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Capella Singapore

The Capella offers some of the largest hotel rooms in Singapore, and all were refurbished in 2021 by superstar hotel designer André Fu.

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Interiors view - Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore

Fullerton Bay Hotel

In a choice location right on the marina, this hotel is the younger, hip sister to the historic Fullerton Hotel (the two are connected via underground passage). Opened in 2010, the hotel boasts striking public spaces designed by André Fu. As with the Hong Kong-based interior designer’s other projects (the Upper House and the Opposite House), the bright public spaces strike a genius balance between understated and lavish, with massive floor-to-ceiling windows, sparkling, ultra-contemporary chandeliers, tile floors and splashes of pinks and purples. The modern but inviting aesthetic continues in the ninety-eight guest rooms, all of which have fabulous views of the harbor and South China Sea. Tech nerds will be in heaven here, with touch-screen controls that manage everything from blinds to massive flat-screen televisions). Other winning in-room details include a universal plug, an iPhone docking station, a laptop tray (for working in bed) and a yoga mat. The spacious bathroom opens to the bedroom via a sleek sliding door, and a Nespresso machine is on hand for that first jolt of caffeine.

The Fullerton Bay’s rooftop, with a glass-sided, eighty-two-foot swimming pool, holds groovy Lantern, a restaurant-cum-lounge that’s one of the city’s favorite hangouts for lunch or nighttime cocktails (the pool can only be used by guests of the hotel). A fancier vibe prevails at Clifford, the marina-side French brasserie whose ninety-two-foot ceiling is the only giveaway that you’re not, in fact, in Paris. Fullerton Bay guests have complete access to all of the Fullerton Hotel’s facilities, including a small spa, but design-conscious travelers will be hard-pressed to abandon the Fullerton Bay’s gorgeous setting for its more historic counterpart.

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Facade at Raffles, Singapore


Tucked among the gleaming skyscrapers of downtown Singapore, Raffles takes up an entire city block, with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, spa, gym, outdoor pool, hair salons, art galleries and a shopping arcade. The property’s famous Sikh doormen in their flawless white uniforms and turbans provide an atmospheric, if slightly anachronistic, arrival to the hotel. Throughout the compound are numerous tropical gardens with age-old trees and ferns, surrounding elegant whitewashed wings that accommodate the majority of the property’s suites. But the heart and soul is the iconic main building, with its elegant wrought-iron-framed entrance, soaring lobby with teak balustrades and balconies, and Art Deco light fixtures. A grandfather clock that may predate the hotel is the site of a nightly ritual when, at 8 o’clock, Noel Coward’s “I’ll See You Again” is played in the grand lobby. It’s not difficult to picture guests dancing the night away (the hotel used to host lavish balls in the spacious lobby) during its heyday in the 1930s.

As its address on Beach Road indicates, Raffles was originally on the coast, however through sea reclamation, Singapore has grown to the south leaving the hotel wholly landlocked. Guests should note that the hotel is an easy 20 to 30 minute walk from the Marina Bay Sands Resort and Shopping Center which is currently the center of the tourist experience in Singapore, with the associated crowds, lines and tour groups. Due to the fact that Raffles is only three to four stories tall in this business district, the rooms have primarily courtyard or city views.

The seven grandest suites are in the main building, with fine period furnishings, fourteen-foot ceilings, sumptuous fabrics and an old-world vibe (you wouldn’t be shocked to see Somerset Maugham reading in a corner). The remaining suites are clustered in wings that connect to the main building and are centered around two landscaped garden courtyards. Interiors throughout are grand, with antique furniture, teak floors, crystal chandeliers and marble-clad bathrooms. Raffles is known for its unparalleled service (each suite comes with its own dedicated butler, who is on call twenty-four hours), attracting everyone from royalty to Hollywood stars.

There are no fewer than nine restaurants and bars on the premises from the formal French restaurant, Le Dame de Pic, from Michelin starred chef Anne de la Pic to the more casual Bar & Billiard Room with its turn-of-the-twentieth-century pool tables and the Long Bar, , home of the Singapore Sling, which hosts jazz ensembles in the evenings. The intimate Writer’s Bar, celebrating authors such as Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, is perfect for an after dinner cocktail. In keeping with its history, the hotel currently has a writer in residence program. Recently, while serving as writer in residence, Pico Iyer, wrote a must-read small book about Singapore and Raffles’ place in its history, This Could Be Home, Raffles Hotel and the City of Tomorrow.

The shopping arcade, spread across two stories, features such shops as Hublot, Minotti Furniture and Patek Phillippe, as well as a well-curated Raffles Gift Shop. In sum, the Raffles is a small universe in and of itself, but instead of gong the way of New York’s Plaza, another iconic property that thoroughly lost its way during the course of renovations, this Singapore grand lady has emerged with her heart and soul intact.

Additional intel included from Indagare Ambassador Jim Klaus

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Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore

The Ritz-Carlton brand doesn’t necessarily inspire visions of great works of art, but in the case of the Singapore branch, an incredible contemporary collection is what sets the hotel apart from the city’s numerous other luxury options. Many of the thousands of pieces, including sculpture, paintings and large-scale installations, were commissioned for the hotel. There are works that leave a big impression, such as Frank Stella’s oversized sculptures from his Moby Dick series, but there are also smaller gems by the likes of David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Rainer Gross. It’s truly a world-class collection and, if you have time, ask for the audio tour at reception.

The 608 guest rooms were completely overhauled in 2011, giving the property a sleek, contemporary feel. Interiors are spacious and airy, with a bright caramel-and-white color scheme, lots of mirrors and large windows – many of which have stunning views of the marina and beyond. The recent renovation also updated the in-room technology (LCD televisions, Bose sound systems, Nespresso machines). If you stay on the thirty-second-floor Club Level, snacks, drinks and meals are served throughout the day and the views are stunning. The sizeable pool on the ground floor is surrounded by lush gardens and vegetation, drowning out (almost entirely) the sound of the nearby traffic. And high tea in the Chihuly Lounge, presided over by the American glass artist’s Sunset) is a Singapore tradition.

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The Capitol Kempinski Hotel

With 157 rooms, the understated and sophisticated Capitol Kempinski Hotel is the prime address for visitors to Singapore who are looking for high-touch service and amenities and a luxurious atmosphere.

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Pool Lounge at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

The Fullerton Hotel

As Singapore’s other historic property (Raffles is the other), the Fullerton is housed in the city’s former post office in a stone-clad 1928 building. The lobby is massive, with several sitting areas, cafés, shops and a bustling vibe (while the Raffles feels more private and elegant). The hotel conversion, however, was masterfully executed, and the 400 guestrooms and suites are comfortable and more contemporary than the historic setting would imply (flat-screen televisions, large bathrooms, minimalist color scheme). Some of the original details were painstakingly restored and rooms on the second floor have high, soaring ceilings. The best accommodations face the marina (in September, when Formula 1 comes to Singapore, these are booked months in advance, as they overlook part of the racetrack). The sizeable pool hovers over the busy downtown district and there’s a small but beautiful spa, The Spa Artisan. Among several restaurants on the property, Lighthouse – with its stunning rooftop bar and panoramic views – is one of the city’s best spots for Italian cuisine.

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The Warehouse Hotel

With a trendy vibe and cool décor, Singapore's boutique Warehouse Hotel is great for younger travelers who want a stylish property and don’t need lots of amenities. Read Indagare's review.

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