Singapore – contributed by Jens Hoffmann.
We landed in Singapore Changi, short transit stay over, just for one day before the big takeoff and departure to Melbourne.
Singapore is nothing if not stable, the city state prides itself on being a calm harbour in the funky Asia-Pacific region and wants to become a “City in the garden”.
I checked in @ Singapore Hotel W Sentosa.
The Hotel W Sentosa is fantastic, easy to fall in love with, so no wonder Chopard’s art director felt right at home here, what with all the sparkle and shine.
Cutting-edge, yet indisputably stunning, wows at every turn, from the living room, complete with a DJ deck and rock star bar, all the way to the master bath, where a chandelier reigns over a polished nickel tub.
The city changed his face during the last months, new hotels including some architecturally stunning buildings are popping up with surprising frequency, dramatically changing the urban landscape of this modern Southeast Asian city-state. Cranes are everywhere, signalling there is more to come.
But not only new hotels & bank buildings, you will also find the world’s largest oceanarium, a Moshe Safdie designed museum, and a new botanical garden that has attracted international attention.
The Marine Park opened on Sentosa Island, and includes the world’s largest aquarium and a waterpark. The aquarium contains thousands of marine animals from over 800 species. Visitors see manta rays, hammerhead sharks, bottlenose dolphins and other creatures on an underwater voyage of discovery that begins in Southeast Asia, and continues through the Arabian Gulf and the Open Ocean habitat, which is the aquarium’s centrepiece. The world’s largest viewing panel will make you feel like you’re on a cavernous ocean floor.
There’s also a wave pool the chance to tube along one of the world’s longest lazy-rivers, which meanders 620-metres through 14 themed scenes of tropical jungles, grottos, a surround aquarium and more.
The ArtScience Museum appears like a lotus, the structure is the newest addition to the Moshe Safdie designed Marina Bay Sands.
The museum building recycles water from its roof, and is surrounded by a 4,000-square-metre lily-pond reflecting pool that floats over a new urban terrace.
Inside you will find 21 galleries on three floors, including three permanent galleries, the museum also features major travelling exhibitions from renowned collections throughout the world.
Furthermore there are plenty of flowers, plants and trees in Singapores botanical attraction, but none compare to the 18 eye-popping “Supertrees,” which are not real trees at all, but towering steel structures that stretch up to 50-metres-high and act as dramatic vertical plant displays containing thousands of real ferns, orchids and bromeliads. You can take an elevator to the top of one of these and walk between two of the structures on the 130-meters-long Skyway for a great view of the gardens and the city. The trees, which are embedded with photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy, come to life at night with spectacular light and sound shows.
Elsewhere are themed gardens – City in the garden – such as the Chinese, Malay and Colonial Gardens.
We enjoyed the W Hotel on Sentosa Island, it is a fantastic hotel.
Ok, art lovers will make their way to Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, which has one of the finest corporate modern art collections in Southeast Asia. About 90% of the 4,000 pieces were commissioned for the hotel, including some 350 major “museum quality” works. The hotel offers a self-guided podcast tour of its collection that has work by Frank Stella eg his 3-ton Cornucopia sculpture, it really is the eyecatcher in the lobby, Dale Chihuly, David Hockney, Henry Moore and more.
Singapore is one of the most reliable places in the world to do business, still a bit saddled with the reputation to be boring, a tag it can easily shed.
Young Singaporeans do lot to change this status quo.
Keep goin, we had lots of fun and two great days @ the Hotel W Sentosa.
Resto tip in Singapore Jaan:
The restaurant Jaan is located on the 70th floor of the Swissôtel, and as you might expect has a spectacular view over the city. There has been considerable change in the kitchen in the last couple of years and we are always say hello to new faces.
The carpeted dining room had around a dozen well-spaced, large tables, and there was rather unnecessary muzak playing in the background. There was a rather incongruous industrial feel to the ceiling of the room, which doubtless was the result of careful and expensive interior design.
In addition to the a la carte menu there were five and eight course tasting menus, the 30 pages wine list was presented on an iPad rather than on paper, and included wines such as Chablis Domaine St Claire 2008.
Lets start to talk food.
It started with crisp salmon skin with lemon snow and lemon cream with lamb bacon.
A further amuse-bouche was cep sabayon with fresh walnuts and lovage and displayed in a cafetiere was a wild mushroom tea poured out at the table by the waiter, the cep sabayon itself was excellent. Breads are made in the kitchen and consisted of a series of rolls: black truffle brioche, black olive roll, sourdough roll and baguette. The breads were pleasant.
A single scallop had nice flavour but was was a bit overcooked, served with a pea puree and a watery tarragon nage. Boudin blanc of young pheasant had pleasant texture but surprisingly little flavour, served with rather tasteless small trompette mushrooms and a little Madeira sauce. Hmm. Later on we had rib of beef thas was really yummy, served with artichokes, confit tomatoes. Caramelised honey pear was pleasant enough, served with a good ginger ice cream and butter shortbread.
All in all a nice cuisine experience.
Singapore Changi is again the best airport in the world. Its the airport#1 for its overall soothing ambiance, its intuitive layout and friendly staff.
You spend too much cash on luxury things in Singapore, no problem. The airport continues to impress travellers with its comfort and long list of activities.
At Club Changi, travellers can sleep in special relaxation zones that feature reclining lounge chairs and padded seating. After a nap, travellers can connect to the internet using the free WiFi and internet stations, enjoy a free city tour of Singapore, join a cultural activity or walk in one of the seven gardens. Other airport amenities include a movie theatre, music and TV lounges, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, 24-hour massage and spa facilities, video games, and a 4-storey slide. This year the airport introduced the Social Tree, an interactive attraction designed to share and remember your Changi experiences.
Travellers rave about Changi’s 6 rest zones with special reclining sleep seats. They are popular watch out, if they are busy, showers area available.
The sheer volume of activities and amenities left some transit travellers wondering if they has just arrived at a shopping mall or resort rather than an airport. With its themed gardens, cultural activities, world-class shopping, spas, swimming pool, gym, lounges, 4-story slide, movie theatres, TV lounges, entertainment deck, and free Singapore city tour, a layover here is not likely to be boring. Travellers can enjoy free Wi-Fi and recharge all their gadgets at one of over 800 mobile charging points. In July, the airport opened the Wellness Oasis spa in Terminal 1. The unique feature here is the fish spa that exfoliates your feet and legs. As for sleeping in between flights, there is a transit hotel and lounges with napping rooms and showers. Travellers most appreciate the dedicated rest & relaxation zones. There are currently 6 areas set up with reclining lounge style seating. Often busy and sometimes noisy, these areas are appreciated by those travellers who are not so comfortable stretching out on seats at the gate.
Photos by Martin Mai.