Hot almost all year round and vibrant with sunshine, Singapore is an eclectic hub filled with rainbow lanes of low-levelled shop houses and hidden walkways, with local food centres scattered across the city in prominent areas alongside luxury restaurants. Cool, low-key neighbourhoods are filled with elements of historical design preserved from colonial periods, while its cosmopolitan core is dotted with iconic landmarks and floor-to-ceiling glass skyscrapers angling the Lion City as a financial powerhouse. Every facet of this diverse, multicultural city is picture-perfect and filled with excitement.
With a cosmopolitan core mixed in with an array of suburbs and jungle, Singapore’s accommodation offerings include affordable and trendy boutique hotels to more ritzy options. From compact pods to colonial luxury, there’s a mix for everybody depending on your budget.
Situated near the downtown core, the JW Marriott has two towers that house two infinity pools, a spa, and a fitness centre. The lobby is dark, mysterious, and artsy while the rooms are spacious and bright. The hotel is situated in a prime location close to districts such as Little India and Kampong Glam, with a skyline view of the city centre from the infinity pool.
JW Marriott South Beach, 30 Beach Road, Access via Nicoll Highway, Singapore 189763 | (+65) 6818 1888
For sky-high views (and access one of the world’s largest infinity pools), Marina Bay Sands sets a high standard for modern luxury. Guests get free access to the Super Groves and nature domes and the top of the hotel is populated with fine dining institutions like Spago, CÉ LA VI, and Marquis, along with others scattered throughout the complex. The hotel is also connected to a gigantic mall chock full of designer labels.
Due to its popularity, prepare for an overwhelming number of tourists wandering the lobby and crowding the rooftop during weekends. The infinity pool is only open to guests, so for Instagram-worthy shots, book a stay.
Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956 | (+65) 6688 8888
This charming boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Chinatown and disguises itself as a heritage townhouse designed in the 1920s. The rooms are modern and bright, with larger suites containing kitchenettes. It’s perfect if you’re staying for the weekend, but it’s also suitable for long-term stays when you’ll have the option to cook. Complete with a bar offering complimentary drinks and a restaurant, the staff and hotel pride themselves on sustainability with the mission to build a more integrated community.
KēSa House, 55 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089158 | (+65) 6958 1588
With diverse ethnicities contributing to Singapore’s F&B scene, the local cuisine is a melting pot of flavours that highlights local ingredients. Restaurants and cafés range from three-Michelin-starred restaurants reigning on The World’s Best list to deliciously cheap delicacies found at open cooking halls.
Famous for the Hainanese chicken rice stalls that have been serving the masses since 1986, the food centre draws a crowd of locals and tourists. There are three rows of food stalls, plenty of which have been awarded a Michelin star or recognised with a Bib Gourmand sticker. Bring a twenty-dollar bill and dine like a king—a bowl of laksa costs around S$3, while ondesh ondesh (glutinous rice balls coated with shredded coconut) and cheong fun (steamed rice rolls) will set you back around S$2. Must-orders are the Tian Tian chicken rice, Zhong Xing Fu fish balls, and lor mee (noodles in a thick gravy).
Open all day and bustling well into night time, Maxwell Food Centre is a convenient, internationally known place to try street food, a melting pot where you see an intermingling of Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, and even Middle-Eastern cooking in one place.
Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184 | (+65) 6225 5632
This chic café is a minimalist dream. Off-white linen curtains, glossy white marble tables, and large floor-to-ceiling windows pique the curiosity of those walking along Canal Street, drawing them inside to satisfy all-day breakfast and lunch cravings. The centrepiece is an open kitchen counter heaped with baked goods, tempting you with dessert. Skip the avocado and eggs and order the Weekender Benedict with bergamot-infused green apples and salmon roe, or the Earl Grey Pancakes with poached pear for something unique.
PUNCH, 32 North Canal Road, Singapore 059288
Tucked away in one of the shophouses of Kampong Glam, Halal bakery Mother Dough produces mounds of artisanal pastries and baked goods for takeaway and dine-in. Sit and enjoy the buttery croissants, sweet and savoury tarts, and loaves of bread with some killer coffee. The smell of freshly baked goods lures you in for a light breakfast or snack.
Mother Dough, 749 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198717 | (+65) 6909 6604
Chef Alvin Leung, known for his famous three-Michelin-starred restaurant Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, presents his newest concept 15 Stamford, situated in the Capitol Kempinski Hotel. Moving away from molecular gastronomy, Leung and his team showcase upscale, reimagined Asian flavours served in an elegant yet relaxed dining atmosphere. Dishes will taste familiar as it focuses on regional Asian ingredients but remain unconventional with cooking techniques and design. It’s a restaurant to watch and will excite your taste buds! Great spot with family and friends or as a choice for a romantic date night.
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung, 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906 | (+65) 6715 6871
Skip the cheap beer and wine and head to the more luxurious bars. Singapore is fast becoming one of the greatest cities in the world for a cocktail, and it’s worth the price tag. Some of the world’s best bars, lounges, and speakeasies can be found in the capital, scattered all over different neighbourhoods. Take advantage of happy hours to sample luxury tipples and keep things more affordable.
Dark, mysterious, and lavish, Manhattan oozes New York glamour and sophistication. Located inside the Regent Hotel, its opulent interior consists of dark, leather plush couches, maroon-purple draped curtains, and limited seating at their glowing statement bar. There are also private rooms reserved for intimate gatherings. One can really feel their dedication towards crafting an elevated drinking experience that takes your palette on a journey to remember.
Manhattan, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715 | (+65) 6733 8888
If you love gin, then Atlas is a place you’ve got to hit up when in Singapore. The bar itself is mesmerizing, and for first-timers, it can be overwhelming just taking in the grandness of the interior, which is dedicated to the roaring twenties. A three-storey gin cabinet, which is just one part of Atlas’ collection, displays and houses 1,011 bottles, and includes a lengthy champagne selection and private cellar. The menu offers a diverse array of cocktails ranging from floral and fresh to earthy and heavy. The dress code is business casual, and tables are hard to come by. Try making a reservation or coming early; your wait could be more than an hour if you come after 5 pm.
Atlas, 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square 188778 | (+65) 6396 4466
Considered one of the first proper cocktail bars in Singapore, J&P has moved its location inside Amara Hotel. The hidden entrance and cool, modern interior construct an air of exclusivity. Sitting at the bar and watching the drinks made is perfect for striking up a conversation with the bartenders as they shake up some fresh cocktails for you. The menu consists of 27 traditional cocktails, each with a fresh twist. If you’re hungry, order some snacks from the revamped food menu—the bikini sandwich is to die for.
Jigger & Pony, 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088539 | (+65) 9621 1074