Thursday, February 19, 2015

Abu Dhabi 2015 - How To Survive Ferrari World

Hi everybody! Hope you guys are having a great week because I am! I have tonnes of things to do this week which I had religiously jot down in a list so that I will not forget and sharing everything about Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is one of them.

Ferrari World is the bomb! There were so many people during the holiday and it almost felt like the whole world was there which makes everything more happening, and excitingly kickass. Ferrari World to date is the largest indoor theme park in the world and if you visit Abu Dhabi without setting foot inside Ferrari World, it is something that you would probably regret soon after because there's only one Ferrari theme park and it's right in Abu Dhabi.

You will be delighted to know that you will not burn in the desert heat, because everything is indoor with exception to their coasters, that protrudes out. So the minimum time you'll be exposed to the sun is only about four minutes assuming those two coasters take two minutes each. It's quite safe to leave your sun block at the hotel if you are going to spend the entire day in Ferrari World which I would recommend!

There were so many good things I picked up at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi that I feel it should be shared for the benefit of theme park fanatics!

I love going to theme parks, you name it. Universal Studios, Ferrari World, Disneyland, whatever. Put me on a roller coaster ride and I'll probably be the happiest kid alive. I am definitely an adrenaline junkie and I am sure most of you are!

Even if you're not, I swear there's something for you to do in Ferrari World. So here goes, how to survive Ferrari World in a worst case scenario - peak period!

Be Early
This includes breakfast before heading to Ferrari World. The theme park opens at 11am and if you intend to be there early for breakfast, odds are some of the shops in Yas Mall will not be open yet. So have a heavy breakfast at the hotel, because you will spend entire day running around and you wouldn't want to go for a ride with a stomach too full. That would be disgusting and probably the least intelligent thing to do.

Cut The Queue
Ethically! Being early has its perks too because if you do not buy their ticket online, you would want to be the first in the queue. I was there at 11.30am and the queue was so long I would give up queueing. I was really grateful for the advance arrangement.

It would be better to buy their tickets online here early so as to avoid the massive queue. I'd suggest getting the premium pass too and here's why.

So Many Rides, So Little Time
With more than 20 rides in Ferrari World, it is hard to pick only a few because you would want value for every dime spent. Getting the premium pass here costs less than double the standard ticket. While 80% of the buyers buy the standard tickets, the amount of queuing time for a premium pass holder is significantly shorter compared to a standard pass. Which cuts your queuing time more than half.

Get The Park Map
I am the type of traveller who relies on map although not all the time, because I like exploring places but I do not like getting too lost. The park map is so useful in giving you a sense of direction, giving an idea of where you stand. The park map helps you to be strategic because in it lies the key to getting to try all the rides. A handful of the rides are scheduled so you really need to plan where to go first. Very handy for especially when I only had seven hours or so in the park.

It is all the more essential in times to come because they are adding more rides. They give me a reason to be back in Abu Dhabi! Heard there will be 3 new rides and 1 new roller coaster? We'll see!

Plan Your Journey
Here's how you can plan your journey (probably the most important part of this entry!) - given by the Ferrari World insider, check out all the scheduled rides and attractions first.

Chase The Scheduled Rides
First before anything else, find out the the timing for these rides as some of them require individual ticketing slip. This is also the reason why you have to put on your good shoes because this requires you to round the park first and fast!

The ride is that unique and the ticketing for the ride is really useful so that you will not have to actually queue for the ride or attraction. Here are the several rides and attractions that are scheduled:

Scuderia Challenge - They are the ultimate state-of-the-art racing simulators on a variety of Ferraris where you can race alone or with a group of friends. The ride ticket is times so once you got the slip of ticket, take note of the timing. I don't know, set an alarm or something! I almost missed mine because I was so engrossed with other rides! Haha!

Karting Academy - The academy tests your racing skills on their in-park go-kart racing track. Like Scuderia Challenge, their queue management is the same. What's special about this is that it requires a photo of your face and your name because your timing for the race will be shown just like what you see in grand prix.

Fast Lane - It is an interactive game show to test your Ferrari knowledge. The champion gets a prize and be crowned as the Fast Lane Champion!

La Piazza Show - Live wholesome comedy magic show.

Cinema Maranello - It is a short film screening, produced exclusively for Cinema Maranello that depicts the glamour and brute strength of the Italian road race Copa di Sicilia dated back in the 1920s.

RED - Not referring to Taylor Swift's RED tour but Ferrari's in house spectacular theatrical show of speed and passion! The show was inspired by Enzo Ferrari's passion and his love for speed, style and everything Italian.

It's like watching a circus show less the animals with all the stuntmen and women playing their part showcasing their agility and fast movements. It was impressive really to be able to do such things. I would probably break into pieces. Haha!

Go For Shortest Queue
Then, once you are done sorting the timings for the rides and shows, go for the rest of the rides. Beginning with the shortest queue of course! On a busy period, most rides will have a long queue, even the slowest ride like Bell'Italia - slowest moving ride for kids did not escape from it.

To some it wouldn't matter though because they're more focused on adrenaline pumping and heart racing rides only. So for those who're adventurous like me, you'd look out for these two which are located at each end of Ferrari World.

For Adrenaline Junkies
Fiorano GT Challenge - This duel coaster is concepted from the Ferrari F430 Spider as two competing coasters to reach the finishing line. Glad to be on the winning coaster! You've got try for yourself to see which is the faster one.

Formula Rossa - The most popular ride in Ferrari World! Goes without saying it has the longest queue stretching way out from the queuing point. What you see in the picture below was not even a quarter of it.

Formula Rossa is all about speed! This is to date the fastest coaster in the world! It reaches its top speed of 240km/h in five seconds that the G-force felt instantaneous. Like there was no preparation for it!

I almost felt disappointed because of my limited time left Abu Dhabi and the long queue, I didn't think I would make it for Formula Rossa. Yes, I almost felt like crying and that was how much I really wanted to be on that coaster but the queue was so long even with premium! Its estimated time was two hours and no where on Earth I am going to let it go by without going for other rides.

The worst part was to find out the coaster broke down.

I almost gave up and no way I want to go back not having a story to tell about Formula Rossa. I was proud of myself for being patient after that because the ride was back in no time! Ferrari technical staff were so efficient. Can you imagine the number of people who wants to ride Formula Rossa? It's no wonder Formula Rossa needs a short rest before resuming work.

My ride was so funny because the first time we were on it, Amin's goggles came off. We were so sure we put on our goggles tight but realised his eyes were bare when we docked. Oh and no hair gel can rescue you from the hair displacement. Don't even bother!

The goggles are important because of the speed. Dust, insects and other particles may get into your eyes.

If you can't imagine how fast it went, imagine our faces rippling due to wind the speed caused. It even happened to F1 racers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso when they rode Formula Rossa!

For The Car Lovers
Leave some time before you leave for sightseeing, food and shopping and shopping. Okay, not exactly a green scenery for you to see but they have a display of beautiful vintage Ferraris that you can know about.

For Foodies
If you are there for the sake of being there but not the rides, then indulge yourself in their fancy Italian restaurants like Ristorante Cavallino or Mamma Rosella that dishes up excellent Italian and Western dishes in stylish set up. Their concession stands offer Italian delights like pastries, cakes and gelatos if you're in for a quick bite before you move on to the next activity.

For Shopaholics
Shopping wise, your black card really gotta work because Ferrari merchandises are considerably pricey to some but the quality is superbly Italian. The stitching and material for their items are beyond this world. It says a lot about Italian quality.

If you were to ask me how was I, I would say still surviving! That was just half of the trip done and the other half to go. I was so tired I decided we should get a comfortable car instead of going back to Dubai by cab. I need my jam and cosy leather seat to stay excited and awake otherwise I'd probably fall to deep sleep in a cab before reaching Dubai. After all that ride in Ferrari World, I cannot afford to get car sick!

Once we reached our hotel in Dubai, I quickly unpack to prepare for the following day - which was countdown. I was quick to fall asleep really. Haha!

Alright, see you guys! Have a good week ahead!

Yas Island - Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
P.O. Box:128717

Monday, February 16, 2015

Suitsupply S/S 2015 Launch Party

Hello everyone! Last week I had the honour of gracing Suitsupply's spring/summer 2015 collection launch. It was a really great party and I really got to thank Nicholas for having me. Based in Netherlands, Suitsupply is mecca for well tailored suits with a wide range of high quality fabric.

It is definitely a great way to get myself updated of their latest collection because these days I really don't have the time to shop!

Suitsupply is definitely the purveyors of sprezzy, sartorial style that doesn't come with a hefty price tag. For S/S 2015, the Amsterdam-based brand is giving their suited man a little breathing room by playing around with bold colors and layering. Their soft-shouldered jackets are still aplenty, but this time they're shown with plaid and checked vests or white trousers.

Colors run from saturated mustard yellow to a washed grassy green and a slew of pool blue hues that fall in line with what we've been seeing on the runways and the streets. Remember to drop by and you'll be served to look like a million dollar man.

Enjoy the photos!

ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Abu Dhabi 2015 - Hyatt Capital Gate

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I posted an update. I've been busy out and about so there wasn't much of a convenient time to express my undying excitement about Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I know I promised some of you about the it place to stay in Abu Dhabi and I thank you friends so much for sticking by! After all, sharing is caring!

Abu Dhabi is home to great and intricate architecture and all the hotels are really beautiful. So it was actually quite hard for me to pick a favourite given so many choices.

When I was young and had the time; because nowadays television has been decentralised to YouTube, I like watching documentaries from National Geographic and Discovery Channel and they did much coverage on everything that's man made there like the Palm Island, Burj Khalifah and even Burj Al Arab. So it's a no wonder I chose Hyatt Capital Gate because of its world record.

Besides, what could go wrong with Hyatt?

Architecture Wonder
Hyatt Capital Gate is located at the city’s premium business address on the top floors of the iconic Capital Gate building.

Capital Gate is a skyscraper strategically adjacent to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Standing at 35 storeys, it is one of the tallest buildings in the city with an inclination of 18 degrees to the west - which is to date the certified by Guinness World Records as the "world's furthest leaning man-made tower". Also known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi, it is the focus of ADNEC's master development.

The tower is four times leaner than the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa! Which is odd for me because in pictures Leaning Tower of Pisa looks very lean already. It was very fascinating for me to find out that the design was combined with elegant interior design and the concepts are created to create a uniquely refined guest experience - me!

I was lucky because since it was winter, I managed to enjoy both hot and cold weather. I got to see how sparkly the building is reflecting light from the sun - I think people polish them each week to make it look shiny; and it looked so beautiful covered in fog! Even from my room I can't see a thing outside the full height window!

The inner atrium of the building provides view to the sky and draws in natural light into the core of the building - really going green and saving a few thousand bucks on lighting. Especially in the light of rising sea levels and erratic weather, we need to start saving the earth! I like it when buildings uses natural light during day time, it gives you a sense of time and what's going on outside.

Hyatt's Pristine Art
It may be labeled as a business centric hotel, but it was not all about getting to down to business I guess. When I made my booking and read up about this hotel, there was nothing mentioned about the art and being an enthusiast for beautiful and well done pieces, I can't help to notice the facility has quite an amount of fancy artistic fittings.

I find the lobby's glass blown chandelier really mesmerizing. Can't help but to snap a picture of this! Designed by Lasvit which even designed for the hotel in Burj Khalifa, it looks a little like jelly fish, nebula, and many other things that you can imagine. I like that little detail you can find in the blown glasses. Epic!

While every level is embellished in art, the atrium structure is an art not to be missed too! Stick your head out to see the huge skeleton of the building. Just remember not to trip over!

First Class Service
As comely as Capital Gate is, nothing beats its inner beauty ; the people.

The service staff were so efficient. I love it! Amin and I can't initially plug in our iPod, they brought us a new set of speakers only this time can be connected to mobile conveniently as well! I can't be in a room without music, I'd probably die of boredom. You need your anthem when you're on holiday!

The housekeeper even took the initiative to make up my room - twice.

I knew because before heading for the next programme, I left some crease on the made up bed and found it was all straightened again when I got back into the room that evening. Beauty!

Our escapade from Dubai to Abu Dhabi was initially planned as a break from our tightly packed schedule so we thought we would relax there in Abu Dhabi for a bit, but we didn't. We went swimming, went to the mosque more than once and we got so tired from exploring the entire city (which wasn't even half since it's huge) we decided to dine in instead. The room service was impeccable. The person who sent was an Indonesian so for a moment it felt a little bit like home getting to speak Bahasa only in a very foreign country.

The food were delicious! Felt like it was made with lots of love! The portion was really filling, very grateful for that. Definitely slept well that night especially on that comfy bed!

Breathtaking Breakfast
Breakfast was a little different. The thing I like about this hotel is that there are options. I wouldn't want to have be in a different dining environment and compromise on the view. If I am going to stay in a hotel for like, a week, I need the view to relax my eyesight, but my brain, and to get some inspiration too.

Hyatt Capital Gate's signature restaurant, 18 degrees, is an ideal location to experience the intriguing flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean while taking in eagle’s eye views of Abu Dhabi city and its coastline. Using locally sourced produce and simple, fresh flavors, the three show kitchens and interactive counters add to the theatrical mise en scene of the restaurant.

You can have private breakfast in their private dining room, uncompromising of the view and openness. Since it was very foggy and cold at the terrace that morning, private dining is very suitable for those who prefer to have personal space in the morning reading newspaper and have their morning briefings over the table. It comes with a minimum spending though.

Of course on a clear day, it's always good to get fresh air by eating at the open suspended terrace! Even from the terrace you get to see the magnificent view of beautiful castles, the horizon and enjoy the unpolluted breeze.

Pretty Health
Rayana Spa, Abu Dhabi’s only sky spa, is perched on the 19th floor of the hotel and also features unsurpassed views of the city. Rayana Rituals gave such holistic treatments to instil power, beauty and energy. Rayana Spa also has an integrated gym equipped with modern cardio and resistance machines, a sun terrace, an outdoor cantilevered swimming pool and a whirlpool.

And speaking of the pool, because it was so cold and the pool was so warm, I almost did not want to get out. I realized I was hungry, so can't help it but to cover myself with layers of towel to keep myself warm.

But first, let me go to the steam room! The spa is complete with steam room and sauna and even those multi setting shower head. There's a term for it but I don't know. There were like three types of setting that really helps to scrub your body as well. Really helpful for a spa facility!

The gym is a must go because everything is state of the art and very, very well maintained. Imagine plugging in to your favourite soundtrack while running facing such landscape, I can be sure you will want to burn more calories!

A King on Top
The room was marvellous! I love its minimalist chic design because it gives me little distraction from the wonderful view from my room. You get to see miles away across the island. On a clear day you can see more than 20 kilometers away.

In the room I really felt as though I was floating in mid-air because I really can't see the ground below me since I was on the slanted side. The view I got was really unique because each room has has a different configuration so, if you really want to have the view that I had, you'd have to hope it's vacant!

Also means that each time you come and be given a different room, it would be a different view.

It's definitely welcoming especially as you enter the room, you're greeted by a vast unobstructed view. We enjoyed entire evening chatting and enjoying the much needed fiber!

For those who are into quality finishing, the rooms are designed with a careful selection of muted earth tones and natural textures. Rough, natural stone is contrasted with smooth Cappuccino marble from Turkey, while olive Zebrano wood millwork from Africa is combined with grass effect panels in a soft color palette.

Designed to be stylish, welcoming and a calm retreat in the city, each guestroom has an open plan with living, sleeping and bathing areas, which helps to make the room feel spacious and welcoming.

It also has spacious work areas, rainforest shower and separate oval bath tubs will pamper you big time!

Pretty much sums up everything I enjoyed about Hyatt Capital Gate! Definitely look forward to patronize it again if I have the opportunity!

Click here to make your bookings with Hyatt Capital Gate!

Hyatt Capital Gate
P.O. Box 95165
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 2 596 1234
Fax: +971 2 596 1235