26 February, 2010

Black Pepper Udon & God-knows-what-else for Dinner

It was already dark when we arrived at Carlton Hotel Singapore and Jid and I were already very tired and hungry. Zen, our Singaporean friend who fetched us from the airport, suggested that we eat first so that we could then rest.

Finding a place to eat was not a problem because there were a lot of restaurants near the hotel. We did not want to wait long though and so we settled to eating in this place where they served cheap and filling meals. Zen assured us that eating in such a place was safe so I relented. I forgot what the place was called though but if it were here in the Philippines, it would be called a turo-turo. The only glaring difference was that each store had a menu posted on one big board.

I am not really fond of eating Chinese food but I am also not a picky eater so I left the ordering to Zen. I did not know the names of what he ordered but they were all good. Well, except for the pork with broth because it tasted bland and the pork was almost all fat.

This one fascinated me. It’s egg with soy sauce and other seasoning for its broth. It was not as good as our homemade adobong itlog but it was by far the best among those we had.

Though I barely knew what I ate that night, I had fun basically because I view discovering a country’s gustatory delights as another fun part of traveling.

23 February, 2010

Carlton Hotel Singapore

Carlton Hotel Singapore is just about thirty (30) minutes away from Changi International Airport. It’s a 4-star hotel that our company chose because of its proximity to Suntec, the place where the convention was being held.

Our room

Truth be told, I don’t know what our room category was as it was our company’s travel agent who made all the necessary arrangements. It’s a pretty room though, with two separate beds. My share of the bed, which was small but comfy, is pictured below.

What I liked best about our room was the bathroom with its spacious bathtub, which unfortunately I was not able to take pictures of.

Below are the views from our room.


Our room rates were inclusive of daily buffet breakfast. I am a heavy breakfast eater thus I relished choosing my favorites among the extensive selection of breads, fruits, cold cuts and hot dishes.

After the third day though, it became a little boring as the selection was the same every day. I was so familiar with it that I could practically locate where the bacon or bread was placed even with my eyes closed.

The Service

The service was okay but it lacked the warmth and innate graciousness of Filipinos. Oh, they were courteous enough but the staff would not go out of their way to assist their guests. It was also not prompt and attentive since when we ate during breakfast, even when there were only too few diners (we usually ate early as our convention’s at 8AM), we had to signal for a waiter to fill in our coffee cups.

What I liked about the hotel

The best thing about Carlton Hotel Singapore was its strategic location. It was near the financial and convention district, which was pretty convenient since we were there for client meetings and a travel convention. Culture and shopping havens like Raffles City, Orchard Road, Marina Square Shopping Centre and Esplanade were also just a stone’s throw away from Carlton Hotel Singapore.

Below is a view of Carlton from Suntec.

Most popular tourist attractions like the Chijmes, Merlion Park, the Singapore Flyer and the National Museum were also just walking distance from the hotel.

Another thing that I liked about Carlton Hotel Singapore was its lobby as I found it elegant in its simplicity.

Least liked

There was an ongoing construction when we were there thus we had to tolerate some noise. The signage about it was also an eyesore.

The carpet in our narrow hallway was also old and stained.

Over-all experience

The Carlton Hotel is a good hotel to stay when in Singapore basically because of its prime location. It needs an uplift though and the hotel realized this thus the ongoing renovation when we were there in 2008.

Carlton Hotel Singapore is located in 76 Bras Brasah Road, Singapore 189558. For more information, please visit their official website or contact them through (+65) 6338 8333 or mail@carltonhotel.sg.

20 February, 2010

Changi International Airport

If I were amazed by my fun flight from Cebu to Singapore via Silk Air, I became more amazed when we arrived at the Changi International Airport. The place was very modern and clean and unlike the Philippines’ airports, was sprawling. There were quite a number of conveyor belts, with each area beautifully decorated with a huge pot of exotic purple orchids.

Changi International Airport also has numerous shops, money changers and telephone and visitor information booths. We were in such a rush though that I was not able to take some pictures as after exchanging our currencies, we just filled in the tourist’s information sheet, had our passports stamped then headed to where the driver who would drop us off our hotel was.

Despite the rush though, I couldn’t resist stopping at some beautiful gardens found inside the airport and snapping a couple of pictures. The last one’s simply stunning!