Monday, October 23, 2017

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi welcomes Paul Smart as its new executive chef

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam says hello to chef Paul Smart as the property's new executive chef. 

Chef Paul Smart joins the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam
as its new executive chef

Previously, chef Smart lead the culinary team at the SO Sofitel Bangkok where he stayed for five years, impressively coming home as the champion of Iron Chef Thailand in 2012 and 2013. 

The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 

The Australian-born chef Smart boasts of more cooking credentials that include experience in the kitchens that have served Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, discerning diners at El Bulli, which was voted Best Restaurant in the World from 2006 until 2009, as well as multi-awarded restaurant Room 81. 

Vietnamese restaurant Spices Garden at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, 
one of the dining outlets to be managed by
chef Smart

Now, with his chef Smart's new assignment at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, he will oversee operations at the French restaurant, Le Beaulieu, Vietnamese restaurant, Spices Garden, Italian eatery, Angelina, the hotel’s three bars Bamboo Bar, La Terasse, and at the newly revamped, Le Club. 

The recently renovated Le Club bar at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will also be under the supervision of chef Smart 

The tasks may be daunting for a chef not truly in love with his calling, but the passionate chef Smart is more than ready and willing to take on the role. 

“Food is not only my career, it’s my passion,” says 37-year-old chef Smart, who succeeds Nicholas Shadbolt as executive chef of the 364-room French colonial-style property. 

“I look forward to continuing my journey at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and collaborating with the team here to take the hotel’s cuisine to new heights," chef Smart concludes. 

Diners at Italian dining outlet Angelina at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi have
a lot to be excited about with
chef Smart's arrival

With chef Paul Smart's winning combination of confidence, experience, and talent, guests and diners alike at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi certainly have a lot to look forward to. 

For more information about the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and its dining outlets, visit their official website here.



The best vantage points to celebrate New Year's Eve in Sydney, Australia

With Sydney's many vantage points located all across the city, it comes to no surprise that this Australian city has become one of the world's most popular destinations come New Year's Eve

Sydney is one of the world's most popular destinations
for New Year's Eve

Hotels, resorts and other options for accommodations become fully booked very quickly, so it's best to make arrangements as early as possible. To make things easier for you, here's a list of suggestions for some of the best hotspots to ring in the New Year that admit tourists without charge. 

The Rocks

Campbell's Cove, located on Hickson Road north of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, offers front row views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Revellers are advised to arrive early as the area usually reaches capacity at around 4:00pm. Admission here is free, and is open from 9:30am on December 31 to 1:00am on January 1.

Circular Quay

To nab a spot on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, it's best to arrive as early as possible as this iconic spot as it too easily fills up in the afternoon. Food and drinks are available for purchase onsite, while admission is also free. This venue opens from 7:30am on December 31 until 1:30am on January 1. 

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall invites tourists
to see Sydney turn into a kaleidoscope of colors on New Year's Eve

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Mrs Macquarie's Point is one of the most popular viewing spots for New Year's Eve due to the location's fantastic views. For both local and international visitors, admission is free. The party here begins at 10:00am on December 31 to 12:15am on January 1. 

Darling Harbour

Viewing spots around Cockle Bay are prized locations and this year will be no exception. With a free program of live music and light shows from 7:00pm, as well as the famous 9:00pm and midnight fireworks, Cockle Bay is set to be one of the most exciting, free family-friendly locations to celebrate the end of 2017. Admission is free; the venue is open from 11:00am on December 31 to 1:30am on January 1.

Family-friendly activities, light entertainment, and a magical display of lights await
at many Sydney New Year's Eve celebrations 

McMahons Point

Blues Point Reserve is a fantastic location to catch all the New Year's Eve action. Head to this location early in the day to grab a spot to see the western fa├žade of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the skies above light up. Admission here is also free. Guests are welcome from 11:am on December 31 to 1:30am on January 1.

Milsons Point

Bradfield Park is a popular site for families offering views of the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's one of the best views of both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Be here on or before 8:00am on December 31 as admission is free for everyone. The party here lasts until 1:00am. 

Even with this list, Sydney offers more New Year's Eve vantage points. For a full list of of these venues and their ticket prices, visit this feature here. 



Friday, October 20, 2017

AirAsia launches new flights from Manila to Bali, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh

AirAsia brings Asia closer together with new flight routes from Manila to Bali and Jakarta, Indonesia and Manila to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.  

AirAsia launches new flights from Manila to Indonesia and Vietnam

Taking pride in being a "truly ASEAN airline,"AirAsia announced their flight route expansion in celebration of the growing interconnectedness of ASEAN nations. Best of all, AirAsia's announcement was made with an irresistible promo with exciting discounts that are sure to encourage first time and returning travelers to visit Indonesia and Vietnam. 

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador says, “It is an exciting time for all of us in the Philippines as we continue to bring the country closer to our neighbouring cities within the ASEAN region and beyond via AirAsia’s inter-ASEAN connectivity and massive network.”

AirAsia is the only airline that directly services all 10 ASEAN countries with established operations in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The AirAsia Group carried 13.4 million people within ASEAN last year and we aim to continue delivering only the best service and widest connectivity," he continues. 

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador announces
AirAsia's newest ASEAN flight routes

For those with Vietnam on their bucket list, note that Air Asia's all-in promo fares for a trip to Ho Chi Minh are available for as low as P2,590. This rate applies to a travel period beginning on November 17, 2017 to April 30, 2018. The promo is only going to run until October 22, so go on the AirAsia website or download the AirAsia mobile app book your tickets as soon as you can. (And as you plan your Vietnman itinerary, why not acquaint yourself with Ho Chi Minh's must-try food? This article sums up what you need to know). 

On the other hand, those that have been eyeing Indonesia as their next Asian holiday will be happy to know that AirAsia will start flying to Jakarta on January 9, and Bali on January 19, 2018. 

AirAsia’s Manila to Bali (IATA CODE: DPS) and Manila to Jakarta (IATA CODE: CGK) will operate daily beginning January 2018, while Manila to Ho Chi Minh (IATA CODE: SGN) flights will commence on November 17 with flights every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.