At the core of Singapore's cutting-edge development and buzzing cosmopolitan vibe is a tropical destination favoured by those who seek adventure, and colourful culture. Nature and entertainment are all within easy reach of the city centre, while a diverse foodscape caters to all tastes.
Charting Asia Through Art
The Singapore Biennale 2016, titled An Atlas of Mirrors, will run from 28 October 2016 to 26 February 2017, with commissioned contemporary works that highlight Southeast Asia's shared histories and current realities with South and East Asia.
During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the streets of Geylang Serai come alive with a vast bazaar of over 1,500 stalls where shoppers flock to bag Malay clothes, snacks, and souvenirs. Come nightfall, fairy lights line the roads to add to the festivity.
Housed in the National Gallery Singapore, Odette is named after chef-owner Julien Royer's grandmother and greatest inspiration. The restaurant's airy elegance extends to a glass-enclosed kitchen where diners can watch the chefs at work. Modern French cuisine made with seasonal produce, such as Challans guinea fowl, are exquisitely plated for visual and gastronomical impact. The private room seats up to 12 guests.
EMPRESS presents quintessentially Cantonese food right by the Singapore River, setting the mood with a timeless, warm gilt-and-lacquer interior. The menu features classic mains like sweet and sticky ribs and king prawn dumplings, as well as innovatively reinvented desserts. Group bookings are welcomed.
In February 2016, InterContinental Singapore completed a S$26 million renovation of its 338 Tower rooms and public areas, including its European dining restaurant and lobby lounge. The new heritage-inspired design marries filigreed and panelled interiors with contemporary furnishings and ambient lighting, complementing its 13 meeting rooms and the Bugis Grand Ballroom that accommodates up to 600 guests.
The late-2015 opening of renovated dining establishments Colony and Summer Pavilion at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, as well as the revamped top-floor Ritz Suite, add new glamour to the 608-room hotel at Marina Bay. Flexible event spaces include the pillar-less Grand Ballroom for 1,200 guests, as well as meeting rooms equipped with high-speed Internet access and dedicated telephone lines available on request.
The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel is currently undergoing a S$17 million revamp that will see a complete overhaul of the 574-room hotel's lobby and F&B outlets, as well as the addition of two function rooms to offer over 67,000 square feet of total function space with state-of-the-art facilities. Renovations are expected to be completed in Q3 2016.
Located in the heart of the Civic District, Carlton Hotel Singapore fully renovated its 940 guest rooms and 13 event spaces in 2015 to feature soothing contemporary décor, abundant natural lighting, and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the hotel.
With 1,261 rooms towering over the city, Swissotel The Stamford is located right above City Hall MRT and offers an impressive 7,000 square metres of meeting space, including the Fairmont and Stamford ballrooms which feature Smart Light technology, built-in screens and ceiling sound systems.
Opened in February 2016, Kranji Marshes is Singapore's largest freshwater marshland and home to over 170 species of birds and 89 species of butterflies and dragonflies, making it an important habitat in the Kranji area for the conservation of biodiversity. The nature reserve is also visited by migratory birds.
The newly opened National Gallery Singapore houses the world's largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian modern art, with 8,000 artworks and a calendar brimming with exhibitions, tours, lectures, and workshops. Occupying two national monuments, the former Supreme Court and City Hall, the gallery's design gracefully integrates contemporary elements that complement and highlight the building's neoclassical architecture.
On the Singapore Flyer, visitors can indulge in champagne or cocktails like the iconic Singapore Sling while taking in 360-degree views of the island. Also at the flyer is the Singapore Food Trail, which harkens back to the street food atmosphere of the 1960s and showcases famous local dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, char kway teow, and satay beehoon.
Delve into the Singaporean origins and history of a world-acclaimed beer brand at the Tiger Brewery. The 90-minute guided tour will take visitors through the brewing and packaging process of various ales and lagers, and includes the chance to tap your own beer as well as a 45-minute beer appreciation session.
The epitome of East-meets-West, Heritage @ 25 is an Art Deco style bungalow that, on a closer look, reveals lovingly preserved Peranakan-influenced décor. The elegant house is equipped with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a swimming pool, and is suitable for entertaining up to 100 guests.
With more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species in a variety of exhibits, S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa offers a magical underwater environment for any event. The Open Ocean Gallery, with its 36m long and 8.3m tall viewing panel, can accommodate up to 350 people.
Expansive views of Marina Bay, vintage opulence, and a selection of local and European cuisine make The Clifford Pier a distinctive venue in the CBD. The airy space seats 250, with a maximum capacity of 1000.
One of the best executions of Asian fusion food can be found at KILO Orchard, conveniently located at Orchard Central and boasting an industrial minimalist space flooded with natural light. Audio-visual equipment is available to facilitate your talks, workshops, or product launches.
The Projector revives the historic Golden Theatre at Beach Road, with two cinema halls - one preserved in its traditional state, the other refreshed with a stage, timber flooring and beanbags - and the option to rent the foyer for pre-event mingling. Both in-house and external catering are available for your event, with capacities of 180 (Redrum) or 230 (Green Room).
Ideas for Incentives
Make a splash with Dragon Boat Innovate, which organizes corporate sessions ranging from a 2.5-hour bonding session to full-fledged premium events for larger organizations. Participants will learn about the history and traditions behind dragon boat racing and experience the dynamics of this ancient team sport, which requires rowers to paddle in time to the beat of a leading drummer.
The Peranakan Cooking Masterclass by Tribe Tours isn't just a cooking class. Conducted by a Nyonya chef and cookbook author, each session includes a visit to a local wet market to purchase the freshest produce, as well as guided instruction on how to produce uniquely colourful and flavourful dishes that are the hallmark of Peranakan cuisine - all in the chef's own home.
Get the adrenaline pumping in an exhilarating laser tag battle at LaserOPS, which features state-of-the-art equipment and a 5,500 sqft indoor arena complete with flashing lights, smoke effects, and surround-sound music. 18 to 24 players can compete together in a variety of game formats; the staff can help you plan your event based on your group size and team-building goals.
Cups N Canvas is a café with a twist: it holds art jamming sessions where participants can take to the canvas and unleash their creative spirit. Teams can attempt to create a multi-section painting divided into individual canvases, or simply express their perceptions on a specific theme.
Experience the thrill of skydiving in a safe, guided indoor environment at iFly Singapore's 17-metre tall vertical wind tunnel. Fully qualified instructors can help customize a group flying experience to build trust and bonding in your team. Its rooftop Sky Garden is also open to event bookings.
- Sands Expo and Convention Centre - Exhibition space: 31,750sqm; meeting rooms: 250. (65) 6688-3000, marinabaysands.com
- Resorts World Sentosa Convention Centre - Exhibition space: 6000sqm; meeting rooms: 46. (65) 6577-9977, rwsentosa.com
- Raffles City Convention Centre - Exhibition space: 3000sqm; meeting rooms: 27. (65) 6339-7777, fairmont.com
Major properties near the CBD include the 305-room Westin, 969-room Fairmont, 790-room Pan Pacific, 507-room Conrad Centennial, and 654-room South Beach. Hotels around Orchard Road include the 747-room Shangri-La, 663-room Grand Hyatt, 392-room Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza, and 1,000-room Mandarin Orchard. Properties to consider along Singapore River include the 367-room PARKROYAL on Pickering and 476-room Swissotel Merchant Court.
Singapore Changi Airport is 19km from the city centre. Transfer cost by taxi is $20-40. The airport is connected by MRT (metro) to the city and costs $2. All major hotels provide a pick-up service.
Service Charge: 10%; Goods & Services Tax (GST): 7%; Government tax on hotels: 1%
Singapore Tourism Board, (65) 6736-6622, stb.gov.sg.