2010 in review

•January 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 14 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 38 posts. There were 64 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 17mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 25th with 48 views. The most popular post that day was MAMA SHELTER – A Chic & Cheap Design Hotel in Paris.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, whitenoiseofeverydaylife.wordpress.com, langkawicentre.com, linkedin.com, and bigextracash.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for mama shelter, noma restaurant, barbara rihl, restaurant noma, and mama shelter paris.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

MAMA SHELTER – A Chic & Cheap Design Hotel in Paris March 2010

2

Amangiri – Southern Utah December 2009

3

Domaine de Murtoli – Corsica November 2009

4

Barbara Rihl – Leather goods and accessories for fashion globetrotters December 2009

5

Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet – New Zealand December 2009

Celebrate Christmas with style

•October 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Celebrate Christmas with style with this absolutely beautiful and subtle creation from Sébastien Serveau, Pastry Chef at Hotel Ritz Paris!

Under a crunchy dark chocolate shell, gourmands will find a smooth and silky praline mousse with chopped caramelized hazelnut and orange marmalade.

La boule de Noël du Ritz Paris – Limited Edition – 125 euros (4 persons)

Copenhagen’s Noma Named World’s Best Restaurant‎, Dethroning Spanish elBulli

•April 28, 2010 • 3 Comments

Famed Spanish restaurant elBulli lost its crown after four years at the top, beaten to the number one spot by Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark (ranked at No. 3 in 2009).

The restaurant, located in a converted dockside shipping warehouse in Copenhagen, has created a menu that offers innovative Nordic cuisine. Constantly scanning for new sources of inspiration in Denmark and other Nordic regions, 32-year-old Chef René Redzepi offers a personal rendition of Nordic gourmet cuisine.

What’s on the menu?

Chef Redzepi’s approach to cooking is concentrated on obtaining the best raw materials from the Nordic regions, including horse mussels, deep-sea crabs and langoustines from the Faeroe Islands or halibut, wild salmon and seaweed from Iceland. Lamb, berries and musk ox from Greenland are also on the menu. Noma makes systematic use of beers and ales, fruit juices and fruit-based vinegars for its sauces and soups rather than wine, and allows vegetables, herbs, spices and wild plants in season to play a major role in its cuisine.

The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, produced by Britain’s Restaurant Magazine, was unveiled in London after voting by a panel of 806 chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and food experts who rated innovative gastronomy over haute cuisine. The entire list can be found here: theworlds50best.

4 Great Travel Websites

•April 27, 2010 • 1 Comment

Kiwi Collection

A few days ago, Kiwi Collection unveiled its redesigned, leading edge website. Featuring 2100 hotels in 124 countries, Kiwi Collection is a trusted resource to discover and book the world’s most exceptional hotels. The collection is truly exceptional and the pictures are beautiful. Their search engine is efficient and allows you to easily compare the rates of different hotels and resorts.

Mr & Mrs Smith

Mr & Mrs Smith takes you on a tour around the most stylish and individual hotels in destinations around the world, from Amsterdam to Zambia. I like the fact they give insider tips about the destination and what’s going on around the properties, including the best room or suite to ask for, where to head for the tastiest dinner or indicate the best beaches and picnic spots.

Unique Home Stays

Unique Home Stays is dedicated to luxury breaks in the most luxurious and finest private houses in the UK (they also have a few properties abroad but very limited). Luxury accommodation includes bed & breakfast, country houses, self catering and exceptional properties. This website is one of my latest finds and already one of my favourites. Smart yet simple in design, I have discovered amazing properties where I now long to visit!

Design Hotels

Design Hotels is a must for those who are sensible to design and architecture. This unique directory features 180 boutique and designer hotels in 114 destinations around the world.

Explore Cities on Two Wheels

•April 22, 2010 • 2 Comments

At the occasion of Earth Day 2010, celebrated on April 22nd (yep, that’s right… today!), I wanted to write on a topic related to the environment. Well, and travel of course.

There is no doubt that tourism has a major impact on the environment (if you haven’t done it yet, calculate your carbon footprint www.carbonfootprint.com). However, it is possible to reduce one’s impact on the Earth while travelling.

Cycling is a trend gaining popularity as travellers are becoming conscious of their carbon footprint. Apart from the energy and materials needed to construct bicycles, cycling has virtually zero negative impact on the environment.

This renewed love affair with the bike is taking hold in cities around the world, from Rome and Paris to Shanghai, Montreal and Dublin. These cities are joining the bicycling movement through wildly popular bicycle sharing programmes, following the example of cities such as Copenhagen (1995) and Munich (2000), who have had similar programmes for years. With their growing popularity in Europe, bike-sharing systems are now emerging in North American cities.


Bike sharing networks are available in numerous cities around the globe, including:

Barcelona: www.bicing.com

Bristol: www.hourbike.com

Copenhagen: www.bycyklen.dk

Denver: www.bcycle.com

Dublin: www.dublinbikes.ie

Lyon: www.velov.grandlyon.com

Mexico: www.ecobici.df.gob.mx

Milan: www.bikemi.com

Montreal: www.montreal.bixi.com

Munich: www.callabike-interaktiv.de

Paris: www.velib.paris.fr

Roma: www.roma-n-bike.com

Rouen: www.cyclic.rouen.fr

Toulouse: www.velo.toulouse.fr

Vienna: www.citybikewien.at

Washington: www.smartbikedc.com

This list is non-exhaustive; feel free to add the ones you are aware of!

Bike sharing programs are a growing global phenomenon and many more mayors are coming soon in cities such as London (scheduled to launch Jul. 2010), Melbourne (scheduled for June 2010), Minneapolis (Scheduled to launch Jun. 2010), Toronto (starting May 2011), Boston, Seattle and Arlington.

Two wheels at Four Seasons

And if you want to cycle in style, Four Seasons is now catering to all cycling needs. From help with hiring a bicycle to personalised tours to a five-star picnic hamper, they are ready to send you on your adventure well provisioned! For more information, take a look at the following articles: Bicycling Surges in Popularity and Where is the World’s Best Region for Bicycling?

Koh Yao Yai – An unspoilt paradise off Phuket

•April 20, 2010 • 1 Comment

My husband and I spent almost a week on Koh Yao Yai in March 2010. We wanted to experience Thailand in a way that was more authentic than Phuket, Koh Phi Phi or Krabi. And we were not disappointed!

Within easy access from a short crossing by a 30 min speed boat from Phuket, Koh Yao Yai is still surprisingly off the beaten track. Still untouched by tourism, Koh Yao Yai is a sheer delight to visit and explore. Located in the heart of Phang Nga Bay, famous for its sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald green water, the Island offers dramatic scenery and deserted beaches.

We stayed at the Koh Yao Yai Village, one of the two high-standard resorts of the island. We really appreciated this resort that feature large bungalows decorated in Thai Folk Art. The attention to details in the rooms is remarkable from the outdoor living area to the amenities and handmade wooden buffalos produced by the local Islanders. The 400 sqm infinity pool with breathtaking views overlooking the Andaman Sea is particularly beautiful (and compensates for the lack of decent beach near the resort). The “Yao Yai Island Exploring” excursion by long-tail boat is a must (but be aware that snorkelling is very limited on that area). Check out their website for hot deals and special packages.

We went scuba-diving at the island’s only PADI dive centre, Elixir Divers, located in the Elixir Resort at the other side of the island (it is easy and very cheap to rent a motorbike at the reception). The instructor was excellent, the rental equipment first rate and the spots (Anemone Reef and Shark Point) really nice! We had delicious lunch and dinner at the Elixir Resort and enjoyed the pristine 400-meter-long private bay.

Koh Yao Yai is a perfect destination for relaxing holidays, since tradition and natural beauty on this island are still untouched by tourism. There are several nice beaches around the island (mainly on the West coast) and the population were very friendly and helpful.

Studio M Hotel – A comfy Duplex in Singapore

•April 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Opened mid-March 2010, Studio M Hotel is one of the newest hotels in Singapore. My husband and I had the opportunity to stay there for 5 nights and I wanted to share this good deal with you all.

Designed by the Italian award-winning architect and designer Piero Lissoni, Studio M reflects his signature style of minimal elegance. The use of clean lines, sharp edges and a subtle colour palette brings an undeniably modern and contemporary feeling to the whole place. The concept is unique as all rooms in the hotel are Duplex and feature separate bed and living/office areas – perfectly conceived for both rest and work. We stayed in a Studio Loft room (which is the standard category). Though it is quite small (22sqm), it is very well-thought and convenient. The only downsides were the bed (too soft) and the humidity in the room. Good to know: wireless Internet is free in all room categories.

Lissoni has also brought greenery into the hotel and created a pleasant urban garden. The 25-metre lap pool is a great way to cool down after a tiring day of shopping. Note that some facilities were not opened yet at the time of our stay, such as the gym or the coffee bar Espressamente Illy.

Last but not least, Sutdio M Hotel is conveniently situated in the Robertson Quay entertainment area (surrounded by plenty of classy bars, restaurants and entertainment venues).

Check-out for special rates:

Leisure for Longer: Enjoy 20% off best available rates when you stay 3 nights and above.

Hotel Opening Promotion: Be one of the first to stay in our Italian-designed Studio Loft, rates starting from S$160++.