La Biosthetique Signature Treatment Review. Now available at Luxurious Lizard Island Essentia Spa!

La Biosthetique Signature Treatment Review. Now available at Luxurious Lizard Island Essentia Spa!

If you’re thinking of your next travel destination for a getaway, have a think about receiving a premium spa treatment with luxurious Parisian range of skincare products form La Biosthetique at an exclusive island resort with a cool name.

Lizard Island had officially reopened its doors to guests this month. The Essentia Day Spa is going to be providing signature treatments for guests and as there is only one resort on the island, you can completely relax in the tranquility of North Queensland tropics and enjoy all the Day spa has to offer.

Lizard Island Kayaking

Lizard Island Paradise

A bit of history on Lizard Island -

It was named Lizard Island by captain Cook because lots of large lizards aka iguanas were spotted living on this remote piece of land in the Pacific Ocean.

Due to cyclone damage earlier this year the resort had to be rebuilt and fixed up. A multi million dollar investment went into the island to make it pristine, beautiful and superbly luxurious again. With all that work, Lizard Island is set to reclaim its position as one of the World’s leading premium resort.

Now although I haven’t been to the resort yet, I have been able to try out the signature spa treatment at the Sydney HQ for La Biosthetique – Bauhaus Hair in Waterloo.

Bauhaus Hair Waterloo Sign

Bauhaus Hair Lobby Collage

Bauhaus Hair Salon Interier

Bauhaus Hair: Entry, Lobby and Salon

This treatment is now available at Essentia, the island spa. It’s a 2 hour treatment that lets your tension melt away and gives your body a full nourishment and relaxation.

The treatment I had was a full body exfoliation and a customised facial using La Biosthetique products inspired by a Nobel Prize discovery in age management.

Bauhaus Hair is a great salon. I’ve walked passed a few times but didn’t realise how big it was on the inside. It’s mainly a hair salon but they also do body and facial treatments.

For the first time in my life I was going through a La Biosthetique skin test with special colourful serums which upon wiping the side of my jaw and nose, could tell me which type of skin I had – oily vs dry, dehydrated or normal. It turns out I have dehydrated skin, so I’ll be extra careful from now on with nourishing my body with enough water during the day and then also using skincare products to moisturise my skin really well.

La Biosthetique Skin Testing Products

La Biosthetique Skin Testing

Sarah, who was my beauty and spa therapist, walked me through the treatment after doing the skin consultation.

The scrub was extremely gentle and the wrap relaxed me so much I wanted to fall asleep immediately. Talk about complete relaxation!

When I was all wrapped up and cozy Sarah started the facial.

Essentia Spa Brushes

La Biosthetique Essentia Spa Brushes

I loved it so much and my skin is still glowing with radiance from all the beautiful products that were put on my skin. The whole procedure starts with a ritualistic brush massage which welcomes you to the signature treatment at the spa and helps release any tension. It’s easy to continue chatting away, but after the soft bristles started to swirl around my complexion, all I wanted to do was be quite and very still and just enjoy the experience.

My favourite part was the masque that was applied and also I think vitamin capsules! Sarah explained to me that the vitamin capsules were like multivitamins for your skin. To be used especially in times of stress or lack of rest. Just like our body, our skin needs nourishment and this treatment surely delivers all the goodness in one little capsule, like a serum, but in a little silicon pill.

I might do a cheeky getaway to Lizard Island soon just to experience the spa treatments in this amazing resort, since I am already sold on the treatments!

x

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Hotel Tonight? Australia, Get Ready to Plan Less, Live More!

Hotel Tonight? Australia, Get Ready to Plan Less, Live More!

Australia, get ready to hotel it up!

The new Hotel Tonight – fresh out of San Francisco, has officially launched in Sydney.

I ended up at Radisson Blu on Tuesday night (random right?) after the official launch event at a ‘secret’ hotel location. The experience was SPONTANEOUS. The whole idea behind the Hotel Tonight APP is PLAN LESS< LIVE MORE.

And that is exactly what happened – completely unplanned, I was checking into a hotel room at 10.30 at night on a tuesday. Yay room service!

The evening of Tuesday night we got invited to a secret hotel at a secret location with a secret dinner (you get the idea, it was secret! And that is what made it extra fun!)

I got my mystery hat on and came along for the ride!

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We got cocktails and dinner – PLAN LESS. TASTE MORE.

hotel tonight launch Australia

We got a preview of what it’s like to be booking though the Hotel Tonight App on the night. PLAN LESS. SURF MORE.

Plan less surf more hotel tonight

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And at the end of the night we got to spin a wheel of fortune and I WON a Free night’s stay at Radisson Blu. Completely random! We even received a very thoughtful overnight bag that had all the ‘essentials’ in order to be spontaneous.

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Room service rocks!

It takes less than 10 seconds in most instances to be booked into a hotel room of your choice. The choices are only the top luxury hotels in your location, and you don’t get too many ( I think we were told around 15 hotels per night will be available in your city of choice so that you only get the top deals).

The value you save on hotels can be up to 70% off the original price per night and the longer you wait the better the deal gets.

Shhh, insider tip – after 3pm each day, the deals get better!

More on the official launch here from Techly

The app is completely free to download so go nuts and live spontaneously – go on you need a bit of fun in your life!

iOS Download

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Visiting Hobart for the Weekend – Top Things To Do

Visiting Hobart for the Weekend – Top Things To Do

Those following me on Instagram and Snapchat (@liveshoptravel) must have seen some photos from our recent Hobart Trip.

It was only a weekend getaway, short but sweet.

We arrived on Friday night (Flying Virgin). I love flying Virgin Australia because they let you download the Virgin Entertainment app and watch it on any device through their onboard Wi-Fi system. The selection of movies and TV shows is quite extensive and I enjoy having my own device on the plane, that way you can continue to watch during takeoff and landing. The only times you can’t tune in is during announcements and when their Wi-Fi doesn’t work. So far it happened 1 out of 3 flights I was on this year.

Arriving in Hobart at 9.45pm meant the temperature had time to drop a bit and when we walked out onto the tarmac it was around 10 degrees celsius. Luckily Matt and I were in the Yukon 2 months ago and this weather didn’t scare us at all (we consider ourselves to be well accustomed to the cold since the dogsledding on the frozen lake adventure, which is probably ambitious).

We were greeted by a driver with our names and delivered straight to the RACV Hobart Hotel in the middle of the city. It was a swift ride of about 20 minutes.

The hotel staff at reception welcomed us warmly and there was even a platter of food left for us in the fridge in case we arrived famished, which we did. By the way did you know that there is a separate customs declaration rule in Tasmania, where you can’t import fish or something rather. Fish products and seafood anyway. Embarassingly enough, I was smuggling sushi with me in my handbag – who knows why I decided to bring it to Tasmania. In the bin it went!  All before exiting the airport, and because of flight delays I was actually looking forward to eating that (probably not so great any more) sushi.

I was exuberant when we found the cheese and other goodness platter in our fridge (yay!) Weekend was off to a good start.

Quick snaps of the hotel room, which was a gorgeous suite on the 8th floor, and off to bed.

RACV Hotel Hobart Suite Living Room Kitchen

RACV Hobart Hotel Luxury Suite Bed

In the morning we woke up to a view that was breathtaking…a quaint town with an olden charm opened up to us. A nice change from the busy headlights of Sydney..

RACV Hobart Hotel Luxury Suite View over Hobart

The plan for the day was to visit Salamanca Market (est 1972 – one of the oldest in Australia and still going strong). There are over 300 stalls and some are permanent. I compiled these facts from a grocery bag and a very reliable source ;)

Salamanca Markets Hobart People

Salamanca Markets People and Places

The markets are hustling and bustling and full of people. Not so many thought that you feel like you’re in a tourist town, not steering, but rather being pushed in the general direction of the public flow. This was quite relaxing. The wind picked up around midday and we did catch up with a brother in law and his girlfriend who were visiting Hobart from Melbourne. Such a coincidence! This is why I find it very hard to plan my life – things tend to happen at various times, but I am the more grateful for those moments of randomness.

Salamanca Markets Hobart Stalls

When the first drops of rain appeared, I acquired a couple of scarves. Black and Yellow, I always wanted a yellow scarf. Don’t ask me if I’ve been influenced by Wiz Kalifa in any fashion or shopping decision making. Yeah uh huh, you know what it is
Black and yellow Black and yellow Black and yellow Black and yellow.

All four of us sat in a cozy cafe, sipping on our coffees and tees, as the people hurried away in their crinkled raincoats outside the window. We were planning what other weekend trip we’d be bumping into each other next, perhaps a ski trip? I’d very much like that.

When the rain stopped Matt and I walked to the Marina. Although I was very tempted to go back to the hotel room, climb into that giant bed and take a long snooze, I pushed myself for at least another 30 minutes and agreed to a stroll around. After all, we’ve never been to Hobart before and even though the weather could have been nicer that particular morning, we couldn’t help but notice that when the clouds cleared, a magnificent rainbow graced the sky.

Hobart Marina Boat and RainbowTasmania Harbour Hobart Rainbow

I took a photo on my iPhone and posted it on instagram. The result was such that the photo looked photoshopped. Surely the pot of gold was not that close to us? I remembered an interesting fact, did you know that rainbows are actually colourful circles, if you’re looking at them from above?

Hobart Tasmania Things to See Waterfront Statues

What else is there to see? Well, we saw a group of statues and then I took a photo of a man his dog.


RACV hotel Hobart Location and lobbyWhen we returned to our hotel. RACV Hobart is currently going though transformations, so don’t be surprised that in a few months, you see a very luxurious bar and lobby with elegant top floor rooms and 5 star service. The view from our balcony continued to want to be captured on camera.

Hobart View Pink Sky Morning RACV Hotel View

RACV Hotel Hobart View

There was a knock on the door and in came a surprise bottle of Tassie pinot, from Home Hill Winery (next time we made a note to make sure we check out this winery with a restaurant, just 30 minutes away from RACV Hobart Hotel. We met one of the owners of this winery at the degustation dinner that evening. Rosemary is such a beautiful person and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to her about everything! )and a cheese platter.

Cheese Platter and Tasmanian Wine RACV Hobart Hotel

For the rest of the afternoon, we chilled with our coffees until the degustation dinner in the hotel. Did I mention the balcony has an outdoor spa? (Maybe for the warmer months).

Blue Nails with Cup on Balcony Hobart Tasmania View

Hobart Tasmania Balcony View RACV Hotel

Weekend in Hobart:

Friday 29th May:

Evening arrival to RACV Hobart Hotel

Located in the heart of Hobart’s cultural city centre,

the RACV Hobart Apartment Hotel is within easy walking distance of Constitution Dock, the shopping precinct and Hobart’s iconic Salamanca Markets.

Saturday 30th  May:

Room service breakfast

Salamanca Markets

Degustation Dinner: 6pm

Sunday 31st May:

9.30am ferry to MONA

Day at MONA (post about MONA coming separately)

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is arguably one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities.

Located in Berriedale, 30 minutes from the city, MONA is described by its owner as a ‘subversive adult Disneyland’.

In all, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress, with over 400 pieces art works.

Flight out to Sydney

Seattle Stay Highlights: Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and the Space Needle

Seattle Stay Highlights: Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and the Space Needle

It’s been a couple of months since we got back from North America, I’ve been talking non stop about the Yukon and generally Canada and what an amazing experience it was to get all the way up north and see a completely different way of life. I am looking forward to sharing more info on that trip in proper detail later on on the blog because I am sure a lot of people who I spoke with wanted a direct itinerary and I will be happy to share all that information so you guys can experience the beauty of The Yukon also. For now, I would like to share some photos we took in Seattle on our way up to Canada.

Flying from Sydney to LA and then Seattle was a bit of a long journey. We flew United. People have mixed feelings about this airline. I’ve flown United once last year and again this year. In my opinion it is one of the most affordable airlines to go with if you’re heading to the States. When you live in Sydney, Australia a 14 hour flight is not something that scares you, its how long it takes to get to where things are happening, generally. It takes us 5 hours to fly to Perth alone, so we’re good flying. I have gotten so used to long haul flights, I can sleep up to 10 hours on them with no issues at all. The new United flights have all the latest entertainment and the planes seem new-ish. I think before June 2014 all United planes got upgraded to Boeing 777 which means the latest in seat entertainment and power sockets on all flights incl economy.

When we arrived in Seattle, it was cold and rainy. The cool thing was our hotel reminded me of a castle so it was nice and cozy. We got a suite and were located right in the centre of the city, within a 15 min walk to Pike St Market.

We stayed at Sorrento Hotel (4 stars on booking.com)

Sorrento

Sorrento Hotel Seattle

 

This was exactly our room. Really spacious – great bed for getting over jet lag.

sorrento lobby 2

Sorrento lobby

What’s funny is that the concierge is exactly the guy who told us to go to Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum to check it out (he is in this photo I took from the Booking.com site)

So the photos we took are of the Chihuly Museum and the Space Needle.

Inside Seattle Monorail

First you take the monorail ride to the Space Needle – Everything was built for the World Fair in 1962. It’s amazing they had this monorail and all the technology to build the Space Needle back then.

Seattle Space Needle Blue Sky Seattle Space Needle

You can see the Space Needle straight away. After all it’s 184m high!

On top of the Seattle Space Needle Mount Rainier

The view at the top gives you a 360 and on a clear day you can see Mt Raininer.

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On top of the Space Needle there is a self timed camera which then emails a photo to you. Here is ours. Thank you random dude who refused to get out of our picture despite his wife trying to tell him to. I guess it’s a photobomb! Whose Dad is this?

When you come down from the Space Needle, there is loads to do. We explored the Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and it blew me away.

Chihuly Glass Museum Sculpture Blue

Incredible glass sculptures bigger than you can imagine.

Chihuly Glass Museum Persian Ceiling Chihuly Glass Museum Seattle Persian Ceiling

 This invention of Dale Chihuly’s called the Persian Ceiling, where various colourful glass objects are placed on top of a ceiling glass, creating a colour splash and an incredible effect when you’re underneath it.

Chinuly Glass Museum Seattle Display

These glass forests that just keep going. You feel like you’re in some magical world.

Chihuly Glass Museum Seattle Boats

These enormous outer space inspired chandeliers are everywhere. It’s with these chandeliers that Dale Chihuly exhibited in Venice – the first American ever to work in the Venini glass factory in Venice.


Chihuly Chandeliers

Chihuly Glass Chandeliers Colours

Chihuly Glass Museum Collage Flowers

 The outdoor garden area is as exciting as indoors.  It’s even more enchanting actually because the glass sculptures are placed among trees, flowers and all the colours match so that it feels as if the glass sculptures were born in this garden naturally. There is no man made feeling about Chihuly’s work. It’s something alien rather.

Chihuly Outdoor Glass Garden Red Sculpture Dale Chihuly Glass Sculpture Outdoor

     There are beautiful flowers everywhere. It is after all a garden.

Chihuly Garden Seattle Flowers Pink

 

Seattle stay: 2 days

Time of year: April (spring time)

Hotel: Sorrento Hotel, Seattle (4 star)

Other Cool Seattle Things:

1. First ever Starbucks cafe

First Starbucks Seattle Inside Starbucks First Ever Seattle

2. Pike Place Market - Seattle’s original farmers’ market est 1907.

3. Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation (Microsoft was founded in Seattle)

4. Seattle is home to so many cool startup HQs such as Urban Spoon, Rover and Simply Measured

5. The Gum Wall at Pike Place Market

6. Nirvana taking punk to the masses at EMP (Nirvana exploded in Seattle in 1991)

EMP Museum Nirvana Seattle

7. Star Wars costume exhibit at EMP

Star Wars Costume Exhibition EMP Museum Seattle

8. The Ferris Wheel

Seattle Ferris WheelI really enjoyed our time in Seattle. It’s a very cool city and it didn’t rain as much as I though it would :) A highlight was that we bought a Seattle local umbrella which I now use in Sydney all the time because our weather has been super wet lately.

Have you been to Seattle? What are your highlights?

x

Fraser Island Escape – On My Getaway List

Fraser Island Escape – On My Getaway List

I love taking mini holidays around Australia, the recent trip to Daydream Island was such a relaxing and new experience, although quite short. So next time you have a few days or a long weekend, don’t underestimate the power of travelling to sunny QLD. It truly is a tropical paradise up there!

A shorter trip than Daydream Island, Hamilton Island is next on my “To Visit” list.

It’s a World Heritage Listed Island. Did you know that it is also the largest sand island in the World? Whaaaat!

So what are the top things to do on Fraser Island once you’ve made your way over there?

1. I heard Fraser Island is great when you’re exploring it on 4 wheels. 4Wheel Driving at it’s best can be booked through Sunset Safaris

Fraser-Island-Beach

Head off on one of the hundreds of sand tracks linking lakes, rainforest and other natural attractions. Drive to mighty sand blows and the towering multi-coloured sand cliffs of The Cathedrals. Or stop to float in fast-flowing Eli Creek straight to the ocean. 

2. You can also sleep under the stars in luxury lodgings.

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Stay in an eco-friendly resort where you can indulge in massages, cocktails and restaurant meals. Or enjoy the privacy of a beach front home surrounded by bushland and wildlife. 

This one sounds like me! I once stayed in the Amazon jungle for 5 nights in Peru and it was amazing to sleep without walls and hear and experience the wild night life in its purest form.

3. Be at one with nature

humpback

Spot raptors and stingrays on a canoe tour and some of the islands 354 species of birds on a ranger guided walk. The island is home to the rarely seen ground parrot, powerful owl and some 18 birds of prey. Sail next to dugong, turtles, dolphins and sharks or see them on a tour of the beaches and Indian Head. Keep an eye out for migrating humpback whales between August and October. 

4. Aboriginal and European history

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You can read 700,000 years of evolution in the wildflowers and centuries of climatic change in the huge sand dunes. See Aboriginal middens, fish traps, scarred trees and campsites at least 5,000 years old on a guided tour. Visit coloured Arch Cliffs, where Aboriginal men once played didgeridoos to migrating humpback whales and Moon Point, once a sacred birthing place reserved for Aboriginal women. Explore the shipwreck of the S.S Maheno, which was built in 1905 and served life as both a luxury trans-Tasman passenger ship and World War I hospital ship, before being beached in a cyclone. Join a heritage walk and learn about the island’s European namesake, Eliza Fraser, who was with her husband Captain James Fraser when their ship, the Stirling Castle, ran aground in 1836.

References taken from Australia.com

 

 

 

Exotic Places to Visit in Australia

Exotic Places to Visit in Australia

To any locals reading this, Australia might not stand out as the most exotic location in which to travel. But aside from the sunny locations like the Gold Coast or the Sydney harbour, there are a whole number of striking nature spots that are waiting to be admired, some more celebrated than others. An exotic place doesn’t have to have tall palm trees, straw huts and a shoreline of glowing white sand; exoticism can also be low-key, mysterious and intriguing. Here are a few different exotic places to visit during your time in Australia, whether you’re there for a lifetime or just a few weeks.

 

Lord Howe Island

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With hiking, snorkelling, and hand-fishing galore, Lore Howe Island is an exotic destination that would fit comfortably on anyone’s bucket list. Beautiful beaches and reefs, several awards, and a World Heritage listing all play a part in making this island one of Australia’s most spectacular places to visit. Plus, the glorious nature is combined with top quality Lord Howe Island accommodation, thanks to resorts like the Pinetrees Lodge.

Great Ocean Road

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Located in Victoria, the Great Ocean Road marks the home of the Twelve Apostles that stick out of the ocean just beyond the shore. This alone makes it a spectacular place to visit, but there are also plenty of community activities to partake in. For instance, the close by village known as Port Fairy is famous for its fishing, or you might be more interesting in staying at Queenscliff, a town that takes great pride in its beautiful architecture. Filled with history and a worthwhile range of surrounding villages to visit along the way, this road truly lives up to its name.

 

Phillip Island

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Neighbouring Melbourne, Phillip Island covers a massive area with over 100 kilometres worth of seashore. Apart from its beautiful beaches, here you will discover just how stunning a coastline of rocks, mangroves and wetlands can really be. On top of this, penguins, koalas and fur seals – among other wildlife – roam the land with the same degree of confidence and freedom you will no doubt feel once you arrive. This location is ideal for travellers wishing to challenge their sense of adventure by scavenging through unaltered land.

 

Uluru

Damon Wilder-Uluru Sunrise 1 Resized

Also known as the Red Centre (due to its red-ish appearance, and the fact that it is located in Central Australia), Uluru is perhaps the most famous and adored landmark on the continent. This sensational rock is well over three hundred meters high and is both spiritually and culturally valued by Indigenous Australians. Aside from the pleasure of being able to watch its colour change as the sun rises and sets, a series of Uluru tours can be taken for additional insight into the significance of this incredibly dramatic backdrop.

 

Upon reading about these locations, most people would agree that the most beautiful and fascinating parts of Australia can be found outside the big cities and closer to the outskirts of the land. It is here where magic feels entirely possible, where wildlife thrives and nature is indestructible. So if you’re hungry for a completely unique traveller’s experience, consider exploring these areas. Not only will you come out feeling invigorated, but your love for Australia will be well and truly realised and justified.