If you’re moving to Singapore for the first time, deciding where to live can be overwhelming. There are so many neighbourhoods and districts to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. So why not start at the heart? The Orchard area encompasses Singapore’s famous Orchard Road shopping strip, but it also stretches beyond it to Stevens Road and Newton in the east and north, Tanglin in the west, River Valley in the south and Bras Basah to the southeast.
Orchard Road may have started out life as a sedate plantation area filled with nutmeg, pepper and fruit trees, but today, nothing could be further from the truth. We look at five reasons why living in Orchard could be for you.
#1 Central location with great transportation links
It doesn’t get more downtown than Orchard Road. Whether you choose to go by cab or your own wheels, there’s easy access to all of Singapore’s main expressways, so you can get wherever you need to go, fast. The Orchard area is also well-served by MRT with the Orchard and Somerset stations giving quick and easy access to the North-South Line, and Dhoby Ghaut linking up the North-South, Circle and East-West Lines. Numerous public buses ply the main Orchard strip and intersecting main roads such as Orchard Boulevard, Scotts Road, Tanglin Road and Napier Road, transporting passengers locally and to all four corners of the island. Whether you are commuting to the CBD or sending the kids off to school somewhere a little farther flung, getting anywhere from Orchard is a piece of cake.
#2 Shoppers’ paradise
With 20-plus shopping malls on Orchard Road alone, you’ll find everything you could possibly need. There are luxury brands galore throughout the whole Orchard strip, the full range of department stores and supermarkets, malls specialising in children’s wear or independent brands, plus all the cheap and cheerful options you can imagine. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind handbag for a very special occasion or a last-minute costume for Halloween, Orchard Road will come up trumps.
#3 Dining and entertainment hub
When it comes to entertainment, Orchard offers multiple cinemas and entertainment complexes. Bars and nightclubs for every occasion abound, from the late-night and lively to the hipper, more laid-back vibes of Emerald Hill and Cuppage Terrace, or the sleek and sophisticated style of Manhattan (recently voted as the best bar in Asia and the third best bar in the world).
Foodies will also adore Orchard for the huge range of options it encompasses. If you’re looking for local cuisine, Newton Food Centre, one of Singapore’s best-known hawker centres, is just around the corner. Pretty much every shopping mall houses a buzzing food court filled with local and international flavours, and there are numerous chain and independent eateries for everyday dining. For something a little flashier, Orchard also has more than its fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from.
#4 Pockets of calm
While much of Orchard’s appeal lies in its vibrant and buzzing central location, it’s actually an area of great balance. Just a stone’s throw away from the main Orchard strip is Emerald Hill, a gorgeously calm enclave of colourful shophouses and fragrant frangipani. Singapore’s famous Botanic Gardens, a respite of greenery and calm can be found at the far eastern reaches of Orchard. In the opposite direction is Fort Canning, a grassy, hilltop park filled with both nature and history. The Istana Palace is also located in Orchard and opens up its grounds to the public on most national holidays. Want to grab a few moments of peace and quiet in the middle of your shopping spree? Check out the beautifully designed library@orchard, or head skywards for a peaceful bird’s-eye view of the city at the 56th floor ION Sky observation deck.
#5 World class medical facilities
While hospital visits will never top of the list of ‘Things to Do in Singapore’, if you are living here, or even staying short-term, it’s reassuring to know that Orchard is home to some of Singapore’s best medical facilities, including Gleneagles, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Camden Medical Centre.
Far East Hospitality offers four exclusive serviced residences in the Orchard area. From fancy penthouses to stylish lofts or sweet one-bedroom suites, there’s something for every taste.
Orchard Scotts Residences: These multi-award winning serviced apartments set in beautifully sculpted gardens are in the heart of Orchard and within walking distance of Newton Food Centre
Orchard Parksuites: A residence located right in the heart of Orchard Road just steps away from Ion Orchard and Orchard MRT Station.
Far East Plaza Residences: Located in the Far East Plaza Shopping Centre, a wide variety of retail, restaurants and entertainment are literally on your doorstep.
Regency House: These fully refurbished serviced apartments sit just off Orchard Road, close to both Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations.
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