Destination spotlight: Singapore

Singapore is a thriving cosmopolitan city, steeped in history and culture. It is a city of contrasts; effortlessly combining the old and the new. Whilst it is a great stop over for long-haul flights, Singapore has also garnered an impressive reputation as a premier travel destination in its own right.

Singapore is unlike any other city in the world, it is often described as a ‘melting pot’ of cultures providing a unique fusion of sightseeing and culinary opportunities. Situated on the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore's tropical climate attracts millions of visitors every year. It is fast attaining a reputation for its eco-credentials - delivered performantly by its ‘City in a Garden’ dream and has an ambitious target to cut carbon emissions intensity by 36 per cent by the year 2030.

Where to stay in Singapore

This bustling city is renowned for its opulent hotels and Raffles Hotel is a prime example of this. It is currently closed for renovation but will be opening later in 2019, where guests can enjoy the charming ambiance and legendary service that the hotel is famous for. Once the luxury playground of the literati with writing legends such as Rudyard Kipling and Ernest Hemingway staying here, this sumptuous hotel attracts visitors from all over the world and is in the heart of the financial district.

Art lovers will rejoice at the five-star Naumi Hotel, each of the hotel’s rooms are all uniquely themed and have been inspired by creative icons as Coco Chanel and Andy Warhol. The inclusion of yoga mats, Apple TV’s and Nespresso machines make this a real home away from home. There is also a great fine dining Indian restaurant too.

For awe-inspiring views across the China Sea, the 5-star W Sentosa Cove offers highly refined luxury accommodation for the discerning traveller who loves design and is looking for the wow factor. The rooms are totally Instagram worthy and you will find bold designs and lavish wall installations alongside feature leather headboards with metallic flower imprints and Bose speakers.

Have a chat with your Personal Travel Expert to find the best hotel in Singapore for you.

What to do in Singapore

The pretty Gardens by the Bay are an absolute must-see – they are a colourful futuristic-inspired park in the bay area of Singapore. There are beautiful sculptures nestled amongst the trees and giant treehouses where you will find exotic flora and fauna inside. Visitors can stroll across the suspended walkways between the two ‘trees’ and admire the breath-taking views of the waterfront.

Singapore’s great weather means that a trip to a rooftop bar can be enjoyed all year around. Oxwell & Co Rooftop Garden & Bar gives us total Alice in Wonderland vibes thanks to its whimsical and quirky design. There is an organic herb garden (of which the produce is used in the cocktails) fairy lights and a vintage London phone box. The gin-based drinks come in pretty tea cups and you can even order a G&T bathtub to share. Just don’t fall into that rabbit hole.

Thian Hock Kengn is Singapore’s oldest Buddhist temple and is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and sculptures of phoenixes and dragons as well as the magnificent architecture of the temple which was built in the 1800’s.

Where to eat in Singapore

With over 20,000 restaurants and its rich multicultural heritage, Singapore is an ideal place for foodies and is often considered to be the food capital of Asia. You can see cuisine from China, Indonesia and Malaysia as well as influences from Vietnam, Mongolia and Japan.

Shinji by Kanesaka pays homage to the core of Japanese culture and art as defined by ‘kata’ and ‘do’.  If you love Japanese food, a visit to Shinji is a must and here you will find the most delicious and authentic sashimi.

Burnt Ends has garnered an impressive reputation and despite the hype and the long waiting list, it is worth making a reservation. It is so much more than just a barbeque restaurant. The menu is refined and well-rounded and features dishes like Norwegian king crab and Wagyu onglet, but the menu does change daily,

For Mediterranean cuisine pay a visit to Lolla which serves up seasonal fare in the heart of the Ann Siang Road. Sit at the dining bar and watch the chefs prepare your dinner. Lolla’s legendary Sea Urchin Pudding is a tasty highlight of the menu as is the pan-seared brill.

Where to shop in Singapore

From quirky boutiques and vintage stores to department stores and luxury labels, you will find it all in Singapore.

The Bras Basah Bugis precinct is known as the arts and heritage area of Singapore, here you will find indie one-offs, rare books and collectables scattered around the neighbourhood. Nearby Hajo Lane is a colourful hipsters paradise full of extraordinary items.

Tailoring is easy in Singapore and visitors can pick up a bespoke tailored suit that will have you channelling your very own Don Draper. The Bespoke Club tailors’ suits and shirts for both men and women and patrons can choose from an impressive selection of over 5000 fabrics.

You can’t come to Singapore without visiting the Orchard Road, this bustling boulevard is home to every shop, café and entertainment spot imaginable. ION Orchard is a shopper’s paradise and you can find high street brands like Zara nestled against designer labels such as Prada.

Singapore like a local

Take a step back in time and pay a visit to Changi Village, a lovely little area close to the beach. You can enjoy the local street food, meander across the Changi Point Boardwalk or take a boat over to the nearby islands of Pulau Ubin.

If seafood is your thing, then why not pay a visit to Smith Marine where you can catch your own fish and have your catch cooked on the sport in any way that you would like. You can then relax and enjoy the beautiful sunset over the water.

The effortlessly cool The Other Room draws inspiration from the Prohibition Period and was named in the World’s Top 50 bars. Its located in the hip Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel on the Orchard Road.

Feeling active? Why not hire a bike and take cycle ride at night around East Coast Park? This delightful area is where the locals come to eat, walk, cycle, swim as well as participating in other water sports.

Are you ready to explore ready to discover Singapore? Get in touch with your Personal Travel Expert today.

Geoff Williamson
Talk toGeoff Williamson
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