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If travel is all about the experience then let

it start with where you spend the night and

swap a bland hotel room or hostel dorm for

a more unique bedroom


Fly direct between Brisbane and Melbourne with

Jetstar, Qantas, Tigerair and Virgin Australia

Fly from Brisbane with Singapore Airlines,

Etihad or Emirates for onward connections

to Amsterdam, Netherlands


Head for the heights

Sipping a cocktail while soaking up the view from a spa pool

50 metres above ground may sound like just another luxe

experience except when it’s from the top of the Faralda Crane

Hotel (



) – a feat of engineering in its recreation

as an exclusive three-suite ‘hotel’, built-in broadcast studio (at

15 metres up) and Panorama lounge. What used to be simply

Crane 13 for decades since the 1950s, and a workhorse in

the shipyard of NDSM across the river from the centre of

Amsterdam, is now a go-to hideout for DJs, musos and

creative types on the edge of the transformed artsy quarter –

Louis Vuitton, Samsung and the James Bond franchise have

all had launches there.

The makeover has been authentic and the crane’s arm

still moves gently in the wind, offering up a slightly

different view depending on the weather. A lift whisks

guests up to the double suites (situated from 35-50

metres up) and each one includes a freestanding bath with

spectacular views from the window across the River IJ

(pronounced ‘eye’), while a more thrilling way down is to

do the bungee jump from the top.

Faralda can turn on the luxe experience for guests with

limousine transfers from Schiphol Airport, a bodyguard and

hostess at your disposal (at extra cost) if required. Prices start

from about $650 per night per room (or more than $900

per night on weekends). Champagne breakfasts and mini bar

snacks are included but NDSM has been declared the third

most trendy area in the world and guests are perfectly placed

to explore the dining options on the doorstep, from smart

French to funky beach club. See

City oasis

James Fry has created a private oasis right in the heart of Melbourne’s laneway

network … so private that there’s an unmarked entrance and only guests are given

the directions and the code to access their accommodation. Notel is definitely not

a hotel. Parked on the rooftop of a city car park are six fully renovated and restored

1970s Airstream trailers that Fry imported from the US at a mammoth cost of

more than $90,000 each. Each one (

pictured below

) was lifted onto the rooftop

by a 50-tonne crane and has been refitted with five-star facilities including queen

size bed (with comfy posture mattresses and super soft bamboo sheets) a compact

ensuite and an outdoor deck. Complimentary WiFi, Netflix and mini bar (stocked

with piccolos of French champagne and gourmet chocolates) are included. There

is no concierge but help is at hand 24/7 if necessary and there’s no restaurant or

in-room dining – but the best of Melbourne is within walking distance and there’s

good coffee just downstairs (hand-delivered to your ‘suite’ in the morning). Notel

has been open only a few months and, like Faralda in Amsterdam (


), already

has become the darling of the fashion crowd and a popular venue for events.

Weekends are booked out months in advance. Costs from $395 per trailer per

night. See


| BNE November/December 2016