The first holiday I booked for Lou and Jason was their honeymoon to the Maldives in 2011, and I'm looking forward to booking their special 10th wedding anniversary trip next year. In between, I've arranged several holidays for this lovely couple, including a multi-centre trip to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Dubai.
They love the fact that I have such high expectations and will only work with partners and places that I personally recommend. They recently tasked me with organising their dream holiday - a three week multi-centre extravaganza taking in Singapore, Sydney, Fiji, Melbourne and Hong Kong.
Here's what they had to say about this holiday of a lifetime...
We started with two nights in Singapore at the superb Park Hotel at Clarke Quay by the Singapore River - a perfect location and within walking distance to the Botanical Gardens and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. When the weather did feel a little muggy, our hotel rooftop pool was a godsend. Jo had organised private transfers to and from the airport which were very welcome as we headed for Sydney, where again she had selected the perfect hotel for us.
The Holiday Inn Old Sydney has a rooftop pool (common theme!) that overlooks the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge and is within easy walking distance to the whole of the surrounding tourist area and connecting public transport to the other areas of this wonderful city. We even took the ferry to Taronga Zoo and loved our visit to Bondi Beach.
Our next flight took us to Fiji for a ten-day stint of quality relaxation at Jo’s highly recommended intimate resort of Matamanoa Island, set in the beautiful Mamanuca Islands about 30km west of the Nadi International Airport which we reached by a lovely transfer by Catamaran. Matamanoa claims to be for those who dream of peace and tranquility and we weren’t disappointed. The food was excellent and our trips to the island where Castaway was filmed and our day on "Cloud 9", Fiji's only two-level floating platform with an internationally stocked bar and Italian wood-fired pizzeria was something we will never forget. After a lovely restful time in Fiji, we returned to Australia, to the slightly busier Melbourne, where we stayed at the Double Tree Hilton opposite Flinders Railway Station, a perfect location for the city’s famous laneways, boutiques and restaurants.
We were there for three days, one of which we spent on a truly memorable trip to Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and then wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, being collected and dropped back right near our hotel.
The final leg of our trip was to Hong Kong for two nights at another great hotel, the Harbour Grand Kowloon with yes, you guessed it, another rooftop pool with spectacular views all over the city and again an easy walk into town. We found it simple to get public transport everywhere. We had a welcome final private transfer to the airport for our BA flight home and the inevitable subsequent come down.
Jo, we can’t thank you enough. Lou & Jason Thompson