Bars and business trips
During a whirlwind trip around Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and back to Singapore Nick checks out his favourite spots to unwind.
My girlfriend handed me my passport as I stepped into the taxi. “Won't you be needing this? Try not to have too much fun over there, you know how much I want to visit Hong Kong.” “I’ll try…” I said, winking as she closed the door.
I sent her a barrage of photos last week in my latest attempt to prove to her how ‘stressful’ my job was. It started when I reached Hong Kong. A few selfies from SKYE, the futuristic rooftop bar at Pullman Park Lane, would surely convince her just how hard I work, right?? But the spectacular views of the sun going down over the harbour and Victoria Park didn’t move her – no reply. My potential client, however, was definitely impressed. It’s not the first time the views and cocktails here have helped me sign a deal; and it’s not the first time that I’ve used my Accor Plus discount to make the drinks bill a little more palatable either. We stayed pretty late, so the weekend brunch was greatly appreciated the morning after, before my flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Needing to wind down after a tiring day of airports and taxis, I headed directly to Nizza, the pool bar of my hotel. This place is the reason I choose to stay at Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara when stopping over in KL. I sent my girlfriend a photo from the sunlounger, just to - you know - let her know I was ok. Toes in the pool, welcome drink in hand, I think she understood; though still no reply, anyone would think she was jealous? After a chat with the bartender, I relaxed in the gentle breeze for a while, drifting between planning tomorrow’s meeting and deciding whether to have another cocktail before heading to my room. I must have fallen asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, not least because of that wonderful Sofitel bedding. Sleep like that is reason enough to book the Sofitel (with or without my discount)!
After rushing from my midday meeting to the airport, my flight back to Singapore was delayed. While waiting I was able to spend some time walking through the airport’s star attraction: an indoor rainforest. Not too much time though, the humidity can definitely get a bit much. But it’s well worth a visit. The rush of the waterfall and the calls of tropical birds take you away from the between-flights frenzy just steps away. I sent a selfie to my girlfriend, again, asking her to guess where I was. This time she replied – so her phone does work... “On your way home then? Hope you’re going to make it up to me!” was her sarcastic response. I called her to say that yes, I was on my way home, and feeling a little guilty, so suggested taking her out for a drink once I landed.
I dropped my bags and picked Jessica up, whisking her over to 1927 (she never can resist an invitation to our favourite haunt at the fabulous SO/ Sofitel Singapore hotel). After some teasing, I showed her the Red Hot Room offer that had just popped up for the Pullman Hong Kong and promised that I’d show her the sights, my treat. We ate enough bar snacks to count as a meal and decided where to go next. I picked up the bill, partly because I get 15% off with my Accor Plus membership, but mostly because I was still feeling a little bad. My way of saying, “I know I’m away a lot. Thank you for your patience.”
The night was still young and we weren’t ready to go home. A few text messages later, our best friends had all joined us for a night of letting off steam above the Singapore skyline at one of the best rooftop lounges in town, Bar Rouge. The sparkling cityscape made a great backdrop to a few more selfies that got progressively more out of focus as the night went on. Through the haze, I read the email that had just come through, something about a potential sales opportunity in Fiji next week… How was I going to explain this one?