Singapore is often used as a stopover for those making their way from the UK and Europe to Australasia. But as its highlights include the famous Raffles hotel, the exciting Sentosa Island with its Sky Tower and city zoo, the Singapore Flyer and an eclectic mix of cuisine, this city-state is so much more than a one-night wonder.
With its reputation for cleanliness and order, you will find it difficult not to be impressed with the immaculate pavements and parks to be found as soon as you leave Singapore Airport (SIN). This pride in presentation is in abundant evidence in Singapore's many hotels. The most famous of Singapore hotels is, of course, the Raffles, the home of the Singapore Sling, which is located in the colonial or historic district.
Many of the other luxury hotels, including the Shangri-La and Mandarin, are found in the opulent Orchard Road area, also a popular shopping destination. Major chains such as Dusit and Shangri-La, Mandarin Hotels, Anantara and Amari as well as international brands such as Holiday Inn, Hilton, Intercontinental and Mercure are represented here. Whilst the country has a reputation for luxury hotels, it also now has many familiar 3- and 4-star hotel groups.
If you leave the centre of the city to find other hotels in Singapore, the Sentosa Island resort to the south has a lot to offer. Alongside Universal Studios and its Sky Tower, the highest observation tower in Singapore, there are plenty of sports on offer, such as golf and tennis, or if you're more adventurous you could even dive with sharks. The city zoo is home to a truly unique experience that is the night safari. Here, forty acres of land have been given over as a reserve for nocturnal animals from across the world.
A former British colony, the country's population is now an eclectic mix of cultures with influences from India, Malaysia and China. For the traveller this means an array of fine dining establishments within the hotels offering exciting regional cuisine as well as unique fusion dishes. There are also markets selling everything you can possibly imagine. From local noodles and Asian fast food to exotic fruit and vegetables, the choices are endless.
If you have an interest in history, the Tang Dynasty City is a theme park which recreates Singapore's history and includes some original stonework. Many travellers enjoy a stroll around China Town, the cultural centre of the city, with its ancient temples and monuments. Other popular activities include spotting ships in the busy harbour, visiting Marina Bay, Changi Museum, Johore Battery, Fort Canning Park, Parliament House or the National Museum.
If you want to take in all the landmarks you could try the world's largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, located on Raffles Avenue. Check out the busy marina or the beauty of the National Orchid Garden from a great height.
Singapore is a diverse and beautiful place, where high-rise buildings sit among immaculate parks and green spaces and the pace of life seems serene compared to other Asian destinations. Its reputation for excellent service, though, has made it a hub for business events and conferences as well as the exciting night-time Grand Prix, so do think about hotels early to avoid disappointment.
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