Wow – we are on the final stretch….
Soon we will arrive in Singapore.
Our flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong was 45 minutes late arriving so we had 35 minutes to get off the plane, go through security and get back on the same plane. It kept us moving but once again everything was so well organized – we were guided by Singapore Airlines employees holding signs all the way along the route. I kept at the end of the pack to make sure nobody in my group got left behind.
A steward on our last flight told me that the Hong Kong airport is one of the most efficient in the World – right down to the cleaning staff. When I walked into the Hong Kong airport washroom there was an attendant responsible for making sure the facility stays clean – he remains in there at all time – not just spot checks – it was spotless – you could smell the bleach.
Once again boarding the jet was a breeze – no lines – in no time we were seated and ready to depart. I’m been trying to determine why Singapore Airlines does a much better job than others – I believe its the abundance of staff – professional, experienced staff – other airlines should take note!
The flight attendant in our section of the aircraft was such a sweet heart – Marlet, one of my passengers was admiring the outfits they wear – the stewardess commented that they are made of a cotton material that repels liquids and if they spill something on them, the design of the material hides the stain so passengers won’t notice. She told Marlet that similar designs are available on ebay or in the Chinese Market in Singapore. The stewardesses look immaculate at all times. My female passengers kept saying – their hair is styled perfectly – nothing is ever out of place. The attendants have been overly friendly on all flights – when they bring around our meals they say hello, how are you, describe the choices… on most airlines the attendants would stare at you and say chicken or beef!
Another breakfast was served – my passengers were more interested in ordering Singapore Slings! It’s wonderful how Singapore Airlines has embraced this cocktail that is known by most and has put their country on the cocktail map.
We arrived in Singapore after 3 hours 15 minutes. This airport is so impressive – my passengers were all coming to me saying they can’t believe how beautiful it is. Massive live greenery walls surround much of the customs hall – but unfortunately I had to remind my passengers that they couldn’t take pictures in this secure part of the airport.
There were no lines at customs so we were through quickly but by the time we finished, long lines had formed so a few flights obviously arrived after us. Our luggage also arrived very quickly – why can’t other airports be so efficient? We met our local guide, Susan and boarded a private coach charter to the 5 star Fairmont Hotel. She pointed out highlights along the way.
The Fairmont in Singapore always impresses me. The rooms are beautiful and very so homey. The oversize rain shower in the bathrooms gives you new energy after many hours of flying. Once again ALL the staff here are so professional – the front desk staff are always at the top of the game so I never hesitate to book this hotel. Our rooms were ready ahead of check-in time even though the hotel is at capacity. Any request I have is not too much.
We really enjoyed our luncheon at Cafe Swiss. Their International Buffet is impressive. This is not your run-of-the-mill lunch buffet – many upmarket selections, food stations and a chocolate fountain with warm carrot cake are part of the dessert table.
After our many flights my group finally had some down time. I was able to fit in some shopping in the convenient attached mall and relaxation time in the impressive Fairmont Spa. Others went to the “pop up” Raffles Hotel Long Bar for a Singapore Sling. Raffles just closed for a massive renovation. I’ll be anxious to see the new updated Raffles Hotel next time I am in Singapore.
We gathered once again for dinner at Prego. I always use this restaurant when I have groups in Singapore. The younger manager was so pleased that I brought them another group. He came right up to me asking how I have been. The chef came out of the kitchen to make sure I was happy with everything. He is from Italy and wanted to meet the Canadians as he remarked that Fairmont Hotels has a long history in our country.
I picked a sharing menu for the group this time – we would call it “Family Style” at home. Platters of starters, main courses and desserts arrived. Since I knew everyone is tired I asked for them to bring the food out quickly so we had no waits between courses. Everything served was fresh, hot and delicious. There was an abundance of selections. Well Done!
Dining out in Singapore is very expensive. I pointed out to my guests that our lunch buffet was $60 per person plus tax and tip – dinner well over $100. per person. I’ll never forget a few years ago when I had a group in Singapore, a 3 course group German schnitzel dinner was $160.00 per person!
When I arrived back to my hotel room after dinner my internal light switch turned off. I was not tired up until that point but all of a sudden I was done. I could barely finish a couple Facebook posts before quickly falling asleep but by 3am I was wide awake. I feel great and ready to go.
Today after we enjoy the superb breakfast buffet at the Fairmont (one of the best anywhere in the World) I’ve picked out the best places for us to visit in Singapore during a 1/2 day tour. We’ll then travel to the airport for our Singapore Airlines flight to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. We arrive around 730pm if I recall correctly.
Last night one of my passengers took me aside to say how terrific this tour is – my response was “thank you very much but we are just beginning”.
How wonderful to think that Bali is waiting for us – in a few hours we will arrive in paradise!