Stopover Cities… Singapore
It is never an easy feat, being halfway through a long haul journey and forced to sit in an airport for hours on end waiting for a connecting flight. Singapore has long-been a key ‘stopover city’ for European travelers on their way to Australasia, but it is only in recent years that visitors are starting to venture outside of the airport walls and see where they have landed.
Why not follow the lead of thousands of savvy-travelers, who are now turning a necessary stopover into a mid-journey mini break. Time between flights can often be quite limiting, so Gloobbi has picked out some of Singapore’s key destinations, to help guide you through a whistle-stop tour of one of Asia’s best cities.
Where to Stay
Just a 20 minutes taxi ride from the airport lies the New Majestic Hotel, Singapore’s famed design boutique hotel, with stunning décor and unique interiors in every guest room, you will be sure to get some rest in style.
If your connecting flight involves an early morning wake up, fear not, as each room comes equipped with a Nespresso® coffee machine, and a bose stereo/ipod dock to wake you up in good time. In fact, to help further guide you into making the most out of your short trip, the hotel even provides a ‘Guest Experience’ service, in which a hotel guest ambassador will help you create an itinerary to best see the city, whether you have 24 hours or a week.
However, if the 30 rooms at the New Majestic are full, the equally wonderful Ritz- Carlton Singapore is a beautiful alternative, providing not only a five star hotel experience but also showcasing a fantastic 4,200 piece contemporary art collection, including works by Andy Warhol and Frank Stella.
The Ritz-Carlton name always denotes a certain level of luxury, but this Singapore hotel provides a certain charm, with its cutting edge design and landscaped gardens. The perfect hideout when the whirlwind of sights begins to catch up with you.
What to See
If you wish for a culturally-rich escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Singapore Botanic Gardens, less than 20 minutes from either hotel. A stunning stretch of horticultural, botanical and artistic displays, set against a backdrop of rolling gardens and lakes, this key destination is the perfect place to relax and take in your surroundings.
With themed gardens from the Healing Garden that presents over 400 species of medicinal plants, to the Sun Garden, often housing world-class putdoor sculpture displays among the permanent sculptures and plants.
If the outdoor heat gets to be a little much, pay a visit to The Esplanade. Standing tall on the Marina Bay, The Esplanade is a hub of architecture, art and culture and is the perfect spot for wiling away a Singaporean afternoon.
Famed for its somewhat bizarre architecture (from afar it is likened to Singapore’s exotic Durian fruit), the constantly evolving visual arts centre within The Esplanade is a goldmine of contemporary asian and international pieces that changes four times a year, so even the most frequent of continental travelers can enjoy this attraction again and again; discovering something new each time.
Where to eat
For a bespoke dinning experience at an inner-city highpoint, pay a visit to Sky on 57, the rooftop restaurant of the beautiful Marina Bay Sands Hotel, providing a top-class culinary offering to match the amazing view.
Presenting a “modern interpretation of Franco-asian cuisine,” Sky on 57 offers a selection of set menus, compiled by chef Justin Quek, as well as a comprehensive à la carte menu that offers a wide range of exquisite dishes from Risotto to Wok Fried Lobster, all served against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline.
If you are not too fond of heights however, an equally chic alternative comes in the form of The Tippling Club, a restaurant-cum-cocktail bar that is set to wow visitors with its innovative menus and convivial atmosphere.
The elaborate tasting menu, (with carefully selected wine pairings), comprises of multi-cultural fayre, mainly showcasing Singapore’s European tendencies with dishes such as Bacalao and Carrot Gnocchi. With top mixologist Matthew Bax designing a vast and exciting cocktail menu (including a ‘Target Practice’ section where drinks can be chosen by taste preference), The Tippling Club lives up to its name as an excellent venue for not only dining, but also drinking into the Singaporean night.
When the unfortunate time comes and you have to leave Singapore to hop back on that airplane, make sure you leave enough time to get to the airport, especially as now you will be traveling with the added weight of your Singaporean shopping exploits.
As the short break comes to a close, rest safe knowing that just three of your precious hours in Asia will be spent in an airport waiting room.
by Lucy Maguire