I’ve just got back from a quick trip to Singapore and once again I was impressed with the amazing changes that have taken place since my first visit in 1974. This time I was attending an international conference and then staying on for a few days R & R.
My first 4 nights I stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Orchard Road and for anyone looking for a fantastic location then the Hilton certainly fits the bill. The room are quite large by Singapore standards and the view out of the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road was amazing. If you have a sweet tooth, then look no further than the amazing cake shop in the lobby area. Each day bespoke cakes, fashioned to look more like fruit and works of art were tempting me. In this area you are spoiled for choice whether you are looking for a shopping destination or a fabulous eatery. Each day after attending the busy conference sessions it was easy to find little eateries for quick and tasty meals, fabulous shopping centres and more up market restaurant choices. The only disappointment we had was with the Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant next door to the Hotel, unfortunately my meal and the meals of my two friends were all very disappointing but luckily the bottle of Pinot Gris we order was lovely.
After the four days of the Conference I moved hotels and spent the next four nights at the fabulous Fairmont which is just across the road from the iconic Raffles Hotel – if you are a fan of Singapore then you have probably visited the Raffles Hotel, maybe to sample a Singapore Sling or for their famous High Tea, the hotel has just undergone a massive refurbishment and has reopened with all of the wonderful attractions back in place. The Fairmont is a beautiful hotel and a bit more budget friendly so for the next four day my friend and I stayed there. We had lots of plans for our time together and the great location of the hotel made it easy for us to venture out into some of the great shopping and tourist destinations that Singapore has to offer. Walking distance to Marina Sands, and short taxi trip to Clarke Quay or back to Orchard Road.
I have been to Singapore many times and this time I was planning on revisiting old favourites and visiting areas that I have never had the time to see.
If you have never visited the amazing shopping centre at Marina Sands then please go, especially if you visit in the evening. It is such a treat just to visit and if luxury shopping is your thing, then you have found your happy place as every high end store has a presence but even if you only enjoy window shopping its hard not to find something to take your interest. The centre is huge, no effort has been made to maximise the retail to floor space – there are wide corridors and lots of walking.
One place I like to stop is at the beautiful TWG Tea Shop this a great place to stop and have a pot of tea! TWG Tea was established in Singapore in 2008 and really has some beautiful teas to choose from.
The Food Court in the Marina is huge and offers an amazing array of choice for a quick meal, snack or desserts. If you visit, make sure you take a ride on the Gondola inside the centre – a large water feature empties water into the canal that the Gondola travels around. Great photo opportunity. Apart from the Food Court and the Gondola don’t miss the laser light show. In the evenings at 8 & 9pm make your way outside and watch the free laser show over the river. Music and lasers give a ballet like experience and it is completely free.
We enjoyed the Laser show so much that the next night we had dinner at Clarke Quay, another fabulous spot to spend time at in the evenings, whether you want a drink, dinner or snacks, Clarke Quay is a very happening place. It is also the place to catch a riverboat up the river for a quick Singapore tour. These amazing boats are electric to ensure that they don’t pollute the waterways! Fantastic.
There seemed to be a theme to our outings because the next night we visited the Gardens by the Bay which are the gardens in front of the Marina Sands and once again there is a gorgeous light show each evening. It was quite hot when we went in the afternoon so we spent some time in the airconditioned Flower Dome; the largest greenhouse in the world, admiring beautiful plants and blooms from all around the world and then we rushed down to the open air area to watch the light show that starts at 7:45pm. Again, a fabulous show and once again completely free. There is a cost to enter the Flower Dome, but it was worth it.
A trip to Singapore is never complete without High Tea and although we had intended to have tea at the Raffles, we found that it was booked out so we booked at the Fairmont and what a treat that was! The China service was all an exquisite pink china and then when they bought our afternoon tea items to the table they were presented in a white jewel box – each drawer of the box filled with exquisite savories, tempting scones and amazing sweet treats all served with your choice of TWG Tea and sumptuous champagne,
Another great trip to Singapore and even though I had lots of trips in the past there are still so many sights on my To Do List, so I’ll be back again.