I am on a visa run from Bali. I need to get the closest airport out of Indonesia and I have 24 hours to kill. Where else to go for a day if not to decadent Singapore? Singapore ticks all the boxes.
It is only a two-hour flight from Bali with a multitude of airlines servicing both destinations and with very flexible time frames. So decision done – I am left with no option but to spoil myself for 24hrs in Singapore – one of the top ten richest countries in the world.
And for the solo female travelers – Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world. The Singaporeans are kind and gentle and really very helpful. You will not get a service with a smile anywhere better than in Singapore.
These are my Highlights for 24 Hrs in Singapore
- Hit the highest rooftop pool in the world and bask in the tropical sun of Singapore with an exotic cocktail for company.
- Have an elegant Dim Sum brunch below crystal chandeliers and overlooking Marina Bay with a good book as a travel buddy.
- Bag the runway look with some retail therapy and luxury pampering.
- Savour the famous Peking Duck at one of best settings whilst gazing at other diners and making up stories in my head about them – a favourite pastime for a female flying solo.
This is My Itinerary for the 24 Hrs in Singapore
I took the 10.30 a.m flight out of Bali as I did not wish to have to wake up too early. The next 24 hrs in Singapore would be as hectic as they will be enjoyable and I did not want to burn myself before I even arrived!
I landed in Singapore at just before 1.00 p.m and although I planned to head straight to my hotel – I could not avoid being drawn to the new Jewel @ Changi Airport. You can write many accolades for the Singaporeans but their boundless imagination for architecture is priceless.
The Jewel is like many other places in Singapore a mecca for shoppers and eaters alike. However, it is done with so much style. The HSBC Rain Vortex and surrounding luscious gardens harnessed in a massive stainless steel and glass dome – are nothing short of spectacular. The Vortex and the heart of the Jewel – is the world tallest waterfall and stands at 40 metres high.
I have not been to Singapore for the past two years and this is a new addition to Changi International Airport (Terminal 1).
Although I did not manage to see it at night, the Rain Vortex becomes a display of lights and colour. Try not to miss out on the opportunity of unbelievable splendour.
Why I Chose Marina Bay Sands for My 24 Hours in Singapore
I will have to be very frank with you. I chose the Marina Bay Sands 2500 roomed hotel – only because of the fact that I wanted to have a dip in the rooftop 150-metre infinity pool. And tick another item off my bucket list.
If I am honest, the hotel itself is totally overrated. It is like a human factory of check-ins and check-outs. A multitude of people was queuing and there are no less than 6 check-in counters smattered around the lobby. True to the Singaporean style of efficiency we were offered small cornettos and frozen mango juices to ease off the pressure of waiting.
Marina Bay Sands is a Casino Hotel – and a lot of travelers were there like me for just 24hrs in Singapore – but to gamble rather than to have a cocktail at the rooftop infinity pool.
My qualms were soon shaken off when I got assigned my room overlooking the spectacular Marina Bay and the gardens around it. This was truly breathtaking.
An Afternoon At the Rooftop at the Marina Bay Sands – The Highest Swimming Pool in the World
The Rooftop Pool at the Marina Bay Sands stands tall at 57 floors and 350 metres above the ground. It is 150 metres long and is the highest pool in the world.
The view from the top is totally spectacular and kudos to the Moshe Safdie architects who designed the pool standing on three pillars of building and cantilevered on one side by 67 feet.
The pool itself is littered with Millenials, who are busy tweeting and posting Instagram selfies. It is certainly a place to see and be seen. And best of all there are two areas – the Adults only area – where a good repertoire of great jazz was playing, and the family area – where well the kids were playing!
I immediately relaxed and ordered my “just one colourful cocktail” and headed straight to the pool so that I could gaze down the panorama of Spectacular Singapore.
Lunch at the Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool Deck
I am at this point hitting the 3.00 p.m mark and getting rather peckish. Food and drinks are served in safe
plastic by lovely glasses and plates and the Menu is quite varied. I opted for some sushi and decided to wash it down with bubbles and alternate between reading, snoozing, and splashing – not necessarily in that order. The Rooftop is serviced by Ce’ La Vi and LAVO restaurants.
In case you were wondering – you cannot use the pool unless you are a guest at Marina Bay Sands – however, you can access the rooftop either against payment or by dining at their restaurants or even just sip a cocktail at the roof deck bar.
The prices are not cheap but then again in Singapore, nothing is exactly cheap and if you are traveling on a budget then you will need to forget drinking alcohol.
Dinner Time – Peking Duck at the Shangri-La
After my initial shock at the sheer volume of people walking in and out of the very modern Marina Bay Sands – I needed to experience a little bit more of the old and colonial Singapore. And I did want to taste the best Peking Duck on the Island.
I have told you that I have been a number of times to Singapore and some of the best restaurants serving Peking Duck have been in China Town and simply by eating it in the street food restaurants.
However, I had promised myself that these 24 hrs in Singapore were going to be a decadent experience and that I would live the lap of luxury for a day.
I did Google the Best Peking Duck in Singapore – and came up with the Shangi-La. I made a reservation for 7.00 p.m as I know that in Singapore restaurants do not do very late orders and I did want to enjoy the experience to the maximum.
I got even luckier because I discovered that a girlfriend I know in Bali was also spending time in Singapore
and we decided to hook up and do this dinner together. Needless to say, the duck was exquisite and the service could not be faulted. The Maitre D’ carved the duck deftly and professionally.
We were first served the crispy duck skin in pancakes. The pancake was smeared with a thick oyster sauce and spring onion and cucumber were then added to the skin. Absolutely mouth-watering.
The duck meat was then minced and served with fried rice as seconds. Jasmine Tea was flowing throughout as a standard – its slightly bitter taste makes a lovely contrast with the sweetness of the duck glaze. We still did clink glasses with a nice dry Pinot Grigio – after all, we were celebrating females flying solo and meeting up.
It was really time to call it a day as I actually had been up at 6.00 a.m packing an overnight bag and navigating the frenetic traffic of Bali to get to the airport.
But I still had to snap one last photo on my return to the hotel. Judge for yourselves, whether Singapore is a showcase for the lap of luxury! The big boys with the fat wallets parked their toys outside the Casino at the Marina Bay Sands!
Breakfast at The Marina Shopping Mall
I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of breakfast but the half duck between two the previous night was probably not quite enough sustenance! So I did wake up with a rather big appetite. As a rule, I do not do breakfast hotels and one glimpse at the hotel’s breakfast area – put me off. It felt more like a food factory.
This is one of the things I hate as a solo traveler. Feeling that I am just a number. There is no romance in being another mouth to feed and I always hope that every female flying solo will feel just how special she is. As such, I headed to the to Beanstro – The Coffee Bean – which is at the end of the canal by the large circle water fountain at the basement of the Marina Sands Shopping Complex.
I ordered poached eggs on sourdough bread which were served with smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce, on wilted spinach. A great start to the day – even if I could not finish half of it. A nice cup of strong coffee and I was ready for the half-day ahead.
On the opposite end of Beanstro there is also a large food court – where no matter what your palate demands – you will find that there is a solution for it.
Mid Morning Retail Therapy – 24 Hrs In Singapore
There is nothing more girly and fun than a spot of retail therapy and getting dolled up. And Singapore is possibly one of the best places to do it in. I haven’t trapezed the Island in my 24 hours aperture in Singapore but you can find literally everything at the Mall beneath The Marina Sands. I am a self-professed shoe junky and therefore I set and bought a pair of amazing shoes!
Next, I browsed around and decided to do something fun and
unusual – so I walked in at MAC and got my eyelashes done. I decided I wanted to pretty up a bit before I headed for the Afternoon High Tea at The Fullerton Hotel.
My idea originally was to do The Dim Sum Brunch at the Fullerton because it is meant to be quite an experience but after having breakfast – I knew that I would not do it justice. Instead, I pushed brunch and moved it to High Tea later on in the day. This was set for 3.30 p.m which gave me plenty of time to continue browsing.
The Art and Science Museum Exhibition at the Marina Bay Sands
The ArtScience Museum and Exhibition Hall is a wonderful world of light shows, exhibitions and science displays which will catch the imagination of any age. Given the short time I really had – I decided to visit the 2219 Futures Imagined. This exhibition is made of floating installations, paintings films and sculptures that are a journey to inspired futures. It is definitely worth the visit and the exhibition is open up to the 5th of April.
The exhibition has been curated to perfection and it sets you thinking. Basically it is a story where the future is imagined and unfolds not through science fiction but through spaces of calm, society and tradition. I was really impressed and would highly recommend it to anyone who has 24 hrs in Singapore.
High Tea At The Fullerton Hotel overlooking the Marina Bay in Singapore
If you didn’t know that there are six-star Colonial Hotels in Singapore – well know you know. The beautiful masterpiece of colonial architecture is nothing but the Old General Post Office of Singapore. The building has been restored to incredible perfection of opulence but conserving the colonial heritage of Singapore.
Even without having gone for the High Tea which is a legacy leftover from the British Colony – walking the cool marbled floors under sparkling chandeliers would have made this visit worthwhile.
Afternoon High Tea is served at the Courtyard – which overlooks the Marina and Marina Bay Sands where I had spent the previous afternoon and the same morning.
The Atrium where tea is served is sunlit and beautifully laid out. I was totally surprised at the predominance (like 90%) of young ladies over gentlemen who were having a moment of social but restrained fun between sipping a myriad of teas and bubbles. It is true it is Saturday afternoon – but the place is literally choc-a-bloc.
Needless to say, everyone is immaculately dressed. I felt thankful to my morning silliness and my false
eyelashes! LOL! Yet another place to see and be seen – however, I have to admit that it is done in such perfect style – that it was worth the folly not to mention the hefty bill. But the good news is that if you are a group of four – one gets to have a free meal!
Petite cucumber and salmon sandwiches. Scones with clotted cream and sponges, waffles and cakes. All tiny, handcrafted and served on a three-tiered tray.
Service is faultless. It is perfection actually. I felt that I was having a royal moment.
To be honest this was really a perfect way to end my 24 hours in Singapore. The sheer decadence of an afternoon tea was really the cherry on the cake and I enjoyed tremendously.
Incidentally, the Fullerton Courtyard Restaurant is considered to be one of the friendliest spots for solo travellers and is even recommended as such. It is an oasis and a great place to go to if you have a late flight. The airport is only 20 minutes away by car.
24 Hrs In Singapore A Conclusion to a Day of Decadence
I have to qualify that the scope of my 24-hour stint to Singapore was instigated by need more than by design. Rather than be annoyed I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and gift myself a day of decadence.
This does not mean that I will do the same 24 hrs in Singapore if I need to go back for just a day. Singapore is diverse, it has an incredible culture and is a fantastic place to travel with family. Fun parks like Sentosa Island are a must-do whether travelling solo or in a group – as are many other spectacular light shows and animations which are brimming in the City of Light.