As with any other country, Singapore’s City Centre is its hub and definitely a good starting point to begin your exploration. Begin your tour of the country by covering the ‘essential‘ parts such as the Central Business District (CBD), Orchard Road and Marina Bay, with hundreds of shopping and sightseeing to be done in its Colonial and Financial Districts. True to its name though, the City Centre is also where all the roads in Singapore finally meet, thus connecting it to everywhere else on the island.
Singapore’s City Centre is the centre of commerce where international corporations, banking institutions and the who’s who in the financial world set-up operations. One distinct are is the Raffles Place, a major financial centre that has a large number of modern office developments. Even if you have no business to attend to here, it’s a great place to see the magnificent skyline of high-rise buildings tower along the quaint waterfront. Another established financial centre is the Marina Centre with its collection of offices, hotels, convention centres and shopping malls. Another noteworthy place is the Civic District. The historical seat of the Singapore’s Government and where you can find a large number of monuments and heritage buildings. It’s a great place to hang out with its many parks and large open spaces. From a largely fishing community in the early days of modern Singapore, the Singapore River is now an impressive area filled with numerous office building, shopping centres and dining outlets. Old shophouses and abandoned warehouses have been turned into stylish establishment. The three historic quays are now favourite destinations for both local and tourists alike.
Whether you are in town for business or pleasure, there is no shortage of hotels to choose from if you intend to stay in the City Centre. One of the most beautiful hotels in Singapore, the Raffles Place is where you can experience truly traditional, good old Colonial treatment. Walking through its doors is a step back in history to a time of British Rajahs. Richly hued drapes on a backdrop of white-washed walls and elegant dining areas add to the feel of being in another era. With rooms starting at SGD441 (USD303) you’ll luxuriate in its opulence, whether in your room or out in its lush gardens. Take advantageof its spa, bar and health club for a truly rejuvenating experience.
For something a little less extravagant, the Naumi Hotel Singapore offers luxury in the form of chic, modern rooms and amenities to ensure a delightful, satisfactory stay. Plush beds, large stylish bathrooms and fully equipped adjoining kitchenettes await you, at just SGD250 (USD172) a night. Naumi prides itself in its personal touch, and a personal aide will be on hand to assist you in any way required throughout your stay – sort of your one-person concierge, if you would.
However there are also plenty of hotels right in the hub of Singapore’s major shopping and entertainment district, at relatively lower rates. The Oxford Hotel Singapore offers reasonable rates of SGD 160 (USD109) and is ideally located, with nearby MRT stations besides being within walking distance to several places of interest, such as the Little India and National Museum. Rooms are fully equipped with modern facilities and even if you’re there for business, you’ll find staying here a pleasurable experience.
Hotel rooms could be impractical if you need a place to stay for a week and more. In such cases, there are also apartments which would suit you perfectly, such as the Somerset Bencoolen. At SGD 171 (USD118) you can relax in a private apartment and feel like you are in your own home-away-from-home. Stay connected to the outside world with broadband Internet access and enjoy its many other facilities while you’re there. It is located near many shopping and entertainment venues as well as public transportation such as the MRT for a whizz around the island.
If you are seeking quiet comfort and yet yearning to fully live the Singaporean experience, the Golden Landmark Hotel at the heart of the Central Business District is perfect. Providing a quiet shelter in the midst of hectic city life, the Golden Landmark is just minutes away from other treasures such as Arab Street as well as the Sim Lim Square – a must-visit for gadget-lovers. With comfortable rooms starting at SGD 110 (USD76) and a wide selection of local and Western fare, what more could one ask for?
Not all accommodation in the City Centre is pricey, though, as there are many places which you can choose from to suit your budget despite being in the heart of the city. For just SGD 88 (USD61) a night, the Ibis Singapore is perfect for business or pleasure, whether you’re travelling in a group, solo or with children. Clean, neatly decorated rooms and welcoming beds are really all you need when travelling. Its convenient location too is a bonus point as you do not have to go very far to see Singapore’s attractions. Simple yet inviting, it certainly is value for your money and a wonderful place to chill and relax. After all, tomorrow is another day and there’s still so much to do!