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In celebration of Le French May, France is our featured travel destination this month - and French food is our featured cuisine! Pictured above: Panoramique Grand Palais à Paris. Photo Credit: Sanchezn via Wikimedia Commons.
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Meet Michael Taylor, a self confessed Accidental Travel Writer. A life-long aviation buff, Michael is an also an avowed foodie as well as an enthusiastic swimmer, cyclist, and kick boxer. Not only that! Michael is also an avid sports fan. Look over his shoulder as he travels the world - and roots for his favourite teams!

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Travel Gossip

  • Bali

    Life Coach and Aurora Spa Founder Lyndall Mitchell will conduct a short residency of private wellness master classes from 21 to 27 June 2015 at Alila Villas Soori in Bali.

    The holistic lifestyle retreat will comprise a series of 60-minute one-on-one coaching consultations, which can be taken daily or as one-off sessions combined with Spa Alila signature treatments and holistic exercise classes at the resort.

    Participants will be able to take part in a series of one-on-one coaching consultations focused on creating a life balance, becoming more focused and energized and reconnecting with what inspires them.

    Lyndall has more than 20 years experience as a life and wellness coach, creating tailored programmes that take various elements - career, health, and lifetstyle - into account. Individual concerns are also taken into account.

    Alila Soori Bali is a boutique resort located well off Bali's well-beaten tourism track. Each villa has its own pool, which overlooks either rice paddies or the black sand beach on which the resort is situated.

    Click here for a first hand review of the resort

    12 May 2015

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  • Thailand

    Japanese events planners are being targeted by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in an initiative to reinforce the country's image as a gateway to business success in the ASEAN region.

    The types of support will include financial subsidies of up to 1,000,000 baht (approximately 3,000,000 yen) for groups holding large scale corporate meetings, incentives for groups engaging in business matching activities, and support for large scale events.

    Close to 920,000 travellers from overseas attended business events in Thailand from October 2013 through September 2014, contributing more than 80.8 billion baht (297.34 billion yen) to the country's economy.

    Included were more than 31, business travellers from Japan, who attended MICE events in Thailand, generating 2.8 billion baht (11.41 billion yen).

    "As the Thai government's official flagship body for the MICE sector, we are proud to build on the strong and long-standing relationship between Thailand and Japan's MICE sectors, and showcase Thailand as a gateway to ASEAN success for Japanese businesses," says Supawan Teerarat, TCEB's Vice President Strategic and Business Development.

    With its excellent infrastructure, large numbers of hotels, popular cuisine, and fascinating culture, Thailand has long been considered one of the best spots in the ASEAN region to hold events.

    ASEAN refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

    Formed by 5 Southeast Asian countries in 1967, ASEAN currently comprises the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    7 May 2015

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  • Hong Kong

    Gaddi's at The Peninsula is supposed to be one of the world's great restaurants, but not all diners seem to be impressed with the place judging from many of the comments posted on TripAdvisor.

    Take Lennox Head of Australia, who was taken to Gaddi's by friends, who promised him a "one of world's great dining experiences." The 5 course degustation menu with matching wines was ordered.

    "There were 6 of us," Lennox starts. "No real complaints about the food except I had to ask the waiters what each course was. The main was brought, and I asked the same question and was told, 'It is your main, sir!' "

    If Lennox was disappointed with the service, he was equally upset with the amount of wine served, which he called "a disgrace".

    "The total bill was over $3,000 Australian (US$2,300), including Hong Kong's 10%, but they were definitely expecting a tip, which they received, but I don't believe they deserved," Lennox said, adding that he found the overall experience to be "disappointing".

    "Have been to many star restaurants in the world and it is sad to call this disappointing. Maybe they should send some of their staff to the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok to see how food and clients are treated with the respect they deserve."

    For the record, that works out to about US$383 per diner!

    3 May 2015

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  • New Zealand

    When a restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, got a bad review on restaurant review website Zomato, management decided not to get mad. They got even, posting a scathing review of 'a particular diner' on Facebook, giving him or her 'zero stars out of five'.

    When asked how their meals were, the diners said "fine". After they had finished eating, however, one of them said it was "the worst meal" he or she had "eaten in a decade" and that it was "too salty".

    "You were rather rude to the people that worked at our restaurant," the post on the Molten Wine Bar - Restaurant Facebook page says.

    "Please bear in mind that we are not out to sabotage your evening, in fact quite the opposite - we are trying everything in our power to make your experience an enjoyable one so that you come back. To do so we need some participation on your part."

    The restaurant went on to suggest that when diners are unhappy with their meal, they should have let their server know upon tasting it so that the restaurant "would have an opportunity to fix it" rather than waiting until plates were being cleared.

    Fair enough. The diners should have expressed their dissatisfaction when asked at the beginning of the meal rather than waiting until they had finished eating it.

    Having said that, diners that do so do so at their own risk. Chefs and waiters have ways of getting even.

    29 April 2015

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  • Japan

    A sushi restaurant with 2 Michelin stars in Tokyo doesn't accept reservations from foreigners unless they are made through a hotel concierge or a credit card company, but the policy is not discriminatory, the restaurant maintains.

    “We prepare fish for the number of expected customers and have to turn down other requests for booking sometimes," a member of staff at Sushi Mizutani explains. "We simply cannot afford it if people don’t show up."

    The policy came to light when a Chinese journalist, who has lived in Japan for 30 years and speaks fluent Japanese, was refused a booking when his non-Japanese sounding name was revealed.

    Not discriminatory? What else would you call it?

    28 April 2015

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  • Thailand

    Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit launches Flexi Check-in, which means you can stay a full 24 hours after your check in no matter what time you arrive. Seems like a great idea on 3 levels. First, it's more fair. If you're checking in late at night, why should you not be able to check out late at night? Second, it means there won't be that massive line at check out because not everyone will be checking out at the same time! Third, it means the housekeeping department's work load could be spread out more evenly - although it might result in the need for additional shifts.

    28 April 2015

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  • Singapore

    PR Communications has been appointed by Harry’s International for The Club with immediate effect. The Club is the latest hospitality destination to be launched by established bar and dining chain Harry’s International, which currently has 20 outlets across Singapore. Formerly known as The Club Hotel, The Club will re-open in mid-2015 with 20 luxuriously appointed guest rooms as well as bars, restaurants, and rooftop venues.

    3 April 2015

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  • Maldives

    UK photographer Paul Reiffer will be in residence at Per Aquum’s properties in the Maldives, Niyama and Huvafen Fushi, from 17 to 25 April and is taking private bookings. Paul will capture guests’ lust for life – from the offbeat to the avant-garde, sultry to quirky.

    1 April 2015

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  • Cuba

    CheapAir is now booking flights to Cuba. Click here for more information.

    1 April 2015

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  • Cruises

    MSC Sinfonia departed from Genoa, Italy, on Friday 27 March 2015 to resume service following ground-breaking enlargement and enhancement work at Fincantieri’s shipyard, in Palermo, Italy.

    1 April 2015

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