Suite Dreams

From an urban retreat perfect for a short break, to winter in Tasmania and treats in Vietnam and Slovenia, travel editor Winsor Dobbin has the latest news.

Ever thought of a luxury staycation just a few kilometres from home?
Or need somewhere close to the airport to stay before a ridiculously early flight?

SKYE Suites Green Square might just meet both requirements.

Green Square is a lively lifestyle precinct in Zetland full of eateries, up-market apartments and SKYE Suites, a little oasis just four kilometres from downtown Sydney: an excellent choice if you want somewhere great to stay but do not have a massive budget.

It is located directly above the Green Square railway station, which links you directly to both the domestic and international terminals at Sydney Airport in around five minutes.

That makes it perfect for anyone with an early flight departure, but also a very good base for anyone wanting to spend a few days exploring Sydney. Maybe this month to take in Vivid and enjoy a few drinks and avoid the late-night taxi queues. You are one stop from Central Station, with its links to both Sydney light rail routes and multiple buses. And you get an entire well-equipped apartment rather than a pokey city centre hotel room. 

You will find cooking facilities with Smeg and Miele appliances, a large fridge, dishwasher, and coffee machine, fast wifi, wide-screen TV with Chromecast capability, plenty of charging ports and a compact but functional bathroom with classy Smith&Co amenities. Bedrooms have super comfortable Sleeping Duck memory foam mattresses. 

On-site, you can swim, use the gym, heated spa, sundecks with private cabanas and sunbeds, or walk just a couple of hundred metres to a range of restaurants or – to keep the kids happy – a Maccas, KFC and Taco Bell. 

There are two supermarkets – Asian and Australian – within a short stroll as are Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, grilled chicken eateries and cafés. 

So, location, location, location. And it is a non-party, non-smoking property, so a good sleep is assured.

The suites stretch over 20 storeys as part of an “urban resort” – and just as importantly, the staff at the 24-hour reception desk are excellent. I arrived early and asked to store my luggage but was quickly installed in an alternative room. Impressive. 

If you think some of the images look familiar, it is because SKYE Suites was recently the location for the latest season of Channel Nine’s Married At First Sight series. 

The property offers a range of apartment types including a studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments that can cater for a large family group. 

The bottom line: This is an urban sanctuary that is perfect for both overnight, and longer stays. Very well priced, too. 

For more details check out

On the right track
Two original pre-independence steam locomotives have been restored to power the Revolution Express, a new heritage tourism experience in central Vietnam that will start in late 2024 or early 2025. 

Indochina Rail Tourist Service and Wafaifo Optimisers have signed a management agreement for Wafaifo Optimisers to manage the Revolution Express steam train, a new tourist experience in central Vietnam. 

The two original steam locomotives from the 1960s have been refurbed to prime condition and the locomotives will pull two fully appointed retro-styled carriages that can seat up to 57 passengers each, as well as a custom-made kitchen carriage and a baggage carriage.

The locomotives are the last remaining working steam ones in Vietnam, dating from the pre-independence era, both built locally in Vietnam, based on the French Mikado design. 

They have been restored over several years, using original parts and using the skills of the last remaining steam engineers working for Vietnam Railways.

The Revolution Express will make a return trip between Danang city and the former royal capital of Hue each day. Each journey will traverse the scenic Hai Van coastal mountain range and stop at Lang Co, adjacent to beautiful lagoon and beach scenery.

Served by staff in period costume, passengers will be able to enjoy light food and drinks as they view one of the most picturesque coastlines and mountain passes in south-east Asia.

Highlights of the tourist experience will include themed dining at the three railway stations on the route: Kim Lien (Danang), Lang Co and Hue. Each station will have its own menus and entertainment schedules to meet the arrival of the Revolution Express.

In Hue, the original train maintenance building is being refurbished as the Station Restaurant. The venue is being themed in an imperial manner befitting the history of Hue, the last bastion of the dynastic era in Vietnam.

In Lang Co, the restaurant will be themed to mark the independence that Vietnam enjoys today. Apart from a full restaurant offering, food carts will be on the station platform offering homemade ice cream, freshly squeezed fruit juices, Vietnamese coffee, and newly pressed sugar cane. Regular VNR-run trains all stop at Lang Co station for passenger refreshments.

Wafaifo Optimisers will be responsible for marketing, booking, and catering for the Revolution Express and its stations. The company will also open its own urban resort in the heritage city of Hoi An in the third quarter of this year.

Musical treats
The delightful Slovenian capital of Ljubljana comes alive with music and dance over the northern summer. The Ljubljana Festival is the main summer festival in Slovenia and is one of the oldest festivals in Ljubljana. And it runs for over two months.

Lucky for the locals, they get to experience all the fun for two jam-packed months of warm weather, blooming flowers, arts, and entertainment. The traditional opening concert on June 20 features the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra & Big Band and the RTV Slovenia Youth Choir.

Every summer the Ljubljana Festival makes an important contribution to the cultural life of Ljubljana – and entertains visitors – with a program covering a wide variety of genres, including ballet, opera and theatrical productions, musicals, chamber and symphony concerts, master classes, and children’s and youth workshops.

Highlights include the Ljubljana Festival events on the River Ljubljanica – the river that runs through the centre of the capital.

Among those participating will be the London Symphony Orchestra, the Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the ADDA Simfònica Alicante, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Filarmonica della Scala, and soloists including tenors Jonathan Tetelman and Juan Diego Flórez.

Entertainment will be provided by 4,000 artists from more than 40 countries.

The 72nd edition of the Ljubljana Festival will run from June 20 to September 3, when it will end with a gala concert by pianist Martha Argerich.

See and

Head south 
Winter in Hobart is the perfect time to explore Tasmania’s night sky, alive with vibrant stars and the ethereal Aurora Australis that projects hues of purple and green glows. One of Hobart’s leading hotels, The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, has just launched its “Skygazer” Experience.

The new offering is led by Tasmanian photographer and Aurora chaser Luke O’Brien, who will offer participants an intimate photography lesson, showcasing the stunning features of the southern night sky – subject to local weather conditions.

The Aurora – often too subtle for the naked eye – , its celestial presence is best viewed through digital lens photography. ‘”Skygazer” experience inclusions are a night sky photography session with Tasmanian photographer Luke O’Brien; transfers to and from the locations selected by the photographer; spiced Tasmanian apple cider; Tasmanian Waverley Mills merino wool scarf and The Aurora Chaser’s Handbook for guests to take home as a keepsake.

Comprising three linked buildings – Heritage, Art Deco, and a new contemporary design wing – The Tasman is the first Luxury Collection hotel in Australia.

For an overnight stay at The Tasman, rooms start from $350 per room per night.

Check out

The “Skygazer” Experience’ is bookable from June 1-August 31 from an additional $580 for an individual experience, or $450 per person for a group experience, bookable via the hotel concierge at (03) 6240 6000.

Check out more of Winsor’s stories at