(Anchor image: Capella Hotel Singapore)
If you’ve had travel plans shelved because of the coronavirus situation, don’t fret. It’s a great time to get to know Singapore again, and what better way to do so than play tourist in your own city?
Depending on what kind of trip you’re up for, we’ve got 5 different types of staycay itineraries for just about any traveller, and the best place to stay at for each one. Read on to find out what they are.
01 | Zen out at the otherworldly Capella Hotel Singapore
Get reacquainted with the art of doing nothing at Capella. Ensconced as it is by lush greenery and the South China Sea, the resort feels wonderfully remote and far-removed from the rest of Singapore — and that remoteness makes it one of the best places to have a meditative retreat.
The Auriga Spa prides itself on its unique approach to wellness that’s based on the cycles of the moon, with four signature treatments that align with the lunar phases and its varying energies. The three-hour Waning Moon treatment, for example, focuses on cleansing: expect massages based on lymphatic drainage techniques, pressure point work aimed at eliminating toxins in the system, and purifying wraps and herbal tinctures. Each of the spa’s nine treatment suites come with their own private gardens for you to enjoy.
From now until June 30, Capella’s ‘Perfect Time for Two’ package offers up spa treatments for two at the Auriga, daily breakfast for two, and complimentary late check-out until 2pm.
And if you thought the spa was lush, you’ll love Capella’s actual lodgings. For ultimate privacy, opt for one of Capella’s four exclusive manors, which are designed as private worlds within a world. They’re set on the estate’s fringes and feature private lap pools, carefully manicured gardens, and plush, inviting beds.
02 | Museum-hop around Fairmont Singapore
Singapore has a wealth of fascinating museums and galleries, with the bulk of them conveniently concentrated around Fairmont Singapore.
Get started with the National Gallery, whose ongoing exhibitions include a photography exhibition of Chua Soo Bin (described as one of Singapore’s most important photographers thanks to his ‘incisive’ portraits), and continue your museum circuit with visits to the nearby Asian Civilisation Museum and The Arts House.
Take the time to visit some of Singapore’s lesser-known museums, such as the Armenian Heritage Gallery, which charts the history and achievements of Singapore’s Armenian community (for one, did you know that Armenians had founded The Straits Times, Raffles Hotel, and even hybridised the Vanda Miss Joaquim?).
Ruminate over your day’s discoveries at Fairmont’s Anti:dote, which was home to the World’s Best Bartender, or discuss them with a side of hearty calzones at Italian restaurant Prego.
03 | Indulge in retail therapy on Orchard Road
Sometimes the best way to lift the blues is a good dose of retail therapy. Located smack in the middle of Singapore’s main shopping belt, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel serves as a great base for your shopping trips, and provides ample sanctuary from the hustle of the noise from Orchard Road. Bonus? You’ll never get lost — if you ever need to find your way back to your lodgings, just look for the hotel’s distinctive pagoda roof.
When you’re done blitzing through Orchard Road, decompress away from the crowd at the hotel’s secret bar, The Other Room. Make a reservation and you’ll be given directions to a nondescript black door — just follow the instructions and you’ll be granted access into one of Singapore’s most intimate speakeasies.
04 | Have a family holiday at the Barracks Hotel Sentosa
Got tots in tow? Been a while since you holidayed with your parents? The Barracks Hotel Sentosa’s a great choice for a family vaycay, not least because of its location: Michelin-starred Table65 is just a five-minute drive away, while the rest of Sentosa, beaches, attractions and all, are within convenient reach.
From now till June 30, the property is also offering guests complimentary champagne, 1-way limo departure transfer, and weekend activities like aqua fitness, yoga, and art jams.
The spacious Duplex suite is perfect for sizeable entourages. Consisting of a connecting ground-floor Suite and second-floor Premier room, the Duplex ensures that everyone gets their privacy when they need it — and with the Suite’s patio area (which also comes with its own Jacuzzi), you’ll have lots of room to lounge around and shoot the breeze whenever you want.
05 | Go on a foodie trail at Andaz Singapore
We all know about Singapore being a food paradise. If you want a ‘Best Of’ list that you can hit over a weekend, stay at Andaz Singapore. It’s riveted at the crossroads between Kampung Glam, Bras Basah and Little India — throw a stone and you can hit a good restaurant.
For starts, we suggest the pan-Indian Flying Monkey and Lounge, mod-Singaporean seafood bar Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong, and the delightful Indonesian-slash-Peranakan-slash-Thai Bumbu Restaurant. If you’re on a liquid diet, Art Deco wonderbar and Asia’s 50 Best Bars mainstay Atlas is, quite literally, right next door.
It’s just as well that the rooms at Andaz are perfect for sleeping off food comas. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame stunning views of the skyline and Marina Bay Area, while the woodsy Scandi-aesthetic blends with pleasing local motifs for an all-round homely atmosphere.
And if you don’t feel like leaving your comfortable abode to grab a bite, Andaz has you covered: They’ve got six different dining concepts under their roof, which includes the excellent steakhouse 665°F, private teppanyaki restaurant Teppan Chef’s Table, and comfort-food-fave Auntie’s Wok and Steam. Round it all off with a nightcap at rooftop bar Mr. Stork while you drink in a spectacular view of downtown Singapore.
06 | Revisit history at the newly-restored Raffles Hotel
If you want a little bit of everything — a luscious space to relax in, Michelin-quality restaurants around every corner, all in a historic building that’s arguably a monument into itself — then the Raffles Hotel is what you’re after.
Fresh off its recent facelift that completed late last year, the hotel looks better than ever, all while keeping its traditional, colonial-era vibe.
And you won’t have to go far for a good meal. There’s La Dame de Pic — the Singaporean outpost of three-Michelin star chef Anne-Sophie Pic — BBR by Alain Ducasse, and the newly-opened Butcher’s Block. Don’t be afraid to try the Long Bar’s Singapore Sling, either: you’re supposed to be playing tourist, remember?