May 27, 2022
Frasers Hospitality staff worldwide share their local secrets, the venues in their city that most tourists don’t know about, or places that locals love and know so well and want to share.
There’s nothing quite like local knowledge. Find the right person to talk to when you’re travelling and they’re your key to unlocking the best of a destination: the best neighbourhoods, the best restaurants, the best bars, the best attractions. These are the places tourists often don’t know about, but that the people who live in these destinations know and love. The tried and tested favourites.
Usually, you have to be in a city long enough to pick up that knowledge. Fortunately for those staying with Frasers Hospitality, however – at the likes of Fraser Suites, Fraser Residence, Fraser Place, Capri by Fraser and Modena by Fraser – tapping into this valuable information is easy. Because the staff at these properties are often locals, and they know their city better than anyone.
Here, Frasers Hospitality employees from managers to housekeepers to bartenders, share their secrets, the local haunts they probably shouldn’t be telling you about – and the ones you’re going to love.
“Edinburgh is a city of hidden gems and Dean Village is one such place,” says Louise Smith, a marketing executive from the Frasers Hospitality EMEA team in the UK. “Tucked away from the crowds and the busy streets of the Old Town, many tourists overlook this adorable quarter for more well-known sights.”
Dean Village is about a 25-minute walk west of Fraser Suites Edinburgh, and it has a humble past. “It was once home to eight working grain mills, most notably flour mills,” says Smith. “After some investment and restoration this picturesque place now resembles a German fairy tale village.
“There are so many great photo angles, you could spend all day snapping here. But, if you’re looking for the iconic, highly Instagrammable shot, walk down the steep and cobbled Hawthornbank Lane. Then you’ll find a small bridge that crosses over the Water of Leith. Nearby this bridge you’ll find a little bank on the river that has a path leading down to it. Head down there for the perfect shot.”
Smith adds: “There is more to Dean Village than the photo-ops. If you have time, do the half hour-long walk along the river to Stockbridge. You’ll see stunning Georgian architecture, and other sights along the way.”
Brisbane is a city with plenty of local secrets, the sort of place visitors enjoy all the more as they peel back its layers.
For locals such as Bronwyn Sherry, revenue manager at Capri by Fraser Brisbane, it’s all about enjoying the city’s outdoor lifestyle. Sherry’s favourite place to relax is Captain Burke Park, a wide expanse of green space in riverside Kangaroo Point, just a short ride on the ferry - known in Brisbane as the CityCat - from the hotel residence.
Photo reproduced courtesy of Brisbane City Council
“There’s a great playground there for kids,” Sherry says, “and you can watch people climbing the Story Bridge across the river.” The park is also close to Sea Legs Brewing Co, a local craft brewery set in an old industrial space, and provides access to plenty of exercise. “You can walk, jog or even ride along the river to Southbank [another major tourist attraction] without using any main roads,” Sherry says.
For Capri by Fraser’s senior business development manager Reannon Ivancic, meanwhile, the best spot to while away an afternoon in Brisbane is the City Botanic Gardens, just a few minutes’ walk from the residence.
“There are the most beautiful trees and so much to discover there,” she says. “As it’s so close to the hotel. I try to visit once or twice a month. It’s such a relaxing and naturally beautiful space, you don’t feel like you’re in the city at all. I would definitely recommend checking out the bamboo grove and the huge tamarind tree.”
There’s never a chance of leaving Hanoi unaffected. This is a city that throws everything at you, a pulsating and fantastic place that is a melange of sights, sounds and aromas.
However, according to Mr Nguyen Dinh Thanh, front office manager for Fraser Suites Hanoi, some of its most interesting attractions are just out of town.
“Thanh Chuong Palace is one of the most important places of cultural heritage in Vietnam,” he says, “with extraordinary antique arts, phenomenal architecture reflecting different stages of Vietnamese history, as well as a tranquil vibe.
“The palace has lots of constructions inspired by the historic architecture of Vietnam, from ancient houses with the designs simulating traditional houses of Northern Vietnam, and a collection of features such as towers, chess boards, lotus ponds, theatres, and galleries. It’s located in Soc Son, 35 kilometres from Fraser Suites Hanoi.”
Closer to the city centre, Fraser Suites executive housekeeper Ms Nguyen Thi Lan Huong says Tay Ho, or West Lake, is one of Hanoi’s most beautiful sites – and it’s also where Fraser Suites Hanoi is located.
“I live in the Tay Ho District,” she says, “and the lake is the reason I love this area so much. Its many historical and cultural relics reflect the development history of the capital city.
“West Lake is perhaps the most romantic corner of Hanoi. I love the atmosphere, which makes a calm change from the chaos of the Old Quarter. A pathway circles the lake, making for a great bicycle ride, and the streets in the West Lake area are full of restaurants, cafés, boutiques and luxury hotels.”
You don’t have to travel far from Fraser Suites Sydney – set in the heart of the CBD – to find a local favourite.
Daina Hanly, marketing and social media communications executive for the residences, says the Regent Place shopping area just a few minutes’ walk away is the ideal place to while away an afternoon.
“It is almost a hidden laneway into an abundance of shopping and restaurants,” she says. “It is my go-to for anything delicious, the options are endless, and it can become your haven during your trip to Fraser Suites Sydney: there’s a bar, five-star dining, authentic cuisine, essentials stores and so much more.”
Kim Read, assistant director of sales at Fraser Suites Sydney, agrees, and says Cedric’s in Regent Place is her personal highlight.
“It’s a stylish, newish venue serving French classics. The café offers a cool, simple design with stunning emerald tiles and slick timber finishes. There is always a great buzz, which reminds me of being in Europe. The coffee there is my absolute favourite go-to in Sydney, and their banana bread is the best I’ve ever had.”
For those keen to venture a little further, Fraser Suites Sydney operations manager William Raynor suggests a trip to local-favourite Sydney Park in the city’s trendy Inner West, about a 10-minute drive from the residences.
“I love the landscape and the extensive facilities,” he says. “There is a soccer field, a skate park, numerous walking and cycling paths, designated picnic spots, and even a number of small cafes located within the park. Plus, the centre of the park offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Sydney City skyline, as well as Botany Bay and the airport.
The park is actually right underneath a flight path, so plane enthusiasts often come here to sit back and enjoy the hundreds of flights daily passing by.”
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by Jakarta, the bustling, sprawling Indonesian capital.
Fortunately, there are experts on hand to guide you to the charming local secrets, and Milka Viona, public relations executive at Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta, has spoken to them, including Mr Tri, a bellboy at the residence.
“His favourite spot in Jakarta is the Muara Angke area,” Viona explains. “There are many traditional fishing boats in the harbour there, and old heritage buildings that still stand strong. His family also likes this spot because his children can learn about history, about the sea, about the fishermen’s daily life.” It takes about 45 minutes to drive there from Fraser Residence Menteng.”
Finally, Fraser Residence Menteng’s bartender Ms Intan, recommends visitors settle in with a drink at a place called Halfway Bar, about 30 minutes’ drive from Fraser Residence.
“The place is relaxing and serves a range of cocktails which suits Intan’s taste,” Viona says. “She likes the ambience, but she also likes to talk with the bartender about the cocktail ingredients to give her fresh ideas for the Relish Bistro cocktails menu.”
Visitors interested in Indonesian cuisine should call into Saung Mang Salim, a restaurant serving traditional Sundanese food from West Java that is one hour by car from the property.
“He likes it because it’s suitable for families, with a wide parking area, a children’s playground and live music also available,” says Viona. “This is a very suitable place to have quality time with your family, to be able to heal - refresh your mind and body - while breathing fresh air and enjoying delicious Sundanese cuisine.”