With a host of exciting announcements from the hospitality world, the literary scene and the tech industry, July proves its might in terms of variety. Leading the pack is the announcement that Como Orchard will open in September, which will see the Singapore-born brand unveiling its first hotel in its home country. Elsewhere, iconic landmark Raffles Hotel Singapore furthers its literary heritage with a new poetry book by Madeleine Lee. Meanwhile, local publisher Ethos Books launches a community initiative leading up to National Day, with a lineup of panels, launches and pop-ups in the mix. On the tech front, Oppo reveals the Reno10 Pro+ 5G, equipped with an exceptional new camera, coupled with a welcome extension to its battery life.
Como Orchard will open its doors in September
Singapore-born hospitality brand Como has travelled far and wide with its ventures, from a historic castle in Tuscany to a remote lodge in Bhutan. Now, it has finally come full circle with the first Como hotel in its home turf of Singapore—the latest addition to a growing list of establishments like the brand’s wellness sanctuary, Como Shambhala, and Como Cuisine. Spanning 19 floors in the heart of the city, brand-new lifestyle destination Como Orchard will house Como Metropolitan Singapore, a hotel with 156 rooms, alongside a rooftop pool and and a bar.
To dream up the special venture, owner Christina Ong has also tapped on award-winning talents like Italian architect Paolo Navone (Otto Studio) as well Japanese interior design-consultant Koichiro Ikebuchi (Atelier Ikebuchi). Completing the Como Orchard experience is a suite of fashion and dining experiences: a two-floor Club 21 store as well as famed culinary establishments fronted by the likes of renowned French pastry chef Cédric Grolet. Also look out for Korean steakhouse Cote Singapore, at its first international address outside of the restaurants in the United States. Of course, with the Como brand at the helm, wellness will naturally be incorporated into the experience, with Como Shambhala’s new urban flagship providing city-dwellers a holistic respite finessed with workshops and valuable insights.
Como Orchard will open from 1 September.
Oppo unveils its latest smartphone—the new Reno10 Pro+ 5G
Oppo’s latest smartphone has its best camera yet. Newly released in Singapore, the Reno10 Pro+ 5G boasts a powerful camera system that gives the phone its impressive capabilities. Aside from enhanced versions of its main and selfie cameras, the Reno10 comes equipped with a telephoto portrait camera with a large sensor, as well as a high-quality 112° 8MP ultra-wide lens. As the highest spec periscope telephoto camera on the market, the portrait lens presents your subjects in their most flattering light, with a shallow depth of field lending a natural bokeh effect without sacrificing detail and clarity. An optional “touch up” filter is available, but we recommend turning this off for the best, most authentic images. Expect exceptional light sensitivity, with sharp image quality even in low light environments.
Available in either purple and silver (we are partial to the former colour-way), each model is crafted with silken transparent glass, resulting in a smooth, lightweight frame that feels delicate yet sturdy in the hand. With slim bezels framing an expansive screen that has been plated with new AGC Dragontrail ™Star 2 cover glass, the Reno10’s elevated visual design comes hand in hand with improved drop resistance—so you can feel safe giving all your attention to getting the perfect portrait shot.
Learn more about the Reno10 Pro+ 5G at oppo.com.
Ethos Books unveils Ethos Dreams—a community pop-up celebrating the many facets of Singapore
Known for its efforts in nurturing Singapore’s literary community, homegrown independent publisher Ethos Books is launching a three-week long community initiative leading up to National Day, titled The Singapore I Recognise. With panels, a pop-up bookstore and an exclusive book launch all in the mix, the aim of the initiative is to bring the local community together in a meaningful and nuanced celebration of all that it means to be Singaporean.
Born out of a collaboration with retiree-run bookstore Dakota Dreams, home-base for this initiative is a pop-up tucked away on the second floor of Old Airport Road Food Centre. The cosy and welcoming space is open to all members of the community, housing a central display of over 60 Ethos titles by local authors and artists that celebrate multiple perspectives of Singapore. If there is an Ethos title you have been eyeing for a while, there is no better time to pick it up, as 10 percent of all proceeds from the pop-up will be contributed to the Standing Solidarity Fund—a mutual aid resource supporting Singapore’s migrant workers. Look forward also to a series of important panels hosted over the course of multiple weeks, with speakers like pioneering activism Constance Singam, covering oft-forgotten topics like housing security in Singapore.
Find out more about The Singapore I Recognise at ethosbooks.com.sg.
Madeleine Lee is Raffles Hotel’s first-ever Singaporean Writer-in-Residence
The written word seems to assume a life of its own at Raffles Hotel Singapore’s Writers Bar, where mystery novels, travel fiction and books of poetry could transform into inspiration for exquisite new cocktails. As part of the Raffles Writer’s Residency programme—first launched in 2019 with Pico Iyer—a number of handpicked writers have found themselves traipsing through the majestic grounds of the heritage hotel, gleaning inspiration for their literary works.
The latest on the residency’s roster? Singaporean poet Madeleine Lee. Over her intermittent stays at the hotel from October last year to May this year, the respected author took the time to work on what is now How to Build a Lux Hotel, a cohesive poetry book that adroitly narrates the essence of the iconic landmark. To complete this experience, Nicholas Alexander, the beverage manager at Writers Bar, puts an elegant and unexpected twist on the bar’s offerings by presenting a refreshed menu of tipples inspired by Lee’s poems, joining an extensive list of highballs, wines and spirits. Indeed, the intimate setting of the Writers Bar is also the perfect location to enjoy Lee’s book of poetry in, a sentiment with which the convivial staff at Raffles Hotel could not agree more.