Insights on Singapore

With this past spring’s opening of the luxury state-of-the-art observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, Singapore let the world know that it was putting a new spin on tourism. The country is in the midst of a building blitz that is broadening Singapore’s appeal across all markets—from families to casino gaming. The country’s goal is to attract 17 million visitors a year by 2015. A surprising chunk of this is coming from the U.S.

“We’re seeing 10 to 15 percent of our business coming from well-heeled travelers in the U.S., primarily from the East Coast,” says Louis Sailer, general manager of high-end The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. “Many of these are business travelers who are familiar with Singapore, and who return for a leisure visit.” Sailer notes that in most cases visitors combine Singapore with a visit to other countries, primarily Bali, Cambodia or Vietnam.

Sailer gave Travel Agent a preview of a new project that is underway, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, which will be the only hotel in Singapore built on the water of MarinaBay. The 100 rooms and suites hotel will adjoin the landmark Clifford Pier and offer unobstructed bay views. The hotel will feature between three and four floating spas, each with two double treatment rooms. “The Fullerton Bay Hotel will offer a very private and upscale experience,” says Sailer. “We’ll be taking the service level up a notch, with such features as 24-hour butler service.” The hotel will have five to six restaurants, and only one of these will be shared with the public.

Singapore has only a few rooftop bars, and the rooftop bar at the The Fullerton Bay Hotel will be the only one on the bay,” says Sailer.

The six-story property is only a short distance from The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and both properties will be connected via an underpass. Best estimates at this time peg The Fullerton Bay Hotel’s completion at the end of 2009.

The complete Fullerton Heritage project includes existing buildings One Fullerton, The Fullerton Hotel, The Fullerton Waterboat House, Clifford Pier and Customs House. The project comprises luxury retailers and sophisticated entertainment venues and aims to lure big spenders away from Singapore’s

Orchard Road
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Sailer made the case that Singapore is constantly reinventing itself. “With the addition of the casino at Marina Bay Sands Resort we’ll be able to entice visitors to stay longer—we’re aiming for an average of seven nights,” says Sailer. “Macau’s gaming is mass market compared to what we’ll have in Singapore, so I don’t really see them as a competitor.” The $3.6 billion Marina Bay Sands resort is being built by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and is scheduled for a late 2009 opening. The resort will have 3,000 rooms and construction estimates have it pegged as the most expensive casino in the world.

Sentosa - Singapore’s island resort
Singapore’s island resort of Sentosa has embarked on a 10-year plan to transform the island into a leisure destination. Sentosa is easily reached from Singapore by a short causeway and is a popular destination with both visitors and locals. It has a 1.2 mile long beach and a number of attractions, including two golf courses. Sentosa Casino Resort will open in 2009, offering even more gaming opportunities for visitors to Singapore.

Sentosa will also see some family-friendly attractions, including MarineLifePark, EquariusWaterTheme Park, and the largest Universal Studios theme park in Asia. The island will also see the opening of Hotel Michael, designed by award-winning architect Michael Graves.

Capella Singapore (www.capellasingapore.com) will open in the 4th quarter of 2008 on Sentosa. The resort rests on 30 tropical acres and has 72 deluxe guest rooms and suites, and 38 garden villas with private plunge pools, outdoor showers and bathtubs. Capella Singapore claims to have the largest guest rooms in Singapore, with many of the rooms overlooking the South China Sea. The resort’s Auriga Spa will have nine individual spa pavilions serving as treatment rooms, each with its own private open-air garden. Resort features include a Chinese restaurant, four pools, and full banquet, wedding and meeting facilities.

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