SHE'S played Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu's girlfriend onscreen, and now as co-host of reality TV show The Contender Asia, Chinese-Australian actress Jaymee Ong gets to hang out with 16 well-built Muay Thai fighters.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Ong, 28, has been visiting Singapore since she was a baby as her father is Singaporean. She moved here three years ago. She started modelling at 15 after being spotted by a photographer at a hair salon.
She has also acted in movies like Gen X Cops, where she worked with Wu, as well as having a cameo role as a dental assistant in Pearl Harbor, and in hit TV series Las Vegas and Entourage.
Ong, who is single, says she travels about 30 times a year for work and leisure. She has a younger sister, Lindsay, 23, who is also working on The Contender Asia set, as a field producer.
Which are the best three hotels you've stayed in?
This is a hard one. The Sila Evason Hideaway in Koh Samui was amazing because of its beautiful private villas which come with a pool as well as its great service.
The hotel also pays special attention to the environment and is eco-friendly. It employs good practices like saving water and recycling waste, and also contributes to the community. A night's stay costs about US$530 (S$797).
The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California, has the most amazing ocean and mountain views. The seaside resort is on a surfing beach and I had a fantastic weekend getaway there. It costs US$395 and above, a night.
The Shinta Mani in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is a colonial-style hotel and great because of how much it gives back to the community. The resort trains impoverished people and then employs them to work in the hotel. Part of the hotel's profits are channelled back to provide medical aid, housing and fresh water for the villages.
You can also visit neighbouring villages and donate items such as school supplies. It costs US$145 per night to stay there.
Which was the worst hotel?
It wasn't a hotel but a trailer park. When I was 18, a girlfriend and I drove from Brisbane to Sydney to see Jackie Chan, and we stopped off for the night at some ghost town along the way.
We got to the trailer park at around 11pm and some toothless guy was the receptionist there. It was creepy, like something out of the Twilight Zone.
But it was very cheap and, looking back, pretty funny. We were two teenage girls having fun.
What hotel facility can't you do without, and why?
I really like to have good gym facilities when I travel so I can keep up with my Muay Thai workouts. I have been practising it for the past 21/2 months ever since I became a co-host on The Contender Asia. I've also done yoga for the last 10 years. I work out about five to six days a week.
If I'm on a holiday, or back home in Australia, then I'd like a hotel with a spa.
Ever had any scary encounters in a hotel?
I was staying in a run-down hotel in Mexico City in 2003 that wasn't very occupied. There were no other guests on my floor and I was right at the end of the hallway. Nothing terrible happened but it had a spooky vibe and I slept with the lights and TV on that night.
There was also another incident in a hotel in Langkawi this year. I had a drink in the lounge and the waiter there seemed very nice. But later, when I was back in my room, he called and asked if he could come up to my room and visit me.
I figured he was harmless and just wanted to take me out, but I politely declined and double-checked that my door was locked, just in case.
What's the best hotel restaurant you've ever eaten in?
I absolutely adore Sunday brunch at The Bar and Billiard Room at Raffles Hotel. The food is fabulous and there is free flow of Tattinger champagne. I frequent it about every six to eight weeks.
Sidebar in the Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills Hotel - where the 1990 hit movie Pretty Woman was filmed - has very good martinis.
Do you have any strange habits when staying in a hotel?
I have a thing about wanting to stay in a room near a lift. It's a Chinese thing about spirits not loitering near noisy places like the lift area, but near quieter areas like the end of the corridor.
Be honest now, do you ever cart home hotel freebies?
I really don't. I used to, but found that they always end up unopened and collecting dust in the bathroom.