A sovereign Southeast Asian city-state, Singapore served as an important trading post in the 19th century. Today, it is a global finance, transportation, and commerce hub and a tax haven with numerous accolades. The area is full of contrasts, from temples that sit in the shadows of skyscrapers to luxury homes that back into jungles. Traveling around the island is like a mini tour of the world, as you’ll find yourself in wet markets reminiscent of those in Hong Kong one minute and street scenes that mimic those found in Mumbai the next. Between its multi-million dollar gardens, futuristic architecture, working docks and blend of cultures, Singapore is anything but boring.
Singapore is a culture obsessed with food. With its feast of multicultural flavors, eating is a national pastime. Finding a good place to eat is never a problem. Incidentally, Singapore has 29 Michelin-star restaurants at the time of publication.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa is the only restaurant in Singapore with three Michelin stars. It serves contemporary French cuisine that blends simple flavors to create art. The degustation menu is a favorite, along with the poached lobster and the farmer’s guinea fowl with foie gras.
Blending eight elements—salt, south, texture, pure, artisan, terroir, memory and unique—into his “octaphilosphy,” Restaurant André in Chinatown is impulsive gastronomic art that reflects Chef André Chiang’s roots in French nouvelle cuisine. In addition to crafting culinary delights, André is a ceramicist and sculptor who incorporates his works into the dining service and restaurant’s décor. When sampling the tasting menu, don’t forget to try the chef’s handcrafted fermented juices.
A pyramid-shaped hotel in Marina Bay, the Mandarin Oriental is known for its exceptional service, modern elegance, and personal attention. The hotel is minutes from the central business district, major landmarks, and luxury shopping at Orchard Road and the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Oriental Club members and those on the Club floor have access to dedicated concierge services, complimentary garment pressing, champagne breakfasts, afternoon tea, and evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
Marina Bay Sands
An iconic establishment, Marina Bay Sands continues to impress with its stunning architecture, an award-winning spa, and lavish facilities. The three-tower structure features a three-acre SkyPark on its roof and a large infinity pool that seems to plunge down toward the city. The prolifically appointed rooms offer views of the South China Sea and skyline. Complementing the extravagance are 50 restaurants, two theaters, the ArtScience Museum and a casino.
Singapore is like a “city in a garden” with unexpected green spaces. The tropical 156-year old Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a marvelous escape with its orchid collections, ginger, fragrant flowers, healing plants, bonsai and much more. Hire a driver to explore the nearby rainforests, which are home to distinctive greater racket-tailed drongos, giant lizards, and monkeys. Further out, you’ll find charming farms with bountiful fruit crops. Charter a boat and tour Singapore’s offshore islands.
The malls and boutiques in Singapore are like a shopper’s dream come true. Take a joyride through the numerous high-end retail shops and discover the latest fashions, gadgets, and electronics. Go beyond the malls to discover eclectic treasures, such as antiques and local art in Chinatown shophouses. Score bespoke fragrances in Kampong Glam. Take a cultural trip and find local goods, jewelry, and books in Tiong Bahru’s deco estates.