When flying long distances to Australia or New Zealand from London via Singapore book a flight which has a long layover time between flights and book yourself into one of the three Transit hotels. Each terminus has one, no need to go through immigration or customs just get off the plane and check in to your quiet hotel room. Brilliant and cheaper than flying business class.
1-Altitude Gallery is the highest observation point in Singapore at 282 metres. Opened in 2010 at the rooftop of OUB Centre in the business district offers unparalleled, unobstructed 360-degree view of the city-state. All visitors are equipped with hi-tech iPod devices showing information about 19 points of interest visible from the rooftop. At the end everyone receives a souvenir photo taken with a stunning view of Marina Bay as a background. Highly recommended!
This is a blog about life in Singapore city written from the perspective of a German expat. It highlights all the best places to eat, go out, past times etc while highlighting the chaotic cultural influences which make Singapore a unique melting pot.
This sophisticated bar serves good cocktails for $20 in an amazing setting. An ornate ground floor lobby - this is an art deco masterpiece (or remaking of). Soft live music plus 15m high wine case equipt with floating barmaid to retrieve bottles. Great place to go before dinner.
Sparse but immaculate rooms with powerful aircon and amazing views. Friendly staff and fellow travellers. A truly stunning roof terrace. Walking distance from the Long Bar at Raffles without the high prices; right next to an art gallery too. Ace.
Sentosa Island is a popular island resort in Singapore which has entertainment, beaches and activities.
You can relax in hammocks on the beautiful, sandy, sheltered beach and also there is Sentosa cove which is a breathtaking tropical island setting which has entertainment and a famous musical fountain. Sentosa island offers cable-car rides across the island where you can take in the lush scenery.
Sentosa island has popular nightly entertainment set near the sea entitled Songs of the Sea.
Many people choose to get married on Sentosa island due to the beautiful tropical settings. It is also a great place for families to explore as there are many shows and activities in the island.
Google map: tinyurl.com/3ahjrp3
Dim Sum for lunch at Shang Palace is an institution. Having strayed to newer restaurants for a while, I decided to go back to Shang Palace. Why did I ever leave? The room is beautiful, acoustically friendly and the dim sum is amazing. The presentation makes a delicious feast outstanding. Clever little baskets, long white plates with triple compartments with delicacies lovingly arranged - every plate or steamer contains a work of art. Expensive? A little. But for a once in a while treat, you can't beat it. Be sure to get a card for the carpark if you have driven. Parking can be expensive here.
On a recent trip to Singapore I took a day trip to Malacca in Malaysia by coach. Malacca is a small historic town with plenty to see and it all fits into a day, albeit a long one, with a delicious buffet lunch at a central hotel, it is well worth the visit at a reasonable price. Don't forget to take your Passport!
From most Singapore Hotels or day trip Coach Companies
Singapore already has the best airport in the world - huge terminals, clean toilets, a rooftop pool and spa, free internet terminals and an efficient Skytrain to whisk you between terminals. Now it has a top class hotel right by T3. The Crowne Plaza is perfect for a quick stopover, though not cheap. I arrived at the airport late at night with a morning flight to London. Checked into the hotel, changed and packed, strolled into the terminal to check in (Singapore Airlines does 24hr check in - no queues), back to sleep then an unhurried morning exit straight through to departures.
The BAA and everyone involved in UK airports should visit Changi, learn some lessons then hang their heads in shame.
Their great food and wine - given two stars by Wine and Dine - plus friendly staff have already been recommended on this site but they have moved to an even more luxurious location - a beautiful shop house in the historic Kampong Glam district. Also they have a new chef, Patrick Tan and his menus are divine.
26 Kandahar Street (Kampong Glam) across from the Malay Heritage Village off Northbridge Road (they moved there from Waterloo street).
Located in a beautiful building in central Singapore, having undergone massive redevelopment several years ago, this museum is a real must for anyone visiting the city. The exhibitions here are truly world class, presented in an innovative and interesting way, and provide a real snapshot into the Singapore of past and present. Entrance fees are minimal, and the staff on hand are plentiful. A must for old and young visiting the city.
93 Stamford Road, Singapore, 178897
Singapore loves to do champagne brunch on a Sunday, and it has become something of an institution with most of the big hotels serving it. You get a buffet selection that includes seafood, sushi, cooked breakfast, roast dinner, dim sum, cheese and several deserts and the champagne is free-flowing. Set aside at least three hours and make sure you haven’t got anything to do for the rest of the day. I had a fabulous brunch at the Fullerton, which has wonderful views across the river. They serve from 12pm until 3.30pm with unlimited champagne until 3pm and a total cost of about £60 per person.
If you want to be in with the media and creative set then I suggest you book a room at the New Majestic in Chinatown – it is a bespoke hotel in which each room has been designed by local names from the theatre, cinema and fashion industries. There is wireless broadband internet access in all the rooms and there are huge free-standing bath tubs and plasma TV screens.
Singapore’s international gateway, Changi Airport, has been open for business for 26 years and, in that time, has collected 250 international aviation awards. And it’s easy to see why. There are only two major terminals; check-in is very close to where you enter; security is a stone’s throw from check-in; and the lounges are comfortable, full of friendly staff, and a short walk from security. All of this means you can (for once) afford to turn up late – if you’re flying First or Business, an hour and a half before the flight is more than sufficient. The airport has numerous shopping and eating outlets, so you can actually get yourself or your family something useful on departure, including top brand name products from Prada, Gucci, Bulgari and Hermes. In addition, Changi has six open-air gardens, numerous business centres, internet and games facilities, prayer rooms, showers, a gym and even a swimming pool (!). Plus, this is an airport which, unlike “Tokyo” Narita or “London” Stansted, happens to be in the city it purports to serve. You can reach it by high-speed train (only 27 minutes to the centre), buses, taxis, limos, airport shuttles and the standard car rental companies. Going by road is good - ask your hotel to book you a car in advance and you can experience the luscious greenery of the East Coast Parkway.
Until very recently, Singapore was your quintessential Asian city in accommodation terms. Everything had to be big, big, big: every fixture grand, every room opulent. The Raffles though was (and still probably is) the very best of that bunch; in fact, it’s the stuff of legends. Since opening in 1886, the last Singapore tiger was shot underneath the Bar and Billiards room (1902), the first Singapore sling was mixed at the Long Bar (1915), and, like Chateau Marmont in LA, a series of film stars have called it home. All the writers that you might associate with the waning years of the empire – Joseph Conrad, W Somerset Maugham, and Rudyard Kipling – have lived here. English colonels gathered here to sing “There Will Always Be an England” after Singapore surrendered to Japan in 1942. In short, Raffles embodies all that was glamorous about the Far East in colonial times. Nowadays, it’s still a glamorous bolthole. Its near-perfect Victorian imitation décor now looks a touch naff, but, with 2.5 staff per guest, you’ll be pampered like Gardner and Taylor were half a century ago. Its own Indian food is brilliant but so are the vendors outside the hotel – try the curries, noodles and satays safe in the knowledge that no food in Singapore makes you ill. And its rooms are perfect for relaxing in after a 13 hour flight. You can even stay in a Personality Suite, named after Conrad, Kipling, Chaplin, Wayne and others.
1 Beach Road Singapore 189673
Tel: +65 6337 1886
Fax: +65 6339 7650
Its exterior – an iconic colonial relic, designed in the style of such classical Greek structures as the Parthenon – may be exquisitely preserved, but there's nothing colonial within the walls of the present-day Fullerton. The interiors are clean, bold, and contemporary. Its infinity pool is bang up-to-date, its bathrooms stocked with custom-made Bulgari products, its restaurant delicious and its service impeccable (they even sent me a birthday card last year – remarkable). Choose one of its suites on the 5th floor for maximum luxury – having breakfast overlooking the harbour on a palatial terrace is one of Singapore’s great delights.
1 Fullerton Square Singapore 049178
Tel: (65) 6733 8388
Fax: (65) 6735 8388
With Singapore being Asia’s avant-garde country, the boutique phenomenon has just arrived. If you prefer cool over pool, choose The Scarlet or 1929. Both are located around Chinatown and represent the more confident, sexy vibe that Singapore has begun to embrace. The Scarlet is a complete contradiction of the city’s prim, proper, dull, boring reputation. Boudoir-like interiors are dominated by black, gold and (yes) scarlet; the restaurant, called Desire, serves dishes called Skinny Dipping, G-String and Cuckold; and there’s a private gym called Flaunt, a meeting room called Sanctum and an outdoor jacuzzi that helps make up for the lack of swimming.
33 Erskine Road Singapore 069333
Tel: +65 6511 3333
Fax: +65 6511 3303
If you think that going to dinner in a hotel is tantamount to some kind of defeat, swallow your pride, and go for it in Singapore. Morton’s in the Mandarin Oriental is a genuinely great hotel restaurant. It may be an American chain but, when every guide book tells you that it will be one of the finest dining experiences of your life, they’re not lying. Its atmosphere is vibrant, the beef extraordinary, the service flawless and the wine list award-winning. Steak fans are kept very happy, and the menu also features veal, chicken, seafood and fantastic sides: fresh green asparagus with hollandaise, creamed spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and several versions of the humble potato are all perfectly prepared and plentiful.
Dessert is a must, particularly one of the soufflés or the hot chocolate cake.
Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797 Tel: +65 6338 0066 Fax: +65 6339 9537
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