Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Forbes Travel Guide Announces 2016 Star Rating Awards

154 Hotels Across the Globe Achieve the Coveted Five-Star Award, with Forbes Travel Guide Now Rating in 29 Countries and More than 100 of the World’s Top Destinations

Forbes Travel Guide continues its expansion in Asia Pacific, looking to double its presence in Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and other cities in Japan by 2017

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - Feb 23, 2016 - Forbes Travel Guide today unveiled its 58th list of worldwide Star Rating recipients, including 42 new Five-Star hotels, 101 new Four-Star hotels and 57 new hotels in the Recommended category.

Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou

The Peninsula Tokyo

Forbes Travel Guide now rates properties in 29 countries throughout The Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and expects to double its size again in the next year with expansion into the Middle East and Africa. As the global authority on luxury travel, Forbes Travel Guide announces its aggressive expansion of rating and will strengthen its Asia Pacific presence in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney), Indonesia (Bali), Korea (Seoul), Philippines (Manila), and other destinations in Japan (Kyoto, Osaka) by 2017.

The 2016 Five-Star hotel winners now total 154 -- the most in Forbes Travel Guide's history. The company continues its uniquely selective process for recognizing the finest properties in the markets it rates, rewarding intuitive, gracious service --  which makes winning an award one of the most prestigious achievements in the industry.

In addition to the Five-Star hotel winners, two new restaurants earned Five-Star awards, bringing the total to 56. Two new spas achieved Forbes Travel Guide's highest honor, pushing the tally to 47 Five-Star spas. See the complete Star Rating list here.

"We are delighted to recognize the 2016 Star Rating recipients, a phenomenal group of hotels, restaurants and spas," said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide. "These properties set an unimpeachable standard of excellence in hospitality at a moment when the proliferation of voices claiming to provide unbiased ratings online is exploding. With Forbes Travel Guide-rated properties, there is no ambiguity, no doubt: based on a stringent set of standards developed and refined over six decades, our ratings are now accepted and embraced worldwide. We are proud to congratulate each of the owners, property managers and their teams, and everyone associated with the prestigious properties recognized today. Together, we help discerning consumers make better luxury travel decisions worldwide."

Forbes Travel Guide also recognized a total of 410 Four-Star hotels, 187 Four-Star restaurants and 180 Four-Star spas, as well as its list of 159 Recommended hotels and 68 Recommended restaurants in the markets it rates -- the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Costa Rica, England's Home Counties, London, the French Riviera, Paris, Berlin, Florence, Milan, Rome, Geneva, Bangkok, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.

A Snapshot of the List: Highlighting the Big Winners and Trends


  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts made the strongest showing among hotel brands, with six new Five-Star hotels in Florence, Italy; Geneva, Switzerland; Hangzhou, China; Papagayo, Costa Rica; Paris, France; and Whistler, Canada. It also dominated the overall Five-Star hotel list, nabbing 26 of the 51 spots. This is the first time in the company's history it has achieved six new Five-Star hotels in a single year.

  • Paris was the year's biggest winner among new destinations, debuting with nine Five-Star hotels: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris; Hôtel Plaza Athénée; La Réserve Paris; Le Bristol Paris; Le Meurice; Le Royal Monceau -- Raffles Paris; Mandarin Oriental, Paris; The Peninsula Paris; and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris.

  • Italy also scored high, with eight hotels earning Five-Star accolades in the country's first year as a rated destination. Rome continues to be a hot luxury destination, boasting four Five-Star hotels (Hotel de Russie, Hotel Eden, Hotel Hassler Roma, J.K. Place Roma). Florence clinched three Five-Star awards (Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Hotel Savoy, Portrait Firenze) and Milan took one (Mandarin Oriental, Milan).

  • In Asia-Pacific, Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake debut as the first-ever Five-Star Hotel in the newly rated destination. Mainland China now has a total of 10 Five-Star hotels, with three first-time winners this year (Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou, The Ritz-Carlton Pudong, Shanghai). Palace Hotel Tokyo became the first Japanese-branded hotel ever to receive Five-Star recognition. The Peninsula Hotels achieved two new Five-Star awards, one in Bangkok and another in Tokyo. MGM Macau achieves first-ever Five-Star for its Hotel, bringing the destination total to nine Five-Star Hotels, joining Paris with the Most Top Hotels.  Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund became the first-ever Waldorf Astoria to achieve Five-Star for its Spa.

  • The Caribbean and Mexico scored big wins. In the Caribbean, large branded hotels such as Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve joined independent boutique properties like Barbados' Sandy Lane Hotel in earning first-time Five-Stars. Mexico had six Five-Star hotels on the list in Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Punta Mita.

  • In the U.S., Wequassett Resort and Golf Club became the only Five-Star hotel on Cape Cod, its first time winning the coveted honor. It joined Five-Star properties from destinations as diverse as New York City (eight Five-Star hotels); Las Vegas (five Five-Star hotels); and Park City, Utah (two Five-Star hotels).

  • Distinctive independent boutique properties around the world continue to gain recognition, including The Goring, London; J.K. Place Roma, Rome; La Réserve Paris; and Portrait Firenze, Florence; and. All garnered Five-Star awards for the first time. Coworth Park, set in the English Royal County of Berkshire, also earned the top honor -- demonstrating that the highest levels of service and facilities can be found in all locations, at all property types and in all parts of the world.
                                                                                                                                       
  • Langham Hotels & Resorts nabbed its first Five-Star award in the U.S. The Langham, Chicago won the top honor for both its hotel and spa.                                                        


For details on how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star Ratings, visit http://www.forbestravelguide.com/about/forbes-travel-guide.
To view the complete list of 2016 Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating recipients, visithttp://www.forbestravelguide.com/about/awardwinners.

About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the originator of the prestigious Five-Star Rating system, and has provided the travel industry's most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. Forbes Travel Guide has a team of expert inspectors who anonymously evaluate properties against up to 800 rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better-informed travel and leisure decisions. Forbes Travel Guide is the most prestigious standard for luxury hospitality worldwide. For more information about Forbes Travel Guide, visit www.forbestravelguide.com.

ForbesTravelGuide.com combines the objectivity and heritage of the Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating system with insightful recommendations from a hand-selected group of travel experts, tastemakers and Forbes Travel Guide inspectors. ForbesTravelGuide.com is the exclusive online destination for Forbes Travel Guide's list of Star-Rated hotels, restaurants and spas, and gives its registered members exclusive access to special offers and curated experiences from select Forbes Travel Guide partners.

Connect with Forbes Travel Guide:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ForbesInspector | #FTGStarAwards

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tony Fernandes recognised for his contribution to the growth of Asean and U.S.-ASEAN relationship

SAN FRANCISCO, 22 FEBRUARY 2016 – Tony Fernandes, co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia hasbeen recognised by the US-ASEAN Business Council with the Fourth Pillar Award for his extraordinary contribution towards the growth of Asean and the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.

The award was presented by Mr. Keith Williams, President & CEO, UL LLC and Chairman, U.S.-ASEAN BusinessCouncil to Tony Fernandes, making him the second recipient after the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. The ASEAN Economic Community Conference 2016 dinner reception was held in San Francisco with key business leaders and government officials from across ASEAN and the U.S. in attendance.

The ASEAN charter speaks to a community comprising three pillars: political security, economic and socio-cultural. TheFourth Pillar Award is presented to a person or organization representing the “fourth pillar”, a person that has made an extraordinary contribution towards the growth of ASEAN as well as fostering better U.S.-ASEAN relationship, effectively making the foundation of ASEAN stronger through their focus and involvement.

Tony Fernandes, who is also a member of the ASEAN Business Club Advisory Council said, “The theme of thisconference  Asia’s Best Kept Secret: The ASEAN Economic Community  says it all. ASEAN is a dream and if we put the ASEAN people first, who knows what we can achieve. When you combine all ten member countries into a single market and production base, you are tapping into a community of over 600 million people. The potential this region holds is immense,and as a truly ASEAN brand, we will continue to lobby and spearhead ASEAN integration, especially but not  limited to the aviation, travel and tourism industries.”



“I believe it is time for ASEAN to take a bold step towards commonality and standardisation. There is an urgent need of one ASEAN regulator to ensure a unified ASEAN standard. The current process of relying on consensus that require approvalfrom all 10 countries should be reviewed so important initiatives move forward.”

“It is a true honour to be recognised by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council for what we have done as an ASEAN brand, but there is much more to do. Our hope is for all ten member countries’ governments to come together as harmonisation allowsfor more efficient use of resources, achieve better economies of scale, contribute towards the reduction of unit costs andlead towards faster growth for the region,” added Fernandes.

The AirAsia Group, led by Tony Fernandes and partner Datuk Kamarudin Meranun has grown into an ASEAN powerhouse with operations connecting all ten ASEAN member countries in addition to providing one of the widest route network across Asia, Australasia and beyond via its long-haul operations.

The U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, founded in 1984, is the premier advocacy organization for U.S. corporations operating within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Council works to elevate the importance of U.S.-ASEAN economic relationship to American and ASEAN public policy makers and business leaders.

The Council works across all ten member countries of ASEAN, representing 152 major U.S. corporations.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

ASUS ZenBook UX305 emerges as No. 1 13-in Ultra-slim Windows Laptop Worldwide

ZenBook UX305 delivers unprecedented performance, connectivity, all-in a slim and light form factor perfect for urban professionals.

Manila, Philippines (February 08, 2016) — ASUS is the [1]No.1 brand 13.3” notebooks worldwide according to GFK and NPD 2015 global report - The ZenBook UX305 is the company’s top notch solution for urban professionals, delivering high performance with up to Core i7 processor, ultra-fast SSD storage and complete connectivity options in a body a slim as 12.3mm and 1.2kg light.
Locally, last December 2015, ASUS Philippines achieved a total of 39.5% market share in the ultraportable 13.3” notebook market with the ZenBook series, dominating the said category with Apple Macbook in second place according to the most recent GFK December 2015 results.

Designed for Urban Professionals
Consumers today are inclined to bring their personal laptop as their work laptop thus, the search for the ultimate ultraportable laptop grew significantly. Being ultra-slim at 12.3mm and 1.2kg light, the ZenBook UX305 is one of the lightest and lightest 13.3” Notebook in the market. Despite the very slim profile, ZenBook UX305 still offers today’s most used connectivity devices with 3x USB 3.0 Ports with Quick Charging, 1x Micro-HDMI output for display projection, 1x Audio Jack for speaker connection of up to 5.1 speaker systems and 1x SD Card Reader for quick transfer of photography related equipment. Making the ZenBook UX305 the perfect companion of today’s generation who demands power and portability in one package. 


WIDE RANGE OF CONFIGURATIONS
The ZenBook UX305 is now available in the Philippine market in three (4) major configurations.
Entry Level - UX305CA
-        Available in Ceramic White is the most affordable ZenBook UX305 at Php39,995 powered by the latest Intel Core M3-6Y30 with 4GB DDR3L RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. With a splendid 13.3” 1920x1080 FHD IPS Matte Display for a vibrant and hassle free viewing experience.
Middle Range – UX305LA
-        Available in Black is the mid-range for Php49,995 powered by Intel Core i5-5200U with 4GB DDR3L RAM and 256GB Storage. With a splendid 13.3” 1920x1080 FHD IPS Matte Display for a vibrant and hassle free viewing experience.
High Level - UX305LA
-        Available in Black and Gold is the mid-range for Php59,995 powered by Intel Core i5-5200U with 8GB DDR3L RAM and 512GB SSD Storage. With a splendid 13.3” 1920x1080 FHD IPS Matte Display for a vibrant and hassle free viewing experience.

Ultimate Performance - UX305LA
-        Available in Black and Gold is the top performance ZenBook UX305 for Php65,995 powered by the fastest Intel Core i7-5500U with whopping 8GB DDR3L RAM and 512GB SSD Storage. Also utilizing a Quad-HD+ resolution of 3200x1800 for the finest resolution on an ultra-portable laptop.

Assured 2 Years Global Warranty
ASUS Philippines delivers top customer assurance with its 2 Years Global Warranty as standard to all notebooks. Consumers can take advantage 100% Parts and Service warranty worth Php2,500, available in more than 55 countries worldwide with ASUS. Visit https://www.asus.com/support for complete details.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING
The ZenBook UX305 is now available in the market ranging from Php39,995 to Php65,995. Available now in the Philippine market.
Where to Buy List: http://bit.ly/WTBZenBook
Visit ASUS Philippines Facebook for stores list availability: www.facebook.com/asusph


COMPLETE SPECIFICATIONS
Model Name
UX305CA-FC050T(White)
UX305LA-FC014T (Black)
UX305LA-FC083T (Black) /
UX305LA-FC084T
(Aurora Gold)
UX305LA-FB053T (Black) /
UX305LA-FB049T
(Aurora Gold)
Operating System
Windows 10 64Bit
Windows 10 64Bit
Windows 10 64Bit
Windows 10 64Bit
Processor
Intel® Core™ m3-6Y30 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.2 GHz)
Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor, 2.2GHz (3M Cache, up to 2.7GHz)
Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor, 2.2GHz (3M Cache, up to 2.7GHz)
Intel® Core™ i7-5500U Processor, 2.4GHz (4M Cache, up to 3.0GHz)
RAM
4GB DDR3L
(Non-Removable)
4GB DDR3L
(Non-Removable)
8GB DDR3L
(Non-Removable)
8GB DDR3L
(Non-Removable)
Graphics
Intel® HD Graphics 515
Intel® HD Graphics 5500
Intel® HD Graphics 5500
Intel® HD Graphics 5500
Display 
Matte Finish 13.3” IPS FHD 1920x1080 Non-Touch
Matte Finish 13.3” IPS FHD 1920x1080 Non-Touch
Matte Finish 13.3” IPS FHD 1920x1080 Non-Touch
Matte Finish 13.3” IPS QHD+ 3200x1800 Non-Touch
Storage
SATA3 128G M.2 SSD
SATA3 256G
M.2 SSD
SATA3 512G
M.2 SSD
SATA3 512G
M.2 SSD
Wireless Connectivity
802.11 ac/n/g Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.0
802.11 ac/n/g Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.0
802.11 ac/n/g Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
802.11 ac/n/g Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
Connectivity Ports
1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
1x Microphone-in jack
1x Headphone-out jack
1x micro HDMI
1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
1x Microphone-in jack
1x Headphone-out jack
1x micro HDMI
1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
1x Microphone-in jack
1x Headphone-out jack
1x micro HDMI
1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
1x Microphone-in jack
1x Headphone-out jack
1x micro HDMI
Battery & Charger Details
Up to 10 Hours
45W AC Adapter: Output: 19V DC, 2.37A, 45W: Input: 100~240V AC
50/60Hz universal
Up to 12 Hours
45W AC Adapter: Output: 19V DC, 2.37A, 45W: Input: 100~240V AC
50/60Hz universal
Up to 12 Hours
45W AC Adapter: Output: 19V DC, 2.37A, 45W: Input: 100~240V AC
50/60Hz universal
Up to 12 Hours
45W AC Adapter: Output: 19V DC, 2.37A, 45W: Input: 100~240V AC
50/60Hz universal
Dimensions
32.4(W) x 22.6(D) x 0.00 ~ 1.23 (H) cm
32.4(W) x 22.6(D) x 0.55 ~ 1.49 (H) cm
32.4(W) x 22.6(D) x 0.55 ~ 1.49 (H) cm
32.4(W) x 22.6(D) x 0.55 ~ 1.49 (H) cm
Weight
1.2kg
1.3kg
1.3kg
1.3kg
Price
Php39,995
Php49,995
Php59,995
Php65,995



ASUS PH Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ASUSph

##
About ASUS
ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets, smartphones and wearables. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,326 awards in 2014 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC. ASUS has more than 16,000 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 5,200 engineers. Company revenue for 2014 was approximately US$14.5 billion.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Free Movies at the Blink Free Movie Weekend!

Movie and series buffs are in for a treat! BLINK, a unique online streaming service offering never-before seen films, pay per view, and exclusive live TV shows, is throwing a free movie weekend at select SM Malls.

The festival will feature an afternoon of free food, photo booth snaps, raffle prizes, and unlimited movie watching via BLINK.

The BLINK app enables you to watch a variety of movies, TV series, and other content anytime and anywhere, using gadgets such as your mobile phone, tablet, computer and smart television sets.

Now under SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. which also operates the country’s biggest cinema chain, SM Cinema, Blink prides itself in offering its very own unique film content and a wide library of the most recent movie and series options that you can #pressplay at your own comfort and convenience.

Never-before seen movies, exclusively on Blink

Introducing: BLINK ONLINE CINEMA. Ever wonder what happens to films that have not been released in cinemas? They go directly to Blink Online Cinema. Exclusively shown on the Blink platform, you will never have to miss out on any movie, ever again.

The latest movies and TV series at the blink of an eye

Missed out on your favorite movie or TV show? Blink lets you in on the cinematic experience just 2-3 months after its theatrical run. While most video-on-demand services show year-old flicks, Blink widens its scope by keeping up with the most recent movies in Hollywood and the globe.

Watch live with Blink!

BLINK PAY PER VIEW (PPV), another unique capability of Blink, will make live entertainment and sporting events available on demand. Watch your favorite show live on TV channels such as ETC, 2nd Avenue, BTV, and CT which are only available on BLINK.

Your movie, your way

Blink is the only VOD service in the country to offer BLINK RENTALS: an option wherein customers can access their choice of movies on a per title basis for as low as PHP 75. With BLINK UNLIMITED, movie and TV buffs can watch unlimited shows and films for only PHP 99 a month. True to its promise of convenience, Blink allows several payment options such as charging direct to phone-bill, use of scratch cards and ePLUS prepaid load, and even payment using your SM advantage card points.

The Blink Movie Weekend Festival began its country-wide tour at Mall of Asia last January 22. It will go on to Davao and Lanang on Feb 6-7, Cebu and Seaside City on Feb 13-14, Pampanga and Clark on Feb 20-21, Manila and Fairview on Feb 27-28, Megamall onMarch 4-6 and Calamba on March 5-6.

Visit your nearest branch and #Pressplay to the best movie experience at the Blink Movie Weekend Festival! Download the BLINK app on your mobile gadgets today or log in to www.blink-now.com. For the latest updates on Blink, follow us on twitter @blink_now, Instagram blink.now or like us on www.facebook.com/blinknow.

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