Around And About // Singapore

23 June 2014

It seems that Singapore is quickly becoming my second home. I can't/won't complain about that! 

The close proximity to Jakarta (just a 1.5 hour flight) means that Singapore is a great, and quite common, mini-break destination for expats here. Especially, for anyone like me, who feels the need to walk around a bit (there's a lack of outdoor space in Jakarta), or is looking to stock up on any of their favourite items that can't be found in Jakarta.

On this trip I did a couple of things that I'm going to show you in individual posts soon.

However... I also did lots of other little things that I just snapped quickly. So here's my Singapore photo journal brought to you by the wonder that is my iPhone:

This time in Singapore I...

...failed at the first hurdle of I Quit Sugar, and indulged in these mini cupcakes from Swirls Bakery at Robertson Quay. Pleased to say I'm firmly back on the IQS wagon now, but man did I enjoy my fall!

Took a stroll along the riverside and then found a great little restaurant and wine bar called Verre.

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Where we ate this...

Robertson Quay

..and drank several glasses of this...

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We chattered away for a few hours and then wandered rather cheerily back to our hotel. On the way we passed a very small but romantic champagne bar nestled beneath the trees alongside the river. I made a mental note to check it out when we're next back in Singapore.

After an incredible night's sleep, the kind that comes from blackout blinds, soundproofed walls and an extra large and sumptuous hotel bed, we woke up and proceeded to have the best breakfast in bed ever...

Naumi Hotel // Singapore Mini Break

19 June 2014

Last week we headed over to our neighbour Singapore, for a little rest and relaxation break. We checked into the Naumi Hotel, a small luxury boutique that's located in the heart of the city.

Naumi hotel has recently undergone a facelift, and from the moment we checked into our 'Habitat Room' it was very clear that every little details has been thought of; from the chill-out music that greets you when you first enter your room, to the yoga mat tucked away in the drawer under the bed. On the small island of Singapore, space is limited, and hotel rooms are typically quite compact. At Naumi we found our room was actually a reasonable size, and it's been designed in a way to maximise the feeling of space. The decor was light and airy; there's a natural and relaxing feeling evoked by the soft tones of   the walls and headboard, the white marble, the pale wooden flooring, and the floral cutwork light feature by the bed. It felt calm and soothing, something always very welcome after long days on a city break.

On entering our room for the first time, we promptly began checking out all the fun bits and bobs; the 'magic glass' shower (clear glass which becomes frosted at the flip of a switch), the Apple TV, built-in phone chargers, the ingenious pull-out minibar complete with complementary snacks and spirits, and perhaps most importantly (for caffeine addicts like myself anyway) our own Nespresso machine - the complete home away from home experience!

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best hotels singapore
The bathroom area is contemporary and minimalist, and actually, is not so much a bath room at all - it's open-plan within the room. 

This open-plan layout is an interesting design concept, which helps to save space and keep small rooms from feeling too claustrophopic. I've stayed in several hotels that have similar layouts, but Naumi has probably done it the best. Here the shower and toilet are behind clear glass doors, but at the flip of a switch the glass becomes frosted. Saving you a little dignity. Thank you! The main feature of the bathroom is the sink and vanity area, an illuminated stone island. It casts a lovely warming glow around the bathroom area and it's a unique feature which I hadn't seen in a hotel room before.

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The pull out mini bar is stocked with complimentary snacks, TWG teas, nespresso and spirits.
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I think he could do with a coffee too. The beds are just that comfy though!

One thing I really loved about Naumi Hotel was the branding. Slogans or sayings can be a tricky thing to get right, get it wrong and they look...well...a bit tacky. Naumi has managed to do them the right way, adding a playful and fun touch to their boutique hotel. Many of the amenities around the room had amusing expressions on them. The TV controls were stored in a box that read 'turn me on', the hairdryer in a bag with the words 'blow me', even the corridors were decorated with phrases...

Despite the fabulous, and very well thought out rooms, the true jewel in Naumi Hotel's crown has to be it's rooftop pool. The infinity edged pool is flanked by brightly colored, funky rattan lounge chairs and overlooks the city, all the way across to the business district. It's a view to rival the Marina Bay Sands without the crowds and the big, impersonal hotel feel. There's a small bar that serves cocktails, beers and food. There's music to fit the trendy vibe, upbeat and just the right volume for that party atmosphere without being intrusive.

We grabbed ourselves a cocktail and laid back to take in the incredible view.
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Taking in the incredible view...but, believe it or not, it gets better at night.
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Many aspects of Naumi hotel reminded me of W Hotels. It has a youthful, fun and trendy vibe whilst also managing not to sacrifice on that luxurious feeling we all love in a hotel. The location is also something worth noting, it's located right next to the iconic Raffles hotel and just a block away from City Hall station, so it's a great base from which to explore Singapore. If you're looking for a small boutique hotel in Singapore or are already considering staying at Naumi Hotel, then...

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You won't regret your choice! You can book via the Naumi Hotel website or check out their Facebook page for special offers and some more snaps.

I think that's enough photos for one day! I'll be back soon with a post about what we got up to in Singapore this time.

PS: Leave a comment and let me know... do you you prefer staying in the big hotels or are you more of a boutique hotel fan??

Jakarta Life // At The Mall

7 June 2014

Yesterday was a mall day. In Jakarta much of life outside your home is spent in malls, everything is there - the shopping, dining, cafes and the supermarkets. It can be good thing and a bad thing; you can get everything done in one go, but sometimes it gets monotonous.

A Peek Into My Living Room

31 May 2014

My living room is finally coming together. 

No sooner had I almost perfected the one in South Korea, than we had to pack it up and sell half of it off, to move to Jakarta. Secretly though, I quite enjoy the chance to start all over again.

There was only one slight problem for me - when you rent apartments and homes in Jakarta, they come furnished. This may work fine for the vast majority of people, after all buying furniture and moving it between homes can be costly, but for me it's far from ideal. I have particular tastes and like my apartment to reflect my personal style. So, the first challenge was finding a place that had good bones. We saw all kinds of crimes against interior design in the form of gaudy, ornately carved wooden sofas, wallpaper to make your eyes hurt, and lavish yet somehow oh-so-tacky window dressings. Trust me, they were bad.

In the end we found a place with plain painted walls, classical style dark wood furniture and a cream sofa with matching chairs. Not my ideal, but workable. I added in the necessary soft furnishings; candles, cushions, vases, coffee table books and trinkets. There's much more to be added, but I feel that with a pop of brightness from fresh flowers I pick up every week or two, it's starting to look like my home.

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The bar cart is something I had made here in Indonesia. After years of wanting one in Korea, and not being able to find one anywhere (believe me I searched high and low!) I was determined to get one here. I still need to work on styling it, as so far, I've done very little with it. For starters I'd like to add something to the wall above it. I'm not sure whether to try and find a beautiful mirror or a fun print of some kind, what do you think? Any ideas anyone?