08 Oct 2008

Move over NYC, for shopping and cocktails, the stylish set are flocking to the South East Asian city-state…

From the vintage stores stocking antique finds along Dempsey Road, to the label-lined pavements of Orchard Road – where Gucci and Chanel are within tottering distance of high street faves, Zara, Topshop and Guess – Singapore is fast becoming the top spot for globetrotting shoppers.

But once the sun sets, the real fun begins as the sleek bars and stylish clubs in the heaving metropolis come alive.

Make the renowned Raffles hotel your first stop. Offering the best Singapore Slings in town – well, they were invented there after all! – it’s the perfect place to start the night.

Next, head to the fabulous Clarke Quay – a lively hub of waterfront restaurants and bars – where the dance floor at the Ministry of Sound is the place to see and be seen.

From the lush greenery of the city, take the monorail to the island of Sentosa. With two kilometres of beach surrounded by picturesque mountains, volleyball, canoeing and panoramic views from Tiger Sky Tower – the tallest observation tower in Asia – await.

All accommodation budgets are catered for, but for upmarket boho charm, head to the New Majestic boutique hotel in arty Chinatown. With only 30 rooms, edgy wall-hangings and kitsch wallpaper are the order of the day in the boudoirs, while the Avante-garde bar is inspired by the magical Faraway Tree in the Enid Blyton fairytales.

Alternatively, for unparalleled views of the harbour and city from floor-to-ceiling windows, check out the five-star Mandarin Oriental Singapore with its lush spa and six gourmet restaurants.

While you're there...

Catch cage-less tigers

The world renowned Singapore Zoo’s ‘open’ concept means none of the animals who reside there are caged, but instead are allowed to wander freely, separated from spectators only by large, concealed wet or dry moats. So, you can get up-close and personal with white tigers, cheetahs and more – day or night!

Visit Bintan Island
A short 45-minute ferry ride will take you from Singapore to the Indonesian paradise island of Bintan, with its palm-fringed white sand beaches and luxe spas. Get back to nature – luxury style, of course! – with an overnight stay at the Banyan Tree resort. Set in the jungle, with breathtaking views over the South China Sea, it’s a blissed-out getaway not to be missed.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view
The Singapore Flyer – the world’s largest observational wheel – offers incredible panoramic views of the city and the Indonesian islands of Bintan and Batam, as well as Johor in Malaysia from the top of the 165- metre structure.