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Singapore sling cocktail, Raffles hotel

Sling a song! Raffles cocktail celebrates 100 years

Singapore sling cocktail, Raffles hotel[media-credit name=”David Blackwell, Creative Commons” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

TripTips – Sling-pressions

By James Durston, TripTipping editor-in-chief

I had my first and only Singapore Sling roughly 13 years ago at Raffles. I arrived, in June, sweat itching its way down my face and neck, and made my way immediately to the air-conditioned comfort of Raffles bar. You can always spot the tourists in these types of places. In the Louvre they head straight for the Mona Lisa. In New Delhi they head straight for the bathroom. In Singapore, they head straight for Raffles bar. For a shoestring backpacker it was a flagrant extravagance. My hotel, the most expensive of the six-month trip, cost US$24 a night. I coughed up nearly the same for a single Sling, so fulsome were the Lonely Planet and co-traveler reviews. And I immediately wished I hadn’t. Bitter, bitty and very less-ish, it’s perhaps one of the most over-hyped cocktails on the planet. Save yourself the change.

The iconic Raffles Singapore hotel celebrates two milestones this year – 100 years of its signature Singapore Sling cocktail and the 50th anniversary of the country’s founding. It’s offering commemorative merchandise and food, discounts and experiences in honor of the occasions.

Fans of the Singapore Sling can participate in Singapore Sling Masterclasses taught by the hotel’s bartenders or enjoy the cocktail-inspired SlingaPore cake, pink in color with zesty and honey flavors.

Ah Teng’s Bakery is offering cakes to take home or get a taste of in Raffles Grill restaurant’s special 1950s Elizabethan Grill Degustation Dinner (S$250++) menu.

Throughout August, guests born in 1965 (Singapore’s 50th anniversary) can receive 25% off their bill for up to 10 people when they dine at Raffles Courtyard, Raffles Grill (excluding business set lunch), Long Bar Steakhouse and Tiffin Room (excluding afternoon tea).

Plus, you can find out which famous guests have stayed at the hotel and the filming locations of movies such as Pretty Polly and Hawaii Five-0 through 45-minute tours (S$20 per person) by volunteer guides from the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Division. The tours are available from June 1 to August 28.

During the same period, a 25-square-meter floral rendition of the Singapore flag will stand at the hotel driveway to commemorate the founding of the country.

Fusion Maia spa pool

Fusion Maia Danang Review

Fusion Maia spa pool[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Danang” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

I’d been excited for weeks about staying at Fusion Maia Da Nang. Having never been to Vietnam before, it was an excellent opportunity for me to see a bit more of the world, but my main anticipation was for experiencing the concept that the resort lives by. I had heard good things about the place from a couple of people I know who had the pleasure of staying there, so expectations were certainly high.

What becomes clear straight away upon arrival is that there’s a heavy focus on the guest. We were greeted straight away by friendly Stars – Fusion Maia refers to its staff as Stars – and taken through the reception lobby into the Tonic bar. Here, we were also introduced to both the site manager and our assigned Fusionista, and then given a thorough explanation of what activities we could partake in as part of Fusion Maia’s Natural Living programme. Whilst the formalities were in process, a quick look around the Tonic bar gave the impression that we’d be able to really relax and wind down here. The bar and the adjacent Five restaurant sit on an open central structure, meaning that you can see the rest of the resort from the comfy sofas, elevated above a beautiful garden with manmade ponds and streams running underneath.

Our Fusionista, Hong, took us from the bar to our villa, via the spa and the gardens. Living in Hong Kong, it’s always good to spend a bit more time in green surroundings, particularly when they are as immaculately taken care of as this. The designs of the buildings that house the restaurant, lobby, bar and spa are simple but have a modern feel to it. The relaxed atmosphere is further enhanced by the casual and comfortable uniform that the staff are dressed in. The resulting warmth and smiles exuding from them are nothing but genuine, and I’m sure that the fact they are not constrained by their clothing plays a part in this.

Fusion Maia Fusionistas[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Danang” align=”aligncenter” width=”400″]

Our home for the next couple of days is a gorgeous pool villa. There are 80 of these types of rooms, and each one comes with its own private pool in the garden. These rooms have a minimalistic feeling to them, but not in a futuristic or cold way. Earthy, natural tones are used along with plenty of wooden furniture, making the mix a combination of comfort and modernity. In the villa, there’s a rotatable flat screen TV, an iPod dock and a coffee machine to make it feel like home. His and hers bathroom toiletries were set in the bathroom area, that included a stone bathtub and a ceiling to floor rainforest shower.

The L-shaped room design meant that there were three sets of sliding doors that could take us out into the private garden. Our swimming pool was accompanied by a couple of loungers and a more secluded outdoor sofa area. The privacy of the garden provides opportunities for sweet reflection, and as long as the weather is compliant, it’s likely you’ll spend much of your time out here.

On the other side of the bar and restaurant, you can take the walk down to the beach. Along the way, you’ll pass by the long water feature that runs in between the Feast poolside restaurant and the gym facilities. This is a lovely long stretch of water that is usually illuminated at night time to add a bit more special feeling to the place; we were even encouraged to light floating candles here, making it much more than just a visual spectacle. This is a place where wishes and memories are made.

Fusion Maia Spa building[media-credit id=1 align=”aligncenter” width=”400″]

As the resort is still reasonably new, all the facilities still retain their initial glow and gloss. That’s not unexpected, so the real winner with Fusion Maia Da Nang is the hospitality. They make you feel so special, even as just regular guests, there’s something that they do to give you the impression that you’re singled out.

Perhaps it was the fact that almost every time that we came back to our villa, it seemed as though there was a new surprise waiting for us. For example, after spending the day out in Hoi An, we came back to find that our bathtub had been lined with candles and partially filled with flowers. We were also treated to a surprise cake during our stay. Gestures such as this really made a difference, definitely helping to make us fall in love with the place.

Fusion Maia pool villa[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Danang” align=”aligncenter” width=”400″]

Breakfast is served at both anytime and anywhere here. Whilst we weren’t able to experience ours on the beach front due to the weather, we did get close enough at the Feast restaurant. Although it was a shame we didn’t get to eat on the beach, it’s great having the flexibility of choosing where to have that first meal, and this offer also extends to Fusion Cafe in Hoi an. In the evenings, we dined at their main restaurant Five. The food was as good as what we expected and the menu had plenty of choice. It’s generally split into western, local and fusion cuisines, and we made a point of varying our options whenever we could. Again, it was the service that stood out for us here, with Stars only too happy to answer questions about the local cuisines and providing a bit more detail.

The emphasis on guest welfare is evident throughout. Part of Fusion Maia’s philosophy is built around their Natural Living programme, a week-long schedule that is designed to help you improve your health and spiritual being through activities and quality nourishment. Each day, there is a schedule led by specialist Stars. For someone such as myself, who had never really paid much attention to this perspective, it was an eye-opening experience. With discipline, I can easily integrate some of the advice into my daily life. The benefits are hard to explain, but having taken on board as much as I could, I sincerely feel as though I have improved many aspects of my being through a better diet and calmer demeanour.

My stay at Fusion Maia was one of my most enjoyable experiences. The physical quality of the resort is outstanding, partially due to the fact that it’s still quite new. You’ll get all of your standard modern amenities as expected, but what really sets it apart is far more subtle. An emotional feeling is hard to quantify, but once there, you will undoubtedly feel welcomed and very well taken care of. The Stars that roam around all stop and say hi, and ensure that your needs are fully met. Even though its been weeks since my stay, I’m still conscious of the Fusion Feeling that I arrived back home with, and it’s something that I have decided to prolong.

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach

Fusion Maia Trip Gift Winner

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Da Nang” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

So here is the moment of truth, the announcement that you’ve all be waiting for. At least, we can assume that is the case from the readers who decided to have a go at winning our Fusion Maia Trip Gift.

Before we get to it, we must thank everyone who took part, from those who entered to those who passed by to give their opinions and support by voting. We hope that you enjoyed taking part, and look forward to your continued support for next time.

And finally, now is when you get to find out who has won a luxurious 2 night stay at Fusion Maia Da Nang. The winner will get to experience Asia’s first all-spa inclusive resort, where they will be exposed to an unlimited number of spa treatments each day. They’ll be staying in one of the beautiful pool villas, and will be free to take their breakfast whenever they want, wherever they want.

Our congratulations go to Kenji Schautzer, for his entry titled “Mountains, Beaches, Ruins and… Fireworks!“. Kenji explained that his day out in Vietnam would include hiking to UNESCO heritage sites, relaxing on the beaches and a visit to the annual Danang International Fireworks Competition – sounds ideal! The judges were impressed with the range and variation of suggestions, as well as the overwhelming support he amassed via the voting system. Kenji will be contacted shortly.

That’s it for this Trip Gift, but do look forward to another one in future!

Here’s one final word for our Media Partners

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Hong Kong Fashion Geek logo

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Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach

Fusion Maia Trip Gift Voting Update

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Da Nang” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

For the past week, entries to the Fusion Maia Trip Gift have been under great scrutiny. There’s been a lot of activity, and we can see that some entries are clearly popular ideas. Undoubtedly, readers have been giving their thoughts, but entrants have also been canvassing for votes.

The good news for all, is that there’s still another week of voting time to go! So, at the time of writing, there’s still a lot to play for. Remember, only the 5 most popular entries will be considered for the winning prize. Here’s a rundown of the current top positions.

  1. Kenji Schautzer’s visit to Mountains, Beaches, Ruins and Fireworks
  2. Sylvia Kung’s Fruitful Day in Da Nang!
  3. Experience local by Amas Li
  4. Jennifer Lai Jumps into Vietnam
  5. Love Saigon by Javier Sampedro

So that’s the situation – what are you going to do about it? Make sure that you support your favourite entry by clicking the green vote button at the top of the post. If you’re unsure, take a look through all of the entries again right here.

To our entrants – good luck for the rest of the week!

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach

Fusion Maia Trip Gift Voting Begins!

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Da Nang” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

After a couple of weeks of receiving your entries, the Fusion Maia Trip Gift promotion is now open for voting! Which entry gets your vote? We’ve selected our favourites and have published all of them here. Take a read through and make sure you give credit to the one you think most deserves your support. Just click the green voting button at the top or bottom of the post.

Out of those that have been published, the five most popular will go into our final, and the winner will be selected from that group. Our judges will be looking for originality, creativity and entertainment value, but are open to being swayed by popular demand. So your vote really does count. Remember, the prize is a 2 night stay at Fusion Maia Da Nang resort.

Enough of the talking – it’s time to get voting.

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach

Fusion Maia Trip Gift

Fusion Maia Da Nang yoga on beach[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Fusion Maia Da Nang” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

Just imagine being surrounded by nothing but acres of beach, with nothing to do but plan your next relaxing massage treatment and deciding where and when you’ll be taking your next meal. Life can’t get much better than that, right?


Enough of improbable daydreaming, though. In reality, that lifestyle can’t possibly exist, can it?

Maybe not for a sustained period of time. However, Trip Tipping is delighted to offer our Facebook fans in Hong Kong the chance to win this way of life, albeit just for a few days. We have up for grabs, an idyllic stay for two nights for you and a friend at Asia’s first all spa-inclusive resort, Fusion Maia Da Nang. And we’re calling it the Fusion Maia Trip Gift.

Situated in central Vietnam and within striking distance of various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Da Nang has a long history and is now seen as a superb destination for holidaymakers. The Fusion Maia resort provides you with a wonderful setting to relax in, with tropical gardens, an endless beach, and a waterfall providing the backdrop. From here, you’ll easily be able to visit Da Nang and Hoi An.

To take part in our Fusion Maia Trip Gift, just tell us how you’d spend a day out in Vietnam. You could go anywhere, see anything or eat everything! From Monday 2nd December, get as many votes as possible on your day out and then we’ll select a winner from the most popular.

So don’t wait. Enter below now!

So this is how you can win this incredible stay:

  1. Make sure you “Like” Trip Tipping’s and Fusion Maia Da Nang’s Facebook pages
  2. In under 50 words, describe how you would spend a day in Vietnam
  3. Convince us that your suggestion is the best by getting the most votes
  4. The five most popular suggestions will be considered for the winning entry

[gravityform id=”4″ name=”Fusion Maia Trip Gift Entry” title=”false”]

Before you enter, make sure that you understand our terms and conditions:

  1. The Fusion Maia Trip Gift is open only to Trip Tipping registered members residents of Hong Kong (your phone number will be requested for verification purposes only)
  2. The details that you submitted will be passed onto Fusion Maia Da Nang
  3. Entries must be submitted before 23:59 on Saturday 30th November 2013
  4. The voting period will run from Monday 2nd December 2013 until Sunday 15th December 2013 at 23:59
  5. Representatives from Fusion Maia Da Nang and Trip Tipping will select the winning entry from the 5 most popular entries based on public voting
  6. Trip Tipping reserves the right to publish entries at its discretion
  7. Fusion Maia Da Nang stay is valid until 30th June 2014, and blackout dates below apply

Media Partners

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Blackout Dates

  • From 21st December 2013 to 02nd January 2014
  • From 31st January 2014 – 06th February 2014 (Tet Lunar New Year)
  • From 09th – 13rd April 2014 (Hung King’s death anniversary)
  • From 13 – 26 April  2014 Easter Days
  • From 27 – 30th April 2014 (Victory Day)
  • 01 May 2014 (Labor Day)