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Kate Webster

Kate Webster

Kate Webster is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause. Born out of a life-long love of travel, the ocean, wildlife and conservation and fascination with the world around her, is Kate’s inspiration behind her writing and photography.

FLIGHT REVIEW: South African Airways – Perth to Johannesburg

Carrier: South African Airways

Flight Number: SA283 – Departing 10:15am

Duration: 13 hours and 30 minutes

Class: D – Business

Configuration: 2-2-2 in business class

Check in experience:
With the business class check-in line, I walked straight through. After having a damaged case from a previous domestic flight to Perth, SAA check-in staff tagged my luggage as fragile and took extra care with it.

On time performance:
The flight took off on time. During the flight, the captain advised we would be arriving 5 minutes late due to weather on route, however the arrival time was on time.

Seat/Cabin conditions:
With a total of 38 seats in business Class that have a pitch of 185cm and width of 60cm, the comfort of a lie-flat seat recline makes comfort a big factor on the flight. This is accompanied with a soft duvet and full size pillow, comfort bag with moisturiser, lip balm, fragrance, earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. Each seat has a personal touchscreen monitor with video/audio on demand.

Meals & Snacks:
An international menu of culinary delights created by a team of celebrity chefs was complemented with signature wines and choice beverages. Dinner and a light meal were served on board with a selection of wines and beverages with some specific to South Africa

Service:
The staff were extremely professional and friendly, courteous and engaging which was pleasantly welcomed. All cabin crew encountered were more than happy to assist, and even managed to supply extra blankets and pillows.

Entertainment:
Each seat has a personal touchscreen monitor with video/audio on demand. The movies included latest releases as well as some golden oldies. A fantastic program for children including games and interactive programs was also included.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Kate Webster

Hermitage Lodge – Hunter Valley

609 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin

NSW 2320, AUSTRALIA

www.hermitagelodge.com.au

It’s been  just a short few hours’ drive from Sydney, the last of the sun has slipped away  and the still of the night engulfs the Hunter Valley.  I have arrived at Hermitage Lodge, nestled  amongst 25 acres in the heart of Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley vineyards.

Arriving  so late at night after such a long day, I was more than impressed by the staff  and their quick attention to my arrival.   Within minutes I was relaxing on the back deck of the Premier Suite  overlooking part of Hermitage Lodge’s Shiraz vineyard, with a glass of their  own Partner’s Pick wine.

The  Premier Suite gives the feeling of home away from home with its self contained  two storey suite and multiple  private decks overlooking vineyards.  It has a fully equipped deluxe kitchen, a spacious living room with polished  hardwood floor complete with a gas fireplace, double sofa bed and large LCD TV.  Downstairs is a full bathroom. Upstairs from the lounge area is the main  bedroom complete with king size bed, a walk-through wardrobe and a large  luxurious bathroom.   However, the  highlight for me was the jetted tub (for 2) on the upstairs deck overlooking vineyards.  I truly was in heaven.

Hermitage Lodge has a total of twenty studios  and suites offering four star boutique accommodation combined with personal,  attentive service rarely found today. The rooms are large, comfortable and  tastefully decorated with a great deal of attention to detail, and all have  beautiful decks or verandas overlooking the property’s own Shiraz vineyard.

If you don’t feel like  organising your own meal, you can stroll over to the award-winning restaurant Il Cacciatore,  voted Best Italian Restaurant, Hunter Region from 2001-2011. Located at  Hermitage Lodge, Il Cacciatore offers Northern Italian- inspired cuisine in a  relaxed, casual atmosphere with exceptional friendly service.  The restaurant has long been a favourite with  visitors and locals alike.

The unique settings of the  lodge make for the perfect place for your next corporate or executive event. It  is an ideal venue for small meetings, conferences, strategy and planning  sessions.

The  Vineyard View Room is a fully equipped meeting room filled with natural light.

If a relaxing stay at the  lodge enjoying its surroundings is just too quiet for you, then activities such  as team building, wine tasting, cooking lessons, golf, hot air ballooning and  winery tours are all available either at Hermitage Lodge or just a short drive  away.

Winner of regional, state and  national awards, Hermitage Lodge’s luxury rooms and suites will suit even the  most discerning guests. One suite has been specifically designed for wheelchair  accessibility.

Hotel Review: Waka Maya – Sanur, BALI

Hotel: WakaMaya

Jl. Tanjung 41, Sanur Bali – Indonesia

www.wakamaya.com

Location: Located  20 minutes drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport and just 5 minutes drive  to Sanur centre. Ubud is 35 minutes  drive and Kuta a 15 minute drive.

Service: Arriving into  a hot, sticky and humid Bali late at night, to be greeted with a cold drink and  refreshing mint scented face towel was pure bliss. The standard was set by the staff at Waka  Maya, and throughout the stay, was exceeded time and time again. From organising transfers to and from other  parts of Bali, to even supplying a local sim card for my mobile phone, there  was no request that couldn’t be met. The  staff were friendly and eager to assist, and I was always greeted with a smile.

Rooms: The resort  has Lanai, Lanai with plunge pool, Villa with garden, Villa with pool.

Lanai – Bungalow size 5 X 5 square meters has queen size bed room with  separate private bathroom (Sunken bathtub), Air Conditioning, bathrobe,  telephone, sandals, outside, terrace, and garden for breakfast, mini bar, and  hairdryer on request, ideally occupied by 2 persons. Also available is the Lanai with private  plunge pool.

Villa with Garden Villa Sekar – has 1  queen size bed, bathroom facilities, bathtub, separate outdoor shower,  bathrobe, sandals, mini studio, ceiling fan, mini bar, telephone, and hairdryer  and telephone, ideally occupied for 3 persons.

Villa Bija – has 1  queen size bed, private bathroom facilities, bathtub, bathrobe, sandals,  shower, day bed, air conditioning, mini bar, hair dryer and telephone, ideally  occupied for 2 or 3 persons

Villa with Pool Villa Bale Maja – has 2  bedrooms with private bathroom, air conditioning, bathrobe, sandals, mini  library, telephone, hairdryer, a breakfast Bale (Gazebo), kitchen, and dining  area with ceiling fan, huge garden terrace and private swimming pool ideally  for 4 persons.

Villa Tirta – has 2 stories, upstairs bedroom with air conditioning, ceiling fan, lounge,  sandals, bathrobe, telephone and private bathroom facilities, down stairs bedroom with air conditioning, hairdryer, bathrobe, sandals, kitchen, private  swimming pool, large garden ideally occupied by 4 persons.

Villa Anya – Has 2  stories, down stairs 1 double bedroom with air conditioning, hairdryer,  bathrobe, sandals, telephone and private bathroom, connecting rooms sleep 4  persons (2 double bed) with single bathroom (shared), kitchen, private dining  with ceiling fan in front of private swimming pool ideally occupied by 6  persons .

Added Extras: A fully  serviced kitchen allows staff to cook you anything you desire, from a quick  snack to a banquet. These meals can be  served in the garden by your pool or in your bungalows courtyard. There is no skimping on service and attention  to detail.

Spa: Waka Maya  offers guests the ultimate in spa treatments, with a combination of Balinese  and Indonesian herbs and spices and a selection of treatments featuring aromatic  of natural oil and an exotic blend of treatment. In the hands of well trained  and experienced therapist, the SPA offers the ultimate in relaxation.

Ambience: Secluded  and hidden within a walled compound, amongst a lush garden and flowing water features  are the villas and rooms that make up Waka Maya. Each room and villa is exquisite in design,  stylishly mixed with the feeling of a traditional Balinese family  compound. The space between the rooms  makes you feel as though you are the only person at the property, even when at  full capacity. A swimming pool with a  resemblance to the ancient Balinese temple bathing place adds to Waka Maya’s  unique feel of pure relaxation and serenity.  Waka Maya is a sanctuary from the modern world.

Facilities: • Swimming  pool • 24 hours Guest service • Spa beauty treatment • Laundry and Dry Cleaning service on request • Beach club in Semawang beach-Sanur • Mini Library • Restaurant • 24 hours doctor on call • 16 hours room service • Safety box at front desk • Baby cot on request • Parking • Taxi Service • Iron & ironing board

Activities: The Beach, Rindik  performance, Lumbung Dining Garden with Balinese Children ‘Legong’ dance, day  trips to meet your specific needs to anywhere in Bali.

Rates: Published Rate: valid until Mar 31, 2012

              Room Type DBL/TWN B’fast
Villa with Garden USD 235.00 Not Incl
Villa USD 290.00 Incl
Deluxe Villa (2 bedrooms) USD 410.00 Incl
Lanai USD 185.00 Not Incl
Deluxe Lanai USD 235.00 Not Incl

Restaurants/Bars: Although there is the Waka Maya Restaurant,  staff can cater for your needs to suit your dining requirements. If you want a pool side relaxing breakfast,  or a romantic candle lit dinner set up in the gardens, it can be arranged. Pricing on meals are reasonable. Each morning I had breakfast delivered to my  villa, a choice of traditional Balinese breads and sweets mixed with fresh  fruit and a hot cooked breakfast.

Type of Clientele: With room size ranging from 2 adults  to 6 adults, Waka Maya will suit honeymooning couples to families. The individual plunge pools provide privacy  for an intimate retreat, and close vicinity to Kuta, Ubud and Sanur make it  appealing for families that don’t want to stay in the town centres, but can  access them easily.

Check In /  out times: 1400hrs /  1100hrs with late checkout available on request.