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Touring Singapore’s HotelsDecember 5, 2008 By: Mark Rogers Travel Agent
The Lion City’s hotel scene is vibrant, inventive and luxe.
Shophouse Rooms at the InterContinental Singapore exude Perankan design and exemplify their culture
One of the most appealing aspects of the 403-room InterContinental Singapore is its wholehearted embrace of Singapore’s Peranakan culture, which dates back to the 17th century. The InterContinental Singapore offers its guests the chance to stay in one of its 81 Shophouse Rooms and Suites featuring Peranakan decor, which includes such details as mosaic glazed tiles and cabinets with carvings of peonies. These rooms have high ceilings and large windows that open onto the street. It is an emblem of classical elegance surrounded by all the modern amenities.
I toured the hotel with Sheo S. Rai, manager, public relations & communications, Intercontinental Hotels Group. “The InterContinental Singapore is the only international brand to offer Peranakan heritage in the hotel,” says Rai. “We’re seeing a real resurgence in interest in Peranakan culture, and we’ll be promoting it at the hotel.”
This Peranakan style extends to the recently renovated Club InterContinental Lounge, which has a unique design that incorporates Peranakan motifs, including scrollwork screens demarcating semi-private areas, a Peranakan library and a Peranakan welcome tea service.
The InterContinental has launched an Insider Experiences package called “The Peranakan Trail.” The tour includes visits to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens to learn about spices and herbs used in Peranakan cuisine, a stop at the Peranakan Museum and a walk through the historic Peranakan neighborhood in Joo Chiat Trail is a private tour and prices are subject to the amount of people in the group, beginning at $206 for one person and $30 a person for a group of 16 to 19. Lunch options are also available and priced accordingly. to shop and sample Peranakan desserts. The Peranakan
The hotel is centrally located in Bugis Junction, within easy walking distance of shops and entertainment. Nice perks in the rooms include iPod docking stations and L’Occitane bath amenities. The hotel has a variety of restaurants, including Man Fu Yuan, specializing in Cantonese dishes, and Ko, featuring Japanese cuisine.
Travel agents can reach out to the hotel’s director of sales-tours and travel, Evelyn Tay (011-65-6825-1082, [email protected]).
The luxurious bathroom of a St. Regis Singapore Presidential Suite offers a panoramic ocean view
St. Regis Singapore
The St. Regis Singapore opened last April in a central location in the heart of Singapore, with rooms overlooking Singapore’s Botanical Gardens.
The hotel has 20 floors. With floor-to-ceiling windows in the living rooms, all 37 suites provide semi-panoramic views of the city skyline and green surroundings. Keep in mind that if you’re requesting rooms with poolside views, rooms on the lower floors have the best vistas. The opposite is true for rooms facing the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Tang Lin Road side.
The Executive Deluxe Rooms are essentially the standard rooms at the hotel. The Specialty Suites, which go quickly, include the Presidential, Astoria, King Cole, Manhattan, Knickerbocker and Metropolitan Suites.
The hotel has six senior concierge members who hold the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or of Singapore. The head concierge is Ian Tan (011-65-6506-6872, [email protected]). The general manager is Yngvar Stray. Travel agents can reach out Ashley Hanson, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. She can be reached at [email protected] or 011-65-6506-6718.
The hotel has three restaurants: LaBrezza, a terrace restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine; Yan Ting, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, serving Cantonese cuisine; and Brasserie les Saveurs, a light and airy French restaurant looking out over the pool. Restaurant reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the hotel’s dining agents (011-65-6506-6866, [email protected]).
The Remede Spa is the first in the region. The spa’s signature treatment is the Warm Stone Jade Massage. Advise your clients to come an hour early so they can enjoy a variety of features, including the Finnish Sauna, Ice Fountain and Eucalyptus Scented Steam Chambers. The spa manager is Femme Findlay; advance reservations can be made by contacting her at 011-65-6506-6788, [email protected].
The Fullerton Hotel
The historic Fullerton Building was built in 1928 and was home to Singapore’s General Post Office, Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Club. The structure transitioned into The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, which officially opened in 2001 after a $276 million makeover. The historic exterior’s Doric columns in the Palladian style have been kept intact, while the interior has been completely modernized.
The 400-room, eight-story Fullerton Hotel Singapore is in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District and within walking distance of cultural venues, including the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, as well as Boat Quay, one of Singapore’s most popular dining and entertainment areas.
Among non-suite guest rooms, Esplanade Rooms are a popular choice. These top-floor rooms are spacious and offer some of the best sea or river views. Among suites, the Loft Suites go quickly. These duplex suites feature high ceilings and spiral staircases leading to the bedroom. Eight Loft Suites line the building, with each featuring French doors leading out to a balcony.
Views are of the sea and Singapore Flyer on one side of the hotel, while the other side faces the Singapore River and the Asian Civilizations Museum. The sixth-floor Quay Rooms and eighth-floor Esplanade Rooms are considered to have the best views.
The Presidential Suite, formerly the card room of the elite Singapore Club, is The Fullerton Hotel Singapore’s most exclusive suite. The 653-square-foot suite has a living room, dining room, entertainment area, bedroom, study, kitchen and glass-enclosed veranda.
Fullerton Suites are a good choice for larger families. These are at the top level of the hotel overlooking the river or sea, and have adjoining outdoor terraces, which are ideal for private gatherings.
The general manager is Louis Sailer; agents can contact him directly at [email protected].
The hotel’s Asian Spa has 11 treatment rooms; three of these are suitable for couples. Aromatherapy massage is a specialty. Agents can book treatments in advance of their clients’ arrival by contacting the hotel’s spa director, Angie Soon ([email protected]).
The main restaurant is Jade, serving Chinese cuisine. A signature dish is Fermented Black Bean Squid Dumpling. The hotel’s Town Restaurant is known for a variety of Asian and local dishes, like the signature Town Laksa (a spicy noodle soup), as well as western dishes such as the veal rack. The buffet-style Sunday Champagne Brunch is one of the finest in Singapore, with free-flowing premium Champagne. Alfresco tables overlooking the river can be reserved in advance by calling 011-65-6877-8128.
The Post Bar is a favorite of journalists; the signature cocktail is the White Cosmopolitan, made with white cranberries.
Agents can direct inquiries and special requests about The Fullerton Hotel Singapore to Elsie Chew, director of sales and marketing ([email protected], 011-65-6877-8018).
A Deluxe Room at the Fairmont Singapore
The Fairmont Singapore is situated at the crossroads of Singapore’s business, cultural, entertainment and shopping districts. The hotel (formerly Raffles The Plaza) links to Singapore’s main train center, City Hall Station. This makes the property convenient to Suntech Singapore, the city’s main convention center, and four major shopping centers.
All 769 rooms and suites have such amenities as BOSE entertainment systems, tropical rainforest showerheads, workstations and private balconies overlooking either the city or harbor. The Raffles Inc. Executive Club functions as a hotel within a hotel, and offers exclusive privileges well suited to business travelers, including a private lounge, complimentary boardroom and complimentary daily breakfast and evening cocktail hour. The entire hotel runs on Wi-Fi so guests can stay connected wherever they go (the one exception being the Raffles City Convention Center functions room). The hotel is well equipped for meetings, and has 70,000 square feet of meeting space.
The property has 17 restaurants and bars offering a range of cuisines. A nice touch in the works, and one that will become available next year, is an on-property herb garden. Guests will be encouraged to choose their own herbs from the garden to be used in preparation for their meals.
The Willow Stream Spa has been rebranded as Willow Stream—A Fairmont Spa. The spa has 33 treatment rooms, including VIP couples’ suites. Advance reservations can be made by contacting Regine Hoo, membership sales executive (011-65-6431-5605, [email protected]).
The travel agent liaison is Karina Davies, director of sales and marketing (011-65-6431-5549, [email protected]).