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Where to Stay in Singapore: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018

Being a compact city, most hotels in Singapore are concentrated in a few main areas. The newly constructed Marina Bay has most of the city's luxury and high-end chain hotel options. Across Marina Bay is the Civic District, also known as the Downtown Core, where many of the city's civic buildings and museums are located. Clarke Quay is one of the oldest areas of the city, next to the Singapore River, yet recent redevelopment has made it the city's newest hot spot to stay and play. You'll find a range of accommodations in the wonderfully congested Bugis area, with most of the city's budget hotel options in the neighboring Chinatown and Little India. The area on and around Orchard Road, Singapore's main luxury shopping boulevard, is also home to many mid-range and high-end hotel choices.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Marina Bay at night
Marina Bay at night
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For modern luxury, the Marina Bay area is the best place to stay. The focus of the multi-billion-dollar development, created from reclaimed ocean, is the incredible Marina Bay Sands. The hotel, which holds the title of being the world's most expensive to construct, has three 57-story towers, capped with a giant terrace the size of an aircraft carrier. The Sands SkyPark includes the Instagram-famous infinity pool (open to hotel guests only), along with a few restaurants and a public observation area. Marina Bay is also home to attractions like the Gardens by the Sea botanical experience and a range of water sports on the bay itself.

Just across the bay from the Marina Bay Sands, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore offers the brand's legendary luxury and service. The stylish rooms and suites look across Marina Bay at the Sands and the skyline of the Downtown Core. They also look out onto the Singapore Flyer giant Ferris wheel (the world's second tallest), which sits on the corner of the quay, overlooking the bay. The buffet restaurant, called Colony, is one of the best in the world, with multiple stations representing different former British colonies and their respective cuisines.

Also across the bay, among the office towers of the Downtown Core, The Westin Singapore is a great luxury hotel option. The large rooms and suites have great views of the entire Marina Bay area, and the hotel's rooftop infinity pool also offers wonderful views and opportunities for selfies. The location within the Financial District makes it popular for business travelers as well.

Another area to stay for luxury is along Orchard Road, Singapore's main high-end shopping area. Recently renovated, the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore luxury hotel has more than a club floor, they have an entire VIP wing, known as the Valley Wing. The hotel is unique in Singapore in that it's surrounded by 15 lush acres of expansive grounds and gardens, something rare in this real estate-hungry city. The gardens provide beautiful green views from the hotel's luxurious rooms and suites.

Where to Stay for the Best Value

Spiral staircases in Bugis neighborhood
Spiral staircases in Bugis neighborhood
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The historic Bugis area is home to a good range of accommodations yet still puts visitors in the heart of classic Singapore. You'll find five-star service and accommodations for four-star prices at the InterContinental Singapore, located in Bugis. The hotel has some unique Heritage Rooms and Suites in their Heritage Wing, a new construction designed to pay tribute to classic Singapore shophouse living. For a modern twist, some of the suites have balconies that open out into an indoor shopping mall.

Another great-value choice is the Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, located a few blocks from the malls of Orchard Road. Foodies will enjoy the hotel's Cantonese restaurant Summer Palace, recently awarded its first Michelin star.

If you want to explore the city's museums, the Swissotel The Stamford Singapore puts you across the street from city hall and only a block from the wonderful National Museum of Singapore. Guests have nine restaurants to choose from and great views, as the hotel is one of the tallest in Asia.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown
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Most of the budget lodging options in Singapore are located in or near the dense areas of Chinatown and Little India. The Park 22 Hotel Little India puts you right in the heart of Singapore's Indian neighborhood. As soon as you step outside the hotel, your senses of sight, sound, and smell are overwhelmed by this exciting area. Rooms are basic but clean and quite stylish, and the hotel is right next to the Little India MRT station.

Fragrance is a Singapore-based budget hotel chain with 21 properties around the city. Their highly-rated Fragrance Hotel - Ruby is in Geylang, away from the main tourist areas, but the extremely low rates, clean rooms, and close proximity to an MTR station make it an excellent budget choice.

Located in a row of heritage shophouses and an Art Deco building, The Scarlet Singapore is a great boutique option offering a lot for its budget pricing. Stylish accommodations, personal service, and a good location for both hawker center food and neighborhood restaurants are some of its features.

At the higher end of the budget scale, but worth the money, is the Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong. Hotel Indigo is a boutique lifestyle hotel brand from IHG and really gets it right when it comes to offering a local experience. This is true of the Katong location, an upscale residential area near the seafront that includes a nice mix of modern and classic buildings.

Where to Stay for Romance

Twin Pagodas at Chinese Gardens
Twin Pagodas at Chinese Gardens
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For a romantic experience in Singapore, take the monorail across the bay to Sentosa Island. Only 15 minutes from central Singapore, the island resort is home to Southeast Asia's first Universal Studios, a huge aquarium, and several other amusement and adventure parks. It also has some great beachfront resorts, perfect for those seeking a romantic experience in Singapore.

For a luxurious, romantic getaway, Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa is a large beachfront resort. The hotel's "Just The 2 of Us" package includes everything needed for the perfect getaway for two (including practical items, like two round-trip Sentosa Express monorail tickets, theme park admission, and dining and spa credits).

Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa delivers Le Meridien's great French style and service but in a re-creation of a classic, colonial Singapore building. The beachfront resort has Onsen Suites with their own outdoor Japanese-style natural hot tub and spa, perfect for couples.

For a rockin' romantic getaway, try the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, also on Sentosa. The resort's "Naughty & Nice Package" was created just for lovers and includes suite accommodations as well as some romance-inspiring amenities, like late check-out and a couples massage.

For a romantic experience in town, the Vagabond Club, Singapore, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel is a beautifully designed luxury boutique hotel in Little India. The hotel's Vagabond Executive Club Suite is their unique, signature accommodation and delivers a luxury apartment-like experience in the heart of Singapore, with a range of amenities that may make you reluctant to ever leave.

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