Sunday, October 22, 2017

Chef Marco Cueva Brings The Taste of Peru to Bali

AYA Restaurant - Street Art Gallery



Chef Marco Cueva is a Peruvian chef with an effervescent love of cooking who is part owner of new restaurant AYA; a temple for the senses, with Peruvian fusion cuisine, international beats and eclectic global street art bringing a new level of modern street culture to the ever-cool Seminyak dining scene in Bali.


Marco Cueva’s culinary journey began in his native Lima, Peru and after graduating from culinary college it was not long before he found himself embarking on the first of many international cooking adventures, from high-end hotels in Costa Rica to his first stint in Bali at the perennial favourite La Favella, before a stint at the Royal Hideaway Playaca Resort in Mexico. But a sense of unfinished business and a desire to bring great Peruvian cuisine made from fresh local ingredients to Bali has seen him return to the Island of the Gods.



“I really love the food in Bali, with such a diverse range of flavors and available fresh ingredients,” said Chef Marco. “I love a lot of spice and by marrying traditional Peruvian recipes with the amazing local ingredients, I am creating dishes with the best of both worlds. Our dishes at AYA are presented in a very creative and ‘fancy’ way, but when you taste them it is like home, like my mother and grandmother would make, or the street vendors in Lima. I want to educate people to the wonderful varieties of flavor in Peruvian cooking, the flavors I grew up with, but with my own modern twist because for me cooking is all about flavor, flavor and more flavor.”




At AYA, Chef Marco brings his love of Peruvian street food alive with the addition of fresh, Balinese produce sourced from local growers that gives an Indonesian twist; from the vegetables, herbs and spices, fish and chicken down to the edible flowers, grown from seeds he gave to the farmers himself. Only the beef is sourced from Australia. There are influences from the indigenous Inca population and elements introduced by Asian immigrants, with a focus on Peruvian-Japanese (Nikkei) and Peruvian-Chinese (Chifa) fusion. Chef Marco creates a convivial and welcoming atmosphere through food that is casual and designed to be shared. He welcomes interaction with guests and is more than happy to describe the dishes and their provenance from his open kitchen as he creates them. The passion and joy he brings to creating great food is contagious and on display in every aspect of his craft.



“On the menu, we have everything; fish, meat, pasta, rice, saté, teppanyaki,” continued Chef Marco. “I want there to be something for absolutely everybody to enjoy, whether they are locals or tourists and when customers come to AYA they can choose to sit at the bar in front of me in the open kitchen and we can talk about the food and what they like. Then I make it and they are happy!”

A City in Action: Dubai Fitness Challenge

  • Unprecedented new initiative sees Dubai aiming to be most active city in the world
  • Residents encouraged to champion the movement and commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days
  • Free workout classes, pop up fitness locations and weekend family fun carnivals taking place across the city


His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai Government and Dubai Sports Council today launched the inaugural Dubai Fitness Challenge with the aim of motivating residents to take up physical activity and making Dubai the most active city in the world. This enterprising new Challenge seeks to inspire Dubai’s citizens, residents and visitors to boost their physical activity by committing to a minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days through a wide range of fitness activities, sports or exercise.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “Dubai aims to set an example for cities around the world in encouraging citizens to give high importance to physical activity and sports. We are very keen to spread a culture of fitness since we strongly believe that making physical activity and sports a part of their daily routines will help people significantly improve the quality of their lives. The Dubai Fitness Challenge has been designed to motivate people to pursue an active and energetic lifestyle. This complements other initiatives we are pursuing to transform Dubai itself into the world’s happiest city by providing a positive social environment and the conditions for an enriching lifestyle.”

Running from 20 October to 18 November 2017, the flagship Dubai Fitness Challenge is the Emirate’s only multi-activity, city-wide fitness movement to date. Encompassing all forms of activity – from walking, team sports, intense fitness regimes, paddle-boarding and aerobics to football, yoga, cycling and everything in between – this will be an exciting, action-packed and most importantly personally rewarding month of self-discovery, social interaction and enjoyment for everyone of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. It will also give participants the opportunity to experiment with new and exciting ways to improve their fitness levels, and experience the wide range of sports and exercise programmes that will be showcased across the city that they may not have tried before.


Highlights of the initiative include five weekend fitness carnivals starting at Safa Park on 20 and 21 October; celebrity guests, motivational experts and fitness professionals will make motivational appearances at various locations, dedicated events and live entertainment.

In addition to a packed schedule of daily fitness events, free exercise classes and dedicated community activities in each of Dubai’s neighbourhoods, Dubai Fitness Challenge will also feature a number of existing and highly successful partner events including Dubai Color Run, Dubai Mass Swim and Dubai Schools Fitness Games among others.

His Highness today challenged all government organisations, public sector and educational institutions to be the drivers of change. He called on them to take the lead in spearheading the fitness movement and urged the private sector to be equal contributors in this Year of Giving by supporting their employees to participate through simple actions like time allocated for exercise.


HE Helal Saeed Almarri – Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing commented: “With the launch of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, we aim to become the most active city in the world, motivating everyone across all ages, and fitness levels, to start with small steps that will benefit them and their families. With just 30 minutes of physical activity each day for 30 days, we are confident that the city will begin to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle as a choice for life.”

“We want everyone to join this inclusive initiative, from those who have never exercised to those that are fitness enthusiasts, from the young to the old and the people of determination, and the entire community including schools, businesses and government organisations across Dubai. It’s the perfect trigger to make a positive change to one’s life, for the less active to challenge themselves to set higher goals, for those already committed to an active lifestyle to push their limits and be the motivators for the wider community. With a packed calendar of fitness events and healthy activities across the month, residents should view this as a fun and interactive way to spend quality time with friends and family for the collective benefit of all. In this Year of Giving, Dubai Fitness Challenge is an opportunity to give not just to ourselves but also to others, and we are confident that the people of Dubai will get behind this movement wholeheartedly.”


Encompassing a huge range of sporting events and supported by partners from across the public and private sectors, Dubai Fitness Challenge boasts a packed diary of exciting and inspiring fitness activities throughout the month in locations across the city. With hundreds of events, classes and activities completely free of charge, there’s no excuse not to join in. To register and pledge your commitment to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days, simply visit www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com. Once the challenge starts, be sure to download the Dubai Fitness Challenge App to track your performance, discover events and unlock exciting rewards.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Once Upon a Belmond



Healthy Life, Happy Heart

Surrounded by natural beauty and lush vegetation, Kinan Spa at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, launches a three-day wellness retreat with curated experiences to nourish the soul and body and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy life, Happy Heart is a new package to bring guests peace of mind and a chance to slow down and reconnect with nature and their inner self.

DAY 1
Releasing ceremony at the beach – a Shaman starts the ceremony with an energy cleansing using a mix of copal crystals and medicinal herbs. An offering is made to the ‘Universe’ with local flowers along a good intention to complete the circle.

Private consultation – guests are invited for a tour of the spa and a private consultation with Spa Manager, Cinthya Alva, to discuss personal objectives and how to make the most of their retreat.

Aromatherapy Blending – takes place as a workshop to create the combination of essential oils for improvement of mood and nurture the skin.

DAY 2
Private yoga with healing music – personalised Hatha Yoga class with healing music will help to increase flexibility, energy levels, cleanse the body from toxins and decrease stress levels.

Nutritional consultation –a nutritional expert guides an in-depth session on diet, healthy eating and methods of detoxing the body and guests will receive tips and recipes to ensure they achieve their goals.

Kinan body glow 30 minutes – the magic of Kinan Spa is experienced with a slimming exfoliation and reaffirming sapphire salts by Gemology cosmetics.


DAY 3
Private meditation – at the enchanting Yoga Palapa, guests enjoy a meditation class that is a primary method of self-healing and gateway to self-awareness – scientifically proven to reduce both heart rate and blood pressure, in addition to helping with sleep and healthy eating.

Detox body wrap 50 minutes – heated cotton sheets infused with herbs are wrapped around the body to draw toxins to the surface. A Melipona bee honey from the spa’s own honey bee harvest is then used as a body mask to clean and rejuvenate skin.

Cilantro Juice Bar – a visit to the Cilantro Juice Bar is where guests can learn about the benefits of superfoods and enjoy a tasting of the different type of kombucha -raw probiotics – prepared locally.

Alila Jabal Akhdar’s New Spa Arbour


Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman, at 2,000 metres above sea level overlooking the dramatic gorge and spectacular Al Hajar mountain range, has just introduced a new alfresco Spa Arbour, situated on the edge of the canyon, for some fabulous gravity defying Spa Alila indulgence.

Staying true to the Alila philosophy of creating bespoke and surprisingly different wellness experiences, the Spa Arbour blends dramatic Omani vistas with Spa Alila treatments, inspired by the local traditions and delivered from the heart.

Spa Alila has created three exceptional treatments available exclusively at the Spa Arbour, to be enjoyed singly or for a couple.


On the Edge
A 60 or 90-minute slow-stroke massage with deep pressure focus on the legs, lower back and shoulders. The masseuse will use a blend of virgin coconut, local frankincense and vanilla massage oils with a gentle Thai stretching technique, which will release any lingering tension for complete relaxation.

60-minute single massage is USD55 and a couple’s massage is USD100
90-minute single massage is USD70 and a couple’s massage is USD130


Heart of the Mountain
A 60 or 90-minute Balinese full body massage, delivered from the heart through an age old technique that has been passed down from generations of Balinese healers.

60-minute single massage is USD50 and a couple’s massage is USD90
90-minute single massage is USD65 and a couple’s massage is USD120

Reach your Peak
This 60-minute revitalising treatment using enriched moisturising oils will leave guests feeling recharged and ready to go. The treatment combines an acupressure massage on the soles of the feet and hands with a therapeutic neck, shoulder and scalp massage.

60-minute single massage is USD45 and a couple’s massage is USD80


Guests looking to combine their Spa Alila indulgence with adrenaline-pumping hikes, can now attempt the Via Ferrata, a brand new protected climbing route. The Via Ferrata Cave Affair Experience involves walking over a cave mouth, traversing along the side of the canyon and ascending into a steep gully. Those looking for a gentler trail may enjoy the 90-minute Adventure Trek experience.

Rates at Alila Jabal Akhdar start from USD 428 for a Mountain View Suite on a half board basis excluding tax.

For more info please visit alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Robertson Quay Opens in Reinvigorated Neighbourhood in Singapore

The first international luxury hotel brand at The Quayside, Robertson Quay, is set to impress with its residential-inspired hotel concept 


Set amidst a dynamic, sophisticated neighbourhood along the Singapore River, known for its dining options and arts houses, the luxury hotel has been carefully curated by world- class designers, architects and culinary purveyors. Located just a few minutes from the CBD, the hotel still maintains a stylish but laid back, relaxed feel in the leafy, upscale neighbourhood of Robertson Quay. The hotel offers 225 luxurious studios and suites, including an expansive Penthouse, which has unparalleled views of both the Singapore River and vibrant city via floor-to-ceiling windows.


Designed by award-winning architect firm, SCDA, the residential-inspired property combines elements from Robertson Quay’s industrial and intriguing past with sleek contemporary finishes using rich Italian marble, slate, brushed copper and bronzes, whilst seamlessly blending into the residential surrounds. The light- filled room interiors have been designed to magnify the familiar comforts of home. Guests can sink into soft, plush, custom-made furnishings and enjoy bespoke amenities such as a specially designed in-room cocktail kit by local bar guru’s Proof & Co.


InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is fully equipped for business travellers, with five intimate meeting and event spaces as well as an exclusive 24-hour Club InterContinental lounge. Club guests will enjoy access to tailored and personalised services, including a dedicated team to personalise their stay, private in room or lounge check-in and impressive Club rooms. Quayside Lounge, which is set amongst lush tropical surroundings on level four, offers sophisticated afternoon tea and curated evening cocktails. Guests looking to maintain their wellness routines can look forward to recreational facilities such as the lap pool and 24-hour fitness studio.



Established as part of a holistic dining and lifestyle destination, the hotel boasts a wide range of restaurant and bar concepts. Flagship restaurant Publico, representing the central core of Italian culture, is a multi- concept dining destination comprising a variety of Italian experiences under one roof – a neighbourhood deli and bar and a ristorante with adjoining terrazzo by the river. Other highlights throughout the hotel include New York institution Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, and a bar and dining concept from the team behind Izy Sushi.


“InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay has been created and positioned to make you feel at home, to bring an inspiring lifestyle offering to both the local community and visitors alike. With a fresh, residential- inspired design feel across the property and a plethora of dynamic food and beverage outlets, we are excited to bring a new InterContinental to centre stage in Singapore, and in the city’s most reinvigorated neighbourhood,” said Mark Winterton, General Manager of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay.

Room rates at the hotel start from SGD285++ as part of an opening offer for stays between 12 October and 30 November 2017.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

French “Bistronomie” by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Hospitality group’s talented chefs take inspiration from global culinary movement to create seven exclusive dishes for latest food promotion


Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is bringing the best of “bistro” and “gastronomy” to its restaurants around the world in its latest “Bistronomie” food promotion, which runs from October 20 to November 20, 2017.

Taking inspiration from a trend that started in France two decades ago and has now become a global culinary movement, the hospitality group’s talented chefs have created seven exclusives “Bistronomie” dishes.



The “Bistronomie” concept was conceived in the 1990s when young French chefs with haute cuisine training re-interpreted classic dishes and served them in a new breed of casual, less stuffy, “bistro”-style restaurants.

Today, “Bistronomie” is synonymous with high-quality French cuisine with a twist and Mövenpick, which is renowned for its culinary expertise, has mastered it.

Made from the best quality ingredients and prepared to perfection, the seven dishes on its new “Bistronomie” menu include “Salade Niçoise”, “Plateau de Fruits de Mer” (Seafood platter), “Moules Marinières” (Mussels with garlic and sweet cream butter), “Cabillaud à la Bordelaise” (Cod fillet), “Pot au Feu à la Bourgeoise” (Beef topside hot pot) and “Cordon-bleu au Comté” (Veal rump steak).


In line with the company’s commitment to offering personalised experiences, the individual preferences and tastes of guests have been taken into consideration, with vegetarian options available – “Pot au Feu Végétarien” (Vegetable hot pot) - for example. In addition, some dishes such as the seafood platter are customisable to include specific ingredients selected by diners.



Guests with a sweet tooth are also in for a treat with Mövenpick’s version of “Café Gourmand” – a French take on the British “afternoon tea”. The “Bistronomie” “Café Gourmand” combines aromatic Mövenpick coffee with “Reine de Saba” (“Queen of Sheba”), an irresistible chocolate cake baked with Mövenpick’s very own 72% cocoa Swiss chocolate.

“When it comes to gastronomy, Mövenpick is a pioneer, known for its culinary innovation and ability to create classic dishes with a twist, which is very much akin to the “Bistronomie” movement,” said Olivier Chavy, President and CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.


Thomas Hollenstein, Director of Food & Beverage Europe, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, who has led the team of chefs developing the “Bistronomie” dishes, added: “We have encapsulated the essence of French cuisine, but in a fresh and exciting form and importantly, acknowledging the personal tastes of our discerning diners and guests around the world.”

More information: Bistronomie

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Grow Up Rooftop Bar



Breathtaking sunset views and laidback tropical beats combine to make GROW UP Seminyak’s hottest new hidden rooftop bar. High above the island’s busy roads and beaches, GROW UP is nestled in the vibrant heart of Bali and is fast garnering a reputation as the more wayward, wilder sister concept to famed Chef Ryan Clift’s GROW restaurant.



Offering an entirely new drinking experience for Bali’s discerning local and international guests, an eclectically and meticulously designed al-fresco terrace provides an inviting space with a distinctively urban edge, inviting guests to indulge in pre-dinner drinks and post-meal digestifs. Chef Ryan’s cutting-edge bar menu offers Seminyak’s most sophisticated cocktails and bar bites – an inspired selection of unique beverages created to trigger past memories through fine flavours and sultry fragrances. Highlights include the Mango Natan, a subtle blend of dark rum, passion fruit syrup, mango purée, lemon juice and basil leaf; and the Kupu-Kupu, which is an exuberant concoction of tequila, Cointreau, lime and rose. The Fla-Min-Grow (pictured) is an equatorial coup de grace with dark and light rum, lime, pineapple juice, beetroot and coconut cream while the Kupu-Kupu is a flavour bomb crafted from tequila, Cointreau, lime and rose.



A selection of refined small plates served as the perfect accompaniment to the creative array of beverages and include steak tartare dressed with an egg yolk nestling in its shell, and confit of duck and cashew rillettes.

GROW UP Rooftop Bar hosts guest DJ’s as part of a diverse and regular weekly entertainment schedule, which makes the venue a stylish party hotspot with a sophisticated culinary edge - a playful addition to the Bali cocktail scene.

GROW UP Rooftop Bar is open Monday – Sunday from 5pm – Midnight.


About Chef Ryan Clift
A few years ago, 10 of the world’s greatest chefs named Ryan Clift as the gastronomic superstar of tomorrow. Originally from Devizes, Wiltshire, in the United Kingdom, Ryan Clift was immediately drawn to the high energy and atmosphere of the kitchen. Over the course of his 27-year career, Clift has worked with some of the world’s best chefs, including Marco-Pierre White, Peter Gordon, Emmanuel Renaut, Shannon Benne and Raymond Capaldi. In 1999, he moved to Melbourne as Head Chef of Vue de Monde, one of the Australia’s most acclaimed restaurants with Three Hats by The Age Good Food Guide.



Clift moved to Singapore in 2008 to start his own venture, determined to take modern food and cocktail pairing to a new level. Within a few years of opening, Tippling Club was named as one of Singapore’s top restaurants, earning a place in the annual Miele Guide compilations of Asia’s Top 20 Restaurants in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This year, Tippling Club debuted at #27 in the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and ranked at #11 at Asia’s 50 Best Bars.