Singapore is trying hard to become a livelier destination for travelers, and to build on its reputation for shopping, fine dining and fine hotels. The opening of the Crazy Horse nightclub with dancing girls from Paris last year is to be followed soon by the opening of the most expensive casino in the world.
This may not be to everybody’s taste but such projects underline a commitment to make Singapore a more exciting place to stay. The Night Safari, a zoo trip in the dark, has more popular appeal, and is as well organized and safe as everything else in this city state of some four million people.
No 1 choice
The Shangri-La hotel’s Valley Wing is a great place to stay if you want to combine a business stay with sight seeing and shopping in Singapore. First opened in 1985, the Valley Wing was extensively refurbished in 2003 and provides opulent accommodation in 136 guestrooms with the largest rooms in the city and a magnificent 17th floor Presidential suite.
All rooms and suites have a classical touch and the finest furnishings such as bed linen made from pure Egyptian cotton and wall-to-ceiling curtains that open at the touch of a button. You also have round-the-clock butlers to answer your call, personalized stationary including business cards, and your check-in is done in the room.
The beautiful marble bathrooms are worth of individual comment. There is a large bathtub with an individual LCD television, a rainfall showerhead and the lighting can be adjusted to daylight, normal or romance mode.
At the lobby level the entire area is a lounge with complimentary champagne and snacks available throughout the day. Outside guests may recline around the large swimming pool or immerse themselves in the Jacuzzi. The well-manicured landscaped gardens also offer the chance for secluded sunbathing.
Dining options are extensive. But late last year the hotel opened an all-you-can-eat dining concept called The Line, which boasts 16 different food styles, and minimalist orange and white decor. For more formal occasions the Blu restaurant overlooking the city lights is recommended.
Best for security
Not surprisingly The Valley Wing is enormously popular with royalty, heads of state, foreign dignitaries and captains of industry when they visit Singapore. The wing has its own entrance from the road, and can be sealed off from the rest of the hotel if security requires.
All overseas guests are personally received on arrival at Singapore Changi Airport and their limousine then conveys them to The Valley Wing’s private entrance. Here there is a warm welcome with an immediate orchid for lady guests.
Many guests from the Middle East choose to fly with Emirates from Dubai, and its premium classes offer an extremely convenient and luxurious travel option. Emirates has 24 flights a week, including 17 direct non-stop services, from Dubai to Singapore.