Author: Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

Hotel Review: The Pierside is the perfect base for Santa Monica

While a spate of skyscraping new-builds has given Downtown L.A. a much-needed kick into modernity, Santa Monica hasn’t added much to its hotel count over the last few years. The city of Santa Monica has around 40 hotels, including a few eye-popping grand dames like The Georgian Hotel (with its unforgettable candy blue exterior), the…

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The ultimate Mother’s Day gift guide for 2024: From technology to style

With Mother’s Day coming up, the inevitable choice anxiety is starting to settle in. “Mother’s Day Gift Guide” is frantically being searched on Google in the hopes that dependable publishers will sort through the product bog and serve up some curated suggestions. We aren’t sitting this one out at the AU review. Here’s our annual…

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Fiji Airways flight sale

PSA: Fiji Airways just dropped return flights to Fiji for less than $600

Fiji Airways, known for having one of the most extensive networks in the world, has just dropped a surprise sale that’ll run from now until 17th May. With a flexible travel window of 12 months, it marks one of the best ways for Aussies to jump of overseas and, most importantly, control when they actually…

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Interview: Blick Bassy chats about Africa meeting Australia with new single “MBONDI”

Blick Bassy is a master of world-building. One need only listen to songs like “Bengue” and “LoBa” to hear this African artist’s unquestionable talent at creating music that drips with feeling. Although his instrumentation is sparse and earthy, his vocals fill spaces with a soaring sense of soul. Having such a gift for vocals and…

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Miguel, Busta Rhymes, Metro Boomin & more lead stacked lineup for Promiseland

After a successful debut in 2022, three-day Gold Coast festival Promiseland is back. And not only that, but it’s dropped what may one of the most surprising and exciting line ups of the year. This comes after weeks of serious chatter in the music industry about the future of broad-spectrum music festivals such as Splendour…

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The Withings ScanWatch 2 is the best health tracker I’ve tested to date

Smartwatches still have a long way to go as a category and taking a more hybrid approach is the right way forward when it comes to mass adoption. As such, Withings is leading the charge when it comes to a device untethered to any one ecosystem (like Apple and Samsung). This puts the ScanWatch 2…

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This Swann AllSecure650 2K Wireless Security Kit is a one-stop-shop of home protection

Having to recharge a battery on a security camera is a pain. It’s always a pain. I’ve tested so many of these products over the years and will always prefer a wired connection simply because having wireless is just not worth the extra effort. I’m a forgetful person. Most people are forgetful people. It’s not…

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Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 Review: The new gold-standard

When it comes to the hyper-competitive market for truly wireless earbuds, there are three brands I think do it better than anyone else in the game. Sony, Jabra, and Sennheiser. All have their strengths (and weaknesses). Sony is the best when it comes to processing and noise cancelling, Jabra own it when it comes to…

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AU Favourites: 7 things worth checking out in April 2024

Welcome to AU Favourites, a new monthly column where our writers highlight several things they’ve been loving lately. Whether it’s a good read, new tech product, or even a piece of furniture. We’re lucky enough to go hands on with a lot of things across the many areas that we cover on this website. We…

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Five of the finest things I’ve eaten in the USA: From New York to San Antonio

Each year, James Beard hands me some fresh FOMO on a silver platter. The USA’s most prestigious culinary institution works similar to Michelin but is generally broader in criteria. In the past, I’ve been much more satisfied with something that’s been James Beard-approved rather than just Michelin-approved. Now, that’s not to say Michelin isn’t reliable,…

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Splendour in the Grass has been cancelled and it’s not as shocking as you think

Splendour in the Grass, which was scheduled to take place at North Byron Parklands from July 19th to July 21st, has been cancelled. Yes, not postponed. Cancelled. It’s been a wild few years for Australia’s most iconic multi-day festival, from pandemic delays to mudslides. Plus, there was a whopping 30% decline in attendance last year….

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Win a Curve Flex Laptop Stand for your work-from-home set up

Yep, WFH is still a thing and we’re constantly having to design our own work station so we can be as efficient as possible. One of the keys to this is a good laptop stand, so we got in touch with our mates at TwelveSouth and figured we’d do a little reader giveaway. We’ve for…

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5 reasons why Newcastle Food Month is worth the drive

Have you tried the new menu at Jana? Picked through the fresh seafood at Thermidor, had a nightcap at Vecina, or experienced the just-as-good-as-Totti’s offering at Alfies? If you’ve eaten your way around Sydney’s big-ticket restaurants, it’s time to get the drive on up to Newcastle. Because this sunny seaside town, fast climbing the ranks…

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Fiji Airways flight sale

PSA: Fiji Airways highlights the Pacific Islands with massive airfare sale

Dreaming of an island vacation? Fiji Airways has stepped in to make that dream a much more affordable reality with its latest flight sale, cutting airfares on services between Australia, Fiji and the rest of the Pacific from now through to next year. Jump on the sale now and you could score a flight from…

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One of Vivid Sydney’s long-time curators takes to the Middle East with Dhai Dubai

I’m staring up at the 67-metre tall Al Wasl Plaza as elaborate video works slide across the steelwork panels; a call to Prayer echoes through the air. The structure, which designers Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture revealed for Expo 2020 Dubai, is the perfect centrepiece for Dhabi Dubai. This small-scale light and arts festival…

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Fred again.. gives Sydney an arena-sized theatre performance (and lives up to the hype)

We live in a world where cynicism is constantly mistaken for wisdom or rationality. No one really cares when you tell your own story, unless they can see themselves in it. The best storytellers know this, which is why they’re adept at creating art that is relentlessly human. This is what separates a truly great…

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G Adventures steps into luxury travel with new Geluxe itineraries

Since 1990, G Adventures has been leading people around the world as one of the biggest tour operators in the travel industry. From National Geographic itineraries across the Galapagos Islands, to wildlife tours in Madagascar, this company has kept an adventurous spirit for decades. And continues to find new ways to open up the world,…

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AU Favourites: 5 things worth checking out in March 2024

Welcome to AU Favourites, a new monthly column where our writers highlight 5 things they’ve been loving lately. Whether it’s a good read, new tech product, or even a piece of furniture. We’re lucky enough to go hands on with a lot of things across the many areas that we cover on this website. We…

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Innovative new lifestyle hotel, Drifter, set for Australia and New Zealand

A new design-forward hotel brand is set for Australia and New Zealand, initially opening properties in Christchurch and Byron Bay. Drifter, a unique hybrid hotel concept, will add a unique lifestyle brand to these frequently visited locales, with plans to grow steadily with two more properties earmarked for 2025. Drifter Byron Bay and Drifter Christchurch…

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Turkish Airlines debuts in Australia, making Europe more accessible (and affordable)

When it comes flight prices, it’s all about competition. The more airlines flying in and out of a country, the better it is – for your budget at least. It’s a big deal when a major airline makes its debut in any market for the first time, and so one of the biggest news stories…

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Why Cook Islands is the ultimate tropical paradise for Australians

I just don’t think I’m an island person. Throw me into a warehouse rave in New York City and I’ll thrive. Take me driving through the dizzying hills of Tuscany and I’m good. Tell me about “island time,” however, and I’ll let out an audible groan. I’m not a patient person when I’m travelling. So…

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Sampha proves why is he one of the world’s most in-demand crooners at perfect Sydney show

There’s no point throughout Sampha’s generously paced, highly detailed performance at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion where it feels like the UK singer has made any sort of mistake or taken a wrong turn. From the smart lighting to the composition of his achingly vulnerable songs, the man demonstrated exactly why he has emerged as one of…

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Will Souled Out be the modern R&B festival Australia needs?

Scheduled for the tail-end of March, Souled Out by Whatslively will visit Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth with a solid line-up of on-trend R&B acts. I’ve typed similar sentences many times over the past decade, and I’ve watched sadly as R&B-flavoured festivals folded. Soulfest is the most obvious one, and slow ticket sales in…

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Fred Again surprise announces seven massive shows for Australia in March

You knew it was coming. And yes, megastar DJ and not-Taylor-Swift Fred Again didn’t just fly to Sydney to play one show. Last night Fred again.. made history at the Sydney Opera House – becoming the first-ever artist to announce, sell out, and perform at the iconic venue, all within 24 hours. Announced on Instagram…

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Taylor Swift debuts special mashups for Australia as part of Eras Tour

After seven mammoth nights in Australia – three in Melbourne, followed by four in Sydney – Taylor Swift has officially ended her the down under leg of her Eras Tour. And with it, she’s debuted a whole lot of exclusive mashups that have been the envy of fans worldwide. While Aussies usually draw the short…

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The Eric Andre Show Live came, saw and chugged some ranch in Sydney

Chug, Chug, Chug! The prevailing chant of The Eric Andre Show Live as the famed absurdist comic brought his touring live show to Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion this past weekend. Andre is right. Aussies love chugging things. And so each and every guest – singer Donny Benet, comedian Nikki Osbourne, and a few audience members –…

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Win a BookArc Flex Vertical Laptop Stand so you can tidy up your workspace

Ergonomics still counts for a lot when it comes to working. Your desk is your sanctuary when you’re working, and decluttering is one of the top productivity hacks that is consistent throughout contexts. A messy desk is a chaotic mind, and a chaotic mind is one with endless distractions. That’s why it always pays to…

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Sydney’s historic Sheraton Grand makes major play for diners with swanky Sydney Common

In some of the world’s greatest cities, such as New York and Tokyo, locals heading to hotels to eat and drink well is a thing. It’s a big thing. From Dowling’s in The Carlyle (NYC) to Nadaman in Shangri-La (Tokyo), some of the best meals I’ve had overseas have been in hotels. Sydney has always…

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3 great books to buy if you need some motivation right now

It’s not weak to admit that you lack motivation right now. Yes, sure, social media and toxic positivity have made it so we feel instantly ashamed and overwhelmed when we aren’t operating at our peak. But that’s largely bullshit. Identifying that you need a push, and then seeking that push – even if it takes…

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You can now get Sydney’s famous Gidley burger at The Rover in Surry Hills

Sydneysiders, I know what’s on your mind when you book into The Gidley’s moody bar area. You want that superlative signature burger. You know, the one with such a strong cult following that the popular steakhouse sells around 500 of them each week. That winning combination hasn’t changed over the years. A classic bun with…

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