After three days it was time for our next destination, so we headed to Singapore’s Changi Airport, without a doubt one of the most beautiful terminals I have ever seen. What other airport has a nature trail and butterfly garden? A three-hour flight brought us to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. We boarded our bus and began the journey to The Grand Ho Tram Resort, a three-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh through the Vietnamese countryside. Motorcycles and scooters, thousands of them, swarmed the roads. It was heart stopping to see the riders, literally five or six abreast, some carrying three people, grazing the side of our bus. I thought for certain we were going to roll over someone! One rider had a child sitting in a high chair, perched precariously on the handlebars. I’ve seen some crazy commutes in my day, but this was unbelievable! The Grand Ho Tram is nothing short of extraordinary. This five-star property opened less than two years ago, and is quite a sight to behold - a riot of opulent, Asian ornamentation everywhere you look. The excess is almost jarring. The Grand team hosted a banquet for our group, with entertainment provided by a Philippine Flamenco band. It was a high-energy experience, as the band played familiar covers of American favorites from the ‘70s. It soon became a full-blown party, with everyone dancing! Our stay at the Grand was without a doubt the highlight of our journey. We all fell in love with the resort, and why not? We were on the beach, with acres of swimming pools, great food, an attentive, gracious service team, and a world-class golf course nearby. It was like heaven to us. We all wanted to stay, of course, but we had to move on to our final stop: Hong Kong. After an uneventful flight we boarded buses that whisked us along to the Novotel Citygate hotel. This hotel was selected for one reason only: proximity to the airport. We had planned an overnight here, making an early departure home easier. However, because of a blizzard soon to hit New York, our next morning flight to Newark was cancelled. We would remain in Hong Kong for two more days. I think most of us would have preferred two more days in Ho Tram, but Hong Kong was a nice consolation prize! Despite the delay, we all made it home safe and sound. Our guests were overjoyed with the experience, the culture, the food, the casinos, and the entire trip overall. We plan to provide even more memorable trips for our guests in the future.
By Michael Perhaes; Photography by Serena Chen Low
On January 18th, 104 lucky guests gathered at our Casino and Hotel in Wetumpka, AL, to begin a once-in-a-lifetime journey together - an extravagant eleven-day tour through some of the most breathtaking locations and casinos that Southeast Asia has to offer.
For over a hundred of our guests (and a few lucky Wind Creek team members) the adventure of a lifetime began with a luncheon presentation at Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka. We then made our way to Newark’s Liberty Airport where our fifteen-hour non-stop flight to Hong Kong awaited. Our route to the Far East took us straight over the North Pole, across Russia, Mongolia, and then China. With plenty to read, an endless selection of in-flight movies, and three hot meals, fifteen hours in the air went quickly.
Our first stop in Asia was Macau’s Sheraton at Cotai Central – and it was absolutely stunning. Two hotel towers adjoined a high-end shopping mall which featured every luxury brand imaginable, countless restaurants, and of course, an immense, dazzling casino. The Sheraton service staff treated us like royalty. The lounge here was also a great gathering spot to reconnect with our group members and swap tall tales of fortunes won (or lost!) the night before. Our stay included dinner atop the Macau Tower, a revolving restaurant high above the city with expansive views of its spectacular skyline. The vista leaves little doubt that Macau is indeed the Las Vegas of Asia. We had an amazing time in Macau, but now it was time to move on to the next stop in our journey: Singapore.
Getting to Singapore was easy: we boarded a bus, then a ferry, two airport trams, a plane, and finally, another bus, en route to Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore’s most spectacular resort destination.
After two full days of touring the city, the Resorts World team treated us to a banquet that I doubt any of us will ever forget. We were seated beside the viewing gallery in their immense Open Ocean aquarium: nearly five million gallons of water held back by the world’s largest viewing panel, a massive piece of glass 118 feet long by 27 feet tall, and home to over 50,000 animals!