Singapore is a dream to any luxury jet setter with an adventurous side. It has the high-end amenities that cater to VIPs exclusive tastes, along with sizzling nightlife, dining and culture. Here's the latest coming out of this Southeast Asian gem.
July 1 marks the arrival of the Sofitel So Singapore to the city’s impressive luxury hotel scene. Situated near the Marina Bay Financial Centre, the hotel is housed in a heritage-listed building with a neo-classical façade dating from 1927. This is the third property in Sofitel’s So portfolio; the “So” hotels are contemporary in style, designed in collaboration with famous names in fashion (Kenzo Takada is Artistic Director for So Mauritius and M Christian Lacroix for So Bangkok). Sofitel has enlisted world-renowned designer Karl Lagerfeld to design the emblem for the new hotel, which, according to Sofitel, will “symbolize the hotel’s new and original style, unique to Sofitel So Singapore, and appear on a range of exclusive objects available for clients during their stay”.
PARKROYAL on Pickering opened its exclusive doors in Singapore on January 16. We hear the hotel is a luxe oasis with sky gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, terraces and vertical greenery. There are 367 rooms and suites, all with views of the city and the sky gardens. All rooms have complimentary internet access and in-room amenities. Select rooms have Nespresso coffee machines, rain showers and bath tubs. Dining options include Lime, the hotel's signature open-kitchen concept that serves up all-day Asian flavors. A street-level bar is found inside the restaurant, serving cocktails, specialty wines and small bites. The fifth floor plays host to a dedicated wellness space with an infinity pool, jacuzzi, fitness center, outdoor terrace and garden walk. We love the birdcage-shaped cabanas dotting the pool area. Note: The St. Gregory Spa will unveil in March.
Also in hotels, General Hotel Management, the 20-year-old luxury hotel group that has opened the door to some of Asia’s most exotic locales, is appointing Hansjörg Meier as senior vice president. Meier, a Swiss native with a prominent 34-year career on the international hospitality landscape, will oversee GHM’s hotel and resort operations, as well as the upcoming openings of new projects in Europe and Asia, from GHM’s corporate office in Singapore. General managers at all of GHM’s properties will report directly to him. GHM currently counts upwards of 600 five-star rooms and suites in destinations as diverse as Hoi An, Muscat and Chiang Mai. Meier’s arrival will strengthen the group’s corporate structure and presence in line with its ambitious expansion plans.
Have a need for speed? You'll love this. We hear that Singapore has agreed to host the Formula One Grand Prix annually until 2017. The Marina Bay Street Circuit (aka the Singapore GP Street Circuit) is a 3.148-mile dedicated street circuit that consists of a total of 23 turns (13 left turns and 10 right turns). Drivers whiz past top Singapore sites (think the Anderson Bridge, the Esplanade, Merlion Park, Fullerton Hotel and more). As a night race, the Singapore circuit requires about 1,500 floodlights. Visitors to Singapore during racing season can check out the lineup at the F1 village. Look forward to Katy Perry and Maroon 5 for this year. Posh parties call A-listers to Singapore, as well. Be sure to visit the Amber Lounge, which includes a fashion show, and One Paddock Club, where Nobu Matsuhisa and Jean-Georges Vongerichten have whipped up menus specifically for the glitterati.
Here's a bit of a bummer: This year Singapore Airlines will end its non-stop services to New York’s Newark Airport and Los Angeles, the world’s longest commercial flights, because of rising fuel prices and slower demand for intercontinental trips. The all-business-class flights will end in the fourth- quarter of next year, the airline said in a statement yesterday, as it announced an order for 25 Airbus SAS aircraft. The Toulouse-based plane-maker will acquire the five four-engine A340-500s used on the routes as part of the deal. The end of the almost 19-hour Newark service will leave Singapore Air travelers facing a five hour longer trip to New York, as the carrier’s alternative route goes to the city’s JFK airport via Frankfurt. The airline is canceling the non-stop services, which started in 2004, as businesses cutting costs hit long-haul travel. Average premium-seat fares between Asia and the U.S. were 4.8 percent lower in September than a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Fuel prices have jumped more than 30 percent in the last two years. This cut in service will leave Qantas' flights between Sydney and Dallas as the record-holder for long-haul trips. This may be a trend in long-haul service: Cathay Pacific Airways also cut capacity plans on long-haul routes this year, including to North America.