Sundowners with a Difference – Gear Up and Explore

What’s one to do as the sun sets over the horizon in the central business district of Changi? Plenty, as John Maxwell a Long Stay Guest at Capri by Fraser, Changi City /Singapore will tell you:

“I saw the adverts for ‘Gear up and Explore – the cycling experience’ posted around the hotel. I thought it would be a good way to explore the local area and to get to know my fellow guests and the staff at the hotel. I have not cycled for years but the team at Capri by Fraser made my Changi experience so enjoyable. The pace was just right. The route was safe, scenic and well organised. Safety and comfort was a key concern for the Capri team and that was very reassuring. The break for food and drink was an added bonus. However, it was the warmth, kindness and friendliness of the Capri staff that made it not just a lovely experience but a highlight of my time in Singapore. After the trip I was buzzing, not just from the enjoyable experience but the fact that the acquaintances I had begun the journey with had become my friends.”

From left: Vernon Lee, General Manager with our guests, Rosemarijn Kriek (in yellow top), John Maxwell (in orange top) and Santosh Kumar Podishetti (in chrome orange top), along with our enthusiastic team of cyclists from Front Office

From left: Vernon Lee, General Manager with our guests, Rosemarijn Kriek (in yellow top), John Maxwell (in orange top) and Santosh Kumar Podishetti (in chrome orange top), along with our enthusiastic team of cyclists from Front Office

Guest-IMG-20150722-WA0002 GM-20150519_171118 DOSM-IMG_4191 DOSM-IMG_4189 DOSM-IMG_4188

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Next Stop: Ho Chi Minh City!

Image from wikipedia, credit to calflier001

Image from wikipedia, credit to calflier001

Capri by Fraser has expanded from Singapore to the Vietnamese city, Ho Chi Minh City! In honour of that, today we’ll introduce you to the city and show you the amazing sites you can visit there.

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, and boasts a population of 9 million citizens. You may also know it by its former (and still commonly used today) name, Saigon. It was officially renamed in 1975, after the communist takeover of South Vietnam. The provisional government named it after Ho Chi Minh, the late Vietnamese revolutionary leader.

If you visit the city, you will find that it is a dynamic urban area, with modern skyscrapers mixed with Chinese-style pagodas and food stalls along its streets.  Indeed, the city’s lifestyle and architecture can be said to be a fusion of Western and Asian influences with Vietnamese traits, and is as historical as it is modern.

And you will find that there are lots of things to do here, with Ho Chi Minh City considered to be the most entertaining place in Vietnam! With amusement parks, historical sites, great food and a booming night life, you will never get bored.

Below are some of Ho Chi Minh City’s tourist spots… Check them out if you can!

 

Reunification Palace

Image from wikipedia, credit to Mahen Bala

Image from wikipedia, credit to Mahen Bala

 

Formerly known as the Independence Palace, it used to be the home of the president of South Vietnam and is a landmark of Ho Chi Minh City today.

The building has a lot of historical sentiment attached to it. It was constructed at the site of the old Norodom Palace which had been witness to two world wars. In 1962, two rebel pilots bombed the palace and destroyed the entire left wing. As it was impossible to restore, the president ordered it demolished and commissioned a new building in its place.

It now functions as a museum where visitors can view important moments of Vietnam’s past.

The Reunification Palace is located at 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street on District 1.

 

Saigon Opera House

Image from wikipedia, credit to Jorge Lascar

Image from wikipedia, credit to Jorge Lascar

The Saigon Opera House (also known as The Municipal Theatre) is an example of Vietnam’s French Colonial architecture. All the furnishings and décor used inside were drawn by a French artist and sent by France.

It was designed by French architect Ferret Eugene and was built in 1897 as a classical opera house to entertain French Colonists. After 1956, the theatre was used as the Lower House Assembly for Southern Vietnam, and was only converted back to its original purpose in 1975.

In 1998, to celebrate the 300th birthday of Saigon, the municipal government invited several famous architects and artists to restore the place.

The Saigon Opera House is located at Le Loi Avenue in District 1.

 

Giác Lâm Pagoda

Image from wikipedia, credit to DoktorMax

Image from wikipedia, credit to DoktorMax

Built in 1744, this Buddhist pagoda is one of the oldest temples in the city, and is an official historical landmark.

Its name came about after the Monk Thich Lam Quang of the Lam Te Zen lineage arrived to become the Abbott of the temple.

Giac Lam Pagoda consists of three buildings – main ceremonial hall, dharma preaching hall and meal hall. Many Buddhas are worshipped here, such as bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Gautama Buddha and Quan Am. The moment you enter, you will see a big Bodhi tree, which was a gift from the Sri Lankan Great Monk Narada in 1953.

Giac Lam Pagoda is located at 118 Lạc Long Quân Street in the Tan Binh District.

 

If you planning on a holiday to Vietnam, do check out this amazing city!

Book a stay with us at Capri by Fraser, Ho Chi Minh City/Vietnam today!

Name Our Mascot Winner!

Finally… the results are in for the NAME OUR MASCOT contest!

We’ve received some great entries which made our decision tough.. but in the end, we are pleased to announce the winner – Mr. Jon Xiao, with his suggestions of Sophie & Lola!

Jon and Capri's Duty Manager, Farez

Jon and Capri’s Duty Manager, Farez

The names chosen received the highest votes among the Capri staff! Congrats Jon, you’ve won a 2D1N stay at Capri by Fraser!

A big thank you to everyone who participated! Watch this space for more contests to come!

HAIRSPRAY: Premiering in Malaysia & Singapore

 

The eight-time Tony Award-winning musical, HAIRSPRAY, will premiere in Malaysia and Singapore this September!

The musical was inspired by the 1988 film by John Waters of the same name. An American romantic musical comedy, it starred Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono, among others. The film became a cult classic, and in 2002, was adapted into a broadway musical.

In 2007, another film adaptation of Hairspray was released which starred John Travolta, Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky.

HAIRSPRAY centers around Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teenager who loves dancing and is a fan of the Corny Collins Show. When one of the show’s stars leave, Corny Collins holds an audition, and with the help of her friends, Tracy makes it onto the show. Her dancing skills also attract the attention of Link Larkin, the heartthrob of the show.

However, life is not all roses for Tracy. The Corny Collins Show’s manager, Velma Von Tussle and her scheming daughter, the dance queen Amber, are not happy with the decision to have Tracy on the show. As they plot to destroy Tracy, all hell breaks loose.

HAIRSPRAY is a show that guarantees great entertainment for the whole family, so be sure not to miss it!

It will run from 17-22 September 2013 at the Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia. Fraser Place Kuala Lumpur is proud to be the official hotel of this event. And if you’re planning to catch the musical in KL, good news! Buy 2 tickets at RM980.00nett and enjoy 1 complimentary room night stay inclusive of breakfasts for 2 persons. For more info on this promotion, you can contact sharifah.laila@frasershospitality.com.

From there, the show will move on to Singapore, where it will run from 26 September to 1 October at the Esplanade Theatres. All Frasers Hospitality properties in Singapore, including Capri by Fraser Changi City, are official hospitality sponsors for the musical.

Tickets are on sale now, so hurry and book your tickets today!

Food Tasting Sessions

We recently held an in-house food tasting session for the dishes we serve at Capri by Fraser.

Below are some of the dishes we tried:

Chocolate pralines

Duck spaghetti

Hokkien mee

Laksa

Sambal fish (available for Seafoodlicious)

Pork knuckles (available for Meatilicious)

Mini wagyu burgers

 

Earth Hour 2013

earthhour

Tomorrow, the 23rd of March, Saturday, at 8:30PM – 9:30PM, is Earth Hour.

It is the largest symbolic mass event that was born out of hope for people to take action on climate change. Millions of people around the world will do their part by switching off lights on the hour, as a massive show of concern for the environment.

Capri by Fraser will also be participating in Earth Hour by:

  • Switching off the lights at our water feature wall
  • Switching off the reflective pump
  • Switching off the pump for water fountain light
  • Switching off all building signage
  • Switching off of some lights at Caprilicious
  • Switching off guest corridor cove lights
  • Switching off E- concierge
  • Switching off lobby music
  • Switching off lights at Hotspot
  • Switching off lights at all Spin & Play rooms
  • Switching off Gym lights
  • Switching off all office lights and copiers

We will also be having a special candlelight dinner at Caprilicious during the hour for all guests who wish to join us in taking part in this meaningful cause.

Play your part by switching off your lights during Earth Hour too; together we can make a difference!

Paddle Away to Fitness!

Image courtesy of Wikipedia, credit to PD-AUTHOR

Image courtesy of Wikipedia, credit to PD-AUTHOR

After all the feasting  and indulgence over the festive season, it’s time now to kick start one of the fitness programs!

And if you are the people who cannot stick to a regular regime of going to gym because of  travel or erratic work schedule then cycling is one of the good options. One can cycle almost anywhere, be it the great outdoors or the streets. It works all parts of the body  – good for  the posture, the pedaling motion works the quadriceps and hamstrings, helps to strengthen the back, arms and legs and is a full cardiovascular workout and there  is little pressure on the joints when riding a bike.

Cycling is one of the most energy-efficient means of transportation known to man. The same amount of energy “burnt” by the car to travel 100 meters can power the proficient cyclist (and his bicycle) for 5 kilometers or more!

Cycling regularly is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, just like in any sport or exercise, there are right and wrong ways to do cycling.  Keeping a few things in mind would help you make sure that you are riding your bike correctly.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia, credit to ProfDEH

1. Body position
Depending on the bicycle, position your hands on top of the bars at a comfortable 3-5 inches away (or where the handgrips are). Ensure that they are wide enough so that your breathing is not restricted. Drop your elbows and relax your upper body, keeping it still. Finally, sit back on the saddle to gain a bit of weight leverage on your pedals.

2. Stretch & strengthen those calves and quads
Although our quadriceps and hamstrings do most of the work, the calf muscles can become quite tight and cramp up sometimes. You can stretch your calves and train the quads at the same time by elevating your heels on some weighted plates, and doing deep squats with your back straightened.

3. Don’t neglect your core muscles
During off-cycling periods, train your core muscles to ensure good posture and better balance while riding. Lying face down on the floor, lift your arms and legs up from the ground and reach forward with your hands while keeping your back straight for as long as you can. Consider doing other compound exercises like burpees, and Russian twists for your abs and sides.

4. Watch that weight
One of the obstacles many cyclists have difficulty in is climbing. The amount of effort needed to cycle uphill exponentially increases as your body weight increases, so be sure to watch the calorie intake, and also the amount of gear you carry on the bike.

Bikes for Rent at Capri by Fraser Changi City Singapore

While staying at Capri by Fraser Changi City, Singapore, you’ll find that the location of our studio residences to have access to one of the best cycling areas in Singapore. And to explore the cycle circuits, you can rent a bike for free  from Capri by Fraser everyday from 7 am to 7pm. Take a short ride to the Park Connector Network,  paddle and explore the smooth roads and cycling pathways around Changi Business Park.

For more details please visit the Capri by Fraser Changi City  website.