Tag Archive for Relaxing

Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard

To enjoy a cheapish (sorry I mean ‘cost effective’) pre-Christmas meal with my mum and girlfriend, I decided to take them to ION Orchard and to the Paradise Dynasty restaurant there. We intended to enjoy the fusion xiao long bao that they serve specifically at this restaurant. Paradise’s xiao long bao are quite different – as they serve a mixed plate of 8 xiao long bao of different types: original, szechuan, ginseng, crab roe, cheese, garlic, and the kings-among-kings – foie gras and black truffle. Delicious and very tasty!

We ordered a few dishes and enjoyed the fine and relaxing company – and it was a great meal and experience overall. It wasn’t too expensive and we were able to enjoy it with a nice discount – as I had some vouchers to use up. I think I managed to use $40 of the $50 I had, and provided the difference in cash – something like S$7 – not bad, hey?

Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#04-12A ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

Club Street Night Session (21st Nov 2014)

Another weekend, another excuse to go out and have some fun.  Club Street is all the rage these days, with the street turning into a pedestrianised area on Friday and Saturday night – which makes it even more of a fun atmosphere, as the restaurants cover the road with tables and chairs, and people spill over the streets.

We wanted to make the most of it, and Amex had a Chillax offer – as they partnered with many of the hip bars around Singapore to offer fine discounts, exclusive to Amex of course!  The only issue we found is that many of the offers are not applicable on Friday – hmm…shame we only found out after we had settled in for our drinks.  Silly terms and conditions, diluted the fun of the Chillax promotion in my opinion, as Friday and Saturday are the key nights for chilling and relaxing – as the promotion was centred on doing!

Our tour went something like this:

  • :pluck – for a cocktail each…a nice place and a nice ambiance inside.  We sat at the bar and watched them work away.  We had a snack (possible our ‘starter’) as well, as we drank away.
  • Lolla – we then went to our next venue – to have another drink to accompany our Sea Urchin dish – plus other dishes. The Sea Urchin dish was definitely a very different type of dish – never had it before, and I am still on the fence on whether I will have it again, but it was a very interesting dish indeed.
  • Noti - this place had a nice vantage spot, right along the main part of Club Street, we went inside for what will be our dessert snack.  Chocolate cake with ice cream – yummy!
  • Sugarhall – we then walked around to Amoy Street, where we were looking for the infamous Jigger & Pony cocktail bar…unfortunately, it was full, so we decided to go next door to Sugarhall, which I believe is owned by the same owners as Jigger & Pony – but Sugarhall is focused more on rum drinks and delightful meat dishes – my favourite choice.  We had a couple of cocktails, before we decided to call it a day.

 

What a session this was – it was chilled, relaxed, with lots of good food and drinks experienced.  Certainly brings a smile to both of our faces :)

Vasanti Seminyak Resort in Bali – My Review

We stayed at Vasanti for a long weekend in August (17th-20th) – as we wanted to relax and chill in a nice location close to Seminyak beach.

Vasanti was a refreshing stay – the rooms were very modern and clean, although some of the backgrounds face a wall, which makes the natural light limited, and limits the view somewhat!

The hotel service staff (front desk, bell boy, room, restaurant/bar, towel etc) were very attentive and provided service with a smile. We felt very welcome – almost felt like it was a home away from home. They even offered to drop us off to the local currency exchange down the road using their golf buggy – that’s fantastic service.

The pool is really nice and very clean, with a nice selection of sun loungers surrounding the pool and bean bags (on the grass) – they do need to add a few more sun loungers, as they do get taken up very quickly in the mornings – but if you are lucky to spend a few more dollars and get a pool-side room, you have your own private loungers available to use.

The restaurant was perfect – a nice selection of fresh food, and fruits, meats etc.  Nothing special, but pleasant enough for the few days we were there.

There is a room-top bar where this was life music – the views are quite nice, especially at sunset – and there was a nice display of kites – as there was a kite festival on – which made it a joy to watch as we sipped our drinks. The bar doesn’t get that busy though, but it is very relaxing and quaint, and actually quite romantic if you are keen for a quiet evening in.  If you are looking for more ‘action’, I would suggest you go into Seminyak town for the other more lively bar establishments etc.

We did not have any issues with mosquitoes or insects during the stay, however, as you walk in front of the hotel (on the road leading to the hotel), just be aware that there are standard water in the open drains, so you need to spray up if venturing outside.

The location of the hotel was adequate, it was a short walk to the beach, although it involves following a windy path – but just ask for directions, and there are a few signs giving you direction. Unfortunately, there are no street lights, so you have to be careful at night…and there are no pavements on the small road leading to the hotel – so you have to give space for the odd taxi and vehicles that may drive by.

All in all – a very pleasant stay, and I certainly would recommend this modern, clean and very pleasant hotel – hats off to the great staff throughout the hotel :) I just hope they can keep the cleanliness and service levels up!!

Vasanti Seminyak Resort in Bali
Jalan Petitenget Gang Cendrawasih No.99
Seminyak, Badang, Bali 80361
Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 8466966
E-mail: info@vasantiseminyakresort.com
URL: http://www.vasantiseminyakresort.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VasantiSeminyakResort

Bali Holiday – What a Fab Break! (August 2014)

My girlfriend and I intended to go for a nice holiday break away from Singapore for a few days, and we decided to spend a long weekend in Bali.  I haven’t been to Bali for ages – in fact almost 10 years (if not more), so I jumped at the chance to spend it with her in the fabulous place.

The flight was pretty reasonable (generally, it’s not too expensive to go to Bali), and we decided to go to Seminyak – a place I’ve heard about, but had never been before (well I don’t recall I’ve been there) – and we decided to stay at Vasanti Resort – which is a luxury resort within a short walk to the beach (well that’s what they said on their website – haha!).

The hotel was pretty nice – very new and modern – only opened since November 2013 – and it met our needs perfectly.  I’ve compiled a separate review specifically for the hotel here and on tripadvisor…I would recommend it, but only if you like the quietness of the location, as it is a short walk to the ‘action’ of Seminyak – but it is great for a relaxing and refreshing stay :)

On the first day, we went for a stroll to look for a place to eat, and we went down the road from the hotel along Jalan Cendrawasih , we turned right at the junction down Jalan Petitenget, and then saw an interesting place, relatively small in size on the road-side.  The place was called Warung Eny’s (at Jalan Petitenget No. 97, Seminyak) – so we had a quick look at the menu, and decided to give it a go – it did look like a local place, run by a family, so we hoped it would be nice.  The experience was absolutely amazing, the service was fabulous, the open kitchen allowed us to enjoy the view of the staff cooking along – it looks very interesting.  Service was very fast and attentive, and the food was absolutely amazing – the food was delicious and looked fab – as the open BBQ on the road-side was a nice treat.  Definitely recommend this place, if you are keen on enjoy local home-cooked food and ingredients, served in a great setting!  and it was sooo reasonable.

The next day, we decided to go for a stroll along the beach, we ventured along the road and eventually found our way to the beach (it is down the road from the hotel, but the path it is a bit of windy and hidden, but we managed to get our bearings in the end – haha).  We reached the beach, with the nice classic black sand of Seminyak beach.  We went by the ‘W’ hotel, and went by the infamous “Potato Head“, we decided against the hustle and bustle of Potato Head and found a nice location in the “W-Bali“, which was actually pleasantly enjoyable – very relaxing, and although it was quiet in the early morning – it was perfect for our needs, as we enjoyed each other’s company.  

After a few drinks (okay they were a bit pricey here), we went on for a late afternoon snack / meal, in the town.  We found a place called “The Deck“, which seemed quite nice – with a bit more of a life to it…it looked like a local ‘Western’ bar, but we a nice soup and Beef Radang pizza – a nice twist to the classic Indonesian dish.  We then went inside and enjoyed a couple of games of pool, followed by more Bintang beers – had to be done :)  and yeah, unfortunately, I did win both games – whoops!

It was getting dark, so we went back to our hotel, and relaxed a bit before venturing out for dinner.  We were after “Naughty Nuri” infamous ribs – having been recommended this by a few people.  We passed a “Crab Bar” as went down the road towards Naughty Nuri, the menu looked delightful, so we decided to maybe come back again to try it out – but we had ribs in our mind for dinner :)  so we continued on by to find Naughty Nuri.  When we arrived, we saw people were waiting already, so we asked how long the wait was.  The waitress said we were lucky as there was a table of two available, – perfect, so we went straight in to the shared team in the middle section.  It was one of the best ribs I have ever tasted – fantastic marinade, and we enjoyed it with a nice salad and chips.  We then saw another couple eat a dessert – which looked intriguing, looked like deep-friend bananas with ice cream (Goreng Pisang) – so we decided to order one too – and it was DELICIOUS!  Haha!  Certainly would recommend a visit here!  A MUST DO!

The next day, we decided to enjoy the relaxing setting of the hotel resort, and relaxed at the pool after breakfast.  We then took the resort’s shuttle bus to “Ku De Ta” – we actually enjoyed this setting more than Potato Head – it was far more relaxing, even though there was still lots of people around.  We found our spot and enjoyed a pizza and a few drinks, as we continued to enjoy the fun company of each other – and the people watching excitement of the crowd…haha.  

After a couple of hours, we decided to go for a stroll, and found an interesting wine store, bar and lounge – called VIN+ – the placed looked very modern, but the nice part was the fact that the entrance area was made of Bamboo – which gave it character.  We found a place for dinner and then rested for the night.

The next day, we decided to try out Potato Head, so took a stroll back to the beach.  We managed to find a place at the bar (although it was still a mass of people).  We had a couple of cocktails and chose the crab cakes – which was really tasty.  

After lunch, we took a stroll through the town, and went back to the resort for an evening drink at the roof-top bar, although it wasn’t that busy, it was a nice setting and we enjoyed the live music that was playing.  

After a happy hour drink, we decided to try out the other ‘rib’ place – and took a taxi from the resort to “Wahaha” down Jalan Sunset Road.  This was an okay place, not as good as Naughty Nuri – but the ribs were still very enjoyable!  

We managed to get a taxi back to the hotel – although the area is a main-road, so this place is a bit of a weird setting – probably why it wasn’t that busy (seemed to be a place with lots of industrial shops etc).  When we went back, we went along the main shopping road – and we noticed a lot of hotels/resorts, restaurants and Western-branded shops – next time we come to Seminyak, we suggested that we book along this road, as this seemed to the road with all of the night life in Seminyak. We had booked a massage at the hotel, but when we returned back, we had then realised that we had missed our 9pm booking slot – we had totally mis-judged the time-zone…Bali was the same time as Singapore, whilst Jakarta was one-hour earlier, so when we arrived, we were actually a whole hour late.  Luckily, our honest faces were accepted, and they didn’t charge us the missed appointment fee – phew.  This also made us realised that the one we cancelled earlier in the day (at an outside location) at 11am was actually the time of the appointment, we thought we had phoned at 10am – whoops!  Now we know why the hotel receptionist who called reacted a little weird to our cancellation request…maybe the spa was a bit annoyed that we cancelled at the last minute :(  whoops!

The next day, we had booked a lunch at “Merah Putih” – we had tried to come here the previous evening – but it was fully booked – but in a way, I am glad we came at lunch.  It wasn’t that busy, so it was quite relaxing, and we still were able to enjoy the great atmosphere in the bar and restaurant.  We went for the Babi Guling (Balinese Suckling Pig) as a set lunch – it was certainly delicious dish, and we had a really enjoyable lunch.

We then booked for a nice massage the following morning, just before we had to leave to go back to Singapore – it was a nice spa and massage treatment, and we really felt so relaxed.  It cost us 250k rp each – but it sure was worth every penny.  After the relaxing massage, we went back to the hotel, chceked-out, and took a taxi back to the Denpasar airport – ready for a return back to Singapore, and back to work tomorrow – eek!

All in all, a delightful holiday, and I certainly got to like Seminyak a lot!


 

Cycling Fun – at East Coast Park

Another weekend, another exercise opportunity. I met up with a colleague from work at East Coast Park to try my hand at ECP cycling session.

We really aimed to push ourselves to get to the Changi Beach, but really only managed to get half way along the Changi perimeter road, before we decided to return back. On the way back, we stopped to enjoy the sights and sounds at a racing track – where we noticed some very nice vehicles paired up at the on-street parking. A nice red Ferrari (yes it still has to be red!), and a yellow Lambo.

We couldn’t resist to stop and enjoy the moment :)

Kota Kinabalu Holiday (10th to 14th May)

Well I thought it would be good to schedule my third holiday for 2014 into my busy calendar.

A colleague from work and I decided a few options in Malaysia – all centred in Borneo. Miri was one option, Kuching was another (although I had already been) and so was Kota Kinabulu (KK for short). After much discussion, we set our mind on KK, noting that it was going to be a cheap and relaxing break away from Singapore and work, and where we can also have a bit of fun.

The Air Asia flight wasn’t too bad – priced at $241 – I guess it could have been cheaper on a promo, but we couldn’t wait any longer to book up. We looked at the various accommodation comparison sites (hotels.com, booking.com and the newest site that we also now use is wego.com) – and we found a nice place in the centre of KK called “Imperial Boutec Hotel Waterfront” – at Warisan Square. it cost us 30RM to get there from the airport via taxi. The area seemed okay, not too sleazy, and it was up on the 7th floor of the shopping mall, so away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping area. We were based very central within the town, near to the seafront / promenade and near to the night food market – which we went to a couple of times in the end.

We also went around the town – which was enough to get around with relative ease. We did find a nice quarter down Jalan Gaya which overlooked the Signal Hill Observation Tower. We visited a place called ‘Party Play’ which seemed to be an tourist expat type of place, but it was a nice spot to get out of the rain and chill over a beer or two, as we watched the world go by during one afternoon.

The key intention of our visit was to visit Mounta Kinabulu mountain…whilst we weren’t that keen (or possibly well versed) to do the actual climb (about 4,095.2m or 13,435.7ft above sea level), but we did enjoy the view from below :) Haha! We went as part of a tour, so we had other groups come with us, it was a nice walk up, and the lunch time food was quite tasty.

We went to the Poring Hot Springs, which was pretty relaxing. The springs were pretty close to the Kinabulu National Park, so it was good to visit and relax before the next part of the walking trail. This also included a tree-top walk during the walk, it was very similar to the one in Singapore, and a nice relaxing walk up hill. The last part of the trip involved walking to the Waterfall, it is always amazing to see the great views of nature in all its glory.

We then ended the trip and headed back to KK town, and we decided to head out to get a drink after a long days walking – exercise is hard work remember :)

The next day, we decided to take a taxi to visit the Low Kawi Wildlife park, just to the south of KK town – however, it wasn’t that good to visit, although it was good to get out back and see some nature again. It just looked a bit run down.

On the last day, we just walked around the town again, and we decided to find a Buk Kut Teh place – and we decided to go with the herbal variety – and it was actually very refreshing indeed. We then ventured around looking for gift ideas, and enjoying people watching in and around the town.

we then went to Hot Rod nearby for our last dinner – this pub was quite nice, and we enjoyed the live music and the pool playing – ergh… and the drinks :) before we headed near by for a nice seafood dinner, our last dinner as we ended our holiday. The next morning, we had a quick brekkie nearby, before we headed to the airport for our return flight back to Singapore…I would certainly recommend visiting Kota Kinabulu and would definitely suggest going up the mountain – as there is only a limited amount of things to see and down within the two itself.

Holiday in Phuket (25th April to 1st May)

So, the magic decision for a holiday relates to what, why, where, when and how, so here goes…

The Why? Well after a couple of months of really hard work (yes I do work very hard! haha), I decided I needed a well deserved holiday!

The Why? Well, I decided that it would be good to spend some ‘me time’ on a nice relaxing break away from Singapore, and try to re-charge my batteries. I’ve learnt that I know people can burn out very easily (work and life stress and all that, and it is not worth reaching that line in my life.

The Where? I decided to try out Phuket in Thailand, as I haven’t been there for years, and a friend suggested it to be a good getaway spot…with some ‘entertainment’ too. Whilst I was there to enjoy the sights and sounds, I was there to be a good boy and chill only!

The When? I had two date options in mind, the Easter period (Good Friday would be on 18th April), or the May Day Bank Holiday (1st May). I decided to go towards the end of May, and thus take advantage of the May Day Bank Holiday.

The how? Well I had 2 Tiger free flight codes to utilise (which came with my Tiger Airlines SCB Credit Card). They allow you to go to 11 destinations on Tiger Air (outward flight from Singapore only), so I might as well go with that. It is a totally free flight, however, I decided to check-in my luggage, so it only cost me $18 on the outward journey, and only S$114 for the return – so a generally cheap return flight.

I was recommended by a friend to stay at Yorkshire Hotel and Spa, in Patong town. I decided to give it a go, and arrived on Friday evening after work, to arrive late in the evening. After arriving, I managed to get a taxi to the hotel, and arrived in about 30 mins or so. It was so central, it was the perfect location, and it certainly was a short walk away from the main Patong beach. The hotel in the end was only THB10,080, which equated to SGD$407.69, equiv to SGD$68 per night. Pretty good value for money, methinks.

I decided to grab a quick bite outside and then head back for an early night. Over the next few days, I wanted to enjoy the beach and eateries in and around Patong, but also sample some of the night life as well (after all, that’s what Patong is famous for!). I was very keen to get some good (clean) massages in, so managed to locate one that seemed to be good quality, no funny business (no ‘extra service’), and very reasonable.

Whilst Patong has it’s dirty side, it is also a very nice place to relax, the beach is wonderful and very clean, and the people are so friendly. I got to know the beach crew very well as I stayed at the same area during my stay, they looked after me pretty well and it was good to chat with them. I also got to know a few of the regulars at the beach – great fun indeed. It is always good to chat with them, especially when you travel on your own, and it makes it more relaxing indeed!

Chinese Massage – Great and Cheap!

Mr Lim Foot Reflexology

Mr Lim Foot Reflexology

I am keen to find a foot massage place somewhere in central Singapore to really help me relax and chill – and someone recommended one in China Town.

It is called “Mr Lim Foot Reflexology” and is located in the People’s Park Complex shopping mall. There seem to have about 3 or 4 shops, and have a lot of demand! Definitely not bad for S$18 for 45 minutes. To help compare , an hour (normal for a foot and shoulder massage) would be S$25 – so yeah that’s pretty good going for Singapore. And it was actually very nice and relaxing.

They do a loyalty card scheme, so each time you visit, you get a stamp, and after 10 I presume you get a free massage or discount – even better :) I will definitely repeat this, definitely feels very relaxing and refreshing!

Mr Lim Foot Reflexology
1 Park Rd #03-54-#03-78
People’s Pk Complex
Singapore, 059108
Tel: +65 6327 4498

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