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Autumn Mooney is a photographer/photo editor & travel writer based in Sydney, Australia. Having worked in glossy magazines in Sydney, London, Dubai and Singapore, the charm of wanderlust continues with reviewsinternational.com
Follow her colourful Instagram @autumnmooney
See her photographic blog & website: hotelphotographer.org
Easy breezy lazy days in Sydney are too easy when the city boasts so many coastal towns..
Avoca Beach, Sydney, Australia
Nicole Kidman knows the perfect Sydney city escape is a weekend at Avoca Beach, just an hour and half drive north of Sydney, she owns property in the beautiful sleepy surf town. Best place to surf, fish, wander endlessly along ocean-side rocks, and of course eat fish-n-chips!
Madame Tussauds waxworks on Sydney's Darling Harbour, is where you get to make friends with the stars..
It sounds like a dream. You're in a room full of celebrities who are all smiling and waiting to have their photo taken with you. Not one to disappoint, you oblige, placing an arm around each celebrity and smiling cheesily at your friend who is pointing their iphone in your direction, ready to shoot and upload straight to Instagram. Suddenly you realise Britney Spears, and in fact all the celebs, are actually made of wax. Quickly, you pinch yourself to wake up from the bizarre dream. Except it's not a dream, you are at Madame Tussauds waxworks, otherwise known as the closest you may ever be to placing your arm around Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Best make the most of it then.
Reviews International writers Autumn Mooney and Sarah Doran visited Madame Tussauds during a three month visit from Britney Spears and Beyonce Knowles (waxworks.) Madame Tussauds has waxwork studios all around the world, and occasionaly the statues travel to cities abroad. Of course, this meant Sarah got to shake her booty with beyonce, and Autumn got to hold Britney's MTV award. Followed by both immediatley social media posting to Facebook and Instagram, claiming to have new BFF's with the pics to prove..
Aside from the social media opportunities and pretending to be best friends with a re-incarnate Michael Jackson, Madame Tussauds offers a great 3D gauk at people you see images of in mainstream media all the time. Viewing a life-size waxwork lets you view details you often can't tell from a photograph. See how tiny Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga really are in comparison to yourself, or how teensy Olivia Newton John's waist really was back in the 1978 movie Grease. Remember what John Farnham looked like in his heydey, and see the extraodinary heights Justin Biebers fringe really does boof up to. The leaders room lets you pose in the office with Obama, contemplate with Nelson Mandela, Stand by Julie Gillard at the lectern, or sit on the royal throne by the queen.
Recommended - to people who love to social media, and celebrity stalkers - you will adore Madame Tussads
Shangri-La luxury hotel in Australia's glamorous city of Sydney is where rock stars and world leaders choose to stay. In such a fabulous location as the Rocks Sydney, it's no wonder. 360-degree views of Sydney's Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour waterside are framed like a panoramic painting in your hotel room through jaw-dropping windows. On my visit, extra preparations were in order for the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister's arrival. Well, if it's good enough for the world's elite, it's certainly good enough for us...
Let's face it; any stay in Australiais not complete without a trip to the Opera House and a photo in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Rocks area shows Australia's history through architecture, antiques and art shops. Buzzing weekend markets, interesting street buskers, shopping malls and tourist attractions are all within an easy walking distance too. Ten points go to Shangri-La Sydney for a great location.
The Shangri-La hotel, Sydney boasts 563 luxury rooms and suits, the most spacious of it's kind in town. Equipped with a large gymnasium and new, state of the art machines, you will enjoy the luxury of an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna plus sun deck. Two well-known award-winning restaurants, Altitude and Blue Horizon on level 36 allows for amazing city dining views, and tasty cuisine. Ask about Blue Horizon's cocktail-making classes for a fun and different activity.
The Shangri-La rooms in Sydney are exceptionally spacious and elegantly detailed with plush fabrics throughout, adjustable climate-control air con, full-sized executive writing desk for emailing home, and as mentioned magnificent surround views - you are looking through triple-glazed, soundproof awe-struck windows. Throughout the day watch over a colourful cityscape and at night let it become a spectacular light show. Pull the thick curtains shut from the rest of the world and cocoon into a well-made bed.
The Shangri-La beds in Sydney - Forget touring Sydney, in a Shangri-La bed is where you want to spend your time. Float into the Shangri-La signature bedding, with heaven-felt mattress, smooth and cosy sheets. Envelope in the plush soft-feather duvet (or doona as the Aussies say) as you read the delightful pillow menu. A huge flat-screen television is a remote control arms length away, showing free in-house movies, news, information and satellite television.
The Shangri-La Bathroom, Sydney - Some suites have a window level bath, which means from sky levels you can look down at the world as it passes by and you relax in warm, scented water. Soak into a relaxing bath in the large marble bathroom or stand under a perfectly pressured rainfall shower. Shangri-La branded complimentary toiletries, or L'Occitane for Horizon Club member guests will have you nicely fragrant. A hairdryer brings that extra comfort.
Business at Shangri-La, Sydney - Business travellers will be pleased with the Shangri-La's state-of-the-art business facilities. Using the hotel's Grand Ballroom, Horizon Club lounge, private meeting rooms and Business Centre makes for impressive dealings. All rooms are equipped with video conferencing services and wireless internet resources. Secretarial services, in-room faxing or translation services are also offered.
Shangri-La's Horizon Club, Sydney: If you are lucky enough to be privy to the Shangri-La's Horizon club membership, enjoy a VIP check in-and-out service, and complimentary breakfast. There's a private lounge just for members, with afternoon tea and evening cocktails, as well as broadband. Definitely a refreshing place to meet clients as you look out over spectacular views.
CHI Spa, Sydney A massage at CHI spa, the signature spa brand of Shangri-La worldwide, is not to be missed. Drawing inspiration from ancient Asian techniques, CHI Spa Sydney continues a high level of relaxation through massage, essential oils and trained therapists. Your individual element is identified and an essential oil concoction mixed especially for you, then worked and kneaded into your skin in a massage of your pressure choice. Australian-inspired treatments are worth looking at, such as Lemon Myrtle & Eucalyptus Polish or Australian Botanical Retreat.
I recommend: Decadent décor and delightful service, Shangri-La Sydney is a dreamtime story come true.