We asked Ali Alsagoff, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some he works with every day at the Hotel. From shopping in the city’s high-end malls to sampling its thriving restaurant scene to dancing your way into the wee hours, get ready to experience the thriving metropolis of Singapore.
For locally designed jewellery, visit Loang & Noi, an upscale shop on Orchard Road. From pearls to polished cabochons to cut gems, almost all the designs are one-off pieces, often inspired by nature. Also on Orchard Road, All Dressed Up is a local fashion label known for its eclectic, contemporary appeal.
Irresistible After Dark
If you’re looking for colourful nightlife, head to Zouk, a complex that features dancing, guest DJs and live acts in four clubs. The vast main dance floor caters to a youngish crowd and plays mostly house music, while Velvet Underground offers a more laid-back, sophisticated vibe.
Another hip hang-out is Ku Dé Ta, located on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands. And an exciting night of clubbing awaits party-goers at Avalon and Pangaea in the see-through floating crystal pavilion at Marina Bay.
It doesn’t get any more authentic than Singapore’s Chinatown, a spirited enclave along Keong Saik Road. A mix of the old and the new, the neighbourhood is home to a handful of recently opened, stylish bars and restaurants. But it’s the old-school scene that makes this neighbourhood so memorable. Wander past colourful shop fronts offering everything from Chinese medicines to homewares and kitschy souvenirs. Against a soundtrack of clinking mah-jong tiles and squealing children, this neighbourhood pulses with vitality.
Experience the Tropics
There are plenty of beautiful parks for outdoor recreation. Go for a run in the nearby Singapore Botanic Gardens, trek through the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or do some power walking through the Southern Ridges. For colourful bird life, take your walk through the Jurong Bird Park, a tropical oasis of 20 hectares (50 acres) of lush greenery that is home to some 5,000 birds from 380 species.
Stroll through the newly opened Gardens by the Bay in Singapore’s new downtown Marina Bay, featuring giant Supertree sculptures with an aerial walkway and two conservatory complexes: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.
A Seat at the Global Table
Just a five-minute walk from the Hotel by car or cab, the Orchard Road area is, without doubt, the ultimate dining destination for discriminating foodies. Choices range from super-high-end French fare at Les Amis Group’s Au Jardin inside the Singapore Botanic Gardens to Newton Circus, Singapore’s open-air food market, known for its fresh (live) seafood and just-squeezed tropical juices. Nearby, named one of the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Iggy’s is a cosy eatery with an excellent wine list. No matter what your mood, Singapore’s globally inspired restaurant offerings will satisfy.
In the Kitchen
For a hands-on cooking course, try Coriander Leaf, which runs highly popular cooking classes covering more than 15 different cuisines. The adjoining restaurant’s Pan-Asian menu features flavourful dishes from Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
And if you want an encounter with traditional home cooking (even if you’re a culinary novice!), Cookery Magic offers an authentic culinary experience in a Singapore home.
While Singapore is known for everything from its colonial past to its deep-water port, the country located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula is also famous for inspiring a wonderful drink. During your visit, definitely have a Singapore Sling, a potent and fruity concoction that, depending on the recipe, can include gin, cherry brandy, fruit juices, Cointreau, lime juice or bitters.
No question about it; Singapore is a mall lover’s paradise, with an abundance of iconic boutiques, international labels and plenty of casual dining options. Shoppers will want to visit the Paragon Shopping Centre, featuring names like Burberry, Gucci and Miu Miu, and Ngee Ann City, which includes Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Takashimaya.
Located within walking distance of the hotel is ION Orchard, which features an amazing array of shops from the basement levels right up to luxury duplex flagship stores. The mall also has ION SKY, located on the penthouse level, where you can dine at Salt Grill, an Australian restaurant, enjoy a cocktail at the Sky Bar and enjoy the view from a Cloud Observation Station.