Luxury Singapore holidays

Informed by two centuries of trading history, Singapore mixes in influences from all corners of the globe. In between its sky-scraping glass and steel, multi-tiered temples dot Chinatown, Little India is resplendent in thousands of colours and a 19th-century mosque glitters over the Arabic Quarter.

It all boils down into bustling hawker markets. Here, the likes of delicately spiced satay skewers and impossibly fluffy dim-sum dumplings are inspired by everywhere from Hong Kong to Indonesia to create a culinary landscape that's uniquely Singaporean. Remember, alongside those famous street-stall vendors there’s also plenty of fine-dining restaurants, often found perched on rivers and alongside rooftop bars.

Indeed, in Singapore, it pays to look up. In a single glance, you can expect to take in giant ferris wheels, monolithic lotuses housing unique museums and infinity-pool surfboards that cap luxury hotels. Together they form one of the world’s most iconic skylines. In among it all, there’s also plenty of colonial intrigue. And, alongside neoclassical courthouses and Victorian concert halls, it’s the whitewashed colonnades of the iconic Raffles Hotel that linger longest in the memory.

Given all this unashamed urbanity, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Singapore had forgotten its eco credentials. However, it’s Asia’s (some say the world’s) greenest city. Look beyond the palm-fringed beaches of Sentosa Island and you’ll find botanic gardens, a world-class zoo and an interior given over the treetop jungle bridges. However, the city’s latest offering is perhaps its greatest – the Gardens by the Bay. Pictured above, it’s a vertical park of 50-metre-high “Supertrees” knitted together by sweeping elevated walkways.


Special experiences in Singapore

Built to impress, Singapore is packed full of unique moments to make your holiday special. Indeed, after settling in for a hearty lunch of steaming noodle soup in a hawker centre, perhaps treat yourself to a Michelin-recognised dinner. With over 40 stars on offer, the city features one of the highest concentrations the world over. That’s alongside plenty of afternoon-tea delights, served up in perfect colonial elegance.

Speaking of treating yourself, Singapore has long been recognised as something of a shopping mecca. Our pick is Orchard Road, home to some of the world’s finest fashion houses. The city is also host to a series of truly special accommodation, detailed below. Just remember, although you’ll have to be a guest to enjoy a dip in the surfboard’s iconic infinity pool, anyone can enjoy a Singapore Sling in the famed Long Bar of Raffles Hotel.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Raffles Hotel

Infinity pool, Marina Bay Sands

Infinity pool, Marina Bay Sands

Laksa noodle soup, Singapore

Laksa noodle soup

Where to stay in Singapore

Appropriately, Singapore’s accommodation options span from colonial jewels to ultra-modern delights. And, Raffles Hotel remains the place to stay. Although almost as old as Singapore itself and named after the country’s founder, it’s been newly reopened for 2019. Expect billiards tables, elegant rooms and fine-dining terraces. However, there’s plenty of extra intrigue, with highlights ranging from beach-side favourites to converted-warehouse boutiques.

When to go to Singapore

With an equatorial climate, Singapore is hot and sunny year-round. Don’t worry though, from the high-end shopping malls to the superb public transport system, air conditioning is ubiquitous. Then, to minimise rainfall, look outside the short December–January monsoon. However, often confined to the early morning, showers invariably last a mere half hour and come as a welcome refreshment.

Suggested itineraries

Eastern & Oriental Express

Eastern & Oriental Express: Essence of Malaysia

9 days from £4,990 pp incl. flights

From Singapore through Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang, this itinerary offers the perfect blend of relaxation, exploration and fine dining aboard Southeast Asia's most luxurious train.

Eastern & Oriental Express

Eastern & Oriental Express: Wild Malaysia

9 days from £5,565 pp incl. flights

Jul / Aug / Sep selected departures savings

Travel north in style through the lush jungles of Malaysia, exploring 'tiger territory' on a wildlife excursion in Taman Negara National Park before experiencing the cultural wonders of Penang.

Komodo Dragon fight

Bali, Singapore & Komodo: luxury cruise and stays

17 days from £9,335 pp incl. flights

Between island-hopping on a luxury small-ship cruise, complete with technicolour dives and Komodo dragons, you’ll explore Singapore’s futurism and stay in private-pool villas in Bali.

The Helix Bridge, Singapore

Singapore & Sentosa in Style

7 days from £3,420 pp

Celebrate one of the world’s great cities on this indulgent weeklong break, complete with private tours and transfers, and stays in two luxurious hotels.

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