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Travel

City guide: Singapore

Debonair finds the essential places to drink, eat, explore and stay in the South East Asian hub

Singapore is a melting pot of cultures with a great mix of new and old architecture. It’s a shopping haven, hospitality gold mine and a top-tier dining destination. Welcome to the Sustainable Centre of the World.

Where to stay

The Warehouse Hotel

320 Havelock Road, Robertson Quay, Singapore, 169628

Concept

The Warehouse Hotel represents the new age of personalised, boutique hotels. With a strong design ethos and many secret stories from its interesting past, the hotel has been restored to encase 37 modern rooms, all focusing on heritage and local culture. Located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Robertson Quay, the concept very much falls in line with its industrial past. With machinery-inspired lighting, earthy textures, concrete accents and a glass-walled infinity pool on the roof, The Warehouse blends past and present, combined with comfortable amenities, craft cocktails and classic local dishes served in Po Restaurant.

Details

The hotel tells a tale from start to finish, giving guests a unique insight into its spice warehouse past. Following a 22-month renovation, the hotel welcomes guests through its sleek, industrial lobby, completed with lighting inspired by pulleys and exposed brick. The rooms are spread over two storeys and split into six categories. All rooms are fitted with snazzy Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers, custom pillow top mattresses and eco-certified Ashley & Co bath amenities. Chef Willin Low serves his grandma’s speciality dishes at Po, with modern Singaporean elements; expect home-spun goodness with a innovative twist.

thewarehousehotel.com

Six Senses Duxton

83 Duxton Road, Singapore, 089540

Concept

Aiming to provide a new level of sustainability practice, the newly opened property is the brand’s first city hotel. This beautifully designed hotel holds the essence of wellness at its core. From the Tibetan singing bowl ceremony on arrival, which balances the body, to sugar-free in-room snacks, holistic holiday essential kits and sunrise and sunset health shots, the hotel has your wellbeing covered. Six Senses Duxton is committed to carbon neutrality, zero waste, no plastic and re-investing in the local community. The hotel even produces its own filtered drinking water. You can also pedal around Singapore on one of the hotel’s fashionable Tokyobikes to reduce your carbon footprint.

Details

Originally a row of traditional shophouses and restored by British designer Anouska Hempel, it features a diverse mix of Chinese, Malay and European elements. Each of the 49 rooms and suites (all named after parts of the hotel’s history) offers unique individuality across eight themes, so no two rooms are exactly the same. The Duxton also supports entrepreneurs by looking to local suppliers before the search for any product or service is expanded regionally. Wellness-based activities include everything from unique neighbourhood and nature discovery walking tours to workshops on crafting artisanal coffee and sessions on appreciating Chinese teas.

sixsenses.com

JW Marriott

South Beach, 30 Beach Road, Singapore, 189763

Concept

Housed in Singapore’s latest shopping, residential and office complex, the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is a 634 room and suite hotel sat in a pair of shimmering glass and steel towers. With architecture by Foster + Partners and Aedas, and interior design by Philippe Starck, the trendy property is perfectly situated in the heart of the city. The views encompass everything from China Town and Sentosa over to the botanical gardens and beyond.

Details

The heart of Philippe Starck’s masterpiece comes in the form of the lobby, an elongated space with a painted concrete floor, towering ceiling festooned with light fixtures, vivacious colours and eccentric furniture. There is also a spectacular floor-to-ceiling video installation by Korean artist Lee Lee Nam. As well as three bars, two restaurants and a myriad of shops, the hotel offers four room categories. The rooms are expansive and complemented with a neutral palette complete with white leather headboards, mirrors plus a seminal Starck-designed chrome rocking chair.

marriott.com

Where to eat

Adrift by David Myers

A modern take on the vibrant izakaya cuisine, Adrift (pictured above) is a sassy, stylish and secretive space with an awesome bar, fantastic staff and food that will blow your mind. Offering a flavour-forward approach, the team uses cutting-edge combinations featuring Japanese ingredients paired with Southeast Asian spices and Californian techniques to create a menu full of creative dishes. 

marinabaysands.com

Esquina

Esquina specialises in contemporary cuisine showcasing Spanish and Catalan flavours in a cosy, interactive and intimate space. The two-storey venue offers two distinct experiences — the ground floor features an open-kitchen concept and communal seating that encourages interaction, while the top floor is designed to create an intimate setting perfect for groups. Try and book for their hot-ticket Tasting Room nights, where you can be both food critic and guinea pig to help perfect new dishes.

esquina.com.sg

Gaig Restaurant

The little sister of chef Carles Gaig’s Michelin-starred Barcelona original is run with his daughter Nuria Gibert, the fifth generation of the family’s long line of chefs and restaurateurs. Including tapas, paellas and classic Catalan stews — a rare find in Singapore — everything on the menu is homemade or imported from Spain. We love the patatas bravas — delicious nuggets of deep-fried potatoes boasting a crunchy exterior and fluffy centre, served with spiced tomato sauce and aioli, and the tender stuffed eggplant with goat cheese.

restaurantgaig.com

Where to drink

LeVeL33

The world’s highest urban craft brewery not only offers signature brews and brilliant bites, but also shows off the city skyline. Located at the top of the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC), LeVeL33 (pictured above) is your answer to a relatively relaxed night out where copper brew house kettles take centre stage. The kitchen also serves modern interpretations of European classics with a twist.

level33.com.sg

Cé La Vi

Soaring 57 levels above the city with electrifying panoramic views of Marina Bay, this open-air restaurant and bar offers exciting creations and a great vibe. It combines modern Asian culinary adventures with innovative cocktails perfectly matched to Asian climates, and is known for its nightlife that continues until dawn. This really is the life.

sg.celavi.com

Lanterns

Located atop the Fullerton Bay Hotel, Lanterns is a great place to enjoy a drink and some light bites while watching Singapore’s famous laser light shows. Popular with the trendy crowd, the al fresco location is framed by an infinity lap pool and green landscaping, creating a beautiful setting to compliment the backdrop of glittering city lights.

fullertonhotels.com

Where to explore

Gardens by the Bay

Home to 1.5 million plants from all over the world, this venue is unique as it combines nature with cutting-edge engineering and green technology. It’s made up of two Cooled Conservatories — the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest (pictured above), concepts that reverse the notion of a typical greenhouse. A destination within a destination, Gardens by the Bay also plays host to a number of restaurants, cafés and shops as well as sculptures, a sun pavilion, lakes and children’s play areas. It is home to the iconic Skyway, a 128m aerial walkway lined by the Supertree Grove.

gardensbythebay.com.sg

The National Gallery

Situated in the heart of the Civic District, the National Gallery is home to the largest public collection of modern art in Southeast Asia. Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, it features exhibitions and special shows, including of some of the world’s most famous pieces. There are also talks and seminars, workshops, demonstrations, film screenings, art appreciation classes and many more exciting activities.

nationalgallery.sg

Orchard Road

This is one of the world’s most acclaimed shopping, dining and entertainment precincts and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, so well worth a visit. Named after the nutmeg and pepper plantations that once lined it, local and international stores and boutiques selling virtually everything under the sun flank this bustling boulevard — you could spend a whole day here.

orchardroad.org

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