With its pristine streets and slick supermalls, it may be easy to write Singapore off as lacking soul. However, upon closer inspection, you will find that this city-state packs incredible heat (I’m not just talking about the weather) and a diffusion of global culture that lights up every corner.
Shangri-La offers just the right amount of luxury with three wings to choose from. Although the modern luxuries that complete the Tower Wing were tempting, and the Garden Wing’s bougainvillaea-laden balconies beckoned, we decided to go all out for a suite in the Valley Wing. Checking In to our opulent room, I was blown away by every detail – from personalized stationery in the desk (it’s true!) and L’Occitane products (my favourite) in the bath, to the complimentary canapés and unlimited champers in the lavish lobby lounge. If only I could roll like this on every trip.
The Quincy is a well-priced boutique hotel that appeals to business and leisure travelers alike.
I also recommend checking out your accommodation options at Wotif.com.
EAT + DRINK
Central Singapore is defined by its neighbourhoods and we had just enough time to explore Little India, Dempsey Hill and Holland Village. The latter has some of the best pizza east of Italy!
For a food court that’s full-on, head to Food Republic at the Wisma Atria Shopping Centre on Orchard Road. It is a 900-seater that’s a popular place to try an amazing array of seafood and other Malaysian fare. Holland Village’s Da Paolo Pizza Bar fires up mouth-watering pies for veggies (try Pizza Ortolana) and meat-lovers (order Pizza Diavola) to share.
Sitting at our table at Delhi in Little India allowed us to watch the lively scene go by while indulging in authentic North Indian fare. For a decidedly more upscale evening out, we booked a table under the canopy of trees at Tippling Club in Dempsey Hill. Two mates from Melbourne opened this gorgeous spot in 2008 and continue to wow crowds with creative cocktails, like the Old Cuban, and inventive tasting menus.
The Lion City is not without these large cats, and fortunately they can only be found at Singapore’s sensational Zoo. Touring Wild Africa, the Australian Outback and countless gardens and forests, it’s no wonder this is one of the world’s most lauded zoos since all animals – from the elephants of Asia, to polar bears of the Arctic - enjoy a very open environment. On a hot day, hop on the Zoo’s Night Safari.
The Shangri-La's signature CHI Spa is expected to open very soon and it will no doubt be an elegant escape from the city.
In the meantime, Sentosa Island boasts a million ways to spend a day, but its tranquil Tanjong beach is the ideal retreat. With lush islets, white sand and rustic huts, one only needs to bring a good book and settle for an afternoon of serenity.
Shifting gears for a stroll down Orchard Road is a thrilling experience for any die-hard shopper. 12 malls. 5000 stores. Everything is on offer in high definition, making the strip even more impressive when the sun goes down.
TRIP ON THIS For a multicultural experience that foodies won’t soon forget, my seal of approval goes to The Line at the Shangri-La hotel. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, American, East Indian… over 16 stations offer to put the world on a plate. I swear I’ve never had a better dumpling! With absolutely everything to please any palate, this revolutionary resto provides the perfect start, or end to the day.