Tag Archives: hotels

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.


Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

The Best Business Hotels Revealed

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong[media-credit name=”amaz | flickr” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]

The UK edition of Business Traveller has revealed its list of the world’s best business hotels at its annual awards recently. The winners were selected by the magazine’s readers, as revealed by Skift.

For us in Hong Kong, we were naturally pleased to see that out of the top four hotels in the Asia Pacific region, three of them were from our city. Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong took top honours, followed by The Peninsula, whilst Island Shangri-La Hong Kong rounded off the top four positions.

HK’s hotel scene had even more to celebrate, with the Regal Airport Hotel winning the Best Airport Hotel category, in addition to three podium places for Hong Kong representatives in the Best Business Hotel Worldwide category. It’s a pretty impressive return, so hats off to all of the winners.

Having said that, Hong Kong has a few more business hotels that could have made the grade. East Hotel, which has the fantastic rooftop bar Sugar on top, has been a huge success since opening a few years ago, and Marriott Courtyard Shatin also opened in March this year, aiming to make a name for itself.


Online Booking Boost Expected for Bespoke Hotels Group

[media-credit name=”az1172 | flickr” align=”alignnone” width=”634″]London[/media-credit] 

London-based hotel group Bespoke has made a move to increase the number of its online bookings by partnering with SiteMinder.

The report by eTravelBlackboard goes on to explain how Bespoke Hotels expects the move to join in with pooled inventory will benefit their stable of chic properties.

So far, everyone is pleased with the partnership, with senior figures from both parties giving off very positive soundbites.

SiteMinder’s strong all-around product offering has impressed Bespoke Hotels and its partners, and the chain are confident that the partnership will come good.

You may well end up using the system, as Bespoke manage a number of properties in he UK, Europe and Thailand.

For us, anything that makes life easier for booking holiday accommodation is a good thing, and we will be keeping an eye on this to avoid any dodgy booking companies.

WiFi sign

More Breakfast but Less Internet

[media-credit name=”miniyo73 | flickr” align=”aligncenter” width=”634″]WiFi sign[/media-credit]An increasing trend with premium hotels in the US has appeared that will not please many of the Internet junkies out there.

A study shows that more hotels are charging for in-room Internet services, according to Travel Weekly, but on the other hand, more hotels are giving breakfast away for free.

Internet access isn’t the only facility that’s being charged for, though, as it turns out that exercising is also costing visitors, with the hotels charging for gym usage, too.

With a little bit of imagination, you could claim that with free breakfast and paid gym facilities, these hotels are helping to contribute to unhealthy lifestyles.

It will be interesting to see if these have any real impact on hotels’ visitor rates.

If I had to pick, I would choose breakfast and Internet, and hope that I’ll be able to get to exercise a different way instead.