Shop till you drop! This is no exaggeration when visiting Singapore’s hip and happening Orchard Road. it would take an iron willpower to not give in to the temptation of parting with your cash. An amazing array of shopping malls awaits you, with the latest fashion in clothes, gadgets and even books for bibliophiles. Cafes and restaurants dot the entire stretch, perfect for a five-minute thirst-quenching drink before resuming your browsing and touring. Best of all you can choose from the high-end malls to outlets that are easier on the pocket.
A trip to Singapore’s shopping and entertainment centre would ensure that you will not need to go to the gym for a very long time. With its seemingly endless rows of shops it would only be a matter of time before you’re building muscles with newly acquired luggage. Although one shopping mall is arguably much the same as another, the feel of it is always different. Or may be that’s just the effects of air conditioning after a hot walk outside. Christmas is a particularly good time to be in Orchard Road, when the lights and decorations bring added zest. Originally a nutmeg and fruit plantation (hence the name) Orchard Road recently underwent a SGD 40 million facelift with new street lamps, planter boxes and flower totem poles among other interesting features, adding to its zest and appeal besides providing some added shade from the hot equatorial sun.
A notable shopping destination on Orchard Road would be Tangs, which was opened in the early 1950s. Its unique architecture is certainly a must-see on its own. Then there is Ngee Ann City, the larges shopping mall on Orchard Road, the Paragon, a high-end mall selling branded items, The Hereen Shops which is housed in a colonial building, and many more exciting places to shop.
Shopping is certainly not the only activity you can do on Orchard Road. There are some famous landmarks that are worth the visit such as the Istana, an elegant building situated at its southern end. Then there is the Botanic Gardens further north where you can just rest and relax in the tranquil environment. And if you’re in the mood to see some beautiful buildings, take a stroll along Cairnhill and Emerald Hill. This is where the rich and famous citizens make their homes in multimillion dollar properties.
It’s really easy to get to Orchard Road from most areas in Singapore. Three major MRT stations can be found in its vicinity, namely, the Orchard, Somerset and Dhobby Ghaut stations. Singapore’s bus transportation system is also almost flawless, ensuring an affordable way to get around.
For the avid shopaholic, all geared up for an amazing race through the shopping centres, why not pick a hotel right in the heart of it all. Location is definitely a winning point for the award-winning Meritus Meridian although its service too is noteworthy. If you plan to rush from shop to shop then staying here would be a good idea as you would not have far to travel with your shopping bags! Its lobby depicts a beautiful, jaw-dropping 70-foot gold-etched mural depicting 87 Taoist Immortals. If you’re lucky you could also get a room with a great view of the city or even Marina Bay. It also offers facilities such as sauna, steam baths and massage rooms. Rooms are priced from SGD190 (USD130).
The Hilton is of course a world-famous name that needs no further introduction, long renown for world-class service at reasonable prices. With rooms beginning at SGD148 (USD 101), you’re guaranteed a good and satisfying stay. You could opt to lounge on the rooftop pool and watch as the day passes you by or perhaps even plan out your shopping and sightseeing route for the day!
Fear not if your budget is limited though. After all if you’re planning to shop your holiday away, a pricey hotel room is probably not going to be on your list of priorities. There is plenty of less expensive hotels available ranging from SGD100 (USD69) and below. A particularly cosy and conveniently located example is the Holiday Inn Park View with rooms at just SGD60 (USD41). You’re guaranteed value for your money especially with its recreational facilities and dining selection. The hotel is also known for its hospitality and friendly, personal touch.