Frequent Flyer: Alexander Downer

Alexander Downer, former foreign minister, partner at Bespoke Approach - a corporate advisory firm - with Nick Bolkus and Ian Smith.


Nothing can beat the Ciragan Palace Hotel in Istanbul. It is an old palace beautifully situated along the Bosphorus with spectacular views from Europe to Asia. Istanbul in itself is one of the world's 10 most interesting and exciting cities. To stay at the hotel in luxury in such a spectacular city is a privilege indeed.


The new alliance between Qantas and Emirates is perfect for me. It means I can fly directly from my home town of Adelaide to Dubai and then with just one change fly to any number of cities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East or elsewhere. Domestically, I'm in love with Qantas though I accept Virgin do a very professional job. So a marriage between Qantas and Emirates is for me a marriage made in heaven.


My favourite resort is on Lake Como. In the crotch of the lake lies the charming town of Bellagio which hosts the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. Dinner on the terrace at the Villa Serbelloni overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.


I like to travel light. If I can avoid it, I go without checked luggage. For years I had a yellow suitcase but baggage handlers at Heathrow airport finally smashed it. Qantas kindly replaced it but with a black suitcase.


Adapters for my suite of technology are essential. They are a little bulky and quite expensive so I'm looking for some technological genius to develop adapters which are small enough to slip in your pocket.