Carry On: YVR finds a rival in Singapore’s Changi Airport

From trains to planes, Asian transportation is rocking some futuristic trends

Navigating Tokyo’s Seibu-Shinjuku train and metro station could once be intimidating for non-Japanese speakers. Now it combines the best of face-to-face customer service with live-translation technology. Visitors speak into a mic at a staffed booth, and its screen-like front instantly renders their queries in Japanese characters, with staff answers auto-translated back into any of 12 languages.

Japan Airlines’ new A350-1000 long-haul aircraft have first-class suites that can be configured with either sofas or single or double beds, and the premium-cabin seats feature sound systems built right into the headrest. Premium economy has luxe electric-reclining seatbacks and footrests, and even economy has perks like Bluetooth connections for using personal wireless earpods with inflight entertainment.

Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) already ranks as one of the globe’s best, but its Terminal 2, fresh from more than three years of work by Paris-based Boiffils Architectures, represents new-gen airport design. Plant-walled landscapes, an indoor waterfall and blown-glass light fixtures bring the Pacific Rim outdoors inside.


Zero carbon building
Photo by Rick O’Brien

Zero-Carbon Luxury

One of the country’s most venerable and business-friendly hotels is the first zero-carbon building certified by the Canada Green Building Council. After a $65-million, five-year retrofit, Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York has reduced 80 percent of its annual carbon emissions (7,000 tonnes: that’s like taking more than 1,500 cars off the road), with expected utility savings of 35 percent in the first year alone.

Jet Setter

Lauren Sudeyko

Recovering a few years ago from a concussion, Lauren Sudeyko resolved to create truly comfortable sleepwear—right as pandemic-bound women everywhere started craving soft, cozy pieces for home. Rejecting unsustainable fabrics and cheap construction, Sudeyko created Vancouver-based Seray, featuring sizes from XXS to XXL. Though prices (in the $74 to $169 range) aren’t cheap, by Sudeyko’s own “girl math,” the quality adds up to as little as $0.50 a night. “When it comes to self-care and wellness, sleep is the first place to invest,” she says.

Made of temperature-regulating and opulent Tencel Modal (it’s twice as soft as cotton), Seray pieces are perfect for the unpredictable temperatures of airplanes and hotels, too. “The DNA of this fabric is structured to regulate the absorption and release of moisture, contributing to fabric breathability that supports the body’s natural temperature regulation,” Sudeyko says.

And because it’s February: what women really want for Valentine’s Day, says Sudeyko, is to “feel comfortable in their own skin in a set that inspires confidence.” Seray’s tanks, wide pants and soft shorts are just as comfy as the T-shirts and boxers that the company’s surveys showed women actually wear (as opposed to lacy lingerie, which tends to sit in the bottom of a drawer).