Granted, for years we have always labelled Singapore as merely another city in the Far East domain; but the rich brew of Malay, Chinese and Indo-British cultures, glaring skylines and rich culinary landscape compels you to ditch the conventional image and visit the new-school Singapore. Very few cities in the world capture indulgence, glamour, mystique and exotic promise in just one name.
More than the customary hood of shopping malls and Michelin starred restaurants, Singapore is now defined by its architectural marvels, historic museums and coffee houses in cultural shop houses. Amongst the high-end shopping, exquisite art and century-old traditions lay a selection of luxury hotels in the city.
Here is a carefully curated list of Singapore’s 5 hotels you should stay at.
5.The Fullerton Bay Hotel – Collyer Quay
Considering its Singapore, one isn’t surprised when you spot a hotel completely clad in glass! With oh-so-stunning views of the Marina Bay skyline, the six-storey Fullerton Bay Hotel is ideally located in Singapore’s bustling area of Marina Bay. Upcoming talent Andre Fu has stamped his signature style on the hotel. The hotel’s structure gleams with grandeur, opulence and historic heritage and one look inside and the high ceilings leave you awe-inspired. At dusk, head to Lantern, one of Singapore’s coolest rooftop bars, for mojitos and toothsome nibbles such as truffled fries while taking in panoramic views of the Marina Bay Promenade.
Raffles needs no introduction with its opulent interiors, personal butler service and superior clientele. The Singapore government declared the 103 suite heritage hotel as a national monument, though I’m not entirely amazed; at 126 years old, the structure still gleams with exuberance and colonial glory. Upon arrival, all guests are welcomed with a glass of Singapore Sling – the iconic pineapple juice cocktail that was developed by a Long Bar bartender 1915. Thereafter, your butler – one of the privileged few who have dutifully served the crème-de-la-crème of the world’s elite, such as Bill Clinton and the late Michael Jackson – will see to your every whim, including packing, unpacking, pressing and shoe shining.
At first glance, I can’t deny that St Regis’ metal and glass-clad facade may be mistaken for an office tower, but the fleet of posh Bentleys parked at the hotel’s entrance gives a glimpse of what to expect indoors at this luxury city hotel – lots of crystal chandeliers, a rich selection of Regency-style furniture and a very fine private art collection. Coming soon, Shinji by Kanesaka will open its second Singapore diner. For a slice of pre-dinner sophistication unwind over cocktails at the Astor Bar – try the tongue-searing Chili Padi Mary. 2. Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore – Raffles Avenue
The Ritz Carlton spoils you totally – with its proximity to Marina Bay, Pritzker prize-winning architect Kevin Roche signature style and an impressive 4,200-piece modern art collection. Despite the tall and over-scouring buildings in Marina bay, Ritz Carlton’s imposing 32-storey architecture, with distinctive octagonal bathroom windows, remains iconic. Indoors, the lavish Hirsch Bedner-designed grand lobby and the eye-catching artwork in public spaces by the likes of Andy Warhol and David Hockney are simply beautiful. It’s no surprise that the place is a magnet for the rich and the glamorous.
Singapore’s tourism centre of gravity has shifted firmly in the direction of Marina Bay. The biggest new kid on the block: the Marina Bay Sands. The Sands grew out of a US$5.7 billion investment by the Sands of Las Vegas and its Singaporean partners, one that transformed 37 acres of reclaimed land into an entertainment complex that combines a luxury hotel, convention and exhibition facilities, theatres, an upscale shopping mall and a number of restaurants by celebrity chefs.