Singapore had been on my list of places to visit in Asia ever since I saw a picture of the iconic infinity pool on top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Social media has really changed the game for so many industries, and the travel industry is no exception. I have added so many more places to my travel bucket list because of pictures I’ve seen on social media. Although my stay in Singapore was short, the city is relatively small so the two days I had felt like sufficient time to see the main landmarks and get a decent feel of the city.
Singapore is very cosmopolitan and has a skyline with one of the most breathtaking cityscapes I have ever seen. I was blown away by the city’s architecture. The shapes and structures of the buildings were absolutely beautiful. There were parts of the city where I felt transported into the future or on a different planet.
Singapore is a melting pot of different races and ethnicities from all over the world, but is mostly people of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian decent. Although Malay is considered the national language, English is commonly spoken and Singaporeans are usually bi or multi-lingual.
WHERE TO EAT
I was lucky to have a Singaporean local give my friend and me a tour of the city and take us to the best local food spots. Not to knock the big tourist attractions (which are certainly worth checking out), but I’m all about the local culture of a city. Our local friend took us to a restaurant in Little India called Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine that was incredible and did not have a tourist in sight. We ordered traditional Indian dishes like naan, chicken butter masala, chicken tikka and red and green curry. It was delicious and super cheap. If you like Indian food, I recommend venturing out to Singapore’s Little India for an authentic meal.
I was also brought to an incredible Ramen place in the middle of a mall called Ramen Keisuke. This place is a ramen chain in the city and it was the best ramen I’ve ever had. The place was packed and there was a line to get seated, but it was well worth it. Try a green tea cola to go with your ramen!
WHERE TO STAY
For remarkable views of the city and the most iconic infiniti pool in the world, The Marina Bay Sands hotel is a must visit and a Singapore staple. I couldn’t leave without experiencing it, it was a picture of their infinity pool that put Singapore on the travel map for me in the first place. I spent my entire first day at the Sands Skypark Observation Deck and Infinity pool. From 57 levels above the heart of Singapore, you get a spectacular 360 view of the city including the Gardens by the Bay and the Supertree Grove. My favorite part was being up there during dusk when the sun was setting and the city lights started to turn on, transforming the sky into different colors. There’s also a laser light show after night fall.
There are restaurant options on the Observation deck/infinity pool level, including Spago by Wolfgang Puck, but for a more casual dining experience you can order food by the pool. The hotel itself has a wide variety of trendy American restaurants with famous chefs like CUT and Spago by Wolfgang Puck, Osteria & Pizzeria Mozza by Mario Batali, and Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsey. Ce La Vi is also on the observation deck level attached to the infinity pool and is one of the city’s trendiest nightclubs that features celebrity DJs. Marina Bay Sands is huge with several levels and three separate towers. It is attached to a mall with tons of designer shops and a skating rink and theater that offers shows like Wicked, Annie and Shrek the Musical. Marina Bay Sands has a lot going on and it reminded me of a Las Vegas hotel. It’s definitely a tourist attraction but the perfect hotel if you want to be in the middle of all the action.
The Mandarin Oriental is a 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Marina Bay. The hotel was inspired by the shape of the Mandarin Oriental’s iconic fan, and architecturally the hotel is beautifully built. It has more of a quiet and intimate vibe than the grand Marina Bay Sands and is a great hotel for any type of visit, especially if you’re there for business purposes and special events. It has lavish ballrooms, beautiful executive boardrooms with outdoor terraces and a comprehensive business centre. The hotel is sexy and sophisticated with a zen energy about it that made me feel completely relaxed and at ease during my stay.
The hotel offers diverse dining and restaurant options. I dined at the upscale Cantonese restaurant, Cherry Garden for a 6-course dinner and also checked out their killer breakfast buffet.
My room had an incredible view of the Marina Bay and I was directly across from the laser light and water show from the Marina Bay Sands hotel. I got to lay in bed and watch it from my bedroom window, which was pretty epic.
WHAT TO SEE
Merlion Park: Sinagpore is also referred to as “Lion City” so be sure sure to check out the famous Lion Statue. It also offers a great view of the city from the ground.
Gardens by the Bay/Supertree Grove: You have to visit the gardens, it’s a Singapore staple. The most iconic Singapore pictures are of the gardens. The supertree grove (the UFO/alien-looking light up trees), nature conservatories, a flower dome, and beautiful greenery and statues all make for a nice stroll along the water. It’s also really amazing to see it lit up at night.
Marina Barrage: Check out Marina Barrage to see one of the best views of the city during sunset.
To see more of my travels, visit www.nicoleisaacs.com