Category: Unwind

Alila Living: Recreating the spa experience in the comfort of your own home

Posted on August 8th, by joanna in Unwind. No Comments

My first brush with Alila resorts must have been about 2005, when I first visited Alila Ubud in Bali. Blown away by the beautiful infinity pool, outdoor showers and left speechless after my first hot stone massage, I always remembered and recommended the hotel to friends. I went back at the end of 2012, and spent new year’s eve watching beautiful fireworks from the poolside of the hotel.
This time, I was delighted with the new soaps that they introduced in the bathrooms, so instead of nicking them from the rooms (okay I admit I did take a soap bar or two back!) I visited the hotel shop, where they had a full range of bath amenities, facial and beauty products.

I guess Alila must have realised how much their guests and even travel magazine editors love their products, so they’ve introduced … Read More »

Strom Nordic Spa: Blissful Getaway

Posted on August 2nd, by andrea in Uncover, Unwind. No Comments

I wanted to try something different in Montreal that I couldn’t experience in Boston. A Scandinavian Bath – let’s see what that’s all about. Just a 20 minute drive to what appears to be a community of it’s own – Île-des-soeurs, Montreal. I was getting really hopeful as we took the exit. We see the nice town houses, decorated rotaries, a fancy golf club, and rich people walking their swanky looking pups. You know your wallet won’t be loving the prices of this place. Every aspect of the spa rang a “ka-ching!”.

Of course you cannot compare this to the onsens in Japan – it’s a completely different experience of it’s own. There were 6 different pools for you to experience, varying in different temperatures ($46 -weekend price). I highly recommend the … Read More »

Summer Market In Tuscany

Posted on June 26th, by joanna in Uncover, Unwind. No Comments


If you have the good fortune of being in Tuscany, Italy for a summer vacation right now, head down to Castiglione della Pescaia. Tenuta La Badiola, a beautiful property surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, is organising a summer market this Sunday evening, 30 June 2013. Try street food prepared by The Alliance Restaurants, delicious local CASA dell’Acquagiusta wines and attend a taste workshop.

For a spectacular end to the evening, make a reservation for Dinner with the menu prepared by Chef Omar Agostini, whom I had the honour of meeting and having him design and prepare a meal for me. The menu for this event is mouth-watering: Bonite fish, Cream of Mortadelle from Prato, “Maremma” Risotto, Strawberry soup, topped off with generous servings of wine.

For more information, visit or email for your reservations.


Visiting Onsen Hot Pools In Queenstown

Posted on June 21st, by joanna in Unwind. No Comments

Photo: Onsen Hot Pools

I first heard about the Onsen Hot Pools from a bridal client of mine who was from New Zealand. As we were discussing my upcoming trip at that time, she started raving about the Onsen Hot Pools and insisted i HAD TO check it out. She even called over her dad to confirm the name of the place. Well, it’s name is straight up – Onsen Hot Pools.

I left the booking of our pool session right to the very last minute, on the morning that I wanted to go to the pool, I made a booking via our hostel’s reception. It’s easy in Queenstown, most hotels, motels or even hostels will help you make bookings where you pay once you book it. We managed to get a slot in the late afternoon, just before the popular sunset … Read More »

Romance in Naples: Luxurious Romeo Hotel

Posted on March 21st, by andrea in Uncover, Unwind. No Comments

Overlooking the Amalfi Coast and Capri Island, Romeo Hotel provides a sanctuary in the inner ancient city of Naples. Designed by reknowned architect Kenzo Tange and Associates, every aspect of the hotel creates a unique, tasteful space that provides the utmost comfort for its guests. The impressive collection of artwork from well known artists such as Francesco Clemente, Lello Esposito, Sergio Fermariello,Mario Schifano, Gregorio Botta and Mimmo Paladino are displayed throughout the entire hotel. From the thoughtful selection of high quality Italian fabrics and furnishings to the cutting edge technology in each guest room, the hotel successfully blends sophisticated design with modern technology.

The guest rooms of Romeo Hotel are created to provide a private, tranquil space for you to unwind and rejuvenate even in the the bustling heart of Naples. The hotel’s largest and most luxurious Japanese Garden suite (from … Read More »

Protecting Your Skin When Travelling

Posted on October 5th, by joanna in Uncategorized, Unwind. No Comments

We love the sun. We love the snow. The sea, deserts, cities, jungles, mountains. As travellers, we put ourselves and our skin through a weather shock each time we get to a new destination.

If I only had to bring ONE skincare product on a trip, it would be a moisturiser, although sunblock would be a close second.

Here’s the moisturiser I’m taking on my upcoming fall vacation to the USA.

For Beloved One is a skincare brand from Taiwan which is available in Sephora Singapore (and hopefully soon in more Sephora stores around the world)

Was impressed by their Moisture Surge Extreme Hydration moisturiser (S$90 / 30mls) , which has a gel-cream texture and light fragrance.

I can’t emphasise this enough, the best way to prevent wrinkles and fine lines is to keep your skin hydrated. This moisturiser is packed with Minerals (to stimulate cell repair … Read More »

September Q&A, Part I: Planning For A Springtime Honeymoon

Posted on September 1st, by joanna in Uncover, Unlock, Unwind. No Comments

This fortnight, Andrea answers a question about travelling between three very different places for a honeymoon


My fiance and I are planning to travel to Japan, Hong Kong, and Maldives for our honeymoon in late February-early March. Do you think Feb/March is a good time to travel to these locations? What would be the most inexpensive way to travel between these places?  We were thinking of flying Boston – HK – Maldives – Japan – Boston. Which area is the best to stay in the Maldives?

– Lisa, Boston


Dear Lisa,
You’ve got a great combo of places here – city, beach, old, new, bustling, and secluded.


Springtime in Japan for Cherry Blossom season

Late February to early March is a great time to hit those three destinations. The weather is not scorching hot, yet definitely warm enough to enjoy your outdoor activities.  You may even … Read More »

Jet-Set Friendly Travel Sized Beauty Must-Haves

Posted on August 25th, by andrea in Uncover, Unwind. No Comments

Spent a fortune on those getaway tickets and hotel stay – adding on to the bill with what to pack for the trip is the last thing on my mind.  When it comes to packing, I like to be as minimal as possible.  After going through numerous long flights and short trips, it’s ingrained what’s on the must-pack list.  Even when I’m on-the-go, beauty products are a must.  It’s awesome that nowadays everything comes in travel-size!  It’s affordable and convenient.

Lest you be left in the lurch with an overflowing makeup case or desperately rushing off on a last-minute beauty run for mini-versions of everything, I’ve compiled a list of 7 personal favorites for organizing the ultimate travel beauty kit—you’ll be on the way to your own personal paradise in no time.

1)  Sun-lovers:

I love the sun and guilty of always spending too … Read More »

In a Class of Its Own – Plantation Bay Resort and Spa

Posted on August 15th, by andrea in Uncover, Unwind. 1 Comment

Located in Mactan Island, Cebu Philippines, this 11.4 hectares of man-made environment is nothing short of its class.   The hotel welcomes you with a breathtaking, crystal clear 88 meters long open sea beach front.  It also houses four large swimming pools filled with sea water to make you feel as if you’re right in the ocean within the comfort of the hotel.  Fresh coconuts and salted mangos are sold on the premises near the beach to really give you that tropical getaway feel.  Sip away while all your troubles are carried away by the ocean breeze.  

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa has really set itself apart by offering and suffusing the guest with the sensation of true serenity. It’s hard not to be awed by the recreation of the timeless, authentic essence of plantation living.  It really leaves an unforgettable impression … Read More »

Jjimjilbang It! – Dragon Hill Spa

Posted on July 27th, by andrea in Uncover, Unwind. No Comments

Welcome to the 24 hrs Dragon Hill Spa in Seoul, Korea! Please strip away all those insecurities about your body before entering this full-on commando spa.  Naked people of all ages and sizes are wandering around in the locker rooms (of course with male and females separated).   For just 12,000 won (about $12.00) you can enjoy the spa facilities and stay as long as you want.  Who needs an expensive hotel? Hence you see a lot of businessmen who missed their last train just come in to sleep til the 5am morning train runs.  The facility has a big area with marble floors and padded pillow blocks that you can nap and take breaks in between your soaks.  This is such a big part of Korean culture – you have to visit one when you’re here.  Locals come here everyday … Read More »


-Act of leaving behind life’s burden, roles, expectations, responsibilities.

-Welcoming new knowledge, developing new relationships, people, new directions.

-Removal + releasing clutter, the unnecessary, negatives.

-Stripping set rules, perceptions, prenotions, assumptions, standards, and old habits.

Day 1 & 2: Tokyo Part 1


Initially we wanted to spend less time in Tokyo and more time in Kyoto/Osaka, but after researching and speaking to friends, it seemed that...

First Trip To Japan – Our 12 day Itinerary


A little background information about the plan for my trip:

For all the travelling I have done in the last 30 years, I somehow have...

Beyond What You Expected – Rethinking the Stage

21+ only – Enter the dark world of an adaption of Lewis Caroll’s well-known piece of Alice and Wonderland – “Then She Fell.” ...

Packing the Right Plastic for International Travels

Planning a trip abroad? Racking up the card is definitely easier than carrying tons of cash around when traveling. Some of the...

Top Tips When Cycling In Malaysia

This article was first published on All photographs curtesy of Robert Tan

If you’ve read our interview with Robert Tan and friends, you’ll realise that...

An Inspiring Journey Through Malaysia On Bicycle

This article was first published on All photographs curtesy of Robert Tan

Two years ago, Robert Tan had an idea – to journey from...

Alila Living: Recreating the spa experience in the comfort of your own home

My first brush with Alila resorts must have been about 2005, when I first visited Alila Ubud in Bali. Blown away by the beautiful...