The Met

High-Definition Screenings of Hong Kong Philharmonic Maestro Edo de Waart Conducting at The New York Metropolitan Opera  Edo de Waart conducting Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier is next in the series  “The Met: Live in HD” in Hong Kong on April 24-25

Opera lovers are in for a rare treat with Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart conducting at The New York Metropolitan Opera – transmitted back to Hong Kong via high-definition screenings. The maestro is conducting Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss’s comic masterpiece of love and intrigue in 18th-century Vienna.

Dazzling high definition transmissions of his critically acclaimed performance at The Met are being screened on April 24 and 25 (including both morning and evening screenings) at the WellcomeTheatre, Bethanie Campus, Pokfulam – home of the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts film school.

Local interest should also be heightened by Renée Fleming performing the leading role of aristocratic Marschallin. She received rapturous acclaim performing in Hong Kong last year.
Maestro de Waart’s Der Rosenkavalier is the next highlight of this year’s season of The Met: Live in HD operas transmitted to Hong Kong. The Met is renowned for the world's finest singers and most lavish productions – and the dazzling high definition screenings are sharper and bigger than real life, for the price of a cinema ticket. The new craze made its debut in Hong Kong this year and is delighting opera fans worldwide. Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine called them “the closest thing to a front row seat”.

An internationally renowned “orchestra builder”, Maestro de Waart has led the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 2004/05 and is acclaimed for raising the standards and reputation of the 90 strong orchestra through his keen artistic vision, vastly expanded repertoire and spearheading a number of important landmark tours. In constant demand as a guest conductor, he regularly appears with the world’s leading symphony orchestras and musicians and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in recognition of his contribution to music internationally, and in particular, his commitment to developing future generations of musicians in Hong Kong.

He steps down from the Hong Kong Philharmonic at the end of the 2011/12 season.

Screenings of The Met: Captured in HD in Hong Kong are sponsored by the Foundation for the Arts and Music in Asia, a non-profit charitable organisation helping young singers in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia to help launch their careers.
Upcoming Screenings
 
The Hong Kong screening season continues with one of the most popular operas of all time, Georges Bizet’s Carmen, on May 15-16; Plácido Domingo performing Giuseppe Verdi’s Simon Boccanegraon May 29-30; a new production of French composer Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet on June 5-6; and Renée Fleming returning again in Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s fanciful epic, Armida, on June 12-13.
 
Programme Enquiry: 2579 5581
 
Bookings for The Met: Live in HD
 
For bookings and information about the performance schedule for The Met: Live in HD at Bethanie Campus, Pokfulam from now until June 2010, visit the web site: /www.themetinhongkong.info
 
Tickets can be purchased at the HK Ticketing Call Centre or website (www.themetinhongkong.info/buy-tickets.html), priced at HK$150 (HK$100 for Full-Time student / Senior Citizen with valid ID). *Ticket Price does not include HK Ticketing Customer Service Fee.
 
Evening presentations include optional dinner (HK$140/person, one 500ml bottle of water included); Matinees include optional sandwich lunch (HK$60/person, no drinks included). Both will be served at the first intermission at the foyer.
 
About ‘The Met:Live in HD’ in Hong Kong    
 
The Met: Live in HD was created by The Met’s dynamic general manager Peter Gelb in 2006, when he had the idea of filming its most dazzling productions in high definition format and initially transmitting them to cinemas across the US.
 
The acclaimed performances now reach over 1,000 venues in 42 countries and attract rave reviews wherever they go.
 
Screenings are broadcast in the US by satellite in real time, meaning cinemagoers see them at virtually the same time as audiences at the Met’s home in the Lincoln Centre, New York.
 
The Hong Kong screenings are delayed but the impact of a live performance remains the same, with the added attraction of on camera interviews with the opera stars during the intervals and a bird’s eye view backstage before the start and during the set changes.
 
Vanity Fair magazine called the Captured in HD screenings the “new craze” while Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine said they were ”the closest thing to a front row seat”.
 
The Met is renowned for the world’s finest singers and most lavish productions.
 
The Met: Live in HD operas are sponsored by the Foundation for the Arts and Music in Asia, a non-profit charitable organization helping young singers in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia to launch their careers.  

Naumi Hotel


Infinity Pool

“… Pleasantly captivating! ”
Long flights are about the only shortfall for holidaying, however, images of Singapore jostled in my head and kept my spirit high. It has been a while since I visited last…. Arrival in the busy city of Singapore is somewhat a buzz. The noise and heavy traffic sounds chaotic but is surprisingly orderly. The cab driver was polite and wasn’t talking much, allowing me to soak in the surrounding landscape and the array of lights which is structured to further enhance the already beautiful manicured garden beds. The noise dulled as the cab veered left onto a narrow Seah Street. You would be slightly surprised by the appearance of a quaint and grey 10 storey building – The Naumi Hotel. No grand entrance, no doorman nor bright lights. The street is quiet and the facade of squared columns were clad in a mesh trellis to support the growing vines, adding a touch of softness to the otherwise urban concrete jungle. The subdued glass entrance hid the gem behind the entrance doors. Arrival was late; the lighting (I thought) was appealing in contrast to the bright lights and grand entrances of some hotels I had been to in the past. The simplicity of the modern décor was rather romantic. The expansive lacework Muriel of steel with flowers and butterflies line the wall behind the bar. Modern Italian furnishings and calm music adds ‘chic’ to the atmosphere as I wound down and sank into the lounge. The reception staffs were charming, other than the formalities of checking in, the serene atmosphere was just captivating!


Premium Room

Bar

I scooted from one end of the bedroom towards the kitchenette to get my cup of tea, really – my addiction to this reddish brown liquid is tragic! I have to admit; there is a very distinctive style to this refurbished hotel, recalling the curved walls as I approached the room the night before. The details and the finishes are commendable! From the design of the kitchen area as you enter, mirrored cupboard doors to enhance the entrance corridor, dropped ceilings, subtle lighting, the use of living and resting space has been obviously well-planned, the color of the room is wonderful, the details followed through in all areas. If you have to work, the facilities are there, boasting the first Hotel in Singapore to have CUCS (Cisco Unified Communications Systems). Basically security when sending and receiving information on the communications network. I can’t say there is much to fault! Absolutely stunning and comfortable too as I curled my legs on the lounge and sipped the last drop of tea.

Appointments to attend to and the day past quick, quick strides and it weren’t long before I arrived back at the Hotel. Centrally located, it was rather convenient to chill for a couple of hour’s in between appointments in comfort and pleasant surroundings of the Hotel away from the humid conditions of Singapore. I had the opportunity to chat to the staff members, tried a few different cocktails, checked out the roof top pool – great setting, wet edged, great view and a subtle breeze – I really didn’t want to go out to my next appointment! My stay didn’t last long at Naumi but what has transpired over the couple of days was enough to make me want to stay, Singapore has changed but hasn’t in my mind… still clean, still beautiful, shopping was amazing and so was the food as usual and having the opportunity to stay at Naumi Hotel just showed the city is catering for the business travelers who might not necessarily want the fussiness but the comfort of home! A place to unwind from the hectic day, a place away but not too far away from the hubbub of activities … I enjoyed Singapore more so this time and Naumi Hotel was part of that enjoyment. I know why they received the accolades they did, deservingly so … extremely inviting, pleasantly captivating!

Written by Maria Harding

Naumi Hotel
41 Seah Street, Singapore 188396 T +65 6403 6000
http://www.naumihotel.com

 

Paris Pass


Paris Museum

HAVE A TIPPLE AND SEE THE SIGHTS WITH THE PARIS PASS
 
Like a drop of vino? Test your knowledge of the grape at the French Wine Fair (8-9 May) and see some of the best sights Paris has to offer with the Paris Sightseeing Pass.
 
As professionals and enthusiasts gather to taste some of the country’s best vintages, take the opportunity to tickle your taste buds with the Paris Pass, which gets you free entry in to the O’Chateau Wine Attraction where you can test three different wines and learn from experts.
 
The Paris Sightseeing Pass also gives access to over 60 top attractions including the iconic Arc de Triomphe, entry to the world-famous Musée du Louvre and the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Cathedral.
 
Users have priority access at the busiest sights to avoid queues, a free guidebook, and many additional deals, discounts and free offers. A Paris Sightseeing Pass includes a metro pass giving you unlimited travel on the metro, buses and RER within central Paris.

A two-day Paris Sightseeing Pass costs €89 for adults, €45 for teens (between 12 and 17 years) and €24 for a child (between 4 and 11 years).

A four-day Paris Sightseeing Pass costs €126 for adults (€63 for teens and €32 for children), and a six-day option costs €154 for adults, €72 for teens and €41 for children.

Check out all the activities on offer with the Paris Sightseeing Pass at www.parispass.com. The website includes a map tool to plan visits, details on all the included attractions, and full details of exclusive special offers including restaurant deals.

For more information and to buy a Paris Sightseeing Pass visit www.parispass.com, call +44 (0)1664 485 020

Continental’s direct to Guam

CONTINENTAL’S DIRECT FLIGHT TO GUAM IS READY TO TAKE-OFF THIS FRIDAY!

Eligible holders of HKSAR or BNO passport now can visit Guam without a visa

Put on your swim suit! Continental Airlines is re-launching its nonstop service to the tropical island of Guam from Hong Kong, beginning this Friday, April 2, 2010. The twice weekly direct flight will depart from Hong Kong every Monday and Friday. The nonstop service is also timed to provide travelers departing Hong Kong with convenient flight connections at Guam Airport to Honolulu, Hawaii. Connecting services on this route to and from Guam via Manila or Tokyo are also available for the rest of the week.

Vacation packages for four days two nights or five days three nights including flight tickets and hotel accommodation are available from HK$3,999 (additional taxes, fees and surcharges may apply). For more details, customers can contact Continental Airlines Holidays at 2870 8711 or visit www.co-holidays.com

Continental Airlines is the only carrier offering daily nonstop service from Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai to New York. Continental is also the largest carrier in New York and offers connections to over 150 destinations throughout the Americas. The routes are serviced with B777-200 aircraft with spacious cabins and individual entertainment in every seat. For reservations, please contact Continental Reservations (852) 3198 5777

 

Chen Brothers Exhibtion

Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili by Six Senses

Behind-the-scenes Voluntourism at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili
Pay 5 nights, Stay 5 for free!

Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili by Six Senses are offering the opportunity to give something back. For the next six months, guests are invited to stay at either resort for five nights, without charge and to spend five hours of each day working on local community projects, such as marine conservation, teaching children, planting trees and learning how to turn waste into wealth.  

Already well known for their support and respect for local communities, the Soneva resorts would like to invite guests to put the strap-line Intelligent Luxury into practice. This unique eco Season voluntourism package includes 5 nights paid, 5 nights free in exchange for 5 hours per day of valuable and motivating work for the first 5 days of a luxurious 10 day stay.

Whilst most people come to the Maldives to relax within the turquoise lagoons of paradise, and to enjoy the sumptuous Soneva villas, beaches and exceptional dining and excursion experiences, guests now have the chance to see behind-the-scenes and discover how much more there is to the wonderfully hospitable and cultural Maldivian atolls.
Guests can choose from the following areas of work:
 
1.       Marine Conservation – divers and snorkelers will be taught how to boost coral reef recovery and to learn more about how to protect the dwindling shark community.
2.      Waste Management – learn how to create home-made compost, charcoal and biochar to encourage locals into self-sufficiency and thereby reduce importation of food that can be grown at home.
3.      Carbon Mitigation – Spend 5 hours planting trees on nearby islands to give Soneva neighbours much needed shade and to mitigate levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
4.      Youth Education – Give local island schools a 30 minute (pre-prepared) talk on waste management and composting, and to talk about Western culture and geography. Guests are invited to share their own relevant expertise in whichever field they specialise.
5.      Boost Local Island Income –Assist local families by learning the skill of making cadjan roofing material to sell and public rubbish bins for raising awareness of waste management. This not only helps create revenue streams for the islands that struggle to find alternative methods, but also to helps to keep their islands in a pristine condition.

Validity 1st June – 12th October 2010

 

Pan Pacific Singapore


The Executive Suite Living Room

When a hotel such as the Pan Pacific Singapore is mentioned, certain thoughts comes to mind. Imperious City Views, the awesome Atrium and those outside lifts that makes even a grown men weak to their knees. 

Located in the heart of Marina Bay with spectacular views over Singapore’s bustling Business District stands an iconic hotel since 1986.  The hotel’s contemporary design incorporates touches of elegance and oriental charm.  Guests whom have stayed here have only great things to say about this wonderful establishment.

The Executive Suite we stayed on the Pacific Club level was very spacious with wide span floor -to-ceiling windows so you could enjoy the amazing view. The room is tidy and extremely clean. The Pacific Club is located on the 33rd floor, great place for a bird’s eyes view of the city. Decorated in resort colors, it looks trendy and hip and why shouldn’t it since it was designed by award winning designers WATG.


From Top: Brunch. Keyaki Japanese Restaurant

Restaurants are in abundance at the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel. You can have your breaky or brunch at BRUNCH, a trendy a la Carte al fresco style restaurant located adjacent to the pool. Menu includes pancakes, hash brown and their renowned sausages.  For lunch or dinner, dine at the all you can eat GLOBAL KITCHEN. It caters for both European and Asian Cuisine. Foods on offers are pastas, salads, crustacean and roasted carved meats.

My favorite is the KEYAKI JAPANESE RESTAURANT. Located on the rooftop garden on level 4, the restaurant sits in an irresistible Japanese garden with a koi pond.  The restaurant exteriors are made from keyaki wood and built with the Japanese architectural system of building without nails, It’s a marvel. Delicious varieties of Japanese cuisine from sushi and sashimi to teppanyaki and shabu shabu are served with executive head chef Hiroshi Kagata at the helm to ensure your dining experience enthrall the senses.

Here are my top 5 billings about this hotel?
1)    Located in the heart of Business District and Marina Bay
2)    It has the most comfortable roller bed for your kids or yourself
3)    The contemporary Floor -to-Ceiling windows are extremely large
4)    One of a kind amazing Atrium
5)    The Outside Lifts which could make a grown man groan

By AK

Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039595 Tel +65 63368111
http://www.panpacific.com/singapore/

Grand Hyatt Singapore

You have a general ideal of which hotel you would like to stay when you travel so the next thing you research is its location. Located at number 10 Scotts Road, just around the corner from bustling Orchard Road is one of Asia’s leading hotels, The Grand Hyatt Singapore.  It prides itself on never too far away from where all the action is. This hotel is implemented full on with Fung Shui designs. From the time you enter the hotel lobby, there is a lovely water feature with embedded rocks to the 32 steps stairway leading to mezza9 which in Cantonese depicts “business all the way “ and the amazing 40ft waterfall. If there were birds flying around you might have thought you were somewhere in the amazon but not in the heart of Singapore’s mega shopping districts. It is just magnificent.


Grand Deluxe Room

Contemporary and chic in design, we had the pleasure residing in one of the hotel’s Junior Suite. In immaculate condition, it comprises a spacious bedroom and a living room, features grained honey coloured timber interiors, creating a warm and relaxing ambience. The room has state -of –the- art entertainment like the 37-inch flat digital Bang and Olufsen television, my needs are satisfied.

The pool is always a big hit with guests and The Hyatt Singapore has got one of the best-looking pool in the Lion City. Decorated with Torque blue & green emerald marbles, which sparkles in sunlight and glows in the dark I would love to have done a photo shoot by this pool so maybe next time I will.
   
Lets discuss about service! One of the best of course. Well dressed, well trained and passionate about their work, the staff on duty here are awesome. It only proves the hotel looks after them well. It was a pleasure staying at this wonderful hotel and it was nice to get a chance to dine in most of the hotel’s award winning restaurants so here is a brief description on my fine dining experience and what you can expect the next time you travel to Singapore and enjoy the Grand Hyatt Hotel Singapore experience.


Mezza9

A very trendy restaurant with a Fung Shui stairway.  Diners can help themselves to the different selections such as from the grill: western grill & rotisserie, the delicious spit-roast herb marinated chicken, salmon, lamb cutlets and prime steaks with béarnaise or green peppercorn sauce and mustard.

Straights Kitchen

A visually stunning restaurant designed acclaimed designer Super Potato from Tokyo.  Straights Kitchen offers a wide variety of items for buffet lunch and dinner. Highlights of the menus are the Chinese, Indian & Malay specialties. These include Laksa; Fried Hor Fun; Nasi Goren; Carrot cake; Fish ball Noodle and selected Indian curries.

Pete’s Place

The oldest and most established restaurant at the hotel. It was established in 1973 just shows it has a royal following.  Pete’s specialties are authentic Italian. It offers freshly baked bread, a salad bar which features a healthy selection of salads and home made sauce. Great for the kids as they can choose their own pizza toppings and indulge in a huge selection of home made deserts.

 By AK

Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211 Tel +65 67381234
http://www.singapore.grand.hyatt.com/

Teh Spa at the Datai

The Spa at the Datai

Where:
This place is all about the 40 million year old rainforest; the property is set in the lushtropical Malay jungle of the beautiful island of Langkawi. The Datai has its own white sand beach looking out onto the Andaman Sea.

What:
Enjoy your treatment beneath the rainforest canopy. Signature treatments here include The Datai massage, Balinese Massage, Warm Stone Massage, and Rainforest Harmony.

Why Away In Style loves it:
The place has some gorgeous “couples sessions” available in their spa pavilions. But, if your man is not of the pampering persuasion, you can pack him off to the 18 hole golf course and relax in peace.

www.ghmhotels.com

Raffles Amrita Spa

Raffles Amrita Spa

Where:
This year Raffles Singapore, the Grand Dame of old world, colonial hospitality, celebrates its 120th year. The Amrita is its fabulously posh spa.

What:
The Amrita Spa is available to residents of the hotel only, and it’s precisely this exclusivity that makes it so very special. Classic body treatments, facials and more are performed in timeless, elegant surroundings. The hot and cold dip-pools are magnificent. Gorgeous aromatherapy burners enhance the mood and the service is quite simply top-notch.

Why Away In Style loves it:
Endless celebrities and generations of royalty have laid their heads here, not to mention the dozens of writers who holed themselves up in its rooms to craft their latest masterpiece. Lying back in the spa, it’s impossible not feel a part of its colourful history.

www.raffleshotel.com