Hotels

Underground hotels not for the faint-hearted

TIP OF THE WEEK

DESCEND

Kerrie O’Brien’s evocative description of White Cliffs, NSW (Traveller, February 27) omitted an important landmark, the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel (undergroundmotel.com.au). Not for the faint-hearted, rooms are buried deep underground at the end of catacomb-like corridors, and visitors are thoughtfully given a site map to help quell any insidious claustrophobia. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s as exhilarating as it is unique.

David Beins, Cooks Hill, New South Wales

RETRO ACTIVE

As we welcome the opening of international borders for travel, let’s not dampen the renewed interest in travel experiences in our own backyard. Let’s make sure to explore all possibilities to develop sustainable domestic tourism opportunities. Personally, I like the idea of ​​an escorted regional “self-drive” or “coach tour” that incorporates elements of our mid-century motels as well as traditional Chinese restaurants.

David Burt, Traralgon, VIC

EDITOR’S NOTE What are your own favorite classic country motels and Chinese restaurants and why in Australia? Let us know and we’ll post the most helpful answers.

DISCOMFORT STOP

We returned to Melbourne last month from the UK and although the flight and crew were as pleasant as before COVID, the layover in Singapore was a nightmare. To board the flight, we had to be fully vaccinated and test negative within the last 24-48 hours. Although the likelihood of people having COVID on the flight was very low, when we landed in Singapore we had to wait in our seats for an additional 45 minutes as our layover was two hours. Those with shorter layovers who were staying in Singapore were allowed to disembark earlier. Once off the plane we were lined up in the gate area, our next boarding pass was seen and stamped and a ribbon was tied to our right wrist. We were then escorted (or herded) through the airport, not allowed to stop for food or drink or even allowed to use the restroom. Even though our door was only 20 meters in front of us, we had to take the Changi Airport Skytrain which passed right past our door and then back down the lobby to our door. Here there was a small stall where we could buy a limited selection of items and we were eventually allowed to use the bathrooms. To top it off, once we passed the final security check at the gate, the fountain to refill water bottles was turned off. So my advice is to use the toilet on the plane before you leave, stock up on food and snacks from the plane or from home, and refill your drink bottle before you get off the plane.

Kate Fletcher, Pascoe Vale, VIC

WATCHING GOD

As a regular traveler to Bali, I was delighted to read your cover story, “Return to Paradise” (Traveller, February 27). It’s been over two long years since I’ve vacationed on “Island of the Gods”, and I for one can’t wait to get back to my happy place. A lot will have changed, but the unique culture, breathtaking scenery and that warm Balinese welcome will await travelers who have been drawn to this incredible island for decades. As COVID-19 nearly decimates the tourism industry, Balinese people need our support more than ever. It will be wonderful to come back and give back to this paradise island, where for more than 40 years I have experienced so many incredible adventures and indelible moments that I will never forget.

Jann Burmester, Byron Bay, New South Wales

WRITE AND WIN

Send us your best tips and tricks from your own travels in 100 words or less. Letters are subject to change and should include your address and phone number for verification. Note that we cannot accept letters/advice from operators regarding their own business.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Now that Bali is finally reopening, we’d love to hear some reader-specific tips and advice for a return visit to the beloved island.