Lifestyle and Culture

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For the fifth year in a row, WORLDHOTELS, the largest Europe based global hotel group for independent hotels, has achieved a double digit growth in 2007 setting a new record in sales and revenue with 307 million USD revenue generated across the whole portfolio of approximately 500 hotels (104,000 rooms) and a global room night production of 1.6 million.

On a year-on-year “same store” basis, room revenue increased by 20 percent up to 227 million USD while same store room night production increased by 7 percent, up to 1.1 million room nights. The WORLDHOTELS same store portfolio included 352 hotels with 68,000 rooms.

The average room rate increased by 8 percent to 196 USD. 

The group also added or opened 76 new properties, most of them in the five star (Deluxe) and four star (First Class) segments.

Commenting on the results, Michael Ball, CEO of WORLDHOTELS said: “2007 turned out to be an exceptional year for the hotel industry at large, and particularly for us at WORLDHOTELS. The focus was on optimising achieved rates, as both inbound and outbound demand remained strong in all of our key markets worldwide. With the growth in our meeting segment, our e-commerce connections and capabilities, as well as the global roll out of our WORLDHOTELS training academy, we continued our strategic transformation to generate above market demand for our hotels. By adding 76 exceptional and unique new properties, we significantly advanced our global presence as one of the leading hotel groups for independent hotels and regional groups.”

 

APAC Results

·         2007 set a new record for the APAC sales region which generated 250,000 room nights and 42 million USD revenue.

·         The demand for WORLDHOTELS properties in this region increased by 40% and climbed to an all-time-high.

·         In 2007, 10 hotels were added to the portfolio in the APAC region.

·         WORLDHOTELS entered the high demand market India in 2007. The company now is represented with 4 new properties. Further expansion is planned.

·         With two brand new 5-star-properties added in Kuala Lumpur in 2007, the Malaysian capital became one of WORLDHOTELS’ Top 5 Asia destinations along with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo.

·         Asia experiences a high demand for resort and wellness holidays. Therefore, WORLDHOTELS strives for heavy expansion in the resort segment. Most recently, Spa & Resort hotels were added in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

(information provided by the pr company)

World-renowned Singaporean chef Justin Quek is taking full advantage of his three dining destinations in Xintiandi to provide an evening of exquisite food and cultural insight. His "Gourmet Safari" is an evening that business visitors will find hard to forget.

Groups will begin their evening with a drink at Fountain, Justin's hip bistro and wine bar. They will then be given a guided tour of heritage lifestyle hub of Xintiandi, with museum visits and explanations of Shanghainese history and culture. More culinary delight awaits at Villa du Lac, where diners can sample the pinnacle of Yangzhou Huaiyang cuisine (Palace Cuisine), before finally moving on to Le Platane for the renowned modern French cuisine that made Justin Quek's name.

In conjunction with Le Platane's Corporate Luncheon, this personalised evening demonstrates what Justin's restaurants have to offer in the Meetings and Incentives market, with a guarantee of exquisite food and a commitment to exclusive, tailor-made dining experiences. Justin will, as always, have hands-on involvement, including the possibility of watching him cook your food as he talks you through the process.

 

Individually, Justin’s Villa du Lac and Le Platane present two very different, yet equally refined dining experiences beside the lake in Xintiandi. Together, along with the less formal Fountain, they offer one of the most stunning and unique settings for corporate functions and special events in Shanghai. Justin and his team provide tailor-made menus and go through every aspect of events with clients in order to ensure nothing is left to chance.

 

Justin is recognised as one of Asia’s foremost interpreters of fine French cuisine. His classical French techniques, paired with innate Asian tastes and sensibilities, have quickly established him as a gastronomic tour de force. Beyond the kitchen, Justin is also a creative exponent of culinary theatre. The “Gourmet Safari” is just the latest example of the exciting new initiatives he has brought to the Shanghai scene. It is unlike anything offered in Shanghai and is sure to provide an unforgettable evening of historical, cultural and gourmet insight for visitors to Shanghai’s lifestyle hub of Xintiandi. 

 

Fountain is located at Unit 4, Building 10-12, Lane 181 Taicang Road, Xintiandi, Shanghai. Villa du Lac is located at 383 Huangpi South Road, near Xingye Road, Shanghai. Le Platane is located at 373 Huangpi South Road, near Xingye Road, Shanghai.

 

For reservations or enquiries, please contact (86 21 5383 2998) or check out more online at www.justinquek.com.

(information provided by the pr company)

Japan’s Bad Manners Crisis

Transport authorities in Yokohama, Japan announced they are to introduce manners monitors on the city’s over-crowed commuter trains, this week, after reportedly claiming that ‘manners have deteriorated to critical levels’ (The Guardian).

9 out of 10 Japanese believe manners have got worse, the Guardian reported, with actions considered rude on trains including wearing strong perfume, reading porno manga comics and ‘talking loudly in groups’.

The new behaviour squad was launched following a campaign by star reporter Atsushi Mizoguchi from Japanese newspaper the Shukan Post, who last week reported that angry commuters are even getting into fights over body space.

"Westerners deliberately avoid coming into physical contact with strangers, and when they do bump into each other accidentally, they apologize immediately," he wrote.

"In some ways, Western children are brought up better mannered than kids in Japan and there is an unspoken rule that everybody has their own private space that other people are not supposed to intrude into,” he claimed (Shukan Post/ Manichi).

Ironically, Mr Mizoguchi’s claims emerged just months after British etiquette bible Debretts surveyed 1,000 women on British men’s behaviour and discovered that 4 in 5  ‘thought men needed help with their manners’ (Daily Mail). 

The Debretts survey appeared two years after British universities expert Professor Steven Schwarz also accused many British students of lacking a ‘basic sense of morality’, with many cheerfully cheating in exams.

“Plagiarism, incivility, rudeness and reneging on legitimate debts- all these are depressingly common among students,” the Professor told the Standard.


Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

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Hotel Jen – A Return to Simplicity

An affordable, contemporary interpretation of traditional hospitality

now open in Hong Kong

Hotel Jen is now open in Hong Kong.  Taking its name from the Chinese character which symbolises the Confucian ideal of love and goodwill towards people, Hotel Jen aims to bring the gracious traditions of Asian hospitality into the modern hotel context. In so doing, Hotel Jen aims to appeal to a growing class of entrepreneurs and travellers from around the world.

Hotel Jen’s approach is to provide travellers with the essentials of a quality hotel room without the expensive extras. A clean and functional room, a comfortable bed and a great shower are at the heart of the Hotel Jen experience.  The chic, modern design showcases clean lines and functional creativity, and the guest rooms are highlighted with natural colours and light wood finishes.   

“Hotel Jen brings an affordable, contemporary interpretation of traditional hospitality to Hong Kong. We created the rooms to be comfortable, functional, and clean to give good value to our guests – the essence of what we feel travellers today are really looking for in accommodation. A return to simplicity,” said general manager Gordon Aeria.

Hotel Jen is located in the Western District, just down the hill from Hong Kong University.  The Western District still preserves the flavor of old Hong Kong, yet is just 10 minutes from Hong Kong’s Central business district, the Airport Express and the city’s hottest nightlife centres of Soho and Lan Kwai Fong.

The 280 room independent hotel offers standard rooms, Jen Rooms and Jen Suites, all fully equipped with LCD TV, cable TV, iPod/MP3 connector, wired and, in the case of Jen Rooms and Suites, wireless broadband, personal voicemail service, in-room safe, hairdryers, and more. The signature Jen Rooms have sleek wooden flooring and an innovative bathroom design that maximizes space while maintaining privacy.  The Jen Rooms are located on the top floors of the hotel and offer either harbour or mountain views.

The spacious Jen Suites offer affordable luxury with sensational harbour views. The one-bedroom suites feature living/dining room, fully equipped kitchenette, separate dressing area, his and her sinks, separate shower stall and a deep soaking bath with harbour views. The 50 square metre rooms are perfect for a luxury getaway or for longer stays. Jen Rooms and Jen Suites include daily continental breakfast and exclusive use of the Sky Lounge.

Food and beverage offerings include Jen Café, Sky Lounge and Lobby Bar.

Jen Café is an all-day restaurant and lounge serving a menu of international and Asian fare. Long share tables create an informal ambience, encouraging guests to interact, and open kitchens enhance the space with warmth and activity.

The Lobby Bar, located in the lobby level of the hotel, serves beverages, light and ready-to-go snacks. On the top floor with sweeping harbour views, Sky Lounge provides an exclusive retreat for Jen Room and Jen Suite guests during the day that includes a nightly 6-8pm complimentary wine and cocktail hour. Thereafter it is open to the public, and offers a place to relax and unwind with wine, cocktails and snacks into the evening.

Recreational facilities include a 16-metre outdoor rooftop swimming pool overlooking the harbour, and 24-hour gym equipped with the latest fitness machines.

The 96-square-metre Function Room is ideal for private meetings and small events, including banquets for up to 50 guests. It is complete with a selection of the latest audio/visual facilities for meetings.

For the convenience of guests, Hotel Jen operates a regular shuttle bus throughout the day to Macau Ferry (Sheung Wan MTR), Central Star Ferry, Airport Express Hong Kong Station (ifc mall) and Admiralty MTR (Pacific Place).

Hotel Jen also offers a ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ that the rates available from its own website: www.hoteljen.com or WORLDHOTELS: www.worldhotels.com are the best available anywhere on the Internet.

Hotel Jen is located at 508 Queen’s Road West, Western District, Hong Kong. For reservations or more information, please call (852) 2974 1234 or email info@hoteljen.com, or go to www.hoteljen.com.

(information provided by the pr company)

Hotel Panorama Proudly Announces its Grand Opening

on 28 March 2008!

A deluxe business hotel located in the heart of the city

embraced by stunning views of Victoria Harbour


With 324 rooms including 12 spacious suites, Hotel Panorama by Rhombus celebrates its Grand Opening on 28 March, 2008.  This brand new property will deliver you a genuine style in accommodations embraced by pure comfort and relaxation.  Guestrooms are contemporarily designed with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering breathtaking views of either Victoria Harbour or the city ranging in themes: Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Superbly located in the heart of Tsimshatsui in one of Hong Kong’s most popular shopping and business hubs, Hotel Panorama by Rhombus is amidst a vast selection of shops, boutiques, museums, restaurants, bars and entertainment centres.  Our prime location allows you to access all parts of Hong Kong via Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Airport Express, buses, taxis and ferries.  All of Hong Kong’s conveniences are right at Hotel Panorama’s door steps!

Located on the 38th floor is Santa Lucia Restaurant & Lounge, with its modern design and floor-to-ceiling glass.  By day it is a bright naturally lit room with scenic harbour and city views, while after sunset it transforms to a serene canopy of stars and city lights.  It is the ultimate place for any occasion requiring a magical ambience, setting, view and fine dining experience. Café Express located on the lobby level, is our informal all-day restaurant providing you with a casual breakfast, brunch, light lunch or a deluxe dinner.

Our other unique facilities include our Sky Garden, Fitness Centre, Rhombus Club Executive Lounge and Business Centre.  Our Sky Garden, Putting Green and Fitness Centre are located on the 40th floor where you can unwind and relax while taking in some of the most spectacular and idyllic scenery on earth.  Rhombus Club Executive Lounge on our 39th floor offers state-of-the-art meeting facilities, personalized business and concierge services; it is an exclusive retreat for conducting business or simply relaxing and enjoying a soothing cocktail after a long day.  Our Business Centre on our lobby level offers a wide range of personalized administrative and internet services catering to your diverse business needs.

Hospitality is an honored tradition…having facilities and delivering seamless services as needed by our guests and in an efficient and friendly manner is our commitment.  Recognizing our guests’ needs and comfort during their stay in Hong Kong differentiates us from the rest. We are available 24 hours a day for you and may be summoned through the “ü CARE” button, our one-stop-service. 

We anticipate meeting your needs and are committed to exceeding your expectations each and every time you visit Hotel Panorama by Rhombus.

While in Hong Kong, Hotel Panorama by Rhombus is your “Home Away From Home”.

 

About Hotel Panorama by Rhombus  

8A Hart Avenue, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

No. of rooms: 324 rooms
Restaurant & Bar: Café Express, 1st Floor; Santa Lucia Restaurant & Lounge, 38th Floor
Reservations Hotline: (852) 3550 0388 / Fax: (852) 3550 0288

Email: reservations@hotelpanorama.com.hk

Website: www.hotelpanorama.com.hk

(infromation provided by the pr company)

Wednesday, April 2nd - Red Bull Music Academy Alumni Showcase @ Club Avenue
Kay C and S.T. perform with other Red Bull Music Academy Alumni.  Workshop 8-10, Party afterwards until late.  $160 w/Red Bull mixed drink.

(information provided by the organiser)

 

Scratch N Sniff DJs Come Up Smelling Of Roses

A new study of Turkish perfume buying habits has revealed that more men than women now wear scent, with 49% of men splashing it on, compared to 46% of women.

The TGI Turkey survey also revealed that one in three men consider aftershave as unequivocally perfume while one in four ‘don’t care about the price’.

The findings matched the habits of DJs including Gavin Wyn, Sweden’s the Touch and London man-about-town DJ Paolo Mojo, who told Skrufff ‘price is never a factor - you cant put a price on this (points to self).’

“Scent is an integral part of the overall image, mate,” Paolo continued, “Currently I'm feeling Armani Black Code and Gucci Light Blue.”

Admitting he favours spicy colognes (‘we're talking sandal wood, cloves, cinnamon with undertones of citrus, lemon grass, kaffir limes and fresh ocean breeze’) the notorious metrosexual stressed the importance of selecting the right aroma (‘get it right and you’ll be picking the knickers off your face as you DJ’) and had sage advice for non perfumed clubbers.

“Personally I’m not in the habit of smelling other men but I’m aware that smoke free clubs have brought the stinky chickens home to roost for a lot of individuals,” said Paulo, “There’s a lot of gentlemen out there that need to take a good long hard look at the hygiene mirror.  There’s no place to hide anymore.”

Uber cool Gothenburg scenesters The Touch told Skrufff perfume is now mandatory in Swedish clubs following their own smoking ban, revealing ‘Andreas wears Bulgari (got it as a gift), Olov wears Fahrenheit 32 (got it as a gift) and Johan wears Human Existence by Laudamiel (really liked the book).’

All three Gothenburgers admitted being put off by inappropriate perfume selections (‘most people have very poor taste and go around smelling like flowers and window shine’) and disagreed with Paolo’s assertion that price doesn’t matter.

“You can't put a price on expensive hygiene,” they suggested, “Or maybe you can but we refuse to see the paradox.”

UK trance star Gareth Wyn also told Skrufff he routinely wears perfume (‘Gucci; my girlfriend chose it’) and agreed that ‘it’s never been so important for clubbers.’

“Perfume says a lot about a person. If you pong, it's wrong,” he quipped, “With everyone now smoking outside, men need to wear perfume in clubs to hide their BO (body odour). Perfume is now a must do.”

Gareth shared Paolo’s devil may care financial attitude (‘money is no object when it comes to a man's scent’) though admitted he’d started out on gateway scents including notoriously cheap and cheerful deodorant Lynx.

“I've worn Lynx Africa many a time, and I used to rob some of my old man's Brut talc 'n' powder and Old Spice splash on before a night out,” he confessed, “Add to that a pair of Kickers, gelled back hair and a Ben Shearman shirt, and I was ready for any party, any time, any where.”

http://www.myspace.com/thetouchse

http://www.myspace.com/garethwyn (Gareth)

http://www.myspace.com/paolomojo (Paolo)

 


Article by Jonty Skrufff

 Subscribe to Skrufff music newsletter at www.Skrufff.com

ImageIn this collection Ed captures images from the awe-inspiring Silk Road with emphasis on fragile expressions from its people. Artist will be present in the opening event, with complimentary drinks and canapés. The exhibition period is from March 13 to April 30, 2008 at Philia Lounge.

For inquires or RSVP to the opening event, please call 2147 2389 or email info@philialounge.com

Complimentary DK Aromatherapy Skin Workshop for SilverBlack Cardholders

Aromatherapy Skin Regeneration and Hydration Product DIY Workshop (originally $380 include a free gift set)

Date: 25th March 2008

Time: 1930 - 2100

Venue: DK Aromatherapy, G/F, 16A Staunton Street, Soho, Central

RSVP: Please send your full name and SilverBlack Card number to benefits@silverblackcard.com or call 2815 7919. To find out how to join the SilverBlack Card visit www.silverblackcard.com.

DK Aromatherapy is a one-stop shop for today's health enthusiasts and offers Aromatherapy Full Body Treatment, Aromatherapy Skin Care Treatment, and Craniosacral Therapy, Indian Head Massage, Ear Candle Treatment, Tarot Reading, Psycho/Health Kinesiology Therapy, Eomotional Release Therapy, Aromatic Kinesiology and Solar Horoscope Astrology.

The Jasmine Room: Now Open at Wellington Street, Central

~ A classic pamper parlour for waxing, nails and brows~

‘Bring a Buddy’ opening offer: Book two of the same pedicure treatments for you and a friend and you will both receive a complimentary express manicure on your next visit to The Jasmine Room.  Valid until end May 2008

Immerse yourself the magic of 1950s French fancy at Hong Kong’s newest and most decadent beauty salon now open on the 15th floor of The Loop, 33 Wellington Street.  At The Jasmine Room, immaculate brows, impeccable nails and beautiful smooth skin are the stars of the show.

Created especially for the busy lives of Hong Kong ladies, The Jasmine Room is a welcoming and elegant one-stop-shop wax, nail and brow salon. A place apart from the bustle of the city, it has been designed to add pause to a woman’s hectic day; a space in which she can concentrate on herself and be pampered the way she deserves.

Designed by co-owners Claudia Sondakh and Dora Wong in a palette of white, cream and pink, the salon is a modern interpretation of a classic French boudoir; tasteful, elegant and redolent of days gone by with delicate floral prints, antique chairs, ornate mirrors, and twinkling chandeliers. 

The Jasmine Room provides all the essentials for today’s modern woman including manicures, pedicures and nail art; brow and lash care; waxing; IPL, and a range of massages to relieve stress and energise – all at competitive prices. 

To celebrate its opening, from 3rd March until the end of May 2008, The Jasmine Room is offering all customers a sensational ‘Bring a Buddy’ promotion: book two of the same pedicure treatments for you and a friend and you will both receive a complimentary express manicure on your next visit to The Jasmine Room.

Understanding the fast paced life of Hong Kong, many treatments are available as ‘express’ options meaning a quick wax or brow shape can easily be fitted in to a packed schedule or lunch break.  Likewise for those times where only an afternoon of pampering will do, The Jasmine Room offers a range of full service hand, foot and massage treatments. 

In addition to classic private treatments rooms, the salon incorporates a number of open plan social seating areas into its 1,800 sq. ft space giving women the option to chat with friends whilst having their nails preened.  It also has a ‘tea and cake corner’, serving a range of complimentary beverages alongside dainty tea cakes and light bites adding some light girly fun to the usual pedicure. 

All beauty therapists are fully qualified and extensively trained to carry out treatments to the highest of industry standards in a friendly but unobtrusive manner.    Similarly, the salon carries a number of internationally renowned brands including OPI and Essie nail varnishes,   Dipeleve waxes, IBD and INT nail gels to ensure top quality care, hygiene and comfort. 

Customers can choose from a number of timeless beauty classics to the more advanced Brazilian and Hollywood waxing, or lash extensions and curling techniques straight from the USA. 

Signature salon treatments for hands and feet, both of which include a basic manicure or pedicure, are the ‘Intensive Hydration for Thirsty Skin’ and the ‘Aromatherapy Sensation’ which use organic products, rich in vitamins and minerals.

Commenting on their new venture, Claudia and Dora said, “We’ve always been regular users of beauty salons so it’s been such an exciting opportunity to design and present our idea of perfection.  Taking into account personal experiences and gripes, we have opened our interpretation of what is a relaxing, beautiful and competent beauty salon; a place where women can go with friends and will genuinely feel relaxed and pampered in a fun and girly way - safe in the knowledge they are receiving thorough and consistent treatments by qualified therapists.”

The Jasmine Room welcomes private parties and offers a number of tailored and off-the-peg packages for group bookings making it the ideal venue for a ladies afternoon or night out - be it a birthday gathering, bridal shower, baby shower or no-reason girly get-together. 

With a great selection treatments, professional therapists and quality products, The Jasmine Room is a place of floral designs, sumptuous décor and plush furnishings where women can feel at home, indulge their girly sides and be pampered to their heart’s desire. 

Call it chic French glamour with a 50s twist, at The jasmine Room you will come out feeling like a star.

The Jasmine Room is open daily from 10am to 8pm.  Please call Tel: (852) 2522 8353 for bookings and enquiries.

(information provided by the pr company)

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