Mixing pleasure with business in mixed-up Singapore

Singapore Chinatown
I have never been to Singapore but I am visiting for work at the end of the summer and have decided to take a couple of days off afterwards to enjoy the city. Can you recommend some things I should see and do during my time off and where I should stay?

I have never been to Singapore but I am visiting for work at the end of the summer and have decided to take a couple of days off afterwards to enjoy the city. Can you recommend some things I should see and do during my time off and where I should stay?

First impressions are important and as soon as you land in Singapore’s Changi Airport you will understand why Singapore is unlike any other Asian city. Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city with a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and a tropical climate with tasty food, good shopping and a vibrant night-life scene, Singapore is a great place to explore after a hectic work schedule.

The Singapore Flyer, located on Marina Bay, is the perfect place to begin your trip and get your bearings. Taking a trip up in the oversized observation wheel, the tallest in the world standing at 165m, will give you a specular panoramic view of the city and a glimpse of neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia.

Changi Museum is a must for anyone visiting Singapore. The museum is dedicated to the time surrounding the Second World War and the prisoners of war who were held in Changi during the Japanese occupation at this time. Although the museum has been relocated from its original site, it has been rebuilt close by and is true to the original. The Singapore Memorial which commemorates the lives lost throughout World War II is also an extremely worthwhile stop.

The Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ orchid is the official flower of Singapore and a trip to the Singapore Botanic Gardens will show you why. This tropical garden spans over almost 15 acres and engulfs you in its beauty. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for an afternoon and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the garden.

Hop-on, hop-off bus tours are a great way to see any city but are particularly useful in an expansive city such as Singapore. If you are feeling adventurous, there is a Singapore night safari which will transport you in an open tram through varied terrain that’s home to more than 1,000 animals.

Singapore is well known for its extravagant shopping and Orchard Road is where you will find designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier. Off the beaten track you will find beautiful boutique stores offering fantastic value on everything from clothing to electronic goods.

Food is a natural obsession in Singapore and it’s easy to see why with its multicultural heritage and variety of colourful cuisines and superb dining choices. If you haven’t blown the budget in the shops, the city’s restaurants are some of the most stylish in the region. Cheap eats are easy to come by in Singapore and some of the best food in the city can be found by wandering through its markets. Chinatown is a brilliantly vibrant place at night and offers some of the best and most affordable food in the city. For an after dinner drink, the famous Raffles Hotel on Beach Road is a great place to sample a Singapore Sling, the cocktail native to the hotel.

Singapore is typically hot and humid all year round with temperatures averaging around 25-31 degrees Celsius. Rain storms can occur throughout the day so investing in an umbrella on arrival may be wise!

Where to Stay:

Pan Pacific Singapore (*****)

Prices start from €200 per room per night on Hotels.com

The five-star Pan Pacific is situated in Marina Bay and offers a first class stay in Singapore. The modern and spacious rooms are fitted with full-length windows giving panoramic views of the city. Guests can make use of a fitness centre, two tennis courts and massage services and therapies at the hotel spa. There is also an outdoor pool, numerous dining options and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Orchard Parade Hotel (****)

Prices start from €137 per room per night on Hotels.com

The Orchard Parade Hotel is ideally located near some of Singapore’s best shops, restaurants and entertainment. The hotel is modern, with rooms decorated in a Mediterranean style. Rooms are fitted with cable television, minibar and coffee and tea facilities. The hotel also has its own salon providing a range of hair, face, nail and body treatments.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia (*****)

Prices start from €302 per room per night on Hotels.com

Rising 32 stories above the Marina Bay business district on fashionable Raffles Avenue guests of The Ritz-Carlton benefit from being just a 10-minute walk from the Singapore Flyer, Marina Square, Art Science Museum, Esplanade Theatres, and the Suntec Singapore convention centre. This Kevin Roche designed property hosts a 4,200 piece contemporary art collection with works by Andy Warhol and Frank Stela while landscaped gardens feature tropical plants, rocks and waterfalls surrounding an open-air swimming pool. 

Carlton Hotel Singapore (****)

Prices start from €133 per room per night on Hotels.com

This four-star hotel is located in the Marina Bay area of Singapore and boasts modern design and a contemporary feel, especially in its newly renovated Premier Wing. The hotel has a health club, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, hair salon and two restaurants onsite.

*All Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!