28 October 2014

British agents on fam trip to Istanbul and Singapore with TravelCube 

Eight travel agents from the UK see leading historic and contemporary attractions of Istanbul and Singapore on a week-long trip with TravelCube. In Istanbul, they took in the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, as well as the Spice Bazaar, while in Singapore sites included Universal Studios, Chinatown, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Botanical Gardens, an open top bus tour and a river cruise by bumboat, as well as the city’s bazaars and markets. The group stayed at Istanbul’s Ramada Plaza Tekstilkent hotel and, in Singapore, the Resorts World Festive, Mövenpick Heritage and Mandarin Orchard hotels to be better able to advise travellers.

Eight British travel agents recently made the most of a week-long fam to Istanbul and Singapore to see these two great cities’ leading attractions, while discovering their hotels and eateries too.

Turkish Airlines’ Regional Sales & Traffic Agent Dean Sheriff and Laura Smith, TravelCube’s Regional Account Manager for the West Midlands & Wales hosted the group – Wendy Walker from Wotton Travel, Anna Perrott of Cruise.co.uk, Diane Hammond from Regent Travel, Co-operative Travel Management’s Alison Bean, Midcounties’ Tracie Hollywood, Lee Cooke from Trailfinders, Claire Brearley at Flight Centre and Janine Hay from Elite Escapes – to show how much they could enjoy in just a few days and help them inspire their clients in turn.

“Whether it’s a short stay or a longer trip, TravelCube draws on years of expertise to find all kinds of accommodation, city tours and experiences in all parts of the world to inspire travel agents and consultants,” says Laura Smith, TravelCube’s Regional Account Manager for the West Midlands & Wales. “Guests loved the opportunity to experience a selection of hotels and get a real-life taste of the TravelCube experience in both Istanbul and Singapore. It was their chance to see that our suppliers offer the highest standards to give travellers a hassle-free holiday, whatever their budget.”

Departing Birmingham International Airport the direct, four hour flight arrived in Istanbul so agents could take advantage of a sightseeing tour that Turkish Airlines offers for transfer passengers. The group checked in at the Ramada Plaza Tekstilkent Hotel, perfectly positioned halfway between Ataturk Airport and Istanbul’s old city area and, after breakfast, enjoyed enjoyed the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Hippodrome, Serpentine Column, and Spice Bazaar.

Then it was back to the airport to relax in Turkish Airlines’ business class lounge before the early morning flight to Singapore and the group’s transfer to Festive Hotel, part of the Resorts World in Sentosa, Asia’s ultimate destination. The perfect family- and child-friendly environment, Festive Hotel’s rooms have been designed specifically with families in mind. With luxurious king or twin beds, options for loft beds and the availability of cribs, every guest enjoys the peak of comfort and relaxation.

Agents were given a tour of Resorts World before spending the day riding the movies at Universal Studios Singapore. Across seven zones – Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar – the group enjoyed cutting-edge rides, shows and attractions based on their favourite blockbuster films and television series from Transformers to Shrek to Jurassic Park and more.

After all the fun, it was time to check in to Mövenpick Heritage Hotel for their second night on Sentosa island. An upscale luxury lifestyle hotel, five-star facilities are spread out over two distinct wings: the restored Heritage wing with colonial history dating back to the 1940s and the newly built Contemporary wing. 

The Contemporary Wing includes 105 well-appointed Deluxe Rooms, 19 Onsen Suites featuring Japanese-style hot tubs, Executive Suites and two Penthouses with private rooftop pools. The three-storey Heritage Wing features a sense of history in every room with original features and architectural details restored to their former glory. Agents had plenty of free time to dine at Tablescape, for English and local High Tea in the glass-covered Galleria or try a whisky or two in the Guinness World Record-holding collection of The WOW by Waldhaus am See St. Moritz.

Their final stay was courtesy of the Mandarin Orchard Hotel with 1,077 spacious guestrooms and suites, each with complimentary Wi-Fi and, from the upper floors, panoramic views of the city skyline. The hotel houses Chatterbox, home of the legendary Mandarin Chicken Rice; Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro offering Sichuan cuisine; Triple Three, an international buffet restaurant; Coffee & Crust; and Bar on 5. Annexed to the hotel is Mandarin Gallery with over 100 luxury and cult retail brands.

The agents spent the afternoon enjoying the Singapore Flyer, a ‘hop on, hop off’ FunVee Open Top Bus with City Tours. Among the historic and contemporary attractions en-route: Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, Esplanade Bridge, Merlion Park, Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, Lau Pa Sat Market and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Clarke Quay and the city’s Botanical Gardens. Thursday night’s dinner was hosted at the Ritz Carlton’s signature restaurant, the Summer Pavilion with classic Cantonese delicacies and garden views.

Lunch at the Mandarin Orchard’s Marina Mandarin was followed by plenty of free time to explore before Tour East took the group around Singapore by Night an evening tour of Chinatown, dinner with the locals and sights including the world's largest fountain and bargain shopping in the night bazaars of Bugis Street or Pasar Malam. The night ended at the Raffles Hotel, home to the iconic Singapore Sling. On their final day the agents embarked on a bumboat sightseeing cruise with Singapore River Cruises, tracing the destination’s journey from obscure fishing village to bustling trading port to multicultural global city.

Accommodation, transfers and experiences in Singapore are available to book on www.TravelCube.com/uk today.