What’s your size?

Size.jpgSize can be a highly sensitive topic if not presented correctly. XS or XL can mean different things to different people. For some, being extra small is nice but others may feel that it translates to tiny, bony or skinny. Likewise, the other end of the scale is another massive minefield.

One of the biggest problems with buying clothes is getting the size right. Each continent has its own standards. An S is Asia and translate to XS in the US or the UK. Even then, the same L in the UK and the US varies with the US version tending to be a size or two larger.

I have comfortably fitted into a US XS (Abercrombie and Fitch), UK S and Asia M.

When buying clothes online, it’s important to check out the size chart, and in some cases, provide a little variant because cuts can differ. I have bought same size tops from my favourite team’s store and they don’t always turn out the same. Cuts, material and design make the difference too.

Even when you’ve done all your due diligence, like checking the size chart, reading reviews and looking at the cuts, things could still go wrong. It happened to me with an order from a China site. I ordered a jacket according to my measurements and mapped it against the shop’s size chart.

When the order arrived, I was stunned. The jacket looks like the picture but it at least three sizes smaller!

So, sometimes, it’s better to buy from more familiar brands that you’ve already bought from and are comfortable with. Otherwise, ordering clothes online is a case of hit and miss.


Desaru Coast? Where’s that?

My first thought on hearing about Desaru Coast was “has Desaru changed its name?” It’s been many years since I last went there so perhaps I was a little out of date. Turns out that Desaru Coast is a newly developed part of Desaru.

It’s a premium integrated destination with a blend of renowned resorts and villas, a riverside dining haven, a conference centre, championship golf courses, and an adventure waterpark.

The drive from Singapore was a breeze and as we entered Desaru, there were familiar sights. We remember the days of Desaru Impian which had a built-in theme park in the 1990s. Think it’s now replaced by Lotus Desaru Beach Resort.


Our destination was Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, which opened in September 2018.

It’s a stone’s throw from the beach. The problem is that there is no direct access to the beach. Thanks to two friendly guests, I was directed to cut through the uncompleted The Westin Desaru Coast Resort to get to the edge of the South China Sea.

IMG_20190310_172039.jpgHopefully, when Westin is completed (above), guests from Hard Rock Hotel can still use it to access the beach. Seems that both hotels are owned by the same folks so it shouldn’t be a problem.

IMG_20190310_173552.jpgOtherwise, Hard Rock Hotel guests may have to go a longer way down the road and get to the beach by the public area.

IMG_20190310_171532.jpgHard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast still smells new. The smell of paint is still in the air. While the building was nothing to shout about (it looks just like any hotel), what stood out were the iconic Hard Rock ambience — the giant electric guitar in the driveway and rock music playing in the lobby.

The Best of Times by Styx was playing as I walked through the lobby. Such a lovely song from days gone by.

IMG_20190310_144312.jpgThe room was modern and well equipped and the pillows and bed were comfortable. In-room entertainment included VOD for the latest movies as well as Hard Rock video and music channels.

IMG_20190310_202642.jpgEverything in and above the minibar is free for consumption.  These include snacks, biscuits, soft drinks, and juice, on top of the regular coffee and tea.

IMG_20190310_202802.jpgI really appreciate this thoughtful gesture because the hotel is located far from shops. Providing the snacks and drinks help satisfy craving and keep the hunger at bay.

IMG_20190310_202657.jpgInstead of bottled mineral water, the hotel provides two refillable bottles which guests can top up hot or cold water at the dispenser at each level.

IMG_20190311_091751.jpgFood is available at The Elephant and The Butterfly (a Mexican restaurant) and Sessions which can easily seat more than 200 diners indoor and possibly another 100 outside. But, the humidity makes indoor dining a more pleasant experience.

While the local food is nice, it was the service that won me over. Besides greeting us, the staff was very attentive and removed out plates each time we’re done.

IMG_20190311_090732.jpgTowards the end of our meal, the restaurant manager came by to get our feedback. We only had good things to say. OK, not quite, we shared a couple of areas of improvement. Nothing major but good for him to note.

Though it’s called Hard Rock Hotel, the hotel doesn’t have a Hard Rock Cafe — “yet,” said the restaurant manager, which used to work in the Malacca outlet. If business grows, there’s a good chance of having one in the premises.

IMG_20190311_113802.jpgBut, the hotel does have a Hard Rock Shop which stocks the ubiquitous T-shirt and other paraphernalia.

IMG_20190310_174727.jpgJust a hop away is the Desaru Conference Centre, which boasts a 1,000-seat hall. Looks like Desaru Coast could turn out to be a great place for a big conference, especially if the organisers don’t want participants to be distracted by the surroundings.

There’s nothing much to do in this part, except use the hotel’s facilities and go to the beach to catch the sunrise.

My verdict: Good hotel, great service, perfect for a quiet getaway.

Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast is located at Jalan Pantai 3, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia.



New hangout at Changi Airport T3

IMG_20190303_201714.jpgFootball fans, rejoice! There’s a new place to catch your team live — at The ST3PS at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Best of all, it’s in the public area so you can rally your folks and watch there if you’re staying in the eastern part of Singapore.

My family discovered this new hangout when we went for a stroll around Terminal 3 after breakfast on March 2. The area was cordoned off for its opening ceremony that evening.  A band was setting up their instruments in preparation of the concert that night.


Thanks to the kindness of the team there, we were able to get behind the barricade for a closer look and to take some shots. According to the team, the place is available for booking through Changi Airport Group.

It certainly looks like an interesting venue if your event is open for public viewing and not something you want to do behind closed doors. The natural lighting from the roof of T3 makes the place nice and bright.

IMG_20190302_114514.jpgBack to watching football, if you’re catching a match there, there’s plenty of food options for meals, including Yakun for coffee and toast, and snacks are just steps away at NTUC Finest.

Well done, Changi Airport Group! Now I have one more reason to visit T3.