Families That Play Together Stay Together
CapitaLand celebrates 10 years of building people by championing families
Issue: Jun 2010
Ten families were selected to live out their dream holiday, which began in Citadines Mount Sophia where they stayed while in Singapore
For 20 years, Le Xiao Ying took care of her aged mother. Apart from going to work, her entire life centered on the care of the elderly woman. She never travelled and never even went beyond her home in Shanghai. Then in May this year, she was given the opportunity of a lifetime – an all expenses paid trip to Singapore courtesy of CapitaLand.
“It was like a dream come true. I have always wanted to travel with my family,” said Le.
Online competition to promote families
Le’s trip was part of CapitaLand China’s campaign to bring families together in celebration of CapitaLand’s 10th anniversary. Called “Happy Families Travelling Together”, the nation-wide online campaign invited families to pick a destination anywhere in the world that CapitaLand had a presence. They then had to create an online presentation introducing their family and detailing their travel plans to the place they had chosen. Entries were put to a vote across China. 10 families with the most number of votes won their dream holiday.
“CapitaLand is dedicated to building homes for people and homes are for families. So we thought what better way to bring families together than to have them holiday together and share stories with each other,” said Francis Li Cheng Jie, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Communications, CapitaLand China.
Sisters, Le Ying and Le Xiao Ying, at one of their first stops in Singapore, Capital Tower
“It was also a great way for us to share about CapitaLand and the CapitaLand brand to the people in China.”
The campaign was promoted online which began in March. By the end of the month, 12,000 families had sent in entries.
Le Xiao Ying’s older sister, Le Ying, entered the competition with her husband as part of their bid to travel to 100 countries around the world in their lifetime. The childless and retired coupled in their 60s thought it would be a great way to add another country to the list of 60 they had already visited.
“But just before we had to go for the trip, my mother-in-law passed away. My husband is very filial and he didn’t want to travel. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to give my sister a treat and take her instead,” said the older Le sister.
Home away from home
Happy Families were in all smiles at the start of their vacation at Capital Tower, Singapore
The first stop of their journey of exploration was the serviced apartment, Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia where they were to stay while in the country. The stylish and modern residences sit within walking distance of the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment district in Orchard Road. Equipped with a fully functioning kitchen and laundry facilities, the apartments offer the comforts of home with the sophistication of a hotel.
One family who truly appreciated the accommodations was the Mengs who were travelling with their 28-month old son, Meng Tai Ge Lin.
“This is the first time we are travelling with our baby without any help. Being in a serviced apartment makes everything so much more comfortable because it feels just like home. I have lived in many hotels before. This is much better,” said mommy, Song Li.
Song, an avid cook, also put the kitchen to good use. She went to the local market almost daily and made home-cooked meals for her family, just like she does at home.
Retail therapy and historical tour all within one vacation
The families were treated to a sumptuous seafood dinner hosted by Mr Tony Soh (Chief Corporate Officer, The Ascott Limited) at Clarke Quay, Singapore where the history of the country is charmingly preserved
The winning families were also treated to tours to the malls of CapitaLand in Singapore. From Bugis Junction to Raffles City and the most recent addition to the CapitaMall family, the luxury shopping centre, ION Orchard.
“I like ION Orchard the best because although it is a high-end mall, the people are all very friendly. Back home, shopping centres that carry these luxury brands tend to be rather snooty. But I felt very comfortable at ION Orchard,“ observed Song.
Apart from seeing Singapore in all its shiny modernity, the families were also taken to see the historic treasures of the city, one of which was the Ascott Raffles Place Singapore at No. 2 Finlayson Green. The one-time tallest building in Southeast Asia was a prime commercial building of its time and the first modern high-rise office to be designed and built in Singapore after the ravages of World War II.
“I like this place. There is a building back home in Shanghai that looks very much like this one,” said the younger Le sister.
Service with more than a smile
In the spirit of family first, the Mengs got a first-hand experience of hospitality Ascott-style during their holiday. After their sojourn to Singapore, they went on to visit Australia. It happened to be Mother’s Day when they were in Melbourne.
“I wanted to surprise my wife,” confessed Meng. “So I approached the staff at the serviced apartment to help me and they surprised me instead.”
The Ascott staff arranged for a bouquet of carnations to be presented to Song along with cakes, drinks and a specially made card.
“We got their son to draw something for mommy. At first he cried a little because he didn’t want to be apart from his mother. But when we told him it was a surprise for mommy, he was quite happy to draw something on the card for her,” said Lynette Lü, Corporate Marketing Manager of CapitaLand China, who played tour guide to the families throughout the trip.
Families making memories together and bonding are central to CapitaLand’s belief of building not only for people but building up people. And long after the journey is done, the families that have travelled together in this CapitaLand-sponsored trip will have much to talk about and build upon.