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For a country with over 1 million hotel room nights, I am always impressed when I remember that Singapore runs at a 85% occupancy rate all year round. It is no wonder that choosing between the many luxury hotels in Singapore is an arduous task. Dozens are fabulous and the city is small enough that location is not such a critical defining factor. I put together this guide to the luxury hotels in Singapore with the aim to narrow down this choice.
Unsurprisingly, the city-state has more luxury and upscale hotels than mid-tier or budget, and they are also the ones with the highest occupancy rates, despite the average $450 per-night rates. The top hotels in Singapore are usually considered to be in either a prime location or a historical building, of which Singapore has many. From the Fullerton heritage area to the Marina Bay and Sentosa, the city caters well to business travelers and luxury connoisseurs. Let me do the job for you and short-list the best hotels to stay in Singapore.
Save our quick list of the hotels for your stay.
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for a period stay: Raffles Hotel
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for an island getaway: The Capella
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for glitzy envy: Marina Bay Sands
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for sexy waterfront living: The Fullerton Bay
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for shophouse atmosphere: The Intercontinental Hotel
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore free flow champagne: The Shangri-la Hotel
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for yachters and party-goers: W Sentosa
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for Business travelers: Mandarin Oriental
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for Neoclassic river views: The Fullerton Hotel
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for green avant-garde design: Parkroyal on Pickering
- Best luxury hotel in Singapore for families: Resorts World Sentosa
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for a period stay: Raffles Hotel
An institution in Singapore, Raffles Hotel recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. No luxury hotel list for Singapore can ignore its best known landmark. I booked my mum and sister in the property for a truly memorable stay.
It was not just the box-TV set or the noisy pipes which reminded us of the hotel’s age, but also the professional butlers, some of which have been butlers for decades, the ornate facade and the arcade shopping. Raffles Hotel will transport you to a time gone by. Before Singapore’s land reclaiming efforts started, the hotel used to be by the sea. Today, it is in the heritage Bugis area, at the fringe of the Business District, an area steeped in history.
Although the hotel is also a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors who want to experience an era gone by, drink the famous Singapore Sling, created at the hotel’s Long Bar, or a Tiffin brunch with the traditional Colonial Indian recipes. Raffles Hotel manages to charge the highest rate in Singapore, regularly well above $600, and justifies it with the grandeur of a historical building and a genuine approach to hospitality that is hard to find in international hotels. Indulge knowing that famous people slept between the same walls. For more details, read my thorough review.
Note: Raffles is undergoing a complete 3-phase restoration from December 2017 to mid-2018. Check in after for a much anticipated luxe experience like no other.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for an island getaway: The Capella
Nestled in a hill on Sentosa Island, The Capella is a mixture of old and new. Designed around old British army buildings and complimented with modern architecture, The Capella is a small getaway 20min from the city center.
From the suites and villas you have views over the South China Sea and fully grasp Singapore’s status as the second largest container port in the world. The infinity multi-level swimming pools and the brave and inquisitive peacocks roaming around the breakfast tables provide the illusion of being very far away from one of the world’s most urbanized countries. The Capella is a wonderful hotel to disconnect and feel nature. Read on for my idea of paradise.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for glitzy envy: Marina Bay Sands
The largest hotel in Singapore, at over 2,500 rooms, is also home to a luxury shopping mall, a marina promenade, a casino, several celebrity chef restaurants, a Museum and the world’s tallest infinity rooftop pool, 150m long, that has come to be such a recognizable feature of Singapore. Marina Bay Sands can feel a tad impersonal, reminding the traveler of Las Vegas or Macau, with waitresses at breakfast looking for an empty table with walkie-talkies. But it is also this busyness and image of a hotel that never sleeps that is so appealing to many.
At Marina Bay Sands you may never rest but you will go home with plenty of unique experiences. Singapore it ain’t much, but it is certainly unique and fun. Don’t forget to check out the boat shaped pool for those heart racing sunset views. On Wednesday night, make sure to check out Ce La Vie, the rooftop bar and club that is popular with the ladies for its free flow drinks. City facing rooms are stunning but the rooms facing the Gardens by the Bay have breathtaking views at night.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for sexy waterfront living: The Fullerton Bay
Don’t be put off by the modern design, this glass building has a sexy rooftop pool and Lantern Bar and sweeping views of the marina. Facing the Marina Bay Sands, the rooms are living example of Singapore’s merchant past. Before the city became a modern port terminal, boats used to come to the Singapore River to dock and deliver their merchandize.
The Clifford Pier building, over which the modern Fullerton Bay is built, is a heritage building. Don’t miss the free walking tours of the Fullerton Heritage area offered by the hotel for a unique insight into a Singapore that was lost long ago. The lower level rooms have balconies and the corner ones even sport jacuzzis, one of the few hotels in Singapore to have that. The views from the hut tub are to die for. Inside, the decor is modern and sleek with dark wood and leather designer chairs. This is not to be confused with the Fullerton Hotel, which we mention later in this post.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for shophouse atmosphere: The Intercontinental Hotel
I stayed there a few times before I moved to Singapore and found the hotel to be homey, luxurious in an old-fashioned way, and charming. The lobby and several common areas, including the Business Lounge, are an interpretation of shophouse and Chinese Straits heritage. The checkered floor tiles and the ornate columns provide a sense of place.
The renovated shophouse rooms face indoors, towards Bugis Junction mall. They are carpeted and warm and have been lavishly furnished. The Intercontinental feels a bit like The Raffles Hotels’ little brother. Splurge and upgrade to a room with Lounge access for free drinks, canapes, cocktails and afternoon tea in a great place to relax or read the newspaper. The room is decorated with dark wooden furniture and Peranakan influence and oozes Singapore’s British colonial past.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore free flow champagne: The Shangri-la Hotel
The Shangri-la is a large hotel with two wings. The Valley Wing, favorite with business travelers or famous dignitaries like Barrack Obama because of the safety it affords, has packages with free-flow champagne, canapes, afternoon tea and snacks. The rooms are full of great details that show a lot of care and thoughtfulness has gone into their design.
They are one of the best rooms I have ever stayed at and, last year alone, I stayed more than 150 nights in hotels. The design and decor is a mix of Chinese watercolor paintings and ornate Renaissance architecture. The Valley Wing is refined and exclusive and has a breakfast to die for in the circular banquet hall with high ceiling and wrap-around velvety curtains facing the gardens. Located in the heart of Orchard but steps away from the roads and cars, the hotel has spacious gardens and a free-form pool that is perfect for families.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for yachters and party-goers: W Sentosa
The W brand is predictably cool everywhere and Singapore is no exception. Located in the exclusive and very expensive residential area of Sentosa Cove where apartments can fetch over $20 million, W Resort Sentosa faces the One 15 Marina and has views over the yachts and superyachts owned by rich residents.
The large pool area is popular on Sundays for its pool DJ parties, so typical of the brand. Some of the ground floor rooms have their own private pools. Expect the interiors and design of the property to follow the brand’s aesthetics with funky and modern chandeliers and marina-living decor. The young and beautiful come to Sentosa to feel like they are in good company. The stretch of bars at Quayside Aisle, along the resort, is perfect for a stroll or a relaxed brunch.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for Business travelers: Mandarin Oriental
Singapore has plenty of hotels for the business minded visitor. The Marina area offers the Pan Pacific, The Ritz Carlton, the Conrad, the Marina Mandarin, the Fullerton Bay Hotel, the Fullerton Hotel, the South Beach, The Swisshotel, The Fairmont… the choice is endless and, whereas they are all great options, the Mandarin Oriental may be the best. The attention to detail and Asian hospitality the well-established brand is known for does not escape Singapore visitors and the hotel delivers reliable and confident luxury.
The hotel is also home to a fabulous pool with beautiful views over the bay, pool side cabanas and a great Italian brunch. There are several bars and restaurants that are good enough not to leave the confines of the hotel for a business chat or a formal dinner. The steak house has private dining rooms for larger confidential meetings and the spa is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a long day of meetings. You can’t go wrong at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for Neoclassic river views: The Fullerton Hotel
Housed in the old Post Office building with towering columns and a rooftop jacuzzi, The Fullerton Hotel is The Fullerton Bay’s older brother. A landmark in the city, for its exclusive location at the mouth of the river and the heart of the business center, and its standout architecture, the Fullerton Hotel could well be located in Paris.
Inside, the rooms are beige and completed in marble. They have wooden white washed windows that open onto small balconies and into the busy business district or the river. The pretty mezzanine level pool faces the river and picturesque Boat Quay. Service is old fashioned and formal. The Fullerton Hotel also offers free guided tours of the area including the sister property The Fullerton Bay, the Clifford Room, the port area and the various rooms of the hotel. The hotel’s tower used to house a lighthouse with a beacon to guide ships to port in the 18th Century. It is today a restaurant. Don’t miss the chance to upgrade to a room with access to The Straits Club for champagne breakfast.
Being such a tropical and lush country, Singapore does not lack green spaces. But if you want to feel like one with nature Parkroyal on Pickering’s hotel-in-a-garden concept merges urban views and location with 15,000 square meters of greenery. From the moment you walk in the reflective pools, open spaces and glass windows make a statement.
The rooms are sleek, in light wood colors, functional and bright. The corridors are open looking like verandahs more than hotel aisles. The swimming pool is a real treat with bird cage cabanas that have become one of the hotel’s most iconic elements. The hotel features vertical gardens, a 300m garden walk by the pool and a vegetable and herb garden from where the chefs get their fresh produce. Parkroyal on Pickering is one of a kind hotel.
Best luxury hotel in Singapore for families: Resorts World Sentosa
With unlimited entertainment options within walking distance, Resorts World is like a Disney World without the cartoons. Only 20min from the city, this side of Sentosa includes an Aquarium where one can swim with sharks, a Hard Rock Cafe, a Michael Jackson hotel, Madame Tussauds and Trick Eye Museum, Universal Studios amusement park, a Dolphin Island, a waterpark, large retail spaces, ice cream parlors, a replica of the famous Merlion, plenty of restaurants include Joel Robuchon’s fine dining venue, concerts, shows and street performances.
Truth is that you could be anywhere but Resorts World is sure to keep your kids entertained, no matter their age. And when you crave a bit of the real world you just need to jump in a cab. The area has 6 hotels offering 1,500 rooms: The Hard Rock Hotel, Michael Hotel, The Festive Hotel, The Equarius Hotel, the exclusive, by-invitation only Crockfords Tower, the Beach Villas which offer Ocean Suites by the Aquarium and Treetop Lofts by the canopy trees. All six hotels are themed and offer different experiences. The resort also has a casino and an ESPA spa. Pure indulgence. Get a map here.
Check latest rates and more photos for:
|Raffles Hotel||Marina Bay||TBD - Under renovations until mid-2018||Agoda
|Marina Bay Sands||Marina Bay||S$609||Agoda
|The Fullerton Bay||Marina Bay||S$709||Agoda
|The Intercontinental Hotel||Bugis||$S290||Agoda
|The Shangri-la Hotel||Orchard||S$325||Agoda
|Mandarin Oriental||Marina Bay||$S360||Agoda
|The Fullerton Hotel||Marina Bay||$S300||Agoda
|Parkroyal on Pickering||Marina Bay||S$290||Agoda
|Hard Rock Hotel||Sentosa||S$455||Agoda
|The Equarius Hotel||Sentosa||S$560||Agoda
|The Festive Hotel||Sentosa||S$340||Agoda
|The Crockfords Tower||Sentosa||S$850||Agoda
Note: Image sources for Parkroyal, Resorts World Sentosa, W Sentosa, Shangri-la, Mandarin Oriental, Intercontinental and Fullerton Bay Hotel are the respective hotel websites or Agoda