Lux­ury Right at Your Doorstep

Ms. Wendy Long spends a lot of time plan­ning itin­er­ar­ies when she trav­els, so why not think of one for her own home­town?

Portfolio - - IN THIS ISSUE - WENDY LONG

How would I ex­plore in my own coun­try, Sin­ga­pore, if I were a tourist? As with ev­ery travel plans that I make, the first ma­jor de­ci­sion is ac­com­mo­da­tion.

If I’m all for re­lax­ation, then stay­ing in Sen­tosa is a great idea as one feels shrouded from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city – but is only 10 min­utes away from all the ac­tion on the ‘main’ is­land. Capella Sin­ga­pore on Sen­tosa Is­land, set amidst lush green­ery with sea fac­ing vil­las, will be my idea of a lux­u­ri­ous get­away. The jux­ta­po­si­tion of her­itage colo­nial struc­tures and its con­tem­po­rary ex­ten­sions as de­signed by Fos­ter and Part­ners, brings a touch of el­e­gance from a by­gone era but with all the mod­ern ameni­ties for dis­cern­ing trav­el­ers. I’ll kick­start my va­ca­tion with a four-hour well­ness ex­pe­ri­ence at the award win­ning Auriga Spa. Three dif­fer­ent pack­ages are avail­able, and all ses­sions come with a spa meal at the re­spec­tive restau­rant as well as ac­cess to the cas­cad­ing swim­ming pool. In the heart of the Ma­rina Bay area, then Fuller­ton Bay Ho­tel will be a per­fect choice to soak in the pul­sat­ing en­ergy of the sur­round­ing Bay area and its stun­ning view. I’ll book a her­itage af­ter­noon tea at the gor­geous Clif­ford Pier fol­lowed by sun­down cock­tails at the rooftop bar, Lan­tern. The ho­tel max­i­mizes the stun­ning views of Ma­rina Bay, and is just a stone’s throw from Sin­ga­pore’s her­itage precinct. Dur­ing For­mula One week­end, the Ma­rina Bay area is re­ally where all the ac­tion is and as a vis­i­tor, a glam­orous night race right at the heart of the scene is not to be missed. It is also the best time to

see Sin­ga­pore in all her glitzy glory. Grab tick­ets to the Pad­dock Club; join in the post race rev­el­ries at the con­certs, which are of­ten head­lined by big in­ter­na­tional acts and party the night away at Am­ber Lounge. Af­ter all, the night race is the crown jewel of the For­mula One se­ries, so what bet­ter time to visit Sin­ga­pore then dur­ing For­mula One? Thirty-nine, seven, eleven: If num­bers are every­thing, then Sin­ga­pore is look­ing very de­li­cious. Ac­cord­ing to the Miche­lin Sin­ga­pore guide 2018, there are 39 Miche­lin starred restau­rants in Sin­ga­pore (34 one-Miche­lin star restau­rants and five twoMiche­lin stars restau­rants). Seven restau­rants made it to Asia’s top 50 restau­rants list in 2018 with best per­former, two-Miche­lin stars Odette be­ing ranked No.28 in the world’s top 50 restau­rants 2018 list and No. 5 in Asia, mak­ing it ar­guably Sin­ga­pore’s top restau­rant. Eleven bars were rec­og­nized in the Asia’s top 50 bars list (2018), that’s a 20 per cent rep­re­sen­ta­tion with the top spot go­ing to Man­hat­tan Bar at the Re­gent Ho­tel. As any Sin­ga­pore itin­er­ary must in­clude din­ing op­tions, so why not start with our high­est ranked restau­rant, Odette? Even it’s lo­ca­tion, the her­itage Neo-clas­si­cal Na­tional Gallery is worth a visit. It’s steeped in history with beau­ti­ful bones, and plays host to block-buster ex­hi­bi­tions like last year’s Yayoi Kusama: Life is the heart of a Rain­bow. I’ll fol­low up the visit with Can­dlenut, the first Miche­lin-starred Per­anakan restau­rant. It is uniquely Sin­ga­pore, and serves the amal­ga­ma­tion of old and new, east and west, on a plate. The jux­ta­po­si­tion of ca­sual street food and high-end gourmet restau­rants has in­ten­si­fied over the years not least be­cause of the open­ings of Resorts World in Sen­tosa and Ma­rina Bay Sands at the Ma­rina Bay area, which in­tro­duced many in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed celebrity restau­rants to Sin­ga­pore’s sunny shores. At Ma­rina Bay Sands, one can choose to dine at famed Amer­i­can chefs Wolf­gang Puck’s Spago and Cut or Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro, party at Tao

group’s Lavo or re­gional top-billed Ce La Vi, which is mak­ing waves across Asia from the 57th floor rooftop of the Ma­rina Bay Sands ho­tel, bor­dered by the iconic in­fin­ity pool that has de­fined the build­ing as a sym­bol of a glitzy, ritzy Sin­ga­pore. There’s more than just haute cui­sine and elec­tri­fy­ing nightlife at the Ma­rina Bay Sands. The sprawl­ing con­ven­tion cen­ter, in­ti­mate theater and unique ex­hi­bi­tion space, Art Sci­ence Mu­seum, are home to events for dis­cern­ing trav­el­ers, from the an­nual Art Stage ex­hi­bi­tion, which brings to­gether top art gal­leries from around the world, to a stream of in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed acts like the re­cent Ce­line Dion con­cert and last year’s Crazy Horse. Not for­get­ting the vast shop­ping mall with al­most ev­ery ma­jor fash­ion brand un­der one roof – a haven for any fash­ion­ista. For a city that is only 53 years young, Sin­ga­pore has come a long way from her early colo­nial days. As a tiny is­land, Sin­ga­pore more than holds her own among other big cos­mopoli­tan cities. It is sur­real to think that we have here all the best restau­rants, shops and ex­pe­ri­ences that the world has to of­fer. Per­haps that is true lux­ury— to have the best right at your doorstep.

ODETTE, SIN­GA­PORE NA­TIONAL GALLERY

LAN­TERN BAR,FULLER­TON BAY HO­TEL

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