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The Best Hotels in Singapore

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Best Hotels in Singapore

Its streets and subways may be some of the cleanest on Earth, but don't be fooled into thinking Singapore's sterile– this is a city with a real zing to it. Markets buzz with the clatter of vendors selling wares, gleaming glass malls jostle for attention with lush green parks, and beaches bustle with bathers. Sweet smells of peanut sauce, fresh fish, and oyster omelettes drift out of vibrant hawker centers and international flavors fill the many swanky restaurants around the city.

Things to see

A shopper's paradise, Orchard Road is brimming with mile upon mile of gleaming-glass malls where you can pick up everything from designer dresses and haute-couture handbags to Singapore souvenirs. The lush green trees that line the bustling road offer shade and respite from the beating sun (and shelter from the rain), making it an enjoyable avenue to potter down whatever time of day. Singapore Zoo is a sprawling park of varied terrains, and it's here you can glimpse big cats dashing across green grasses and have your photo taken with a bright orange orang-utan sitting on your lap. Raffles Place's towering buildings loom large of the district's busy streets and there are sights to see at every turn – look out for the iconic Merlion water fountain which is part lion, part fish. For more than a slice of greenery, Gardens by the Bay is a superpark that's split into 3 waterfront spaces: Bay South, Bay East, and Bay Central. The 16-storey-tall trees look like something from a sci-fi film, and there's a suspended 128-metre-long walkway between two of these structures offering a bird’s eye view of the Gardens as well as Marina Bay. You'll also find pretty pavilions, tropical trees, lush lawns, and waterfront promenades, which come evening, are one of the best places to see Singapore's dazzling skyline as it's lit up with lights.

Hotels in Singapore

Singapore's not short on hotels, with plenty of pads to choose from in this exciting Asian city. If you want luxury, you'll find it in five-star landmarks where you can expect butler-like service, sensuous spas, and triangular sandwiches and jam and cream-filled scones. Rooms range from sweeping suites to contemporary doubles and often feature deep soaking baths and four-poster beds. If your budget won’t stretch to those excesses, a wealth of mid-range Singapore hotels offer a family-friendly environment, central locations, and convenient amenities such as WiFi and flat-screen televisions with digital televisions. To really keep costs down, there are cheap hotels offering basic amenities, as well as pods where you literally just get a pod-like bed for the night.

Where to stay

If you're planning to maximize your shopping time while in Singapore, a hotel near Orchard Road is ideal, and will put you in strolling distance of the area's many shops, markets, and malls. For beach-side hotels in Singapore, Sentosa Island, just off the southern coast, has a number of fine white sands to sprawl out on and is also home to Universal theme park with its adrenaline-inducing rides, and a casino for those who fancy a flutter under its neon flashing lights. For a slice of luxury, Marina Bay's home to plenty of plush hotels offering sweeping views of the Singapore River.

How to get to

The easiest way to get to Singapore is by air, and Changi Airport receives flights from locations all over the world. From the airport there are plenty of options for getting to the city center with the cheapest being the subway. Simply catch the MRT train from Changi Airport Station to Tanah Merah and from there take a city-bound train to City Hall station or Orchard Station depending where your Singapore hotel is located – the journey will take around 30 minutes. You can also take a bus, or ride in a taxi.

When are the best times to travel to Singapore?

Singapore’s temperatures remain similar throughout most of the year – you’re as likely to enjoy tropical, honey-like sunshine in February as in July. There is, however, a slight peak in rainfall in the months of November and December – during these months, there’ll be a few more discount hotels, except for around Christmas week. Culture vultures will want to travel in February to experience Singapore’s explosive Chinese New Year Celebrations, while the quieter months of August and September offer plenty of cheap Singapore hotels.

What are the top must-see attractions in Singapore?

Visit the Singapore Flyer, a towering public Ferris wheel based beside the Marina Bay. This giant futuristic structure is strung with air-conditioned capsules, which rotate slowly around the wheel, offering unbeatable views across the city. For old world architecture, see the Sri Mariammam Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in the city. Built in 1827, this pyramid shaped stacked structure is draped in elaborate Dravidian style ornamentation. For more magical architecture, see the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Singapore’s Chinatown, a modern Tang Dynasty-style temple of red-gold tiered towers.

What are the best types of food and restaurants in Singapore?

Singapore’s cuisine scene is a melting pot of international styles – from Chinese, Malay and Indian to French, Italian and American. Local Malay cuisine celebrates stews, curries and dips drenched in spices. Traditional Malay restaurants are spread across the city. You’ll find authentic Chinese eateries in Chinatown. The city’s Hawker Centres – huge market complexes – offer an array of cheap international eats, particularly centrally located Newton Circus. The shopping mall food courts celebrate American fast food, while the luxury hotels in Singapore champion fine dining.

What are the top things to do in Singapore?

Take the kids to Singapore Zoo, a forested wildlife centre housing fire-orange orangutans, cuddly giant pandas and bright white tigers, many of which are kept in spacious enclosures cordoned off by invisible moats instead of barriers. Shoppers can spend an afternoon splurging along Orchard Road, a bustling central boulevard lined with ritzy fashion stores, bars and flashy restaurants. If you need to escape the buzzing city, venture to the tranquil Singapore Botanic Gardens, a waterfall-dotted, pavilion-studded spread of lush tropical grounds.

What are some fun facts about Singapore?

The name Singapore is an Anglicisation of the native Malay name Singapura. Singapura itself actually derives from a Sanskrit word meaning Lion City. Regardless of this heritage, historians have argued that it’s very unlikely there were ever lions on the island of Singapore, and that the founder of the island, Sand Nila Utama, probably saw a Malayan Tiger, mistaking it for a lion. Nevertheless, Singapore is still known by its nickname of The Lion City – as well as The Garden City, a nickname earned due to the city’s expanding green space.

What kinds of public transport are there in Singapore?

It’s unlikely you’ll need to rent a car in Singapore, as the city’s public transport system is extensive and easy to use. A sprawling MRT and LRT train network covers almost all key visitor areas, as do Singapore’s public buses. It’s worth purchasing an EZ-link or Nets Flash Pay card when exploring the city via public transport – these top-up fare cards offer cheaper prices than standalone tickets.

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