book your next luxury flight to Bali and Beyond. Let’s fly!

The Luxury Flyer

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Travys flys FirstBRITISH AIRWAYS CABIN EXPERIENCE

Introducing Travys, my new executive assistant who I recently sent out to experience the brand new British Airways 777-300ER aircraft flying between Sydney and London. Travys you should be aware is the original Luxury Flyer and my in-house airline guru – want to know exactly where to sit on an aircraft and if your bed is angled or flat??  Just ask Travys!

Here’s what he thought:

British Airways is one of the worlds most prestigious and trusted airlines. It has an immaculate safety record and offers a vast variety of products on board to suit the needs of every type of traveller whether it be business or leisure and they are now flying their brand new state of the art aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER out of Sydney daily giving passengers the option of four cabin classes operating to London and I was fortunate enough to take a sneak peek.

British Airways First ClassLet’s start at the top – First Class cabins with plenty of room to help make your journey a complete world of privacy and serenity have been created here on board this Boeing 777-300ER , whether you want recline your suite or turn it into a 180 degree flat-bed and enjoy turn down service with premium bed linen, soft cotton pyjamas and velvet slippers to help sleep the hours away (I wanted to swipe these), or simply transform your private cocoon into your own private office… the choice is yours, all the while being pampered by your dedicated First Class flight attendant. Luxe right?

Now, let’s move back thorough the cabin shall we (if we have too…!) and into the Club World Business Class cabin which also offers you the renowned British Airways service and precise attention to detail whilst being surrounded in an elegant space of one’s own. Relax and unwind with premium wining & dining and let the hours literally fly by with your own set of noise cancelling headphones and watch a movie on your 26cm screen. Get ready to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed… you have a 180 degree flat-bed here on the Boeing 777-300ER so sleeping the hours away won’t be an issue… I promise.

So while it’s nice to dream about premium cabins, most of us do turn right when we hop aboard and here British Airways offers both Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins on all of their services to and from Australia. All seats offer your own personal seat-back entertainment system and a USB port to keep your devices going the entire flight.

So if you are lucky to be flying First, you should know that British Airways has one of the most luxurious First and Business Class lounge facilities in the world which include the exclusive Concorde Room located at London’s Heathrow Airport and New York’s John F Kennedy International… where you can relax, unwind, enjoy fine dining before your flight or simply work in your own private space or perhaps treat yourself to a complimentary spa treatment in the Elemis Spa.

British Airways Boeing 777-ER

Tempted to try British Airways? Contact us today, we always have access to some very special First Class and Business Class fares.

Phone Travys +61 401 680 020 or Brent +61 417 485 399.

Mexico Riche 2015 Launches!

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Mexico Riche Luxury Tours

MEXICO RICHE LUXURY TOURS 2015

Are you ready for some first hand luxury destination inspiration?

Why not join me on my next Mexico Riche Luxury Tour starting in Mexico City, May 24.

Let Nettie Z and me whirl you around this fabulous country on a fun-filled chic adventure taking in Mexico City – Puebla – Merida & the Yucatan – and Tulum.

We will swim exotic beaches and private cenotes, cook it up with Christian Bravo in our own private cooking class at the magnificent Hacienda Tekik de Regil in Merida, experience Chichen Itza in all its glory (and Uxmal too – which is possibly my favourite ancient Mayan ruin) before we let you loose in Tulum.

These tours are ultimate luxury and strictly small group – be quick as places are securing fast.

Contact me now for all the details and jump across to this blog update of our 2014 adventure Merida to Mexico City

Hola Mexico!

2014 – And That’s a Wrap!

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WHERE I WENT IN 2014

An Instagram diary of my most memorable luxury adventures.

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