Singapore is foodie heaven (check out Singapore for Foodies), and luxury hotel-loving foodies are in for a real treat, with many of the top luxury hotels vying with each other for business travelers, well-heeled visitors and wealthy locals taking a staycation. Singapore luxury hotels tend to be more about understated elegance in decor than strikingly modern, but it seems somehow fitting for a destination that, in addition to its gleaming modern downtown financial center, also has an intriguing colonial past immortalized in Somerset Maugham short stories and embodied in the storied Raffles Hotel.
After a long day of discovering the best hawker food, enjoying the views from the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark and checking out the thrilling Night Safari, which Singapore luxury hotel should you call home for the night? Here are our top picks:
The Mandarin Oriental Singapore is in a prime location, with views of the Marina Bay and Singapore Skyline. The Mandarin Oriental has my favorite hotel pool in Singapore, with views of the Marina and Marina Bay Sands, and excellent attentive poolside service with little treats such as smoothie shots.
Rooms offer classic elegance, with wonderfully comfortable pillowtop beds, fresh orchids in the bathroom and bespoke lemongrass ginger bath amenities. Don't miss the extensive buffet breakfast, which reflects Singapore's cultural diversity with its many Malaysian, Indian, Chinese breakfast selections, as well as wonderful fresh squeezed juices, egg dishes and pancakes made to order, and international breakfast favorites.
A short walk from The Mandarin Oriental Singapore is the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore is simply stunning, set on seven acres of lush gardens, with a Greco-Roman outdoor pool and adorned with an astonishing 4200 piece modern art collection. We especially love the striking Chihuly glass sculpture that gives its name to the atrium-like Chihuly Lounge, where afternoon tea is served daily 2:30-5pm and live Latin jazz music is on offer from 5:30pm most nights.
Even standard Deluxe Rooms are spacious, at 549 square feet, and feature a wall-mounted 46-inch flat screen TV, mood lighting, walk-in closet, luxurious Ritz beds and marble bath with soaking tub, separate rainshower and Bulgari bath amenities. For a splurge, treat yourself to a Marina Bay View Room or Suite. And while high-speed WiFi isn't free, for once it's a reasonable rate: SGD $10, or $8. The Club Lounge is excellent, but did you really come to Singapore to eat in your hotel all day?
Although taxis in Singapore are cheap and it’s easy to get from the Singapore marina to other parts of the city, shoppers and garden lovers may want to stay closer to the Orchard Road area. If so, we recommend the St. Regis Singapore, in an exclusive residential district just a 5 minute walk from Orchard Road. Designer boutiques beckon, and when shopping is done (or if looking for another activity while your partner shops) wander the tranquil Singapore Botanic Gardens and Orchard Gardens just down the street. Don’t miss the complimentary wine tasting 5:30-6:30pm, or a refreshing dip in the Tropical Spa Pool, even if you don’t spring for one of the pampering Remede Spa treatments.
Standard Executive Deluxe Rooms are anything but standard at 539 square feet, silk wallpaper, Bose sound system and an over the top French marble bathroom with a free-standing bathtub as well as a separate jet massage shower. Somehow, for once, butler service seems entirely fitting with the opulent surroundings, even if it’s just bringing you a pot of tea. WiFi isn’t quite as reasonable as the Ritz-Carlton, at SGD $16/day, but still better than most 5-star hotel WiFi rates, and if you’re SPG Gold or Platinum it’s complimentary anyway.
For an arrival or departure in style, book an airport transfer and be chauffeured in one of the St. Regis Bentleys, which also for arrivals includes the use of the JetQuay, Singapore’s private airport terminal.
Even closer to Orchard Road, on Orchard Boulevard, is the Four Seasons Singapore, which has a classically elegant ambience, and a more intimate feel compared to the Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental. Both active swimmers and families are accommodated, with the hotel’s third floor lap pool and 20th floor rooftop family pool, with skyline views. Tennis fans will be thrilled that in addition to the two outdoor courts, there are two indoor air-conditioned courts, perfect given the sweltering afternoon heat.
Superior rooms aren’t as large as the Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis, at 441 square feet, nor as opulent as the St. Regis, but are quintessentially Four Seasons, with elegant understatement, ultra-comfortable beds, generous sized marble bath with separate soaking tub and shower, and L’Occitane bath amenities.
Just steps away from the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore is the Mandarin Oriental Singapore, which in spite of its rather blockish external appearance and slightly dated lobby, offers beautifully elegant guestrooms and true 5-star service. Standard Deluxe Rooms are smaller than the Ritz-Carlton, at 355 square feet, but floor to ceiling windows make the most of the city skyline view, especially from higher floors. For Marina Bay views, book the Premier Harbour Room, which offers a more striking Oriental décor. Audiophiles will be pleased that rooms come with surround sound, as well as iPod dock and DVD player. If you’re not up for heading to the hawker stands for breakfast, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast buffet at MELT, with its enormous variety of fresh fruits, housemade pastries, cooked to order pancakes and waffles, noodle dishes, and other Asian specialties. Try to be seated with an ocean or marina view for an especially lovely start to your day. The lovely outdoor pool can be popular, so try to enjoy it early or late.
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