People who have lived in Singapore and Hong Kong often get asked the recurring question – ‘which city do you prefer?’ It is not an unjustifiable question as the twin cities represent the very best that Asia offers, making them the top choice for tourists as well as expats looking at moving to Asia. If you ask me this question, my answer would be the uncontroversial “it depends” because I think both the cities have something unique to offer depending of your life stage, personal preferences, language skills, etc. As for today, I have a thing for Hong Kong but Singapore does manage to entice each time I pop by.
On my recent visit to the ‘Singhapura’, I stayed at the Fairmont Hotel, located in the heart of the Singapore’s shopping, entertainment and business district – right next to the Raffles city mall and other big commercial complexes. A cab ride from Changi International and less than twenty minutes, I found myself at the lobby of the newly spruced up Fairmont Hotel.
The hotel with close to 800 rooms, 15 restaurants and bars and the award-winning sprawling Willow Stream Spa makes a reasonably good first impression. I believe that the centrepiece (usually a sparkling chandelier) of any hotel is an important symbol as it encapsulates the hotel’s identity and personality. I have to admit that Fairmont wowed me with its pivotal showpiece. Their gigantic chandelier comprising eight hundred hand blown, bohemian crystal glass balls is quite a sight. Designed by the famous installation artist, Petra Dickova, the piece made my head turn each time I crossed the lobby.
Another beautiful art element in the hotel is the painting – ‘Diversity’, a vivacious combination of colours. The piece is inspired by the numerous multi-cultural festivals that are widely celebrated in Singapore and incorporates highlights of Peranakan motifs as well as botanical elements that reflect the lush greenery in Singapore. Each time I passed by it, I noticed something new in this painting.
We were taken to our room in the newly furbished North Tower (which is where you must take a room if you stay there). Comfortable bed, good quality of toiletries, delightful Nespresso machine and a drawer full of my favourite coffee blends. I was in a happy mood.
I noticed that the influence of Pernakan or the straits Chinese culture theme could be felt in the paintings in the room, the fixtures and even small details like the motifs of the upholstery. Quite a consistent and beautiful interpretation. It was snooze time after the swim. Somehow I sleep like a baby in hotel rooms. Checking in a hotel only to get some good sleep is worth it!
Night time was the time to socialise with the party starting at the Brazilian Churrascaria, Carnivore at Dempsey and the predictably landing up at one of the bars in Clark Quay. Got back to the room before the break of dawn to be greeted by the magical night view from the room.
The breakfast was at Prego – the super famous Italian restaurant in Singapore housed in Fairmont Hotel. Designed in a true trattoria style with Italian Prosciutto and sausages hanging from the awnings, Parmesan wheels stacked up on top, the vibe is authentic and that of family style dining. The freshness and quality of the food is noticeably superior with a huge variety in the breakfast buffet including even some mouth watering south Indian cuisine. I know I am coming back to Prego on my next Singapore halt.
To celebrate the renovation of the beautiful hotel, Fairmont Singapore is giving an offer on its rooms in the new tower till 30 December 2014. Weekday Rates (Monday to Thursday) including breakfast at S$368++ and Weekend Rate (Friday to Sunday) at S$318++ .
Fairmont Singapore | 80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189560, Singapore | Tel: + 65 6339 7777