Singapore Airlines has begun trials of new technology that’s designed to reduce the need for paper on board its aircraft.
As well as being environmentally friendly, cutting the amount of paper in cabins will allow the carrier to reduce the weight of its aircraft and consequently save fuel.
The first stage of the project will see electronic versions of Singapore Airline’s three in-flight magazines made available through its passenger entertainment system.
Yap Kim Wah, the company’s Senior Vice-President of products and services, said: “This opens up a wide range of opportunities to benefit our customers and at the same time results in less weight in the aircraft. E-books and e-magazines have gained popularity and we want to offer these to our customers.”
The technology is being driven by the Singapore-based company, SmarttPapers Aviation Ltd, which aims to include features including a keyword search tool, personalised font size and a zoom function to aid reading.
by Andy Moreton
Flying to Singapore? See Luxique’s choice of the best luxury hotels, including the world-famous Raffles, as well as the Four Seasons and the Shangri-La.
A landmark luxury hotel in Shanghai, which has just been refurbished, has appealed for former guests to get in touch if they have memorabilia from the hotel’s heyday.
The Peace Hotel, on the city’s famous Bund riverfront promenade, is set to re-open shortly, complete with a new museum dedicated to its history.
“To fully showcase the rich heritage of China’s grandest hotel, we’d love past guests to share with us their memories, memorabilia and ‘borrowed’ items so we can record and preserve history for future generations,” said the General Manager, Kamal Naamani.
Wanted items include silverware, china, monogrammed goods, historic photographs, postcards, art, menus, trinkets and anecdotes. Contributors who bequeath items for the exhibition will receive an invitation to a special cocktail reception at the hotel later this year.
Before the outbreak of the Second World War, the Peace Hotel (formerly the Cathay) was one of the most famous establishments in Asia, along with other luxury hotels such as the Peninsula Hong Kong, the Raffles Singapore, the Chosun Korea and the Imperial Tokyo.
Among its early guests were a number of celebrities, including Charlie Chaplin, and the playwright Noel Coward who completed his famous work Private Lives while staying there. It’s now part of the Fairmont Group, which has luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world.
by Andy Moreton
Shanghai is the jewel of modern China – a fascinating and vibrant city. Luxique can guide you to the best of its luxury hotels, including the Four Seasons Shanghai, the Grand Hyatt Shanghai and the J W Marriott Shanghai.
Singapore has opened the first of two casino resorts – part of a multi-billion dollar effort to establish itself as a hot tourist destination and reduce the economy’s reliance on manufacturing.
The casino at Resorts World Sentosa welcomed its first customer at the auspicious time of 12.18 pm on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. When pronounced in the Cantonese dialect, 12.18 sounds like ‘prosperity’.
The resort is on Sentosa island, a former British garrison linked to the main island by bridge. It will be followed by the Marina Bay Sands resort, with both offering a range of glitzy hotels, restaurants and luxury goods shops.
Singapore, host to thousands of multi-national corporations, is already a major travel draw because of its reputation for safety, cleanliness and efficiency, as well as man-made attractions such as high-end shopping malls.
However, it’s a tiny island, which lacks the white sand beaches and breathtaking scenery found in neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, and the government is continually searching for new ideas to create a buzz about the city-state.
It’s aiming to attract 17 million visitors a year, generating more than US$21 billion (£13 billion) by 2015, up from 9.7 million visitors last year. Analysts expect the casino resorts to help the city meet those targets.
by Andy Moreton, with Agence France Presse
Luxique offers a choice of seven luxury hotels in Singapore including, of course, the historic, world-famous Raffles.
One of the most famous hotels in the world – Raffles in Singapore – is reported to be up for sale.
Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia is apparently seeking a buyer for the holding company Fairmont Raffles Hotels International in spite of the depressed state of the property market. The asking price is quoted as anything between $450 million (£309 million) and $670 million (£460 million).
The Prince is a multi-billionaire and 22nd on the Forbes Magazine rich list, but like so many others, he’s been hit hard by the credit crunch. Said one commentator: “He’s down to his last $13 billion (£9 billion).”
Industry sources say the Prince is also looking for a buyer for one of London’s most famous hotels, the Savoy. The price for that could be more than $290 million (£200 million).
The Raffles hotel is a reminder of British colonial times in Singapore. Its clientele have included the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the writers Rudyard Kipling, Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham and the actresses Liz Taylor and Ava Gardner.
There are many stories about Raffles. In 1902, a circus tiger escaped and took refuge in the hotel’s billiards room before being shot by a local hunter. And Raffles will be forever associated with the Singapore Sling, a gin-based cocktail that was invented in the hotel’s Long Bar shortly before the First World War.
by Andy Moreton
Raffles Hotel, which consistently wins top travel industry awards, is bookable through Luxique at the best rates available as well as several other award winning luxury hotels in Singapore.