The Lion City is famous for many things – cleanliness, shopping malls and a famous cocktail, for a start. But when it comes to visual charms, Singapore is definitely up with the likes of New York and Paris for recognizable landmarks – there’s the iconic Supertrees, the world heritage botanic gardens and the charming yet fierce-looking Merlion statue. And we can’t forget, of course, its famous hotels – from neo-classic renaissance villas to modern skyscrapers with living walls, there’s much to admire in the luxury accommodation stakes. And whether you’re staying in one, or just there for a gawp, they’re all worth having a look at for their history, uniqueness or glamor – and sometimes all three! Our list of Singapore’s most famous hotels includes:
- Marina Bay Sands
- The Outpost Hotel Sentosa
- ParkRoyal on Pickering
- The Fullerton
- St Regis
Dating from the early 19th century, this neoclassical colonial era building wins the prize for the most historic hotel in the city. Named for the city’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, the hotel has welcomed such illustrious guests as Charlie Chaplin, Sir Rudyard Kipling and Queen Elizabeth II, to name a few. Non-guests are welcome to visit and stroll along its many covered porticos, admiring the intricate white arches and surrounding forest of tropical palm trees. Get there on the yellow line of the Big Bus Tour, and be sure to stop by the famous Long Bar and sample the hotel’s signature cocktail, the Singapore Sling.
As the name suggests, the Shangri-La is a utopian idyll tucked away in the heart of the city. Its three grand wings are enclosed in 15 acres of tropical gardens, pools and water playgrounds, and there are so many optional activities you could enjoy an entire holiday without leaving the hotel at all – although it would be a shame to miss the city’s official Botanic Gardens nearby. Despite its immensity and range of unique art installations, it’s probably most famous for being the first of Shangri-La’s world-renowned brand of luxury hotels, and for pioneering their signature brand of ‘Asian Hospitality’ – service characterized by humility, respect, helpfulness and sincerity.
Marina Bay Sands
Of all the iconic hotels in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands may be the most recognizable – with its distinctive triple towers and surfboard-shaped terrace at the top, it probably appears in the background of more selfies than any other building in the city. Non-guests can pay a small fee to get to the top (or use your Go City Pass for access to the Ce La Vi SkyBar) where you’ll find the world’s largest infinity pool, and possibly a celebrity or two. 57 floors up is a marvelously lofty place to overlook the city, and you’ll have great views of Supertree Grove in the Gardens by the Bay and the nearby Floral Fantasy. While you’re there you can also check out the hotel’s own casino, celebrity chef restaurants, a shopping mall and the ArtScience Museum.
The Outpost Hotel Sentosa
Set on the island of Sentosa at the southern tip of the city, The Outpost Hotel Sentosa is recognizable for its curved exterior walls and living foliage that drapes like green frosting over the building. Here is the ultimate in luxury for grown-ups, as the adults-only rooftop infinity pool and bar transforms from a sun-drenched oasis during the day to a trendy chill-out bar at night. Overlooking the Singapore Strait, it’s the perfect place to sip a cocktail and watch the sunset – although if you do want to venture out, you’ll find Madame Tussauds, the S.E.A. Aquarium and southeast Asia’s only Universal Studios nearby. To complete your relaxation experience, get there via the cable car from Faber Peak and sit back as it takes you over the bay and the island’s lush coastal canopies.
The Oasia Hotel in Downtown Singapore is instantly recognizable for its striking pink and green façade. Built by local architecture firm WOHA, the Oasia is a sleek and modern skyscraper designed around the concept of bringing green spaces to population dense areas. From the outside, it’s an imposing mixture of wood, stone, copper and foliage – from the inside, it’s like a multi-story tree house full of sky gardens, cool terraces and living walls – a perfect escape from the concrete jungle outside.
ParkRoyal on Pickering
Another offering from the minds at WOHA, from a distance the ParkRoyal on Pickering looks a bit like an alien starfighter – but up close it’s a marvel of modern architecture and innovative landscaping. Three towers encircle eight living balconies of gardens, waterfalls and reflective pools, decorated with colorful birdcage cabanas. All this is right in the middle of the busy city, about halfway between Chinatown and Clarke Quay. An unexpectedly green and curvy gem, the ParkRoyal must be seen to be believed.
Champagne breakfast, anyone? That’s what awaits exclusive guests of the Fullerton Hotel overlooking Marina Bay. It’s a great spot for photographing the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, but it’s also a gorgeous building in its own right – it was built in the neoclassical style in 1928 and at various points in its history it’s been the home of the Singapore General Post Office, the Exchange, the Chamber of Commerce, and the prestigious Singapore Club. It was declared a national monument in 2015 and sits right at the tip of the Marina near the Jubilee Bridge. On the roof, where you’ll find a rich jungle landscape complete with hot tubs and pool, you can look over the Merlion Statue to the mouth of the Singapore River, or back across the city over Chinatown to Sentosa Island.
The epitome of luxury with a price tag to match. Silk wallpaper, crystal chandeliers and marble bathrooms are just a taste of the opulence that awaits guests at the St Regis Hotel near. As well as all the amenities you’d expect the hotel also has its very own art collection, featuring pieces by Chagall, Miró and Picasso, no less. But perhaps it’s most famous for its butler service, reminiscent of an English stately home at the height of high society. If your dream holiday is to be awoken by a friendly face opening your drapes and bringing you coffee in bed, then expertly packing your case for your onward journey, this is the hotel for you.
Travel in style with Go City
Whether you’re staying in a luxury hotel or just stopping by for a peek, you’ll feel like the rich and famous with Go City. Grab your Explorer or All-Inclusive Pass today and get instant access to dozens of exclusive attractions around the city.