Marriott International has signed to manage the Courtyard by Marriott in Sydney’s Auburn and Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney’s Blacktown, with the properties slated to open in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

The Courtyard by Marriott is planned for 93 St Hilliers Road, Auburn, within close distance to the Parramatta River and Sydney Olympic Park and will be at the gateway to south-west Sydney.

Each of the hotel’s 203 guest rooms will have access to an outdoor pool with a sun deck, and a fitness centre with sauna and steam rooms.

It will also feature several of the Courtyard by Marriott brand’s signature amenities: The Bistro, an all-day, fast-casual restaurant featuring live stations, a collaborative lobby lounge space for guests to unwind, relax and socialise, and the 24/7 Market — a grab-and-go café serving bakery items and pastries.

Visit courtyard.marriott.com and four-points.marriott.com.

Castaway was filmed on Fiji’s deserted, picturesque Monuriki Island, but the resort on Castaway Island did snaffle the bar sign.

From books, movies, podcasts, recipes and virtual reality escapes, Fiji is still accessible to explore—it will just have to be done from your home for now.

As they say in Fiji, ‘sota tale’ … ‘see you soon’.

Watch Castaway, the 2000 classic movie, with Tom Hanks (who, yes, is also a recent survivor of covid-19) playing  a stranded executive who undergoes a physical and emotional transformation after crash landing on a deserted island in the South Pacific.

Meanwhile, drink a Malolo Mojito by Six Senses Fiji.

Take a handful of fresh mint, a teaspoon of organic sugar, 60ml Barcadi, soda water and ice cubes.

Muddle the fresh mint into a tall glass with the teaspoon of organic sugar.

Add ice and 60ml of Bacardi, top with soda water and mix together.

Top with a mint garnish and enjoy. Sota tale.

Visit www.fiji.travel.

 Artist’s rendition: the Viking Mississippi.

Viking has opened reservations to the public for its inaugural Mississippi River cruises, launching in 2022.

The company’s Viking Mississippi will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St Paul.

Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking’s new Mississippi River cruises are in seven US states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St Paul).

Viking Mississippi hosts 386 guests in 193, all outside, staterooms.

Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship will feature expansive windows and comfortable amenities.

Guests will enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free wifi.

Visit vikingcruises.com.au or phone 138 747.

New York City: backdrop to countless stories in television and film.

NYC & Company, the official destination-marketing organization for New York City, continues to spotlight ways armchair travellers can find an NYC-themed escape from the safety of home during the current global covid-19 situation.

The organisation invites past and future travellers to enjoy countless stories in television and film for which the city has served as a backdrop.

Whether it be an unplanned holiday trip, drama at an iconic museum, heroic battle in the shadow of NYC landmarks, friends experiencing daily life throughout the five boroughs, or anything in between, fans of any genre can get lost in a story set in the city while practising social distancing.

“In countless landmark films and television shows, New York City plays a starring role,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.

“As people all over the world stay home and stay safe, they can still engage with the city through this powerful medium and be thoroughly entertained until it’s time to visit again.”

Visit nycgo.com.

QT Hotels and Resorts: quirky style.

Staying true to its quirky and playful style, QT Hotels and Resorts across Australia have evolved to continue delivering the unexpected while reflecting the changing needs of guests in light of covid-19.

QT Hotels are personality-driven destinations to experience, and while life seems to have been turned upside down, QT remains dedicated to creating unique experiences to those who need a place to stay for essential business, to self-isolate, or as a base for working, when working from home is not an option.

Known for their landmark drinking and dining destinations, QT kitchens have given in-room dining a quirky culinary twist, combining QT classics with menu favourites from on-property dining institutions including Gowings, Pascale and Santini Bar & Grill.

QT is encouraging guests to dress up, dress down, or to simply slide into their signature black hooded robes and enjoy a suite of complimentary services including a new-release movie library complete with on-demand popcorn and choc tops.

QT properties are also offering 7-, 14- and 21-day ‘Home Away from Home’ long stays for essential travel or for those who need to self-isolate.

These include flexible check-in and check-out times, daily linen and Kevin Murphy amenities, QT’s  ‘Dream Beds’ and dedicated designer desks and working spaces.

Visit www.qthotels.com.

NOTE: Potential travellers should check the status of individual events and establishments with regard to the coronavirus outbreak.