by Santorini Dave • Updated: November 14, 2018
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The 15 Best Hotels in Singapore
- Click the hotel name to check prices on Booking.com – my favorite website for booking hotels. Book 3 to 5 months in advance to get the best rooms and rates.
1. Raffles – Colonial District
Singapore’s most famous hotel, a 19th century heritage icon and national monument. Opened in 1887 by Armenian hoteliers, 5-star Raffles is a magnificent throwback to Singapore’s colonial heyday, with smartly-uniformed Sikhs guarding the front entrance, neo-Renaissance architecture, ornate wrought-iron portico, and each of its 103 suites conveying Old World splendor. Guests are attended to by personal butlers, and welcomed with the hotel’s signature Singapore Sling cocktails. All suites are spacious, and come with king-sized beds, antique furnishings, and marble bathrooms. (My favorites are the Personality Suites that pay tribute to renowned individuals linked with the hotel’s history, from Ava Gardner to Rudyard Kipling.) Excellent dining options include a fantastic North Indian buffet at Tiffin Room and refined French fare at Raffles Grill. The Long Bar and the Long Bar Steakhouse were refurbished in 2018. Rejuvenating spa and extensive shopping onsite.
Nearest transport: City Hall MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6337 1886
2. Marina Bay Sands – Marina Bay
This architectural showstopper dominates the Marina Bay, with three 55-story towers designed to look like toppling cards. Rooms are sleek and spacious, and views are second to none: floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the Marina Bay panorama on the west side and the futuristic Gardens by the Bay to the east. All bathrooms are equipped with monsoon rain showers; all but Deluxe rooms come with deep tubs. There’s an onsite spa and fitness club, and a gravity-defying infinity pool and SkyDeck on the 57th floor. Marina Bay Sands is surrounded by great dining and entertainment – the shopping complex below the hotel houses 80 restaurants (10 with celebrity chefs), high-end designer shopping, two theaters, an ice-skating rink, and the ArtScience museum. A sound-and-light show is staged nightly right on the Bay.
Nearest transport: Bayfront MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6688 8868
3. SO Sofitel Singapore – Central Business District
A design hotel housed in a 1927 heritage building, SO Sofitel brings French elegance to the heart of Singapore’s business district. A Parisian-inspired lobby with quirky furnishings acts as the dividing line between the So Hip (new tower) and the So Heritage (original building) wings. Guest rooms reveal tremendous attention to detail, decorated in a plush French style with designer touches – like high faux skylights that depict the cupolas in famous European landmarks. There are plenty of techie touches, too, from Illy espresso machines to the iPad Minis used to control temperature, light, and air-con. All bathrooms feature monsoon rain showers; So Hip suites come with oversized tubs. Great dining and entertainment: Singapore’s first female French chef, Anne-Cecile Degennes, creates contemporary European dishes with Asian touches at Xperience restaurant, and an excellent patisserie in the lounge turns into a lively bar at night. DJ parties take place at the So Hi rooftop infinity pool bar.
Nearest transport: Telok Ayer or Downtown MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6701 6800
4. Shangri-La – Orchard Road
An urban oasis – and one of the most family-friendly hotels in Singapore – offering true opulence amid 15 botanical acres in the middle of the city. This is the original Shangri-La hotel, boasting a marble lobby, 747 spacious and elegantly decorated rooms, CHI spa, large pool, and impeccable service. Rooms are spread across three wings: blond-wood rooms inside the Tower Wing, rattan-and-wood Garden Wing rooms with balconies overlooking the pool, waterfall, and lush vegetation, and exclusive Valley Wing rooms which include unlimited champagne and complimentary afternoon tea. (Valley Wing deluxe suites come with personalized butler service.) Family-friendly amenities include bathrobes for kids, surprise gifts, and babysitting available on request. Excellent on-site dining: high-end Cantonese fare at Shang Palace, Mediterranean dishes at the informal Waterfall, and an all-day international buffet. Intimate dining for up to 6 people is available inside the Orchid, a flower-filled garden art piece.
Nearest transport: Orchard MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6737 3644
5. Hotel Fort Canning – Colonial District
A hilltop, 5-star heritage hotel, combining colonial architecture with 21st century amenities. Once a cadet school for British-trained Singaporean troops, this sensitively-restored boutique hotel is surrounded by lush vegetation and filled with historical artifacts. Rooms are mid-sized, done in neutral tones and hardwood or marble tile floors, with a customized pillow menu available. Deluxe Garden rooms open out onto private patios with sun decks, while Premium rooms come with balconies and designer furnishings. Family-friendly facilities include a family pool and paddling pool, with a separate laps pool for serious swimmers. There’s also an excellent on-site spa and gym. Dining-wise, the stylish yet informal Salon serves Asian classics and Italian standards, while the Tisettanta Lounge specializes in expertly-mixed cocktails.
Nearest transport: Dhoby Ghaut MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6559 6769
6. hôtel vagabond – Little India
Historic shophouse turned artsy boutique hotel, located between Little India and Kampong Glam. Art is the main focus of hôtel vagabond; walls are lined with paintings, and there’s an artist-in-residence for guests to interact with. The heart of this hotel is the Vagabond Salon, strikingly decorated in crimson and gold, with six gold-leaved banyan trees rising up to the dark ceiling, a massive gold rhino in place of a front desk, and a gold elephant plunging out of one of the walls. All 41 designer guest rooms are slightly different in execution, though all are decked out with plush fabrics against a backdrop of dark wood – some Classic and Deluxe rooms have terraces. Heritage building constraints have kept facilities at the hotel to a minimum, but a state-of-the-art gym is due to open in 2017.
Nearest transport: Bugis or Rochor MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6291 6677
7. Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa – Sentosa Island
Parisian glamour writ large, on a picturesque clifftop location overlooking the Singapore Strait. This restored colonial building offers 174 rooms, 34 suites and four villas, all with hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, most overlooking the lush landscaped grounds. Villas come with their own swimming pools. The spacious living areas and comfortable sofa beds of the Prestige and Prestige Family suites are great for travelers with children – kids also appreciate the large shallow area in the hotel’s pool. The extensive array of treatments in the hotel’s impressive spa is among the best in Singapore. Numerous on-site dining options include Il Lido (modern Italian), Kwee Zeen (buffet breakfasts and international mains) and The Garden (light, health-conscious dishes). Excellently located Just a few minutes away from one of Sentosa Island’s prettiest beaches, with complimentary shuttle service from VivoCity and Paragon mall on Orchard Road.
Nearest transport: Waterfront monorail
Hotel phone: +65 6708 8310
8. The St. Regis Singapore – Orchard Road
Singapore’s most luxurious 5-star hotel. Service here is impeccable and decor is sumptuously elegant, with crystal chandeliers and artwork by Picasso and Fernando Botero displayed. Chauffeur-driven Bentleys transport guests to the hotel, and each room and suite is assigned its own butler. Spacious Art Deco guest rooms feature king-sized beds, lush upholstery, French marble bathrooms, and Bose sound systems. Family stays are accommodated in interconnecting rooms, and family-friendly tours of the city can be organized by the concierge. Kids also enjoy the indoor tennis court and child-friendly pool. There’s excellent dining on-site (including Michelin-starred Japanese at Shinji by Kanesaka), and the Remède Spa offers decadent treatments, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, steam room and Finnish sauna, and a state-of-the-art gym. Fantastic location between the Singapore Botanic Gardens and luxury shopping on Orchard Road.
Nearest transport: Orchard MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6506 6888
9. Conrad Centennial Singapore – Marina Bay
Luxury high-rise with an excellent waterfront location and enviable views. Towering above the Marina Bay district and spread over 31 floors above a grand marble lobby, the Conrad Centennial’s spacious rooms and suites are decorated in soothing neutral shades with large plasma-screen TVs and marble bathrooms. The hotel offers a completely personalized experience, and their Concierge app lets guests to customize their stay prior to arrival. The hotel will also put together personal sightseeing programs and provide jogging maps on request. A large outdoor swimming pool overlooks the Singapore Flyer, and there’s a state-of-the-art gym and luxurious spa. In addition to four on-site dining options, The Conrad Centennial is surrounded by the Millennia Singapore development, with easy access to over 1000 shops and 300 restaurants.
Nearest transport: Promenade MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6334 8888
10. Fullerton Bay Hotel – Marina Bay
Striking contemporary design hotel with magnificent views of Marina Bay. Guests arrive via the historic Clifford Pier or by limousine. Spacious, rosewood-paneled rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Marina Bay or the Clifford Pier. Some Premier Bay View rooms have private outdoor Jacuzzis, all bathrooms come with tubs and luxury Bottega Veneta amenities. Two on-site restaurants serve traditional Singaporean dishes (including a heritage dim sum brunch and afternoon tea) and French bistro fare. Travelers with children enjoy family packages, treats, babysitting services and kids’ concierge. Besides the pool and state-of-the-art gym, guests have access to a full range of treatments at the Fullerton Spa inside the Fullerton Hotel, a 5-minute walk away. With signature cocktails, infinity pool and expansive views of the city’s skyline, the rooftop Lantern Bar is one of Singapore’s most memorable watering holes.
Nearest transport: Raffles Place MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6333 8388
11. Naumi – Colonial District
Trendy boutique design hotel in a coveted Colonial District location. Decor is lean lines and neutral tones, with contemporary artwork and designer furnishings. The hotel’s sleek lobby area houses a lively bar and an upscale Indian restaurant, and the 73 guest rooms are themed: Habitat are compact and earth-toned, monochrome Oasis rooms are a little larger and come with deep bathtubs, and Patio rooms have private alfresco areas. Of the four suites, two are elegantly inspired by Coco Chanel, while the award-winning Eden and Nirwana suites are all pop art and Warhol. Nifty extras include electric blackout blinds, Nespresso coffee makers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities. There are three compact gyms and a rooftop bar and infinity pool with great views towards Marina Bay. Great location, a short walk from Marina Bay, Raffles Hotel, museums, galleries and Fort Canning Park.
Nearest transport: City Hall MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6403 6000
12. Wanderlust Hotel – Little India
Intimate, cutting-edge design hotel in the heart of Little India. Its 29 rooms have been playfully decorated in a mixture of styles by three award-winning Singaporean design agencies. Of the duplexes, the hugely popular Space rooms feature rockets, free-standing tubs and stuffed aliens. An ‘industrial glam’ theme defines the lobby, with barbershop chairs, exposed pipes and a foosball table, while vintage ad prints on a curved feature wall are a nod to the neighborhood’s history. An on-site restaurant serves Southern American/Indian BBQ, but there are are plenty of casual dining options in the surrounding streets. Leisure facilities consist of an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Nearest transport: Rochor MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6396 3322
13. Wangz Hotel– Chinatown
Boutique hotel near Chinatown, with personalized service and a young and trendy vibe. The decor at Wangz is thoroughly contemporary: the building itself is striking; barrel-shaped and made of metal mesh. The lobby is decorated with original art and sculpture by Asian artists, commissioned especially for the hotel. Themed floors house spacious guest rooms that feature eye-catching, nature-inspired art. Creature comforts include rain showers, Posturepedic mattresses, Molton Brown toiletries, and complimentary fruit bowls. Some hi-tech touches are iPod docking stations and dimmer switches by the beds. There’s a small gym onsite, in-house restaurant, and live music on weekends. Halo, the breezy rooftop lounge, serves uniquely crafted cocktails, as well as international tapas and mains. Located on Outram Road, a 15-minute walk from Chinatown – the surrounding Tiong Bahru neighborhood is rapidly becoming one of the hippest spots in town, with plenty of dining options and coffee shops.
Nearest transport: Outram Park MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6595 1388
14. The New Majestic Hotel – Chinatown
An ultra-hip design hotel on the southern edge of Chinatown, blending history with cutting-edge decor. Spread across a row of converted historic shop houses, each of the New Majestic’s 30 rooms has been individually decorated by local artists, and the open-concept lobby is urban chic meets movie set. Attic Rooms come with loft beds, while Aqua Rooms come with glass-encased bathrooms as their centerpieces. The most striking are the seven Lifestyle rooms, each personalized by a renowned Singapore designer. All rooms come with Ploh bedding, Kiehls toiletries, and Handy smartphones for guest use. Some rooms have standalone tubs, while others come with rain showers. The Majestic restaurant serves contemporary Chinese dishes, and there are plenty of dining options nearby. Leisure facilities include a compact fitness centre and a dramatic mosaic pool.
Nearest transport: Outram Park MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6511 4700
15. The Scarlet – Chinatown
One of Singapore’s original luxury boutique hotels, combining a classic 1920s heritage exterior with bold, contemporary interior design. The plush lobby features shimmering gold tile, oversized stuffed chairs, and comfortable seating nooks upholstered in luxurious velvet and designer fabrics. There are 75 guest rooms and 5 suites, and while many of its rooms are fairly compact in size due to the hotel’s historic design, The Scarlet makes the most of it. Some Deluxe rooms are equipped with skylights for stargazing, and Executive rooms come with outdoor seating areas with a view over Chinatown’s rooftops. Each suite is designed around an individual Scarlet Hotel theme: Passion, Swank, Splendor, Lavish, and Opulent. There is a small gym and outdoor Jacuzzi for guest use. Casa Tartufo restaurant combines sophisticated decor with Northern Italian specialities, while the rooftop restaurant, ARIA, specializes in Sicilian cuisine and has excellent views.
Nearest transport: Chinatown or Telok Ayer MRT
Hotel phone: +65 6511 3333
Staying in Colonial District
Framed by the Singapore River to the south, Marina Bay to the east, Orchard Road to the west and Little India and Kampong Glam to the north, the Colonial District is studded with historic buildings and other remnants of British colonial rule, interspersed with modern office buildings, hotels and shopping malls. No other part of Singapore packs as many cultural attractions into such a compact space: the city’s most important museums and galleries are all found here, within a few blocks of one another. The west side of the heart of Singapore is dominated by Fort Canning Park, a hilly green space that hosts outdoor concerts and events, as well as the Battle Box, a museum dedicated to Britain’s monumental WWII defeat. Just north of Fort Canning Park is the National Museum of Singapore, with the Singapore Art Museum located diagonally across Bras Basah Road. A couple of blocks south along Armenian St is the Peranakan Museum. Take Coleman St east for three blocks, past St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and you reach the Singapore National Gallery – the world’s largest collection of Southeast Asian art. Two blocks north of the gallery along St Andrew’s Road is Raffles, Singapore’s iconic colonial-era hotel. Diagonally across from it is War Memorial Park, with its monument to the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation. Head south, past the Padang cricket field to Esplanade Park, where you’ll find the cutting-edge Asian Civilisations Museum. The Colonial District’s dining scene consists of several stellar restaurants inside the National Art Gallery and area hotels, and international mid-range and high-end offerings inside Raffles City mall.
Best Hotels in the Colonial District
- Raffles Hotel
Iconic heritage hotel, superb dining, close to museums, family-friendly.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6337 1886
Contemporary boutique hotel, Andy Warhol-inspired suites, excellent restaurant, close to attractions.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6403 6000
- Hotel Fairmont Singapore
Inspired design, superb city views, great tapas/cocktail bar, museums and shopping nearby.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6339 7777
- Grand Park City Hall
Sleek, neutral tone rooms, excellent dining, close to shopping and attractions.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6336 3456
- Swissotel the Stamford
Panoramic views, extensive leisure facilities, superb shopping and dining.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6338 8585
Best Restaurants in the Colonial District
- Jaan • $$$$ • Stellar Michelin-starred fusion, romantic ambience, superb views, prompt service, reservations essential.
- Odette • $$$$ • Striking decor, Michelin-starred French-Asian fusion, ideal for romantic dates and celebrations, reservations a must.
- The National Kitchen by Violet Oon • $$-$$$ • Traditional Peranakan dishes inside National Gallery, opulent setting, informal, friendly.
- Coriander Leaf • $$-$$$ • Creative pan-Asian fare, dishes ideal for sharing, trendy, popular with young professionals.
- Kaiserhaus • $$-$$$ • Traditional Austrian fare, efficient service, relaxed atmosphere, large portions.
Staying in Orchard Road and Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s main shopping district. Taking its name from the fruit orchards and the pepper and nutmeg plantations it once led to, Orchard Road stretches west of the Colonial District for over two kilometers, lined with gleaming shopping malls, department stores and designer boutiques. High-end malls (ION Ochard, Wisma Atria, Paragon) are located towards its west end, while east end emporiums such as [email protected] and Rockstar cater to young, budget-conscious fashionistas. The stretch of Orchard Road west of the Orchard MRT station is dominated by 5- and 4-star hotels and collectors’ art galleries. Past the Orange Grove Rd turnoff towards the Shangri-La Hotel, Orchard Road becomes Tanglin Road, and continues west towards the Singapore Botanic Gardens – one of the city’s largest green spaces, renowned for its themed gardens, lakes, and the world’s most extensive tropical orchid collection. Orchard Road’s dining scene consists of varied international restaurants inside the shopping malls and the hotels, ranging from exclusive Michelin-starred dining to informal noodle, burger, and sushi joints at the mall food courts.
Best Hotels in Orchard Road & Botanic Gardens
Family-friendly, sumptuous rooms, excellent dining, close to Orchard Road shopping.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6737 3644
- The St. Regis Singapore
Classic decor, stylish rooms, butler service, excellent spa, close to Botanic Gardens.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6506 6888
- The Quincy Hotel
Design-driven boutique hotel, state-of-the-art mod cons, good restaurant, trendy.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6738 5888
- The Four Seasons Singapore
Intimate luxury hotel, modern Asian decor, excellent restaurant, close to shopping.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6734 1110
- Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
Superb location for shopping, contemporary decor, close to restaurants.
Reviews • Hotel phone:
Best Restaurants in Orchard Road & Botanic Gardens
- Les Amis • $$$$ • Sophisticated, Michelin-starred French fare, elegant setting, legendary wine collection, stellar service, reservations.
- Corner House • $$$$ • Venerable heritage setting in Botanic Gardens, creative fusion fare, seafood a specialty, friendly, informal.
- Iggy’s • $$$$ • High-end, intimate setting, creative East-meets-West dishes, romantic, smooth service.
- Shashlik • $$-$$$ • Longstanding Russian restaurant, informal ambience, grilled meats a specialty, busy on weekends.
- Tim Ho Wan • $$-$$$ • Michelin-starred dim sum, inexpensive, busy, popular with groups, queues.
Staying in Marina Bay and the Quays
East of the Colonial city center and built on reclaimed land, the Marina Bay area has the city’s most striking architecture and provides the setting for Singapore’s spectacular nighttime views. To the south stand the skyscrapers of Central Business District, to the east the bay is dominated by the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, shopping, dining and theatre complex. The lotus flower building of ArtScience Museum sprouts nextdoor, while the futuristic Gardens by the Bay spreads out to the east of the hotel. Across the causeway from the Gardens spins the Singapore Flyer. The pedestrian Helix Bridge connects the Marina Bay Sands promenade with Esplanade to the north, comprising a floating stage for events, open-air hawker centre and the iconic Theatres on the Bay. The west side of Marina Bay is lined with hotels and restaurants, with the Merlion – the symbol of the city – spraying water into the bay from its prime waterfront location. Just west of the Merlion, the Singapore River flows west under the Anderson Bridge and past Boat Quay – once the busiest part of the port of Singapore, today its pedestrian promenade is densely lined with bars and restaurants. Further west along the river is Clarke Quay, the hub of Singapore’s nightlife, its restored warehouses housing restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Best Hotels in the Marina Bay & the Quays
- Marina Bay Sands
Ultra-modern design, unparalleled dining, superb shopping, family-friendly.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6688 8868
- Conrad Centennial Singapore
Elegant rooms, Marina Bay views, excellent shopping and dining.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6334 8888
- Ritz-Carlton Millennia Singapore
Contemporary, arty surrounds, lofty bay views, excellent dining, close to attractions.
Reviews• Hotel phone: +65 6337 8888
- Fullerton Hotel
Sumptuous heritage hotel, quay views, close to nightlife, museums and dining.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6733 8388
- Fullerton Bay Hotel
Edgy contemporary hotel, great rooftop bar, Marina Bay views, close to attractions.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6333 8388
Best Restaurants in the Marina Bay & the Quays
- Waku Ghin • $$$$ • Exclusive, intimate Japanese dining, minimalist setting, legendary chef, advance reservations a must.
- No Signboard • $$-$$$ • Casual, buzzy seafood restaurant, chilli crab and white pepper crab specialties, popular with groups, reservations recommended.
- Osteria Mozza • $$$$ • New York-style upscale Italian, celebrity chef, top-notch service, good for romantic dates and family meals.
- Satay by the Bay • $ • Bustling hawker centre, satay and crab specialties, inexpensive al fresco food stalls, fun and busy.
- Cut by Wolfgang Puck • $$$$ • Sleek Michelin-starred steakhouse, renowned chef, busy evenings and weekends, business casual dress.
Staying in Chinatown and the Central Business District
Just south of Clarke Quay and Boat Quay loom the skyscrapers and office buildings of the CBD (Central Business District), informally known as The City. Singapore’s main commercial and financial hub is dominated by the renowned square known as Raffles Place, and stretches roughly from Canal Road to Cross Street, its gleaming edifices interspersed with a few smart hotels and dining options, including a celebrated food court. Immediately south of the CBD is Chinatown, settled by the Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese and Teochew populations in the mid-19th century. Some of the early 20th century, traditional shophouses still survive along Pagoda St, with Mosque, Pagoda, Temple and Smith Streets forming a popular tourist hub, lined with shops, souvenir stalls and massage parlours, with a few good restaurants peppered throughout. Immediately south, Chinatown’s daily life seems undisturbed by tourism, with locals eating at the Chinatown Complex hawker centre and practising tai chi or aerobics in the little square by the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. A couple of blocks south Kreta Ayer Road, Keong Saik Road and Neil Road form a dense triangular cluster of trendy, upmarket restaurants and bars. Another dining and nightlife hub is along Club Street, a block east of Smith Street. Further east, past the green and tranquil Ann Siang Hill Park, Telok Ayer Street is lined with some beautiful Chinese temples and mosques, as well as inexpensive eateries.
Best Hotels in Chinatown & the CBD
- SO Sofitel Singapore
Heritage hotel, cutting-edge French design, high-tech rooms, good dining, close to nightlife.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6701 6800
- The Scarlet
Striking heritage building, unique design, close to dining and nightlife.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6511 3333
- The New Majestic
Hip and friendly design hotel, themed designer rooms.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6511 4700
- The Club
Former-shop-houses-turned-boutique-hotel, luxurious furnishings, great dining.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6808 2188
- Wangz Hotel
Architecturally unique boutique hotel, colourful, contemporary rooms, hi-tech accessories, rooftop lounge.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6595 1388
- Naumi Liora
1920s Peranakan building, snug, comfortable rooms, excellent dining nearby.
Reviews • Hotel phone:
Best Restaurants in Chinatown & the CBD
- Restaurant André • $$$$ • Michelin-starred, creative fare, legendary chef, good lunch deals, advance reservations essential.
- Candlenut • $$-$$$ • Classic Peranakan dishes, stylish yet casual atmosphere, popular for lunch, reservations.
- Tippling Club • $$$$ • Clever fusion dishes, amazing cocktail bar, trendy, buzzy, young professional clientele.
- Burnt Ends • $$$$ • Modern Australian barbecue, open kitchen, bar seating, craft beers, reservations essential.
- Chinatown Complex Food Centre • $ • Casual street food, canteen-style seating, Michelin-starred chicken stall, popular with groups and solo diners.
Staying in Little India, Bugis, and Kampong Glam
North of the Colonial District, and across Rochor Canal, Little India is defined by three main streets that run north-south: Race Course Road, Serangoon Road and Jalan Besar. Serangoon Road is lined with tailors’ outlets and jewelry stores. Buffalo Road that connects race Course Road and Serangoon Road is famous for its fruit, veg and flower shops. The maze of smaller streets that makes up the bulk of Little India is an attraction in its own right, with colorful Hindu temples and mosques, incense stalls and numerous eateries. Southeast of Little India, across Rochor River and framed by Victoria Road, Jalan Sultan, Beach Road and Ophir Road is the compact Malay neighborhood of Kampong Glam. A former fishing village, it’s one of the oldest parts of Singapore that retains strong Malay-Arab roots. Apart from a smattering of historic shophouses and Malay architecture, its main attractions are the splendid Sultan Mosque, a lively dining scene dominated by ethnic eateries along Baghdad and Arab Streets and gourmet coffee shops on Haji Lane, and some of Singapore’s best shopping. Haji Lane in particular is renowned for its independent designers and quirky stores, while Arab Street, dominated by Javanese merchants in the 19th century, is now lined with shops that sell quality fabrics wholesale. Bugis, south of Rochor Rd from Kampong Glam, was known for its large transgender population in the 1950s and 60s. Today, it’s one of Singapore’s top shopping districts.
Best Hotels in Little India, Bugis & Kampong Glam
- hôtel vagabond
Striking, India-themed design hotel, contemporary rooms, cocktail lounge, artist-in-residence.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6291 6677
- Wanderlust Hotel
Hip, award-winning design, uniquely-styled rooms, close to restaurants and nightlife.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6396 3322
- Hotel G Singapore
Chic lifestyle hotel, colorful contemporary design, whisky bar, excellent dining nearby.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6809 7988
Peranakan-themed decor, well-appointed rooms, city views, free heritage tour, convenient for shopping.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6338 7600
- Pan Pacific Suites Beach Road
Spacious urban suites, rooftop pool, restaurants and malls nearby, popular with professionals.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6678 8888
Best Restaurants in Little India, Bugis & Kampong Glam
- Muthu’s Curry • $$-$$$ • Casual, canteen-style setting, fish head curry a specialty, busy in the evenings, popular with families.
- Wild Rocket • $$$$ • Tapas-style, Modern Singaporean dishes, funky décor, popular with young professionals.
- Tekka Centre • $ • Hawker centre, inexpensive Indian street food, busy, casual, popular at lunchtime.
- Warong Nasi Pariaman • $ • Longstanding family restaurant, Indonesian nasi padang dishes, inexpensive, casual.
- Khansama Tandoori Restaurant • $$-$$$ • Tandoori dishes a specialty, brisk service, some outdoor seating, casual, popular with families.
Staying on Sentosa Island
At the southern tip of Singapore, connected to the mainland by monorail, causeway and cable car, sits the 5 sq km Sentosa Island. A former base of the Royal Artillery, the island was heavily fortified in the early 20th century, served as a British military fortress during WWII and as prisoner of war camp during Japanese occupation of the early 1940s. In the 1970s, the island was developed as a leisure destination, and today it is home to several high-end resort hotels, two golf courses, a string of pretty beaches, and Resorts World Sentosa – an entertainment complex comprising Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, a 3D-artwork museum and a string of restaurants and shops. The island is compact and walkable, with most attractions clustered around the Waterfront monorail stop. Attractions further along are reachable either by monorail, on foot along the covered walkways, or by bicycle or Segway.
Best Hotels on Sentosa Island
- W Singapore Sentosa Cove
Secluded location, spacious, urbane rooms, immense swimming pool, family-friendly.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6808 7288
- Capella Singapore
Colonial luxury, smart, tech-heavy rooms, sea views, extensive leisure facilities.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6377 8888
- Hotel Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
Southeast Asian decor, contemporary rooms in bold colours, easy beach access, family-friendly.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6708 8310
- Le Méridien Singapore
Japanese design, heritage suites, family-friendly, near Universal Studios and aquarium.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6818 3388
- Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort
Spacious room, excellent on-site dining, terrific facilities for kids, beach access.
Reviews • Hotel phone: +65 6275 0100
Best Restaurants in Sentosa Island
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon • $$$$ • Michelin-starred French fare, legendary chef, good value lunch, reservations a must.
- Il Lido At the Cliff • $$$$ • Romantic clifftop ambience, contemporary international dishes, stylish but not stuffy, reservations recommended.
- TraPizza • $$-$$$ • Hand-crafted pizzas, casual, busy on weekends, family-friendly, beachfront seating.
- SKIRT • $$$$ • High-end steakhouse, striking interior design, open kitchen, smooth service, reservations.
- Din Tai Fung • $$-$$$ • Popular Shanghainese chain, dumplings a specialty, some outdoor seating, popular with families.