Go off the beaten track and discover a whole new dimension to Singapore with this three-day itinerary.
In line with Singapore’s world-class status as a City in a Garden, many hotels have incorporated numerous sustainable measures that go beyond planting a few extra trees on its compounds. A stay in a hotel with lush, solar-powered gardens is no longer a dream as many hotels transform their once ordinary common spaces into tropical wonderlands that are pleasing on both your eyes and the environment.
PARKROYAL on Pickering
PARKROYAL on Pickering is an oasis of calm in the bustling Central Business District. After a long day of exploring, take a stroll along the 300-metre-long garden walk in the striking hotel’s dedicated ‘wellness floor’, where you’ll be soothed by the sounds of mini-waterfalls and the smells of the herb garden. The infinity bathtubs in the Orchid Club Suites are made from recycled composite granite, and all rooms come with recycle bins and automated dimming lights. Request for rooms on storeys six, ten and 14, and you’ll wake up to beautiful zero-energy sky gardens outside your windows. The hotel is also packed with eco-friendly features such as solar-powered systems and rain harvesting to minimise energy and water usage, respectively.
A few minutes away by foot brings you to the heart of Chinatown. Visit Sri Mariamman Temple and Thian Hock Keng Temple, buy trinkets at traditional street markets and feast on the world’s cheapest one-Michelin-starred meal at Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle at Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre. When in Chinatown, some local favourites shops to check out include Lim Chee Guan, where staff prepares bak kwa (grilled pork jerky) behind the shopfront window daily, and Pek Sin Choon, one of Singapore’s oldest tea merchants.
Room rates from SGD 300/night.
PARKROYAL on Pickering. 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289. +65 6809 8888.
Oasia Hotel Downtown
You’ll spot Oasia Hotel Downtown from afar, thanks to green creepers growing around the hotel’s red aluminium mesh exterior—a stark contrast against the shiny polished windows of neighbouring office buildings. The hotel has removed the walls on all four sides of the lobby and on the 21st floor to facilitate a steady natural draft, so there’s no need for air-conditioning in the common areas. Natural elements such as copper and wood are heavily featured throughout the hotel and there’s even a green lawn for exercising and meditating. If you want to go the extra mile, you have the option of not having your room’s sheets and towels changed daily.
Just a ten-minute walk away is Lau Pa Sat, an open-air food centre offering a myriad of local food choices such as chicken rice, Hokkien prawn mee and satay (grilled skewered meat). For a more upmarket local experience, head to The Coconut Club and WANTON, Seng’s Noodle Bar for artisanal spins on two local dishes: nasi lemak (fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, accompanied with an array of side dishes like a sunny-side up, fried chicken and sambal chilli sauce), and wanton mee (noodles with dumplings), respectively. When night falls, clink glasses at Nutmeg and Clove, where cocktails are given a local twist, or suss out Operation Dagger, an underground speakeasy bar known for its innovative cocktails.
Room rates from SGD 360/night.
Oasia Hotel Downtown. 100 Peck Seah Street, Singapore 079333. +65 6812 6900.
Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa
Unwind to the sounds of nature at Siloso Beach Resort. Only 28% of the resort’s site area is covered while key common areas such as the pool, restaurant and reception’s waiting area are open-air to make the most of natural lighting and ventilation. It extends to the rooms, too. The Roof Garden suites come with open-air private rooftops and villas with Jacuzzis. The hotel has taken care to preserve the natural terrain and original trees on the resort grounds so expect the walkways to follow the gradient of the hill it sits on.
Take a dip in the clear waters of Siloso Beach or bring the kids to Resorts World Sentosa where there are plenty of family-friendly attractions such as the Universal Studio Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark to spend the day at. If you’re travelling with kids, reserve a cabana at Tanjong Beach Club and spend a leisurely day at this bar-meets-beach-club right on the sand. Go all out at any of the four Michelin-starred restaurants, including three-Michelin-starred French fine dining restaurant Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa. Else, Quayside Isle on the other side of the island, in Sentosa Cove, offers plenty of food options.
Room rates from SGD 190++/night.
Siloso Beach Resort. 51 Imbiah Walk Sentosa, Singapore 099538. +65 6722 3333.
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
Directly connected to Terminal 3 of Singapore Changi Airport via the Skytrain and link bridge, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is great for short-term business travellers or those with long transiting hours to spare. One of the hotel’s many green practices is the installation of water flow controller to reduce water consumption in guest rooms and public toilets. It also reduces waste by sanitising and recycling used soap bars into new ones to distribute to disadvantaged people in the region. Linens, too, are donated to underprivileged communities for them to repurpose and sell.
Singapore Changi Airport has lots of facilities and nooks to explore. Check out the interactive art rubbing stations to create imprints of iconic Singapore culture in the public area of Terminal 1 and 3, to The Slide@T3, a four-storey-tall slide for the young and the young-at-heart. Hello Kitty fans will be thrilled at the Hello Kitty Orchid Garden, a 24-hour themed café serving up doses of feline cuteness one dish at a time. It’s also connected to the city via the East-West MRT line and the airport shuttle.
Room rates from SGD 190/night.
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. 75 Airport Boulevard (Terminal 3), #01-01, Changi Airport Singapore. Singapore 819664. +65 6823 5300.
The JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
This 634-room luxury hotel has recently rebranded, following a SGD 20 million renovation, to unveil a sleek muted look. One of its most unique eco-friendly features is its microclimatic canopy that connects the 3.5-hectare development. The canopy harvests rainwater and converts solar energy to electricity while doubling up as a naturally ventilated shelter for guests beneath it. The wide windows allow natural sunlight to enter the rooms, reducing the need for artificial lighting for most part of the day. Even after dark, the rooms are fitted with LED night lights to reduce electricity usage.
Take advantage of the photo opportunity with the iconic Fountain of Wealth in Suntec City, located just across the hotel. Go museum-hopping at the National Gallery Singapore and the Asian Civilisations Museum, just a 12-minute walk away. Book a ticket to catch a local theatre production at the Victoria Theatre, or, if you’re lucky, catch a free performance at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Room rates from SGD 330/night.
The JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. 30 Beach Road, Singapore 189763. +65 6818 1888.