If you only have 24 hours to spend in Singapore (which is a crying shame), you can still discover quite a lot in your one day and night stopover. You can cram in destination dining, city sights, a spot of shopping and top-notch cocktails – then sleep it all off in a comfy, city-centre hotel bed. The 24 hours will fly by, with help from Singapore Airlines.
With just 24 hours in the Lion City, it’s imperative that you stay caffeinated. Get a buzz at Common Man Coffee Roasters (+65 6836 4695) on nearby Martin Road, which takes the art of coffee so seriously, it even has its own academy. You’re here to drink, not learn, so order a custom Synesso espresso or an Ethiopian YirgZero pour-over. How about some juicy steak or succulent seafood for lunch? Flash your Singapore Airlines boarding pass and you’ll get 20 per cent off the à la carte menu (excluding drinks) at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road. You’re only going to have one dinner in Singapore, so make it count: sample Michelin-starred Cantonese cuisine at Summer Pavilion, the lauded restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Raffles Avenue. The restaurant is a sleek, toffee-brown space, with glossy wood and comfy booths; signature dishes include poached rice with toothsome lobster, braised four-head South African abalone and refined dim sum (conpoy, abalone and mushroom dumplings in a flavoursome broth, or pan-fried shredded yam and pumpkin, for example).
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Granted, you’ve not got loads of time, but you’ve got enough time for at least one cocktail – there’s more to the city’s drinks list than the Singapore Sling. 28 HongKong Street bar (which takes its name from its address) isn’t number 28; it is, in fact, number one, according to Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ list. Items that won the judges over include innovative cocktails, brilliant staff and a darkly debonair design that riffs on speakeasies. The drinking den, which opened in 2011, is captained by American Logan Demmy, ably assisted by San Fran native Michael Callahan. (You’ll know you’ve befriended the barmen if you end up in the secret Office, which boasts its own sound system and cubby-access to the bar staff.)
Start with the obvious: go for a stroll along Orchard Road (wallet at the ready), pausing at the megamalls. Paragon is one of Singapore’s most famous shopping centres, offering a dizzying array of designer labels (Balenciaga, Burberry, Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu and more) spread across six glittering floors; there’s also a holiday’s worth of food and drink options within the mall, should you shop up an appetite or thirst. There’s just enough time for a trip to Marina Bay to view the iconic cityscape and wave hello to Singapore’s icon, the Merlion, at the waterfront Merlion Park. Come by night to see the city glow.
You’ll be tired after all that: bed down at Orchard Hotel Singapore, which is sitting pretty at 442 Orchard Road. Opt for Singapore Airlines’ Singapore Stopover Holiday and you could have a sleepover here from as little as £62 in a twin room (£143 in a double); if you upgrade to the Premium Stopover Holiday (from S$50), you’ll also get free return airport transfers, free rides on the SIA Hop-on Bus, entry to more than 15 tourist attractions and discounts of up to 50 per cent at select hotel restaurants.
Local SQ Perks
Need a quick trim or blow-dry to look your best during the next 24 hours? Waggle your Singapore Airlines boarding pass at Toni & Guy, in the Mandarin Gallery at 333A Orchard Road, and you’ll get 30 per cent off your first visit; 15 per cent off any subsequent trips (you probably won’t have time for that, sadly). Browse all the Singapore Airlines Boarding Pass Privileges.