YTL Life
Issue Thirty One

Old and New World Charm
Written to coincide with the opening of The Gainsborough Bath Spa, a luxury YTL hotel in the UK, this piece covers the architecture and interior design of the recently restored hotel. Guaranteed to garner architectural design awards, the three buildings - two Georgian and one Victorian - along with a new addition exemplify sensitivity to heritage and history. I trace the long history of the various structures and assess their significance as a 21st-century six-star hotel.

DestinAsian
October/November 2015

Well Sculpted
The region's top travel magazine, DestinAsian, is now in its 14th year. As ever, it has its editorial on the pulse of everything that is new and exciting in the region. Naturally, with Singapore's National Gallery opening in the same month, the editor was keen to talk art when I met up with him. I suggested a commentary on the Lion City's public sculpture. He jumped at it. The result is a short roundup of a downtown walk that takes in an array of international and local talent - from Anthony Gormley, Fernando Botero and Anish Kapoor to lesser-known Singaporean artists such as Tan Wee Lit.

YTL Life
Issue Eighteen

Let it Snow!
Editor-in-Chief, Diana Khoo, asked me to write a piece on Hokkaido for the 2012 winter issue of YTL Life to coincide with the beginning of the ski season in Japanís snowy north. Nothing interests me more than Niseko: great powder skiing, fabulous food, cool people and the added bonus of a deeply enriching onsen hot spring bathe at the end of the day. I hope Iíve managed to do this beautiful part of the world justice in this piece.

Silkwinds
March-April 2013

A Fine Balance
A quick overview of how the ancient art and science of Ayurveda has been adapted for and adopted by contemporary spas was the brief. Silkwinds, the in-flight magazine for Silk Air, was the client. My old friend and colleague with whom I travelled round India researching Ayurveda, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, was the photographer. It was a fine balance indeed explaining Ayurveda’s core within a 1,500 wordcount! I also managed to offer readers five top spas to visit next time they fly to India.

 

Writing articles on food, travel, architecture, interior design, the spa industry and more has been the mainstay of my journalistic career. I've worked both in-house on magazines and freelance since I left university in 1981, all the while learning, honing skills and interviewing the most fantastic array of personalities. Click on any of the above titles to see some recent features.

 

Fit for a Maharajah — Palatial Spas in Rajasthan

ASIASPA Hong Kong glossy asiaSpa is keen on its roundups of superlative spas around the globe. The focus on India continued in the May/June 2007 issue with a feature on Rajasthan’s cream of the crop. With the spa phenomenon relatively new to India, it was an interesting commission. But we can’t really complain about a sojourn in Rajasthan, where ancient traditions are combined with modern-day service in some of the most stunning heritage properties in the world, can we?

   

 

 

The Balance of Life through Ayurveda

ASIASPA With the economy going through the roof, interest in India has burgeoned — from investment opportunities to holiday destinations, cultural attractions to wellness therapies. In the past, yoga has been at the forefront of this focus, but increasingly the ancient art of Ayurveda has permeated into the international consciousness. For the March/April 2007 issue, asiaSpa commissioned me to delve into its medicinal and mythological mysteries: the result is Ayurveda uncovered in all its incarnations.

   

 

 

The Changing Face of Koh Samui

ASIASPA July/August 2010 The island of Koh Samui has adopted many personas in its time – hippy haven, party destination, spa and wellness centre – so re–visiting to discover its new and exciting alternative health, spa and yoga offerings was hardly a hardship. Whether it's a detox, a yoga certificate, a total body and mind re–balance you require, the island provides. My roundup included Detox, Cleanse and Yoga; Hotel Spas; Day Spas; Coming Soon. Everything you need to know and everywere you need to go ...

   

 

 

Detox Diary

EXPAT LIVING October 2010 I was lucky enough to enjoy (yes, really!) a six–day detox at the unique wellness retreat of Kamalaya in Koh Samui whilst researching the island’s spa scene, so decided to jot down details of my therapies and thoughts during the journey. The result is a diary that encapsulates the unique offerings at Kamalaya, as well as a bit of navel gazing and pontificating about life in general. It's amazing what happens when you cut out the caffeine!

   

 

 

Luxe List 2010

DESTINASIAN October/November 2010 Each year the region’s leading travel and destination magazine features a roundup of Asia’s best new hotels and resorts. I was one of the publisher’s "roving band of discerning contributors" – a real shame that one! This remarkable selection of new properties is the best ever in terms of look, locations, service and value – and I’m pleased I was there to evaluate and write about some of them.

   

 

 

Glamour, Glitz and Legend: The South of France

ORIENT
Luxury brand The Leading Hotels of the World commissioned me in December 2006 to write an in-a-nutshell roundup of the South of France’s attractions. Quite a difficult feat as I was only allocated 800 words! This was an exercise in restraint: too many superlatives would have exceeded the word count. Nonetheless, I manage to cover climate, topographical details, main tourist sites, hotels and restaurants, food, beverage — and of course some history of the famed Riviera.

   

 

 

Where Sea, Sand and Horizon Meet

ORIENT The official magazine for the British Chamber of Commerce, Orient, isn’t my usual epistolary venue, but hey . . . when they asked me to write about one of my favourite places on the planet, I wasn’t going to refuse. “Where Sea, Sand and Horizon Meet” is an exploration of the gorgeous Rayavadee Resort and Spa in Thailand’s Krabi province: more than a visual treat, it is a must-go venue for serious sybarites. Written for the October 2006 edition, this feature covers all the facilities at the resort.
   

 

 

Singapore Slings

ASIASPA This gorgeous glossy epitomizes the glamour of Asian spas, so putting together an assessment of Singapore¹s top spas for the magazine was hardly a hardship! Running in the November/December 2005 issue, it attempted to portray both the variety and the quality on offer: up-to-the-minute reporting for a discerning market.

  singapore slings   singapore slings

 

 

The New Journey to Business Excellence

FREQUENT TRAVELLER Aimed primarily at the corporate traveller, this magazine keeps readers up to date on new places for both travel and leisure. This feature showcased a holistic retreat hotel in Southwest Australia that specializes in a concept Moondance Lodge has termed '“corporate nourishment”. Explaining both the offering, and the gorgeous surrounds in which it is offered, and featuring interviews with past attendees, the article is both informative and atmospheric like the lodge itself.

  travelers   travelers

 

 

The At-Home Spa

QUILL Put together by one of Asia's oldest bookstores, MPH, Quill is the MPH members' logbook. Offering reviews of new books, as well as articles by authors and contributors, it covers a range of subjects from home improvement to travel and business. This two-pager in the December 2005 edition was a pre-Christmas stress buster: how to make your own at-home spa work for you during the hectic holiday season. Shopaholics took note!

  quill   quill

 

 

Little India

DESTINASIAN is Asia's leading travel and lifestyle magazine, and putting together an assessment of small heritage hotels in India for them was a joy. The only problem was deciding which gorgeous properties had to be excluded. This assignment, which ran in the March 2005 issue, is an informative travel article featuring interviews with some of India's top heritage hoteliers.

   

 

 

Radical Resorts

Bangkok is booming, so say design mavens, style aficionados and trendsetters worldwide. This feature in a 2004 issue of THE EXPAT assessed the new international architecture and interior design that is springing up from Bangkok to Phuket and Chiang Mai in the north.

   
Brit Hot: Food

THE EXPAT, a Singapore-based glossy aimed at the expatriate market, ran a special on the UK one month in 2004. I was commissioned to write an overview of London's vibrant food and beverage scene. Featuring interviews with some of the UK's gastropub owners, chefs and restaurateurs, it was a short, snappy assessment.

 
In the Neighbourhood

A mainstay in the magazine scene in Asia for decades, THE FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW was a weekly that had wonderful assessments of the entire region - economically, politically, in arts and entertainment, design, literature and more. In an in-depth section about Asian Interior Design and Architecture, specifically on the workplace, I wrote this assessment of an award-winning office design in Singapore.

 

 

 

Bali's Best

The OBEROI hotel chain's in-house magazine that is placed in every guest room in the Oberoi empire commission me from time to time on general interest features. This piece on "Shopping in Bali" was a fun guide to the Island of the Gods' more commercial side; with a listing of over 25 of Bali's best boutiques and homeware and design stores, it is intended for the serious shopper.

 
Look Good, Feel Good

An overview of alternative therapies appeared in the OBEROI magazine in 2004. A comprehensive assessment of Asian, and other, modalities, ranging from qi gong to meditation, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, this article mirrors the current trend of looking East for inspiration in health as well as other matters.

 

Jewels of India

DESTINASIAN A regular contributor to this leading travel mag, I was asked to do a succinct one-pager on my top six spas and health retreats in India. It was a tricky task as the choice is so extraordinary these days; so I decided to go for variety of offering and locale: an Ayurvedic retreat, a yoga ashram, and some gorgeous spas in areas as diverse as Rajasthan, Kerala and Goa.

 

 

 

A Glimpse into the Indian Spa

SPA AUSTRALASIA Volume 32 of AustraliaĻs leading spa business magazine (Spring 2008) commissioned me to write a round-up of the spa scene in India as they wanted to promote my book The Indian Spa, and because India is such a hot topic in the spa world these days. A pictorial treat, it outlines some of the rejuvenating, exotic rituals available in India today.