Friday, 30 April 2010

Universal Studios @ Resorts World Sentosa

The friendly staff @ KT's Grill.
Chilling out @ KT's Grill.
Last Wednesday (28th April 2010) after my early morning meeting in Singapore which took less than an hour, I decided to visit Resorts World's Universal Studios since I have more than 7 hours to kill before my flight back to Brunei. The entrance fee is S$66-00 for adults on weekdays which includes all rides and a couple of cash vouchers redeemable for food (S$10-00) and merchandise (S$5-00) so the ticket is in fact only S$51-00. Operating hours are from 9.00am to 6.00pm daily and there are plans to extend the closing time to 9.00pm in the not too distant  future. You can also purchase tickets online but I think this feature is more useful for travel agents. Even if you are travelling alone (which was what I was doing), I find the attendants at  Universal Studios very friendly, helpful and polite (all the pictures of me were taken by the attendants in Universal Studios) and there was always a parting remark of "have a nice day, sir" from everyone of them! I'm very impressed! For more pictures of Universal Studios, click here.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Marina Bay Sands Casino

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Casino opened its doors on 27th April 2010 at exactly 3.18pm and I was fortunate enough to visit it yesterday, the second day of its opening. It is located right opposite the main hotel building across the road in the shopping and convention centre called "The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands". I took a taxi from Orchard Road to MBS (15 minutes' ride) and the taxi driver commented that I was his first customer he was sending to MBS (and he's not sure where the casino is located) and sure enough he sent me to the hotel instead of the casino. MBS is not fully completed and construction work is still ongoing as there were workers hurrying around and barriers everywhere. There are separate entrances to the casino for "foreigners" and "singapore citizens and permanent residents"; singapore citizens and permanent residents have to pay S$100-00 (non-refundable and valid for 24 hours) to enter the casino while foreigners have to show their passports to enter (identity cards cannot be used to enter so don't leave your passports in the hotel!). I managed to take a few pictures inside the casino before a security officer stopped me from taking more pictures. The MBS casino is huge occupying four floors but on the day I visited at around noon, the place was not crowded at all (maybe it was still early). The dealers at the Blackjack tables were inexperienced but I don't blamed them as they were only on the job for two days! 

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Goodbye, Sheraton-Utama Hotel!

Peter Feran, GM of Radisson & Shamsul, President of BAH.
Present & past presidents of BAH.
Roast Lamb...
Tiger prawns and fresh oysters; yummy!
Come 30th April 2010 at midnight, Sheraton-Utama Hotel will be re-branded as the "Radisson Hotel Brunei", ending 28 years of partnership with the Sheraton brand. A dinner reception was hosted last night by the Board of Directors of Hotel Associates Sdn Bhd (owners of the hotel) at the Mutiara Ballroom to commemorate 28 years' association with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and to bid farewell to its outgoing General Manager, Mr. Alex Riva. I had fond memories of the Sheraton-Utama Hotel as I had good relationships with many of its past and present "associates". I used to patronize the bar (alcoholic drinks were still legal then) during its early days when I was working next door at the Angs Hotel. In fact when I first arrived in Brunei in 1981, I went for an interview at the Sheraton-Utama Hotel and was interviewed by its first Director of Security & Personnel, the late Dato Calvalho (somehow I didn't get a job there!). Anyway, I wish Alex Riva every success in his future undertakings and a warm welcome to Mr. Peter Feran, the first General Manager of Radisson Hotel Brunei. 

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

BAH's 2nd Fruit & Vegetable Carving Competition 2010

Jack, Chairman of Sports & Social Club, delivering his opening remarks.
The winner from RBC.
The judges from MTSSR.
Yesterday afternoon, the Brunei Association of Hotels' Sports & Social Club organized a Fruit and Vegetable Carving Competition for members and industry partners at the Sutera Hall, Rizqun International Hotel. Eleven participants from the Empire Hotel & Country Club, Rizqun International Hotel, Orchid Garden Hotel, Royal Brunei Catering (RBC) and Maktab Teknik Sultan Saiful Rizal (MTSSR) competed in this competition. The President of BAH, Mr. Shamsul Ahmad was on hand to present the prizes to the eventual winners. Congratulations to all the winners and  a round of applause for Jack and his committee members (of the Sports & Social Club) for their initiative.  

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Brunch @ Li Gong Restaurant

This afternoon, I had Brunch (or Lunch) at Li Gong Restaurant, The Empire Hotel and Country Club with three of my colleagues. I haven't been to Li Gong Restaurant for quite awhile and as I was in a generous mood, I invited my three colleagues to join me for Li Gong's promotion "Around China @ Li Gong" in which authentic Chinese cuisines from different parts of China were served starting from 16th March 2010 (with Guangzhou cuisine) and ending on 31st December 2010 (with Mongolian cuisine). Below is a schedule of the "Around China @ Li Gong" promotion (info correct at time of posting):-

16 – 31 March
15 – 30 April
15 – 30 May
15 – 30 June
15 – 31 July
15 – 31 August
15 – 30 September
15 – 31 October
16 – 30 November
15 – 30 December