Monday, July 31, 2017

Usana vitamins: travel essentials for keeping healthy

At home for just 48 hours, on my way to Moscow for a #Travelife, I focused on packing my travel essentials for my trip to Russia.

I ordered several dresses from Tinsley, all in the same comfortable style but in different colors and patterns. These clothes easily take me from morning to night, from sightseeing in the mornings to nice dinners late in the evenings, as it is the season for Russia's White Nights.


Then I packed my Usana vitamins, which are among my most important travel essentials. Of course it's imperative to remain healthy on a trip, and high quality Usana vitamins are among the best and easiest ways to keep healthy while on the go.

As I'm planning to travel light, I chose three vitamins from USANA: the Usana Essentials set, Visionex, and Proflavonol.


USANA Essentials

The USANA Essentials set is a combination of Mega Antioxidant and Chelated Mineral, offering highly bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant nutrients to build a strong foundation of health.

This vitamin set is taken twice a day.


Visionex is an anti-oxidant supplement designed to protect the delicate tissues of the eyes from photo oxidation. Among other things, Visionex contains vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and bilberry extract.


Using a unique technology, Usana has combined vitamin C and grapeseed bioflavonoids into a powerful supplement that helps balance the immune system and supports cardiovascular health.

So with these three essential vitamin supplements in my luggage, I'm ready for my #Travelife to Russia.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Celebrations for British Airways' i360 pod in Brighton

British Airways i360 pod in Brighton

A year after the British Airways i360 pod opened to the public on August 4, 2016, it will mark its first anniversary by thanking its customers and the city of Brighton for their support.

British Airways is offering the following promotions as part of the celebrations:


British Airways i360 pod in Brighton

1) All customers taking a flight on the British Airways i360 pod on August 4, 2017, will be offered a birthday cupcake. A live band will perform on site in the afternoon and there will be free face-painting for children.

2) Customers on the British Airways i360 pod 2 PM flight on August 4, which marks the moment the attraction opened to the public last year, will also be welcomed with free drinks from the Nyetimber Sky Bar.

British Airways i360 pod in Brighton

3) Any customers born on August 4 will be given a free flight on their birthday, subject to availability*.

The 26,000 Resident Members of the British Airways i360 pod will have their membership extended free of charge, so they can continue to enjoy half-price tickets for another 12 months**. Time restrictions on usage have also been lifted so that Resident Member discounts apply at any time of day, year-round.

4) In addition to the 39,000 free tickets given to the Brighton school children in the last year, British Airways i360 will send free tickets to children starting reception classes in Brighton & Hove state schools in autumn 2017.


British Airways i360 pod in Brighton

The Belle Vue restaurant at British Airways i360 has also closed for a refit, and will re-open under a new name – the West Beach Bar & Kitchen, in time for the August 4 first-year anniversary.

Celebrated local neon artist Andy Doig is creating a bespoke piece for the bar area and artwork by other Brighton artists will be displayed for sale year-round.


British Airways i360 Executive Director Steve Bax said: “A year after it opened, British Airways i360 is giving inspiration and delight to hundreds of thousands of people. Nearly 80% of our customers rate us as 'excellent' or 'very good' on TripAdvisor, and according to the Brighton Visitor Survey 2016***, we are the most-visited paid-for attraction in Brighton.

British Airways i360 photo credits: Kevin Meredith

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kafnu Mixed Space Concept to Open in Hong Kong and Taipei in 2017

Kafnu shared office space by the Next Story Group

Introducing Kafnu: work in a beautiful office, drink in a speakeasy, train in a rockstar gym, learn like you're at an Ivy League university – all in a home away from home.  


Next Story Group, a company reimagining urban spaces, has unveiled Kafnu, the future of shared spaces that blends thee elements of co-working along with a hotel, restaurant, bar, gym, and private club.

Companies like Google and Facebook provide everything their employees need in their offices so employees never need to leave, but these facilities have been inaccessible to entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists, and creators. Kafnu now brings these spaces to everyone.


Kafnu shared office space by the Next Story Group

While Kafnu is a shared space with co-working facilities, it goes beyond that. Inside Kafnu, members have access to everything that needed to live, work, play, learn, and refresh. Think swanky meeting rooms, urban fitness centers, cozy but comfortable sleep pods, spa-like shower facilities, and even a craft whisky bar that's hidden inside of each Kafnu.

Members pay for what they need, as they need it. For example, a member needing to nap for three hours after a late-night work session before heading to the airport can book a sleep pod for just the time they need, rather than an entire overnight stay.

Kafnu shared office space by the Next Story Group


Kafnu opens its flagship locations in Hong Kong and Taipei in late 2017. The Hong Kong location will be inside the new Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, in the Hung Hom area of Kowloon.

Kafnu Taipei has its own 12-story building in the Songshan neighborhood, three minutes drive from the city airport, and located amidst business, shopping, and nightlife. Those who travel frequently between Hong Kong and Taipei will have access to both locations, providing a flexible office address in Hong Kong and Taipei, office, crash pad, shower, gym, and storage facility in both cities.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dynasty 8 at Conrad Macao chosen as one of Macao's best restaurants

Conrad Macao Cotai Central's signature Chinese restaurant, Dynasty 8

Conrad Macao Cotai Central's signature Chinese restaurant, Dynasty 8, was recently chosen as one of Macao's best restaurants for wine lovers.

It was given the “Best of Award of Excellence” for 2017 at Wine Spectator magazine's annual Restaurant Awards. This is the fourth year that Dynasty 8 has received such recognition. To earn the program's “Best of Award of Excellence”, which recognizes a wine list typically offering 350 or more selections, and are destinations for serious wine lovers, nominees must show a deep commitment to wine, both in the cellar and through their service team.

Conrad Macao Cotai Central's signature Chinese restaurant, Dynasty 8


Founded in 1976, Wine Spectator magazine introduced its Restaurant Awards program in 1981 to review wine lists.

The Restaurant Wine List Awards recognize restaurants that offer an interesting selection of wines appropriate to their relevant cuisines, and wine lists that also appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.


The staff of the Conrad Macao Cotai Central's signature Chinese restaurant, Dynasty 8

Dynasty 8, the signature Chinese restaurant of Conrad Macao, Cotai Central offers a journey embracing thousands of years of Chinese cooking with dishes designed to delight the senses.

The home of state-of-the-art, high-end Chinese cuisine evokes a feeling of old world China charm, with eight private dining rooms, each portraying the rich history and decor of one of the eight represented Chinese dynasties: Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and Qing Dynasty.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Norwegian Star sails to Europe's top destinations for 2017 - 2018 with Instagram-perfect itineraries

European cruise itineraries for the Norwegian Star

Norwegian Star’s 7-day Greek Isles cruise ensures guests from around the globe are able to experience the world’s trendiest travel hotspots all in one European getaway.

The ultimate Europe bucket list trip starts in Venice, Italy and sails through to the postcard-beautiful islands of Montenegro, Greece and Croatia. Norwegian Star’s most Instagram worthy sailing is available in September and October 2017 and is steeped in history with an abundance of breathtaking scenery.

Norwegian Star’s Greek Isles itinerary appeals to young and active travelers looking for an accessible holiday.


European cruise itineraries for the Norwegian Star

The ultimate photo-worthy holiday begins and ends in Venice, the historical northeastern town renowned for extraordinary architecture and for the Grand Canal.

Guests can enjoy the city at their own leisure and suggested activities include admiring the centuries-old buildings and churches of Venice and dining at a local eatery to become fully immersed in Mediterranean living.

On return, the Norwegian Star offers guests 4-5 hour guided tours that are combined with an airport transfer for the departure flight. Guests can choose from a guided tour of Prato della Valle, Padua's largest square or have a tour of Venice that includes Doges' Palace and Basilica di San Marco


European cruise itineraries for the Norwegian Star

On day two, guests wake up in the coastal town of Kotor in Montenegro. Wedged between large overhanging mountains, this impressive Mediterranean town is one of the best preserved medieval areas in the world.

Stone walls snake up the slopes and the romantic Old Town of Montenegro with its maze of museums, churches, delightful cafes and Venetian palaces.

For the more active guests, a three hour hike up the 1,350 zigzagging steps to the top of the city wall of Montenegro with a dedicated tour guide.


European cruise itineraries for the Norwegian Star

The Norwegian Star then makes her way to Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos. Available activities for guests are varied throughout the three days and include an exciting range of leisure and adventure-packed excursions.

Join the 4 x 4 drive adventure of Corfu’s countryside, or take in the charming blue-and-white village of Oia, followed by a visit to a local winery in Santorini.

European cruise itineraries for the Norwegian Star

Take the walking tour of Mykonos the best known of all the Greek islands with its narrow streets, lively beaches and whitewashed churches.


After spending the sixth day relaxing and indulging in the on board guests will then arrive in the 16th century stone-walled Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Norwegian Star’s exclusive shore excursions include the walking tour of Dubrovnik’s old town and a scenic cable car ride over the beautiful city.

European cruise itineraries for the Norwegian Star

Adventurists can also opt for the three hour off-road buggy adventure tour that combines exploration with local history.

For fans of the hit TV show series, Game of Thrones, Norwegian Star offers a three hour Game of Thrones tour in Croatia to experience the real setting of the fictional focal point of the show, King’s Landing.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The best hotels in the world and the best of luxury travel at ILTM 2017 in Shanghai

Travelife Magazine Managing Editor Ceia Ylagan at ILTM 2017 in Shanghai


The world’s most luxurious travel specialists gathered in the city of Shanghai for the International Luxury Travel Market Asia 2017 (ILTM Asia 2017) last June.

Over 460 exhibitors from 53 countries presented the latest developments in traveling – from luxury hotel accommodations within cosmopolitan cities like Zurich, New York, London and Tokyo; and exclusive islands within the Maldives and Tahiti, to unforgettable tour experiences thoughtfully curated by discerning travel designers.

The best hotels in the world at ILTM 2017 in Shanghai

ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore also announced at the ILTM Asia 2017 Opening Forum the many changes taking place with ILTM Asia.


The first major development is the creation of ILTM China slated for October 2018 in Shanghai. This event will focus on outbound luxury travel from China to accommodate the growing market of luxury travelers within China.

ILTM 2017 in Shanghai


On the other hand, ILTM Tokyo will center on inbound travelers to Japan. And finally, ILTM Singapore will highlight the needs and preferences of luxury travelers from the rest of Asia.

As hundreds of ILTM buyers, exhibitors, and media guests discovered the latest travel innovations during the day, the evenings were filled with exciting social events. ILTM Asia 2017 has raised the expectations for upcoming ILTM events in Asia.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hotel Indigo opens in Seminyak Beach, Bali

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach in Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak, Bali's most lively and storied village, is the site of the Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach. In a village that captures the ancient and modern zeitgeist of Bali in all its colour, energy and lively tradition, curious travelers are the new savvy individualists.




Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach in Seminyak, Bali
As a destination, Bali has always delighted guests with its ability to embrace the modern and traditional with a stylish and youthful zest — and nowhere is this more apparent than in Seminyak, a neighbourhood where the ocean breeze blends a fusion of village gamelan and modern house music.

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach in Seminyak, Bali
And indeed where in every direction, the visitor can trace the neighbourhood's story of a Cultural Journey in Bali — exploring the local communities and temples of Bali, where Balinese ceremonies and craft work retain the same daily rituals that connect you back to the heritage of the 15th century.

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach in Seminyak, Bali


The new Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach 289-room  hotel graces Seminyak's Mesari Beach draws inspiration from the flavours, culture and character of its surrounding local neighbourhood, the vibrant and lively Seminyak district.

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach in Seminyak, Bali
Extending across 4.7 hectares of lush, landscaped grounds, including exotic plantings and beautiful vertical gardens, the Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach promises an authentic fusion of enchanting Balinese culture and contemporary creativity fronting the southern stretch of Seminyak.

Here, the best of modern and traditional Balinese design are seamlessly integrated, reflecting the surrounding Seminyak neighbourhood, from its fashion boutiques and world-famous restaurants to its artisanal craftsmanship and architecture.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Breakfasts at Amanemu, the new Aman resort in Japan

Amanemu in Japan

I've just returned from a nice holiday break at Amanemu, which is the second Aman property in Japan. This Aman resort is located in Ise, known for the Ise Shrine, which is one of the most important shrines in Japan.

To get to Amanemu, it's about a two-hour drive or train ride from Nagoya, or a short chartered helicopter ride from Nagoya's Chubu International Airport. I guess you can also take a helicopter from Narita Airport or Haneda Airport, but Chubu International Airport is closer.




Amanemu in Japan

Amanemu is very quiet and serene, so it's the perfect place to get away from it all. Most of the Amanemu villas have a view of the sea and the pearl farms of Ise, except for the entry-level villas which have views of greenery.

Otherwise, the layouts of the villas at Amanemu are the same. There is the one-bedroom Amanemu villa, which is basically half of a duplex, and they are all of the same size and layout, including a hot springs bathtub. The only difference is the view.

Then you have the two-bedroom Amanemu villas which are two bedrooms joined by a living room and a common bath, although each villa is ensuite anyway. The common bath is a hot springs bath while the ensuite baths are not.


Amanemu in Japan

We had a very nice view in our Amanemu villa so we decided to order room service for breakfast and have it out on the terrace. Of course we ordered the Japanese breakfast, but we also ordered Eggs Benedict just because it's become a habit of mine to order Eggs Benedict everywhere I go.

Eggs Benedict at Amanemu in Japan

The Eggs Benedict of Amanemu came with one egg with bacon and one egg with salmon. Everything was delicious and, after a relaxing hot springs bath with the windows wide open, it was the perfect start to another day in my #Travelife.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Of the world's wonderful places and an amazing race from Beijing to Berlin

The best of Ho Chi Minh


This issue’s cover story is based on a recent visit to lively Ho Chi Minh, a vibrant city that's so unpredictable that hawker stalls and rundown dry goods mom and pop shops exist alongside chic Vietnamese boutiques, a beautiful opera house and even The Reverie Saigon, a six-star hotel with equally surprising design.

At Vietnam's six-star hotel, The Reverie Saigon

To discover what's good about Ho Chi Minh – or Saigon, as many old timers have reverted to calling it – the Travelife Magazine team split up in search of all kinds of adventures.

Travelife General Manager Angelica Bayona took our TV crew on a tour of the Ho Chi Minh’s main attractions, and then they all ended up on a wooden boat for a relaxing sail down the Pearl River.

The Travelife Magazine team in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Meanwhile I hit the streets of Saigon in search of iconic souvenirs, clothes by indie designers, and the best things to bring home from Vietnam.

Souvenirs of Vietnam

One of the brands I stumbled on was Minh Leong, a company that has been making fine Vietnamese porcelain pieces for decades. At one of its branches,  at the Takashimaya Shopping Center, I met Min, great-granddaughter of the founders of Minh Leong, and she showed me the heirloom items she is proudest of.

Vietnamese porcelain


A blue-and-gold dinnerware service was laid out beautifully on a long table in one corner of the store, mixed with pieces from their other collections. “The President of Vietnam has this same dinnerware set,” she told me with a proud smile. I had already been thinking about buying a service for eight, but the idea that the Vienamese head of state was using the very same one for his guests literally “sealed the deal.”

I quickly handed over my credit card before I could change my mind, and with some expert packing I managed to fit everything into my luggage and bring this home.


Architect Galal Mahmoud

In this issue, too, are some wonderful articles featuring truly interesting travels.

The award-winning architect Galal Mahmoud talks about his family holiday home on the Greek island of Mykonos and recalls a visit to Bali that blew him away with new ideas about designing in harmony with nature.


GM Rene Egle of Shangri-la Mactan

It was the stories of Shangri-la Mactan General Manager Rene Egle, however, that literally left me open-mouthed.

Some years back, he took to the road with a replica of a 1936 BMW motorbike, and motored on a road trip from Beijing to Berlin. This is an 11,800 kilometer roadtrip through some of the least traveled places on the planet.

GM Rene Egle of Shangri-la Mactan

It wasn’t really a race, but it certainly felt like it as he and his friends tried to make it to some form of civilization to find shelter before nightfall each day. One of his best memories involves an unexpectedly warm welcome with sausages and vodka in the middle of a rainy night by a small group of villagers in Siberia.

The tales travelers live to tell are indeed wondrous. And this issue will definitely give you many ideas for wonderful adventures of your own.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Delicious dimsum at W Sentosa Cove Singapore

 W Sentosa Cove Singapore

W Singapore is offering a sumptuous variety of dimsum -- Cantonese favourites that are baked, steamed and fried to perfection at the kitchen table -- from July 17 to 27, 2017.




Dim Sum means “touch your heart” and the tradition originated in Canton, in small establishments littering the roadside. These tiny roadside restaurants in Canton served tea along with little eats for travellers or for anybody who needed a place to rest. This experience then gained popularity in many cities, with Hong Kong in particular.

Today, dim sum has become a meal that's shared between friends and families globally -- many of them gather over a table of tiny plates filled with dumplings, buns and savoury pastries.

Dim sum at W Sentosa Cove Singapore


The W Singapore chefs will be serving up a roster of delightful morsels like chicken feet with black bean sauce and shrimp har gao, which are thin, translucent wrappers of wheat starch containing fresh shrimp.

There will also be siew mai, which are cup-shaped dumpling holding a filling of pork, shrimp, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and water chestnuts; selections of roasted duck, pork belly, BBQ honey kurobuta char siew; and signature desserts like egg tarts, which are flaky pastries with a soft, sweet egg custard centre.