Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Avani Hotels opens the Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel in Portugal

The Avani Avenida Liberdade hotel in Lisbon

The newly launched Avani Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel offers travellers a stylish and reasonably-priced  hotel along Lisbon’s most fashionable street, the Avenida da Liberdade.

The Avenida da Liberdade is the best address in Lisbon and the newly-launched Avani Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel has a perfect location just off fashion-forward Avenida da Liberdade, which attracts an eclectic crowd to its tree-lined esplanades with big-name designer labels and continental sidewalk cafes.


The Avani Avenida Liberdade hotel in Lisbon

The hotel, formerly the Tivoli Jardim Hotel, has undergone an extensive 1.5 million Euro refurbishment. The upgrade includes the redesign of the façade, the guest rooms, lobby, reception, the installation of an AVANIFIT gym and the relaunch of well-known Olivier Restaurant.

The open plan and retro spirit of the lobby merges chill, social and work areas, offering a stylish communal space in which to relax. The 119 AVANI standard, premier, deluxe and family rooms are comfortable and contemporary and the style is inspired by the Avani brand`s nod to a restful sleep.

Each room is decorated in a fresh and simplistic style. Subtle shades of plum, black and white lend the rooms a serene air and modern amenities include a Nespresso coffee-maker, satellite TV, well-stocked mini-bar and high-speed WiFi. All AVANI Premier, Deluxe and Family Rooms have balconies and AVANI Standard rooms have garden views.


The Avani Avenida Liberdade hotel in Lisbon

The Avani hotel brand appeals to modern independent travellers who seek out new and modern experiences, meet locals and taste authentic flavours. AVANI Avenida Liberdade’s advantageous location provides guests with a comfortable and well-priced base from which to explore Lisbon’s modern design and contemporary eateries.

Nearby is Príncipe Real, a charming leafy neighbourhood, known for its architecture, antique shops and galleries. Discover authentic craftsmanship, art galleries, antique shops and shopping galleries before heading west for the pastelerías and literary cafés of Chiado.

Lisbon is now also a design capital of Europe. The city is experiencing an urban renewal as neighbourhoods are reclaimed and reimagined. The dockside LX Factory in Alcántara, the Village Underground on the river (which is a creative co-op constructed out of shipping containers), Fábrica Braco de Parata, an arts centre in an old munitions factory and the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Belém all herald a new wave of design innovation in Lisbon.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Godspell, the musical, in Manila

Godspell, the musical, in Manila

Last night, I went to watch the musical production of Godspell at the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium of the RCBC Yuchengco Building in Manila

Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication, is a proud event partner of this wonderful production which has been adapted from the original to give it a more contemporary vibe.

The acting in this version of Godspell is superb and the singing left the audience speechless.

Furthermore, what might have been a sentimental production with a religious overtone is instead made into a throughly enjoyable musical with a very 21st century feel and a universal theme applicable to any religion.

More people should watch Godspell in Manila

It's a beautiful production. And if you happen to be seated in the front rows, you may even find yourself onstage suddenly as part of the cast, as this musical is very big on improvisation and audience participation.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Business class onboard Turkish Airlines


Good morning from 30,000 feet in the air, onboard Turkish Airlines to Istanbul for a lovely long weekend -- literally 4 days of fun and then it's back to Asia. :) 

Since I practically live in hotels and airplanes, thought I'd share with you my simple litmus test for quality. The best hotels in the world offer real cotton pads in their bathrooms (not the cheap cotton balls) regardless of where they are in the world because they know cotton balls are just so much harder to use with skincare products.


And the best airlines in the world have free WiFi onboard, plants in the bathroom, proper tea cups, and Travelife Magazine in their inflight libraries for business class. Quite surreal but nice to be offered your own magazine onboard -- and to hear other passengers around you asking for it. 

Anyhow, here's the lowdown on my recent experience riding business class on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and back to Asia. I take this route fairly frequently, and this particular time, I observed a significant improvement in the overall Turkish Airlines business class experience

This airline was already good before, but it has become significantly better.


1) The service onboard Turkish Airlines by the stewardesses and stewards was excellent. Everyone was kind and polite, and I was approached multiple times for refills of tea and drinks.

2) The food is very good, especially onboard flights flying out of Istanbul. On the return flight to Asia from Turkey, the lamb dish with eggplant was among the best dishes I've had on an airplane.

3) The flatbeds are among the widest and most comfortable, especially as a proper bedpan and duvet, along with a new pillow, are provided. The legroom is huge even on the 777 aircrafts.

4) The business class lavatories were always clean. Currently, they have real plants as decor and Molton Brown toiletries.

5) Free WiFi onboard for business class is just great. They also provide wonderful Denon headphones for inflight entertainment and, on the last flight, a black Furla inflight kit

Interestingly, they request these expensive headphones back from passengers about 20 minutes before landing. But for those who wish to continue watching a movie or television show right up to landing, they provide a very good alternate set of headphones. None of these cheap stuff onboard Turkish Airlines.