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Singapore’s iconic Ku De Ta undergoes big makeover

Ku De Ta – the swanky bar perched on the boat-shaped rooftop of Singapore's iconic casino resort Marina Bay Sands – is undergoing an extreme makeover, including a name change.

Now called Ce La Vi, the nightspot will go through a major refurbishment this summer as its owner L Capital Asia, the private-equity fund backed by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, looks to enhance the customer experience and cement its position as a leading "adult playground."

The name is a play on the French phrase, 'c'est la vie' which means 'this is life'.

L Capital Asia, which bought a majority stake in the bar last year, has been involved in the ongoing litigation over the name Ku De Ta, already being used by a popular beachfront bar in Bali.

Ce La Vi restaurant, overlooking the Singapore skyline.
Ce La Vi restaurant, overlooking the Singapore skyline.

In December, the Singapore Court of Appeal ruled that the "Ku De Ta" trademarks registered in Singapore should be transferred to the Bali partnership, according to the Straits Times. These marks had been registered by a company set up by an Australian businessman Arthur Chondros, one of the partners of Ku De Ta Bali.

L Capital Asia will launch other nightspots under the brand Ce La Vi as it looks to grow its presence in the high-end dining and entertainment scene in the region.

So far, the firm has secured a space on the top three floors of Hong Kong's California Tower, located in the city's main dining and entertainment district - Lan Kwai Fong. The venue will be open for business in July.

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The company has plans to launch the brand in other key urban centers around the world, with expansion into Dubai and Taipei already under way.

"As the company builds this global dining and entertainment brand, we are on the lookout for sites in cosmopolitan capitals further afield, from Europe to the USA and wherever opportunities arise," Ravi Thakran, managing partner at L Capital Asia, said in a statement.

"We will only select locations that are the most coveted spot in the city, nothing less than a commanding presence with breathtaking panoramic views in the world's lifestyle capitals," he said.