Newcastle's five-star Kingsley hotel reveals interior plans, Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers opens up to pooches

The Kingsley hotel opens in Newcastle in 2021.
The Kingsley hotel opens in Newcastle in 2021.

Crystalbrook Collection has unveiled the interior plans for Newcastle's first five-star hotel.

The Kingsley hotel, which is set to open in April 2021, will be a gateway to the luscious Hunter Valley.

Situated in the heart of Newcastle opposite Civic Park, Kingsley will transform the city's former Council Administration Centre into an elegant and sophisticated 130-room hotel. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in Novocastrian culture, with the City Hall, Civic Theatre, Newcastle Art Gallery and War Memorial moments away.

Much of the hotel will use sustainable, upcycled, recycled or locally sourced materials. There will also be a rooftop bar with panoramic city views and its decor is inspired by the surrounding area's groves.

All aboard! Rail travel in style

Luxury travel group Anantara has launched a new railway excursion in Vietnam aboard special new carriage The Vietage. The six-hour journey between Da Nang and Quy Nhon is best bookended with stays at Anantara's properties in the two coastal cities.

Travelling in the custom-designed carriage, which has just 12 reservation-only seats, you'll dive into the culture, nature and history of the country.

There's an exclusively curated menu of Vietnamese dishes with a French twist. Expect dishes such as Quy Nhon seafood salad, barley risotto and braised Wagyu neck. Desserts may include local Da Lat strawberries, passionfruit tarts and crème brlée made with local Dong Nai chocolate.

Combination accommodation packages are available with Anantara Hoi An Resort and Quy Nhon Villas.

New Viking on the Mekong

Viking has announced it will debut Viking Saigon in August next year, with sailings between Kampong Cham in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

The 80-guest Viking Saigon will be built in the line's stylish Scandinavian style. All 40 staterooms will have hotel-style beds and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with a veranda or French balcony. On deck three, the Viking Saigon will have a spa and fitness centre, infinity pool and the open-air Sky Bar.

The 15-day itinerary includes 16 guided tours, as well as hotel stays in Hanoi, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh, and an eight-day cruise. Guests will enjoy shopping in Old Hanoi's markets; exploring the Khmer temple complex of Angkor Wat and nearby Ta Prohm, where jungle vines embrace ancient ruins; and seeing the sights of Phnom Penh by cycle rickshaw.

Have a pawfect day

Rambo, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers' ambassadog, already has his own Instagram. Find him at @rambo_the_australian_shepherd.

Rambo, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers' ambassadog, already has his own Instagram. Find him at @rambo_the_australian_shepherd.

The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has unveiled a new component, Petals and Pups 2020, in its event line-up. The official dog-freindly program's ambassadog is a seven-month-old pure-bred Australian Shepherd named Rambo.

There are 20 dog-friendly activities on the program and Toowoomba has 27 off-leash parks to visit, as well as pooch-friendly cafes, restaurants and accommodation.

Try the Cultured Canine Itinerary: a stroll through the gardens with your four-legged friend, a long lunch with fellow dog-owners and a visit to Picnic Point, where you can take a selfie with the bronze statue of 'Puppy', the town's first ambassadog. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will bloom for 10 days from September 18.

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