Once upon a time, people loved holidaying in Singapore. Then it went all vanilla, and turned into a place to visit ex-pat friends or a shopping pitstop on the way to somewhere more interesting. But things have changed.
While many other countries struggle to balance their books, change governments or prance about yelling, “I’m gorgeous, you can’t resist me!” at whoever will listen, Singapore has been quietly transforming itself into the kind of unique hotspot for culture, dining, fun and natural beauty that made it a traveller’s favourite back in the day.
Here are four examples of how Singapore got its groove back:
Singapore Sun Festival
Been a while since you revelled in the good life?
Make up for lost time at the Singapore Sun Festival (28 October to 6 November). Celebs and experts take you on a ride through the art of living well—think luscious cooking feasts, limber dancers, titillating film, visual arts, talks and wine.
In the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel Singapore’s lobby lounge you can relax to the tinkle of ivory and the tipple of cocktails.
For a table offering far more than just one measly view, you have to try the Full Butler Sky dining experience on the Singapore Flyer (pictured)— a massive luxury Ferris wheel that makes a spin on the London Eye feel like your local school fete ride.
When the sun sets, stunning city lights come out to play as you and your lucky dinner guest are treated to a 4 course fine dining meal served up by your personal butler.
Back at the Flyer’s retail terminal, you can shift energy levels up a gear in the flight simulator, or take them all the way down to neutral with a foot reflexology session for two.
The Marina Bay Sands Singapore Hotel has its own park, gallery, shopping mall, to-die-for views and Kid’s club – not to mention a Chocolate Bar buffet.
National Orchid Garden
Take some time out from your Singapore shopping frenzy to enjoy the fresh air, abundant personal space and calming surrounds of the National Orchid Garden.
Visitors rave about how tranquil and beautiful it is amongst the 1000+ species of these magnificent flowers blossoming in four seasonal areas.
At the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel you can have a swat of tennis and cool off in the large outdoor pool that comes with underwater acoustics!
Science Centre Singapore
The Science Centre Singapore has more than 1000 exhibits, so unless you’ve got a few days to spare, you’re going to have to put the ‘must see’ list to a vote.
We don’t want to cause arguments, but maybe you could start out in the labs in Scientist for a Day. Or stroll through the optical illusion exhibit and see your head served on a platter. Actually, probably best if we just keep quiet.
One thing you’ll all agree on is that the smack-bang-in-the-middle-of-everything Ibis Singapore On Bencoolen Hotel, with its free Wi-Fi internet access and tasty Asian tapas food is a great home base.