TOURIST INFORMATION AND EMBASSIES
Singapore Tourism Board can furnish you with a vacation planner, information on specific areas, maps, and lists of some hotels and tour operators. In New York: 589 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1702, New York, NY 10017, United States of America, Tel: (1-212) 302-4861, Fax: (1-212) 302-4801, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Australia: 11th Floor AWA Building, 47 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia, Tel: (61-2) 9290 2888 / 2882, Fax: (61-2) 9290 2555, Email: STB_infosingapore@stb.gov.sg. United Kingdom: c/o Singapore Centre, First Floor, Southwest House, 11A Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4LR, United Kingdom, Tel: (44-20) 7484 2710 Email: STB_London@stb.gov.sg.
Singapore Tourism Board: Head Office Singapore, Tourism Court, 1 Orchard Spring Lane, Singapore 247729, Tel: (65) 6736 6622, Fax: (65) 6736 9423. Tourism Telephone Numbers: Tourist Hotline: Toll-free in Singapore 1800 736 2000; From Overseas +65 6736 2000; Quality Service Manager: 1800 - 736 6638; Tourism Police: 65 6478 2123. Website: Destination Website:www.visitsingapore.com; Singapore Tourism Board: www.stb.gov.sg;
Visitor’s Centers in Singapore: 1) Orchardgateway, Address: 216 Orchard Road (Next to orchardgateway@emerald); Nearest MRT station: Somerset (NS23); Services & Facilities Available: Tourist Enquiries, Customizing of Itineraries, Booking of Tours, Sale of Attractions and Event Tickets, Hotel Reservation, Free WiFi, Purchase connectivity solutions (EZ link card, SIM card, MiFi device), Exhibitions at Level 2, Operating Hours, Daily 8.30am-9.30pm.
2) ION Orchard, Address, ION Orchard Level 1 Concierge; Nearest MRT station: Orchard (NS24): Services & Facilities Available, Tourist Enquiries, ION Orchard Food and Heritage Trail Tour, Customisation of Itineraries, Vouchers available at counter, Free WiFi, Mobile Phone Charging, Loan of Wheelchairs and Strollers, Operating Hours, Daily 10:00am-10:00pm.
3) Chinatown Visitor Centre at Kreta Ayer Square, Address: 2 Banda Street (Behind Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum); Nearest MRT station: Chinatown (NE4/DT19); Services & Facilities Available, Tourist Enquiries, Sale of Merchandise, Sightseeing & Walking Tours*, Internet Access & Free WiFi, *This service is managed by Tour East Singapore daily, Operating Hours, Daily 9:00am-9pm.
4) Kampong Glam, Address, 55 Bussorah Street; Nearest MRT station: Bugis (EW12/DT14): Services & Facilities Available, Tourist Enquiries, Sale of Attraction Tickets, Hotel Reservation, Purchase connectivity solutions (Wi-Fi devices), Operating Hours, Daily 8:00am-6:00pm, Funan Mall, A group customer officers at the concierge at Funan Mall, Address, Basement 2, 107 North Bridge Road 79105, , Nearest MRT station: , City Hall (NS25/EW13), Services & Facilities Available, Tourist Enquiries, Complimentary Loan of Baby Strollers Umbrella and Wheelchairs, Nursing Room, Free Wifi, Mobile Charging Stations; Operating Hours Daily 10:00am-10:00pm.
EMBASSIES: U.S. Embassy Singapore: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508, Tele Tel: +(65) 6476-9100, Emergency After-Hours Tele Tel: +(65) 6476-9100, Fax: +(65) 6476-9232, Email: email@example.com. There are also consulates in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles.
Singapore Embassy in the United States: Address:, 3501 International Place, NW, Washington DC 20008, United States of America, Tel: +1-202-537-3100, Emergency Tel (after hours):, +1-202-537-3100 Ext 140, Fax: +1-202-537-0876, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Url: https://www.mfa.gov.sg/washington, Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm Saturday and Sunday - Closed
Travel Documents, Visas, Passports and Entry Formalities
A passport (valid for at least six months after arrival) is required. At least two blank passport pages are needed for an entry stamp. A visa is not required for United States, Canadian, Australian, British, Japanese and European Union passport holders for stays up to 90 days. Yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers from certain countries in Africa and South America.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to Singapore. Foreign workers applying for an employment pass are required to undergo a medical screening for HIV/AIDS and a positive test will result in the rejection of a foreign worker’s application. If you’re arriving from an airport in the Middle East, you may be subject to screening for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). If you display symptoms, you may face quarantine or further testing. Entry is normally refused if you have a damaged passport or pages missing. Make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Singapore. Being refused entry can result in significant cost and a long stay at the airport.
If you want to work, study or do business in Singapore you will most likely need a visa and these visas generally require sponsorship of a person, institution or company in Singapore. For information on work permits, business visas, student visas and immigration contact a Singaporean embassy or consulates. For more information a Singaporean embassy or consulate or check the Travel Document Systems website (www.traveldocs.com ).
Visa Extensions are generally not easy to obtain. In most cases if you want to stay in Singapore for a period of months or years you have to leave the country and get a new visa and renter the country. You can also do the same thing with tourist visa. Make a quick run to Malaysia or Indonesia and come back and get an additional 90 says in Singapore without a visa. Penalties for overstaying your visa include fines, imprisonment, corporal punishment (caning) and deportation depending on the length of overstay.
Round-trip or Onward Ticket may be required. Proof of Sufficient Funds may be required. Departure Tax: S$12.00. Currency Restrictions:20,000 Singapore Dollars for entry and exit Customs: 1 liter of alcohol. S$20 is imposed on each carton of cigarettes. Inoculation Records are not required unless you coming from an area in tropical Africa or South America infected with yellow fever. See "Health."
Lost Passport: Make sure to make photocopies of your passport and the page with you entry stamp. If your passport is lost or stolen you generally have to report the theft to police before you can get a new one. Embassies or consulates can give you advise on what you have to do. Website: U.S. Department of State Passport Services and Information: www.travel.state.gov/pasport-services.html . Should you lose your passport while in Singapore, please make a police report immediately and approach your embassy in Singapore to apply for a replacement travel document. You should also report to the ICA (across from the Lavender MRT Station at 10 Kallang Road) for a visit pass which will regularise your stay in Singapore.
Customs regulations: Singapore customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Singapore of items such as firearms, illegal drugs, certain religious materials, chewing gum, videotapes, CD's, and software (for censorship or pirating reasons). Importing certain controlled drugs and pirated copyright material is prohibited and there are restrictions on entering with items like replica guns, radio communications equipment, and weapons and ammunition (including empty cartridge cases and air guns). All baggage is x-rayed at every port of entry, so placing such items in checked baggage will also be inspected for regulated items. For more information visit the travellers section of the Singapore Customs government website.
Medication: Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Singapore. You must apply for prior authorisation and a permit at least ten working days before your travel date from the Singapore Health Sciences Authority in order to bring any such medication into Singapore. For medicines that do not contain a controlled substance, you may bring up to three months’ supply into Singapore without prior approval, but must bring supporting documents such as a letter from your doctor or a copy of the prescription as proof that the medicines are for your personal use. For more information, please consult the Health Sciences Authority website. If you have questions please email email@example.com
Money Issues in Singapore
Singapore is somewhat less expensive than the United States and western Europe but more expensive than Thailand, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations. Top end hotels and meals at fancy restaurants are comparable in price to those in the United States. Rooms in tourist hotels go for between US$50 and US$100. Doubles in a five-star hotel generally start at around US$200. Backpackers can live on as little as US$30 a day. A descent meal at a local restaurant or hawker stall can be as little as US$3 and a room in a guest house is often less than US$25. Local transportation and taxis are also reasonably cheap.
Denominations: The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar (S$), which divided into 100 cents. There are 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and well as a 1 dollar coin. There are also S$1, S$2, S$5, S$10, S$20, S$50, S$100, S$500, S$1000, S$10,000 banknotes. Exchange Rates (October 2019) 1 US Dollar=1.36 Singapore dollars. 1 Singapore dollar =.73 US Dollars. Inflation Rate 0.5 percent. Per Capita GDP (2017): US$57,714. Latest Exchange Rates: oanda.com/currency/converter ; xe.com/currencyconverter , or just Google it.
Where to Change Money: Money can be changed at banks, exchange houses, travel agencies and hotels. The worst rates are usually offered at hotels. The best rates are with unofficial money changers on Raffles Place and Collyer Quay. The rates at the airport are generally as good as at the banks. Beware of places with good rates, they often charge a high commission, and watch out for places with a low commissions, they usually have bad rates. Money changing services can be found not only at the Singapore Changi Airport but also most shopping centers and hotels around the island.
ATMs: You can access the automated teller machines (ATMs) located everywhere in Singapore. They accept most of the main credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Many travelers are using credit cards and ATM machines to avoid the cost of currency conversions. The rates given at an ATM machine are generally as good or better than those offered at exchange houses and banks. It is good idea, though, to bring some travelers checks and cash as a back up. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN number encoded. Check with you bank for details on using foreign ATMs before leaving home.
Credit Cards Credit cards are widely accepted in Singapore and accepted most everywhere, except maybe with street hawkers. Visitors should be aware that credit card fraud is on the rise and should practice standard precautions to avoid falling victim of credit card fraud: do not carry multiple credit cards on your person; do not allow credit cards to be removed from your line of sight; avoid giving credit card information over the phone and use only secure internet connections for financial transactions. Card company contacts: American Express: – 1800 396 6000; Visa: 800 448 1250; MasterCard: 800 110 0113.
Tipping is not generally practiced in Singapore. It is not necessary to tip cinema ushers, taxi drivers, hotel personal or waiters. Service Charge of 10 percent is often added to bills at hotels and restaurants. Airport Tax: S$47.30. Bank Hours: 10:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday; 9:30am to 11:30am on Saturday. Currency Restrictions: 20,000 Singapore Dollars for entry and exit. Travelers Checks are not widely used anymore but in Singapore they can still be easily converted into the local currency and often can be used to purchase items.
Taxes and Tax Refunds
Singapore has a seven percent GST-VAT (government sales tax. value added tax). Eligibility for the Tourist Refund Scheme: As a tourist in Singapore, if you make any purchase of more than S$100 (including GST) at participating shops, you may claim a refund on the 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid on your purchases. You are entitled up to 3 same-day receipts/invoices from shops bearing the same GST registration number and shop name to meet this minimum purchase amount of S$100. To know whether a shop is participating in the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS), look for a “Tax Free” shopping logo or sign displayed at the shop. You can also check with the retailer whether your purchases are eligible for GST refund.
Are you eligible for a GST refund? You must be a tourist and must meet the following criteria:
You are not a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident;
You are aged 16 and above at the time of purchase;
You are not a crew member of the aircraft on which you are leaving Singapore by;
You are leaving Singapore from Changi Airport or Seletar Airport. You will not be eligible for a GST refund if you are leaving by the Causeway of Sea;
You must have made your purchases within two months from when you apply for a refund
Purchases that are not eligible for a GST refund include:
Goods which you have already used or consumed in Singapore.
Goods that you are exporting for commercial purposes.
Goods that will be exported by freight.
Accommodation in a hotel or hostel, and services such as car rental and tour charges.
Where to get your refund: Apply for your GST refund using the Electronic Tourist Refund self-help kiosks (eTRS kiosks) found at Changi Airport Departure Check-in Hall (before departure immigration) and Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration); and at Seletar Airport Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) duty office.
How the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) works: The Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) was introduced to allow you to apply for your GST refunds electronically and to replace the use of paper refund forms. This offers you an easier way to get your refund because you no longer have to fill up different refund forms issued by different shops.
When making purchases from retailers who are on eTRS, you must show your passport in person to the retailers to prove your eligibility under the TRS. Photocopies or images of passports are not acceptable. The retailer will issue an eTRS transaction to you at the point of purchase with your passport details. When you apply for your GST refund at the airport’s eTRS self-help kiosk with your passport, your transactions will be retrieved automatically.
How to claim your tax refund in three simple steps: 1) At The Airport: If you plan to check-in your purchases, you must apply for your GST refund before you check in your luggage. If you check in your purchases, you will not be entitled to a refund. This is because Singapore Customs may want to inspect your purchases before processing the refund. You can apply for your refund at the eTRS self-help kiosk in the Departure Check-in Hall (before departure immigration) at the airport. If you plan to hand-carry your purchases, proceed to the Departure Transit area (after departure immigration) at the airport with your purchases and apply for your refund at the eTRS self-help kiosk found there.
2) At The eTRS Self-Help Kiosk: At the kiosk, scan your passport. This will retrieve details of all your purchases. After you have retrieved your purchase details, follow the instructions on the eTRS kiosk to apply for your GST refund. At this stage, you will be asked to choose if your refund is to be made to your credit card, Alipay account or in cash (for tourists departing from Changi Airport). If you are departing from Seletar Airport, you will be asked to choose your refund to be made by credit card, Alipay or bank cheque. When you are done, read carefully the outcome of your refund request shown on the kiosk. Please check whether you would need to go to the Customs Inspection counter, where customs officers may ask to see your purchases for further verification. It is important for you to arrive at the airport early to allow sufficient time to process your GST refund and for the inspection of goods.
3) Collect Your Refund: If you are departing from Changi Airport, you can choose to receive your refund in cash, or have it credited to your credit card or Alipay account. If you are departing from Seletar Airport, you can choose to receive your refund by having it credited to your credit card or Alipay account, or bank cheque. If you choose to have your refund in cash, head to the Central Refund Counter in the Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration) with your passport to collect your cash.
Electricity, Time and Operating Hours in Singapore
The electric current in Singapore is 220 volts and 50 cycles, different from the United States and the same as Europe. The sockets and plugs are different from those in the United States as well. The most common plugs in Singapore are the British-style plugs with three rectangular blades and Asian-style plugs with three round pins. You can buy adapters at the airport and an electronic store. Airport shops sometimes will rip you off at an outrageous level.
Time Difference: +13 hours from New York. When it is 7:00am in New York it is 8:00pm in Singapore. +8 hours from London (Greenwich Mean Time). When it is 7:00am in London it is 3:00pm in Singapore. Daylight Savings Time is not observed in Singapore, which means there is a +12 hour difference with New York and +7 hour with London from the end of April to the end of October.
Singapore has five-day and five-and-a-half day work weeks. Business hours are similar to those in Western countries. Times are often expressed with a 24 hour clock Business Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm or 6:00pm, Monday through Friday. Lunch is usually taken between 1:00pm and 2:00pm. And, 9:00am to 11:30 am or 1:00pm on Saturday. Government Hours: 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Lunch is usually taken between noon and 1:00pm. And, 8:00 or 9:00am to noon or 1:00pm on Saturday. Bank Hours: 9:30 or 10:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday; 9:30am to 11:30am on Saturday.
Store Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Department stores and shopping malls open at 10:00am and close between 9:00pm and 10:00pm. Many are open on Sunday. . A number of Chinese and Indian businesses maintain longer hours, with some open seven days a week. Post Office Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday; 9:30am to 12 noon, Saturday. Restaurant Hours: 11:00am or 12:00 noon to 9:00pm or 12:00 midnight. Most people begin lunch between noon and 1:30pm. Most people start dinner between 7:00pm and 8:00pm. Bar and Nightclub Hours: 8:00pm or 9:30pm to 12:00 midnight or 2:00am. Museum Hours: Generally 9:00am to 6:00pm, often closed on one day a week, usually Monday. The hours and days closed vary quite a bit from museum to museum so check with the local tourist offices before you set out.
Telephones in Singapore
The telephone system (Singapore Telecom of SingTel) is very good. There is no charge for local calls made from shops or homes (sometimes hotels charge a handling fee); Operators speak English, English-language telephone books and yellow pages are used; and shop owners will often let you use their phone for a local call if you are in a pinch. Cell phones and Smart Phones are obviously widely used in Singapore. They can be rented in some places. Most people use widely-available Wi-Fi or buy a SIM card, which can be easily purchased at the airport and other places in Singapore (See Below).
From the United States to Singapore: The country code is . To call Singapore you would dial 011-65 then the eight digit local number.While in Singapore and if you have international roaming service on your cell phone, you don’t have to press +(65) as it will automatically connect you to the local numbers here. From Singapore to the United States and Elsewhere: first dial 001 and then the country code (U.S. or Canada 1, U.K. 44, Ireland 353, Australia 61, New Zealand 64). Next, dial the area code and number. Emergency Numbers: Police: 999; non-emergencies 65-235-9111, 1800 255 0000; Fire or ambulance: 995; non-emergency ambulance service, 1777, 777 0000. Emergency calls are free at phone booths. The operators speak English. Flight Information – 1800 542 4422. Tourist Police: 65 6478 2123. For additional assistance or complaints, call Touristline at 1800 736 2000 (toll-free in Singapore), or (65) 6736 2000 (from overseas). Operating hours for Touristline is Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays), 9:00am to 6:00pm. Operators and Directory Assistance: For directory assistance within Singapore, dial tel. 100. Dial tel. 104 for assistance with numbers in other countries. For operator assistance in making a call, dial tel. 104 if you're trying to make an international call and tel. 100 if you want to call a number in Singapore. The operators speak English.
Prepaid SIM Cards for Mobile Phones in Singapore
If you wish to continue making calls and sending messages on your mobile phone or smart phone while, a good option will be to purchase a Singapore prepaid SIM card. Local telecom companies — like M1, Singtel and Starhub — offer a wide variety of packages, so take a little time to decide which plan best suits your needs. You can choose from bundles that cover local and international calls, SMSes and varying amounts of local mobile data. Durations typically range from five to 30 or more days.
Prepaid SIM cards are easily purchased at the telecom companies’ retail counters and islandwide convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Cheers, as well as at Singapore Changi Airport’s many Changi Recommends booths and telco retail counters. You will have to produce your passport for registration when purchasing a prepaid SIM card.
Many people suggest for a short visit to Singapore the best thing to do is buy a SIM card at the airport once you exit the baggage area. There are two currency exchange counters, one that sells Singtel and the other Starhub. Singtel has a cheaper deal than Starhub, where tourists can purchase a card good for 5 days/4gb data for $15. If you're staying longer, there are more expensive options. Remember to bring along the pin to open up the SIM card slot. Some people say it is not really necessary to purchase a local SIM card as one can rely on WiFi that is literally everywhere: hotels, public places, shopping malls.
Internet and Wi-Fi in Singapore
With an Internet penetration of 82 percent in 2019 and different options to get online, finding a way to connect in Singapore is easy. From WiFi hotspots to prepaid data plans (See Above), are many options.
Pocket Wi-Fi: You can also choose to connect to the Internet from multiple devices with a pocket WiFi device. This mobile hotspot provides islandwide data access for your laptop, tablet and/or smartphone. This is recommended if you carry a few devices, desire WiFi connectivity and do not intend to make many phone calls.
Pocket WiFi devices are available for rental at the Changi Recommends counters at Singapore Changi Airport, and you can conveniently drop off the devices at the Changi Recommends counters just before your return flight. Alternatively, there are other pocket WiFi rental companies available in Singapore. If you prefer to search and pre-register online, these companies—like Y5Buddy and Rentafi—often offer affordable courier services for both delivery and return of these devices.
Free Public Wi-Fi: WiFi hotspots are also widely available at various public areas and businesses across the island. Here are some options. 1) Wireless@SG: This is a free public WiFi service across Singapore, with hotspots available at many locations, from malls and museums, to MRT stations and public libraries. You can also look out for the Wireless@SG decal on display wherever this network is available, as well as the SSID Wireless@SG on your device. To get connected, register for an account with your foreign mobile number at any Wireless@SG hotspot. You’ll receive your login details via an SMS message. Do note that overseas charges may apply.
2) Changi Airport: Free WiFi service is available in the public and transit areas of Changi Airport with #WiFi@Changi. 3) Shopping Malls: Free WiFi service is offered and available for login at some shopping malls, restaurants and cafes in Singapore. This service is usually displayed prominently for customers but do feel free to enquire directly at the malls’ information counters for WiFi access.
2G Networks not available: The provision of 2G network services have not been available in Singapore since 2017. As such, visitors are advised to bring along a 3G or 4G enabled mobile device when visiting Singapore. If your existing operator does not support 3G or 4G roaming, be sure to purchase a prepaid SIM card on arrival so you can be instantly connected.
Post Offices and Shipping Stuff in Singapore
The postal service (SingPost) in Singapore is generally pretty good. The lines in post offices can be long because lots of foreign workers send stuff home. International mail service is efficient. Airmail between Singapore and the U.S. is less than a week in transit. Mail within Southeast Asia is sometimes less dependable. Letters sent out of Singapore can be mailed from a post office or mailbox. Many of the major hotels have small post offices where you can buy stamps and post cards and mail them. Stamps can also be purchased at GPOs, and some newspaper stands, kiosks and shops.
Post Office Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday; 9:30am to 12 noon, Saturday. Singapore Post Office: The General Post Office, the Post Office at Comcentre, and the Post Office at the airport are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Shipping: D.H.L., UPS and Federal Express offer good service in Singapore from the United States. Many people who purchase gifts in Singapore have them shipped by the buyer. An element of trust is involved if you do this. Air freight is expensive but takes only a week or so to arrive. Surface freight is cheaper but takes two or so months to arrive. A customs form must be filled out for packages leaving the country. Generally the post office staff has to wrap packages for you. Large post offices are sometimes complicated because they have different windows for different services, such as buying stamps or sending registered letters.
Tourist facilities are well developed in Singapore and the room rates tend to be less expensive than Hong Kong and comparable to those in the United States. Singapore boasts a large number of luxury hotels, including some of the most famous hotels in the world. There is a large number of standard, business and Holiday Inn-style hotels. Cheap accommodation is harder to come by. Many places are concentrated in the Bencoolen cheap hotel area. Reservations are strongly advised, especially during the main holiday seasons are around Christmas and New Year, Chinese New Year in February, the Golden Week holiday in late April and early May and the summer holiday in July and August.
Accommodation prices are set by the government so that hotels of similar quality usually don't vary in price that much. Lonely Planet Guides are recommended for their descriptions of budget hotels. The Singapore Tourism Board has hotel information. And there are the usual hotel websites.
Singapore has some of the world's famous hotels, including the Raffles Hotel. The Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, the Raffles Hotel and the Raffles Plaza have been ranked in the Top 25 hotels in Asia and the 100 Top hotels in the World by Travel and Leisure. Swissôtel The Stamford, formerly known as the Westin Stamford, was designed by architect I.M. Pei, and for a while was the world's tallest hotel, at a height of 226 meters (741 feet). Completed in March 1985, it is still one of Southeast Asia's tallest hotels. The Duxton is a boutique hotel with a a very European flavor. The Mandarin Orchard, Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La are also world famous. The Rasa Sentosa resort is Singapore's oldest deluxe beachfront property.
Most expensive hotels in Singapore usually have English-speaking staff members, amenities similar to those in Western hotels, a choice of restaurants, coffee shops open around the clock, expensive room service, conference services, business center, a health club, a small swimming pool, beauty salon, shopping/travel counter, baby sitters, safe deposit lockers, currency exchange banks, rooms with attached baths, channel music, cable TV, and telephones with direct dial facilities. Some hotels have interpreter and translator services, secretarial services and access to fax machines and computers. Most deluxe and first-class hotels have direct connections on limousine buses to the airport.
Rosemary McClure wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “Capella Singapore, 1 the Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore; 6591-5033. Standout views and colonial charm are highlights at this luxury hotel on recently revitalized Sentosa, a 30-acre island off southern Singapore. Capella, set on a hill overlooking the South China Sea, is a mix of modern and colonial buildings with well-landscaped grounds, two infinity pools, four dining venues and large, plush rooms. Doubles from $721 a night. [Source: Rosemary McClure, Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2016]
“Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore; 6337-1886. This iconic hotel draws lines of tourists daily. Look past the chaos to find a genteel showplace reflecting the British colonial era. Only guests can access the inner reaches of the hotel, where comfortable rooms with high ceilings are filled with charm and antique furniture. Doubles from $654 a night.
“Carlton Hotel Singapore, 76 Bras Basah Road, Singapore; 6338-8333. Centrally located high-rise hotel has multiple towers with great views and offers a good buy for the money. Modern, understated rooms are comfortable and efficient. Doubles from $183 a night.”
Cheap Accommodation in Singapore
Cheap accommodation options include staying at a hostel, YMCA, or cheap budget travelers hotel. Many places are concentrated in the Bencoolen cheap hotel area. Budget Hotels are basic cheap accommodation geared for budget travelers. Rooms generally run between US$30 and US$50 a night per room. The rooms sometimes have sagging beds and the furnishing are sparse. Sometimes they are very depressing. For more information consult the Lonely Planet books.
Cheap Hotels for Locals are also sometimes patronized by budget travelers. These places are often found near the bus station, train station or markets. These hotels vary a great deal in quality, comfort and cleanliness. They often have a bar, and are frequented by salesmen and prostitutes. Often they are very dirty, noisy and sleazy.
There are several youth hostels in Singapore. Singapore is not like Europe. Most budget travelers stay at cheap hotels or guesthouses rather than hostels. The Y.M.C.A. International House on Orchard Road has air-conditioned rooms that begin at US$100 for a double. Youth Hostels are simple, neat and inexpensive accommodation facilities geared particularly for young people. There are currently only a handful of youth hostels in Singapore. Youth hostels are generally equipped with dining rooms, showers, private rooms and separate dormitories for men and women. Youth hostels can be noisy. If you sleep in the dormitories it is not unusual to be woken up in the middle of the night by loud snoring, or someone arriving late or leaving early or deciding to repack at an odd hour. Many hostels require that bring your own sheets or sleep in a sleeping bag.
Hotel Comments and Tips
1) The service and quality tends to be the same or better that the service in Europe and North America. 2) Special deals are often offered in the low seasons from January to April. Sometimes the discounts are as much as 50 percent off their published rates. 3) You can sometimes bargain a little on your room rate especially in the low season if you plan to stay for a while. 4) Hotel laundry and other services are often very expensive. Ask for the price first. 5) Luggage storage facilities and safes for keeping valuables are often available.
6) At budget hotels ask whether or not the room has a bath, what time hot water is available, whether or not your room is to be shared with other travelers, what is included in the price of a room and what isn't. Some places will charge extra for things you assume are free like showers or breakfast. Check the room and make sure the air conditioning works. 7) Many hotels have room rates that vary with the quality of the room. If you bargain for a cheaper room sometimes will often end up with room that is smaller, gloomier, hotter than the one you would have otherwise gotten.
8) The lighting is often poor in cheap hotel room. You may want to bring a small reading light. 9) ) The rooms may have mosquitos. Make sure the room has mosquito coils. A fan is also useful for blowing away mosquitos. 10 ) Make sure to get a hotel card with name, address and phone number of the hotel. If you get lost you can always show it to a taxi driver to get back to your hotel. 10) Most rooms have jugs with safe drinking water Many have a pot for making hot water for tea and a small refrigerator. .
11) In guesthouse many people take a mandi, a “shower” with cold water, a ladel-like bucket and a basin. When there is a shower the showers may be a little strange and the towels are small and made of relatively thin coarse cloth rather than terry cloth. The showers stalls often don't have a convenient place to put soap and shampoo other than the floor. Some stalls are small and cramped.
12) Book ahead if you are traveling in the high season, or to a popular place. If you haven't booked a hotel in advance start looking for a accommodation early, preferable around 11:00am or 12:00am, when other people are checking out. 13) Don't make telephone calls, especially long distance calls, if you can help it. Some hotels charges up to US$8.00 a minute for calls to the United States. 14) Only the most expensive hotels have room service. Make sure you have some snacks for when you get hungry. 15 ) Try to avoid getting a room with a window facing a busy streets. Sometimes the noise is awful.
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons
Text Sources: Singapore tourism websites, Singapore government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.
Updated in August 2020