For James and I, and our then two-year-old daughter Tabitha, our Singapore adventure actually began at the InterContinental Hotel in Bugis, where we first stayed before finding a serviced residence, followed by a more long-term home.
It may have only been for our first two nights, but as introductions go it really was quite swanky; we were sold. Six years later, we’re still living on this sunny island – evidently we’re happy!
So when we decided to celebrate my 40th birthday with a staycation, we thought: Where better than back at the InterContinental Hotel? We could reminisce about our first impressions of the city and relax at the same time; and the location would be ideal for a smattering of shopping – it’s slap bang in the middle of Bugis Junction.
We stayed in one of the recently renovated Peranakan-inspired Shophouse Suites. These rooms also give you access to the Club InterContinental Lounge, where you can have breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as take advantage of its many other complimentary offerings.
The hotel has 54 Shophouse Rooms and 11 Suites in total, which all reflect its Peranakan heritage, and yet have all of the mod cons you’d expect from a contemporary hotel. Large LED televisions and iPod and iPhone docking stations sit against 17th-century-style furniture. It’s like a beautiful, historic step back in time, but with all your techy creature comforts.
One night in Bugis
Following the very welcome afternoon tea offered to us as we took advantage of the personalised check-in service in the club lounge, we immediately went to admire our room, then dumped our belongings and went shopping.
Bugis Junction Mall is literally on the hotel’s doorstep; you don’t even have to go outside to reach it, so no worries if it’s raining, which of course it does frequently here. Our main aim was to shop, but there are plenty of other leisure facilities within a five-minute walk, including a Shaw Theatres cinema complex and Virtualand arcade gaming centre, if you’re so inclined, as well as beauty salons and food and beverage options galore.
Shopping over and done with, our thoughts turned to our stomachs. The hotel’s renowned Cantonese restaurant Man Fu Yuan, located on the second level, has recently launched a new menu that includes dishes such as double-boiled seafood soup in coconut, and baked sea mantis shrimp. However, with Cantonese cuisine not being our top choice, we opted for the high-ceilinged Lobby Lounge, where we ate our dinner before retiring to the Victoria Bar, located within the hotel, for a nightcap and a quick catch-up on some of the football results before deciding to call it a night.
Our leisurely Sunday consisted of a workout in the recently renovated gym, followed by a long, drawn-out breakfast in the club lounge, and a laze by the pool, before reluctantly checking out.
The InterContinental is fantastically located, having plenty of entertainment options within walking distance. Here are just a few:
Shophouse Rooms start from $480 per night, and Shophouse Suites from $950 per night, both inclusive of Club InterContinental benefits.
This article was first featured in the October 2015 issue of the magazine.