About oftravelandfood

A hotelier by profession, loves traveling though not very frequently due to my full-time job in the hotel. Food is my passion and is always on a lookout for the most awesome food in town.

CX first to confirm operating at Changi T4

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Cathay Pacific has confirmed its presence to operate out of Changi International Airport’s Terminal 4 in 2017.

The new Cathay Pacific Singapore lounge will be located on the upstairs mezzanine level of the new terminal, with views into the apron and runway. At some 800 square metres it will be around half the size of Cathay’s The First lounge at Hong Kong.

Mr. Wilson Yam, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager for South-East Asian region said that “As a keen adopter of technology aimed at improving passenger experience, self check-in options have always been offered by Cathay Pacific at all our stations. Changi Airport is one of Cathay Pacific’s largest bases outside Hong Kong so we are very excited at this opportunity to offer a transformational on-ground product for our valued passengers.”

IHG jumps on bandwagon to offer FREE Internet

Introducing the future of the world’s largest loyalty programme.

The Priority Club Rewards of the InterContinental Hotels Group has jump on the bandwagon to be one of the first hotel loyalty programme in the world to offer complimentary internet to all its 71,000,000 members irregardless of their elite status level.

The announcement comes as IHG reveals the results of a global online survey* which show that nearly half of adults (43%) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.

Richard Solomons, Chief Executive, IHG, said:

“In today’s fast-paced world, we know that travellers need to stay connected and free internet access is increasingly important.  I am proud that IHG is the first hotel company to offer free internet globally to all our loyalty programme members. 

The offer will first be rolled out in two tiers: the Gold and Platinum Elite members in July 2013 and all members to receive the complimentary internet from 2014.

This July 2013 will also see the conversion of the Priority Club Rewards (PCR) to IHG Reward Club. Guests can look forward to earn fast track elite status when they choose to stay in two or more of its brands, reward nights count towards elite membership status and Platinum elite status ‘extra nights’ gets to roll over towards maintaining their status in the next membership year (membership year refers to 1st January – 31st December calendar year).

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In June 2012, I wrote an article on Commercial Arrogance:The Wi-Fi Debate where most hotels I have stayed in charges cut-throat prices for internet connections. Almost a year later, we can now see that IHG is now ready to roll out free internet access to all its loyalty club members. I foresee that other hotel chains will follow suit soon.

I am very sure that most hotel brands would like to position itself to its potential guests with free internet access. Let’s see which other hotel brands will follow suit after this.

Melbourne could get 108-storey hotel

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Two major accommodation projects have been announced for Melbourne this week and, if accepted, one could lead to the city having the highest hotel in the southern hemisphere.

Architectural firm Nonda Katsalidis has planned a five-star hotel that will tower 108 storeys above the city.

Nonda Katsalidis, that created the Eureka tower, has designed the proposed Australia 108 building for Southbank that would feature a number of triangular shapes jutting out from the building “inspired by the Southern Cross stars”.

Victoria’s planning minister Matthew Guy will have to make a decision on the Southbank project but already the Melbourne City Council maintains it is too big and inappropriate.

Menwhile United Asia Group hopes to start construction on a proposed 400-apartment mixed-use development on Flemington Rd by the end of 2013.

The $160 million development in North Melbourne will comprise three towers of 13 storeys.

“We are confident based on our initial market response and aim to launch the project by June-September this year,” UAG director Nicole Chow said.

The as yet unnamed project will have four retail outlets on the ground floor totalling 465m².

Some of the building’s 173 one-bedroom and 227 two-bedroom units will overlook an internal garden designed by SJB in association with renowned landscape designer Jack Merlo. It would also have a gymnasium, spa and
sauna facilities at the lower level and a pool, garden and barbecue terrace on the rooftop, Ms Chow said.

UAG’s $95 million, 92-apartment Emblem complex in Hawthorn is expected to be finished in October.

Sick of filling-out Hotel Registration form?

by William Ng

You may have flown around the world and last thing you would like to do is to fill up the registration form that the receptionist is asking you to fill in whenever you check into the hotel.

There are a few ways to escape from filling-up the registration form ahead of your stay.

1) Be part of a hotel loyalty program

If you are part of the hotel’s loyalty program, chances are you would have already registered your details with the brand be it at the desk when they entice you to sign up their loyalty program or you would have registered online. This is one of the step you can escaped from the hassle.

2) Business / Personal name card

If the hotel brand is somewhat new to you or not one of those you would stay regularly, chances are you’re not in their database yet (or that’s not available to you while making your booking). I would give the hotel my business card to skip this hassle if you’re tired and worn out after a long flight. Not only it saves you time, the hotel at least can read everything that has been typewritten out on the card rather than a scribbling hand-writing which might cause them to miss out on certain characters on your details.

AirAsia X jumps on bandwagon to fly Malaysians abroad home for Elections

Written by William Ng

AirAsia X, the international arm of AirAsia has jumped on the bandwagon to shuttle Malaysians abroad back en-masse in what is seen to encourage Malaysians to vote in the upcoming 13th Malaysia General Elections.

The Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, Mr. Azran Osman-Rani in a comment to “JomBalikUndi” (literally translated as “Let’s Go Home and Vote”) Facebook page stated that “AirAsia X will make available some seats on our flights at low-fares (even if last minute booking) for registered Malaysian voters in our destinations to fly back to KL to vote.”

Malaysia is currently gearing towards its 13th General Elections where it has been said by international media that it will be a nail-biting battle between Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition government, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat being led by Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition Leader who was once the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia under Mr. Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.

MORE LUXURY HOTELS in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will see a few more new addition to its hotel brands with the opening of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur late 2012. This year, aloft™ Kuala Lumpur will debut in Malaysia early March 2013.

The Artist Impression of the Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Image 1)

WORLD’s FIRST HARRODS HOTEL to open in 2018

In my previous post dated 4th July 2012, I have noted that the World’s so-called 7-star hotel, Harrods Hotel will debut in Kuala Lumpur and this has been firm.

Tradewinds Corp Bhd and Qatar Holding LLC will jointly develop the world’s first Harrods Hotel in Malaysia, which is estimated to cost around RM1 billion.

Qatar Holding, which owns Harrods Group, also has on the drawing board to build Harrods Hotels in London and Italy.

The Artist Impression of the Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Image 2)

The seven-star Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which will have more than 30 floors, will feature 250 to 300 hotel rooms and several floors for serviced apartments and retail space.

Two other luxury hotels under construction in Kuala Lumpur are St. Regis at KL Sentral by the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and the 65-storey Four Seasons Place near the Kuala Lumpur City Centre which many of us have heard of its rumours few year back has become a reality now.

It is understood that the cost to build each Harrods Hotel room is RM2.5 million to RM4 million, depending on the size and finishing.

A six-star hotel room costs an average RM2.5 million to build and for five-star hotel rooms, it will cost about RM1.5 million to RM2 million each.

Virgin Australia’s new baggage allowances

Virgin Australia’s new checked luggage rules, recently introduced alongside the airline’s move to the Sabre booking system, could catch a few travellers unaware.

The following are the breakdown courtesy of Australian Business Traveller.

Velocity Platinum

The big change here is the economy allowance: a reduction when flying on the cheapest tickets, and needing to spread weight over more bags when on Saver or Flexi fares.

 

Velocity Gold

Gold members should also focus on economy fares: again, you have less weight when buying the cheapest fares, but two smaller bags instead of one large bag on Saver or Flexi tickets.

 

Velocity Silver

Good news for Silvers: you get an extra bag when on a Saver or Flexi fare.

 

Velocity Red and non-Velocity members

There’s no real change for Red members: the only difference is that Saver Lite is the new fare without bags, while Saver is the new cheaper fare with a bag.

Passengers without Velocity Frequent Flyer status have the same allowances as Velocity Red members.

 

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