The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) has long been synonymous with business travel and accessing data from a remote location (read: outside the office). However, with the expansion of leisure travel over the years, VPNs are used increasingly to access blocked (geo-restricted) content (read: Facebook and Instagram in China). What most people do not realise however is that VPNs are also extremely important (even in Singapore!) if you are logged a public WiFi as personal details can be stolen from you fairly easily.
One of the questions I get a lot whenever I talk about VPNs is what exactly is a VPN? As mentioned earlier, it stands for a Virtual Private Network and here's a real-world example that will help you understand it better: Everyone knows about the infamous Great (Fire)Wall of China and more importantly, how websites like YouTube and Facebook (amongst many others) are blocked when you are in the country. It is easy to find out where you are accessing the internet from (be it via WiFi or a mobile network) - click HERE to find out if you are not convinced - in this example, it is also how you are identified as being in China. Therefore, the easiest way around this is to 'hide' your actual location by using a VPN. Think about the VPN as a third-party gateway, instead of delivering internet content directly to you, it first gets redirected to a location (as configured on your VPN) before getting delivered to you - this allows you to bypass blocked sites easily!
As long as you are not connected via a secured WiFi (read: outside of home), you SHOULD be using a VPN in order to benefit from online anonymity. Since I travel quite a fair bit and spend a lot of my time in hotels, I do need a VPN to perform information-sensitive transactions (e.g. online banking) online. While some VPN-providers offer a limited bandwidth package, VPN Unlimited offers well, UNLIMITED bandwidth for a duration (or unlimited if you purchase the lifetime access!) of time.
The Raffles Europejski Warsaw is slated to open in early 2018 to welcome a new chapter in an extraordinary history which spans 160 years. Located on the Royal Route and neighbouring the cobbled streets of the Old Town with its own high-end retail space, the Raffles Europejski Warsaw will be home to 106 elegant suites with bespoke furniture, oak floors, a corner library and a carefully curated Polish art by Anda Rottenberg and Barbara Piwowarska.
Get your burger fix at the Pan Pacific Singapore's Pacific Marketplace and Atrium from 23 October 2017 to 25 November 2017. Bite into delicious and juicy Wagyu beef patties sandwiched between herbs-infused burger buns done in three different styles - the beef is of a similar premium grade of beef from the award-winning Japanese restaurant Keyaki.
The InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is one of the most awaited hotels to open in Singapore this year. Following the property's opening on 12 October 2017, Publico Deli (a component of the entire Publico concept) is now open to the neighbourhood to bring fresh Italian produce and friendly service to the public. Publico will consist of the Public Deli (which is now open), a restaurant as well as a bar.
The InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is the second InterContinental-branded property in Singapore and it is one of the most highly-anticipated luxury hotels to open in Singapore this year. Home to 225 luxurious studios and suites (including an expansive Penthouse), the InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is located along the Singapore River and it fits in carefully in the leafy, upscale neighbourhood of Robertson Quay.
After much speculation in the market, AccorHotels has just announced the the signature of an agreement with Mantra Group Limited with the view to acquire all of the issued capital in Mantra by way of a scheme of arrangement to be approved by Mantra shareholders. Under the terms of the agreement AccorHotels would offer AUD3.96 in cash for each Mantra share including any potential special dividend.
Following the successful launch of Club Marriott 2.0 back in May last year, Marriott International has announced the launch of a brand new integrated Club Marriott 3.0 which brings together three of Asia Pacific's most prominent dining loyalty programs – Club Marriott, Eat Drink & More, as well as Star Privilege. This brand new Club Marriott membership will allow members to benefit from a greater selection of properties (now that some of the Starwood properties are participating as well) and discounts when dining out at one of 250 participating hotels across the region.
Suzhou is often recognised as one of China's most famous historical and cultural cities. The first Le Méridien hotel to open in Suzhou, the Le Méridien Suzhou, Suzhou Bay, is expected to provide creative-minded guests and travellers the opportunity to unlock the destination through the Le Méridien brand lens which highlights coordinates, culture and cuisine.
Following the grand opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi two weeks ago, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has just unveiled the latest addition to its collection of global properties with its first presence on the Eastern coast of Thailand, Koh Samui. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui is located on the Gulf of Thailand and it seamless combines the brand’s legendary service with the traditional spirit of Thai hospitality and colorful Samui island life culture to create a unique melting pot of indelible new memories.
Slated to open in October 2017, the Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena is one of the newest hotels that will be opening in Singapore this year. The hotel will occupy the 22nd to 33rd floor of the Royal Square @ Novena which is a mixed-used development building that is directly linked to the Novena MRT Station. At the time of writing, the property is taking reservations from 01 November 2017 and it is possibly the lowest-priced Marriott property (excluding Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties) in Singapore.
AccorHotels has just unveiled her very first property in Mongolia - the 95-room ibis Styles Ulaanbaatar Polaris which is located in the Khan Uu District. The property is a short 15-minute drive from the Chinggis Khaan International Airport and it features a sleek interior design with bright colours of orange and turquoise echoed by a wall of playful graffiti artwork.