Where to stay in Singapore

Stay in Las Vegas-style extravagance at the Marina Bay Sands or unwind with a Singapore sling in the famous Raffles bar.

Marina Bay Sands

What's so special

This striking-looking hotel claims to be the most expensive ever built. It's certainly big, with 2,561 rooms situated in three skyscrapers joined at the top by a three-acre landscaped tropical park featuring bars and restaurants.

How they rate it

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Anyone looking for tradition should stay elsewhere (see below): this place is owned by the same people who run the Venetian in Las Vegas. Indeed, huge gondoliers in the shopping area suggest some of that tackiness has made it across the oceans. The rooms are spacious with top-notch entertainment systems and great views over the city.

The menu

With more than 20 restaurants to choose from you're sure to find something you like. Try the Michelin-starred Guy Savoy's restaurant for top-class food, but note that the tasting menu will set you back around £180.

The cost

A double room costs from £225, room only. For more information, visit www.marinabaysands.com, or call 00 65 6688 8868.



What's so special

This iconic colonial hotel first opened its doors in 1887, since then it has played a central part in the life of the city. The country's last wild tiger was reportedly shot under the hotel's billiard table, the Singapore Sling was invented in the hotel bar and guests have including Noel Coward, Charlie Chaplin and Rudyard Kipling, as well as the Queen. This is certainly the place to stay for a glimpse into Singapore's past.

How they rate it

Raffles' fascinating past strikes you from the moment you step through the door. Many of the hotel's historic features have been preserved intact from the old-fashioned ceiling fans to the oriental carpets. The hotel has been refurbished over the years, but if you are looking for a hotel room packed full of mod-cons, this isn't the place for you. That said, aside from its rich history, Raffles' iconic status is due also to its impeccable service and general atmosphere of refined elegance. It's well worth a visit, even if you are not staying here.

The menu

The hotel has several eateries, but the Grill is the best. It serves up delicious contemporary French cuisine with dishes such as beef Tournedos Rossini or roasted duck breast.

The cost

Prices start from £270 for a double room. See www.raffles.com, or call 00 65 6337 1886.

What the travel writers are saying


If you're planning a stay in Paris, why not put aside some time to escape the bustle in a spa? Here are four of the best according to The Independent's Laura Holt.

Hammam Pacha is a women-only traditional Turkish spa on the Left Bank. "Mosaic tiles and colourfully patterned doors" provide the back-ground for four treatment stages: the warm room; steam and Jacuzzi area; Argan oil and hot rock massage rooms; and the relaxation room. There's also a Moroccan restaurant. The basic Hammam Package costs €60 (Hammampacha.com).

"White walls, scattered fashion tomes and runway shows on a loop welcome to relaxation according to Christian Dior Parfums." Treatments at the Dior Institut (pictured above) in Hotel Plaza Athne include "Time Fighter Corrective" or "Anti-Cellulite Offensive", plus a sauna and hammam area. Prices start from €125 for a manicure (Spaplazaathenee.com).

Cosmetics label Nuxe picked a former wine cave for its spa on Rue Montorgueil. The spa uses botanical products from the Nuxe range for everything from foot reflexology to facials. Prices start from €45 for an Eye Care Eclat (Nuxe.com).

La Maison Guerlain Spa on the Champs-lyses features a white marble spa offering treatments that include a €140 Energising Facial, or a €105 Five-Senses Hydrotherapy Treatment (Guerlain.com).