Hayman Island Reopening - an inside look with ARINEX

Hayman Island, located in the Great Barrier Reef, is one of 74 islands that makeup the Whitsundays. The new luxurious InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has completed a $135 million refurbishment and is ready to welcome guests to one of Australia's most iconic private island resorts. Our partners at Arinex DMC have shared details about the recent re-opening of this incredible incentive property.  It combines beautifully with Sydney, and we are excited to include Hayman as an option for our clients considering Australia for their next program. 

HAYMAN ISLAND

Exclusive access of the island is available for world-class meetings, incentives and events. From whole island buy-outs to smaller curated moments available for 10 to 320 guests, the island is an idyllic location to celebrate and inspire. The island boasts a collection of 15 spectacular indoor and outdoor venues such as private beaches, canopied gardens, private yachts and tranquil lagoons that can be used to create unrivaled events.

THE ROOMS

With over 166 rooms, the resort welcomes groups whether they are large or small. There are three distinct wings of guest rooms, each boasting breath-taking views of the Coral Sea: the Pool Wing, the Beach Wing and the Lagoon Wing. Each of the 16 new guest rooms in The Beach Wing offers an outdoor shower and private courtyard while The Pool Wing now offers an additional 11 suites. Entire wings of the resort can be booked for a semi-private event.

THE VENUES

With multiple venues to choose from, events ranging from 10 to 330 people can be held in the magical indoor and outdoor spaces. There are three large outdoor spaces to choose from: Coconut Grove, Lion’s Court and Hayman Island Beach. 330 guests can be accommodated in each. The largest indoor space, the Langford Room, can hold up to 330 people and is completely refurbished with high ceilings and views of the beach. For a more unique experience, a deserted island just 800 meters from Hayman Island can accommodate 50 guests for a seated dinner or 120 guests for a cocktail reception.

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THE CUISINE

The most significant changes to the resort are the newly introduced restaurants and bars, each an exquisite destination in their own right inspired by local flavors and global know-how.Amongst the new restaurant and bar offerings is The Pacific, with an outdoor terrace, ocean views, and the ability to accommodate up to 220 guests for a modern Australian menu prepared by esteemed chefs.

RESORT EXPERIENCE

The newly refurbished Hayman Spa comes stocked with new wellness experiences to add rejuvenation into the program schedule with sunrise yoga and meditation classes being amongst the offerings. Adventure experiences ranging from paddle-boarding through Hayman Island's hidden coves to enjoying a seaplane flight over the reefs before landing in Hardy Lagoon to snorkel can be added to any program to take in the island's natural beauty.

HOW TO GET THERE

Hayman Island can be reached via a 60-minute luxury boat transfer or a 15-minute seaplane or helicopter from Hamilton Island. There are direct flights to Hamilton Island Airport from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.

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Abbie Mandelbaum
Why you should choose Argentina for your next incentive
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If you have not visited or operated an incentive in Argentina, you will be surprised at what there is to offer, according to this week’s guest blogger Merina Begg, managing director at inVOYAGE 2019 partner, Argentina Travel Partners DMC. Here she gives her lowdown on the stunning destination…

Buenos Aires has the diversity, the sophistication, the Latin charm, European mixture, hospitality, local character, climate and entertainment for an extended one-stop program, or a two centre itinerary which might include the Iguazu Falls, the Bariloche Lake District or the Patagonia wilderness.

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The 2000-mile Andes mountain range, from colourful Salta in the North-West through the wine country of Mendoza, the green Lake District of Bariloche, or the white moving glaciers of Lago Argentino with lake cruises to see glaciers up close, can become an exciting part of any itinerary in Argentina. Add the spectacular Iguazú Falls in the North-East, or the flat endless Pampas, and the itinerary can be tailored to exceed your client’s expectations. 

Further South in Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is the gateway to the Antarctic. It has 5-star hotels, the southernmost golf course in the world, and the starting point for short cruises of the southern fjords and the Beagle channel, amongst many other exciting adventures.

There are so many interesting experiences, adventures to live, unspoiled scenery of outstanding beauty, moments to create and stories to tell in this vast country.

Unmissable Experience: Polo Day (after all, EVERYONE wants to be a King)

A favoured hobby of royalty and the world’s elite, no visit to Argentina would be complete without polo. Participate in and discover the exciting world and backstage of the “Sport of Kings”. Enjoy the terrific speed of the horses, the skills of the polo players and all the glamour of the best polo in the world.

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The day begins with an informative talk about the basics of polo, accompanied by mid-morning cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Learn the main polo swings from a pro player, then try your hand at stick and ball with “small sticks” on the polo field, before having the chance to swing at the ball whilst standing on hay bales or sitting on iron “horses”, to simulate the experience of playing on horseback. The aim is to score through the wicker goalposts.

After realising it is not as easy as it looks, and laughing at their own and others’ antics, everyone sits down for a typical Argentine barbecue with wine pairings. Desserts and champagne are served by the polo field as everyone settles in to watch a genuine polo match by world class ponies and players. Feel the excitement and the power as the game twists and turns in a frenzy of players and a stampede of ponies, just yards away. 

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At the end of the match, there is the opportunity to meet the players and their horses. A lovely day under blue skies in the Argentine countryside – fit for a king. 

Favourite Venue: El Zanjon de Granados

El Zanjón (the Trench) offers a fascinating and unusual glimpse into five centuries of urban archaeology. This 175-year-old mansion leads to a series of underground tunnels going back to the city’s early settlements. Some historians consider Zanjón de Granados to be the site where Buenos Aires was first founded in 1536. Located in the heart of the old San Telmo district, under this restored building there are deep ditches (zanjones) that extend along the length of this city block revealing remaining walls, flooring, wells and cesspits that were buried between the years 1730 to 1865.

Visitors travel back in time as they descend from a beautifully restored 1830´s house into other architectural elements, long walled-off and buried on the site. These include the foundations of two 18th century houses, and a spectacular labyrinth of wide, vaulted brick tunnels.

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This venue has several very different spaces, each with its own characteristics. Casa Minima, the narrowest house in Buenos Aires, just 1.20 in width, with its display of clay walls and two hundred-year-old plaster, is a fascinating place for a cocktail party. El Puente is a part of the tunnels built to control the flow of the trench, known as El Zanjon, an intermittent watercourse that drained into the River Plate in the southern part of the city.

There are multiple entertainment options for this space. Two of the most popular are:

Wine and Tango:  Guests explore the underground tunnels and intriguing museum whilst enjoying a glass of wine, with tango couples performing on unexpected corners during the visit.

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The Spirit of Evita:  From Evita’s early beginnings in the big city to her career as a stage, radio and film actress, her marriage to Colonel Perón, her rise to First Lady, her involvement in politics and social work, and her untimely death at age 33, which created the legend, her spirit.  pervades the city of Buenos Aires. Only blocks away from the famous balcony from which Evita addressed her adoring fans, “Evita” addresses El Zanjon guests with a touching performance of the famous “Don´t cry for me Argentina” song.

ATP DMC, a leading DMC in Argentina since 2006, will be attending inVOYAGE 2019 on 6-9 October in Monaco. Come and meet with the team to find out more about the amazing incentive experiences and tailor-made programmes they can create.

This article was originally published by InVoyage.

Abbie Mandelbaum
Kapama River Lodge - Your Safari Experience with Dragonfly Africa

The largest of five star Kapama Private Game reserve offerings, Kapama River Lodge, has gone through refurbishments that make it a wonderful destination for your next program. A brand new cocktail bar, swimming pool, reception area, and curio shop are some of the recent additions that await guests at the luxury lodge.

The lodge
The open concept and design makes a stay at this hotel just like sleeping under the African sky. With large, airy spaces and 64 total rooms, it is the perfect lodge for larger groups that want to stay together without sacrificing luxury or exclusivity.

The rooms
Each room in the lodge features a terrace that was designed with the purpose of taking in the distinct beauty of the reserve. The 40 suites offer patios to enjoy a cup of coffee or early yoga session with the wilderness only footsteps away. The 16 spa suites feature floor to ceiling glass doors allowing for the views of the Savanna to fill your room. For larger groups that want to stay together, the 4 family suites fully equipped with three balconies and ensuite bathrooms are ideal. If extravagance is in order, look no further than the 2 royal suites. A private lounge and spacious patio are perfect for reveling in the beautiful surroundings of the camp.

The cuisine
Meals at the River Lodge are an affair to be remembered. Groups can enjoy authentic African buffets around the roaring fire or dining on a dry riverbed while breakfast and lunch are set against the backdrop of the bushveld. The lodge's wine cellar is stocked with over 600 South African wines, paired to complement each meal.

Lodge experience
There are two game drives per day to encounter a diverse range of flora, fauna, birds, and the Big Five. Time not spent on safari drives is meant to be spent in a state of ultimate relaxation. The spa offers custom treatments that are distinctly African so guests can be pampered in between game drives. Guests can relax by the grand fire in the African themed lodge with a hot beverage, while a cocktail bar awaits guests before they take a dip in the pool.

How to get there
Airlink and CemAir offer daily flights from Johannesburg International Airport and Cape Town International Airport to Hoedspruit, where guests are transferred a mere 30 minutes to the lodge in game viewing vehicles.

Learn more
Dragonfly Africa would be delighted to speak with you about the Kapama Private Game Reserve offerings and making Kapama River Lodge a part of your African experience.

Abbie Mandelbaum