Traveller: Takeoff travel news July 27, 2014



Budapest
AIRLINES:Budapest bound
In the aviation world, you’re nobody if you don’t have an Airbus or 50. The Dubai-based Emirates airline has just received its 50th A380, cementing its position as the world’s largest international airline. New destinations connected by A380s include Kuwait and Mumbai this month, with Frankfurt, Dallas, San Francisco and Houston coming online in the next five months. The airline expects its cache of A380s to increase to 90 by late 2017. Emirates is also adding three new European destinations to its network –Oslo and Brussels in September and Budapest on October 27. 1300 303 777, emirates.com/au.



KIDS:Trump the parents
If your children are full of bright ideas, hook them up with Donald Trump. No, really. The five-star Trump SoHo New York’s Young Entrepreneurs program is open to hotel guests from 3 to 17 years as well as Manhattan neighbourhood kids. Previous events including Children’s Museum of the Arts film screenings, business and cooking classes as well as downtime in the spa (for those busy kids, not you).  They’ll also get business cards, free meals and a quarterly newsletter about NYC family-friendly events. Kids get a monogrammed robe, candy buffets and cocktails, local maps from a pint-sized point of view and free rollaway beds. A new partnership with phil&teds lets you use their strollers and baby backpacks during your stay. The NYC Family Getaway package costs from $687 a night. +See trumpsohohotel.com/kids.  


FOOD: River courses
You won’t find 2009 Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin hiding in the ship’s galley when she stars on her third Murray River celebrity cook cruise. The PS Murray Princess paddlewheeler cruises the river while Julie conducts three cooking demonstrations and hosts a three-course dinner for 120 guests on the four-night cruise between Mannum and Blanchardstown, SA. The stately paddlewheeler journeys past redgum forests and limestone cliffs and also pulls in to historic ports, a sheep station, a vineyard and a cellar door. Departs March 9, 2015, but book early, she’s a lady in demand. Costs from $1229 a person, twin share. (02) 9206 1111, captaincook.com.au.

Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, Turkey
HOTEL: Turkish delight
The new Mandarin Oriental has thrown opened its doors on Turkey’s south-eastern coastline, 30 minutes from beautiful Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera. Each of the hotel rooms - the creation of Italian design powerhouse Antonio Citterio -looks out over the Aegean, with terraces and decks primed for sun soaking. The suites have plunge pools and outdoor showers. Set on the waterfront on Cennet Koyu (Paradise Bay), the hotel has 109 rooms and suites with a spa and 10 restaurants and bars. The Discover Paradise Bay opening offer costs from $2587 for three nights, and includes $215 credit to spend in the spa or restaurants, available until December 31. Phone 1800 123 693, see mandarinoriental.com.

GEAR:Bag it

The Toby iMail laptop bag.
Be prepared to suffer bag envy when you spot the Jackson Casual Messenger slung over a hardened traveller’s shoulder some time soon. The new range from Australian design company Zoomlite will be released in late August, with the Jackson coming in olive, khaki or navy. The heavy-duty washed canvas bag (25x32cm) features a vintage leather trim with a cross-body strap, leaving your hands free for adventure. Keep an eye out also for the Toby iMail laptop bag, for those who don’t need to shriek geek. The vintage-leather bag comes in camel or deep brown and its padded section lets you truck a 13-inch laptop with discretion (29x35cm).  Jackson Casual Messenger, $69.95. Toby iMail, $229.95. zoomlite.com.au.

Designer Kash O'Hara
FASHION: Super styler
Get under the skin of chic Hong Kong and its mainland cousin, Shenzhen, with Sydney fashion stylist and designer Kash O’Hara. Kash will do a style analysis and help write your shopping list beforehand. She’ll even help you design pieces that are then tailored in Shenzen. But it’s not all hard shopping. The tour includes high tea at The Peninsula hotel, a swish dinner and guided tours. “It’s partly a holiday,  partly a shopping trip,” says Kash. From $3630 a person, twin share. Includes international flights, four nights’ accommodation in Hong Kong and one night in Shenzen. Departs October 1. Phone 0411 166 623, see oharadesigns.com.

FAMILY: Self-catering in Phuket
Face painting, Teen Idol and mini discos need to be balanced with adult playrooms - and the swim-up bar and massage pods at Phuket's two Sunwing resorts, Kamala Beach and Bangtao, do the trick. Sunwing's Happy Baby Studios are designed for families with babies: the ground-floor rooms have enclosed terraces and locking gates and all the accoutrements, from pots to cots, baby recliners and unsmashable crockery and cutlery. Happy Baby Studios cost from $138 a night, off-peak (until October 31). sunwingphuket.com.

This weekly travel news column, Takeoff, is published in Sydney's Sun-Herald's Traveller section each week. Visit smh.com.au/travel 

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