Level 8 Los Angeles

We separate travel experiences by category on this website: do, stay, drink and eat. Level 8 probably ticks all four of these boxes, and then some.

It’s the new behemoth that has transformed downtown Los Angeles.


It’s sprawled across 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space on level 8 of the brand new Moxy Hotel and AC Downtown Hotel, right across the road from where the Lakers play.

It’s a labyrinth that includes a Japanese restaurant, a South American restaurant, burlesque, an opulent poolside party area that looks like a modern Great Gatsby scene, and a luxurious Mexican church-themed bar that includes a confessional booth, which you’ll surely need to visit more than once. There’s even a 24 hour supermarket downstairs.

The cool thing about Level 8 is that it’s everything you need in one – a night out from dinner to a raucous party, to a filthy club boogie and right through to kick ons – without ever leaving the building.

Air New Zealand Skynest


Air New Zealand’s have taken out an award for airline innovation at the Crystal Cabin Awards during the week, with their Skynest concept winning the prize for giving the common person business class privileges.

The Skynest is a way to make sleeping more accessible on long haul flights for those that can’t afford business, and it might just pave the way for other airlines to follow suit.

The Skynest is a block of six sleep pods in a bunk bed configuration which can be rented in four hour slots each flight, allowing passengers to put their head down and actually lay flat for a while. Pretty handy for some of Air New Zealand’s flights, like the 17-hour direct flight between New York City and Auckland, which is one of the longest in the world. It’s been received well and

The Kiwis also added the Economy Skycouch to their growing range of ‘things that make your flight way better’.

It’s essentially just a row of economy seats that can change into a couch after take-off, with a special footrest on each set to make it a little more practical. It’s not rocket science, but like the Skynest, it helps you lay down and sleep on a flight – invaluable in our book.

The not so clever

While the Skynest and Skycouch have been hailed as universal winners, we’re not quite sure about the double decker concept, which has been floated in recent days as another potential innovation in the air.

The double-decker conceivably means more seats could be squeezed into a plan, and you would think more leg room down low.

The downside would be having the seat in front of you a few inches from your face at all times. It doesn’t look too comforting.

It is only a concept at this stage, but we couldn’t imagine many things much more claustrophobic than this seating arrangement for a long haul flight.

Credit: Archbishop of Banterbury

Sydney’s first wave pool

The surf revolution is well and truly underway.

UrbnSurf is opening the first wave pool in New South Wales at Olympic Park in Sydney, with completion expected in early-2024.

Surfing actually has a higher participation rate in New South Wales than Rugby League (2x), Basketball, Netball, Cricket, Hockey, Squash, Volleyball, AFL, Yoga and Fishing. Yet there are only so many beaches with decent waves, seemingly not enough to accommodate everyone.

The result? Turf wars and kook slams as every man and their dog (literally, see below) fight for a tiny piece of the ocean to get a wave on.


Enter wave pools: waves on cue, to thousands of people every single day, using the Wavegarden technology that closely intimates specific waves over and over again.

Wave pools are not a new thing, and UrbnSurf has actually been pumping in Melbourne since 2019. Prior to that the U.S. had a few of these bad bois before anyone else.

Some purists may turn up their nose at wave pools and yeh, we get it; you get the taste of chlorine over salt water, and you don’t have Australia’s beautiful beaches and rock faces to look back at.

But look at it this way. UrbnSurf in Sydney can take 1,000 surfers every day, which means 1,000 people that aren’t vying for waves in the beach. It’s a win-win, and more waves for everyone.

The Sydney set up will be similar to Melbourne. A variety of six different settings, spitting out waves suitable for everyone – from beginner groms through to Mick Fanning. There’ll be lessons for groms and adults alike, and a bar on-site where you can’t talk about the one that got away…because everyone was there to see it.

Paddle-boarding the Loboc

Green is usually reserved for thinking about Ireland, or salads, or traffic lights.

But get lost were on Bohol Island, Philippines recently, and whenever we think of the colour green from here on in, we think we’ll be thinking of the stunning Loboc River, which flows gently from the village of Carmen and into the Bohol Sea.

The vividness of the emerald green water, reflecting its jungle surrounds, makes for a surreal paddle downstream on a stand up paddleboard, which is surely made for this sort of journey. Alone except for occasionally floating past villagers doing a spot of fishing, this river is a spot tranquility, where you can get a work out as well. Pop in for a refreshing dip in the humid climate, or jump off one of many rope swings dotted along the river. Paddle as far and as fast, or as cruisey as you like.

Consider this your green light to go to the Philippines.

Top 5 from Saadiyat Island

Wealth and skyscrapers are probably your first thought when it comes to Abu Dhabi, but Saadiyat Island is proof that there’s heaps (read: HEAPS) more to it than this.

Think epic beaches, stunning wildlife, world class restaurants and a museum to rival some of the world’s best.  All on the one island!

Bet you didn’t know that?

Here’s get lost’s top five from Saadiyat Island:

1. Take it really easy on Saadiyat’s pristine, white               beaches

One thing that a lot of people don’t understand about Abu Dhabi is that the beaches are absolutely elite. None better than Saadiyat Beach, which has a well-deserved reputation as one the best beaches in the Emirates, accessed via a wood boardwalk in order to protect the beach’s native wildlife.
It’s also home to an uber cool beach club https://www.saadiyatbeachclub.ae/home

A perfect beach all to yourself

2. Unwind at Nurai Island

Alright, Nurai Island might technically be a different island to Saadiyat, but it’s so close, and so damn beautiful, that we have to include it. It’s only a ten-minute boat ride over calm waters, and we doubt you’ll ever stay anywhere more romantic than this private island. This is Emirati opulence meeting romance.

Now this is a room with a view!

3. Marvel at the wonderful wildlife

Saadiyat Island is a protected haven for wildlife and marine life. The island is home to animals you’ve never heard of, like the Arabian gazelles, graceful beasts that are as cool as their name would suggest, and are often spotted just cruising about the gaff, as if on a Sunday stroll, every day. If you’re lucky you might spot a Hawksbill turtle which seasonally nest on Saadiyat’s pristine beach. By the beach, bottlenose dolphins make frequent appearances and there is a kaleidoscope of vibrant birds to be spotted, if you are of a more aviary sort of inclination.

Who’s staring at who?

4. Get a bite at Mamsha Al Saadiyat

Mamsha Al Saadiyat is a beachfront community with a wide array of restaurants and cafes stretching across a beautiful promenade with breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf. They say don’t eat places with a view; Mamsha absolutely blows this out of the water. This is THE place to eat on Saadiyat.

5. Visit the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi

Saadiyat Island is home to the iconic Louvre…no not that one. With stunning architecture and a thought-provoking collection of modern art, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is understandably drawing people from all over the world. It takes a lot for a building to do that but you’ll get why when you walk through the doors of this place.

The Louvre is an absolute must when in Abu Dhabi.


Amorita, Philippines

Bohol is a curious place.

It’s the sort of place that is low key at night and up-tempo during the day. The Loboc River winds like a snake through the island and eventually out into the ocean, and its water, emerald green on a sunny day, is a stunning location for action and adventure; think stand-up paddle-boarding, fishing, swimming and rope swinging.

Amorita is where you want to be to take it easy at the end of a massive day on this island. It’s actually on an additional island called Pangalao, which is connected to Bohol by a little bridge at its southern end.

Amorita is a stunning collection of designer rooms and villas, and home to two of the most stunning swimming pools you’ll come across. Putting the arms up on the ledge of the beachside pool, and staring out at the water, seeing little fishing boats bobbing up and down as the locals go about their day gives you that surreal feeling that you are elsewhere in the world. Somewhere other than, and better than, home.

The bar serves a delicious rum-based cocktail called Maybe I Should, and speaking from experience, you absolutely should, until you shouldn’t, and even then, you should one more time.

There’s archery and a wellness centre and all of the things you expect from a place with such an excellent reputation, but the low key, unpretentious-while-still-classy vibe that emanates through the staff and then by osmosis seems to transfer to guests is what separates this from the cold, corporate luxury resorts that exist.

A Fresh Air Break in New York State

Imagine telling your grandparents that a holiday in the future would be going to a farm, collecting eggs from the chooks for breakfast and foraging for your own vegetables for dinner. Working, in other words.

But this is 2023, not 1923, and we can see why the fresh air of Wildflower will appeal to those over in the Big Apple only 90 minutes away.

This is a stay that offers break from the grind, the fresh food on your plate – you know it’s fresh when you pick it yourself. Wellness tourism is a growing trend and, although this has traditionally seen as spas and exercise, eating is obviously a major part of being healthy.

This isn’t any old farm, either. No sleeping in hay stacks here; rooms of bespoke luxury are tucked neatly beneath sweeping tree canopies or within wildflower fields, where it gets its name.

Whether you’re into this sort of holiday or not, it is refreshing to see hotels placing a premium on the most basic of human pleasures – like the crisp air of the Hudson Valley.

Epic Uluru Experience on it’s way

Just when you think they couldn’t do anything cooler up at Uluru, they go and drop this on us.

Wintjiri Wiru is the name of the extraordinary, brand-new light and drone show above Uluru, coming next week.

It brings to life the ancient dreamtime story of Mala via 1,000 luminous drones taking flight each night to lift the ancient images above Uluru and into the sky. Exquisite choreography and visual artistry is accompanied by a narration in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages, and a soundtrack with traditional inma recorded with members of the local Anangu community.

The number (1,000) of drones involved makes it the largest drone show of it’s kind on earth.

The result is a pretty cool marriage of technology and the world’s oldest continuous culture.

Two Wintjiri Wiru sound and light shows will run every night, until December, beginning next Thursday, 11 May in 2023. One show a night will take place in the months of January and February.

A three-hour sunset dinner precedes the experience, which includes welcome cocktails and canapes while the sun sets over the bloody serene setting of Kata Tjuta and Uluru. Once darkness has settled the dramatic sound and light show will begin.

We cannot wait.

Check out one of the teasers below:

Bói oh Bóia

Ever feel like you’re just floating along in life? Metaphorically drifting aimlessly, without direction while getting inebriated every weekend with your mates who are doing the same thing?

Well, now you can do that for real, and your mates can come too! Bóia is the Perth-based brand selling water-based products like the Harbour: a horseshoe-shaped floating chill area that is absolutely made for summer.

Imagine jumping on a Bóia with a few friends, and having either your own private island party or the ultimate place to relax, out on a lake or an ocean. Not bad.

Don’t have any friends? Say no more fam, just set your Bóia up at Cottesloe Beach or similar, and let the friends come to you (see below).

They’re perfect for bad bóis, good bóis and sk8r bóis alike.

There are a variety of different products available from $1,075 – get one here.

Air Asia re-launching flights to Thailand

We have liftoff!

Thai AirAsia X launched the first flights direct to Bangkok from Australia since the pandemic this week.

The budget airline, a branch of AirAsia, have sent plenty of Australians to the top Asian destinations over the years, and the opening of both the Melbourne to Bangkok, and Sydney to Bangkok route will be big news to the hordes of Aussies wanting to get back to the country’s pristine beaches and chaotic cities.

Almost a million Australian travellers flocked to Thailand every year before the pandemic – about 4% of the country. There are about 70,000 Thai born Australian residents.

Initial flight schedule: 

From To Departure time Arrival Days Beginning
Bangkok Sydney 00.30 14.15 Monday
2 December


Bangkok 15.45 21.35 Monday
2 December


Melbourne 00.20 14.00 Wednesday
1 December
Melbourne   Bangkok 15.30 21.15 Wednesday
1 December