Travelling in true Travel Agent style – what you do in 3 weeks, I did in 1! But what a fabulous trip to Singapore and Dubai. Let me tell you about it –
The Experience started as we boarded the A380 at Heathrow – spacious seats, and hundreds of entertainment channels to choose from, even complimentary wifi and power sockets to keep your phones/IPads charged during the flight! These aircraft are State of the Art!
Singapore and the beautiful Shangri La Hotel! It’s standard practice to be greeted on arrival on the red carpet and presented with a fresh orchid. There are three different wings to the hotel, the Tower Wing, the Garden Wing and the Valley Wing. The Valley Wing is something special – each suite has a butler and breakfast is served in the private Summit Room. The Speciality Suites even have their own private lift and entrance. All the rooms are beautiful, whether you have a swimming pool view, or overlook your own section of the gardens.
If you prefer to be in the hub-bub, you will like the Hotel Jen Orchardgateway. It’s on the shopping strip of the famous Orchard Road. Modern and vibrant, with a rooftop infinity pool, and beanbag sun beds for relaxing – this is the perfect hotel for a short stay in Singapore – and right in the middle of everything! The MRT is below the hotel, over 60,000 shops on the stretch of Orchard Road, and plenty of bars and restaurants for the evenings.
Singapore is quite compact – so sightseeing is easy. Starting in Little India, still festive from the Diwali decorations, we explored the market and fresh produce, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. There were also shops selling beautiful trinkets, fabrics for handmade clothes and bags. Then onto China Town, and Arab Street, both of which are full of their own culture and history. At Clarke Quay we had a short river cruise – ending at the Merlion Statue and the Marina. The Merlion statue is the ‘mascot’ of Singapore. Singapore originates from the Malay word Singapura, which translates to ‘Lion City’. The founder of Singapore, Sang Nila Utama – named it because he thought he saw a lion (unlikely!) – but the name Singapore has stuck. Try to make it over here one evening to watch the laser light show – the spectacle of lights reflecting off the water is definitely worth watching!
Another Singapore ‘must do’ is a visit to Raffles Hotel, and the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling. A typically colonial style hotel, Raffles has acted as a set for several television series, and films.
Gardens by the Bay is Singapore’s version of our Eden Project – walk through the beautiful gardens and include a skywalk on one of the garden’s ‘Supertrees’.
Sentosa Island is pretty cool too – just 30 minutes drive from the city centre – over a bridge – or go by cable car! This is where you can get your heart beating and your blood rushing! Of course I’m talking about Universal Studios!
Sentosa also has one of the world’s largest aquariums, S.E.A Aquarium. And if you’d like to stay on the island there are some lovely hotels like the Shangri La Rasa Sentosa – the only beachfront resort in Singapore, surrounded by wildlife, birds, monitor lizards and monkeys. In fact, the hotel is so used to having monkeys visit, there is a sign in each room to warn guests to shut the balcony doors, to avoid these little mischievous visitors.
Dubai next, and what a contrast to the steamy heat of Singapore! My home here was the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Island. Wow, what a place! Room choices range from guest rooms, to suites to signature suites – including the Royal Bridge Suite, which can sleep up to 8 and has 180° views over the Palm, and the sea. The Royal Bridge Suite has its own private entrance, with a security guard – one for the rich and famous I think! There are also two Underwater Suites, with incredible views of the inside of the aquarium – amazing! And with lots of interconnecting rooms, The Atlantis is perfect for families.
Eat anything and everything! From buffet to a la carte. The Nasimi Beach bar is the perfect location for after dinner drinks, overlooking the Dubai skyline and right on the beach. La Brassiere is the perfect breakfast choice, with plenty of choice at the buffet and quieter than the main buffet restaurants.
Do anything and everything! So many exciting activities on offer! And there are plenty to choose from!
If you like getting wet, you will love the Aquaventure Waterpark. You can go adrenaline mad at the Poseidon Tower, with its trapdoors releasing you to waterslides on which you can reach speeds of 60 km per hour! Or you can relax on the lazy rapid river. For those who prefer to watch others, there are plenty of sunbeds to choose from!
It’s just 7 hours away (the same as Florida) – no rain, warm (hot!), with everything for families, kids, couples, honeymoons and privacy, The Atlantis really does have something for everyone!