Singapore is one of the world’s most captivating destinations; a gleaming international mecca where ‘supertrees’ are normal, architecture limited only by imagination, and an eclectic cultural mix makes it akin to visiting four countries in one.
The last two years have not dimmed its appeal either. If anything, it has only grown.
With Singapore now welcoming travellers back to its tropical shores, and a bevy of changes since you were there last, there’s no better time to hop on a plane and rediscover its magic.
Rather than waiting to begin your cultural odyssey on touchdown at Changi, you can start right away on Singapore Airlines.
With regular direct flights from all major Australian capital cities, including the daily A380 flagship from Sydney, guests receive a quintessentially Singaporean experience that goes far deeper than its signature service alone.
The Star Alliance member has seen a raft of recent enhancements too, including a multi-sensory onboard experience inspired by the Batik floral motif worn by its staff, which gives travellers a chance to see, smell and even hear Singapore long before they land.
A revamped Boeing 737-8 business class, now flying from Cairns and Darwin, and menus inspired by the country’s mouth-watering hawker centre food halls are just two of the other significant changes.
As any visitor to the Lion City can attest, a love of food and flavours runs to its core.
Singapore Airlines’ tantalising in-flight menu and ‘Book the Cook’ experience, which allows guests in Suites, First, Business and Premium Economy class to preselect from an array of dishes up to 24 hours before your flight, will ensure your taste buds are warmed up and ready to hit the ground running.
On arrival, the deliciousness only continues from there. Yet there’s more on the menu as well, including fresh attractions, glittering five star hotels, and even a few unexpected surprises.
From a Japanese whisky bar hidden in plain sight to a hotel icon that has moved to a bigger and better abode, these are some of the newest things to see, do, touch and taste in Singapore.
Hotels worth checking into
Hilton Singapore has been a familiar presence in the city for more than five decades. However, you may want to double check the address on your next visit. Not only has it moved, it’s changed name to Hilton Orchard Singapore and doubled in size.
Sporting 1,008 rooms furnished with Hilton’s trademark style, there are also multiple delectable dining options, including the much-loved Osteria Mozza, ready to take your order.
Not too far away is the new Clan Hotel, a tech-savvy establishment inspired by the history of its downtown location. Though that may sound contradictory, it somehow works and has already become a popular base for business travellers.
With beautifully furnished guest rooms, a Sky Pool on level 30, and themed restaurant and bar Qin – serving reimagined Chinese classics and inventive cocktails – there’s a high chance it’ll become a favourite for you too.
Just 15 minutes away on Sentosa island, home of Universal Studios and the fantastic Tanjong Beach Club, is Oasia Resort Sentosa, which places wellness at the front and centre of its experience.
Opened in late 2021, it features 191 earthy and calming suites and rooms, with complimentary wellness activities to help guests relax and refocus their minds. These include Qi Gong and yoga, in addition to a wellness hour and Les Mills programs on demand via iPad.
Museums to inspire and delight
There’s a new destination for art lovers, with an offshoot of Singapore Art Museum taking up residence at Tanjong Pagar Distripark earlier this year. Split across two levels, the space is part of the museum’s mission to diffuse art throughout the city and hosts an exciting lineup of exhibitions and immersive installations.
Haw Par Villa is the quirkiest, scariest and arguably most-iconic museum in Singapore. First opened in 1937, the 8.5-hectare cultural park known for its infamous dioramas depicting the 10 Courts of Hell has unveiled a fresh, thought-provoking addition: Hell’s Museum.
Although admittedly not for everyone, the indoor gallery reveals fascinating insights into how we perceive life and the afterlife. Guided tours are available daily, although a self-guided journey is worthwhile too.
Bars and restaurants that dazzle the senses
Within the plush confines of Regent Singapore on Orchard Road, The House Bar is a dimly lit space with an exclusive clientele, by design. Tucked behind a wall near the hotel entrance, most people stroll by and don’t even know it’s there.
Those who do find it will be treated to an exquisite collection of premium whiskies and sakés, complemented by an inventive cocktail menu and bite-size selection of share plates.
Over at Marina Bay, modern European restaurant Sommer is making a name for itself with multi-course menus themed around Discovery, Inspiration and Experience.
Opened in January last year, it’s already secured its first Michelin star, with its open floor plan allowing diners to glimpse the culinary magic in the kitchen.
Chef Julien Royer is a well-known presence in Singapore, with his three-Michelin star restaurant Odette – recently named eighth in the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia – a fixture on the dining circuit.
Latest venue Claudine continues his flair for French flavours, yet with a rustic and homestyle twist.
Though it may have been a while between visits, the beauty of Singapore is it never stops. It grows, it evolves, and there’s always something new and intriguing to stumble upon.
With Singapore Airlines, the best of the Lion City and beyond is within your reach.