Why go now?
To enjoy hot winter sunshine when daytime temperatures range between 30C and 40C. Even at night, Singapore stays warm with temperatures rarely dropping below 23C. Expect year-round humidity, which often exceeds 90 per cent at night and in the early hours of the morning. It frequently rains, but it tends to be in short sharp bursts.
Any other reason?
Singapore explodes into light over the festive season. All the buildings on Orchard Road are transformed into a fairytale wonderland during the Christmas Light-Up, which runs from November through to January. Catch the spectacle of more lights and enjoy the bazaar in Geylang Serai for the Muslim celebration of Hari Raya Puasa. Experience Chinatown awash with colour and festivities in a month-long celebration of the lunar New Year in January and February.
Where should I stay?
Raffles Hotel (0065 6337 1886; www.raffleshotel.com) was founded in 1887 by Sir Stamford Raffles and is one of the few remaining great hotels of the 19th century in Asia. Designated a national monument in 1987, it has gained recognition through the years as a travellers' paradise with its unique blend of classical architecture and its tropical garden setting. No visit to Singapore would be complete without sampling a cocktail at the legendary Long Bar, where the world famous Singapore Sling was born. Suites cost from £272 per night.
The Fullerton Hotel (0065 6733 8388; www.fullerton hotel.com) is housed in one of Singapore's most impressive colonial landmark buildings at the mouth of the bustling Singapore River. Built in 1928 at the height of Palladian architecture in Singapore, it has been home to the General Post Office, The Exchange and The Singapore Club at various times in its history. It has 400 rooms and suites, four restaurants and several bars. Rooms from £174 per night.
The Shangri-La Hotel (0065 6737 3644; www.shangri-la.com) has long been at the heart of Singapore's social life and is one of the world's most famous hotels. From the moment you arrive, serenity envelops you. Features include a 15-acre botanical paradise and an exotic, free-form, swimming pool. It has 755 guest rooms and suites spread over the Tower, Garden and Valley Wing, and you can enjoy a tipple at a variety of restaurants and bars. Rooms from £187 per night.
What shouldn't I miss?
Shop till you drop on Orchard Road and stock up on bargains in the Raffles City Shopping Centre. Hang out with the beautiful people in the lively bars and restaurants on Clarke and Boat Quay. Take in the flavours of Little India and check out the narrow, balconied streets of Chinatown. Head for the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, where a natural rainforest grows up incredibly steep slopes to the highest point of the island, affording fabulous views. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys and lemurs.
Who should I call?
Elegant Resorts Worldwide (01244 897888; www.elegantresorts.co.uk) offers a five-night, b&b break in a Grand Hotel Suite at Raffles Hotel from £4,190 per person, including return flights from Heathrow with Singapore Airlines and transfers.
What if I can't afford that?
Asia Direct (0870 889 0824; www.asiadirect.co.uk) offers a five-night room-only break at the three-star Albert Hotel from £589 per person, including return flights on Emirates from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham.
Where can I find out more?
Contact the Singapore Tourism Board (020-7437 0033; www.visit singapore.com).
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- Bars And Pubs
- Festive Events (including Carnivals)
- Southeast Asia