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Sunday, September 23, 2018

[SG] Newly Rebranded Orchard Rendezvous Hotel Unveils

[Media Invite]

19 September 2018 - Orchard Rendezvous Hotel (formally known as Orchard Parade Hotel) has recently completed its refurbishment project, giving the rooms a brand new refreshed look and comfort for all travellers.

Strategically located at the start of Orchard Road, Orchard Rendezvous Hotel is close proximity to MRT, Orchard shopping district and UNESCO World Heritage Site - Singapore Botanic Gardens. Drawing inspirations from neighbouring Botanical Gardens, the botanical theme hotel offers guests a garden-like retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Orchard Rendezvous Hotel will be the second property under the Rendezvous brand in Singapore.


The original hotel building was developed on a plot of old pepper plantation, hence the interiors of the new Orchard Rendezvous Hotel drew inspiration from this historical significance and incorporated elements of the pepper plant within the premises. As you step into the hotel lobby, look up and you will find the pepper leaf chandelier. Not forgetting the pepper plant motif in all the 388 rooms.


To commemorate the rebranding, Far East Hospitality has worked with the Orchid Society of South East Asia (OSSEA) to commission an orchid for Orchard Rendezvouse Hotel - Vanda Orchard Rendezvous. The orchid is a two-toned cross-hybrid of Vanda Pieces of Eight and Vanda Rasri Gold. You can find them on level six - outdoor swimming pool area.


Orchard Rendezvous Hotel is also partnering local art organisation, Sense of Arts, for handmade and personalised pressed orchid products like cards and stationeries which guests can bring home and memorialise their stay.


Enjoy a dip in the newly upgraded outdoor swimming pool which opens from 7am to 11pm




Hubby and I attended the Media Preview and this is the welcome drink for the night - Verbena Bloom - a light mix of verbena flower tea and orange juice.

We went on a room tour to check out what are conceal beneath the orche facade of the hotel. 

I must applaud for the spacious rooms (from 26 sqm to 68 sqm) Orchard Rendezvous Hotel has to offer. It gives travellers (especially family travellers like us) ample walking space and place to hold our luggage. The modern contemporary classic designed rooms are bright, clean and cozy.

Club Room (Level 15 - 17) - 30sqm


Club Suite - 43sqm


Apart from the bigger rooms, even the toilets are spacious! Apart from the walk-in wardrobe, it also felt like a walk-in bathroom!

Guests who stay in Club Room or Club Suite has access to the Club Lounge with daily breakfast and enjoy cocktails at night.


 Superior Room - 26sqm

Family Room is my personal favourite configuration in the hotel. You feel back at home upon entering the spacious interior which also has a separate TV and dining area! Family with younger children can go for the bunk bed or you can choose to have single beds for larger families. Soft toys and black board in the room adds a soft touch to the space and makes it so welcoming for the little ones.

Family Room with Bunk Bed - 50sqm

The bathroom is equally spacious with separate shower and bathing area. Children will enjoy their bubble bath with the little rubber ducky by the tub!

One Bedroom Deluxe Suite - 57sqm

This room is a gem as it is like an apartment which comes with kitchenette, including a full-size fridge, microwave and coffee/tea-making facilities. suitable for travellers on longer extended stay. Bathroom is extremely spacious and it has separated shower and bathroom areas.


Video tour of the newly refurbished rooms in Orchard Rendezvous Hotel


ORCHARD RENDEZVOUS HOTEL
1 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247905
Hotel: +65 6737 1133

Friday, August 24, 2018

[JB] Claypot meals @ Goody Soup Restaurant (好汤头) - Johor Jaya

There are many great eateries around Taman Johor Jaya and Taman Austin Heights. If you like claypot dishes, Goody Soup Restaurant (好汤头) is a good choice that you can consider. We arrived a little late that afternoon, about half an hour before they close for resting. Even so, there are still customers coming in after us and placing their orders.


Goody Soup has a variety of claypot dishes and we ordered a nice hot pot filled with mixed vegetable, mushroom and meat. Taste is pretty good and not overly salty. It is perfect to go with rice.

東坡肉 (Dongpo Meat) is one of our favourite dish and a must order. 

Instead of plain rice, Goody Soup comes with minced meat rice!

A simple and warm home cook meal for all to share and it is reasonably priced. Total Spending - RM42 (~SGD14.50)

Goody Soup Restaurant 
Opening Hours: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm
Address: 96 Jalan Ros Merah 2/17 Taman Johor Jaya Johor Bahru 81100 Malaysia
GPS: 1.5360091, 103.7927152

Visit Date: Mar 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

[JB] Sweet Delights at The Sunbird Cafe @ Johor Jaya

Crossing the border to Johor Bahru always feel like a staycation for our family. We love to go food hunting and cafe hopping to relax our bodies, minds and tummies. On one of our trips, we found a delightful place where you can enjoy good homemade desserts and light meals.

The Sunbird Cafe is a hidden gem tucked quietly on the 2nd floor along the shophouses at Taman Johor Jaya. Do keep a look out for the signboard in order not to miss it, and it's truly worth climbing that flight of stairs up as surprises begin to unfold.


Stepping into the cafe, I love how the light colours and natural lighting blends in beautifully with the wooden furniture. Its simple decor with personal touches added to every corner and space, gave the cafe a cozy and homely feel.



We arrived early on a Sunday morning for our brunch, and am happy to spend some quiet moments before we drive home. Though the list on the menu is simple, I applaud the owners for the thoughtfulness they have put in to present each dish. 

We had some drinks first before digging into our rice bowls and dessert.

 Earl Grey Milk Tea - RM 9

Korea AppleTea - RM9, Lemon Tea - RM8

Elderflower Lemonade - RM12
My personal favourite drink and it is refreshing and fizzy!

Rice Bowls from The Sunbird Cafe. Pretty filling and all of them are delicious!

"Cat Style" Fish Rice (猫饭) - RM19.90
Fragrant savory rice filled with chopped fish and topped with homemade cucumber pickles.

Chicken & Corn Rice (鸡吃玉米饭) - RM16.90
Nice choice for children who loves corn and chicken!

Spicy Thai Minced Pork Rice (泰式猪肉碎饭) - RM15.90
This reminds me of the spicy version of Taiwanese braised pork rice

Ah Sao's Pork Dumpling (阿嫂猪肉饺子) - RM12.90
Delicious plate of dumplings for all to share.

Apart from the list on the menu, do go forward to the dessert counter and check out the delicious dessert! One of them is Chendol Cheesecake! I like how our favourite local dessert is mixed with cheesecake. Sweetness from the gula melaka with bites of chendol within, combined with the richness of the cheese, give the overall taste, texture and flavour an added boost.


Matcha Cake - Hubby likes this too as it is not overly sweet and the texture is just nice.


I like the ambiance and food at The Sunbird Cafe. Would love to come back again for their cakes and dessert. 

The Sunbird Cafe
Address: 23-01, Jalan Ros Merah 2/8, Taman Johor Jaya, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.532052, 103.793370

Visit Date: Jun 2018

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Review - W EYExperience with WOptics

We often say "The eyes are the windows to the soul". The human eye is a vital organ which plays an important role to give us the sense of sight, connecting us to the surroundings. As parents, we are very concerned with how our children's eye conditions are progressing but oddly, we tend to overlook  ourselves - and our eyes.

Hubby and I are over 40 years old and have been wearing glasses for more than 20 years. We go for  our health screening regularly once we hit the 40 mark, but our eyes being an important part of our body, should not be forgotten and should require regular eye care and checks as well.

Do you know that as we age (especially aged 40 and above), our eyes are more susceptible to eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy which may not have any symptoms in the early stages. Hence, regular eye examination is essential for early detection and effective treatment.

Hubby and I have been wearing our current pair of glasses for more than 1.5 years and you know it is time to change your glasses when you are squinting and your lenses are scuffed or scratched. We are excited to visit W OPTICS - Suntec City outlet to make our new pair of glasses and have our eyes examined!

W Optics offers eye examination that is tailored to an individual's lifestyle and vision needs.  The
EYExperience - is a comprehensive 30-minute eye examination (SGD 80) that takes the patient through a battery of six tests, which includes 5 clinical grade equipment. This latest service demonstrates W Optics commitment in placing customer's eye health first and foremost. Customers are advised to book an appointment prior to visiting to avoid disappointment. Hubby and I arrived earlier than the designated time, hence we explored the store while waiting for our eye examination.


W OPTICS SUNTEC CITY - Stepping into the 5000 sq ft flagship store located at #01-400 (West Wing), I was pretty impressed by its bright, spacious and cozy layout. Customers will be spoiled for choices with the myriad of vision solutions brands available to pick from. 


There are sofas at the back of the store for customers to rest while waiting to be attended to. It also acts as a forum space for holding public talks! 


Kids' Corner is a dedicated space for the younger ones where they can interact with the interactive wall visuals and learn about myopia and how to keep it under control. W Optics is one of the few optical retail chains in Singapore to offer myopia control services for children in its Myopia Control Centre, located at this flagship store.



Customers can also check out the various lens solutions available to suit their needs and consult with an eyecare professional. 

Essilor Nautilus VR Experience - Experience the different effects of lenses through augmented reality. This is only available at Suntec City store, which, unlike traditional optical stores, offers experiential and interactive zones. They also have another area called the VR Vision Studio.

W EYExperience

We did not wait for long before our assigned optometrists welcome us warmly. W Optics optometrists have an average of 14.7 years of job experience with the longest tagged at 31 years. I was examined by a senior optometrist who has about 30 years of experience in the field.

First, our current spectacles are checked and personal particulars noted down. 

History taking is important and essential as the optometrist checked on our eye condition, medical history and life-style.

What are the 6 Tests of the W Optic's Comprehensive Eye Examination and what it does?

1. Objective & Subjective Refraction
2. Vision Function
3. Amsler Grid
4. Slit Lamp Biomicroscopy
5. Tonometry
6. Fundus Photography


Objective Refraction - checking the eyes for auto refraction and perform Keratometry reading to measure corneal curvature.

Subjective Refraction - we proceed to another room where we were asked to read from a Snellen Chart and a series of questions were directed at us, coupled with the optometrist trying on different combination of lenses to get the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA). Throughout the process, the optometrists were patient and detailed as they check for myopia/hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia, pupillary distance and dominant eye.

The optometrists were approachable and patient in answering my queries.
I was worried that I am developing presbyopia (老花眼) already as I was not able to see the smaller prints at reading distance. Thankfully, the optometrist only mentioned that my myopia condition has not escalated even though there is a slight increase in astigmatism.


Hubby has already developed presbyopia and needs to do more checks.

Vision Function - checks for squint eye, lazy eye and colour deficiency

Amsler Grid - helps to test for macular degeneration. Consult your eye care professional if you spot holes/blurry spots or if the lines appear wavy, distorted or broken when you focus on the black dot with one side of the eye covered.


Slit Lamp Biomicroscopy - this instrument examines our eyes for abnormalities, aiding in checking contact lens fitting, cornea integrity, dry eyes, anterior chamber angle, eye lids condition and crystalline lens health (cataract).

Tonometry - this instrument checks for eye pressure (Intraocular pressure) by administering a puff of air into each eye. The reading is important as it helps to evaluate if we are at risk of glaucoma or vision condition. Having too high or too low range is not normal!

Fundus Photography - Based on the photograph of the interior surface of my eye, the optometrist checks on my retina and macular health. Good news that my eyes are still in good state of health!


We took more than 30 minutes (~ 45 to 60 mins) to complete our comprehensive eye examination! Hubby and I were impressed by the professionalism of the optometrists who made the entire process smooth and swift. Along the way we had queries but they were all patiently answered and explained. Through this eye examination, I have also gained more knowledge and awareness on which is my dominant eye and how is the condition of my eyes/vision.

OUR OPTICAL SOLUTION

After our eye examination, the optometrists provided us with optical solutions suitable for our visual needs. As I spend a fair amount of time on digital screens, Crizal Eyezen is the most beneficial in protecting my eyes by filtering out the harmful blue light and relax my eyes in front of screens, helping me to see more clearly and comfortably. 

Hubby, on the other hand, needs progressive lenses as he has presbyopia. Varilux® X series is currently Varilux's best progressive lens allowing you to seamlessly capture every detail within arm's reach or beyond with high precision. It allows spectacles wearers to enjoy the sharpness, continuous vision and fluidity from near to far. Hubby is looking forward to enjoy perfect vision regardless the distance.


We were hesitant when it comes to choosing the right frame and this took a lot of time! It was already rather late into the night but the optometrist and the staff were very patient and did not rush us.

We were looking at STEALER Eyewear - an upcoming Korean brand offering stainless steel and titanium glasses to give an industrial and modern look. 


We have been wearing rectangular frames for ages and this time we did a switch and picked round frames instead. Hopefully we still look young and good! 

COLLECTION OF GLASSES

After about 2 weeks, we received a text message informing us our glasses are ready for collection! We headed down to W Optics and am happy to try out our new glasses! I thought Hubby looks cuter with his new frame.


I think the round frame softens my look and makes me look more gentle and approachable. 

We were awed as it has been so long since we had such clear vision! The surroundings appear brighter and sharper. I can even read the smallest letters (N5) at reading distance with ease! 



The optometrist helped us with the final adjustments needed for our glasses: we were prescribed the Varilux X Track + Crizal Transition Lens - it even comes with a card to test how sharp our vision had became!



Thank you W Optics for the wonderful experience and the very much needed optical solution to improve our lifestyle!

W Optics have several outlets around Singapore. Check out their website for more details.

W Optics
Suntec City Store
3 Temasek Boulevard, #01-400, Suntec City, S038983
Instagram: @woptics
Official Hashtags: #WOptics, #WEYExperienceSG




* Disclosure: We were provided with comprehensive eye examinations and spectacles for review purpose. All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received.

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