The next stop in the BCD Meetings & Events' "Re-Imagine: Event Destinations" series is Singapore.
In this series, we share travel guides for prominent cities around the world to consider as destinations for your next major event (read our Austin travel guide). Here, we're taking you on a tour of The Lion City, complete with tips and insights from a BCD M&E local. In our Singapore travel guide, you'll discover the one dish you must try while visiting, how to save your seat at a local eatery and where you can catch a glimpse the Buddha’s left canine tooth.
Updated 2 August 2019
Re-Imagine: Singapore for your next event
Once a fishing village, then a British colony, and now a premier meeting and incentive destination, Singapore is a vibrant economic powerhouse with a diverse, multi-national population of almost six million. It has been named one of the world’s easiest places to do business and is highly regarded as a global commercial hub with a clean, safe and efficient infrastructure. Although Singapore has flourished into a major meeting destination, the city is also a great option for incentives, as it continues to evolve into one of Asia's most exciting cities.
With a recent boom in tourism, partly credited to the success of the hit movie "Crazy Rich Asians", Singapore is enjoying increased interest, with an average hotel occupancy of 87 percent in 2018.
"The Lion City" - from the Malay words Singa "Lion" and Pura "City"
Picture by Max Felner
Best time to go
Weather: 78-88°F (25-31°C)
With tropical climate, you can expect humidity year-round.
Where to stay
- RAFFLES SINGAPORE
Raffles is a classic, colonial style hotel currently under extensive restoration, requiring closing the hotel during the second half of 2018. The renovation of the flagship luxury resort aims to upgrade dining outlets, public spaces, along with adding suites and a ballroom. While the 1887 property is not a new hotel, it will be a trending hot spot with the tremendous upgrades, while also keeping its recognizable white facade. Enjoy the new property over a Singapore Sling cocktail, invented at Raffles, and a must while in the city!
Update: With the renovation now complete, Raffles Singapore reopened its doors on August 1, 2019. Read about upgrades here. Photo below of the Raffles Singapore Palm Court.
- SHANGRI-LA SINGAPORE
Nestled among 15 acres of lush greenery, while still residing in the heart of the city, Shangri-La offers visitors the classic Singapore Hotel Experience complete with impeccable Asia service. The lush greenery, landscape gardens, and tranquil pools create a sanctuary within the city. The classic style and top-notch service of the hotel create a luxurious atmosphere for a Singapore incentive.
- THE FULLERTON HOTEL SINGAPORE
This historic property attracts guests desiring the quintessential Singapore experience of refinement and thriving culture of the capital city. The Fullerton caters to all whims with five restaurants, a cake boutique, koi pond and garden terrace dining. Experience pampering spa treatments, or relax at the outdoor infinity pool while sipping a Merlion Cocktail. The property is also walking distance to National Gallery Singapore, Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay and many more hot spots in the city!
- BUDDHA TOOTH RELIC TEMPLE AND MUSEUM
This is a magnificent temple in Chinatown, home to a collection of Buddhist relics, a museum, theater and teahouse. Take a tour throughout the four-story building and learn about the history of Buddhist culture, the building itself, and even see the Buddha’s left canine tooth which sits within the walls. The temple was built at a cost of over 60 million USD, and the ornate details truly showcase the effort and intricate design that went into the opening. The building is so important to locals, that many of them even contributed to the creation by donating funds to the temple as well.
- SUNDOWNER AT THE PLANTATION TABLE
This experience is perfect for a VIP group, top tier sellers or a smaller incentive. During the evening, guests will visit the home of Indra Rani, an author, playwright and environmentalist whose artistic pursuits range from dance, music, painting, poetry and literature, as well as Malaya culture and history. Enjoy dinner while you listen to Indra Rani as she tells stories of Malaya culture and days of colonial rule. Each dish is handcrafted by a chef and served with a personal story about its origins.
Meet our Singapore Specialist
Get to know: Saheb Roy, Regional Business Analyst, Asia Pacific
Saheb's Singapore Travel Tips
Something travelers might find surprising about Singapore
Singapore is often referred to as the “Fine” city due to the various fines imposed for misconduct, but I prefer using the word as an adjective. Singapore is a fine city!
One meal or dish we must have while in Singapore
Mala Hot Pot - An assorted mix of vegetables, meat and fish cooked in a spicy, tongue numbing peppercorn sauce, chili pepper and various spices simmered with oil and served with noodles or white rice.
There are usually 3 levels of spiciness. If you have it in you, take up the dare!
Tips for traveling like a local in Singapore
- Download the app MyTransport.SG or simply login to Gothere.SG
- Buy an MRT card from any train station and use it to travel the length and breadth of Singapore. You can also you the same card for all you bus rides too. Top up as and when needed.
- You are almost local already.
Top 3 things we must see or do in Singapore
- Watch the sunset at Mc Ritchie Reservoir.
- Cycle around Pulau Ubin, an island off eastern Singapore to understand the contrast of what Singapore was in the past and what it is now.
- Singapore is a foodie’s paradise. Eat scrumptious food! Keep yourself hydrated, Sleep, Repeat.
Surreal spots or views that take your breath away
Go up to Singapore’s highest bar: 1-Altitude at One Raffles Place and get a panoramic view of Singapore. If you time yourself well, you may also get to see Marina Bay Sands in its full splendor when it runs its daily laser shows.
Day trips or ancillary trips we should take if we have extended time in the area
Take and early morning bus to Malacca and stay overnight. Malacca is a historical state of Malaysia, rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures.
One thing we need in our suitcase when traveling to Singapore
Download our complete Re-Imagine: Singapore travel guide