5 Top Festive Experiences In Singapore

Christmas always fills me with a sense of child-like wonder.  The nights twinkle with fairy lights and soft jazz drifts through the air.  It’s a magical season.  This year, I’ve picked my five favourite festive experiences that you shouldn’t miss if you happen to be in Singapore.

Enchanted Gardens


High on my list this year is Gardens by the Bay, where toys and childhood fantasies come to life.  The gardens have been carpeted with poinsettia, Christmas rose, winter heather and holly; and towering over these yuletide florals is an 11-metre tall pyramid decked with toys.

To add to the sense of festive magic, the Supertree Grove also features a Spiegeltent (a century-old travelling ‘mirror tent’ from the Netherlands); and hosts a European-style festive market with Christmas gifts and delicious food.

Don’t miss the nightly light shows at the Supertrees that are now synced with beautiful festive tunes; as well as the series of ‘live’ performances on the multi-tiered traditional German wooden carousel at the Flower Field.  Look out for classical opera, stand-up comedians, string quartets and Enid Blyton storytelling.  Schedule here.

The Iridescent River

Singapore River

Always alit with soft shimmering lights, The Singapore River is peaceful during weekdays, and a bustling hub of activities on weekends.  It’s one of my favourite places for an evening stroll in Singapore.

This Christmas, it comes to life with a luminous forest of LED-lit tree-like structures from Robertson Quay to Boat Quay.  Christmas carollers and roving festive troopers will also add to the merriment on specific days of the week.  I’m really looking forward to the Artisan Pop Up Christmas Market at Clarke Quay’s Central Fountain Square from 5-7 December, and the fireworks display on 12 and 26 December at 9pm!

Party Under The Stars

Picture by www.yoursingapore.com

Picture by www.yoursingapore.com

December always puts me in a party mood, and Zouk Out is arguably one of the best dance festivals in the region.  Last year alone, this sunrise beach festival welcomed more than 50,000 revellers from Singapore and around the world.

Besides a diverse and electrifying line-up of techno, trance, indie-electronic and hip-hop music, festival-goers can also expect ‘live’ performances, art installations, costumed buskers, food stalls, fireworks and endless fun from dusk to dawn.  Zouk Out will take place from 11-12 December.

Christmas Movie Magic

Picture by www.rwsentosablog.com

Picture by www.rwsentosablog.com

If you love Christmas blockbusters as much as I do, here’s a chance to spend the yuletide season with your favourite characters.  Universal Studios Singapore‘s programme this year is nothing short of amazing.

Catch the Sesame Street Saves Christmas Show, Dancing Christmas Light Show, Fairytale Remix Show, and other festive performances featuring beloved characters such as the Penguins of Madagascar, Marilyn Monroe, toy soldiers and Scrooge.  Plus, it’s one of the few places to experience snow in Singapore, and catch a dazzling display of fireworks on 12, 19 and 29 December.

#5 Cuban Festival in Singapore


One of the things I love best about travel is experiencing festivals around the world.  And this year, Capella Singapore re-creates a Cuban festival under the stars – El Ritmo de la Noche – for its New Year’s Eve Party.

Watch aerial performers whiz across the night sky, as well as fire dances, stilt walkers and magicians.  In the tradition of the best Latin American parties, a ‘live’ Cuban band Havana Social Club will also serenade you as you welcome 2016 with the finest champagne.  Join me on 31 December from 10pm!

For more exciting festive experiences around Singapore or Sentosa, speak to your personal assistants at Capella Singapore.



4 Top Experiences On Sentosa Island

One of the best ways to discover a country is by talking to the people who live there. This month, I speak to four personal assistants at Capella Singapore to uncover their favourite haunts and hideouts on Sentosa Island. Read on for their best Insiders’ tips!

JessicaJessica Bassig

The most romantic spot in Sentosa is… Palawan Beach. I love the fine white sand and golden sun during the day, and enjoy watching the sea come to life with a hundred dazzling lights from the ships in the evening. Stroll along the beach, have a romantic picnic or immerse yourself in a good book.

Don’t miss… the bridge leading to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia. This is also Asia’s closest point to the equator and an excellent spot for Instagram-worthy photos.

To get there… take the monorail and alight at the Beach Station – you’ll find Palawan Beach on your left. If you are staying at Capella Singapore, simply take the private path that leads directly to Palawan Beach!


Yoshie Furukawa 


One of my favourite places to unwind is… The Wine Company at the Sentosa Boardwalk. You’ll enjoy unforgettable views of Harbourfront and Resorts World Sentosa, as well as soft sea breezes.

Do try… their vast collection of old and new world wines. Or, if you’re undecided, ask the serving staff for recommendations.

The best time to go is… on weekday nights. I love how quiet and serene it is.


Nicky Koh 


For a uniquely-Singaporean dining experience… the Singapore Seafood Republic offers exceptional local Chinese food, as well as waterfront views and top-notch service.

Don’t miss… the award-winning chilli crab and black pepper crab. I also love the salted egg golden prawns, deep fried scallop wrapped in yam ring and the dragon fruit lobster salad with lumpfish caviar. Since this menu is the result of a collaboration among several popular seafood restaurants in Singapore, most of the items are bestsellers and simply delicious.

Don’t forget to… make a reservation as this restaurant is pretty popular! It operates from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11:30pm.



Sophia Kim Sophie

My favourite outdoor activity is… surfing at the Wave House Sentosa. Since Singapore is known for its calm waters, this is the only place where you can enjoy waves and surfing. Even if you’re new to surfing, you may still enjoy this.

The best time to visit is… during the day, especially if you need to cool off from the hot weather. It’s also an excellent activity in the evening, as they offer a DIY BBQ by the beach with gorgeous views of the sunset.

Don’t forget to… bring your swimsuit!

Picture via www.sentosa.com.sg

Picture via www.sentosa.com.sg

For more interesting ideas, speak to your Personal Assistant at Capella Singapore.


Best-Kept Auriga Spa Beauty Secrets

Singapore really comes to life during the festive season – with dawn-to-dusk feasting, dusk-to-dawn parties, and lots of shopping and gatherings in between.  That said, the festive frenzy sometimes sends me (and my skin) into over-drive.

This past month, back-to-back late nights were starting to take their toll.  So, with the party season coming up, I really needed a beauty reboot.  Fortunately, Auriga Spa’s Regional Director of Spa Alsu Abdulina read my mind, and invited me for a restorative experience.

The Ultimate Healing Journey

I’m personally not a fan of the new breed of ‘in-and-out’ express spa treatments.  So Auriga Spa’s back-to-classics and back-to-nature approach was just my cup of tea.  Instead of newfangled ideas and short-term quick-fixes, I embarked on the ultimate healing journey.

Vitality Pool

Vitality Pool

The moment I stepped into Auriga Spa, I felt removed from the fluster of the world.  Shrugging off my worries and slipping into my spa robe, I relaxed in the cinnamon-infused steam room, cooled myself down with the ice fountain, and then stilled my mind and body with the warm massaging jets of the vitality pool.  I was teleported to a secret universe where time stood still.

Rejuvenating Lunar Rituals

Since city life causes us to feel estranged from nature and our bodies, Auriga Spa’s treatments are designed to put us in tune with nature again.  The spa’s signature moon phase treatments are uniquely synced with the lunar cycle, and tap into its restorative energies.  My spa day happened to correspond with the new moon, so I was offered the New Moon Treatment for festive detoxification and renewal.

Unhurriedly, my therapist began by anointing and massaging my foot with a clarifying blend of juniper, rosemary and fennel oil.  Then, she treated me to an aromatic seaweed and eucalyptus salt scrub.  After I rinsed off the salt, dead skin cells and impurities, she slathered on a purifying seaweed mud wrap to purge out toxins.

Auriga Spa (Clay Back)-2

While being cocooned in this warm soporific wrap, my face was thoroughly cleansed and massaged with an organic honey jasmine mask that smelled good enough to eat.  And to end the treatment on a high note, I enjoyed a soothing body and scalp massage.  My therapist had an uncanny knack for finding and easing every ache in my body so that I emerged from this treatment feeling as good as new.

Best-Kept Spa Secrets

Alsu Abdulina, Regional Director of Spa

Alsu Abdulina, Regional Director of Spa

To retain my post-spa glow for as long as possible, I quickly caught up with Regional Spa Director Alsu for her wellness tips.  Here are her four secrets to youth and beauty:

#1 Eat Your Way To Glowing Skin

True beauty comes from within, so the first step to inner radiance is eating right.  Cut down on sugar, which cause glycation and damages the collagen and elastin in your skin.  Also, consume carbohydrates moderately, especially refined carbohydrates which are depleted of nutrients.

Instead, trade these for superfoods such as antioxidant-packed goji berries and acai berries, nutrient-dense avocado and omega-3 rich chia seed.

#2 Nature Is The Best Healing Balm

Don’t overwhelm your skin – many modern skincare products contain harsh and strong ingredients that may deliver flash results, but also tend to over-stimulate your skin.  This causes inflammation and premature ageing over time.

Organic and natural products on the other hand may take longer to deliver results, but they nourish your skin from within, and won’t strip or irritate your skin.  Some wonderful natural skin-savers to try are aloe vera, seaweed and marine collagen.

#3 Exercise Is The Key To Youth

Exercise not only helps your body flush out toxins through sweat; it also boosts microcirculation, and delivers oxygen and nutrients to each of your skin cells for speedy cellular rejuvenation.

Regular exercise also shapes your body up, and keeps your muscles toned.  Alsu personally enjoys a mix of cardiovascular workouts such as cycling, high-impact exercises such as gym classes, and relaxing and toning exercises such as yoga.

#4 Stress Ages Your Skin At Record Speed

It’s no secret that stress damages skin cells and accelerates ageing.  So in today’s fast-paced urban environment, spa-time is no longer a luxury but a necessity.  Scheduling spa-time regularly has immense stress-relieving and anti-ageing benefits!

The best way to benefit from a spa treatment is not to zip in and out of the spa in a great hurry.  Make it a point to arrive early, take your time to enjoy the spa facilities such as the steam room and vitality pool, and prepare your body well for the treatment ahead.  Don’t forget that our skin repairs itself best when we are completely relaxed.

Embark on your own wellness journey at Auriga Spa.  For more details, call 6591 5023 or email spa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

Amazing Child-Friendly Activities in Singapore

Many parents today think of travel as a natural extension of the classroom – and for good reason.  A well-planned trip will not only help you bond with your little ones, but also expand their horizons.  Fortunately, there is lots to do in Singapore that is enjoyable not only for the adults, but for the children as well.  Together with the Capella Singapore Personal Assistants, I’ve compiled some of the top child-friendly activities in Singapore to help you plan your next visit.

Embark On A Wild And Wet Adventure

Picture via http://seaa.rwsentosablog.com

Shark Encounter at Adventure Cove Waterpark. Picture via http://seaa.rwsentosablog.com

Home to Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster, as well as endless waterslides and tubes, the Adventure Cove Waterpark is sure to expend some of your little champion’s boundless energy.

Beyond adrenaline-pumping rides, this theme park also features a colourful coral reef with more than 20,000 tropical fish.  Inquisitive kids will love watching deadly marine predators such as hammerhead, silvertip and sandbar sharks from the safety of a customised acrylic enclosure underwater.  They may also feed and interact with the waterpark’s 65 gorgeous giant manta rays.

Discover The Company of Cats

The Company Of Cats

The Company Of Cats

What better way to teach your little ones love and respect for all living creatures than an afternoon in The Company of Cats?  Located in Chinatown, this lovely little café feels a bit like visiting a friends home.  A friend with several feline companions!  The cats are apt to snuggle up to guests or lounge about as you enjoy your meal.

Amazingly, these cats, who now play hosts of the café, were once strays or abandoned.  These rescued cats now occupy a place of pride at the café as ‘Meowketing Directors’ and ‘Purrblic Relations Meownagers.’  Check out their spectacular feline cast on Instagram at @thecompanyofcats.  Do note that young guests must be at least seven years of age, and supervised by an adult at all times.

Let Your Imagination Take Flight

Lory Loft At Jurong Bird Park

Lory Loft At Jurong Bird Park

Entering the Jurong Bird Park is like discovering a lost world, with more than 5,000 exotic feathered creatures free-flying in some of the largest aviaries in the world.

Observe the ostrich and cassowary in naturalistic environments during their daily feedings, or witness a lory feeding frenzy as you tread across suspended bridges with a cup of nectar mix in hand.  Lunch with parrots and dine with penguins as you re-live your childhood fantasies with your little explorer.

Groom The Next Junior Master Chef

Super Chef Camp At Camp Asia

Super Chef Camp At Camp Asia

If your little one is a natural-born foodie, why not enrol him for a Super Chef Camp?  Helmed by seasoned Head Chef Tim Ong and Celebrity Chef Emmanuel Stroobant, this camp will have your little champ out-cooking you in no time.  From desserts to pizzas and tapas, this five-day cooking camp will hone their taste buds and jumpstart their lifelong gourmet adventures.

Watch Blockbusters Come To Life

Universal Studio Singapore - picture via www.rwsentosablog.com

Universal Studio Singapore – picture via www.rwsentosablog.com

As a self-professed movie buff, Universal Studios Singapore has a special place on my weekend hit list.  It transforms movie magic into thrilling rides and themed attractions.  Beloved cartoon characters such as the Minions and Woody The Woodpecker spring to life. And crowd-pleasers such as Shrek get an update as a short 4D-film, complete with air blasts, water sprays and other special effects.

Enjoy Gravity-Defying Acrobatic Acts

Cirque Du Soleil TOTEM

Cirque Du Soleil TOTEM

Circus meets theatre as acclaimed Canadian theatre artist Robert Lapage is roped in as writer and director of the latest Cirque du Soleil production, TOTEM.  Following the evolution of man from his amphibian state to his ultimate desire to soar, these stunning acrobatic acts, elaborate costumes and breathtaking digital effects are equally fascinating to both the young and the young-at-heart.

For more ideas, speak to your personal assistant at Capella Singapore.  

Discover Iceland’s Reyka Vodka in Singapore

Having visited some 25 countries, Iceland is one of my all-time favourites.  The minute I touched down, Iceland’s stark beauty stole my heart.  Its immaculate snow-scapes, glaciers, volcanoes and geysers are lit with a soft ethereal light.

Glacials in Iceland

Glacials in Iceland

With a population of approximately 338,800 spread over a vast area of 103,000km2 (that’s more than 140 times larger than Singapore), this magical island is pristine, unspoilt and unfathomable.  It is a land where up to 80% of people reportedly still believe in elves and trolls!

Iceland at dusk

Iceland at dusk

So imagine how thrilled I was to be invited for The Herbal Tales experience, a bespoke Icelandic vodka cocktail tasting at Capella Singapore’s Bob’s Bar.  Created with fresh herbs and Reyka Vodka made from pure Icelandic spring water filtered through lava rocks, it conjures up the breathtaking beauty of Iceland.

As part of this exclusive experience, the bartender invited me to pick my own bouquet of herbs and spices.  I sniffed my way through Bob’s Bar’s very own herb garden, and finally decided on fresh rosemary and lemon verbena.  My bartender then expertly crafted my bespoke cocktail, and I was instantly teleported to the Arctic Circle again.

Bespoke Icelandic Vodka Cocktail at Bob's Bar

Bespoke Icelandic Vodka Cocktail at Bob’s Bar

Deeply intrigued, I caught up with Charlene Low, regional brand manager of William Grant & Sons (which includes Reyka Vodka under its portfolio of premium spirits).  She shares some rare insights and insider tips with me.

What is most interesting about Reyka Vodka?

Charlene: Reyka is an old Icelandic word for ‘smoke’ or ‘steam’.  We use geothermal energy to power our Reyka Vodka distillery, making it one of the greenest distillation processes in the world.  We also use lava rock in place of charcoal for filtration, contributing to its clean taste.

Share with us your tasting notes for this vodka.

Charlene: It is superbly clean, and slightly sweet with subtle aniseed and fennel, faint cream-of-soda vanilla and light peppery spice.

What herbs go best with vodka?

Charlene: Being such a versatile spirit, you can use your favourite herbs to create almost any cocktail.  The best way to do this is to use a Reyka Tonic as your base, add a slice of grapefruit and your choice of herbs.  I like mine with thyme and tarragon.

What are your best vodka mixology tips?

Charlene: Try a vodka martini – this puts the spirit at the forefront so you can fully experience and appreciate its subtle flavours.

What’s a popular Icelandic vodka cocktail?

Charlene: Foragers Ramble is popular in Iceland.  It’s a delicious blend of Reyka Vodka, homemade thyme syrup, cinzano bianco, Reyka bitters, dandelion and burdock bitters. I’d highly recommend it if you’re visiting Iceland.

Foragers Ramble cocktail

Foragers Ramble cocktail

For a bespoke Icelandic cocktail experience in Singapore, swing by Bob’s Bar at Capella Singapore any Saturday or Sunday of October between 5-9pm.  More details on The Herbal Tales experience here.

24 Hours: Best-Kept Secrets in Singapore

As you disembark from your plane at Changi Airport, you’ll probably hear plenty about Singapore’s Mandai Zoo, Bird Park, ArtScience Museum and S.E.A. Aquarium.  And indeed, these famous attractions are certainly worth a visit.

That said, Singapore’s not just a nation of pretty theme parks; it is also full of hidden gems for the free-spirited and unconventional traveller.  So if you’re craving a different kind of adventure, allow me to take you off the beaten path to discover some of the best-kept secrets in Singapore.

Morning – Decompress At The Reservoir

Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir - https://forestadventure.com.sg

Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir – https://forestadventure.com.sg

Singapore’s reservoirs are a picture of serenity at sunrise.  Even before the city stirs, the birds begin their morning song amidst emerald foliage.  The magical light of dawn illuminates the lake with soft colours, and the air is clear and cool.  A few moments at these lush sanctuaries will restore you with a quiet sense of calm.

This scenic spots also offer adventure for solo travellers, adrenaline junkies and families with young children.  Bedok Reservoir Park for instance is a popular spot for dragon boating and kayaking.  It also features a 2.5-hour Forest Adventure with bridges, trapezes, wobbly logs, a Tarzan swing and zip lines across the reservoir.  There is also a Kids Course and Mini Course, if 2.5 hours seems a tad long.  Do keep your eyes out for swallows, herons and kingfishers amidst the 14,000 diverse wetland plants.

Noon – Discover Art Havens

Kondo Akino at Mizuma Gallery

Kondo Akino at Mizuma Gallery

Take refuge from Singapore’s unforgiving mid-day sun at our latest contemporary art cluster. Gillman Barracks is so named because it used to be a military camp.  The charming colonial barracks now houses 11 international art galleries, the NTU Centre of Contemporary Art Singapore and three restaurants.

These galleries feature art from the region and around the world.  I’m currently fascinated by the fantastical, subversive and dystopian worlds depicted by some of the artists at Mizuma Gallery, as well as the well-curated exhibitions at Arndt, Fost Gallery and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Late Afternoon – Explore Secret Beaches

Sisters' Island - picture by NParks

Sisters’ Island – picture by NParks

Singapore and Sentosa island are too small to harbour any secret beaches – so rent a yacht, head out to sea and go island hopping.  Pack a picnic, pop some champers and soak in the golden sun rays.  Companies such as Lloyd Marine and White Label Charters offer private yachts of various sizes for rental.

Besides pristine beaches, Kusu Island has a lovely tortoise sanctuary, Sisters’ Island is perfect for snorkelling or hiking, and Pulau Ubin is home to Singapore’s last kampung (a traditional Malay village), as well as a diverse ecosystem of mangroves and corals.

Night – Rendezvous At A Hidden Bar

Operation Dagger

Operation Dagger

There’s something irresistibly sexy about secret bars or speakeasies – perhaps owing to a sense of covert romance.  So if you’ve had enough of rooftop bars, swing by these ‘underground’ establishments instead.

Try Operation Dagger along the hip Ang Siang stretch.  Its name sounds like a Hong Kong spy flick, and you won’t find any signage here – merely a gothic symbol near the door, as well as apothecary-like bottles with indecipherable labels.  Another fun find is Bincho @ Hua Bee (more information via City Nomads here), a nuclear bunker serving Japanese whiskies and cocktails.  Pick a tipple you’ve never tried before, an have an unforgettable evening!

I love discover the many secrets in Singapore!  For more interesting and unusual experiences, speak to your Personal Assistant at Capella Singapore, then share your favourites with me!