Claude Monet exhibition to open in Sydney

Degas
Degas

Show me the Monet

Experiential art shows have suddenly become a big drawcard. And after the success of the Van Gogh Alive event in Sydney, organisers have come up with another painter to create an event around - Claude Monet.

The French painter best known for his love of nature and for creating impressionism - where light and colour were more important than realism - was a little less colourful than Van Gogh.

Monet & Friends - Life, Light & Colour is a multi-sensory experience to entertain the whole family. According to the organisers, Grande Experiences: "This is unlike any other ordinary art exhibition. The Impressionists' works have been displayed and enjoyed around the world for almost 200 years - but never like this."

Renoir

Renoir

A COVID-safe digital art experience, you'll get a unique opportunity to truly indulge your senses. Paintings are projected on an enormous scale, illuminating the bold brushstrokes of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and many more. In a rich, dynamic display of light, colour, sound and fragrance, the masterpieces of the Impressionists come to life.

Tickets for the March event are on sale mid-February.

Virgin on the ridiculous

It could all go pear-shaped again, but Virgin Australia has dropped 1.9 million airfares. The airline is calling it "Let the Good Times Fly" and prices are as low as $75 until Monday, February 8.

By early March, Virgin will have 40,000 seats between NSW and Queensland, with some sale fares available until September. Chris Hemsworth and his Hollywood friends will be especially pleased. Sydney-Ballina/Byron Bay starts from $75.

With Rex coming on stream soon with its new fleet of jets, and Jetstar keen to maintain its market, it's going to be a dogfight we can all enjoy.

Says Virgin: "The reopening of borders provides Australian travellers with another opportunity to go on a holiday, reconnect with loved ones, and to conduct business.

"Open borders also means more jobs for our people, and we want to get as many of our stood-down crew back to work as soon as possible, and so we're doing everything in our power to get Australians travelling again, and that starts with a great value fare that includes baggage, seat selection and Velocity Frequent Flyer points."

Explore more:virginaustralia.com

Watchdog in refunds row

It's been almost a year since the travel ban come into force, and still thousands of Australians are battling to get money back from hard-pressed travel companies.

The heartrending stories go both ways, with travellers chasing thousands of dollars and travel agents, facing a bleak future, struggling to get overseas hoteliers, coach companies and airlines to return fares.

Now the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stepped in to help "manage consumer expectations around COVID travel restrictions".

The ACCC website has advice about the right to a refund or credit for bookings impacted by COVID-related travel restrictions.

"In general, whether consumers are entitled to a refund for travel bookings cancelled due to government restrictions will depend on the terms and conditions of their booking," the website says, asking businesses to "treat consumers fairly and compassionately".

What should you do before booking any travel? The ACCC has a list of what to watch out for here.

Jail house rocks

A new Southern Highlands hotel, the Taylor's Crown Inn, will be opening in May.

It's set in the Berrima Vault House, which was originally hand-built by convicts in 1844 complete with jail cells which have been turned into private dining rooms.

Described as "a contemporary, historic 5-star members club and boutique accommodation", it is also tapping into the "workcation" trend, where you can stay in relative luxury and carry on with the job remotely.

"The retreat to scenic rural areas in search of a better lifestyle balance is now a reality. Berrima Vault House has been designed for those who no longer need to be based in the city, but still want a place to work, play and stay," says the website.

Our aim is to build a community of like-minded people with positive attitudes to appreciate progressive hospitality and lifestyle balance, regardless of age, gender or geography.

The Berrima Vault House is one of Australia's oldest public houses, so no need to pop out for a drink.

Explore more: berrimavaulthouse.com

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