IMAGINE lounging beside a swimming pool, sipping on a glass of wine as the tantalising smell of barbecued meat and seafood floats by. In the distance, you can hear sounds of waves crashing on the beach.
Lest you think this is just your ordinary chalet barbecue, it's not.
Rather, this is the scene at Changi Village Hotel's new nightly poolside barbecue and buffet, where diners don't have to get hot and bothered grilling their own food.
And don't expect the usual sausages and chicken wings either. The menu includes sirloin steaks, tiger prawns and dory fillets cooked and served up by the hotel's chefs.
Poolside barbies are suddenly hot, with at least one offering it daily and others doing it on weekends or for special occasions.
Le Meridien Singapore says it intends to launch such barbecues next month, for guests and customers who request them.
Many of the hotels that already have these barbecues offer appetisers and desserts. There are those who also throw in a free flow of wine, beer and soft drinks throughout the buffet.
So what sparked off the trend? The eight hotels that have them, or plan to have them, said it was because of requests from guests or renovations done to their poolside areas.
Changi Village Hotel introduced its poolside barbecue in February this year, after it built a new poolside restaurant.
A hotel spokesman says: 'We wanted to recreate memories for Singaporeans who used to enjoy barbecuing at the tranquil Changi Beach area.'
Traders Hotel's newly refurbished poolside gazebos got the hotel thinking about offering barbecues for small groups ranging from two to six people.
The hotel's communications manager, Miss Wong Wai Ling, said: 'We renovated our gazebos this year, so we decided that it was a good time to develop a new concept.
'We wanted a venue that could cater for alfresco dining by the pool and having a barbecue was the most appropriate choice.'
Other hotels say they started the barbecues because customers asked for them.
The Oriental hotel, which usually organises poolside barbecues for private and corporate clients, will be holding one on National Day, so people can watch the National Day Parade fireworks from a vantage point.
The parade this year is held on a floating platform on Marina Bay, in front of the hotel.
Other hotels such as the Pan Pacific, which has weekly poolside barbecues, will have them on Aug 8 and 9 to celebrate Singapore's birthday.
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia is planning a one-off beer-and-barbecue event as part of its annual New World of Food and Wine Festival later this month.
Still, despite the popularity of these grill fests, some hotels don't plan to introduce them.
The Meritus Mandarin is one of them.
Miss Cindy Lim, the hotel's assistant marketing communications manager, said: 'We have no plans at present as we are unable to control the climate and the unpredictable weather here.'
But it will organise them for private and corporate functions.
The customers who go to these barbecues said they like the relaxed ambience, and the poolside location provides a holiday feel.
Marketing manager Angelyn Varkey, 28, who attended a South & Central American-inspired barbecue at The Regent last month, said: 'It wasn't a typical barbecue and as we were seated far away from the barbecue stations, the smell wasn't intrusive.
'The only downside was that it rained during the early part of the dinner. But it stopped later, and this allowed us to sit outside. Sitting inside would have been a totally different experience.'