Tag Archives: Travel

#SG50 ’s Biggest Fan Wins an Exclusive #Airbnb Staycation at #Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

24-year old student-teacher and family to experience a magical night at the transformed Esplanade Theatre stage this Jubilee Weekend

 

6 August 2015, Singapore — Following a week-long search, SG50 has finally found its biggest fan. The lucky winner, Tay Zhi Wen, 24, impressed the judges with a 15-second musical mashup of “Happy Birthday” and this year’s National Day Song, “Our Singapore” with a violin and er hu. Her creative video has earned her and her family a one-night staycation on the Esplanade Theatre stage, and four tickets to the National Day Parade.

Zhi Wen’s video was chosen over 168 other participants who took part in the 10-day contest. The 24-year-old and her family have a deep love of the arts and Esplanade, where she has performed at several times before with the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra and Chung Cheng High School (Main) Chinese Orchestra. Her brother, who plays the suona, and her boyfriend, a music composer, will be joining her for the exciting night’s stay at Esplanade. She will also be accompanied by her mother, whose support for her children’s musical interests has allowed her to play audience to many of their performances at Esplanade, but who has never had the chance to experience the stage on such an intimate level before.

“When I received a call from the SG50 organising committee, I just couldn’t believe my ears. I’m happy that I won. Having performed at Esplanade many times before, this will be a really great chance for my family and I to experience Esplanade like never before, in a more intimate and personal way. We are very grateful and feel privileged that we have been offered this special opportunity to celebrate SG50 in Singapore, at what we sometimes call our second home this coming Jubilee weekend, and to create more memories in this beloved Theatre,” said Zhi Wen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16NneJehGzs

 

Themed “A Night through Time“, the party of four’s home at the Esplanade Theatre stage will be refurbished in a style reminiscent of 1960s Singapore. Unique features of the room include old and authentic pieces of furniture that have stood the test of time since the 1960s and have been lovingly restored. The performances, sound effects and stage lighting have also been specially designed to make the entire sensory experience at the Theatre as authentically 1960s as possible.

As part of the experience, Singaporean actress Oon Shu An will play host to the party of four, and take them on a journey back to 1960s Singapore. There, they will have an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled programme of arts performances, a behind-the-scenes tour of Esplanade, a dinner at Esplanade’s rooftop restaurant, and end their stay with coveted seats at the 2015 National Day Parade.

“The Singapore story is one that resonates deeply with me in my heart. Theatre is my first love and it is a privilege for me to welcome the upcoming winners in a staycation that will literally take them on “A Night Through Time”. This one-of-a-kind event would not have been possible without the collaboration among SG50, Airbnb and Esplanade, and I look forward to bringing them through this once in a lifetime experience” said Oon Shu An, Singaporean actress.

“We are excited to host Zhi Wen and her family at Esplanade. Her birthday wish for Singapore was not only creative but heartwarming, and we hope they enjoy the experience of staying at a venue that some of the very best artists from Singapore and around the world have performed before. We would also like to welcome all Singaporeans to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee with us at Esplanade, where there will be arts performances and activities by our very talented Singapore artists,” said Racel Yee, Head, Service Delivery & Standards, The Esplanade Co Ltd.

“Airbnb is thrilled to be able to provide a magical hospitality experience for Singapore’s biggest fan and loved ones at Esplanade this Jubilee Weekend. As our guests experience “A Night through Time” at this iconic location, they will be immersed in the richness and nostalgia of Singapore’s exceptional history and culture, and be inspired about the exciting future ahead. This is what Airbnb is all about – creating unforgettable moments in unique accommodations. We couldn’t be happier to make Zhi Wen’s staycation an unforgettable one,” said Chai Jia Jih, Managing Director, Southeast Asia and India, Airbnb.

To watch all the video contest entries that were submitted for this contest, go to apps.facebook.com/sgfiftybiggestfan. Information on the Esplanade Airbnb listing and the programme for the evening can be found at www.airbnb.com/SG50biggestfan.

About Singapore50

Singapore is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence in 2015. To commemorate and celebrate this major milestone in our nation’s history, Singaporeans will not only have a say in how the nation celebrates its Golden Jubilee, they will also be invited to plan and organise activities. To guide and coordinate the plans for the 50th anniversary celebrations, a Steering Committee chaired by Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat has been formed. Named the Singapore50 (SG50) Steering Committee, it comprises representatives from the public, private and people sectors. For more information on SG50, please visit www.singapore50.sg.

For more information on SG50, please visit the follow digital platforms:

SG50 Official Website: www.singapore50.sg

SG50 Facebook: www.facebook.com/sg2015

SG50 Instagram:
www.instagram.com/singapore50

The Who, What, Where and Whys of Souvenir Buying – a #HolidayInn Survey for July 2015

Following up from the previous survey conducted last year, the second set of findings from the Holiday Inn® Souvenir Study shows 70 per cent of respondents feel that souvenirs are an important part of the holiday experience, and only 20 per cent of travellers return home empty handed.  


The Value of Souvenirs_1 The Value of Souvenirs_2 The Value of Souvenirs_3

 

Some interesting highlights of the survey:

  • ​70% of travellers see buying souvenirs as an important part of their holiday
  • The younger travellers are, the more importance they place on souvenirs. 76% of 25 year olds and below think souvenirs are important, compared to 68% who are above 65.
  • 4 in 5 travellers from South East Asia are more than happy to accommodate souvenir requests from friends and family.
  • The least preferred souvenirs are novelty items, decorative trinklets and educational items. Most people prefer local keepsakes, handmade art and food.

To read the full article, link http://1drv.ms/1Mh9vDJ

The infographic on value of souvenir link http://1drv.ms/1g1Lbtz

 

Beach-Side Breaks: Not a Budget Buster at Holiday Inn® Resorts

Holiday Inn® Resorts will be offering up to 35% off room rates at its resorts across Southeast Asia and the Maldives, for stays until 19 December 2015 – making beach-side getaways even more manageable for families and groups of friends.

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Guests can enjoy a break with up to 30% off room rates including breakfast, with IHG Rewards Club members receiving an additional 5% off. On top of that, the Holiday Inn brand’s signature ‘Kids Stay & Eat Free’ programme provides even more value for families taking a well-earned break.

To read the press release, please visit http://1drv.ms/1Mh6VO4

Steve McCurry has captured a series of photographs for #IHG Rewards Club to celebrate the launch of its new top membership level Spire Elite

Neighbours
Steve McCurry captures a moment of recognition as two neighbours delight in each other’s company

IHG has launched Spire EliteIHG Rewards Club’s new top membership level, introduced to recognise and reward its most loyal members.

The new tier was introduced after extensive research into what members want from the loyalty programme and can be reached by earning 75,000 qualifying points. Spire Elite includes the ability to attain:

    • 100% bonus points on all qualifying stays – an industry first
    • A choice between either 25,000 bonus points or gift Platinum Elite status to a friend or family member for a year

All other existing membership tiers will continue to have access to the industry-leading IHG Rewards Club benefits:

    • Club – Collect Points or Miles, Extended Check-out, Complimentary weekend newspaper, Exclusive toll-free service line and Reward Nights count towards Elite Status
    • Gold – All Club benefits plus, Priority Check-in and 10% Bonus Earnings on top of base points
    • Platinum – All Gold benefits plus, 50% Bonus Earnings on top of base points, Elite Rollover Nights, Guaranteed room availability and complimentary space-available room upgrades

In celebration of this, world-renowned travel photographer Steve McCurry – best known for his 1984 photograph ‘Afghan Girl’ -– has captured a series of poignant photographs depicting moments of recognition for the world’s biggest hotel loyalty programme.

To read the full press release, visit http://1drv.ms/1CzWp1Z

 

#IHG Adds Two Michelin-Star Restaurant Chefs to its Culinary Panel – Chefs Vikas Khanna and Takagi Kazuo

IHG Culinary Ambassadors to bring Japanese and Indian flavours to the programme, with new dishes available at hotels in Asia, Middle East and Africa

Singapore, 27 May 2015: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has added two new star chefs to its growing IHG Culinary Panel; an initiative that sees renowned chefs develop an array of signature dishes for guests dining in IHG’s hotels across Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA).

Chef Takagi Kazuo


Chef Vikas Khanna

The latest Culinary Ambassadors will introduce a range of signature dishes that IHG guests can enjoy. Chef Vikas Khanna’s restaurant, Junoon in New York City, has been awarded with a coveted Michelin star for four years in a row and serves a range of authentic and inventive fine dining Indian recipes. Chef Takagi Kazuo is famed for his two Michelin star restaurant in Osaka and will supply seasonal Kyo-style Japanese cuisine to the programme.

The seven IHG Culinary Ambassadors on the panel are all award-winning chefs and represent a diverse range of cuisines:

Each Culinary Ambassador has created 20 recipes ranging from appetisers to main courses and desserts. Guests can enjoy a selection of these dishes in select restaurants at InterContinentalCrowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels and resorts in the region.

Chef Vikas has made culinary waves the world over for his award winning cuisine and critically acclaimed and widely awarded cook books on Indian cuisine. He will soon be launching his 21st book Utsav – A Culinary Epic at Cannes Film Festival- the first Chef to launch a cookbook at Cannes. He will be adding heat and spice to the IHG Culinary Panel recipes with dishes including his signature 7-Spice Lamb Shank, made with a medley of spices, in a burgundy-hued curry that coats the slow-braised meat and his Tellicherry Duck Breast, a classic Indian duck dish spiced with long pippali peppercorns from southern India and balanced with a creamy coconut-milk sauce.

Speaking about his new role as an IHG Culinary Ambassador, Chef Vikas commented: “Food and dining is constantly evolving and it’s important to keep pushing the bar at being more innovative and creative yet building the essence of fine dining and luxury. The dishes that I want people to enjoy are often contemporary reinventions of classic Indian dishes, and being able to share these more widely through the IHG Culinary Panel is a fantastic way to get people even more excited by the exotic Indian cuisine beyond the clichéd and standard.”

Chef Takagi’s Kyo style cooking, which has its roots in the Kyoto prefecture of Japan, is recognised for its seasonal dishes that appeal to all the senses such as his signature Japanese Pepper Beef with Foie Gras Dengaku, a beef sirloin with pan-fried foie gras, topped with Japanese pepper and miso paste and his Potato Salad, made with steamed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, shrimps and edible flowers.

Alan Watts, Chief Operating Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “With the addition of Chef Vikas and Chef Takagi our IHG Culinary Panel represents seven celebrated chefs, a myriad of exceptional cuisines and an opportunity to discover even more authentic flavours and tastes. We are constantly evolving our culinary proposition for guests, continuing to raise the bar and bolster our hotels’ reputation as world class dining destinations.

“Our philosophy is to work with partners that represent the best of food and beverage in order to offer new options and programmes that encourage our guests to explore and enjoy new culinary experiences, which includes our Bar150 mi xology platform with Pernod Ricard as well as our new Penfolds partnership to expand exclusive wine options at InterContinental hotels and resorts.”


Holiday Inn Explores The Evolution of Souvenirs

The Evolution of Souvenirs is the first installment in the journey to uncover the history and current trends of popular keepsakes

Souvenirs are a multi-million dollar business and have always
formed a crucial part of the travel experience. Holiday Inn has mapped the evolution and history of souvenirs, tracing the very first travel mementos through to their modern day equivalents.

HiRes - HI News Gen - Evolution of Souvenir Infographic
The brand uncovers key dates, trends and fads that have impacted what and why travellers collect souvenirs since 980BC, including where the world’s largest gift shop can be found and which nation of travellers spend the most on souvenirs.

The Evolution of Souvenirs is a prelude to a multi-part Souvenir Series, of infographics developed from a survey of travellers across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The series delves into the cultural nuances, buying habits and perceptions of souvenir sharing across a wide range of nationalities and ages – and unveil some of the worst and best souvenirs that survey respondents have either received or bought for themselves.

 

Lee Lin Teo, Director of Brand Management for the Holiday Inn Brand Family across Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said,“Souvenirs are an integral part of the travel experience – everyone has a souvenir that are treasured momentos of a great trip, as well as ones that might have quickly found their way to  the back of a cupboard.
“The Souvenir Series gives us the opportunity to uncover not only what travellers like to bring home and share with friends, family and colleagues but also provides an incredible insight into the differences across this diverse and culturally rich region. We always want to learn more about our guests and provide new and exciting experiences, so we are looking forward to the Page 2 of 3 insights from this research.”

From the Ultimate European Excursion, to the souvenir spoons mania that gripped America, to kitschy fridge magnets today, the first Souvenir Series takes the reader through a journey of  souvenir discovery.

Keep updated on the Souvenirs Series and all other Holiday Inn news and campaigns by visiting HolidayInn.com/Communications.

FRANCE WELCOMES ITS FIRST HOTEL INDIGO® TO PARIS’ OPERATIC HEART

Marking the brand’s 60th hotel opening in its 10th anniversary year

Singapore, 19th September 2014 — InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today debuts its boutique brand, Hotel Indigo, in France, with the opening of Hotel Indigo® Paris – Opera at the heart of the capital’s entertainment district. The new hotel marks a milestone for the brand as the 60th Hotel Indigo hotel globally, opening in the brand’s 10th anniversary year.

 

_W2A1899Hotel Indigo® Paris – Opera is set in the elegant Opera quartier of Paris, defined by its centuries-old love affair with the stage. Encircled by the most prestigious theatres, music halls and opera houses in France – as well as lesser-known but equally enthralling venues – each evening the neighbourhood comes to life with culture-hungry locals and tourists alike. Inspired by Molière and shaped by Haussmann, the area is best known for its ornate opera house: The Palais Garnier, which provided the inspiration for Gaston Leroux’s world famous ‘Phantom of the Opera’.

As IHG’s boutique brand, every Hotel Indigo property is designed to reflect the local neighbourhood. From the building design to the hotel’s artwork to the locally inspired menus, every Hotel Indigo is unique to its surroundings, so no two hotels are the same. Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera truly reflects the fabric of its neighbourhood. Unique touches echo the area’s cultural charm and opulent architecture throughout the hotel. Traditional fabrics and opera-inspired murals blend perfectly with modern Parisian design to create a beautiful, unique interior.

_W2A19166After a day of enjoying the delights of the city’s individual arrondissements as well as both hidden and world-famous landmarks, Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera offers guests the perfect place for a refreshing drink or bite to eat. These include Tartare(s) Restaurant inspired by Chef Christophe Raoux – a first-of-its-kind bar and restaurant created in homage to one of France’s most-loved delicacies – tartare. Tartare(s) will explore the concept of raw food through a variety of ingredients including meat, fish, cheese, vegetables and fruit, all in a contemporary Parisian setting. The food will be complemented by expertly selected wine pairings both traditional and surprising.

Vincent Poulingue, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera comments, “Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera is located right at the heart of the action. Paris is brimming with history and culture, and this neighbourhood provides the perfect base for exploring our enchanting city. We look forward to welcoming guests and helping them to explore both the famous landmarks and hidden gems located on every corner” Tom Rowntree, Vice President Brand Management Upscale & Luxury Brands, Europe

IHG said, “We’re proud to be opening our first Hotel Indigo in France in the key location of Paris. The hotel has been designed to reflect all of the charm and style of this fashionable and dynamic city, to give guests a truly Parisian experience. The Hotel Indigo brand continues to grow from strength to strength. We opened Hotel Indigo Madrid – Gran Via, Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George and Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg Tchaikovskogo earlier this year and have a further 13* hotels in the pipeline.”

The Hotel Indigo brand was launched in the United States in 2004, making it one of IHG’s youngest brands and today, there are over 100 hotels in the global system size and pipeline combined. IHG, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, with over 4,700 hotel globally across a broad family of nine brands to meet the needs of guests, whatever the occasion. Hotel Indigo offers guests the individuality of a boutique hotel but with the benefits and reassurance of a big hotel company.

For further information or bookings, please visit www.ihg.com/hotelindigo.

* Figures as at 30th June 2014