Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Belmond Launches Art & Fashion in Motion 2018

Eastern & Oriental Express, Bangkok

Belmond launches Art & Fashion in Motion 2018 – a collaboration with local artists to bring guests closer to contemporary Asian culture. Art and Fashion meet travel as one of the nostalgic carriages received an artist’s makeover by Thai artist, Somnuek (Parn) Klangnok; with whimsical drawings evoking a sense of fantasy; and celebrating the glamour of travel, Thai fashion houseVvon Sugunnasil introduces stylish new uniforms.

Celebrating 25 years of iconic rail journeys this year, Eastern & Oriental Express embodies the golden age of romantic rail travel mixing old world glamour with new cutting-edge designs and modern artwork – contemporary nostalgia.

Rolling throughout Southeast Asia; Parn’s creations are inspired by the magical sensation of travelling in a fantasy world; inspired by Parn’s personal experience of travelling aboard Eastern & Oriental Express.

Cabin Stewart

Commenting on his work: “Travelling on the Eastern & Oriental Express was a magical experience. From beginning to end, I was pampered by gracious service and amazing food & drink. As dramatic landscapes and intriguing cultures lined the way, everything appeared in a different light of enchantment.”

Bar Team

Spa Therapist 

The artwork depicts an ethereal world of Princes & Princesses, adorned with beautiful flowers, travelling in their joyful fantasy world for eternity – celebrating the Art of Living Well.

Drawing inspiration from the Golden Age of Fashion, emerging talent, Thattaworn Sugunnasil has created a new collection of uniforms featuring French tailoring, an art developed during his time in Paris.

Founder and Creative Director of Vvon Sugunnasil, Thattaworn is the designer of choice for high fashionistas in Thailand with his designs featuring regularly in the pages of the top glossy magazines.

Commenting on his work: “My ideas for the Eastern & Oriental Express uniforms are inspired by the actual travel experience which is of a level beyond luxury; sensual onboard refinement and inspiring views along the way.”

The silhouettes frame a minimalist interpretation of classic Oriental style with sabai draping necklines, prominent buttons, and subtle adornments.

Individual uniforms are specifically designed for each area of the train; the Bar Manager is attired in elegant emerald silk whilst the Train Manager will wear a bespoke single-breasted charcoal suit. In the dining cars, waiters wear classic white shirts and black trouser ensembles with sharp lines for a contemporary twist. The train’s pianist, who is a legend aboard the rails, will wear striking red velvet – all featuring classic tailoring that reflects the timeless luxury of rail travel.

Eastern & Oriental Express travels on one of the most magical and memorable routes in the world. Travelling through stunning scenery from Singapore through Malaysia and across central and southern Thailand, to and from Bangkok.

With its iconic green and gold carriages and elegant interiors evoking the nostalgia and glamour of a bygone era, the train carries just 82 guests in ensuite air-conditioned cabins with two dining cars, a bar car and outdoor observation car from which to enjoy the scenic landscapes of Southeast Asia.

Khun Parn

The Chef draws inspiration from the route of the travels, for fine dining with contemporary twists. Dedicated 24-hour steward service ensures guests’ every comfort is attended to and off-board excursions add extra dimensions to the experience.

The ultimate in slow travel, Eastern & Oriental Express whisks guests away from the fast pace of everyday life for a peerless adventure on the rails.

For full details and bookings visit HERE or call reservations via number 001 800 8392 3500.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wilson Associates Brings Revolutionary Design to Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka

Wilson Associates unveils their revolutionary design in three leading hotels in Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka, to further underscore their position as the leaders in high- end hospitality design in Asia.

Redefining luxury hospitality, the three projects undertaken for Swissôtel, Sofitel and Marriott hotel groups were spearheaded by Wilson Associates’ Singapore office’s design duo: Aldwin Ong, Principal, and Leonard Lee, Asia Pacific Regional Managing Director and Regional Creative Officer.

Swissôtel The Stamford, Singapore
Phase one completed October 2017

One of Southeast Asia's tallest hotels, Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore completed the first phase of guestroom renovations in October 2017. The 73-story, 1,261-room Swissôtel draws its design influences from both Singapore and Switzerland. The Swiss attention to detailing was integral to the design of the guest rooms and the interior elements fit together like the mechanics of a Swiss timepiece. The hotel channels the effortless innovation and precision of the Swiss to effect simplicity in an urban setting. Everything in the room has a place and function, allowing guests to unwind in a contemporary, comfortable space.

Local flavour is accentuated through artworks which subtly weave Singaporean and Swiss themes into a continuous narrative. The design incorporates the Swiss Cross, re-invented as orange or red stitching on furniture, as well as in the artworks, the door pulls, the fabric patterns and the bed linens. Timber flooring features solid wood inserts reminiscent of a Swiss lodge and the rug designs are inspired by the timber flooring and veneer wooden wall slats.

A valet stand at the room entrance, with its many components and functions, is an analogy of the Swiss Watch box where everything has its place; added to the valet stand, an umbrella stand and a shoe platform further strengthen the local connection. The Swiss way of life is further reflected in the room snack basket designed with a picnic basket in mind, an accent chair that is a modern interpretation of the rocking chair, and a bedside table that is a new take on the Swiss life-saving brandy barrel.

In the bathrooms, each vanity counter features a “Vanity Box” packed full of toiletries with space for the guest to arrange their own items neatly – redolent of the Swiss watch boxes where everything has its place. Similarly, the minibar pays special attention to the placement of the condiments, cutlery, glasses and stemware.

Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opened September 2017

Located in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and the first Sofitel to open in Malaysia, this 17- story, 312-room hotel is situated in Damansara Heights. Wilson Associates was awarded the full scope for the 312-room Sofitel Hotel; from the guest rooms to the lobby, all day dining, restaurant, health club, ballroom, meeting rooms and executive lounge.

An existing 2,100 mm elevated platform posed both a challenge and the inspiration behind recreating the urban maze synonymous with Kuala Lumpur, a city whose different cultural enclaves meld together; where a fusion of cultural influences is reflected in the design and curated art pieces. By carving a series of raised platforms that gradually merge into different social zones, the elevated platform was made into an architectural feature to build a sense of anticipation in guests traversing from one space to another. It also subtly delineates the various social zones, creating pockets of space where guests can relax and unwind.

The entire lobby was re-oriented in a diagonal format to create a more dynamic social flow. A 10 meter suspended art installation at the entrance of the lobby is an abstract expression of the constant rain in Kuala Lumpur with the legends of local folklore inscribed into the transparent pieces.

All the artwork is bespoke and sourced locally, as is most of the furniture. The feature art “graffiti” wall facing the lobby features children’s fingerprints from across Damansara, a tribute to the children of Malaysia and showcasing the flora and fauna of the country.

The guestrooms include a walk-in closet and are contemporary in design with French influences evident in the burgundy accents, velvet and bespoke details. The rooms play on the definition of being “French” or how the French value personal appearances: a feature wall consists of a series of carved French vanity mirrors and whimsy is added with bespoke throw pillows in the bedrooms, with sunglasses and eyelashes representing men and women, respectively. Art pieces are integrated into the wall panels with a morphed Malaysian and French context displaying Malaysian flora and fauna with French prose.

The design of Le Bar centers on the 360-degree artisan coffee and pastry bar which links to the lobby and the all-day dining outlet. Towering metal screens inspired by the Wau Bulan Malaysian kites and evoking the architectural language of the Eiffel Tower create a visual framework to delineate this space with Sofi’s Deli, the hotel’s deli with its towering retail shelving and alfresco seating.

The circular Chinese restaurant, Wan Chun Ting, mimics the Tulou architectural form, creating a focal communal dining theatre, with private dining rooms and other function spaces radiating from the center. The dining theatre creates a central arena for the à-la-carte dining guests, flanked by towering Chinese timber pivot screens, with axial views toward the open duck kitchen, the tea display, and the Chinese accent metal sculptures that adorn the space.

In the private dining room, traditional Chinese screens provide a visual balance of “East meets West.” Modern furniture pieces with oriental touches are wrapped with fabrics synonymous with Chinese emperors, from silk with intricate embroideries to gold damask velvets that fully embody modern “chinoiserie.” Some French touches to the artwork create a western vibe.

The design of the ballroom is highly distinctive for its fan-shaped architectural volume inspired by the Malaysian Wau Bulan traditional fan; here the carpet and the ceiling seemingly merge with the Ppe-function area creating a visual and architectural connection between the two spaces.

Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka
Opened July 2017

The first luxury hotel in the area and the only building in Weligama Bay, the Marriott Resort & Spa commissioned Wilson Associates to transform it into a contemporary urban resort that will attract both independent international travellers and families. The property breaks away from the rustic and more Mediterranean style typical of most hotels in the area and has a bold, contemporary design in keeping with its imposing edifice. Wilson Associates was responsible for renovating the lobby areas, guestrooms, food and beverage spaces, health club, ballroom and spa.

The overall design inspiration is based on Beeralu Lace, a lace type that is famous in Sri Lanka and used in all kinds of fabric applications. The patterns of the lace are prevalent as a motif throughout the hotel, in the guestrooms and the walls, both to provide a touch of Sri Lanka and to create a warm atmosphere contrasting with the edifice of the hotel.

Standout design features include the lobby and reflective pool. The lobby has the best view of the sunset and the space is designed to enhance the panoramic view of the ocean. The reflective pool mirrors the motion of the sunset. Wilson Associates also created an elongated fireplace in the middle of the reflective pool to turn on once the sun has set to provide a point of visual interest for diners. At the seafood bar, Wilson Associates created stilts to mirror fishermen fishing in the sea.

Most of the materials were sourced in Sri Lanka or India. Lace, rattan, timbre and stones were all sourced locally, making up about 80 percent of the materials. The artwork was created by local artists to ensure a Sri Lankan feel and to champion local talent.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Rosso Sets Out to Bring New Flavours to Savour

Tris de Paste

Led by Italian Chef Gianfranco Pirrone, Rosso, the Italian restaurant and lounge at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, presents new menu, in addition to the list of Rosso’s Italian classic dishes.

Spuma di Cioccolato Albicocche e Menta

Italian Chef Franco presents the new creations with his own twist for this season. He is known as Rosso’s favourite guest homemade pasta and pizza maker. The new dishes will be available on the a la carte menu during lunch and dinner.

Spuma di Cioccolato Albicocche e Menta

Franco’s Signature Pasta
Among the many varieties of fresh pasta available at Rosso, Chef Franco highlights his childhood favourite – Cappelletti di Agnello con Crema di Parmigiano e Tartufo (Homemade Lamb Cappeletti with Parmesan Cream and Truffle Butter). Shaped like small hats, the menu represents his family’s Sunday brunch routine back in Italy, where it was usually cooked by his mother or grandmother. Additionally, Chef Franco will serve risotto and pasta cooked in a parmesan wheel, presented personally in the trolley. Other new pasta menu for this season are: Tris di Paste (Homemade trio of pasta: Ravioli Seafood with Basil Pesto Sauce, Spinach and Pumpkin Gnocchi with Parmesan Cream, and Beetroot Spaghetti with Gorgonzola Cheese), Risotto Zucca e Gamberi (Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimp), Tagliolini al Ragout di Funghi Porcini (Homemade Tagliolini with Porcini Mushroom Ragout and Parma Ham) served in a Parmesan wheel and Risotto allo Zafferano e Foie Gras (Saffron Risotto with Foie Gras).

Spuma di Cioccolato Albicocche e Menta

Gourmet Pizza
Chef Franco’s gourmet pizza is expected to elevate pizza to a new level. It is presented in smaller portion, thicker dough and made with premium ingredients, such as porcini foie gras can be tried in menu Pizza Porcini e Foie Gras (Pizza with Porcini Mushroom and Foie Gras).

Chef Franco also presents his Sicilian twist by applying scallop and lobster on a blackened pizza with Pizza Nera Aragosta e Capesante (Black Pizza with Lombok Lobster and Scallops). Meat lover is recommended to try Pizza Tartare di Manzo (Pizza with Classic Beef Tartare).

Spuma di Cioccolato Albicocche e Menta

For the desserts, the seemingly simple Chef Franco’s Spuma di Cioccolato Albicocche e Menta (Chocolate Foam with Apricot and Mint Sauce) is the highlight of the season. Other new desserts that available to choose are the creamy Panna Cotta Alla Vaniglia (Vanilla Panna Cotta) and Cremoso al Cocco E Fruito Della Passione e Frutti Rossi (Creamy Coconut with Passion Fruit).

Spuma di Cioccolato Albicocche e Menta

About Chef Gianfranco Pirrone
Chef Franco was born and raised in Sicily, Italy, where the beautiful landscape and natural beauty inspire the flavours and richness of all his culinary works. Inspired by the region’s cultural and natural resources, this personable gentleman appreciates cooking creations using fresh, healthy ingredients. He spent his childhood cooking with his parents and sibling, mastering the subtle art of seasoning and heritage recipes, which are now exquisitely presented in his signature dishes.

Aside from his traditional Sicilian influence, Chef Franco draws inspiration from the fresh taste and perfect balance of Italian flavours from other regions where he implemented each of his dishes. The chef takes delight in tailoring dishes to guest preferences and considers himself a “creative perfectionist”.

About Rosso
Rosso is located on the hotel’s lobby level, clad in red. Rosso, which means “red” in Italian, is a colour associated with passion and represents warmth and elegance.

Rosso is committed to serving authentic Italian dishes created using only the finest selection of fresh products. This combination is designed to stimulate the well-known Italian passion for vibrant food and lifestyle.

Rosso restaurant and lounge is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. For information, call (62 21) 2922 9999 or access the website at HERE.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year @ DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta

DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta – Diponegoro has tailor made an exclusive F & B offering for Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year, to celebrate the prosperous month that everyone is looking forward to.

Valentine’s Day Dinner on 14 February 2018

OPEN} Restaurant
Priced at IDR 408,000++ including a Valentine’s buffet dinner, Valentine Gift and Live Music Performance.

Crab and Smoked Salmod Salad at Sea Grain Restaurant

Chocolate Amore Cake at Sea Grain Restaurant

Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar
Priced at IDR 998,000++ for 2 persons including four-course set menu, including house wine and other beverages, Valentine Gift and Live Music Performance.

Roasted Duck 

Yes Sang

Chinese New Year on 15 – 16 February 2018

Celebrate the Year of the Dog with a festive dinner and lunch packages, featuring a sumptuous feast of Chinese’s traditional flavors such as Braised Hoisom with Taukan and see moss, Salted Egg Prawn and other traditional favorites. Host your Lunar New Year with a buffet at OPEN} Restaurant priced at IDR 458,000++.

The Taste of Indonesia

Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta brings the ‘Taste of Indonesia’ food series to Indonesian cuisine lovers all year long.

As a country rich in culinary traditions, Indonesia can be considered as a gastronomic heaven where flavorsome dishes come from diverse cultures across the archipelago.

This initiative also supports Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ culinary sustainability initiative, Rooted in Nature. Menus on offer include locally sourced ingredients to guarantee the freshness and taste of the food, as well as to recognize the local food producer.

Significant culinary activities can be seen at SATOO, which now has two dedicated signature Indonesia buffet stations, Bakso (meatball) and Satay (grilled skewers). This two dish chosen based on the research of SATOO’s guest favorite Indonesian menu.

The authentic taste is what makes the new food stations special. The hotel’s culinary team spends time on research, going to various restaurants, hawker stalls and traditional markets in the city to formulate the best and most authentic Bakso and Satay recipes for the guests.

In addition to the Indonesian culinary series, each month, the hotel’s culinary team will present different menu themes from different regions. A selection of a region’s favorite dishes will be served in the comfort of five-star venues SATOO, the hotel’s International buffet restaurant. In hotel’s elegant outlet Lobby Lounge, the menu will be served during the afternoon tea time, presented in snack size on tier plates completed with sweet cakes, pastries, coffee and tea.
The monthly region culinary plan for 2018 are as follows: 1. January – West Java,  2. February – South Sumatera (Palembang), 3. March – Balinese, 4. April – Central Java (Yogyakarta), 5. May – Indonesian Favourites (Ramadan), 6. June – Indonesian Favorites (Ramadan), 7. July – Jakarta (Betawi), 8. August – North Sulawesi (Manadonese), 9. September – West Sumatera (Padang), 10. October – North Sumatera (Medan), 11. November – East Java, 12. December – Indonesian Favorites (Christmas and New Year)

SATOO restaurant open daily from 12 noon to 2.30 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. for dinner. Afternoon Tea at the Lobby Lounge served every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more info, call (021) 2922 9999, send an email to, or access the website at

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Alila Ubud Ultimate Friends’ Day Out

For those seeking a surprisingly different way to spend quality time and unwind with BFFs, look no further than Alila Ubud’s newly launched package – Ultimate Friends’ Day Out.

Nothing has been spared to create a truly heavenly experience for fun-filled indulgence. Ideal for a group of up to six persons, the experience includes a night’s stay in the resort’s one and only 252 sqm Two Bedroom Terrace Tree Pool Villa, perched high amid the canopy of the Ubud rainforest. The villa is Alila Ubud’s most spacious and luxurious accommodation with a 40 sqm private pool and a large outdoor terrace, where you can chill out altogether while soaking up the spectacular views.   

This Friends' retreat also comes with a decadent package of wellness and F&B, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, free flow of wine and bubbles, and unlimited spa treatments that will leave you feeling utterly pampered and preened.  

Slip off whenever the mood takes you to Spa Alila, whose all-natural therapeutic and beauty treatments offer something to please everyone, from manicures, pedicures and radiant facials to signature massages designed to deeply relax and rejuvenate.
That’s not all. You also get to enjoy varied options to the Alila Experience, taking your pick from an extensive menu of crafted activities that offer memorable destination exploits. Highlights include the ‘Balinese Organic Culinary Masterclass’, where foodies can cook up local dishes with the resident chef in the resort’s organic garden. ‘Organic Mixology’ offers time behind the Cabana bar learning to concoct signature organic cocktails with Alila Ubud’s experienced mixologists. Active spirits will love the ‘Payangan Countryside Trek’, exploring the verdant surroundings and learning about the local way of life.   

Offering something for everyone, the Ultimate Friends’ Day Out in Ubud is an unforgettable way to celebrate friendship, special occasions, or simply spoil yourselves.  

Best of all, making your escape to Alila Ubud is hassle-free as return transfers between the resort and any location in Bali are provided. The rate is USD 4,500 nett for up to six persons.  

For more info, visit: HERE

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

25 Years of Amanpulo

Mangrove Hut Manamoc

Aman’s private island resort marks its silver anniversary by celebrating Filipino gastronomy, culture, and community

In 1993, a private island of unspoilt tropical wilderness in the Sulu Sea, 360km southwest of Manila, was transformed from a small coconut plantation into one of the most idyllic retreats in the world. Designed by the acclaimed Filipino architect Francisco Manosa, and accessible only by private propeller plane, Amanpulo, the ‘peaceful island’, offers its guests the tranquility and sensory spectacle of powder-soft sands, and warm azure waters, ringed by a pristine coral reef.

Amanpulo has established itself as the undisputed jewel of the Philippines and one of the most beloved destinations for Amanjunkies in search of a naturally romantic setting for weddings and honeymoons, and for thrill seekers searching for the adrenaline buzz of physically challenging watersports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. With its powdery white-sand beach which stretches the full 6.5 kilometre perimeter of Palawan Island, it has also become a haven for those looking to fulfill their desert island fantasies and for anyone looking for an opportunity to escape, switch off, and reground themselves in a tropical paradise, far from the cares and worries of their everyday lives.

Floating Bar

Following 2017’s anniversary celebrations in Indonesia at Amanjiwo (20 years) and Amankila (25 years), 2018 will mark 25 years since Amanpulo welcomed its first guests. This landmark occasion will be commemorated with a year-long programme of exclusive events and cultural initiatives designed to embody the spirit of the resort, pay tribute to its history, and celebrate its deep-rooted connection to the island and community of Manamoc.

BBQ’s on the 25th
Throughout 2018, guests in residence will be invited to an al fresco anniversary barbecue on the 25th of each month at Amanpulo’s scenic Picnic Grove. The resort’s chefs will come together to helm live cooking stations serving a tantalising variety of traditional Filipino flavours. The menu will include wood-fired suckling pig, stuffed local squid, and traditional palayok (clay pot) dishes such as Laing (taro leaves braised in spiced coconut milk) and Pancit Palabok (rice noodles topped with seafood and chicharron), as well as an array of Filipino salads and desserts – including the much-loved shaved-ice specialty halo-halo.


More than a dozen different dishes will be available, and will be best enjoyed accompanied by an exclusive Amanpulo beer, brewed especially to commemorate the resort’s anniversary by the Pedro Brewery in San Pedro City.

25-minute Cultural and Sporting Activities
A series of 25-minute activities and workshops have been developed specifically for the anniversary. These include palm-leaf weaving, a traditional Filipino craft used to make toys, ornaments, bags and accessories. Led by Amanpulo’s guides who have delighted guests over the years with gifts of their expertly woven creations, the workshops will enable participants to weave their own simple toys or, for the more ambitious, a classic Filipino palm-leaf hat.

Water Spot

For fitness enthusiasts, Amanpulo’s Fitness Manager Elmer Munar has created a 25-minute jungle sprint cardiovascular workout trail. Woven amongst the trees beside the Aman Spa, the trail comprises 13 obstacles ranging from monkey bars and a tyre run, to a rope and wall climb, and is designed to challenge strength and coordination in both upper and lower body. The trail can be adapted to meet the specific fitness needs of the individual, allowing guests of all ages and athletic abilities to take part.

West Villa Club House

Finally, in recognition of the perfect kitesurfing conditions on the Pamalican Island lagoon, Amanpulo will play host to a kitesurf retreat in March, inviting many of the world’s pro kiters and amateur enthusiasts for an unforgettable high-adrenaline regatta.