A Singapore Stopover
If you’re lucky enough to spend some time in the bustling, cosmopolitan city of Singapore, you’re in for a treat. Only have a day or two on this modern South Asian island? Get ready for a whirlwind visit that will leave you wanting to come back for more.
You’ll be right in the heart of the action if you’re staying at the newly renovated Fairmont Singapore. This location is the perfect jumping off point for exploring town, whether it’s by foot, train or taxi.
If culture and history are what drive your travels, put on a comfortable pair of shoes, grab a map from the concierge and head out on a self-guided walking tour of this multicultural city. With four dominant cultures present (Malay, Indian, Chinese and Eurasian), Singapore is full of unique neighborhoods to visit, including Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam. Wander along the colourful laneways of Little India, stopping to explore the stores selling beautiful fabrics, saris, spices and gold jewelry. This is also the place in Singapore to find a traditional Indian meal. Make sure to stop and snap a few photos of Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, before making your way to Kampong Glam. Stroll along the tree-lined streets of the Malay-Muslim quarters, home to galleries, craft shops and restaurants, before taking a peek at the Sultan Mosque. Finally, go to Chinatown, the city’s largest historical district.
You’re likely to be famished after a morning of exploring so head to the historic Raffles Singapore for its famed High Tea, served in the Tiffin Room. This is the perfect opportunity to peek inside this Singapore landmark, which originally opened in 1887. Make sure you’re hungry, as there are plenty of tasty treats to be had, from finger sandwiches, cakes and scones, to dim sum, fresh fruit and other sweet and savoury items. High Tea at Raffles Singapore is served from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. and is very popular, so it’s recommended to make a reservation in advance.
After tea, make your way to Gardens by the Bay, a unique indoor/outdoor garden space that all ages will enjoy. Gardens by the Bay is home to an incredible array of plants, trees and flowers from around the world. Hours can be spent here wandering through the various gardens. Short on time? The Cloud Forest (home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall) and Flower Dome are both ‘must sees.’
Even if you’re not a budding botanist, there’s no way you won’t enjoy strolling along the Supertree Grove skyway. These other-worldly man-made trees, which stand up to 16 stories high, are a sight to behold. Over 162,900 plants (more than 200 species) can be found on the Supertrees. If you have the time, be sure to stick around for the evening light show and watch as the Supertrees light up the night sky. There are two shows per day at 7:45pm and 8:45pm; admission to the show is free. For non-Singaporeans, admission for the two conservatories is $28 and the skyway is $5, however, there are plenty of areas and other gardens that can be explored at no cost.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to snap some photos of the Singapore city skyline, head to the Singapore Flyer (the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel) for a panoramic view of Marina Bay. Many people will find the half-hour ride and amazing photo ops well worth the Flyer's $30 cost. At 165 meters high, the Flyer is 30 meters taller than the famed London Eye. If you’re not comfortable with heights, you can get still some great photos from Gardens by the Bay without ever having to take your feet off solid ground.
When it comes to dining, Singapore has no lack of flavour. Hop in a taxi and head to Dempsey Hill, only a short drive from the hotel. This area was once the site of British army barracks and now houses chic restaurants, as well as trendy galleries and shops. Old army barracks still stand and have been repurposed into these new venues. If you’re in the mood for Chinese, Chopsuey Café is the restaurant to head to. The menu is full of delicious dishes and creative cocktails, with something to satisfy any palate.
For after-dinner drinks, Clarke Quay or Boat Quay, on the Singapore River, are both great options for nightlife. Or, you can always stop by Fairmont Singapore’s brand new cocktail bar, Anti:dote, for a handcrafted cocktail like The Blood of Dillinger, made with beet, rosemary, honey, lemon and tequila. Even if dinner was filling, you won’t regret ordering a selection of innovative European tapas, with Asian influences, to complement the cocktails. This is the perfect way to cap off the night.
Serious shoppers should leave themselves plenty of time to hit the stores. The next morning, make your way to the famed Orchard Road and prepare to be wowed by 2.2km of high-end retail and nearly 5,000 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Named Orchard Road after the fruit orchards that were once found in the area, it’s now one of the world’s most impressive shopping streets. You can find everything from luxury cars, to designer clothing boutiques and cosmetics here, such as the largest Sephora (French cosmetics & beauty store) in Asia.
Year-round temperatures range from 25 to 31 degrees Celsius (76 to 89 Fahrenheit), so if you’re after a hot and sunny climate, than Singapore is the city for you. Easily accessible from many countries around the world, it’s the perfect destination for a quick weekend getaway (if you’re coming from a neighbouring country) or a stopover on your way somewhere else in the Asia Pacific region. Changi Airport is a pleasure to travel through and was recently named the world’s best airport for 2014. With numerous gardens, a movie theatre, games room, a children’s playground, swimming pool and free city tours (5 hours is required between flights), this is one airport where you’ll be happy to have a layover! Fairmont Singapore is about a 20 minute taxi ride away from the airport, or you can jump on the train, which will take you to the hotel. At only 710 square kilometers, a couple days in Singapore will give you a taste of the myriad of activities on offer and leave you wanting to come back for more.
For seasonal savings at Fairmont Singapore, take advantage of our Seasonal Saver Offer, until April 30, 2015.
Lindsay Tessis is the Social Media & Community Manager for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, based in Toronto.