Let's face it, The South Beach has not been performing as well as investors and operators had hoped it to be. Sure, there was a lot of excitement when the hotel first opened but now that it is six months in, there are finally talks to appoint Marriott International (who seems to have deep pockets following the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide) to manage The South Beach which in time will be rebranded as the JW Marriott Singapore if the deal goes through.
With 654 rooms and suites, The South Beach is part of South Beach - a mixed-use development that will consist of offices, residences, retail spaces and The South Beach (hotel). The development is a joint venture between City Developments Limited (CDL) and IOI Properties Group Berhad.
Even though I have lost my Hilton Honors Diamond status this year, I noticed that my upcoming stays in two Hilton properties - the Hilton Singapore and the Hilton Auckland - have both been pre-upgraded. Even though I was a Diamond member for the past two years, I have never been proactively-upgraded in the system prior to arrival (perhaps I have just been really unlucky?) so it is comforting to see that properties are now starting to do it. I am not sure whether this is a global initiative but having to ask for an upgrade as an elite member annoys me (especially as a Platinum Elite in the Marriott Rewards program).
The latest Hyatt Regency property in China has just opened in Jiangsu province (East China) and the Hyatt Regency Zhenjiang occupies levels 59 to 76 of the city's highest skyscraper. The 318-room Hyatt Regency hotel is set to provide travelers and locals alike with a fresh perspective of the city by providing an energising place to connect with the very best of Zhenjiang.
I have compared the differences between the UOB One Account (which current advertises up to 3.33% p.a. interest rates) and the OCBC 360 Account a couple of years ago. Even with the changes that the OCBC 360 has introduced over the years, it is still one of my preferred savings account in Singapore since I can achieve up to 1.85% p.a. of interest (you can earn up to 3.05% p.a. interest if you insure or invest with OCBC), up to S$70,000 fairly easily. The UOB One Account will be introducing some changes from 01 August 2018 and they are quite lucrative (especially if you already use a UOB One credit card which gives you cash rebates) but it may not necessarily be convincing enough for me to make the switch.
When I visited Tokyo back in May, I travelled back to Singapore on Japan Airlines - I have been flying JAL rather frequently (this was my fourth Business Class flight) this year since it costs a lot less to redeem my miles on it than on Singapore Airlines. More importantly, I have found the food served in Business Class on day flights to be comparatively better than Singapore Airlines (if you are picking the Japanese meal). Read about my Business Class experience on Japan Airlines from Tokyo back to Singapore!
You know the drill - KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes is back for members planning to travel in the month of August 2018. To celebrate its first birthday, KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes is extending a special 40% redemption discount (instead of the usual 30%) on Economy Saver to Bangkok, Yangon and Phnom Penh next month! If you have alternative travel plans, you will still be able to enjoy 30% miles redemption discount to selected destinations from now until 31 July 2018, for travel between 1-31 August 2018 inclusive.
The Six Senses Duxton is the first city property for Six Senses and it is also one of the most highly-anticipated hotels to open in Singapore this year. The Six Senses Duxton has been sustainably-restored by famous British designer, Anouska Hempel and it features a synthesis of Chinese, Malay and European design elements. The Six Senses Maxwell (which is just located a couple of minutes away on foot) is slated to open in October 2018 and guests staying in either property will be able to enjoy all the amenities across both hotels. Check out my review of the Duxton Duplex Suite here!
Now that Citibank's 8 miles per dollar promotion is coming to an end, it may be a good time to consider another bank's promotion. Standard Chartered is giving all eligible cardholders the opportunity to earn up to S$30 cashback between 16 July 2018 and 15 October 2018 when they use their credit cards via a contactless transaction (Apple Pay rewards you the quickest!) - registration is required and this is only limited to the first 25,000 cardholders during the promotion period.
With the first A350-900ULR due for delivery in September, Singapore Airlines has just officially announced the operation of non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles from November this year. The flag carrier airline of Singapore has already announced the recommencement of the world's longest flight from Singapore to New York two months ago and together with this newly-announced service, Singapore Airlines will link Singapore and the US with 27 weekly non-stop flights by the end of 2018.
Following the premature ending of 10X OCBC$ for mobile payments made using the OCBC Titanium Rewards card, OCBC has just announced that they will be removing the option for OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders to purchase 500,000 VOYAGE miles for S$10,000. The last day to take advantage of this offer is 31 August 2018 and following that, OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders will only be able to renew their VOYAGE Card by paying either S$488 or S$3,210 for 15,000 and 150,000 VOYAGE Miles respectively.
The Pullman Bali Legian Beach has just announced the addition of 12 newly-built Garden Suites which are an added extension to the 364-room property. These suites are located on the ground floor of the hotel and they are great for families who wish to stay in Legian.