Having skyrocketed to fame for its breathtaking architecture, economic prowess and melting pot of cultures, Singapore is one of the world’s most unique destinations. Located just off the southern tip of Malaysia, this vibrant city-state sets the stage with its dashing blend of cutting-edge skyscrapers and flourishing green spaces that are not only easy on the eye – but also position the “City in a Garden” as one of Asia’s cleanest and most sustainable hubs. Beyond its dazzling good looks, Singapore knows good living in the most refined manner possible. From the sparkling boutiques and high-end department stores on Orchard Road to its mind-blowing shopping centers, Singapore is a place to let your imaginations run wild. The social scene is equally cosmopolitan and glamorous, a result of the beautiful blend of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Arab and English cultures present on the island, with smart bars, an eclectic mix of restaurants and a handful of one-of-a-kind experiences at your fingertips.
Where to Stay
Named after Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, Raffles Hotel on Beach Road is widely regarded as one of the world’s top hotels and is certainly among the most talked about. It’s housed within a magnificent colonial building that’s fresh off a polished two-year facelift, but you can rest assured that the charm, service and heritage of the storied 130-year old hotel has been retained. This is apparent from the moment you step inside the grand lobby, which seemingly transports you back in time with its detailed colonial-era splendor. Raffles Hotel features 115 enchanting suites that range from contemporary city-inspired studios to the architecturally-stunning Presidential Suites equipped with several functional living spaces and and their own private verandah. One thing you can’t miss around here is the illustrious Singapore Sling cocktail, which was invented here and can be enjoyed at one of the sophisticated bars around the hotel.
Where to Dine
Most people think they’ve eaten well – until they come to Singapore. With its rich multicultural heritage, the island’s eclectic culinary scene perfectly caters to its diverse population of visitors and tourists. Within the historic home of an early 20th-century botanist (which is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Corner House delivers an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Acclaimed Singaporean chef Jason Tan has drawn international attention for his innovative menu that makes full use of the locals plants and herbs. Tan finds inspiration for his culinary creations throughout his personal travels, making this establishment a great place to experience the world with a contemporary Singaporean twist. Corner House offers popular business luncheon menu that includes Queensland Spanner Crab, wagyu beef cheek ‘Westholme’ and a delectable tiramisu.
What to Do
Head to the Dempsey Road enclave to sample the local cuisine, such as the mouth watering fish head curry at Samy’s Restaurant, or try street food from Lau Pa Sat Festival Market in Raffles Quay. The Yixing Xuan Teahouse is also worth visiting, if only to gain insight into a culture that so highly honours the ancient practice of drinking tea. The teahouse allows you to brew your own tea while eating delectable dim sum.
While many hotels in Singapore offer blissful spa packages, those seeking a more traditional approach to wellness tend to visit the Como Shambhala Spa, where some of the oldest spiritual and physical relaxation treatments are practiced as well as a huge programme of guided outdoor activities such a diving, hiking and climbing. There’s plenty of shopping to be done in Singapore too. Club 21 is the first stop for designer brands or the Marina Square mall is a renowned retail destination. If you’re searching for more unique souvenirs, the Chinese herbalist, Eu Yan San is wonderful to explore; crammed with tailor-made remedies such as dried sea horses, which are said to promote blood circulation and aid the health of kidneys.