Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: travel Asia

Claska hotel

Claska hotel in Tokyo Meguro and Gakugei-Daigaku.

I have always wanted to go to Tokyo, and it was wonderful to have finally gone last week.

We got to explore many of the districts of Tokyo, each bursting with their own personality. I will be writing about them soon in further posts.

We stayed at CLASKA, one of Tokyo’s design hotels, on Meguro Dori. It’s a quiet district in between Meguro and Gakugei-Daigaku.

The area reminded me a little bit of Shoreditch in London, only less busy, but definitely with an emerging hip vibe.

If you love mid century modern furniture, then this is the place to be, as peppered around the area, were beautifully curated second hand furniture stores.

Check out the external design of the CLASKA. Its architecture and style is very 1970s. To me, it looks iconic for that era, almost like the Trellick tower is to London. CLASKA has 20 rooms, categorised into 4 design themes, designed by Japanese architects and designers.

We stayed in 2 rooms on the 6th floor. Our first room was the Tatami room, designed by Kaname Okajima. It has been described as a room of East meet West.

There were the traditional tatami mats, but rather than sleeping directly on the floor, we got comfortable low beds.
Doesn’t this space feel so Zen? There were wooden window screens, paper lantern lights, and low pebble shaped cushions. Our second room was the newly designed Un-Colored room, and it was covered in cedar wood, which felt and smelt divine.

There was also a coloured version of this bedroom on the same floor, painted in pastel hues, and unsurprisingly called the Colored room.

I loved the minimal and  pared down simplicity of this space. It felt very serene. Here’s our bathroom, designed with a similar aesthetic to the bedroom. Even the toiletries looked minimal and stylish, all made of natural ingredients.
You can really tell that CLASKA has a passion for design, just look at all those cool magazines they subscribe to, found in the lobby.

Kioku, the hotel’s restaurant, also seen in the photo above, served both Contemporary European and Japanese food.

In the morning, you could have a tasty English breakfast with all the trimmings, or a traditional Japanese one, with grilled fish, white rice, miso soup, soft boiled egg, tofu and pickles. One of the highlights of my stay at CLASKA, was exploring their design store DO. I have taken a few photos to give you a feel of the shop. Everything was so beautifully curated. I could have shopped there all day.

There was also a gallery space nearby, showcasing artwork by emerging talents. If you fancy wandering out of the hotel to eat or drink, I highly recommend Factory and Labo, 2 doors down, for their on site freshly roasted artisan coffee. If you fancy something sweet, I recommend their custard cream puff pastry. Gakugei-Daigaku is a cute little district, about 15 minutes walk from CLASKA. There was an underground train station there too.

There were numerous independent food stores and restaurants there, buzzing with locals, away from the packed streets of central Tokyo.

I have tried and tested a few of the eateries at Gakugei-Daigaku. Here are a few of my recommendations:

1.The Tonkatsu ramen was delicious at Ichiryu.

2.The best Thai food I have tasted at Thai Cafe Piimai. ( You really have to try the food here, totally authentic Thai, and we ate everything we ordered).

3.Breakfast at Bakery Cafe Antendo. The freshly baked savoury goods were so light, fluffy and delicious.

Last, but not least, you have to sample the cute donuts from Floresta. All donuts have been handmade using natural ingredients.

Hope you have enjoyed my review of CLASKA, with their beautifully designed rooms. I will be back soon with more posts on Japan. If you fancy seeing more, then do keep an eye on my Instagram account and insta-stories.

Have a lovely day all.

( All photography are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. I stayed at the Claska hotel as press. My opinions and views here are my own).

W_Singapore_Sentosa_Cove_Little_Big_Bell Recognise the iconic W? This post is all about the super cool and luxurious W Singapore Sentosa Cove.

Those who follow me on Instagram, will know that I have recently returned from a trip to Asia with my family.

We travelled to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

I will be writing a separate post on colourful places in Singapore soon.

For now, I thought I’d show you where we stayed.

Sentosa is located only about 15 minutes away from the city.

It is also called the ‘State of Fun’ because it is home to a collection of themed attractions, sandy beaches, tropical rainforests and spa retreats. The kids’ favourite place to visit on Sentosa was Universal Studios. W_Singapore_Sentosa_Cove_entrance_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell This was the grand carpeted stairs that greeted us at the entry way. W_Singapore_entrance_photo_by_Little_BIg_Bell Flanking the stairway was this beautiful light installation.

Lighting played a huge part in the general ambience of all areas in the hotel. The lights dimmed and changed their colours as dusk fell.

There was also a wonderful scent permeating the air. Such attention to detail for the senses.

The bar area adjacent to the lobby came to live at night, as the resident DJ spun and mixed his cool tunes.

Yes, I was pretty tempted to dance my way up those red carpeted stairs, but thankfully resisted. W_Singapore_Sentosa_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell Scattered around the Woo bar in the lobby, were these ceramic nesting swing chairs designed by renowned designer, Patricia Urquiola.

Look at those pretty, sparkly cushions. I need a few of those at home. Woobar_afternoon_tea_W_Singapore_Sentosa_Cove_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell The overall interior design for the hotel was created by the Rockwell group.

Alongside the fun, edgy and contemporary feel that is a W hotel, they have also incorporated designs that reflected the island’s surroundings.

Etchings of Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchids could be seen on the far wall behind the swing chair and on the tables.

W_T_Time_Drop_The_T_2_at_the_Woo_bar_W_hotel_Singapore I was honoured to have been invited to try out the W branded concept afternoon high tea, Drop the T2, at the Woobar.

A selection of truly delectable treats were served to us in a custom birdcage stand.

The birdcage was a reminder of the bygone times when birds were brought in their cages to the park, to be showcased for their singing. A point of social interaction between the older generations.

Apologies in advance for making you feel hungry, but it was delicious.

Here’s what we ate : Key Lime popsicles, Curried creme brulee, Pineapple compote, Salmon berry scones, Peach matcha mousse, Vanilla Panna Cotta and Cookie ice cream with bacon and more.
W_hotel_Singapore_Little_Big_Bell What I always love about a W hotel is its sense of luxury and style, from the beautifully curated art collection which included Damien Hirst’s Cathedral print and David Hockney’s Amaryllis in Vase to the pure simple elegance of the marble that adorned the lobby area.

Can you spot the reflection of the palm trees in the marble?  W_Singapore_outdoor_area Here they are, standing tall and lush in the tropical climate of Singapore. A place to shelter when the midday sun rears its head, preferably with a cold and refreshing cocktail in hand. W_hotel_Singapore_pool Or even better, lounge by the Wet Bar at the pool.

Can you believe this pool is open 24 hours a day? Total music to my children’s ears.

Talking about music, there were underwater speakers too, that pulsated music as you swam. How cool was that?

I must admit, there were numerous middle of the night swims, with the family.  W_hotel_Singapore_swimming_pool_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell Those white lounge chairs glowed with colour at night, illuminating the pool area.  W_hotel_Singapore_restaurant_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell This is Skirt, the Grill restaurant at the W Singapore, serving up steaks from prime cuts of meat and sustainably sourced seafood.

I didn’t get a chance to eat here but I’m loving the private booth seating and the glass installation from the ceiling. breakfast_at_W_Singapore_Sentosa_cove_styling_and_photo_Little_Big_Bell Breakfast was a delightful buffet. Everything you needed was there, including the row of chefs who cooked for you upon request.

I love how the cereals were prepared in Kilner jars and the milk in their individual serving bottles. I went for strawberry milk and a soya bean drink. W_Singapore_Away_spa_Little_Big_Bell A healthy and delicious breakfast was followed swiftly by a relaxing 90 minute Ila facial at the Away Spa downstairs.

Everything at the spa was aesthetically conducive to unwinding, from the beautiful waiting areas, to being greeted by a cold glass of Herbal tea with lemongrass and ginger.

After the 90 minute custom Away facial, my skin was quite literally glowing.  W_Singapore_Marvelous_suite_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell We were lucky to be invited to stay at the Marvellous suite. You can see more wide angle views of the suite here.

It was truly spacious and surrounded by floor to ceiling sliding glass doors all round the suite. The sliding doors opened to balconies that overlooked the pool, marina and the South China Sea..

The accent colours of the room were orange and purple. Again, the general theme of Singapore’s national orchid ran through in the decor, from the canvas art to the patterns on the carpet.
W_hotel_Singapore_Sentosa_Cove_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell I was secretly pleased to have my own little collection of sparkly cushions to style up the sofa for this shot. W_Singapore_design The little frog, a representation of the local fauna, was a commissioned piece from Studio Juju W_Singapore_Sentosa_cove_photo_by_Geraldine_Tan_Little_Big_Bell More design details in the suite. Love this blue tray and coaster set.

Do you spot cake pops with sprinkles? These greeted me upon my arrival at the hotel. You’ll see them in their display at the end of this post.

Such attention to detail. The hotel clearly knew of my sweet tooth and Little Big Bell never says no to sprinkles. W_Singapore_room_decor More decor details in the room.
W_hotel_Singapore_bed_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell A close up of the bed.

I slept so well that I need to find out where the bedding and pillows were from. W_hotel_Marvellous_suite_bed_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell Colourful mood lighting emanated from behind the shaped mirror on the headboard.  W_Singapore_marvelous_suite_1_bathroom_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell The piece de resistance was the enormous bathroom with an amazing view of the pool.

The kids loved soaking in the jacuzzi bath as they watch the overhead widescreen tv.  W_Singapore_marvelous_suite_bathroom_photo_by_Little_BIg_Bell Look at that amazing marble, and loved the Bliss citrus bath products. Marvelous_suite_W_hotel_balcony_seat_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell The lounger in the balcony for lazing at sun set. The_view_from_W_Singapore_Marvelous_suite_photo_by_Little_Big_Bell The gorgeous view from the balcony of the South China sea and marina. Blue_Lotus_Singapore_Chilli_crab_1 Talking about the marina, I definitely need to mention about the array of amazing restaurants just 5 minutes walk away from the hotel at the Quayside Isle. You will be truly spoilt for choice.

The kids borrowed the free scooters from the hotel to get there, and all were happy.

I highly recommend the Blue Lotus restaurant, which to date has served up the best chilli crabs dressed with juicy Pomelo I have ever tasted. Apparently, according to the restaurant, Gordon Ramsay said so too. Sprinkles_cake_pops_at_W_Singapore_Little_Big_Bell Last but not least, here are the amazing cake pops that greeted us at our Marvellous suite.

W Singapore Sentosa Cove, you really know me. Thank you so much for the sweet treats and we really had a wonderful stay.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. There will be more from my travels to Asia to come. Have a great week all.

( All images and styling are by Geraldine Tan of Little Big Bell, except for the tea and spa photos are from Starwood hotels and the crab image from Blue Lotus).

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