Located on Denerau Island, three separate resorts – the Sheraton, Sheraton Villas and the Westin – from the same hotel family operate as one large, diverse complex.
Although slightly overwhelming, there are multiple benefits and facilities to enjoy, whether you’re on business, with a partner, friends or family. Including a range of eateries and bars (17 in total!) and various aesthetics within the rooms...
The Westin has a slightly more traditional look, with lots of timber and Fijian artworks in the rooms, while the Sheraton Villas feature wicker furnishings and great views of the water. At the Sheraton Resort, motifs take cues from Fijian icons such as the ubiquitous frangipani and the almost-sacred turtle.
Outside, there are seven pools to choose from. For a child-free option head to the lap pool in the Heavenly Spa, accessible to all hotel guests regardless of whether you’re having a treatment (a massage in an individual, open-air bure is great if you have time though).
Plenty of family-friendly amenities as well, including the Lai Lai Kid’s Club, a dedicated children’s pools, plus those under 12 years stay, play and eat for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
If you’re planning to work, bring your own laptop, as you may have to fight for a computer in the business centre. But make sure you take some time to play, either at the Denerau Golf & Racquet Club or on the bowling green.
Note: the Coco Palms Fire Walking and Cultural Show at the Westin is great, but DO NOT try at home.
What we love most: The beautiful timber façade and the way it sits in the suburban landscape.
We love homes that start with a simple, small idea and grows organically. A home should be the practical representation of our ideas, our thoughts and our ways of life.
So this home by Vibe Design Group in Kew, Melbourne, caught our attention with its 1960s/70s inspired façade. We get the story of the Kew House from Vibe’s Michael O’Sullivan.
How did the house come to be?
The owners actually came to our office with the intention of moving into property development. Common ground was that they were focused on presenting projects with high design content supporting a different visual approach.
What inspired the design for this home?
In the early design phase we were looking to create an open, more interactive street presence.
The actual front façade was inspired by 60s and early 70s stereo cabinets with the slatted timber reflecting the slotted speaker elements, in this case they accommodate the covered entry and private en suite window. It sits lightly balanced on angled steel posts again reminiscent of the stereo cabinet legs.
How does the home respect its surroundings?
The home sits well in its treed environs, we have chosen Silvertop Ash as the cladding as the eventual grey colour will blend and afford a sense of belonging in the treed backdrop. The Studley Park area contains many contemporary dwellings.
Could you tell us a little about your choice of materials?
We chose Silvertop Ash for its ability to assimilate into the surrounds, offering a very different visual affect. To the North the timber is still evident but only on the third storey – as from this vantage point we wanted the upper level to appear as a tree house.
ExoTec Façade Panel System was the other main material we used because it offers a refreshing contrast to the timber.
What is the significance of the cut-out element that runs along the rear of the building?
The cut out element directs the line of sight down to the pool, BBQ area and backyard space – protecting privacy. It also has the shape and feel of a stylus in the play position.
How about the interiors; what's the story there?
The interior begins with a flat veneer wall on approach. We wanted the feeling to be like you are at the base of a huge tree.
Practically, it houses the cloak, powder room, cellar and on into the integrated kitchen. It’s all achieved with hidden doors that, when opened, offer an unexpected result.
Could you tell us about your favourite part of the house and why you love it?
The front façade. The house is open yet private and the timber feature wall of the interior invites a journey of discovery.
We aim to avoid the use of front fences, we don’t contribute to the claustrophobic effect in the streetscape that 2.1 metre high brick fences have.
Vibe Design Group
These lovely stools – called ‘CODE’ – are the handiwork of a very talented Brisbane designer, Fukutoshi Ueno (otherwise known as Toshi).
Toshi and Akira
But! And here’s the cool part – it’s not just the form that makes these so special...
The beautiful surface designs are by Sydney fashion designer, Akira Isogawa, who has applied kimono-inspired prints to the surface of each ‘CODE’… thus transforming them into ‘DRESS CODE’.
‘CODE’ itself has a history of beauty and intrigue – inspired by the symbols assigned to the mistresses of the 11th Century Japanese nobleman, Hikaru Genji.
As a small table, stool, or art-piece in its own right, ‘CODE’ “will forever re-invent and transform themselves,” says Fukutoshi.
Of the kimono prints, Akira says: “When I first came to Sydney in 1986, I remember looking at kimono fabric and I realised how different it appeared under the bright intensity of the Australian sun.
“I began to see the kimono as a modern idea, not just something buried in tradition,” he says.
You can see the ‘DRESS CODE’ stools at The National Gallery of Australia until late 2011.
Better still, you can buy one directly from their manufacturer and distributer, Blok Furniture.
The story of Aussie company Crumpler is a heart-warming one. From making courier satchels in a shed in Victoria’s Ballarat to stores and distributors throughout the world, Crumpler is an often-told success story.
Well, they’ve celebrated another of their latest successes with the opening of their store in The Strand. The new store has been designed by Ryan Russell and features the materials and styling synonymous with the quirky Crumpler brand.
[lg_folder folder="stories/2011/april-11/connect/crumpler/crumpler" display="slide"]
The 2012 model represents an evolution of the iconic design. According to the company the car represents “a new original”, with the whole car being “remade” and rethought from scratch, while injecting the Volkwagen and Beetle DNA.
Following on from the success of the 1998 release of The New Beetle, this latest design shifts the familiar aesthetic. Where The New Beetle was a relatively faithful representation of the original, the new model is wider, lower and slightly less ‘bubble-like’.
The windscreen, for instance, is now a lot less steep and features a ‘step’ where glass meets roof – eliminating the 3 perfect arcs of the ’98 model.
Small design touches make the car feel ‘very Beetle’, including the rear spoiler – which is black on the top-side despite the car colour – and the unmistakable pronounced wheel arches.
Inside, the interiors are very modern, with little reference to the original beetle, reflecting part of the design intent: “The Beetle is now characterised by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness,” explains Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for Volkswagen Brand. “A new dynamism.”
It’s touted as being the most fuel-efficient model yet (perhaps unsurprising considering the advances in motor technology in the last 10 years). You can see in this video that they don’t mind opening the throttle on a dusty field though, perhaps not the best use of fuel, but fun nonetheless.
All things considered though, it seems a completely new car that feels vaguely reminiscent of the classic. No doubt there’ll be a few Beetle fanatics that have something to say about this one!
Local context was behind Aesop’s first West Australian store in Claremont Quarter, which is one of Perth’s most exciting retail developments.
Melbourne-based Ryan Russell for Russell & George is the architect behind the design and he’s no stranger to the Aesop philosophy (think the award-winning Doncaster, Armadale, Chatswood, plus numerous counters in Australia and Asia).
However, he says the Claremont space differs from the usual store design due to its position.
“Every site has its own challenges and this one had a street and mall frontage, so we had to create a design to suit both. We went for a suspended element that echoes steel gantries, which are used in mining,” says Ryan, adding that mining and the WA landscape were references for the store.
The Kimberley inspired the sandstone counter, which is the store’s centrepiece, given a hit of glam overhead with a gold-coloured vintage Danish pendant from Vamp Vintage Design.
“We used [sandstone] on the counter because it is such a beautiful material to touch and as a colour contrast to the Aesop bottles,” says Ryan. A custom-designed undermounted sink with industrial-style Gessi Oxygene Hi Tech mixers is to one side.
Cork has been used underfoot and to clad the counter – “a reference to the desert landscape” – for its acoustic properties and tactility. It’s complemented by a ceiling and walls of Masonite pegboard (using the dark side, which has been sealed for a darker tone) and contrasted with green paint (Dulux Yucca) within the pegboard cubes and on walls.
The colour gives an element of surprise and was inspired by the colour of the Indian Ocean off Rottnest Island, which is just off the west coast.
“We wanted to make it inviting and comfortable and give it a level of interest and detail that provides intrigue and allows people to inhabit the space,” Ryan explains.
Photography by Stephen Nicholls
Located in Scape, a designated community hub for youths in the city, A Curious Teepee (ACT) is getting some curious attention and here's why: it's a retail store, café/bar and social space rolled into one, the product mix and gallery layout constantly evolves, and it places equal emphasis on Singapore design and crafted objects from around the globe.
ACT has colour and quirk, and more than 80 curated brands encompassing fashion, homeware, stationery and more. Intrigued, we pose Tracy Phillips these questions.
How did A Curious Teepee come about?
We were initially hired by Scape to manage and curate one of their floors for young entrepreneurs but URA zoning restrictions prevented us from moving forward a year into the planning.
When we were offered a tenancy instead, we had to decide how to satisfy some of our initial ideals of developing, inspiring and working with the creative community while running a commercial business and A Curious Teepee began to materialise.
A lifestyle store where we could indulge our interests in design and support the people behind it, as well as an Food and Beverage component that could facilitate the programming we wanted to put out.
Why the name A Curious Teepee?
We wanted a whimsical name that worked on the imagination and picked the word 'teepee' because of its inferences to home, travel, craftsmanship and being part of a tribe.
What are some of the great finds that you've come across in your numerous travels?
I love Future Classics for their modern take on classic looks and impeccable draping when worn. Areaware from New York makes great contemporary objects that add personality and life to any room, or home.
Why the 50/50 emphasis on Singapore designs and overseas products?
As a Singapore-based store one of our priorities should be to support homegrown products, or else who will? We’d like to be a destination for thoughtful, well-designed items from around the world, and in that regard Singapore has more than its fair share of talent.
Lamps from Design House Stockholm
Umbrella stand from Design House Stockholm
Located in Orchard Road we also have to cater to the tourist market and it makes sense to offer brands they can’t get back home while sharing an insight into our culture and design aesthetic in the process.
What projects do you have in the pipeline this year?
We have several talks and art exhibitions planned in store throughout the year, as well as new brands and in-house products to launch.
We’re also working on our online sales platform and our blog – acuriousteepee.com/blog – will be up by the time this story goes out.
A Curious Teepee
Six years is a long time to wait between dinners. But that has been the timeframe for Barossa-born, West Australian-based cook Sophie Zalokar for the launch of Foragers: a farm-based cooking school and luxury accommodation.
This much-lauded foodie with her cabinetmaker husband Chris have created a modern development in culinary tourism for WA’s Southern Forests region. “We have brought that in through the design and we hope people will feel they are in a special place doing something interesting,” Sophie says.
The couple, with their two children, have nestled into 19 acres at Pemberton, formerly called Pemberton Breakaway Cottages. Here, three new luxury chalets and a Field Kitchen are the talk of the WA foodie scene.
“We really wanted to have a modern building but wanted it to be in sympathy with the environment. We are fairly exposed in terms of access to a road – we are not 20km off the track into the bush – so, we needed the chalets to be interesting, but discreet,” explains Sophie.
Swiss-born Chris is a cabinetmaker and has worked with residential architects in Paris, so he and Sophie designed the new buildings and built them, with a little help from their friends and a registered builder.
With “modern but discreet” the mantra behind the look and feel, a ColorBond colour, Woodland Grey, is used on exterior cladding and steel to blend in with the subtle colour of the surrounding bush and give textural interest.
Inside, timber brings colour and warmth: most floors are beech – “a European timber we particularly love because of its ability to reflect light” – and blackbutt features in the chalets and in the dining room: a local blackbutt with a beautiful warm honey colour to it and a coastal blackbutt, which is different in colour due to the difference in iron levels in its native sand.
The Field kitchen has carpet tiles underfoot for their serviceability and acoustic benefits, while blackboard paint contrasts with the warmth of the local blackbutt and brings in a modern aesthetic (not to mention space for menus), and floor-to-ceiling windows give views to chooks scratching about outside.
Over the tables are enamel pendants Sophie eyed off for years at the Pemberton Bowling Green, which was being demolished. She saved them from the tip, renovated them and they now bring a local connection to the modern dining room.
The kitchen has been designed as a commercial operation, with Waldorf gas ovens, plus two Electrolux electric ovens and a gas cooktop for hands-on classes. Over the two island benches is a rack designed and made by Chris from fencing wire lined by blackbutt.
Artwork by Merrick Belyea
“We didn’t want it to be a commercial restaurant feel, we wanted it somewhere between that and a domestic dining room. To do that, you need to make it a warm, friendly environment and in a country context, but without the kitsch,” Sophie says.