Monday, 28 February 2011

Another awesome day in Hong Kong and another day of seeing people I love and hotels that I love too!

Up early (again) and a wonderful breakfast ... at The Peninsula ... with my dear Peninsula family ...

Catch the MTR to Central and after a naughty shop, have lunch with the General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing at The Four Seasons. Michelin-starred Chef Tak at Lung King Heen whips up an awesome meal ...

Quick meet with the new Spa director at the FS by the pool - it's a lovely warm day!

Then head over to Kowloon to the ICC Building for a guided tour of The Ritz-Carlton hotel ... with its DOSM and PR Director. The hotel opens in 29 days. It's the 4th tallest building in the world and the highest hotel in the world. From floors 103 to 118 - it's rooms/suites/restaurants/bars/gym ... and pool on the top floor. It DOES look rather amazing ... if the service matches the look & feel ... it may turn out to be one of the greatest hotels in the world. Watch this space ...

Back over to Central again to meet with the "Man from Air New Zealand" here in Hong Kong and the PR Director of the Four Seasons ...

FINALLY over to the Island Shangri-La for a drink with Maria - the Director of PR for Shangri-La hotel & resorts worldwide ....

Winvy & Priscilla at The Peninsula
Catherine & William at The Four Seasons
Shoshana at The Four Seasons
Bonnie & Ivy at The Ritz-Carlton
Brandy - the gorgeous Spaniel at the R-C who licked my hand and made me feel loved!
Jonathan and Claire (Bear) at The Four Seasons .. balcony on the 78th (!) floor!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Exhausted - YES ... Happy - Yes.

I am sitting in my suite at The Peninsula ... one eye on Scarface ... one hand on my dinner and the other writing this.

So my 1845 hrs flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong yesterday was a total nightmare. The 1845 was cancelled (the aircraft was "broken") and so we boarded another one to depart at 2045. As it turns out, THIS aircraft was "broken" too! Eventually, we departed at 2245 and finally arrived at 0240 here in Hong Kong! I was upgraded though (in business) from near the toilets to next to four screaming babies! Joy ...,

I was picked up in a rather lovely green Rolls-Royce and arrived at my hotel ... and am now settled in a pretty amazing suite facing the Harbour.

I finally got to sleep at 0430 but was up for a day of very dear friends, loads of food & drink ... and I am now ready for sleep ... what a lovely day ...

Philip and Sian (The Peninsula) with Piper & Tattie ...
A group of Philipino nannies I met on the street ...
My Hong Kong family ... Lamey & Hannah, Priscilla and Me & Hava ... only Daddio Wilson was missing ... sad ...
I love my Leica!
Nina (The Mandarin), Claire-Bear (Four Seasons), Maria (Shangri-La), Patrick (Gleneagles)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

First episode ... it's a wrap!
Dusk from my suite
Up early and a bike ride with Gigi Swanepoel - from Tourism Corporation Africa ...
It was VERY warm ... Gigi coped well ... erm ... I did not!
A cave
At the boatyard ... with Captain Mokh. Note Andrea on the left - the fabulous PR from YTL ...
Tim's new purchase (and yes, it IS a boat with a hole in it)!

Friday, 25 February 2011

happy me by the beach at Tanjong Jara ...

with James McBride - President of YTL hotels ... a good guy.

the welcoming committee - very colourful and musical ....

the Mandi Bunga - a pre-spa ritual. I was King for just one day...

dancing at the Kampung Life - the local Malay experience ...

Capt Mokh shows me how it is done

Batik painting ... I tried and didn't fail!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Good morning!

It's 5 a.m. here in Malaysia. I have only just got to the diary from yesterday ...

Had a wonderful - if not rather hot & sweaty day.

First up, a cooking masterclass with Chef Ann (Executive Chef). She took me down to the local village - Dungun - to the fish market to choose some "queen" prawns for the dish. They were not as large as king ... but too large to be a regular prawn!

Anyway, back at the resort we created a typical Malay dish. When I say "we", I mean "her" by the way! Yum!

After lunch we drove 45 minutes to Bukit Besi Golf Club. The first club in Malaysia was formed in only 1980 ... and there are now 17 Championship and 297 regular courses in the country. This a large number for a small market. The reason? The Japanese! It is cheaper to play here than Japan so it's a great boost for tourism.

Anyway, I played my round with one of the club's committee members Mr Zul. We had fun! It was rather humid ...

We all had dinner on the beach last night which was fabulous!

So much left to do but it's all good ...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

It's only 7.30 pm but I am exhausted so it's an early night for me!

Met up with Andrea (YTL PR) and Gigi (travel Ambassador for YTL) at breakfast. Eat fast and head to spa. There 7 spa suites with 14 different treatments ... last time I was in Malaysia, I visited Pangkor Laut - which is - arguably - the greatest spa in the world. My treatment today - from Mr Yahya (yaya) was a traditional Malay massage. He learnt the technique from his mother and she from hers. It was quite lovely.

I did head back there for seconds later when I received an awesome head massage from Rosna.

The resort boasts - 2 swimming pools, dive centre, outdoor all-weather tennis courts, gym and nearby golf courses! SO much to do & see!

After a long lunch, we filmed my suite - the Anjung (Presidential) - it is designed like a 17th century Malay Palace. It is 180 square metres in area. Two bathrooms, black marble sunken bath, king sized bed, x 2 televisions, satellite tv, wireless internet, 1-bedroom, writing desk, bar, dining room, sun deck, view of the river ... as far as I am concerned - my own private beach and my own private swimming pool aka the South China Sea!

It did rain in the morning but it turned into a fine/hot/sunny day by midday ... sleep!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Greetings from Tanjong Jara Resort which is situated in Terengganu State.

I am sitting on my bed in a suite that can only be described as incredible. I am full of lovely Malay food - will now write the diary and pop off to sleep - as we have an early shoot tomorrow.

SO - quite sadly - we left the island of Tioman this morning. The resort - JapaMala - is undergoing a major refurbishment this year and when it is finished, it will be truly wonderful. The staff on the resort - without exception - were just fabulous. I will revisit this resort again just to see my new Tioman family ... George and Gillian the monkeys who lived on my roof included! Thank you Aruni, Belle, Mike et al.

We took the Royal helicopter back to KL (1 hour) and then took a 4 hour 30 minute road trip to TJJ. We are fully fed and watered and excited about tomorrow. TJJ looks like an amazing resort ...

Monday, 21 February 2011

I need to get fit ... I am trying ... but obviously not hard enough. Today was quite tough on my old frame.

Up early and we met up with Jenny Roach from Eco Divers. Malaysia is getting quite a reputation as a good place to learn to dive. It has PADI etc so safetly is covered. There is warm & clear water, weak currents and enough to see to keep divers happy.

We boated 25 minutes to a small island in front of Bejaya Beach and scuba'd for an hour or so. I saw cuttlefish, the odd shark, large fish with scarey fangs and lots of sea slugs. I missed out on turtles though. Tioman Island offers good diving facilties and is fabulous for the likes of me - the amateur diver - whether it's good enough for professional divers is another matter.

Jenny comes from Liverpool (a city in North-West England) and is a very competent diver.

After a quick lunch we headed into the jungle that surrounds Japa Mala. Our guide Maran Nayer aka Mike took us for a long walk. There are monkeys, lizards, snakes, birds, squirrels and spiders ... trees, plants ... and sadly the odd mosquito.

The terrain was was very rough and it was a real hike! Thankfully Tim and James (with some help) carried all the equipment.

We ended up on some rocks looking down over the resort and up to peaks that look over Tioman Island.

Here's a fact - the original 1958 flick South Pacific was filmed here ... along with Kauai in Hawaii ... Tioman is famous!

blogger template powered by fraktiv