Mega Sale

We’ve got over 30 destinations on sale! The hottest prices on accommodation at a huge range of destinations. We are also offering double rewards points on all paid bookings, for a limited time only!

 

Eligible destinations include:

France
Spain
Greece
Croatia
Germany
Netherlands
Switzerland
Ireland
Portugal
Turkey
Malta

Czech Republic
Hungary
Austria
Denmark
Japan
Hong Kong
Vietnam
China
Malaysia
Philippines
South Korea

Fiji
Vanuatu
New Zealand
Canada
Mexico
Cambodia
Argentina
South Africa
Chile
UAE
India

Simply make a paid booking on any of these destinations before 31 December 2017 to take advantage of these incredible prices!

Book now

Terms & Conditions

Rewards points will be allocated after the check out date of your booking. Should a paid booking cancel prior to departure, any points awarded will be reversed. Bookings made for personal use will be void. For full Rewards Points terms and conditions please visit https://www.exciteholidays.com/agents/rewards. Full conditions will be displayed at time of booking. Cancellation fees apply. Offers may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Excite Holidays is a registered trademark of Global Travel Specialists Pty Ltd (ABN 63101298248). Travel Agents License No 2TA 5363. Copyright © 2017 Excite Holidays.


Where to shop in Singapore


Singapore is forever evolving, in a sense growing into its own, that it’s impossible to give it a neat and convenient label. However, in recent years it has developed more personality and style of its own – from colonial to tropical, modern to indie, and traditional to urban. In terms of shopping, Singapore is considered one of Asia’s shopping capitals. And that’s what makes it so lovable.

You probably don’t need us to tell you about the trophy shopping spots like Paragon, ION Orchard, and Marina Bay Sands, but rather the designers, and boutiques you are not going to find in regular travel guides. That’s why we turned to the shopping experts at Travelshopa (www.travelshopa.com) for their loves, secret and hidden gems; spots you won’t find on the average high street.

In this guide you will discover some of Travelshopa’s favourite shopping addresses in Singapore, grouped into 8 areas. You may already know some of these places, and others we hope will surprise you. Each section includes the recommended type of traveller as well as some notable boutiques.

Singapore. It always exceeds expectations of first time visitors and continues to impress return visitors. Wander through these shopping precincts, and any shopping aficionado is bound to leave with an additional suitcase.


HAJI LANE

There is nothing up and coming about Haji Lane in Kampong Glam; it is well and truly up and come. Kampong Glam is an eclectic playground for rich culture, a thriving Malay heritage and a multitude of fashion and lifestyle options. Young and hip shopaholics flock to Haji Lane for on-trend women’s and men’s fashion, as well as fashion accessories. Culture-seekers should head to Bali Lane, Arab Street and Bussorah Street for traditional artisan works like Persian carpets, and Turkish lamps and hookahs.

Perfect for: Millennials and Culture-seekers

Standout boutiques: Salad Shop (25-27 Haji Lane), Kolombiana (64 Haji Lane) and Mondays Off (76 Haji Lane)

CHINATOWN

From old-fashioned teahouses to swarms of souvenirs, Chinatown’s atmospheric charm has to be seen to be believed. Shoppers with more refined tastes will find happiness along the historical shophouses of Ann Siang Hill and Telok Ayer where up-scale men’s ateliers, independent multi-label boutiques and bespoke tailors reside.

Perfect for: Culture-seekers and Foodies

Standout boutiques: Willow & Huxley (20 Amoy Street), Matter Prints (26A Pagoda Sreett), Aston Blake (89 Club Sreet 2nd Floor)

CITY HALL

City Hall holds many commercial complexes that house a discerning breed of fashion, home and lifestyle purveyors. Stretching from Stamford Road to Singapore River, the City Hall area is served by many shopping malls and high street labels including Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade, Millenia Walk, and Capitol Piazza.

Perfect for: Luxury Travellers and Empty-Nesters

Standout boutiques: Manifesto (#02-19 Capitol Piazza), The Emporium (#01-84 Millennia Walk), Laichan (#02-29 Raffles City Shopping Centre)

EAST COAST

Apart from a foodie destination, the East Coast neighbourhood is also an up-and-coming area with a host of shopping and lifestyle attractions. In recent times, independent craft shops, art and furniture galleries and design studios have made nest in cosy and bohemian Joo Chiat.

Perfect for: Foodies, Empty-nesters and Families

Standout boutiques: Hat of Cain (18 Joo Chiat Terrace), Cat Socrates (448 Joo Chiat Rd), TheAC (420 Joo Chiat Rd)

HOLLAND

Holland is home to many of the city’s private residential estates. Set against a suburban village feel, with pretty streets and in close proximity to Tanglin and Bukit Timah, it’s easy to see why it is one of the city’s most prestigious areas. Come to browse the various fashion and lifestyle boutiques, grab a coffee or settle in for some afternoon beverages.

Perfect for: Families, Empty-Nesters and Millennials

Standout boutiques: Bungalow 55 (#01-05A Cluny Court 501 Bukit Timah Road), Monocle Shop and Café (74 Jalan Kelabu Asap), Ong Shunmugam (#01-76 Jalan Merah Saga)

Notable mentions: Cluny Court and Sime Darby Centre

ORCHARD

On face value you would think that Orchard Road does not offer much more than well-known luxury and high street brands. However, within the row of massive multi-story malls, lies opportunity to discover the local brands of Singapore. To capture a sense of the local fashion scene, make a beeline for local designer hotspots like Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Gateway, Orchard Central and The Cathay. You will discover more hidden gems on the upper levels of ION Orchard and the basement of Wheelock Place, as well as Scotts Square and Pacific Plaza (just off Orchard on Scotts Road). As you can probably see, one day is not enough – so plan to spend at least two days browsing this world-class shopping strip.

Perfect for: Luxury Travellers, Millennials and Families

Standout boutiques: Rockstar by Soon Lee (#03-08 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard), Proof Living (#04-16 ION Orchard), Threadbare and Squirrel (#02-30 Wheelock Place),

Notable mentions: TANGS at Tangs Plaza (310 Orchard Road) and Robinsons: The Heeran (260 Orchard Road)

TIONG BAHRU

In the last few years all eyes have been on the hipster enclave Tiong Bahru. Beyond the art-deco residential blocks, indie cafes and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, lay quaint bookstores, chic interiors stores, bespoke jewellers and grungy vintage stores. It’s got it all. Interior lovers should put aside some time to visit multi-storey Tan Boon Liat Building, which has been dubbed the furniture hub of Singapore.

Perfect for: Culture Seekers and Millennials

Standout boutiques: Books Actually (9 Yong Siak Street), Marilyn Tan Jewellery (#01-71 Eng Hoon St), The Shophouse (#07-03 Tan Boon Liat Building), Journey East (#03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building)

TANGLIN

While Tanglin is best known as an expat residential area, it has attracted an impressive mix of lifestyle shops, fashion boutiques, premium toy stores and kid’s stores. Key malls are Tanglin Mall and Tudor Court, and within ten minutes (sweaty) walking distance is Dempsey Hill – an up and coming retail mecca filled with art galleries, antique shops, boutique furniture stores and shops offering fine rugs and carpets – a relaxing spot for shopping and dining.

Perfect for: Empty-Nesters and Families

Standout boutiques: Chateau De Sable (#02-13 Tanglin Mall), Edit Lifestyle (137-139 Tudor Court), Affordable Style Files (Blk 6A, Dempsey Road) Cuckoo (Blk 6B, Dempsey Road)


Family-friendly Fiji


Fiji is the perfect location for a family holiday. It’s a short flight from Australia and New Zealand, and many of the resorts do an incredible job catering to families. Family-friendly resorts must strike a balance by creating an environment where families can enjoy a range of activities together, as well as giving the parents a little bit of time away from the kids. There are a number of Fijian resorts across the country that are an absolute must for any family looking for the perfect getaway. Here are five of our favourites:


Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa

Yanuca

Located on Fiji’s Coral Coast, the Shangri-La combines natural beauty with a range of fun activities for the entire family. For the adults, there’s a nine-hole golf course, gym and day spa. The lagoon is the perfect spot for some watersports, and the resort features a dedicated children’s pool. The Little Chief’s Club will keep the kids entertained, and the Children’s Meal Plan makes the stay more affordable for families.

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Radisson Blu Resort

Denarau Island

The Denarau integrated resort area is perfect for families who want a stress-free Fijian holiday. For anyone travelling with children, minimising time in transit is pretty important, and with Denarau just 20 minutes’ drive from Nadi International Airport, you will be sitting by the pool in no time. Port Denarau is nearby, offering access to many of the outer islands and cruises. The Blu Banana Kids Club offers activities for kids from 1 to 12 years old. For the parents, Denarau Golf & Racquet club has a championship 18-hole golf course and a number of tennis courts, and the Radisson Blu offers a number of spa treatments at the Harmony Retreat Day Spa.

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InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

Natadola

Located on stunning Natadola Bay, the Intercontinental provides a blend of luxury and family-friendly activities. Large rooms ensure the whole family can stay in comfort, and the resort caters to kids extremely well, with dining options for children, separate pools for children and adults, a full-service kids club and a number of cultural activities such as dance lessons, cooking classes and local craft classes. For the adults, there’s a PGA recognised championship golf course and in-house spa.

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Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa

Denarau Island

The Sofitel knows how to cater to families. Family rooms are built with a child-friendly design in mind, include PlayStations and are located near the children’s pool. There are a number of playgrounds for kids, and a Children’s Club for those aged 3 to 6 years and 6 to 12 years old. Enjoy access to everything on offer in Denarau, including the Port Denarau Marina facility, and Big Bula Water Park.

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Sheraton Denarau Villas

Denarau Island

Sheraton Villas will ensure there’s space for the entire family, especially larger families or groups. The resort features 82 luxury two and three bedroom villas, with access to everything Denarau Island has to offer. The Sheraton allows guests access to the golf course, as well as the Westin Spa. With all the resorts on Denarau easily accessed along the waterfront, kids will have the opportunity to check out the various pools accessible at the Sheraton and Westin. Kids also get complimentary access to the LaiLai Kids Club with a number of daily activities.

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Fiji is an excellent destination for families, combining convenient travel times from Australia and New Zealand with a number of resorts that are designed to cater to both adults and children. With many of the resorts on islands like Denarau operating as integrated complexes, there are plenty of things to do to ensure the kids are always entertained. Combine all of this with a warm and friendly local people, and you can understand why families are always returning to this island paradise.


International trips for a long weekend

Australians have always had to suffer through extraordinarily long flights to see the rest of the world, but this has never stopped us from inflating our neck pillows and settling into three or four movies before touching down on the other side of the planet. We are prolific travellers, and well-renowned for our efforts.

But it doesn’t always have to be that way – there are many great international travel experiences on offer that require flights under six hours, from most of our capital cities (sorry Hobart*). Here are a few of our favourite destinations for those travellers wanting to get a stamp on their passport for a long weekend away:

Perth to Denpasar, Bali
(3hr 45m)

The west coast has been blessed with the option to fly to Bali for quick getaways, and have long taken advantage of it. A long weekend spent relaxing by the pool at one of Bali’s resorts is a reality for residents of Perth – something that’s a little more difficult for those on the east coast.

Explore Bali

Sydney to Port Vila, Vanuatu
(3hr 15m)

Sydneysiders aren’t without options when it comes to island getaways, with Vanuatu’s capital city just over three hours away. The island of Efate has some of the best dive locations in the South Pacific, along with excellent fishing and relaxing resort stays.

Explore Port Vila

Adelaide to Auckland, New Zealand
(4hr 15m)

For a city escape, Adelaide residents can pop over to the beautiful harbour city of Auckland in just over four hours. Enjoy beautiful natural scenery both on and off the water, world-class cuisine with the freshest produce and a colourful and exciting nightlife.

Explore Auckland

Brisbane to Nadi, Fiji
(3hr 30m)

Say Bula to Fiji, just three and a half hours’ flight from Brisbane. Nadi airport connects travellers to the Denarau integrated resort area, as well as resorts on outer islands such as Yasawa and Mamanuca via high speed ferry from Port Denarau.

Explore Fiji

Melbourne to Queenstown, New Zealand
(3hr 15m)

Adrenaline seekers will appreciate the short flight from Melbourne to Queenstown. Whether it’s winter or summer, there’s something in Queenstown or the surrounding mountains to raise the heart rate.

Explore Queenstown

Darwin to Manila, Philippines
(5hr 5m)

A short hop over to Manila opens one of Asia’s up-and-coming cities. Long known as a destination for sightseeing and local culture, Manila also has seen a growth in new and amazing restaurants, hip bars and cool galleries.

Explore Manila

Canberra to Wellington, New Zealand
(3hr 15m)

The capital cities of Australia and New Zealand have been connected for the first time, with Singapore Airlines flying the ‘Capital Express’ route from Canberra to the Windy Welly. In just over 3 hours, travellers will experience the exploding craft beer and coffee scene in Wellington.

Explore Wellington

*While Hobart doesn’t operate direct international flights, Hobart International Airport is the departure point for flights to Antarctica for the Australian Antarctic Division. Not relevant for this article, but pretty cool.


Getting to know Greece


You can expect nothing but sheer beauty in Greece, the land of the Gods. Sites like the Acropolis Parthenon and the many historic towns and beautiful beaches make it a popular destination for tourists of all interests.

Here are some of the lesser known places where you can get to know the real Greece in all its glory.


The Mastic Villages of Chios Island

Chios Island is the only place in the world where mastic trees grow. The resin from these trees was once regarded as worth its weight in gold (literally) during the Ottoman rule of Chios.
Today, you can visit the 24 mastic villages of Chios, which have remained standing since they were built in the middle ages. Geometric designs are etched into these villages, making them a sight to behold.

The town Poseidon's son founded

If you want the locals view on the most beautiful town in Greece, Nafplio is it. Legend states that it was founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon. Its history dates all the way back to prehistoric times when it provided soldiers to the Argonautic expedition and Trojan War. What really sets it aside is the architecture, which is different to other major Greek centres. It’s also highly inspired by Frankish, Venetian and Turkish influences that conquered the town over the years.

Escape the crowds on The Island of Naxos

The beaches of Greece are full of soft, white sand to press through your toes; and the Island of Naxos is no different. Naxos is a must visit and an absolute treasure trove of secluded beaches perfect for those looking to capture those intimate moments. The unfinished Temple of Apollo is the island's main attraction, with the Portara monument (or Ariadne’s Arch) the remaining structure left standing.
So for the perfect blend of pristine beaches, natural wonders and historic monuments and structures, Greece is your all-in-one destination for the ultimate holiday experience.


Italy's most unique hotels


The home of pizza, pasta, fashion and the most incredible ancient history, Italy is a must-see for all travellers.

Filled with culture and endless opportunities to explore, Italy is a place where adventure awaits on every corner, and travellers will be grateful for a deliciously soft bed to fall into each night.
With such picturesque surroundings, your accommodation should be just as breathtaking. The only problem with these hotels is you will never want to leave!


J.K. Place, Firenze

Part modern townhouse and part historic palazzo, this stylish boutique hotel in Florence is located only a short distance from restaurants and museums, and is a home away from home for its guests. Located on the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, there are a variety of different rooms for guests to choose from. Each are equipped with all the best modern day luxuries, including state-of-the-art technology and contemporary decor. In an age where the monogram is considered especially chic, the J.K. initials can often be hard to spot, but be confident in the fact that this is a private hotel situated in the most convenient and breathtaking location. The rooftop terrace offers views straight onto the Campanile and the Duomo - hearing its bells sound is particularly special, and this is certainly a place you will want to be seen. The hotel’s restaurant offers a delicious seasonal menu, and not to be missed is the Pink Room - a pop art inspired neon pink room where guests can indulge in delicious cocktails and fantastic conversation.

Boscolo Exedra, Rome

If Roman luxury is what you are after, look no further. Conveniently located close to restaurants, shops and the Metro, the luxurious Boscola Exedra offers guests the perfect mix of traditional furnishings and modern technology, and an experience they will never forget. The stunning terrace offers breathtaking views over Rome, with guests also given the opportunity to indulge at the hotel’s Wellness Spa, with many of the treatments finished off poolside to ensure you don’t miss a moment of the spectacular view. With the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum close by, and a variety of mouthwatering dishes on offer at the various restaurants and bars scattered throughout the hotel, guests are guaranteed to be immersed in the rich Italian culture.

San Clemente Palace Kempinski, Venice

Located on the private island of San Clemente, just a 10 minute boat ride from the iconic Piazza San Marco, this hotel offers guests a Venetian experience they will never forget! So exclusive is this hotel, it can only be accessed by the hotel’s own boats and water taxi services. The rooms are elegantly decorated and feature stunning chandeliers and high ceilings. The on-site restaurants have a strong focus on delicious locally-sourced ingredients, with dishes to suit every palate. The luxurious Acquerello Restaurants offers guests a fusion of modern Venetian and Mediterranean-inspired flavours, or for a more relaxed meal, Insieme Restaurant is the go-to. For the finest flowing champagne, visit the Clemente Bar, or for a relaxing tipple visit the outdoor Garden Bar - the options are endless!

Hotel Straf, Milan

Just a short stroll from the breathtaking Duomo Cathedral, Straf has been created using recyclable objects and unusual materials. Iconic in its own right, this hotel is a modern day work of art, and its unassuming facade gives no indication of the hidden treasure that awaits guests inside. The fresh crisp linen acts as the perfect contrast to the concrete, which features heavily throughout the hotel along with tones of deep bronze and gunmetal. Guests can unwind in their stylish rooms, choosing between a light or dark aesthetic. They can even enjoy a drink at the industrial-inspired bar, and dine on meals from the à la carte menu, whilst listening to an eclectic mix of vintage tracks, live music or even a DJ set.

Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, Matera

A truly unique hotel located in the Unesco-listed town of Matera in rural Italy, it has been intricately carved into and over limestone caves, with each section joined by narrow cobbled streets. Swedish-Italian entrepreneur Daniele Kihlgren, has breathed new life into these historic caves and paid tribute to the previous dwellers with an architectural masterpiece that has been meticulously planned, wired, piped and reassembled, with the varying ceiling heights and uneven flooring making it a culturally rich experience for travellers. With limited technology and no TV’s, the hotel is the perfect place to switch off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life - but don’t worry, WiFi is available throughout. Guests can indulge in a culinary delight at The Tasting Room, a fuss-free restaurant set in an ancient rock-hewn church. All food served here is organic, seasonal and locally sourced, and some of the best seats are the corner nooks carved into the stone walls. There is no bar, but guests are welcome to linger in the breakfast room with a glass or two of local wine. This hotel truly is a hidden gem!

Relais Villa San Martino, Martina Franca, Taranto

Nestled in a corner of Puglia, a southern region that forms the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, Relais Villa San Martino is a hidden gem that offers guests an enchanting sensory experience and world class hospitality. The perfect mix of traditional and modern furnishings, the hotel is a restored mansion and considered to be one of the most beautiful structures of the Itria Valley. Guests can embark on a gastronomical adventure, and treat the palate to high quality delicious dishes at Duca di Martina. They even have the opportunity to take part in cooking classes or venture out and explore on bikes, with the Basilica San Martino, Ducal Palace, Church of San Domenico and Church of Carmine close by - you really can do as little or as much as you like! The Spa of Villa San Martino offers guests a relaxing experience, with the highly trained staff and the true essence of nature creating the perfect combination for rejuvenation and revitalisation. This is a place where luxury abounds!


NEW SEARCH BAR USER GUIDE

With just one bar for all your search needs, you can now search by hotel name, location or place of interest, and results are updated in real time. In short, it’s fast, sleek and simple.
To ensure you can enjoy all that the new search bar has to offer, we have put together some resources for you to refer to, including a step-by-step video to guide you through the new features, and a downloadable PDF.

New Search Bar User Guide

Advanced Filters User Guide


International Women's Day


Today is International Women’s Day, and we are extremely proud to have so many incredible women on our team all around the world, across many different departments. The Excite women are passionate, intelligent and fantastic at what they do. Excite Holidays is a proud supporter of women in travel and the #BeBoldForChange movement. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for us with such incredible women on our team!

To show your support for International Women’s Day, head to www.internationalwomensday.com



Inspire your client's next adventure


Travel and tourism videos have the power to move people. Sometimes just emotionally, but other times you might feel so inspired that you end up actually visiting the destination. As a travel consultant, you can utilise travel videos to attract new clients to your business and also to inspire your current clients to book their next holiday with you.

Here are three of our all-time favourite travel videos. Share them with your clients and turn their curiosity into the holiday of a lifetime.


1. TOURISM AUSTRALIA, RESTAURANT AUSTRALIA
Warning – don’t watch this video on an empty stomach! This video showcases Australia’s bounty of food and wine experiences, like the exploring the Barossa Valley and sampling fresh oysters on Freycinet Peninsula.


2. SOUTH AFRICA, MEET SOUTH AFRICA
With over two million views on YouTube, this video encourages viewers to reconsider what they think they know about South Africa. If you’re not familiar with what South Africa has to offer, this video is essential viewing.


3. CANADIAN TOURISM, 35 MILLION DIRECTORS
Canadian Tourism asked locals to send in footage of their experiences in Canada and they received over 65 hours of footage. This video pulls together the best two minutes – it’s well worth a watch.



How to be a top agent


Travel Weekly sat down with Excite Holidays’ CTO Damian Sutton this week for an exclusive insight into the launch of our most innovative tool yet.


You told Excite Holidays you wanted more flexibility, more control over your bookings and the power to be more competitive.

WELL THEY LISTENED AND CREATED THE MOST INNOVATIVE TOOL YET – FLEXICOMM.
FlexiComm gives you the flexibility to tailor your bookings to suit each and every one of your clients, letting you push commission up or drag it back down so you control how much you get with every booking.

It empowers you with the tools you need to completely customise your sell price based on your client, and the competition.

AND IT’S EASY TOO! WE’LL BREAK IT DOWN FOR YOU:

  • FlexiComm means that you’ll be able to adjust the level of commission each time you make a booking and for each item, and control the profitability of each booking by setting your own gross rate at the time of payment.
  • In the style that Excite Holidays is well known for, FlexiComm has been developed to be easy to use and seamlessly integrates into the wholesaler’s current booking process.
  • You can slide the commission you would like to apply up or down depending on your client, and change it so you can increase your bottom line or reduce it to be more competitive.


According to Excite Holidays’ CTO, Damian Sutton, who shared the news first with Travel Weekly, this is the “first of many” features to come out of Excite, with a clear focus on “delivering the ultimate flexibility and simplicity to our travel agent partners.”

‘FlexiComm provides the tools to allow agents to be more flexible and provide the best service,” Sutton told Travel Weekly.

“IT WILL MAKE AGENTS MORE EFFECTIVE AT CONVERTING PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS, AND THEY DON’T NEED TO REVEAL OR USE THE COMMISSION SLIDER WHEN WITH THE CUSTOMER.”

Sutton said it gives agents “ultimate control” and if they don’t wish to alter their default commission settings, it’s just “business as usual”.

“The agents will have ultimate flexibility over what commission to set. It can reduce costs so agents can compete with other agents and offer a better deal, and control a price that best suits their clients.”

“GET READY FOR MANY MORE FEATURES LIKE FLEXICOMM.”