Fairmont Hotel Singapore, Hotel Review

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, Hotel Review

Where is the Fairmont Hotel Singapore located?

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd

The Fairmont Hotel Singapore is ideally located in a central part of town, only 15 minutes walk from the bustling Clarke Quay. It’s central location means that it is situated very close to all major entertainment and shopping districts, plus, there is even a multi-storey shopping mall within the Fairmont Hotel complex.

The Fairmont Hotel Singapore offers 769 luxurious guestrooms and suites, a collection of 16 distinctive restaurants and bars.

Check In

On check-in we got a complimentary mango juice, which was very welcome after the 11 hour flight from London. Your bags are brought to the room 5 minutes after check-in, with the porters calling me ‘Sir Shane’ (which was nice).

The heat and humidity in Singapore can make you feel quite uncomfortable, but the Fairmont Hotel is very well air conditioned and you feel very comfortable indeed. At no point in the hotel did we feel that the humidity or heat was getting to us.

Our Room

The guest rooms are luxurious with a comfortable bed, luxury bathroom and aromatherapy bath products. Our room came with a balcony and the views are stunning from the tower we were in. From the 22nd floor you have a view of Singapore which looked over Singapore Bay, with stunning views of the Singapore Flyer, the amazing Marina Sands Hotel and views towards the city centre. The featured photo above shows the view by night with the lights of Singapore.

Breakfast

Breakfasts are served in three different restaurants but we found that the Asian Market Café was the best, as it had a large selection of foods from typical continental breakfast fare to Chinese / Asian steamed dumplings (which I had a good few of as they were very tasty).

The breakfasts are an experience to be savoured. You can if you wish go for the normal breakfast, croissants, bagels, breads, cereal but the asian breakfast is very special. It was the first time I tried steamed buns, and I have been hooked ever since.

Other Facilities at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel

In addition, guests of Fairmont Singapore have access to the Willow Stream Spa, one of the largest spa facilities in Asia, offering the best in Spa and Fitness services. The Spa Treatments at the Willow Stream are very reasonable and the facilities and therapists are excellent. I tried the massage, and as you overlook the city from 10 or 20 storeys up, you soon forget your troubles. The massage was excellent and any knots I had were soon eased.

The concierge staff at the hotel were also excellent and most friendly – they helped us book a city tour of Singapore as well as organising for our luggage to be held while we awaited out trip back to the airport. The staff were friendly and very helpful at all times.

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, Contact Information

If you intend coming to stay here during a visit to Singapore, the relevant details on contacting the hotel are provided below.

Address: Fairmont Hotel Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189560
Phone: +65 6339 7777
Website: http://www.fairmont.com/singapore/

Verdict of the Fairmont Hotel Singapore

I loved my stay at the Fairmont Hotel Singapore, it was comfortable, upmarket, luxurious with great views and great staff. There was nothing about this hotel which I didn’t like. The Fairmont Hotel Singapore is an amazing hotel and would certainly return here on any return to the wonderful city of Singapore.

 

This is my honest opinion of the Fairmont Hotel Singapore and this post was not paid or solicited. The content here is simply my recollection and opinion of a stay at this hotel during a multi-stop personal holiday.
  • Comfort 95%
  • Service 100%
  • Food 98%
  • Spa 94%
  • Pool 90%
  • Would Repeat? 100%
American Made – Movie Review

American Made – Movie Review

American Made starts way back in 1978. Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, a is a young and very bored TWA pilot. Barry plays fast and loose with his job as a pilot – something we have seen Tom Cruise do before in other movies. Barry has a little sideline in smuggling contraband cigars. This does not go unnoticed and the a member of the CIA, played by Domhnall Gleeson, approaches him with a proposal.

At one point Barry asks Domhnall Gleeson’s CIA character, “All this is legal?” … “If you’re doing it for the good guys,” was the response. This sets the tone for the film and it’s hard to know whos the good guys sometimes. The CIA job is more of an ultimatum than a proposal and he is asked by the CIA to take reconnaissance photos of Soviet-backed insurgents, the contras, in South and Central America. Before he knows it, after only a few years Barry Seal starts drug smuggling for some of the most famous drug lords in Central America.

The thing which makes all this a bit more appealing – American Made is all based on true events.

As the film progresses Barry Seal takes on more and more risks. If caught he could be killed by the contras, a drug lord or imprisoned by any one of the many law enforcement groups he annoys. At one point I though his wife was going to kill him, as Barry has a growing family to raise. The family gets a lot bigger as Barry becomes more successful. His wifes brother comes and works for Barry which causes its own issues. The scenario and Barry’s life becomes more and more complex. I’m not going to spoil the final act but all in all this is a great movie with a great 70/80s soundtrack.

American Made is very Tom Cruise. Since Top Gun, we all know Tom loves fast cars, bikes and planes. Some of the aircraft sequences are very well done. At one point Tom or Barry (hard to know sometimes) adjusts the aircraft pitch trim in order to keep the aircraft flying level. At this point he goes back into the small plane to release the drugs he was carrying. This is not a stuntman, the was most probably Tom Cruise. In reality though Barry Seal was built like a wrestler was not as trim as Tom Cruise. The one thing I did notice was that the aircraft scenes and procedures seemed to be well researched, Tom was probably all over this detail.

The filming is very retro in parts, especially the opening and ending credits which I loved. I thought the credits, graphics, filming and music added a great air of vintage authenticness to the film.

American Made is not a deep or gritty drama. It has the wide cheeky grin of Tom Cruise at the start but you know it will be full of action and will be entertaining. There are a few reviews of the American Made movie who focus on it being cheesy but it is more than that. I think it was highly enjoyable, entertaining and would actually love to see it again.

Official Trailer – American Made

American Made – Overall Movie Rating

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American Made Movie Rating

Waterford City to become a huge game with Beat the Street

Waterford City to become a huge game with Beat the Street

Over the next 7 weeks, thousands of people in Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan are expected to take to the streets. Schools, community groups and businesses are going to compete against each other as part of a giant walking and cycling challenge called Beat the Street. 

Running from 13th September to 1st November 2017, Beat the Street is a free, fun challenge which will turn all three areas into a community-based game.

 

Those who take part are rewarded with points and prizes for exploring their local area on foot or bicycle. Almost 80 special Beat the Street sensors will be installed. These ‘Beat Boxes’ will be spread across the city and county and those wishing to participate in Beat the Street can pick up their own Beat the Street card and map at local distribution points and start swiping as many Beat Boxes as possible to receive points, win prizes, and get more active!

Schools across Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan will be competing against each other to see who can travel the furthest and win hundreds of euros worth of prizes. Adult players can also create their own Beat the Street teams or register to join an existing team to be in with a chance to win big prizes which will be announced shortly.

Beat the Street is run by Intelligent Health UK with support from Waterford Sports Partnership and is funded by Sport Ireland, Healthy Ireland, Dormant Accounts Fund and Waterford City & County Council. The aim of the Beat the Street initiative is to encourage thousands of people to explore Waterford city and county with their friends and family and discover something new about the local area. Waterford is a great county and this is a wonderful way to explore it while having lots of fun.

More than 300,000 people took part in Beat the Street in 2016 in towns and cities across the United Kingdom. Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan are the first of several areas – along with Dublin and Limerick – to be launching Beat the Street in Ireland. The pilot is the first of its kind in Waterford and it is a unique opportunity for those in the community to take part in this free programme by getting active in a fun and rewarding way.

Rosarie Kealy, Sports Coordinator at Waterford Sports Partnership said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing Beat the Street to Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan and are really looking forward to seeing how everyone rises to the challenge of walking, cycling, running or scooting during the seven week game.

“Anyone can get involved in Beat the Street – it’s completely free to play and is a great opportunity to go outdoors, spend time with your friends and family and get moving. Watch out for Beat Boxes appearing on a street near you!”

More Information on Beat the Street

Information is available on beatthestreet.me/waterford about where you can pick up a card, how to register and the map with the beat box locations for your area. You can follow @BTSWaterford on Twitter or ‘Beat the Street Waterford’ on Facebook for more information on prizes and how to get involved.

Top 5 Things to Do in Singapore

Top 5 Things to Do in Singapore

Singapore is an amazing city to visit and in this post I have outlined some of the Things to Do in Singapore.

Ride the Singapore Flyer

One of the icons of Singapore is the Singapore Flyer – you can see it from all the major areas and if you are staying in Singapore, its worth visiting. The Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest observation wheel and is a stunning 165m high. (30 metres taller than the London Eye in the United Kingdom). As the Singapore Flyer turns, you get visual 360 degree view of the city of Singapore landscape and historical landmarks. The Singapore Flyer gives you breathtaking views of the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Merlion Park, Empress Place and the Padang – it is also worth visiting at sunset. The ride on the Singapore Flyer takes about 30 minutes and if you time it right you can get day and dusk views of the city from the Singapore Flyer. This is certainly one of the best Things to Do in Singapore.

For the more adventurous, you can enjoy a dining experience on board the Singapore Flyer if you wish.
Visit http://www.singaporeflyer.com/ for details of the Singapore Flyer.

Flight Simulator Experience

If you have been on the Singapore Flyer (or you find yourself in the environs of it), you might want to try your hand at flying a plane. You can take command of a Boeing 737-800 NG in this 100% realistic flight simulator. The cockpit is exactly as per the 737-800, with overhead panel, rudder and throttle controls, complete avionics, full auto-pilot etc and almost exact flight model to the 737-800 series jet. You get full instruction from your co-pilot who is fully trained on this aircraft simulator and can help you get the most from the flight simulator experience. This flight simulator is exactly the same as pilots use for flight training and you can choose from over than 20,000 worldwide airports (I chose to fly into Kai Tak at Night – the old Hong Kong airport where you flew over the houses to land … see more below) and use the same operating procedures as the real airlines. No experience necessary as full instruction will be provided.You can get 30 minute to 2 hour flights, and if you do this, you should really get the DVD which is only S$20 extra.

I did the 30 minute flight from Hong Kong international to Kai Tak (now decomissioned as an airport but was one of the most iconic landings in recent flight history). I then had time to do a touch-and-go at Dublin Airport followed by a Full Stop Landing. (However the Traffic Collision system onboard, TCAS, told me that I came with 1km of an inbound flight which wuld have been frowned upon in real life). Thanksfully, all my landings were completed successfully and I was told to perhaps consider taking some lessons as my insructor said flight skills were very good. I hope to upload some of the flight video very soon… This was one of MY favourite Things to Do in Singapore.

Visit http://www.flightexperience.com.sg/ for details of this excellent flight sim attraction.

 

 

Take a City Tour – Tour East

When in Singapore you should certainly do a guided tour of the city, especially if you are on a brief visit. There are so many things to Do in Singapore, a city tour can cross off a lot from your list of attractions to see. The reasons for doing a city tour are two fold, (a) Singapore is a very busy city and it would be hard to cover everything if you were only in the city for a short time and (b) it can get quite hot in Singapore and getting from one sight to the next via an air-conditioned bus is most welcome.
The tour company we used was Tour East and the sights covered the Mer Lion, the Thian Hock Keng Temple and Chinatown, a Local Handicraft Centre. One of the highlights of the Singapore City Tour is visiting the National Orchid Garden located within Singapore Botanic Gardens – you get 45 mins here but if you didn’t stop at the handicraft centre you could easily have over an hour here. The final stop of the tour is at Little India, a bustling Indian hub within Singapore. If you want you can pay a little extra to take in the Singapore Flyer (a giant wheel similar to the London Eye … see below)
Visit http://www.toureast.net/Tour-East-Singapore/Sightseeing-Tours-Explore-Singapore for details of the Tour East Singapore Tours

Eat in a local restaurant and a walk around Clarke Quay

One of the best Things to do in Singapore is to enjoy the excellent local food, great sea food and plenty of choice. There are many restaurants around Clarke Quay, a busy venue worth visiting in the early evening and on into the night ; it becomes a buzzing nightlife area after 6pm. Clark Quay is nice to walk the circuit before you make your decision on food as all tastes are catered for, from Indian, Japanese, Italian and Chinese food, Look for the restaurants with the most locals as this is usually a good indication. We found the “Jumbo Seafood Restaurant”. Excellent food, try the fish in ginger and spring onion dish, the fresh juices and the fruit platters to finish.

Check out http://www.jumboseafood.com.sg for details on the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, Singapore

Get a fish pedicure while you have a Back Massage

On Level 2 of the Singapore Flyer complex you can get your feet manicured and nibbled at by tiny fish … and you can get a great back massage as this is happening. The fish foot spa is where Doctor Fishes or “Garra Rufa Fish”, give you a pedicure you won’t forget (and they do a great job too). The back massage is excellent and reflexology is also provided in this area … don’t forget to try out the chinese tea if you are there for a while. Of all the many things to do in Singapore , this was one I was most squirmy about, as I found it very ticklish.

Details : Kenko Reflexology and Fish Spa, Located at: Level 2 of Singapore Flyer Complex, #02-08 : Tel: (65) 6565 0303 :: Open Daily from 10am – 11pm

Recommended Hotel in Singapore City

Singapore is a fantastic city to visit and if you are planning to go there and you are looking for a good hotel, then the Fairmont Singapore is worth looking at…. check out the review of the Singapore Fairmont Hotel on this site for more details !

I hope you enjoyed this list of Things to Do in Singapore and if you liked this post, please share. You can find more ‘Things to Do‘ City Guide posts on my website.

If you have an addition to this ‘Things to Do in Singapore’ list please let me know.

  • Singapore Flyer 90%
  • Flight Simulator Experience 100%
  • City Tour 85%
  • Clarke Quay 93%
  • Fish Pedicure 80%
How to implement WordPress caching and image optimisation your website

How to implement WordPress caching and image optimisation your website

I recently ran a Google test on my site to check how friendly my site was. This test checks how fast your site loads and gives a percentage score so you know how good or bad your website ranks. When I checked www.shanemcdonald.ie I got a score of 32%. I knew I had to do something as Google could use page speed as a ranking factor. I did some research into WordPress caching plugins and found some interesting information.

Not all WordPress Caching plugins are the same. Some work better than others. These Wp-cache plugins varied in functionality and sucess. The one WordPress caching plugin which stood out WP Fastest Cache. I also found that it works best with Autoptimize and the image compression plugin Imagify.

I installed the first two WordPress caching plugins which help minify the .js and .css files on your site. They also .gz compress some other files to help your site load faster.

All of these plugins can be added using the WordPress Dashboard by clicking ‘Add New’ and running a search. If you are using the very latest WordPress version, then your plugin should auto-install. Once installed you can activate it from the plugins section. Note, you may need to adjust settings before any changes become visible. Most plugins have default values or no active values on activation.

The Google score was now 54% which was an improvement already.

Finally, I installed Imagify which compressed the images I already had on the server. Note, this was only done up to a certain limit. I get another limit of about 15Mb in 1 months time. A premium version of Imagify is available which gets rid of this limit.

After the WordPress caching plugins and the image compression plugin was installed and configured the Google score was at 75%. This was an increase of 43% points from 32%. This was 2.3 times better than the previous score. Hopefully, this will help reduce bounce rate and increase visits and visitor time to the site. Since I wrote this, I have added 2 new posts and the images I used are not fully optimised so there has been a drop in score but I now know the areas where I need to optimise on the website.

I am also running this optimisation on my photoblog at www.shanemcdonald.me and I will be posting the results and more details in the coming weeks. I am using the same WordPress caching plugins and the same image compression plugin. It should be interesting to see the effect on google analytics.

I have placed links to the WordPress caching plugins below.

WP Fastest Cache – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-fastest-cache/

Autoptimize – https://wordpress.org/plugins/autoptimize/

Imagify – https://imagify.io/

 

If you have any comments or questions regarding these plugins for WordPress caching, minifying or optimisation plugins please leave them below…