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 1865 Membership by Langham Hotels & Resorts has just been refreshed with some improvements (alongside a name change). The newly-refreshed 1865 Privilege will now allow qualification (and renewal) by eligible room nights instead of just eligible stays. The names of the different tiers are staying the same but travellers are now rewarded for staying longer.
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) introduced Business Rewards back in 2015 which allows users and professionals to be rewarded for booking accommodations as well as meeting spaces for others. The Double Play Double Points promotion which is currently running (between 01 January 2017 and 15 April 2017) allows users to earn up to 6 IHG Rewards Club points (instead of 3) per US$1 for events and stays up to 31 August 2017.
This Valentine's Day, indulge in the spirit of love as you enjoy a carefully-presented spread at the Pan Pacific Singapore's Edge. Begin the dinner with a Champagne toast and a stalk of beautiful red rose (compliments of Pan Pacific Singapore) before indulging in the impressive spread across all seven live food theatres.
One of the most highly-anticipated hotels that are opening in 2017 has finally been unveiled over the last week along Robertson Quay - The Warehouse Hotel (from the folks behind The Lo & Behold Group) has a room inventory of 37 across six different categories. This beautiful hotel is designed by the homegrown agency Asylum and is reminiscent of the building’s original life as a ‘godown’ during the height of Singapore’s spice trade.
Following the announcement of AccorHotels' 600th property and the US$38 Million makeover, The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman Hotel is set to excite travellers with a refreshing experience with its unique F&B concepts, state-of-the-art meetings facility and innovative hotel lobby design.
AccorHotels has just unveiled a brand new MGallery by Sofitel property in one of Thailand's most celebrated beaches - Patong Beach. The Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong MGallery by Sofitel is the perfect hideaway for families and couples seeking tranquil island adventure. The hotels 150 rooms and suites feature Thai-inspired décor which utilises local woods and natural stones.
Keyaki at the Pan Pacific Singapore will be presenting three kaiseki presentations between 15 January 2017 and 15 February 2017 that is centered around showcasing seasonal delicacies from Hokkaido, Japan. Each one of these masterfully-crafted presentations by Master Chef Hiroshi Ishii (石井博史) is available for lunch and dinner and diners will be able to select from Hokkai, Donan or Hakodate (from S$170++).
Joining the Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur and Japamala Resort in Tioman Island, Samadhi Retreats is set to unveil the group's third property in Singapore - Villa Samadhi Singapore. Slated to open on 05 January 2017 (with impressive opening rates of up to 40% off!), Villa Samadhi Singapore is housed in a heritage 20th century colonial garrison and is set amidst the lush greenery of the Labrador Nature Reserve.
If you are looking for the perfect reason to stay out this New Year's Eve (2017), check out the Orchid Club New Year's Eve Room Offer at the PARKROYAL on Pickering which comes with two invites to the PARKROYAL on Pickering’s New Year’s Eve Orchid Club Countdown Party, one night stay at this beautiful property and full Orchid Club privileges which include Champagne breakfast, evening cocktails and all-day refreshments. You can even sleep in on New Year's Day with a late check-out at 4pm.
Two-time award winner of British Baking Awards’ esteemed Continental Pâtissier of the Year French Master Pattisier Éric Lanlard will be presenting an exclusive Afternoon Tea experience at The St. Regis Singapore's Brasserie Les Saveurs from 03 January 2017 to 08 January 2017. Chef Éric Lanlard has an impressive list of clientele which includes Elizabeth Hurley, David and Victoria Beckham, and the Queen Mother.