Retreat Accommodation :: Gaia Retreat, Byron, NSW


My birthday is soon approaching. Another year older and another year wiser and all that. 

I now see Birthday's as a chance to relax, unwind and chill out with a glass of wine and a soak in an outdoor spa! 

Last year was a bit of a milestone and a lovely skiing holiday in Falls Creek. I am now on the hunt for my birthday weekend break and I suppose that this post is a little hint to my husband...

Now this place I have had my eye on for a few years... 

Gaia is a retreat style accommodation, created by Olivia Newton-John and friend Gregg Cave from a run down farm in the Byron Bay Hinterland in 2004. 

The retreat is meant to reflects Olivia's connection with the environment, her healthy attitude to life and a statement of her personal style. 

This clearly comes through with the types of wellness programs that they run, their use of organic and locally grown produce and Byron's peaceful setting. 

I would say in style terms this is a place where "bare-foot meets contemporary Asian eclectic", with the decor mixing influences form Asian, Rococo style and natural contemporary furniture and materials.
The Kukura House - A Somoan style contemporary longhouse
The Decor - Where Asian meets contemporary, natural and eclectic
What a view!
No wonder I am drawn to this place!

Have fun.

Dining Room Design Ideas :: Recycled Timber Tables


It's amazing what you can create from a pile of timber off-cuts. 

Pacha Design, a design and make partnership based in the UK, do just that! They specialise in creating simple pieces of modern furniture from waste timber and natural materials sourced from local shipyards, skips, farms and storm damage.

This rustic table and bench set are made from a mixture of recycled oak finished with a hard wax oil and cornish slate for the seat.
From timber off-cuts to pieces of furniture
In addition to furniture they also make some beautiful natural accessories like these recycled timber mirrors, artwork and delicate leaf skeleton tea lights. 
all images and designs by Pacha Design
They also have a blog if you want to keep an eye on their latest creations!
Have fun.

Luxury Swag Camp :: Blue Mouintains


I know it is quite cold at the moment but I have been camping quite a bit recently, but nothing quite as glamourous as this 'swag camp' from Blue Mountains Private Safaris Luxury Swag Camp.
This camp is also an ideal model for Eco Tourism with no very basic infrastructure. There is no electricity, all water is filtered, all waste is removed from site and no fixed structures for minimal impact.

The camp is built to fit in with the surrounding environment, with raised timber 'swag' decks, with swag bedrolls, soft pillows and duvets for added comfort and a canopy overhead which you can roll back to see the stars.
 
Backing on to each deck there is an 'en-suite' hand basin and mirror plus an open air shower, chemical toilet and screened changing area.
There is also an outdoor fireplace set up to look like something you would find in your own home!
images via Blue Mountains Private Safaris Luxury Swag Camp 
There is no formal restaurant but instead your guide will provide all meals in an outdoor dining area shaded by canopy poles with great views of the mountains and river below. 

This is the best experience if you want to try luxury bush swag camping and feel at one with nature but not give up on those creature comforts.

Have a great weekend.

Glamping & Luxury Tents :: Aman-i-Khas, Rajasthan


I am off on a leadership training weekend today and camping is going to be only form of accommodation... I do love sleeping outdoors but given the choice between my two-man tent or glamping I am afraid I would have to choose the creature comforts of glamorous camping.

So this has given me an idea to research what is out there in the way of luxury tents  and checking some out on my next travels.

The first one that captures my eye is Aman-i-Khas. This is a wilderness camp of 10 air-conditioned tents surrounded by the Aravalli Hills and located on the edge of Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park in India. 

I have actually been to this National Park a few years before this beautiful resort was built. Never mind... maybe next time.
images via Aman-i-Khas
As you can see from these photos each tent is like a luxury apartment surrounded by soaring canopies of fabric draped in a Moghul style. 

I am sure from my past experience with this level of accommodation in India, the level of service and attention to detail will be impeccable. Also one can not forget the amazing peace and tranquility that comes with staying in a National Park and the chance to see a Tiger from the back of an elephant.

If I return to India this would definitely be on my bucket list for places to stay.

Have fun this weekend.

Kitchen & Dining Room Design Ideas :: Stools


After a peaceful public holiday weekend trekking through Springbrook's rainforest and creeks I am now back to work...

Last week while working on a design project I came across these lovely stools from Janie Collins.
images via Janie Collins
These sturdy stools made and designed in Australia by life space journey are inspired by milking stools and hand crafted from steel and recycled australian hardwood. 

They are also available in a wide range of colours as well as a raw finish.

Perfect for the kitchen or dining room area.

Have fun.


W Retreat & Spa :: Maldives


Call me soft but yesterday was one of the coldest days I have en-counted  here in Brisbane. With 7c at night and 12.5c in the day this is cold for our sub-tropical climate that normally hovers around 20-24c and clear blue skies!

So where to today.... somewhere hot and tropical like the W Retreat & Spa in the Maldives?

This retreat is set on a private island in the Maldives. It's designed with the indoor and outdoor as one, with views of the sky, glass paneled floors that reveal the lagoon below and unparalleled sea views. 

All designs within the W Hotel series adopt sustainable practices, use natural materials and commission local artwork, furniture and fabrics for he interior decoration. 
images via Starwood & W Hotels
The only thing that stops me from going staying here is the cost... With money aside this hotel is definitely on my Bucket List!

Have fun.