Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Singapore
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Singapore.
Hi! I’m Anya, an American who has been living in Singapore for the past three years. I’ve been surrounded by expats (I went to an international school), but I’ve also made tons of friends native to Singapore, so I know the spots to go that are luxurious, whilst still maintaining Singapore’s charm.
What makes Singapore a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Singapore is an incredibly, clean, polished city with high standards and impeccable taste! It’s a small country, so everything you must see is easy to get to. Singapore’s identity stems from a vast array of other cultures and expat communities, so there’s always something new to try, or somewhere new to explore.
What 5 star hotel is the best in Singapore?
I’d have to say Marina Bay Sands, the hotel with the iconic infinity pool overlooking Singapore’s skyline. The hotel is right in the middle of Marina Bay, so you get amazing views of Singapore right from your room! It’s a great location; it’s in the center of the city, close to all of the action. Its right over a luxury mall with plenty of designer restaurants, so food and shopping is easily accessible! If you don’t feel like taking the lift down to the mall, Ce La Ve is a wonderful Asian Fusion restaurant at the top of Marina Bay Sands (MBS to the locals).
What about boutique hotels in Singapore, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
The Raffles Hotel is an absolute beauty! It’s a Singapore icon, full of history and glamour! It’s right in the middle of the central business/civil district, so it’s easy to get nearly everywhere in Singapore. Better yet, the Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was created, is right inside the hotel. (Read a full review here)
Are there any fun luxury activities for the adventurous traveler in Singapore?
Sentosa Island is a great place to go for some adventure, from zip lining over beaches to indoor skydiving! Even better, when you’re done with your adventure, you can lounge around at a seaside pool (or by the ocean), fruity cocktail in hand, of course! You can also hire a yacht to take you out to St. John’s Island or out into the sea for a day of relaxing, partying, or sunbathing!
MacRitchie Reservoir is fun to have a little hike around. There’s a treetop walk where you’re on these big metal bridges over the trees- it’s really beautiful, but avoid it if you’re afraid of heights!
Where are the best hang outs during the day in Singapore?
The Shangri-La Hotel has the most amazing tea buffet, with plenty of local Singaporean dishes and also the most incredible dessert spread- including a chocolate fountain! Haji Lane is another little place not to miss. It’s a “hipster” street right in the middle of the city, full of street art, small boutiques, and plenty of cafes. My favorite Haji Lane Café is #Selfie Coffee, where you take a selfie on their phone, and it’s printed onto the foam of your drink!
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Singapore and what are their best dishes?
Singapore definitely takes pride in food, so you can’t really go wrong. A tried-and-true favorite of mine is Catalunya, right on the water of Marina Bay. They have the most incredible Spanish food and everything you can order there is absolutely fantastic.
Another favorite is Stellar at One Altitude, a beautiful restaurant located at the top of the highest building in Singapore! Their streaks are absolutely amazing- perfectly cooked and oh so buttery! They melt in your mouth! And you get to enjoy that whilst enjoying the most incredible view of Singapore and the bay.
Fancy restaurants in Singapore are amazing- but don’t skip out on the local food, which is a fusion of Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes, with influences from Thailand and Indonesia. Check out Hawker Centers for those ☺
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best?
Benjamin Browns on Orchard has insane over-the-top milkshakes! They’ve got tons of different flavors, and the toppings are crazy! There’s a slice of cake and a bunch of candy on top of one!
The 2am Dessert Bar is also a great find. They have a bunch of different desserts, from cheesecake to more exotic tarts and mousses, and the best part? They’ve got a recommended wine/cocktail pairing!
Tell us all the hot shopping spots in Singapore; who’s carrying the trendy local designers?
If you want to shop, Singapore is definitely the place! Orchard Road is the place to go, home of 22 malls, most of which are interconnected by underground walkways. You can find everything on Orchard; from big-name luxury goods to smaller local designers. I like Aijek, who designs some beautiful feminine clothing. It’s very lightweight (perfect for Singapore heat!) and very whimsical.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Singapore?
The So Spa at the Sofitel on Sentosa Island is absolutely divine. Choose from a wide assortment of rejuvenating, relaxing, and health-inspired treatments, work out at their gym, then float in their waterfall pools- the pressure of the waterfall against your back releases tension! There are also a couple saunas and a body mud masque area!
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
Take a hike up to Mount Faber! It’s not a strenuous walk at all, and at the top, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful Singapore sunset, peeping through the trees, the glow of the city lights below you. It’s the perfect balance of city and nature, and the sunset just ties it up into a big picture perfect moment. You can continue your walk all the way over to Sentosa!
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot.
The Library Bar is a fantastic little place – if you can find it! You have to find the little bar first, then give them the day’s password for entry, found on their Facebook page. The hunt is surely worth it, though, as the second you walk into the quirky little bar, it’s like you’ve time traveled into a swinging little speakeasy! The cocktails are just as quirky as the concept of the bar; my favorite is the Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, a pea and lemon gin cocktail!
If you’re looking for a more low-key place to pregame, Stickies Bar is a good one! You can sing, play beer pong or cards, or watch a game there! Whatever you’d like to do whilst downing a beer, cider, or cocktail, you can surely do at Stickies!
If you end the night at a fancy club in Singapore, which one do you head towards?
Singapore does nightlife like no other! Clarke Quay is a covered area (so the rain can’t ruin your night), home to many bars and clubs. My favorites are Attica and F.Club! You could also head to Zouk, consistently voted one of the top clubs in the world! Make sure to end the night at Bang Bang, a club located at the Pan Pacific Hotel near Marina Bay. Bottle service is the way people like to go, but you can also buy drinks at the bars there.
Anya is a 19 year old with dreams of exploring the world. She loves trekking in the Himalayas, getting lost in foreign countries, and all things spontaneous. You can follow her adventures at Unexpected Occurrence, where she writes about all of the mishaps and craziness that comes along with being a part-time nomad.