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48 Hours In Singapore

If you had only 48 hours in the busy metropolitan city of Singapore, you will want to get the most out of your trip and that means, finding a comfortable…

If you had only 48 hours in the busy metropolitan city of Singapore, you will want to get the most out of your trip and that means, finding a comfortable hotel that is well connected to leisure hotspots and taking in the culture and city vibes. Here are my suggestions for city stays in different hubs:

Little India & Bugis

Teaming with culture, finding a stay here means that you’d be in the thick of daily activity of shop keepers selling dazzling fabric, herbs and spices, flower garlands and coffee shops selling masala tea and roti. You will never grow hungry in Little India with restaurants at every corner and a majority of them opening at the break of dawn till late at night.

Shop till your hearts content at Mustafa Center a 24 hour block-long behemoth stocked up with almost everything under the sun, from jewelry to food stuff, from clothing to kitchen ware. And if you have more moolah to spend, hit Bugis Village the largest street retail mall with incredible bargains.

For a distinct change to spend the night, stay at Wanderlust Hotel, a creative design hotel with innovative fittings and unconventional rooms. You will be rewarded with an unforgettable stay and a very hearty gourmet breakfast. Wanderlust is a 10 minute walk from the Little India MRT station or walk across the main road adjacent to the hotel to grab a bus.

Wanderlust_Singapore (1)

For an affordable price with comfort frills, stay at BIG Hotel, the newbie on Middle Road. This independent boutique hotel is chic and trendy in nature. Equipped with modern facilities such as an in-room Nexus 7 tablet for personal use during your stay, a fully functioning gym that opens from 6am to 12midnight and snack bar, this hotel is flocking with guests despite its recent debut. Rooms are spacious and a modern minimalist touch – the hanging lamps with gold finish gives the room a classy touch. Suites come with Nespresso machines and fluffy bathrobes and on each floor water and ice dispensers are available for guests refill.

Big Hotel_Singapore2Big Hotel_SingaporeBig Hotel Singapore

Chinatown

Quintessential to almost every Asian city, Chinatown is famous for cheap bargains, dim sum, affordable foot massages and backpacker hostels. But for the business traveler who is interested in taking in buzz but looking for a simple business friendly hotel, stay at Hotel Clover 5 on Hong Kong Street just adjacent to Chinatown and right by Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.

This contemporary stylish hotel is simplistic in design and affordable for business travellers. Hotel rooms come with separate toilet and shower areas and the hotel has a rooftop pool perfect for sundowners as you watch the city come to life after dusk. This up and coming chain of boutique hotels are set to make a name in the boutique hotel scene in Singapore. Stay tuned to the Hotel Clover series…

Hotel Clover 5 Hotel Clover 5_Singapore

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Feast & Relax In Singapore’s Kampong Glam

As a Malaysian, I often stumble on Malay words that mimic English words. Basikal – bicycle, music – music, komunikasi – communication and so forth. Naturally I thought the “Glam”…

As a Malaysian, I often stumble on Malay words that mimic English words. Basikal – bicycle, music – music, komunikasi – communication and so forth. Naturally I thought the “Glam” behind Kampong Glam was indicative of the word glamourous or glamor in Malay. I thought wrong!

Glam or Gelam is a type of eucalyptus that grew abundantly in that area previously and its oil were used extensively for medicinal purposes, hence the name Kampong Glam meaning “village of eucalyptus”. Back in the 1800s Kampong Glam was home to Singapore’s Malay aristocracy before colonial rule. This area was designated for the Sultan and his household, as well as the Malay and Arab communities, many of whom were merchants. Today, if meander the streets of Kampong Glam, you will see the original structure of the Sultan’s palace now converted into the Malay Heritage Center offering guided tours to visitors.

The area was very popular with Arab traders and truly, they have left their mark long after the trading years seen in the textile shops, sweet smelling perfume parlours and shisha joints. Yet, what makes Kampong Glam a thriving hub of cultures is the multi-ethnic communities developed here, comprising not only Malays and Arabs but also the Chinese and Indians.

Kampung Glam_Singapore

Kampong Glam received a facelift and was restored and refurbished recently. Rows of conserved shop houses have now transformed in to chic cafes, art galleries, boutiques, curios shops and restaurants. They blend in with traditional businesses like perfume parlours, textile and carpet shops, blacksmiths and shops selling religious items used by Muslims.

Haji Lane_Kampung Glam_Singapore

The area is a great place to eat and explore, tucked nicely away from much of the bustle of the city centre. Stroll around its famous textile shops, and check out the stores selling jewellery and rattan furniture. Make a beeline through groovy Haji Lane hopping from one boutique to another and later stop at any one of the cafes for a break. Try Maison Ikkoku coffee or brunch, take-away fluffy swiss rolls at Rich and Good Cake Shop on Arab Street, slurp on mee rebus at Kampong Glam Café on Rocher Street or tuck into a hearty murtabak (meat pancake) at Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant.

Food at Kampung Glam

Stay at Hotel Clover 769

Traversed back into time where bullock carts and gunny sacks were used to transport goods and spices and oil lamps hung on tradesmen’s arms as they walked the streets. Reminiscent the era where analog dial phones, gramophones and clacking typewriters were used to communicate or the days when heavy steel sewing machines and bulky cast irons were used in households. Hotel Clover 769, the new boutique hotel on North Bridge Road is a row of 2-storey refurbished conserved shophouse designed to showcase the colonial era in all its simplicity and understated glory.

The rooms are cosy with white, brown and beige muted hues and fittings are minimalist drawing focus on handpicked features such as oil lamps on the bedside and hanging camera lights from the ceiling. The 27 room hotel boasts of two suites with an open air Jacuzzi popular with Singaporean staycationers.

Proud of its heritage, this row of conserved shop house is still decked with Chinese words and former sign boards on the building’s exterior. Within the hotel, you will also find a quiet recluse in the open air well area that has been transformed into a refreshing courtyard with lush vertical gardens hanging over top and lazy rattan swings perfect for a midday unwind.Hotel Clover 769Hotel Clover 769_1SONY DSCHotel Clover 769_3SONY DSC

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