A name synonymous with travel, TV host Anita Kapoor is the envy of us hoi polloi. Jet setting to exotic new locations, sampling exciting gastronomic innovations and meeting inspirational figures is all but a day in the life for this swinging globetrotter. Anita recently travelled across Asia to film Season 2 of Luxe Asia, treading the unexplored depths of the region in search of new definitions of the luxury experience. And that’s not all. She’s also gotten a local’s perspective of the land of the rising sun with an upcoming travel feature on Shimane, Japan. True to her exuberant and magnetic personality, she manages to get us excited about her new series in record time. Here, she recalls some of the best stories from her travels and gives us a little sneak preview of what to expect in the upcoming season of Luxe Asia. Or you can watch it for yourself – it airs this Saturday, 7th November on Channel NewsAsia!
You’re a writer and popular TV host who’s travelled to more places than most will accomplish in a lifetime. Tell us how you got started?
By accident. I entered a travel host contest on a whim and won. A few years later I started doing proper shows and it went from there. It was the best thing I did for myself – I took what came naturally to me and made a career out of it.
Where has your work taken you that you never once dreamed of visiting?
I never thought I’d find myself in countries like Vanuatu. These were travel dreams and I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to make them come true.
Tell us about your best off-track experience or most memorable travel moment?
I have some wonderful planned-for experiences, which form each of the episodes I’m filming at any one time, but I also really cherish the unexpected moments. On the Japan shoot, we were doing a segment in a gorgeous old seaside town at a stall specialising in octopus. The owners’ mum suddenly came out mid filming, we kept the cameras rolling, and she became part of the story on the spot. She then invited me to come have tea with her. So when we wrapped I did. And it turned out to be such a gorgeous interaction between us all. Together with her friend, they made us green tea the traditional way, and we sat together like old friends. These are the moments I never forget.
How would you describe your personal style?
Unfussy sexy. Clean androgyny-with a touch of the feminine.
Any favourite shopping spots in Singapore or Asia?
I’m crushing on what’s happening at Scotts Square! An entire shoe floor! And I’m in love with turban brand Gracinha Viterbo. And how about the collection of Singapore labels all setting up shop at Capitol Piazza? I love a look through Kapok as well at the Singapore Design Centre.
Outside of Singapore I ADORE shopping in India, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Bali.
Who are your favourite emerging fashion brands from Asia?
So hard to pick, honestly. I like brands that offer a woman or man a truly unique aesthetic that is also wearable, attractive and functional. And I love well-curated multi label stores that work hard to pick designers and brands that really have something to say.
Your show – Luxe Asia – throws a spotlight on some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts. Which were the most impressive?
The Aqua Mekong – a small luxury cruise vessel that plies the Mekong River in Cambodia. Chic, understated and the opposite of all the cheesy, stereotypical river cruises generally on offer.
The Intercontinental Hotel Hong Kong presidential suite – stunning space and mind-blowing view of Hong Kong harbour as your day to night entertainment.
Where did you enjoy an unforgettable dining experience this season?
We filmed in Kaba Kaba Estate, a stunning villa that’s on Luxe Nomad’s hot list. The food at Kaba Kaba is extraordinary – simple, flavour-filled, authentic Indonesia food, made with much talent and love.
I really enjoyed meeting a chef at the MGM Grand in Macau, who’s developed his very own chocolate blend (it is so so delicious) and uses this to create the hotel’s house confectionaries.
Drinking a beautiful sparkling wine from Bali’s Hatten Wines, overlooking a beach, while interviewing the label’s founder, and getting slowly tipsy in front of the camera.
What are some of the top travel tips you’ve picked up in the course of hosting Luxe Asia?
Luxury is diverse, layered, and not two-dimensional. People want much more than just posh places to stay and overpriced nosh. Those days are over. And they’re using sites and services that are able to cater 360 to both accommodation and experiences.
You have always been one to embrace social media in your life. What would be your top tips for managing social media around a busy life?
Don’t sweat the hashtag. Instagram especially, is changing, maturing a little and shows diversity in audience. So the ‘pie’ is no longer just one flavour.
If you enjoy social media and have something to ‘say’ – it’s never a chore, and always an interesting instant interaction.
What motivates you?
Grace. Humour. Kindness. Soft intelligence. Effort.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
Find quiet moments. Be with my family. Discover new eateries. And cuddle my bed a whole lot.
What is one thing you can’t leave home without?
When I’m travelling: chargers
When I’m in Singapore: charging packs!
What are you currently working on and what are you looking forward to?
Luxe Asia season 2 begins airing this Saturday, 7th November at 930pm. I’m very proud of the show. We dug much deeper to find great stories about how Asia is doing luxury, taking it forward and reinventing it.
I’ve also just wrapped a travel show featuring the gorgeous Shimane area in Japan for a Japanese TV station. The show is co-hosted with news presenter Lisa Wakabayashi and will air in Japan and the Philippines very soon!