1. Paris, the city of lights
Did you know that this magical France city is quite literally, a city with many lights? The dazzling Eiffel Tower is lit by 40 km of illuminated garlands made up of 20,000 sparkling light bulbs. During Christmas, the romantic Champs-Elysées also lights up with over 2.4 km of lights, from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. If you've never been to this ethereal city, it's truly the stuff of dreams - come to life.
Remember its magic and dine in style if you visit - the city of lights is very much also one that celebrates the joie de vivre (French for 'joy of living'). Life can be enjoyed in many ways, from a good conversation, to a good meal - to a good conversation over a good meal of course! One of the must-trys in Parisian cuisine is the beef bourguignon. Slowly simmered in Burgundy wine, the beef is tender and full of flavour.
Dig into your beef bourguignon at:
18 Rue Étienne Marcel, 75002 Paris, France⠀
2. Le P'tit Troquet
28 Rue de l'Exposition, 75007 Paris, France⠀
3. Joséphine Chez Dumonet
117 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris, France⠀
4. La Cave Gourmande⠀
96 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris, France⠀
5. Chez René
14 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France
Fall in love with this romantic city and enjoy good rest in the luxurious La Clef Louvre Paris, located just opposite the Grand Louvre Museum and only minutes from high-end contemporary shopping spots and quaint cafes. If you're on holiday with your family, define your own comfort at Citadines Tour Eiffel Paris. Don't forget to check out the nearby Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower!
2. Chengdu, the land of abundance
Since the ancient days, Sichuan, or more specifically the Chengdu Plain, has been nicknamed the Land of Abundance for being one of the primary food production bases in China. Today, this prosperity-bearing moniker holds true not just for the fertile agriculture, but also for the rich diversity of experiences and captivating sights and sounds you can find in the city of Chengdu.
Get acquainted with the bold flavours of this intriguing land. The best of the best has got to be the mapo tofu - a sweet, spicy, savoury siken tofu dish that's arguably Chengdu's greatest export! If you're in the bustling city, challenge your palate and give it a go.
Where to get your mapo tofu fix:
1. Chen Mapo Tofu⠀
197 W Yulong St, LuoMaShi, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu, China
2. Da Rong He Restaurant
ShuHan Road 289, JinChengYuan YiPinTianXia Food Shopping Street B District 1 Building, Chengdu, China⠀
3. Zhuanzhuan Mo⠀
Unit 7, Block 1, Keyuan Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu, China
If you're conservative with the spice level you usually pair with your food, this may cause your tongue to tingle a little, but hey, what's travel without a bit of excitement right?
Retreat to a place of comfort after these belly satisfying meals and stay the night at Ascott Raffles City Chengdu. Located right at the heart of Renmin Nan Road and just a stone's throw from the metro interchange, it grants you super easy access to second rounds of mapo tofu and other local eats, such as dan dan noodles and carefully pleated meat dumplings.
3. Dubai, the land of dreams
It's a shoppers' paradise with plenty of retail options that will leave you spoilt for choice. It's home to surfers and beach goers with pristine beaches and clear waters all year round. It's also perfect for the most unforgettable parties, with a nightlife that's arguably second to none.
And the food? Emirati cuisine is a whole new ball game, bringing you on an exotic gastronomic journey you won't regret. In Dubai, find some of the best restaurants and cafes serving up authentic United Arab Emirates fare. If you've worked up a hearty appetite, think savoury meat dishes and unique spice blends. If you'd like something lighter... how you heard of camel milk ice cream? You've got to try it.
1. Seven Sands
Shop #5102, The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2. The Majlis
The Souk, Dubai Mall, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Emirati specialties include the Aishu Lahem, slow cooked lamb shank served with biryani rice and yogurt, and Fouga, a Basmati rice dish chock full of spice flavours and your choice of meat.
There's so much to see and do in Dubai, your feet are bound to need a really good break at the end of the day. Kick off your shoes and prop weary feet up at Ascott Park Place Dubai. If you're lucky, your apartment may overlooking breathtaking views of this gorgeous city or the Arabian Gulf.
4. New York, the city that never sleeps
So many reasons why NYC is one of the greatest cities in the world, and yet there lies so much more that's yet to be discovered. The Big Apple is an enigma in its own right - always exhilarating, ever evolving, and forever one of those tempting places that spring to mind when you get bitten by the travel bug. Buy a Broadway ticket. Picnic at Central Park. Cycle along the Brooklyn Bridge. Marvel at art pieces at the MoMA. Experience the cacophony of dazzling lights and frenetic crowds at Times Square.
And eat. Eat your heart out. Dig into that pizza, and put aside the #eatclean plans, even if just for the fleeting time you're on vacation.
Enjoy that glorious slice of pizza at:
1. Juliana’s Pizza
19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, New York City
2. Patzeria Family & Friends
311 W. 48th Street, New York City
3. John’s of Times Square
260 W 44th St, New York City
Thin-crust, cheesey, or classic? Take your pick.
You'll never have to risk a FOMO moment if you stay at Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York, located in the heart of New York City and perfect for anyone who wants to experience the best of Manhattan and Times Square. The Grand Central Station and subway are also easily accessible, so you can effortlessly weave in and out of the most iconic spots within NYC, and make your trip a truly memorable one.
5. Vietnam, the land of the dragon
If you're wondering how Vietnam got known as such, it's because its unique geological shape on the map resembles the majestic folklore creature. But even symbolically, this makes sense. The small country breathes natural allure unlike no other, and its economy has seen aggressive growth in recent years. If you're thinking of exploring somewhere not-so-conventional, why not book a plane ticket to this unassuming beauty?
Food wise, there's also much more than meets the eye. Apart from pho which we're probably more familiar with, there's also bun rieu - a hearty, wholesome soup noodle with a broth made primarily from crab and tomatoes.
The best part of traditional Vietnamese cuisine is how fresh ingredients are used, along with minimal use of oil and a reliance on herbs and vegetables. So you get a very healthy meal, without ever compromising on taste.
Slurp to your heart's content at:
Bun rieu Nguyen Canh Chan
TK18/5 Nguyen Canh Chan, Cau Kho, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
This humble restaurant is located just 15 minutes from Somerset Ho Chi Minh City, which sits right in the heart of the bustling city. If you're on the prowl for more Vietnamese grub, good news - the residence is surrounded by bistros, cafes and restaurants.
6. Perth, where nature meets city
Sitting on the banks of the Swan River and close to expanses of natural bushland, Perth is one of those enchanting Australian cities big on the great outdoors. If you can't decide if you're more a city girl or a nature lover, seriously consider Perth! Take a stroll at King's Park; or explore the Swan River on a river cruise. Shop the boutique stores lining the city's streets, and get in touch with your artsy side by catching the latest theatre performance in town.
As the sun sets, wind down with a glass of romantic meets sensual. Hop over to one of Perth's bars and pamper yourself with a liquid diet in the form of some alcohol and jazz. These hidden gems will steal your heart.
Check out the perfect cocktail bar:
Hay St & Cathedral Ave, Perth WA 6000, Australia
Tucked away in Perth's Central Business District, Halford Bar is one lux bar that spares no expense in celebrating the decadence of the flamboyant 1950's.
Melt into the plush velvet seats and sip on Life's A Peach, a vodka infused with charred peach and crème de menthe to bring you a party in the mouth. It's also a pretty awesome place to head to if you're spending a girls' night out with your BFFs.
So go on - indulge in your favourite tipple.
Stay at Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth, which is set right in the heart of the city centre. That means it's really just a short walk away from the mesmerising enclave of restaurants, cafes and bars - where the best of the city's gastronomic treats can be found.
7. Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Seas
With its natural beauty and rich biodiversity, the Philippines is home to a plethora of beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots that make for some of the most popular tourist spots in the region. Just like an oyster, it's easily missed; but take some time to explore and get to know the country, and you'll be pleasantly surprised for sure.
Just like the natural landscape, the local cuisine is equally unpretentious. Eating in the Philippines is usually a casual and communal affair; rice features as a mainstay, and dishes are wrapped around the familiar tastes of sweet, sour and salty.
Find your comfort food at:
Dela Rosa Car Park 1, Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Adobo stems from the Spanish word 'adobar', which means 'to marinate'. Meat, seafood and vegetables are marinated in a mix of vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorn, bay leaf and garlic. The meat is then simmered until fork-tender in a thick and flavourful sauce.
Bring your tribe and try out local dishes at the branch that's just 700m away from Somerset Millennium Makati.
And Makati's definitely a tourist favourite, with its towering skyscrapers, wide range of entertainment hotspots, and cultural landmarks. If you're in the area, check yourself into Somerset Millennium Makati! The premier serviced residence is located just off Arnaiz Avenue, a posh, upscale area with many high-end malls and modern bistros and bars. After a day of exploring the best of this Asian Pearl, it's the perfect place to rejuvenate.
So what's next on your travel bucket list? If you're travelling the world, embarking on an exciting culinary journey, and putting up at any of our properties, don't forget to tag us @CapitaLand!