Travel Blog

Read all about our journeys, experiences and observations from the team at Gilpin Travel.

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13 Jul

I smelt like coconut - Fiji

Tales from the desk of Toni Wiilliams - Gilpin Corporate Consultant

1313628528_Fiji Toni.jpgWe travelled on the Air New Zealand airbus which was comfortable, offering good service and food, however the in-flight entertainment was average, needing a better variety of movies.

On arrival we were collected by coach and whisked away to ‘Hideaway Resort’ on the Coral Coast.  A family friendly resort for those on a budget with free activity and entertainment programmes. The staff at this resort were super friendly making the stay that little bit more enjoyable.

Heading back to Natadola Beach to ‘The Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa’ for the night. Fabulous resort with spacious rooms and pure Fiji bathroom products to die for. I smelt like a coconut after a glorious soak in the tub. 

That night I was lucky to win a scenic sight seeing trip with ‘Island Hoppers’ in a chopper.  I was so excited and this was definitely the highlight of my trip, being my first time in a helicopter and all.  What an awesome way to get around and see Fiji with the added bonus of a super cute pilot.

A sightseeing visit to a traditional Fijian village known as ‘Nagado’ was fun and informative. It allowed us to experience a kava ceremony & meet with the  elders & village people. We had a great time singing, dancing and laughing with them.

My favourite property on the mainland is ‘The Terraces’ an apartment resort based heart of Denarau Island. Big spacious apartments overlooking the pool and golf course.  Whilst there is no restaurant onsite, they have arranged charge back and room service  with several local restaurants. My fondest memory of the property was the cold jugs of water in the fridge & the mini bar water price the same as a dairy price!

A night out at the Hard Rock Cafe, Port Denarau left me slightly groggy but no time to dwell as today we head out on the Mamanuca Express  (speedboat transfer) to the Mamanuca Islands. A tour of Beachcomber Island (party island), Treasure Island (family orientated) and Matamonoa (adults only), then onto Mana Island for an overnight stay.

The next morning we head out to Castaway (family orientated) then onto Plantation and Musket Cove. At Plantation I gave scuba diving a try but I don’t make it past the pool. Yes, I was too scared but thank the staff at Subsurface Fiji - adventure diving and water sports who were very patient with me.

My favourite island is Matamonoa and I can’t wait to go back there in the future.

13 Jul

Scenic Hotel Auckland

1310528237_superior room secenic.jpgThe Gilpin Team were recently treated by the Scenic Hotel located on Queen Street Auckland to a fabulous evening.

Our hosts Les Morgan and Natasha Du Plessis, along with fellow colleagues were fantastic and made us feel extremely welcome and valued.

Scenic Hotel Auckland is an apartment style hotel with many of the rooms having self-catering kitchens. It's central city location makes it easy to explore the city, access public transport or set sail on the Hauraki Gulf. And watch out for the opening of the new 'Q' theatre which is directly opposite the hotel and due to open in August 2011.

Our superior twin suites were of a comfortable size with a separate lounge and kitchenette. The rooms were modern and comfortable. Personalised notes in the room awaited us asking us to join the team in the in-house MLC Bar. On arrival we were treated to personalised margarita glasses (with bottomless top ups for margarita mix), divine finger foods, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere by the Hotels friendly staff.

Once the mingling had come to an end, we dropped our glasses back to the room only to be surprised by mini foot spas along with a message stating they may be required after dancing the night away! And they were required ... but nothing like hopping into the incredible cosy beds that felt like you were sleeping in a cocoon.

The next morning we dined at MLC for a full cooked breakfast before heading home. What better way to start the day!

Overall it was a great experience, we were well looked after and spoilt too. Thanks to team at Scenic Hotels for making it so special!  A great hotel with the staff being the icing on the cake!





29 Jun

Novotel Auckland Airport

The Gilpin Travel Corporate team had a hotel inspection at the recently opened Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel. This hotel is just opposite the international terminal and perfect for those needing an overnight stay or in need of accommodation after a late flight. The rooms are decorated with a New Zealand theme in mind and completely sound proof with the higher floors looking out over the runway – great for all those plane enthusiasts. The hotel has a 24 hour restaurant and bar along with 24 hour room service, a fully equipped gym plus a theatre style conference centre and 10 meeting rooms. Complimentary wireless in the lobby and for those single travellers the restaurant has tables set up with mini TV’s so they can catch up on the news or their favourite programme. The lobby’s main talking point is the ‘living wall’ a floor to ceiling wall covered in native plants.

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