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Singapore Experts - Advice Needed for Short Stay

Singapore Experts - Advice Needed for Short Stay

Apr 25th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Singapore Experts - Advice Needed for Short Stay

It looks like we may be going to Sri Lanka via Singapore next February. The connections on Singapore airlines aren't great but FF miles will cover the entire trip in business class with the layover (they won't on Thai via Bangkok) so we'll be flexible. We would arrive in Singapore direct from Newark at about 7 AM. Since the connecting flight leaves at about 11 PM, we think that we would like to spend an extra day in Singapore and get acclimated to the time change. Thus we would essentially have 2 full but somewhat jet-lagged days in Singapore.

I have always thought that the most awesome place to stay would be the Ritz-Carlton but I am not sure that the location is that great. Any recommendations?

Also, what are the must-sees? I am sure we will not be trying to accomplish too much with the heat and the jetlag. And...any favorite restaurants? - a nice meal on our 2nd day might be nice.
Craig is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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There is good discussion of luxury hotels in Singapore, incuding the RC, on flyertalk.com on the Luxury Hotel board. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=220 The general feeling I get after reading pretty much daily there for over a year, is that the RC is OK but has lost its edge and often has service issues. Also, the entry level rooms are only fine, but the suites are much, much better.

It also seems that there is a glut of hotels that are in the luxury/5* category, and that each of them has one problem or another. After considering about every hotel in the city at one point or another, we decided on Four Seasons, as their price was good for our stay, and they have few service complaints and many service compliments, and service is important to us.

The Mandarin Oriental rooms that face the harbor have great views. Hotel gets mostly good reports, with best reports coming from people who stay in suites or club level. Service is erratic according to reports.

St. Regis will be opening in the fall, and will be worth watching I think.

Location in Singapore...we decided, bases on others' advice, that being near MRT was good, and that we would use MRT and taxi to go where we wanted.

When booking, it would be worthwhile to check rates at www.asiabesthotel.com. I used them to book part of our stay and booked the other part directly. Asia Best Hotel staff got back to me within hours on my e-mail inquiries, didn't charge my card until the room was confirmed, and the Four Seasons and ABH had no trouble at all linking my two reservations. ABH is a huge Singapore inbound tour company and has a very good local reputation.

Marmot has a long thread going about Singapore restaurants that I'll print and take along with us. Many good ideas there.
KimJapan is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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If I were on a two day stop-over in SIngapore, I think I'd opt for Raffles the Plaza. The location is great, you are right on top of the MRT station. You are close to great restaurants that are walking distance as well. I stayed there back in the days when it was a Westin, and it was lovely. We had a large executive suite with a huge marble bathroom. I know that it's been updated and upgraded since Raffles took over. That said, you are really spoiled for choice in Singapore for luxury hotels. It would be hard to make a bad chioce!
Kathie is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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Craig...I've written a lot on Singapore in this forum as I vacation there annually. I stayed at the Raffles Plaza Hotel last August which was quite good and the location is excellent. I'm always in that area anyhow, so I thought I'd give the hotel a try. I would also choose the Fullerton...great location,too...right across from the Asian Civilizations Museum and very near an MRT station. We can talk about it when I see you at my GTG. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 10:01 PM
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Craig, I generally stay at the Four Seasons partly because it's convenient to Orchard Road, but mostly because I like the ambience and service. However, if you envision recovering from jetlag by lounging around a pool, then I would suggest the Shangrila as it has lovely, spacious grounds.

One of my favorite activities when I wake up pre-dawn is to walk through the botanical gardens just as the sun is rising. It's within walking distance of the Four Seasons.

My second favorite thing to do in Singapore is the night safari. Go late when it's less crowded and walk instead of taking the train.It's magical and unique!

Singapore's Western restaurants are becoming increasingly sophisticated. My current favorites are Iggy's, Halia and Papillion. I also really like the atmosphere at Raffles Steak House, which is worth a trip.

There are plenty of wonderful Chinese and other Asian choices, from food courts to fancy fusion. The Chinese restaurant at the Four Seasons is up there with the very, very good.
marmot is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:16 AM
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Hi Craig

I am from Sri Lanka and you may have already seen some comments I made on the Sri Lanka forum advising Kathie. I do travel a lot to Singapore on business and also for holidays.

Ritz carloton - top hotel bad location.

Try bto get someting in Orchard Rd area - there are so many you can pick from. I always stay at the Meritus Mandarin which is top class, and we have a corporate rate there. This is the sister hotel of the Marina mandarin which is near the Harbour front. For something lesser priced try the Holiday Inn Park View - it is quite good. Take a look at asiarooms.com for hotel bookings they are good.

Singapore is the place to eat and shop. Other intersting diversions are a visit to the bird park which takes a full morning, and also the night safari is a great experience from dinner time till a bit late but winder how you will fare with this after the jet lag. For top chinese food (there are hundreds of restaurants) my chioce would be the Crystal Jade Seafood inside Takashimaya shopping center which is also on Orchard Rd adjoining the Meritus Mandarin, or else across the Rd there is a shoping center called the Heeren and right at the top there is a super Thai restaurant called Lemongrass. Both these will give a style and quality of food that is not easily available in Sri Lanka.

Lemme know if you want more information of a specific nature.

Take care buddy and wish you bon voyage and welcome to Sri Lanka

(Sri Lanka)

Mohammed is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:19 AM
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Craig - I am so sorry for all the typos - this site just does not allow one to edit a post and make corrections after posting!
Mohammed is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:30 AM
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Thanks Mohammed - Please see my questions for you on the Sri Lanka thread.
Craig is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 03:33 AM
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Sounds like a great trip! You will love Singapore.

We always enjoy the RC but the great thing about Singapore is the many hotel options. The RC sometimes has good packages though, so keep checking. Especially on their better rooms - a marina view is essential if you end up staying there. The best view we've ever experienced from a city hotel. While the hotel isn't especially centrally located, you're never more than a 15-20 minute ride to where you want to go. The cabs are clean and cheap. Sorry, I can't comment on the other hotels. We like the RC so we keep returning. And service has always been great for us.

As for Singapore itself, we like to do outdoorsy things. Our favorite stop is the Orchid Garden (in the Botanical Garden). We also like the Jurong Bird Park and have heard great things about the Night Safari at the zoo as Marmot mentioned.
Ericka is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 03:53 AM
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Craig -
Do you have the SQ biz reservation on hold or ticketed yet? I was looking into the EWR-SIN flight for the trip to India but couldn't find seats for all of March. Either they are all taken or aren't getting released. In the past, we've had better luck securing JFK-FRA-SIN but I can't locate any of those yet either.
Ericka is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Ericka - right now we have one reservation on hold - I am hoping that another ticket will appear in inventory before the hold expires tomorrow at midnight. One of the agents has led me to believe that that might happen. I'll believe it when I see it.
Craig is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Personally i think Raffles Hotel (do not confuse with raffles the Plaza) is simply top class and a fantastic hotel to stay (it is one of the most famous hotels in the world).the service is superb and the rooms are huge (we had a courtyard suite which i thought were a bit quieter than the palm court suites).

The night safari is fantastic (cost S$15 in a cab from raffles) and i also loved an early morning walk round the botanic gardens... lovely.
pick up the walking tour leaflets from the airport they are very good, you could do a nice leisurly walk round china town which is great.
Smeagol is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Smeagol, I agree, no question Raffles is the "best" hotel in Singapore. But you really have to decide whether you are willing to pay the price. Occasionally, Singapore Air has had special in conjunction with Raffles which made the price "reasonable." While I'm willing to spend a fair amount on a hotel, I've never convinced myself to spend that much!
Kathie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 09:58 PM
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Kathie - its is dear to be sure(slthough still excellent value when you compare to some prices we pay for supposed "luxury brands" here in europe) I'm pretty sure that i got a resonable deal off the raffles website.
I mentione raffles becuase i got the impression from craigs post that he wanted somewhere "awesome"...
Next time i am in SP though i think i may try the Scarlett near China town/club street etc, looks very cool and in a great location. Now that does look like great value for money.
Smeagol is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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THREE local restaurants are putting Singapore on the global culinary map. Iggy’s, Les Amis and My Humble House have been voted among the world’s top 100 eateries by the prestigious British magazine Restaurant, published by William Reed Publishing.
KMLoke is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Smeagol, no question, it's better value than most luxury hotels in Europe! And the Raffles website does have specials from time to time.

Caution about the Scarlett - some rooms have no windows!
Kathie is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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No windows oh my - now i'm not sure about that. Anyway i will probably have changed my mind by the next time we are in SP as we are going to Australia this year (although am really gutted to be missing out on wonderful Thailnad this year... gets in the blood doesn't it!!)
Smeagol is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Right now it looks like we will be going through Bangkok - not enough availability in business class EWR-SIN - seems like they only make available one seat at a time and I checked all of February and March. However, I will continue to check in to see if the situation changes - we would like to visit Singapore at some point. We have set up our itinerary so that we could easily change to a stopover in Singapore should the flight become available.
Craig is offline  
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