singapore

This guide was written by SUITCASE in collaboration with Visit Singapore.

Singapore is a place of contrasts. Eastern exoticism rubs shoulders with Western modernity. Lush rainforest is punctuated by sci-fi architecture. Shophouses bustle in the shadows of vast malls. Hawkers peddle street food mere steps away from high-end restaurants.

Floating just off the southernmost tip of continental Asia, Singapore is the world’s only island city-state. It was founded in 1819 as a British trading colony and, since gaining independence in 1965, has emerged as a global economic leader with the busiest port worldwide.

Once dismissed as a soulless stopover, the so-called little red dot is now making its mark as Asia’s top destination for eating, shopping and entertainment. Scratch its manicured veneer and you’ll find a melting-pot of cultures – Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan – a blossoming arts scene and a sky-high nightlife.

There’s something to suit all visitors. The gleaming stores of Orchard Road and VivoCity are brought down to earth by the Chinese wet markets, Little India’s ramshackle streets and Haji Lane, a favourite among creatives. The unique cityscape plays host to a catalogue of design from the neoclassical Fullerton Hotel and art deco-styled Tiong Bahru district to the ultra-modern Marina Bay Sands and futuristic solar-powered vertical gardens. The cosmopolitan feast of flavours you’ll find on the street – fragrant laksa, chilli crab, frog porridge – are matched by the thriving restaurants, 29 of which boast Michelin stars.

Thanks to the country’s humid climate, its native ora and fauna flourish. Singapore is the definition of an urban jungle. Although it ranks among the most densely populated countries on earth, it’s also one of the greenest, with more than half the landmass covered in vegetation. Explore the verdant Botanic Gardens, the world-class zoo or escape to one of mainland Singapore’s 62 surrounding islands – Sentosa beach is a tropical paradise.

It’s unsurprising that this rich environment has earned Singapore the moniker of the Garden City. Yet visitors will also be unable to escape it’s other name, the Lion City, derived from the Sanskrit “Singa Pura”. With such a wealth of culture and creativity lurking beneath its surface, perhaps it’s time to hear Singapore roar.

TO STAY

The Fullerton Hotel

The Fullerton Hotel marries a riverside location with palladian architecture and outstanding facilities. Perched by the Formula One circuit on Marina Bay, the building itself is an official national monument. Once housing Singapore’s General Post Office and the Ministry of Finance, it became the eponymous hotel in 2001 after a $280million renovation. In addition to 400 luxurious guest rooms the Fullerton has four restaurants, its own collection of vintage Rolls-Royces, an infinity pool and its own spa.

Rooms from £343

Raffles Hotel

Oozing with storied elegance, Raffles is Singapore’s most iconic hotel. Indeed, it was officially declared a national monument in 1987. Former guests include Michael Jackson and Rudyard Kipling. Named after the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, the hotel was built by luxury hoteliers the Sarkies Brothers in 1887. Today it blends Far Eastern opulence with 21st-century amenities. Neo-renaissance architecture, period furnishings and lofty ceilings are complemented by marble floors and tropical accents across Raffles’ 103 suites. It houses Michelin-starred Shinji by Kanesaka Japanese restaurant among its five dining options. Don’t miss the Long Bar where the iconic Singapore Sling cocktail was developed in 1915.

Rooms from £455

The Warehouse Hotel

From red light district to red-hot destination, The Warehouse Hotel breathes life into a 19th-century godown in the vibrant riverside neighbourhood of Robertson Quay. Opened in January 2017, this hotel brings together old-world industrial charm and contemporary finesse. There’s a distinct focus on Singaporean heritage and culture: everything from uniforms to artwork are owned, designed and operated locally. The rooftop infinity pool offers views over the Singapore River while chef Willin Low gives Singapore’s staple dishes a modern spin at restaurant Po.

Rooms from £140

  • +65 6828 0000
  • Go to Website
  • 320 Havelock Road
    Robertson Quay
    Singapore
    169628

Lloyd's Inn

This minimalist hotel is a must for aesthetes. Modern, functional yet affordable, Lloyd’s Inn is a contemporary boutique that provides a chic alternative to chain hotels. An industrial yet zen vibe runs throughout. White walls, warm wood and polished concrete are offset by lush greenery. Flooded with natural light, its 34 rooms toe the line between cosy and raw. Uniquely, each have a private outdoor bathroom. Visitors can access a rooftop terrace, garden deck, dipping pool and, while there’s no restaurant, there is a communal kitchenette. Ten minutes walk from Orchard Road and Fort Canning Park, Lloyd’s Inn is the ideal base for work, play and relaxing in style – a true urban oasis.

Rooms from £91

The Fullerton Hotel

Raffles Hotel

The Warehouse Hotel

Lloyd's Inn

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