Buro city guide: Singapore
Lion City highlights
As the CEO and founder of Asia-Pacific luxury accommodation portal The Luxe Nomad, former model Stephanie Chai is more than well-equipped to dish out travel advice on her hometown. Her top insider travel tip? Finish each sentence with 'lah' and you'll fit right in...
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Top 3 coffee shops
1. Common Man Coffee Roasters
Common Man Coffee Roasters boasts 'the best coffee beans in the world' thanks to their partnership with Five Senses Coffee. Sample direct from the source at their café on Martin Road. They also make a mean brunch.
22 Martin Rd, #01-00 Singapore
+65 6836 4695
2. Chye Seng Huat Hardware
One of the most popular cafés in Singapore, the deceptive exterior of Chye Seng Huat Hardware resembles a down-and-out hardware shop. Step inside to find one of the hippest coffee bars in town.
150 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore
+65 6396 0609
3. Oriole Café + Bar
Award-winning baristas dispense quality caffeinated beverages in this casual, relaxed café.
96 Somerset Rd, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore
+65 6238 8348
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Top 3 brunch and lunch spots
Located in the Grand Hyatt Singapore, the StraitsKitchen serves up local street flavours in a luxe setting.
Lobby level, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Rd, Singapore
+65 6738 1234
2. Burnt Ends
Burnt Ends is the home of mod-Aussie barbecue in Singapore. Watch the chefs prep and cook from front row seating at the counter-style bar.
20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore
+65 6224 3933
3. Chatterbox Chicken Rice
Chatterbox Chicken Rice is both this restaurant's name and the must-have dish. Located in the Mandarin Orchard Hotel, you can eat in or order online to click and collect.
Mandarin Orchard Hotel, 333 Orchard Rd, Singapore
+65 6737 4411
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Top 3 dinner spots
1. Japanese BBQ Yazawa
Top-notch wagyu beef direct from Japan served BBQ-style in this sizzling Singapore staple.
11 Unity St, #01-01 Robertson Walk, Singapore
+65 6235 2941
2. Mozza Osteria
Mozza Osteria puts the glamour in Italian gastronomy. Located in Marina Bay Sands' luxe mega-mall, the wide-ranging menu even features a dedicated 'mozzarella bar'.
2 Bayfront Ave, B1-42-46, Galleria level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
+65 6688 8868
Luke's oyster bar and chop house is beloved by the business crowd. Chef Travis Masiero brings a taste of his Boston hometown to the Lion City dishing up seafood, prime steaks, and chops.
20 Gemmill Lane, Singapore
+65 6221 4468
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Top 3 Cocktail Bars
The Manhattan channels nineteenth-century New York - a time when cocktails were king. Expect glamour, style and all the classic cocktail choices.
Level 2, Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Rd, Singapore
+65 6725 3377
2. Cufflink Club
The Cufflink Club's no reservations policy applies to table bookings and their attitude to drinks. This is one cool cat cocktail bar.
6 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore
+65 9694 9623
3. Neon Pigeon
Neon Pigeon takes the bird theme seriously: there's a 'bird feed' section on their menu, which is full of Japanese flavours that work perfectly with their delicious drinks.
1 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore
+65 6222 3623
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The 3 best suburbs to stay
1. Robertson Quay
This is where I stay! There's a great collection of hip bars and restaurants, and it's a little more laidback than the centre of the city. Close to everything, it's located just five minutes from Orchard Road and the CBD.
2. East Coast
A great area for families, East Coast lies by the sea and is bursting with cute cafes.
3. Tiong Bahru
Only if you're a hipster! And you want to meet other hipsters... There are great bars here.
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Top 3 hotels
1. St Regis
The uber luxe St Regis location at the tip of Singapore's famous style street, Orchard Road, suits the fashion maven down to her Choos. Thankfully, they also provide personal butlers to cover repacking emergencies once both the shops and your wallet have been emptied. It has all the five-star amenities you would expect.
29 Tanglin Rd, Singapore
+65 6506 6888
2. The Fullerton Hotel
Like Doric columns with your cornflakes? The Fullerton Hotel is for you. This heritage hotel stylishly blends the past with the present. Located in the financial and arts district at the mouth of the Singapore River, The Fullerton is one for lovers of architecture and luxe lodgings.
1 Fullerton Square, Singapore
+65 6733 8388
3. New Majestic Hotel
Take it cultural with a stay at the New Majestic Hotel located in Singapore's historic Chinatown. This boutique beauty has just 30 rooms, but they pack a style punch. Individually designed, vintage finds mix with designer furniture for a chic stay.
31-37 Bukit Pasoh, Singapore
+65 6511 4700
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Start at the St Regis and work your credit card down Orchard Road, collecting all the best international pieces. Still want more? Head to Club Street in Chinatown for cool, local buys.
Or, for unique, one-off homewares head across the border to Malacca town, Malaysia.
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Best places for live music
B28. The only good one I know! Or, pop to K-suites - the Karaoke joint where you can rent your own room and create your own live music.
Basement 28, Ann Siang Rd, The Club Hotel, Singapore
+65 9026 3466
K Suites, 201 Victoria St, Singapore
+65 6243 3113
3 best galleries
1. STPI (Singapore Tyler Print Institute)
STPI hosts contemporary art with forward-thinking artist-in-residence programs.
41 Robertson Quay, Singapore
+65 6336 3663
2. Yeo Workshop
Yeo Workshop hosts creative projects from around the globe in its gallery space.
Gillman Barracks, 1 Lock Rd, #01-01, Singapore
+65 6734 5168
3. The Artling.com
Great Asian art online from top art galleries and artists.
The 3 best places to hang out in winter and summer
Just kidding: it's summer all year round! Work up a sweat with a jog around the stunning Singapore Botanic Gardens, then check into the Marina Bay Sands Hotel to cool right down with a dip in their infinity pool. For a less pricey option but still the best birdseye view of the city, check out the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark observation deck.
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore
+65 6471 7138
Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
+65 6688 8868
3 tourist attractions off the beaten track
1. Pulau Ubin island
Take a ferry over and cycle the day away at this traditional fishing village.
2. The TreeTop walk in MacRitchie
Suspended high above the forest, this suspension bridge is the highlight of macRitchie's many hiking tracks.
3. Tiong Bahru weekend market
This is by far the best food and grocery market in Singapore. There are also some great hawker markets surrounding it.
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The best places for health and wellness
1. Yoga Movement
The place to practice yoga in Singapore - there are four studios across town and six class types, from power flow to Bikram- style Monster Hot.
2. The Spa at Capella Hotel Singapore
This stately hotel is home to one of the most luxurious day spas in Singapore: the Auriga. They use 100% natural and organic skincare for their holistic treatments, including poolside masques and massages.
1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore
+65 6377 8888
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