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on Nov 05, 2012
It's been many years since the last time I saw more of Singapore than just the airport transit lounge.
I must admit I'd really only thought of Singapore as the place you stopover for 1 or maybe 2 nights on the way to somewhere, not as a holiday destination in it's own right. This trip really opened my eyes to the fact to that you could easily spend a week in Singapore, and still not have enough time to do everything.
For starters there's the shopping, not only Orchard Road that Singapore is famous for there's shopping malls and complexes dotted all over. I took a 5-minute stroll along the road from my hotel to the Marina Shopping center and it took me about an hour to wander back through the underground shopping mall. Don't worry if you feet start to hurt from the walking or your arms get tired from carrying all your parcels, you can always stop off at one of the massage and reflexology centers. I tried the reflexology a little painful for my liking by I felt great afterwards.
If shopping isn't really your thing and you want to experience the vibrancy and color of the different cultures that make up Singapore, China Town and Little India are great places to explore. If you're after some leisurely sightseeing, I can recommend the Bumboat ride along the Singapore River from Clarke Quay. As the boat motors slowly along the river and out to the bay a taped commentary plays, filling you in on the history of the area. I really enjoyed the boat ride it's a great way to learn about the history of Singapore, and the architecture along the river is amazing the way the old Colonial buildings blend in with the modern ones. These old boats were originally used to carry goods up the river to the warehouses along Clarke Quay. The warehouses have been restored and transformed into a restaurant and entertainment area may of the restaurants are open air dining. For those who love seafood the only problem is deciding which restaurant to eat at and reliable
They say with most trips getting there is half the fun. On this trip I was lucky enough to experience British Airways Business Class flat beds, and what an experience it is. The business class seats are extremely comfortable with a separate foot stool that can be adjusted to various positions ...great for people like me who's legs never seem to be quite long enough to for the usual foot rests.
As our hosts for the trip were Raffles International Hotels & Resorts stayed at Raffles the Plaza Hotel and Inspected Raffle's Hotel, Swissotel The Stamford and The Merchant Court Hotel. All four hotels are in great locations close to shops, transport, restaurants and bars.
Raffles The Plaza Hotel
Staying at Raffles The Plaza is definitely a luxurious experience I felt totally pampered. The rooms are spacious and very tastefully decorated with excellent views of Singapore from the balcony. The luxury continues into the bathrooms, where the rainforest showerhead makes it very difficult to have a quick shower. Once you stand under it any idea you might have had about conserving water just disappears from your mind. If you want to unwind even further or just pamper yourself the hotel is host to the Amrita Spa, where the guaranteed me the facials are fantastic and the massages marvelous. The Raffles Plaza shopping complex links the Raffles Plaza and The Swissotel. A large outdoor pools area with 2 pools coffee shop and bar also links them.
Swissotel The Stamford
The Swissotel is one of the Singapore's leading conference hotels with meeting and conference rooms to suit any function. The hotel is 72 stories high. The 70th and 72nd floors house the bars and restaurants that make up the Equinox entertainment complex, needless to say the views are magnificent. The hotel rooms fairly large and all rooms have balconies.
Walking into the Raffles Hotel is like stepping back in time. Raffles is a colonial style hotel set amongst lush tropical gardens. Covered open-air walkways take you through the gardens to your suite. Each suite is furnished with elegant period furniture and has it's own private parlor and dining area. With 13 bars and restaurants from Ah Teng's Bakery to Raffle Grill there's something to suite all tastes. A visit to the Raffles hotel wouldn't be complete without a stopping in for a drink or two at the Long Bar, home of the famous Singapore Sling.
The Merchant Court Hotel is situated on the River at Clark Quay and has something to offer everyone.
The rooms as very spacious and may have views over the river and Clark Quay. The Merchant Court is a great hotel for families, with a resort style pool area complete with waterslide. The children don't miss out either there's a children's pool with waterslide too. For those who have an early arrival or a late flight out there's a hospitality suite with a shower and guest laundry available to guests before check-in or after checkout.