Into the unknown

SINGAPORE (Jan 17): I am sitting cross-legged on the floor of a teepee with my eyes closed, trying not to laugh self-consciously while two women raise their voices in chants and deftly drum animal hides. This is exactly the type of New Age agenda that provokes the sceptic in me, but I am determined to give it a fair chance.

Historic landmark and culinary spot

SINGAPORE (Dec 20): Stay at a hotel with links to Scotland Yard; Malta finally catches the eye of the Michelin folks. 

Former police HQ now a luxury hotel

Mediterranean treasure

SINGAPORE (Dec 9): Croatia, more famously known as a stunning backdrop for filmmakers, also offers a heady mix of heritage, gastronomy and the riviera lifestyle

Our taxi driver snorts, incredulous. “You come to Croatia to see fake kings and queens? When we have so much history?” We can barely hear him above the Balkan rap blaring out from the radio. But as we clamber out to join a Game of Thrones boat cruise and city tour, we assure him we are also in Dubrovnik to soak up its centuries-old heritage.


TUMI by his side

(Dec 9): Is there anything Hollywood star (and Marvel superhero) Chris Pratt cannot do? Fresh off the mega success of the Marvel comic universe movies, in which he plays Star-Lord, and with several other big movie projects lined up, Pratt is indeed a busy man, never staying still in one place for long. Travelling all over the world is, of course, a big part of it all, and it is only natural that he has the luggage and accessories that will go as far as he does. For him, the choice is easy: TUMI, maker of luxury travel and lifestyle accessories for the discerning professional.

The Canterbury tales

Alas, for the literati, we are not referencing Geoffrey Chaucer’s seminal collection of 24 medieval stories written in the late 1300s but rather, New Zealand’s most exciting and yet underrated wine country, with particular emphasis on its skyrocketing sub-region of Waipara Valley. Wine-lovers, feel free to rejoice!

Design mecca

If you subscribe to the Charles and Ray Eames school of thought that pleasure may (and should) be found in the melding of art and architecture, the uncommon beauty of common things and devilishly delicious details, then perhaps it is time to plan a pilgrimage to the architectural park that is the Vitra Campus in the German town of Weil am Rhein

The heart of Warsaw

The city’s Old Town and Royal Route encapsulate its history, heritage and spirit

(Oct 7): In Warsaw, there is a palm tree — the only one in the city — in the middle of the Charles de Gaulle roundabout, a small and busy traffic circle in the centre of the city. A statue of Charles de Gaulle, showing the one-time president of France striding confidently, stands atop a pedestal on a nearby sidewalk.

Singapore's globetrotters spent $8.4 bil on travel in 2018

SINGAPORE (July 30): Despite a tiny population of just over 5.6 million, Singapore last year accounted for 1% of all international arrivals to the top 200 tourism cities in the world – contributing US$6.1 billion ($8.4 billion) to total travel expenditure.

The top destinations for travellers from Singapore are Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hong Kong. In total, these three cities saw 2.4 million arrivals from the Lion City last year, with travellers spending over US$2 billion.

Quiet getaway

Canggu, an up-and-coming area in Bali, is drawing visitors who want a new location to chill

(July 8): Learning to surf can be such a humbling experience. The waves look impressive from a distance, but are menacing when right beneath you. I must have face-palmed the water surface at least a dozen times in the last hour. And I am only surfing in 3ft of water, a benign spot earmarked by my instructor for nervous first-time surfers.


Adding the personal touch

Options enjoys the Sheraton experience at its oldest property in Kuala Lumpur, and its newest counterpart on the city’s outskirts.

SINGAPORE (Apr 22): It takes us just under an hour’s drive from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to arrive at Sheraton Petaling Jaya, a 253-key hotel located on the fringe of the Malaysian capital. Frazzled from the early weekday morning flight, the check-in process at the Sheraton Club Lounge goes by in a blur for me until an extraordinary sight jolts me wide awake while entering our Club Room on the 29th floor.

Be informed of the stories that matter