ClassPass update: Why I won’t be on ClassPass anytime soon

I’ve had a chance to play around with ClassPass but these are the reasons why I will not be on ClassPass anytime soon.

1. Cancellation notice

As compared to GuavaPass’ cancellation notice of typically 2-4 hours and a late cancellation fee of $5, ClassPass 12-hour late cancellation and a late cancellation fee of $20 hits a sour note for me.

Personally, I work in a fast-paced and team-work based job which makes it hard for me to predict my schedule at times.

2. Fastest fingers first game

With a limited number of slots for classes at the studios, it is a ‘fastest fingers first’ and has resulted in a ‘camping’ syndrome for its members. I have a couple of friends who will just keep refreshing the studio page at a certain timing (when the classes are being released) so that they’d be able to book the class they want.

3. Uniquely Singaporean behaviour

The reason why I like GuavaPass better is that the platform is built in Asia first. Its founding team includes an Asian co-founder and one of the co-founders rightly pointed out that you cannot plug and play US technology in Asia and I cannot agree more.

On the other hand, ClassPass feels like a US app that tries to implement a tried and tested model in US to Singapore.

Why do I say that?

ClassPass’ system without certain safeguards in place has resulted in what I call ‘Uniquely Singaporean’ behaviour. Some of them include booking numerous classes since there is no maximum number of reservations you can hold (and dropping them last minute before you incur a cancellation charge), groups created to swap popular classes and even, peddling class credits (how do you even do this baffles me).

No offence to those who want to maximise their class credits – I’m merely pointing out that this is not something I want nor would do.

ClassPass is still in its early stages though, perhaps, with a few more months of operations, I’m sure its model will tweak. Until then, I’ll be a keen bystander waiting to see its improvements.

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Fitness Subscriptions/Pass: GuavaPass, KFit and ClassPass Review 2018

This is a revised post for 2018. Updated post to include ClassPass.

Useful reads:

There were multiple cases in the past couple of years on gyms and spas closing leaving members who had paid upfront fees in a ditch. I feel a little insecure when committing to large sums of money paid upfront. As my parents would say, “钱不容易赚”, which translates to, “it is not easy to earn money.”

Hence, I’ve been an advocate for fitness subscriptions like Guavapass and Kfit for the past couple of years. They offer the flexibility of month-on-month payments and extremely wide range of classes from member studios. Think of it as a “trial” to your favourite classes.

What is a fitness subscription?

  • Basically, it is a fitness membership on an app with a concept very similar to The Entertainer App. You pay an X amount of money per month to access classes by its member studios
  • There are three dominant players in Singapore: GuavaPass, KFit and ClassPass.
  • In 2018, Guavapass introduced class-pack subscription
  • In Aug 2018, ClassPass launched in Singapore. As compared to its peer, ClassPass uses a more sophisticated class booking system. Read my ClassPass low down.

What are their differences?

Passes GuavaPass KFit ClassPass
Monthly $179/mth for 3mth or $169/mth for 6 mth $129/mth $100 for 200 credits or $50 for 50 credits
Class Packs
  • $359 for 20 classes (6-mth validity)
  • $199 for 10 classes (2 classes per studio, 3-mth validity)
  • $99/mth for 4 classes (1 class per studio, 1-mth validity)
Additional credits available for top up and/or purchase.
Class limit Unlimited for monthly passes 10 classes Tied to class credits
Max classes per studio 3 usually 1-5 Unlimited but credits required will increase after 3 visits
Max active reservations 4 4 4 with trial, Unlimited for paid plans
Class cancellation 4 – 8 hours ahead Depends on studio 12 hours ahead
Late class cancellation fee $5 $15 $15
No show fee $8 $15 $20
Pause fee $5 immediately upon pause, then $5 every 3 months No pause feature, cancel subscription and re-subscribe later Pause at $0 is only valid if more than one month, choose a lower $20 credit package to keep membership active
Subscription cancellation Monthly subscriptions only, email to cancel, early cancellation fee of $179 applies Email 7 working days before next bill Email 48 hours ahead, there is a $79 if you cancel and re-activate membership
Customer support Email, Live chat Email, Live chat, in-app chat Email
Overseas access Yes (Less than 50% of bookings) No Yes (No limits)
Unique studios / or with more visits than other Passes STILL
Ascend Yoga Therapy
Aqua Spin
Move to Live
The Rock School
Actualize Crossfit
WeBarre
Anthem
GroundZero
Promo Code Receive $20-$60 off first class package: GuavaPass class package promo code
OR $50 off first month’s bill for monthly plans, use coupon code: meowsyy
* Receive $5 off first month: JVBGZ or KFit referral link One week of 50 credits OR receive $40 off first bill: ClassPass referral
What’s unique?
  • Includes sports such as mini-golf
Uses dynamic pricing for classes

* In case the referral link for KFit does not work, simply key in the promo code. There have been technical issues with regards to the referral link.

Referrals and promotions

Just like any subscription that survives on sales, referrals are important.

GuavaPass: Only first-time members are eligible for any promotions.

Receive $20-$60 off first class-pack purchase below.
GuavaPass referral linkhttps://goo.gl/Zo3tpd
GuavaPass promo code: WvrXtCrUgw3NhMW

Receive $50 off first-month only for monthly plans
GuavaPass promo code: meowsyy

KFit: Every new member gets $5 off first purchase. Please key in the promo code if the referral link does not work, there have been technical issues before but keying in the promo code will work.

KFit promo code / referral linkJVBGZ

ClassPass: The launch promotion is a sweet 1-week’s worth of 50 credits free. Alternatively, receive $40 off first bill

ClassPass referral link: http://class.ps/jS-0o 

P.S. Drop me a note at hello (at) meowsyy.c0m if you’ll like to find out more about the exact discount as referrals tend to change very frequently.

Continue reading “Fitness Subscriptions/Pass: GuavaPass, KFit and ClassPass Review 2018”

ClassPass: Launched in Singapore in Aug 2018

It’s finally here! When I heard of ClassPass launching here, I was quite excited. You know I’ve been using GuavaPass for close to three years now and the base model of GuavaPass is the ClassPass business model.

If you’re not familiar with fitness subscriptions, I’d suggest heading over to my review post here to find out more first. ClassPass also bills as the ‘Netflix’ of fitness subscriptions – take your pick of classes from its member studios.

Image source: classpass.com

However, before you get excited about ClassPass, these are some important pages you should be familiar with:

Continue reading “ClassPass: Launched in Singapore in Aug 2018”

Ubud: D’Cliff House – Homestay

The first time I did a DIY Yoga Retreat was back in 2014 when I for some much-needed self-care. I did classes mostly at the Yoga Barn and was amazed and taken aback by Les Levanthal’s classes.

This time, instead, I was feeling a little more adventurous and did classes at Radiantly Alive so I was looking for a homestay nearer to the studio.

I asked around and received a recommendation for D’Cliff’s House. It’s a homestay further up Jalan Dewisita, where the bustle goes on in Ubud.

The guest facilities are a 4-room building at the back of the homestay. I stayed on the higher room with a balcony – it wasn’t very much more expensive than the lower rooms.

I stayed in the room on the right

Continue reading “Ubud: D’Cliff House – Homestay”

Karneval at Brotzeit

This is an invited media tasting, opinions are mine. Photos by the talented Roger of Camistry Lab.

The pre-Lent observance period, Karneval, is often unofficially known as the fifth season in Germany. A traditional festival, Karneval, as its name sounds, is a festive carnival parade celebrated the true German way – food, beer and lots of merry.

Since I am a plane ride away from Karneval in Germany, the next best thing is to try the Karneval menu in Brotzeit. This exclusive menu is available only from 16 January to 25 February 2018 at Brotzeit outlets in Singapore.

If you have meat-loving and beer-chugging friends, this is a great menu to try out with groups of friends, best to go in more than threes.

As Group Chef Wolfgang Ranner introduced the food to us, he emphasized that Karneval is a season of making merry and sharing food with friends and loved ones.

In that same spirit of sharing with friends, Brotzeit will be introducing a food challenge, ‘We Dare You! Brotzeit Challenge’  If a pair of friends finishes the half-metre Brotzeit’s Deutsche Halbmeter Wurst (SGD29) within four minutes, the sausage is on the house.

Half-metre German Sausage, $29

This sausage is about the length of an adult’s forearm.

Half of the baguette is served with sauerkraut and other with potato salad. Personally, I liked the sauerkraut as it whets your appetite although Roger preferred the potato salad for its balanced taste.

Even if you’re not attempting the challenge, the Halbmeter Wurst is a good dish to share with friends, especially if you’re the type who can’t do without carbs.

Along the theme of sharing, the Duo of Chicken (SGD40) is a combo of half an oven-roasted and half a golden fried chicken with fries and potato salad served on the side.

You know how you can never agree with friends which to order – the fried chicken or the roasted one? This dish will solve the problem and save your friendship.

Duo of Chicken, $40

The oven-roasted chicken was the clear winner for me. The meat was tender and juicy with flavour permeating the entire chicken.

The crispy chicken is best eaten immediately. It had a thicker breading batter, hence, eat quick or risk the batter becoming soggy.

Full platter of 12 tapas at $45

The last dish that I tried was the platter of German tapas which is a combination of old-time favourites and new dishes. The twelve items available are Bierbeisser, super food salad, spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, golden fried chicken, cheese spätzle, meatballs, seabass filet, fried mushrooms, mini Kaiser rolls with meatloaf, chicken schnitzel and meat patties.

Chef Wolfgang mentioned that his favourite was the meatloaf – a dish that brings him fond memories of the cold winters in Germany. He mentioned that customers often come back to taste this item.

Sadly, I cannot give a comprehensive review of the platter as I did not manage to taste every item.

The good thing is you can pick and mix your favourite tapas, at the following prices:

  • Three for SGD15
  • Six for SGD28
  • 12 for SGD45

If I have to make up a platter of six, I would go for Bierbeisser, super food salad, spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, cheese spätzle, meatballs.

My favourite items were:

  • Cheese Spatzle: a lighter version of Mac & Cheese which does not leave you feeling full. Each bite is coated with sauce, very shiok!
  • Meatballs: Comes with a buttery mash (which is hard to find) and well-marinated meat, very flavourful! When you have a bit of the meatball and mash together, the combination of textures go well together.
  • Superfood salad: Is a nice break from all the meat

Suggested menu for groups of four

Go for the half-metre sausage dog and platter of six or 12 tapas depending on how hungry you are!

Wash down the meal with Gaffel Kolsch beer (one bottle at $10, a bucket of five at $48 and 5-litre party keg at $98) which is available only during the Karneval menu.

If you’re more of a coffee person, the Berliner (texture is like a doughnut stuffed with chocolate) is served free with coffee.

I’m sold, where do I go?

Brotzeit is easily accessible in all corners of Singapore with 5 outlets in 313 Somerset, Vivocity, Katong, Raffles City and Westgate.

For more details, please visit Brotzeit’s website or follow them on Brotzeit Facebook Page or Instagram.

As the Germans say it, Prost (Cheers)!

A recap of 2017

It’s been a while since I did one of these so here’s the low down on what have been the top moments in 2017 for me.

2017 marked a year of growth for me. I was pushed to deal with more personalities (than I would have liked), discomfort and make bigger ‘adult’ decisions.

1. Finding my foothold (almost)

The Ann Siang Hill gang

One of my earliest highlights must have been finding a foothold in my career. It was a long six-month journey of finding the right fit amidst family health and caregiving issues. I found myself fitting into a new team at work.

It was also a stepping stone for me as I gained learning lessons in managing personalities, crisis communications real-time and get back to the grind of agency life.

That was where I gained some of my (now) closest friends.

I say almost, because later that year, I received an unexpected phone call to do something I’ve always wanted to try. It wasn’t the best timing but it was an opportunity I could not let go.

2. Yet another year older

I liken my birthday to another gathering for my old dance friends. We have a get-together, catch up with our past (year) happenings and sing me a birthday song!

3. Managed my first big-scale event

If you have read about it online, there was a torrential downpour on the first day. Throw in the crowds and the squeeze, you get a lot of FOMO complaints online.

Continue reading “A recap of 2017”

Osaka: Home Hostel

Can’t fit in the whole building here but Home Hostel truly stood out amongst the gaudy loud buildings in Sinsekai.

The reason why I picked this spot instead of the more popular areas like Namba is because Home Hostel is a skip away from Spa World, Don Quixote (for snacks to bring home) and has a train station with direct train to Kansai International Airport.

Sinsekai is the “New World” town of Osaka. On first look, the vibe is gaudy, almost like Gayworld in Singapore. The area is filled with Kushikatsu restaurants (fried skewers) that arose due to the huge Pachinko (arcade and slot machine centres) and Spa World (onsen theme park).  The buildings are adorned with huge lanterns, vibrant colours and gaming machines.

Due to its nature of the activity – the crowds veer towards the middle-aged men but there really isn’t anything to worry about!

Enter the building and you spy beautiful wall murals all around. The left is the wall of shoe lockers. One of their staff members is an artist.

This is a family-run hostel which explains their cosy vibes. The owner often brings his child to the hostel.

Continue reading “Osaka: Home Hostel”

Kyoto Food: Ichiba Coji

When I visited USA back in 2012, I was awed by the ‘sampler’ platters that eateries have. I loved the concept of being able to try a little bit of everything even when you’re a solo diner.

This is exactly why I like Ichiba Coji. You probably wouldn’t wander in if you’re not in the know.

Woody furnishing all around when you step into the restaurant located on the basement floor.

The serve an ‘Obanzai’ plate which is a platter of many cold dishes that accompany the main. Something quite similar to Korean’s ‘banchan’ dishes.

I loved this restaurant because of the wide variety of small dishes (which you do not need to share, and also, you still can get even if you’re a solo diner).

Name Ichiba Coji
Address  Japan, 〒604-8045 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Enpukujimaechō, 京都府京都市中京区寺町通錦小路上る円福寺前町283
Opening hours Monday – Friday 11: 30 ~ 15: 00 (Lunch)
Monday – Friday 17: 00 ~ 23: 00 (Dinner)
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11: 30 ~ 23: 00
How to get there 3 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line
Keihan Electric Railway Main Line Gion Shijo Station 10 minutes on foot
Google Map Ichiba Coji (Restaurant next to it but accurate location!)

Kyoto: Piece Hostel Sanjo

I love staying in hostels in Japan because of the great price point and also, because of how the country is set up, there is a convenience store in every corner you turn.

Some of the hostels are so up-scale that they feel like boutique hotels.

I took a risk this year to stay in Piece Hostel Sanjo instead of my usual Khaosan Kyoto Theater.

The hostel is decorated in a beautiful industrial theme.

Continue reading “Kyoto: Piece Hostel Sanjo”