Singapore Travel Guide
When we heard Karl Lagerfeld was going to be involved in the design of Sofitel So Singapore, our minds were racing with questions: would there be chocolate versions of muse Baptiste Giabiconi to take a bite out of? Would Choupette be luxuriating around the lobby, recovering from its strenuous private-jet lifestyle (and tweeting about it)? Would the Kaiser himself take centre stage near the entrance, giving side eye to anyone who deigned coming in wearing - dare we say it - crocs? So many possibilities…
Naturally, we had to use the opportunity of being in Singapore to walk by the construction site on Robinson Road, but in order to ensure we got all the scoop for you, we also stopped by its pre-opening office for a chance to sit down with the hotel’s General Manager and Director of Sales. Read on for more on what’s being prepared behind the building’s neo-classical façade, scheduled to come together for a November 1st opening.
We have a bit of a different version of Guess the Hotel for you today: rather than giving you a few clues about one specific property, we’re putting your hotel knowledge to the test based on the above skyline shot of Singapore for a game of Name The Hotel. How many of them can you spot?
From left to right, we have two hotels that share a common background, and will soon be connected by an underground tunnel. We then have one that will be easy to miss, two that also have a bit of a connection (bonus points for knowing the rebranding that happened here and how it relates to yet another hotel nearby that can’t been in this photo), and finally a cluster of hotels, some of which you could see by their name proudly shown on the exterior if you were closer. All in all, there should be at least ten to list.
Bonus points for adding what is just out of frame on the right, something we talked about last week. One more picture from the roof of one of the hotels can be found after the jump. To the comments with your guesses!
We’ve looked at both the death-defying pool and the gym-with-a-view at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, but since those areas are resident-only, what are your options to experience some of this behemoth hotel if you’re not staying in one of its 2,561 rooms? During a recent trip to Singapore, we popped over to find out just that.
Given its size and slightly outlandish architecture – three towers, 57 stories, and the Sky Park at the top – the place is hard to miss from anywhere in the surrounding area. No matter how many times we saw it, whether up close or from a distance, there were still moments where we looked at it in a seriously, who came up with that? kind of way. The dial really gets turned up to eleven during Wonder Full, the nightly laser / music show, best viewed from across the water.
Fantasy Friday / Valentine's Day Hotels / Singapore Hotels / Capella Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
It’s nearly that time of the year again: cards, flowers, candle-lit dinners, moon-lit walks in the park, and more-or-less crazy Valentine’s day hotel packages. We’ll give you a round-up of options to spoil your special someone with on February 14 soon, but before we get to those we’re throwing one suggestion in the mix that will require a little bit more planning (and perhaps slightly deeper pockets).
First of all, you’ll have to make your way to Singapore, more specifically Sentosa Island, and the luxurious Capella Resort. Once you get there, you’ll need $14,000 (S$17,999) for the “Eternally Yours” package, which you’ll burn through in one short, but hopefully memorable, night.
Perhaps 2012 can be known as the year we were sweet on Singapore. From The Raffles to the original Shangri-La and all the boutique hotels in between, "The Lion City" roared through the year and continues to do so, as another grandiose hotel prepares to make headlines with its December 2012 debut.
This property, the PARKROYAL on Pickering, will be the flagship for the PARKROYAL brand (part of the Pan Pacific group) and is already bragging that it's "Singapore's first-hotel-in-a-garden." We're sure the Shangri-La's Garden Wing would love to argue, but let's humor the PARKROYAL for a moment.
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Ahh, Singapore, the not-so little City-State that is synonymous with uber-luxury hotels and over extravagance. In a city that seems as if buildings of a certain age a quickly replaced with ultra modern structures that are bigger and better than the last, it seems odd when certain buildings remain. Our stay at the Hilton Singapore located in the shoppers heaven of Orchard Road begged the question: What is this building still doing here?
Not the newest construction, it actually stands out from the rest of the glass and steel behemoths, the Hilton had to be hiding something special on the inside to keep it competing against the refurbished buildings up and down the high street shopping paradise. To our surprise it was, a very important intangible that many hotels don't always nail. Service.
High Tea has become one of the best litmus tests of how a hotel can impress its guests. Singapore's Raffles Hotel is no different. The entire hotel, a vintage colonial building surrounded by gardens and lush tropical plants, is one of the must-see attractions for visitors. Not only is it the original property of the hotel chain, it is a landmark building for the city.
Lots of planning needs to go into partaking in this tea service. No, we're not talking about which hat to wear or whether the finger sandwiches have crusts or not. Although very important, these thoughts can't happen until you make a booking for high tea. And The Tiffin Room at The Raffles takes reservations no more than three weeks before you want to partake in the pomp and circumstance. Fortunately, we planned ahead for our own tea time. Here's how it went:
That's the Garden Wing tucked back there
Here's a fun little fact: The Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is actually the original property of the Shangri-La collection. Sure, many travelers know it originated in Asia (the "Shangri-La" name kinda gives it away), but you'll find its flagship just off Singapore's popular Orchard Road...set back into a lush grove of palm trees and birds-of-paradise.
We've already shown you the dual, exquisite lobbies and inside a suite within the more exclusive Valley Wing, but finally we have a glimpse at what the most recent renovation has created: refreshed rooms in the Garden Wing.
UPDATE, 6.21.12: The W Sentosa Cove is now opening September 16th while the W Guangzhou is set for December 31, 2012.
While the latter is scheduled to open in October, W Sentosa, located in an upscale marina residential community outside of Singapore's city center, is gearing up for an August opening. Which is good news for any Lady Gaga fans who heard about her recent stint in Sentosa, and have been wanting an excuse to go see the place for themselves.
But out of all the new Ws opening this year and next, which one in particular strikes your fancy?
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What did TripAdvisor rate "Trendiest Hotel of 2011?" This one: the Hotel New Republic in Singapore's Chinatown. Don't let that color your judgment however, since our recent stay proved that "trendy" here doesn't mean it's overcrowded, packed with scensters or cheap furniture to look "cool." Instead, the New Republic is a quiet 30-room design-focused hotel that has expertly renovated a historic Chinatown shophouse into a place we sincerely wish we had booked for more than one night.
To be completely honest, of all the hotels we've experienced in Singapore, the New Majestic is the first one we'd return to on our next trip. It is ideal for travelers who seek out unique spaces that reflect the spirit of the destination (ah hem, not a big chain hotel) and for those who desire to be outside of the business district, in the heart of culture. And maybe those who want a funky pool too.
Rooms at the New Majestic begin around $200 per night, which we paid. There really aren't any bad rooms, but we'd try for the second floor where each room has either a balcony or a patio, some of those patios with outdoor soaking bathtubs. It's details like thisand there are many of themthat give you a sense that the New Majestic is having fun...fun with design, fun with being in Chinatown and fun with having you there, doing things like taking an al fresco midnight bath by the light of a lantern.
There once was a time when this HotelChatter writer used to book a hotel based solely on the glossy photo of its pool. Those were the days of pamphlets, however, and now with the internet, we've got far glossier photos in a multitude of angles. Still, nothing beats actually being there, seeing a stunning pool and being able to dive in, as we recently did at The New Majestic Hotel in Singapore.
You've probably seen photos of the New Majestic before, without realizing it. The "floating beds" are frequent favorites of design magazines and it was named "Trendiest Hotel" by Tripadvisor in 2011, but the pool gets enough attention on its own. You see, it sits above the lobby and has three large porthole windows that allow guests downstairs to look up at swimmers.
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Thus far into our exploration of Singapore's funky Wanderlust Hotel, we've taken you inside the Space Suite, the Typewriter Suite and of course into a regular room, as bright purple as it was. Now's the time to have a look around the lobby that gets it in so many design publications, and a few other surprises.
There's something about Singapore hotels you should know. Once you go above tourist class into luxury level, almost every hotel has a pretty lovely swimming pool for beating the high temperatures. Below, in the "affordable" category of hotels where the Wanderlust rules, it's extremely rare to find a pool. The Wanderlust has compromisedthere's a small outdoor deck with some designer patio furniture, a postage-stamp of a lawn and a sunken, rainbow whirlpool. While too small for a swim, it's plenty large for a late evening soak with a beer.