Thursday, 31 October 2013

FootLoose, At Home Spa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

FootLoose, At Home Spa, Kuala Lumpur,
Therapist to your door!

FootLoose, At Home Spa


Have you ever found that the trip home from the spa with traffic, parking and bad drivers unravels all of that wonderful spa treatment you just paid good rinngit for? A planned hour of relaxation can turn into a three hour soap opera getting to and from your favourite spot, which cancels out the benefits of the therapy you’d originally signed up for. Meet the team from FootLoose. They take the hassle out of transport and give you back your precious time by bringing quality treatments directly to your home.

FootLoose – at home spa is a completely mobile team. A full range of massages is the highlight of the menu. Urut Pijit Javanese, Thai, Swedish, Shiatsu or a combination of these traditional healing techniques can be chosen. Body specific treatments and a line up of cleansing scrubs and masks further buff up the offerings while, children’s massage and, pre and post-natal care contribute specialist remediation.


The convenience of this mobile spa experience is not limited solely to you alone in your home. Office visitations and events are happily catered for too. An at home spa party is a perfect way to share health and beauty with your friends. The team at FootLoose is expert in catering for groups of four or more to customize packages to suit bridal showers, birthday parties and any other reason you might need for a relaxing spa session.

Now this is the paragraph you’ll want to send to your boss. The FootLoose team holds the belief that “employees are the best assets of a company,” and as such have tailored 15-minute seated massages (available for a minimum booking for 6 people) for employers to offer a gesture of appreciation to their hard-working, well-deserving staff. From a small RM25 per person, working professionals can choose either the Express Stress Buster or the Express Back Breaker. I think exceptional employees (as all of course are) should get to have both. ;-)

My experience however is pure indulgence in the home. I made an online booking, which was confirmed literally within minutes through a very easily navigable website. Prices are clearly marked and added to your shopping cart in one click of the mouse.

The 60 minute Urut Pijit Fullbody Massage (RM90) is their trademark therapy. It mixes ancient Javanese heeling practices to exert pressure on the body’s acupressure points. Smooth, firm and rhythmic strokes are used for a deep tissue workout. The traditional way to take this treatment is lying on the floor. The therapist sets up a yoga mat covered with a towel and manipulates the body while you lay in various positions on the mat. Linens smelt freshly laundered and an added benefit of having someone come to your home is that all other ambient factors such as temperature, music, lighting and scent are in your control. My therapist was strong and purposeful with her movements and I felt truly relaxed, but also reinvigorated after the session.

FootLoose, At Home Spa, Kuala Lumpur,
Floor Massage Set Up
My lovely masseuse was from Indonesia and spoke little English. I’m not so adept with languages and speak very little Indonesian, so quite a bit of charades was played for us to understand each other. The team however, usually comes accompanied with a multilingual driver who can translate before the treatment. So, if you have any specific requirements, take the first few minutes to clarify before your session begins.

This is a brand new service in Kuala Lumpur with, I believe, a lot of potential. It’s natural in early stages that there will be kinks to work out, so do give feedback. It seems the ladies leading this venture want to offer excellent service and so actively seek ways to improve.

The prices are just as competitive as many spas out there and, with the added time and money saver of not having to fill the car with petrol, idle in traffic and park, I think the service is quite a bargain.

Reason to order: treatments in YOUR home!

FootLoose At Home Spa
1 Jalan Nagasari
50300 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 017 655 3139
Operates 8am – 10pm including public holidays
Bookings outside regular trading house incur an extra fee

Serves homes, office and events



Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Malaysia

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Vasco’s, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel


The great explorer Vasco de Gama is the inspiration for the name of Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s buffet restaurant, Vasco’s. The namesake’s devotion to traversing new territory is carried through both in design and cuisine in the all day dining concept.

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Vasco's Buffet
Most people visit buffets for choice and unlimited helpings of food. Vasco’s however, is equally intriguing for its alluring design. A complete renovation has turned the space into a “modernist take on the urban park theme.” A vine-like trellis separates the restaurant from the lobby, allowing guests a sneak peek into the culinary playground.

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Dining Area
A giant white installation sprouts at the entrance carrying its layers of contoured parallel lines from the floor, up to the ceiling and, branches out across the roof, much the same as an enormous tree sheltering the room. The limbs of the silhouette draw the eye to a striking chandelier made of 100s of translucent tubes hanging from above. Wall windows and skylights fill the room with happy daylight, making it a cheery place for breakfast or lunch, while in the evening, these contemporary structures glow, morphing the scene into an equally impressive dinner experience.

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Private Dining Room
White curvilinear pods hold interactive cooking stations and a wonderful spread of international dishes. The smorgasbord winds across the dining area leading guests on an adventure around cuisines of the world – Western, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Italian and Malay.

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
More Seating Options - rolling blinds are lowered or lifted allowing more or less direct sunlight as the day goes on
With the Executive Chef of the Hilton KL’s rich background in pastry, the dessert counter is a dreamy start. Tiny tarts, oversized cakes and some playful child-like treats, such as giant marshmallows and cream filled lollipops, provide a colourful array for the eye and the stomach. A Malay Kuih spread, crepe station and, refrigerated counter further enhance the selection. Cold rock ice cream is a popular stand where you can customize your dessert by choosing ice cream flavours and ingredients then witness, as they’re smashed together over a chilled board, to create your own personalized treat.

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Desserts
Seafood, salad, sushi and cheese counters provide a wide collection of lighter options for the health conscious. The Chinese zone displays a number of hot classics and a handful of dim sum and steamed items. Indian fare too supplies multiple choices and, a carvery counter delivers aromas of roasted meats to diner’s nostrils making mouths water reflexively upon each pass. Pasta, more hot dishes and soups buff up the Western division and, a pizza oven, where both traditional and unconventional creations are whipped up, is fired up without interruption.

Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Wow! Pizza Creations - Japanese Inspired Oyster Pizza
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Sushi and Sashimi
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Fresh Seafood
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Salads
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Fish and Roasted Vegetables
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Carvery
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Make Your Own Salad
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Indian Cuisine
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Roasted Fish
Vasco's, Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Chinese Steamed Booth
Vasco’s offer both buffet and a la carte menus. Breakfast is priced at RM62++, Lunch RM108++ and dinner RM128++.

Reason to visit: not just a wonderful spread of food, but an intriguing atmosphere from which to enjoy it too

Vascos
Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Lobby Level
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur
50470 Malaysia
+6 03 2264 2264
Pork free

Open 6am - midnight


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Bacchanalia, Bubbly Brunch, Singapore

Bacchanalia
Cocktails are a must at Bacchanalia


Bacchanalia, Singapore

by Manveen Maan

Brunch may not be such a widely regarded concept in Asia but it's catching on fast, and Singapore’s Bacchanalia is one establishment that’s ahead of the curve. 

Initially starting out as a pop-up champagne brunch series, Bacchanalia now has a set address, making it the place to be for the hip and well-heeled. Housed in the historic Masonic Club building, the restaurant oozes a quiet intrigue, emanating a 60s Rat Pack vibe with plush red armchairs, dark wood panelling, hand-blown glass bubbles hanging from the ceiling, and sleek interiors.

Bacchanalia
Bacchanalia
Founded by directors Alex Chew and Raj Datwani, Bacchanalia’s ‘Modern European’ menu is just as outstanding as its décor. Featuring a regular menu, a brunch menu, a lunch menu and a snack menu, Bacchanalia is the sort of place where you start your meal with some bubbly at midday and end on the tabletops at midnight (In a particularly ingenious move, the clever folk at Bacchanalia have included in-seat compartments for ladies to stash their heels in). 

Despite the urge to make its namesake, the Roman wine god Bacchus proud, yours truly decided on a much more subdued but nonetheless sophisticated affair, settling on a selection of Bacchanalia’s most popular brunch options - whipped up by resident chefs who cut their teeth at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck.

best brunch in Singapore
Bacchanalia
Eggs Benedict commonly features across most brunch menus, so it’s not surprising it’s the first item on Bacchanalia’s menu. With perfectly poached eggs, ham, and spinach swathed in hollandaise sauce, sitting atop homemade English muffins, the serving is generous and filling. At $18 a pop, you can’t go wrong with this brunch favourite.

Bacchanalia, Bubbly Brunch, Singapore
Eggs Benedict
The Bacchanalia Burger ($25) is a definite highlight. True form is measured in the succulence of the burger meat and this delicious patty packs a juicy punch. Lettuce, tomato, pickle and cheddar cheese round up the flavours sitting between the homemade bun, with some French fries thrown on the side for good measure.

Bacchanalia
Bacchanalia Burger 
Being a lover of all things spicy, I couldn’t resist the Chili Con Carne ($28) and it didn’t disappoint. Made with pinto beans and piquillo peppers, this dish was served with hearty corn muffins, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce – for that extra spice kick. Despite its Mexican name, the dish had a surprising curry-like flavour to it... I suppose we were in Singapore after all.

Bacchanalia, Bubbly Brunch, Singapore
Side Dishes for Chili con Carne
Bacchanalia
Chili Con Carne
Those after a more decadent affair should settle for the French Toast ($18), which is a heavenly mix of homemade brioche, creamy yogurt and granola, and homemade jam. The layers of the rich brioche combined with the lighter jam proved to be a winning recipe, alongside the crunchy granola.

Bacchanalia
French Toast
Besides the outstanding cuisine, Bacchanalia’s bar is achieving somewhat legendary status, with in-house mixologists and bartenders whipping up a jaw-dropping selection of new and improved cocktails. If the purist in you shudders at the very thought of the amalgamation of liquers, Bacchanalia also has an impressive selection of wines, champagnes, craft spirits and sake.

Bacchanalia
Cocktails
The Bacchanalia Brunch is priced at $38++ and $48++ (for two courses), and comes with a choice of juice, tea or coffee. An extra $50 gets you free flow of Aix Rose, making this one of the best deals for a quality, boozy brunch in this notoriously pricey town. Sadly, as I had a flight to catch, I had to forego the bubbly revelry Bacchanalia is fast becoming synonymous with. But you can bet your bottom dollar that on my next trip to the island city, I’ll be back to try the other delectable dishes on the menu. And this time, I won’t hold back on the bubbles. 

*all prices quote are in Singapore dollars

Bacchanalia
23A Coleman Street,
Singapore 170806
+65 6509 1453
Opening Hours: Tue to Sat: 6:00pm - 1:00am, Sun: 11:00am - 3:00pm


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Monday, 28 October 2013

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

shangri la hotels in Kuala Lumpur
View from Traders Hotel


Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur has it all. It’s ideally located and equipped for both business and tourist travel, but also offers an excellent retreat for KLites looking for a quality experience in a staycation. Facilities and locations aside, it has one of the most picturesque, unobstructed views of the Petronas Twin Towers of any hotel in the city.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lobby

Location, location, location!

Traders Hotel could not be more conveniently positioned. Literally, EVERYTHING is within walking distance. Directly in front of the hotel are the renowned Petronas Towers holding shopping, cinemas, galleries, restaurants and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). Views from the hotel overlook the lush KLCC Park and stunning architecture of the twins. And… if you don’t want to walk, a complimentary buggy will shuttle you between the hotel and Suria KLCC. Attached to the same building is the KLCC Conference Centre and Aquarium. If that’s not enough, an undercover, air conditioned and guarded walkway has you in minutes to the vibrant shopping and dining district of Bukit Bintang.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Buggy to and from KLCC

Rooms

Rooms range from the entry level Deluxe offering 32sqm of comfort, up to Executive Twin Towers rooms with 38sqm of space and open views of the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A Warm Welcome
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lounge in Room
Our room utilizes space very efficiently. Three distinct areas (bedroom, lounge and bathroom) provide comfort, privacy and, a luxurious sense of spaciousness rarely found in the city centre.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Night View from Room
Corner windows give the bedroom clear views of the magical peaks, and the lounge is also gifted with the same beautiful vista. The bed is soft and we’re considering purchasing pillows to take home – they’re big and fluffy, heads sink into them. Lots of storage space keep our bags out of view and affords hubby and I our own wardrobes. Two flat screen LED televisions with satellite and cable (one in the bedroom, the other in the lounge) also mean no haggling over the remote.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bedroom
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
View from Room
The living area has a lounge and day bed with coffee table and generously sized workspace. Conveniently located built-in international adaptors are aplenty and a hair dryer, ironing board, electronic safe, mini-bar and, coffee and tea making facilities are supplementary amenities. Very well received too is the high speed Broadband and Wi-Fi.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lollipop on Towel - it's the little things
Water protected shower and toilet, a bathtub and, sink with vanity make up the large and well-organized bathroom. Extras such as a magnified mirror with light, bath salts, an abundance of clothes and towel hooks and, up-market bath products are part of the reason Traders Hotel has such a good reputation for creating a comfortable, just-like-you’re-at-home experience.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bathroom
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
L'Occitane Bath Products

Traders Club Lounge

Hubby and I always try to upgrade to a Club Room during hotel stays and the Traders Club Lounge is definitely worth paying a few extra Ringgit for. In room check in, access to meeting rooms and, complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktail hours and all day beverages, make it very attractive.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Traders Club Lounge
A full-of-choices buffet breakfast with a la minute options such as eggs done any style, pancakes and French toast, is a pleasant way to begin the day. Afternoon snacks such as scones, sandwiches, fruit and sweets keep the hungry satiated and, cocktail hours see a big enough selection of bites to make it a sufficient dinner for many. Too often club floors provide nasty wine encouraging you to not drink too much. Both the red and white we sample during cocktail hours however are delicious drops worthy of second (and third ;-) ) glasses.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Breakfast in the Club Lounge
Very important for a business/travel hotel is high speed Internet and here’s another area where Traders really shines. Blogging on my stay, I can download and upload heavy photo files in seconds. That, combined with a chilled glass of pleasantly drinkable sauvignon blanc, makes me very happy.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Traders Club Lounge - Who Wants to Leave? 
The above however can often be found in high quality hotels around the world. Traders Club Lounge however goes beyond what many are able to offer. The spectacular twin towers and KLCC Park are captured as if in a postcard perfect snapshot through the two giant wall windows, making the area a desirable all day hangout.


Food and Beverage

Staying for longer periods however, you may consider actually leaving the lounge. Two restaurants and a bar, each taking advantage of the splendid views, merit checking out. Gobo Chit Chat is Traders Hotel’s all day dining restaurant. It’s bright, cheery and has a fresh local and international spread. Gobo Upstairs is the grill expert, providing simply prepared high quality cuts of meat and seafood. It’s elegant dining at affordable prices. Sky Bar shouldn’t be missed and is one of KL’s hot spots for locals and visitors alike.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gobo Upstairs Lounge
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Champers in SkyBar

24 Hours In Room Dining

Still adoring those impressive views and not yet ready to leave the loveliness of your room? Room Service is not a bad option either. A newly revamped menu sees local and international dishes, healthy and vegetarian choices and, a kids’ menu provide quite a comprehensive range of meals. I sample the Wild Mushroom Salad with rocket, truffle oil and crisp Parmesan grissini and, the Baked Salmon Fillet accompanied by bok choy, buckwheat noodles and chili broth, and am pleasantly satisfied with both. Hubby adores his Vegetable Lasagne and Soup of the Day, carrot. Although the menu is extensive, judging by the outstanding service and desire to cater to every need, I’m guessing the team would be happy to whip up something you’re craving (if ingredients are available) even it weren’t on the menu.
 
Kuala Lumpur, Traders Hotel
Room Service

Facilities

The rooms and, food and beverage outlets are not the only spaces to take advantage of the view. The 24 hour Health Club offers sweeping vistas of the city centre and an impressive range of cardio machines and strength training equipment. The facilities are in excellent condition and an attendant makes sure you have everything you need such as a towel, water and headphones.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Even the Gym has a View! 
theSPA offers a flawless experience from start to finish. The menu encompasses beauty, wellness and relaxation. Facials and body wraps leave the skin refreshed. Massages relax and, manicure, pedicure and waxing services leave you feeling beautiful. We try the Signature Freedom massage and are both impressed with technique and professionalism.

Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Spa Treatment Room
The rooftop pool continues supplying outrageous views and, cushioned seating against transparent walls allow you to take full advantage of the both the water and the sky.
 
traders hotel
Rooftop Pool
It’s a large hotel with 571 rooms. With that though comes all the services you could ever think of that makes life easy, such as a business centre and conference rooms, foreign exchange, postal and courier service, travel agency, car rental, laundry and valet, airport and city transfers and… the list goes on. Serviced offices and secretarial services are even available for rental.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Being part of the Shangri-La group, Corporate Social Responsibility is an expectation. For the past three years Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur has worked together with the Down Syndrome Association in helping to supply Early Intervention Programs (EIP) and Post EIP. The hotel not only assists with funding, but staff too visit the centre offering their personal time and support. Employment at the hotel for those from the Association is also part of the commitment.


Service

An article on Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur would be incomplete without mentioning the wonderful people who keep the place running. From check in to check out we are cared for, from receptionists, to wait staff, to cleaners – all greet us with warm friendly smiles, all go out of their way to make our stay comfortable and all communicate exceptionally well in English. During our last afternoon they even note that it’s my birthday and present me with a rich chocolate mud cake and a birthday song. As much as the facilities, location and view are fabulous, the staff are truly the icing on the cake.

From location to service, facilities to giving back to the community, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur is excellent value for all. Business travelers, tourists and locals seeking a staycation should also find what they’re looking for in this exceptional hotel.

Reason to visit: location, friendly professional service, Traders Club Lounge, excellent food and beverage outlets, high quality facilities including very well equipped gym, spa and pool, some of the best unobstructed views of the magical twin towers in the city

Traders Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Malaysia
+6 03 2332 9888




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