7 Singapore Hotels Open In 2019 For Couples Lazy To Leave The Island

Singapore Hotels Open In 2019 For Last Minute Staycations

There’s truly no place like home.

While some couples prefer to go on vacations abroad, sometimes you might just crave a romantic staycation a few miles from your apartment.

Imagine relaxing at a luxurious hotel with a comfy master bedroom, delicious concoctions and top-notch spa treatments – immediately after work.

Lucky for you, we’ve done some research on the best hotels opening in Singapore on 2019. Here’s a few places you can add to your bucket list.

1. The Capitol Kempinski Hotel

The Capitol Kempinski Hotel opened its doors on October 2018.

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The colonial style establishment is situated inside the iconic Stamford House and Capitol Building. The aesthetic is a mix from the luxuries of the past to the present.

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It boasts of 157 guest rooms and suites, a boutique spa, saltwater relaxation pool and 15 Stamford — a Michelin-star restaurant.

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Each suite has a contemporary aesthetic which make it an ideal abode in the heart of the city. The rooms include luxurious toiletries, rainfall showers, separate baths and LCD TV.

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Address: 15 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178906
Phone: +65 6368 8888
Opening Hours: Check-in is open for 24 hours
Website: The Capitol Kempinski
Price: From $460/night

2. Grand Park City Hall

If you’re craving for an instant vacation, visit the Grand Park City Hall which is a 5-minute walk from City Hall MRT Station.

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Each suite includes a private bathroom, an LCD TV, free WiFi, tea or coffee-making amenities and a minibar.

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We’re sure you and your bae will have the time of your life whilst lounging in these tanning beds and sipping delectable cocktails.

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Address: 10 Coleman St, Singapore 179809
Phone: +65 6336 3456
Opening Hours: Check-in – 3.00pm to 12.00am, Check-out – 1.00am to 12.00pm
Website: Grand Park City Hall
Price: From $230/night

3. Six Senses Maxwell Hotel

Six Senses Maxwell Hotel is set inside a restored heritage shophouse located in Chinatown.

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Every suite is beautifully decorated with original artwork and custom-made furniture. It also includes a flat-screen TV, espresso machine and an en suite bathroom.

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Guests can dine in their collection of several restaurants and bars, soak in their lap pools and exercise at their well-equipped gyms.

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Address: 2 Cook Street, Chinatown, 078857 Singapore
Phone: +65 6914 1400
Opening Hours: Check-in from – 2.00pm, Check-out until – 12.00pm
Website: Six Senses Maxwell
Price: From $267/night

4. – The Barracks Hotel (Sentosa)

Sentosa’s new upcoming getaway is The Barracks Hotel which is scheduled to open on October 2019.

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One of the main highlights is the idyllic rooftop pool, pool deck and swimming pool surrounded by lush green scenery.

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Those dreaming of basking in beautiful sunsets, watching fireworks and enjoying the panoramic view with their significant others, will have a magical experience at their rooftop pool.

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The hotel will include 40 elegantly-designed guest rooms and suites — complete with King beds.

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Address: 2 Gunner Lane, Sentosa Island, Singapore 099567
Email: [email protected]
Contact number: Hotel: +65 6512 2202 / Reservations: +65 6881 8888
Opening Date: Available for booking in Q2 2019
Website: The Barracks Hotel
Price: TBA

5. The Outpost Hotel (Sentosa)

The Outpost Hotel will open in April 2019.

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It will include 193 guest rooms with a colonial monochrome themed design and a customized minibar.

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The pool deck is inspired by the cascading pools in Turkey and it’s one of the best spots to enjoy a dip with bae.

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Address: 10 Artillery Avenue, Sentosa Island, Singapore 099951
Email: [email protected]
Contact number: Hotel: +65 6722 0801 / Reservations: +65 6881 8888
Opening Date: 1 April 2019
Website: The Outpost Hotel
Price: From $248/night

6. Village Hotel (Sentosa)

The 606-room Village Hotel at Sentosa will open on April 2019.

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Unlike Sentosa’s upcoming The Barracks and The Outpost Hotel, it caters to families with access to a Kids’ Beach Pool and an Amazonian Riverine lazy river that’s inspired by the Amazonian Rainforest.

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The family room includes two king beds or two twin beds plus one King Bed, two vanity areas and bathrooms and a view of the pool or the island.

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Address: 10 Artillery Avenue, Sentosa Island, Singapore 099951
Email: [email protected]
Contact number: Hotel: +65 6722 0800 / Reservations: +65 6881 8888
Opening Date: 1 April 2019
Website: Village Sentosa
Price: From $195/night

7. Raffles Singapore (Reopening)

You might’ve missed the iconic Raffles Singapore when it closed for its refurbishment project in February 2017, but you’ll be able to visit it again soon in the middle of 2019.

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Expect the hotel’s classic ambience and top-of-the-line service, and stay tuned for updates because they’re planning to open new bars, restaurants, courtyards, and social areas – to make your next visit a fresh experience.

Address: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
Contact number: +65 6337 1886
Opening Date: Middle of 2019
Website: Raffles Singapore
Price: TBA

Mark your calendars

If you want to make the most out of your staycations, then plan ahead and schedule it around the 2019 holidays for a longer experience at our very own hotel havens.

We’ve uploaded a graphic for 2019, so you can regularly return to cloud nine.

Featured image from Booking and Far East Hospitality.

SilkAir To Launch Singapore’s Only Direct Flight To Busan On 1 May

SilkAir’s Singapore To Busan Trip Is First Non-Stop Direct Flight

If you’re a fan of Busan, good news — you no longer have to endure flights with painfully long stopovers. SilkAir is launching a direct flight service to the popular, picturesque city of South Korea on 1 May.

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The flight will be the only direct flight from Singapore to Busan.

4 flights to and fro each week

There will be 4 flights from Singapore to Busan each week, all departing at 11.15pm:

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Each flight takes around 6 and a half hours, which means reaching Busan at roughly 7am local time on the following day.

The return flights run on all the other days, with an overlap on Saturday:

  • Tuesday, 8.00am
  • Thursday, 8.30am
  • Saturday, 8.30am
  • Sunday, 8.30am

Cut down on travel time

The direct flights will save you anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on which flight and route you take.

Currently, the fastest flight – according to Skyscanner – there takes 8 and half hours with a stopover at Hong Kong.

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Then there’s that other route where you fly to Seoul and take a train to Busan. That’s a 6-plus hour flight and a 2-plus hour train ride, putting you at a total of 9 to 10 hours.

So if you’ve been itching to visit the streets Busan but fear getting onto the train because of that zombie movie, you can safely start planning for that holiday now.

Here’s a suggestion for accommodation:

This $54/Night Marble Hotel Makes Us Want To Train To Busan Right Now

Featured image from Visit Singapore and I Am Your Guide.

The Market Bangkok Is Like Platinum Mall But Newer, & Located Right Next Door

The Market Bangkok Is Also Home To Domo-Kun Cafe

Bangkok is one of the best shopping havens in the world. But if you’re the kind of person who flies there 3 to 4 times a year, it does get pretty sian after some time.

Thankfully, a new mall just opened in Bangkok right next to Platinum Mall on last Thursday (14 Feb), and has everything you’d expect in a shopping complex, from blogshops to cafés and even massage parlours.

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Here’s a preview of what you can expect.

Rows of fashion boutiques

Those looking for new apparels will be delighted at the rows upon rows of fashion boutiques at The Market Bangkok.

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There are in fact two whole levels of blogshops on Floors M and 1 for shoppers looking for new additions to their wardrobe.

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Whether you’re looking for cutesy T-shirts or formal dresses for the workplace, The Market Bangkok has everything you’ll need.

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You’ll also be able to get some beachwear for your next tanning session.

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The mall certainly has Far East Plaza feels, but on steroids.

Massage parlours on Floor 4

A must-do in between all that shopping is heading to Floor 4 for a Thai massage session. You can relieve your body of aches and pains at Let’s Relax — a massage parlour located on Floor 4.

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There are also salons and beauty centres at The Market Bangkok for those looking to beautify themselves.

You can check out the full list of beauty services here.

Huge variety of F&B outlets

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The undisputed highlight of the F&B pickings here is surely the Domo-kun Café located on Floor G.

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We highly recommend going for their soft serve ice cream which comes with our favourite topping — tapioca pearls.

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At just S$2.82 (65 baht), it’s a steal for something that will have your Instagram followers jelly AF.

You can also grab yourself some adorable Domo-kun merchandise.

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If you’re looking for a heavier meal, there’s also a massive food court on the 3rd floor.

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Getting there

Planning a trip there already? The Market Bangkok is located directly opposite Central World, and a 5-minutes walk from Platinum Mall.

Here’s the address:

Location: The Market Bangkok
Address: Ratchadamri Road, 10400 Bangkok Thailand
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Nearest BTS station: Chit Lom

Guess it’s time for you to start jio-ing your friends for a trip to Bangkok soon!

Featured image from Facebook.

Punggol’s Oasis Terraces Is Tampines Hub 2.0 With 47 Stores & A Polyclinic

Oasis Terraces Boasts A Wide Array Of Lifestyle Amenities In Punggol

Punggol residents, rejoice — your town is now home to Singapore’s first ever new generation neighbourhood centre.

And you might have played a part in its development.

Back in 2014, some 30 Punggol residents were consulted in the early planning stages of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) centre.

The result is Oasis Terraces, a 7-storey mall built along the Punggol waterfront.

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47 stores as of Feb 2019

According to the HDB website, there are currently 47 retailers operating in the mall.

Coffee lovers would be elated to know that they can get their caffeine fix at the Starbucks here.

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For the book lovers, immerse yourself in a world of words at the Popular bookstore.

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And if you get hit by some atas ice cream cravings, the Baskin Robbins outlet there would be your saviour.

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There are a lot of other shops you can check out at Oasis Terraces, so if you’re really curious, head on down to see for yourselves!

Variety of amenities available

Officially opened yesterday (17 Feb) by Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, the new neighbourhood centre boasts a variety of amenities.

The sheltered community plaza at the heart of the centre will hold weekly events to encourage social interaction among residents.

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Vegetation on every floor of the building makes it stand out from the surrounding urban jungle.

There’s even a rooftop garden where residents can try their hand at urban farming.

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The outdoor water play area would be the perfect place to bring your kids if you’re running out of ideas for playtime.

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Let them play to their hearts’ content while you go around and explore the many shops there.

The NTUC Fairprice outlet is open till 11pm so you can satisfy all your late-night grocery shopping needs.

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Co-located with a polyclinic, childcare centre & 24-hour gym

The mall also shares space with many different facilities, such as a polyclinic and childcare centre.

And for the gym rats, they even have a 24-hour fitness centre. Midnight workouts, anyone?

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Easily accessible via public transport

Oasis Terraces is next to Oasis LRT station, making it easily accessible via public transport.

For the rest of Singapore, you may now be envious of the Punggol residents who will also be getting a town hub in 2021, but fret not — there is going to be more of such upgraded neighbourhood centres in Singapore.

Here are the new-generation neighbourhood centres planned out so far:

  • Buangkok Square in Hougang
  • Canberra Plaza in Sembawang
  • Hougang Rivercourt in Hougang,
  • Northshore Plaza in Punggol
  • Anchorvale Village in Sengkang

But for now, Punggol seems to be a rising gem.

Featured image from Multiply Architects LLP.

First World Hotel In Genting Is Actually The Largest Hotel In The World

First World Hotel Is The Largest Hotel In The World

Genting Resort’s First World Hotel is definitely famous for its affordable rates, but did you know that it also holds the Guinness World Record for the “world’s largest hotel”?

The massive property comprises of two colourful buildings with 6,118 rooms in total.

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With the cheapest room at only $31 per night – and 5 main types of rooms to choose from – it offers a comfy place to stay for every budget.

Excited to go for a quick vacation? Here’s what to expect.

Rooms Galore

The hotel offers fast and easy self check-in service machines with bilingual functionialities. Guests simply follow the steps on the screen to get a room – instead of waiting in long lines.

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There are 5 main types of rooms.

The standard rooms are the cheapest at only $31 per night! It includes a private bathroom with a shower, flat-screen TV, safety box and other basic amenities.

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If you want an upgrade, you can opt for a deluxe room for only $35 per night. There are two varieties – 2 single beds or 1 large double bed. It features all the amenities in the standard room but it also includes a refrigerator, hairdryer, electric kettle and free toiletries.

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A party of three or four? No worries! The Y5 Deluxe Double has 2 single beds and 1 large double bed while the Y5 Triple Room has 1 single bed and 1 large double bed. Prices range from $38 to $49 with additional tea & coffee making facilities.

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Those opting for more premium experiences can get the Superior Deluxe Rooms at $104 per night. The deluxe rooms occupy a space of 300 sq ft, which is a lot more spacious than the 200 sq ft at standard rooms. It also has a 2 seater sofa and a bath or shower to ensure your ultimate relaxation.

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The nicest suites are the World Club rooms which possess a modern minimalist style and bright earthy tones. Covering an area of 422 sq. ft., the room includes all the amenities in the Superior Deluxe Rooms and costs $137 per night.

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First World Plaza

The rooms are a simple getaway from the hustle and bustle of your busy work life – but the hotel’s main attraction is the indoor theme park at First World Plaza.

Skytropolis – the First World Indoor Theme Park – opened its door on 8 Dec. It spans across four storeys in the mall and showcases super-sized rides like the ferris wheel, carousels & more.

For those keen on learning more about their main attractions, you can read more about it here:

Genting Highlands Indoor Theme Park Opens On 8 Dec & Spans 4 Storeys

Unlike the typical malls, the First World Plaza boasts of neon lights, vibrant interiors and cartoon-inspired sculptures. It’s home to more than 90 retail outlets and brands like Carlo Rino, Cheetah, Milano Eyewear, Pierre Cardin, Poney, Sembonia & more.

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Not a crazy shopper? You’ll never get bored watching their entertainment shows featuring classic childhood favorites and musical performances.

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Buffets & Fitness Rooms

We all love good food.

You might prefer West Asian, East Asian, and Western delights for breakfast, but this hotel proves that you don’t have to choose. Munch on tasty buffet-style goodies like nasi lemak, Danishes & more at The Food Factory.

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Fitness enthusiasts will be happy to know that they can stay fit and exercise at their luxurious fitness facilities which include a steam room and sauna room too!

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Booking a weekend trip?

How do you get to the First World Hotel? WTS travel provides coaches directly from Singapore. Pick-up locations include Tampines, Sengkang, Bedok, Ang Mo Kio, Sembawang and Woodlands.

Red Bus also has bus operators that offer rides from Singapore to First World Hotel. The starting fare is at $25 and the duration of the trip varies based on traffic and climatic conditions.

First World Hotel is an ideal destination for those looking for a one-stop destination and have fun with family and friends.

Starting at $31 per night, you’ll get a comfy room, go shopping, ride theme park attractions & more!

Location: First World Hotel & Plaza, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
Check in from: 3:00PM
Check out until: 11:00AM

Featured image from Instagram.

Bukit Larut Is An Undiscovered Genting Highlands, Just A 1-Hour Flight From Singapore

Bukit Larut Aka Maxwell Hill In Perak Is An Untouched Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands’ breezy resort-town is a popular destination because of its numerous theme parks, shopping destinations and hotels — but what if you want a weekend getaway surrounded by nature?

Bukit Larut – also known as Maxwell Hill – is a hidden retreat that boasts of majestic waterfalls, crystalline pools and lush green gardens.

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The resort is relatively untouched by humans as compared to Genting and Cameron Highlands.

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If you’re ready to visit this fairytale-like destination, here’s what to expect.

6-story waterfalls & clear pools

Unlike Genting Highlands there are no entertainment facilities, but you can see natural wonders like a 6-storey high reservoir waterfall.

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The path to the falls features flowing streams cascading down soft rocks and hard rocks.

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The region accumulates 98 inches of rain per year and is located in one of the wettest places in Malaysia. Heavy downpours and pools are pretty common — but we’re sure you won’t mind soaking in these gorgeous pools.

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Enchanted forests & gardens

The hilltops of Bukit Larut look like an enchanted forest embellished with flowers, birds and tree ferns.

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A nature getaway conjures images of pine trees amid gorgeous cityscape views, so you’ll be pleased to know that you can sit on rocks and enjoy a scene guaranteed to take your breath away.

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To reach the top, you’ll need to take a ride inside land rovers or hike for four hours. The roads are very steep so private cars are not allowed. If you’re going to ride the land rover,  buckle up because the road has many twists and turns.

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Whether you’re hiking or riding a car, you’ll get the opportunity to marvel at the towering trees and plants.

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The temperatures can fluctuate between 10 to 15 degrees so bring some sweaters and umbrellas – then prepare for some rainfalls and fog.

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You’re bound to feel like Indiana Jones after trekking these narrow bending roads that are 13km long.

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Bungalows & parks

The Bukit Larut Hill resort was built under the direction of William Edward Maxwell who served as an Assistant Resident of Perak during the 1800s.

Several bungalows were built and maintained by the government for the European planters. While these bungalows were traditionally meant to help Europeans take a break amidst the tropical heat, tourists can obtain permission to stay inside a bungalow from the Bukit Larut office.

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Those bringing their kids along will be happy to find a spacious playground where kids can ride swings, run and play games.

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Located in the park is a hanging bridge where you can take pictures guaranteed to make your friends jelly.

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The bridge leads to a lookout post which is an ideal spot for bird watching on sunny days.

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Booking your trip?

Bukit Larut is certainly a sight to see for nature lovers seeking a place of serenity away from bustling crowds. To get to the resort, you can book a trip from Singapore to Perak’s Sultan Azlan Shah Airport via Scoot or AirAsia. From there, take a 1 hour and 10 minute cab ride.

To find a place to stay, check out their website. You can also check out the bungalows and rates here and the schedule of land rovers here. To make a reservation, contact their Bukit Larut office for more details.

Don’t forget to bring some sweaters, jackets and umbrellas because it can get chilly and rainy.

Address: 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Contact details of Bukit Larut Office: +605-807 7241/7243
Website: MPTaiping

Featured image from YouTube and Instagram.

VivoCity Hypermarkets Close On 17 Feb; NTUC FairPrice Only Opens In Late 2019

Giant & Cold Storage Close On 17 Feb, NTUC FairPrice Opens Late 2019

Just a few months ago, we gave a PSA about Giant at VivoCity or Vivomart closing in early 2019.

Now that dreaded time has come and the supermarket is leaving with its counterpart, Cold Storage, too.

TODAYonline reported on Saturday (2 Feb) that Giant and Cold Storage will be exiting VivoCity on 17 Feb.

No supermarkets from 17 Feb

Giant and Cold Storage, both under Dairy Farms International Holdings, will allegedly be closing in 2 weeks.

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We’re not sure how nostalgic you’d get about the latter, but most of us will certainly miss the two-storey Giant hypermarket.

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The huge store with endless arrays of household products has been a comforting refuge from the sea of retail stores in the mall.

Customers who regularly shop for groceries there will miss the variety of fresh produce that are sold at affordable prices.

With Cold Storage leaving VivoCity at the same time, there will be no other grocery stores available — unless you can survive on products from Marks & Spencer’s food hall.

Alternative options for groceries

FairPrice, Singapore’s largest supermarket chain, will open at VivoCity only in the third quarter of 2019.

That’s somewhere between July and September.

What can customers turn to in the meantime? There’s always online grocery shopping at RedMart, FairPrice On, Giant or Cold Storage.

But if you prefer to pick your products yourself, the nearest supermarkets are:

  • Cold Storage, Harbourfront Centre, 1 Maritime Square, #01-48 to 50, Singapore 099253
  • NTUC FairPrice, Blk 1, Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #01-01, Singapore 082001
  • FairPrice Finest, 100 Tras Street, #B1-01, Singapore 079027
  • NTUC FairPrice, 78A Telok Blangah St 32, #01-01/02, Singapore 101078
  • NTUC FairPrice, 460 Alexandra Road, #01-09 & #01-16, Singapore 119963
  • Habitat by Honestbee, 34 Boon Leat Terrace, Singapore 119866

High expectations for FairPrice Xtra

A FairPrice spokesperson has said that the FairPrice Xtra opening at VivoCity will have “unique features”.

No further details have been given, but with self-checkout machines becoming a fixture in their stores, we can expect more exciting additions.

Perhaps they could take after Habitat by Honestbee and implement fully robotic checkouts, both in-store and via phone apps.

Dining places offering food cooked from fresh produce right from the store could also make a wonderful addition.

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The FairPrice Xtra outlet spanning roughly 8,361 square meters will be the largest in Singapore, so there’s more than enough space for these interesting features.

Out with the old, in with the new

We’re sad to see Giant and Cold Storage go, but perhaps the new year bids a new beginning at VivoCity.

We hope that the new FairPrice Xtra outlet will turn out great and be worth the wait when it opens later this year.

For now, if you want to bask in the glorious air-con of Vivomart or Vivo’s Cold Storage one last time, plan a trip to VivoCity soon.

You’ll only have a few days left before they’re gone forever.

Featured image from Google Maps.

First Starbucks In S’pore Reopens At Liat Towers Today, Giving Us Major Nostalgia

24-Hour Starbucks At Liat Towers Opens On 2 Feb

Remember the first-ever Starbucks store at Liat Towers?

Starbucks fans from the ‘90s will know that it’s the branch where they first had a taste of mid-week feel-good frappucino – which led to many, many more visits for years to come.

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If you wanted to live the good ‘ol days, you can still visit the branch but expect a massive upgrade.

The iconic store has reopened after renovations, and here’s what you can expect.

Golden brown revamp

The new interiors feature a cascade of lights illuminating the patio-style seating and wooden interior designs, giving it an overall golden brown theme.

It includes a large art wall with more than 100 cup art designs from local Starbucks baristas. Each cup symbolises the relationships and strong ties that the brand has built with coffee lovers from across the island.

The more intimate setting creates an immersive experience for coffee connoisseurs.

Bring on the nostalgia

The Starbucks at Liat Towers has been around since 1996.

For the past 23 years, it’s been the site for many date nights and late night conversations. You might’ve enjoyed several shots of espresso to stay sane during long cramming sessions. Or met up with old friends and rekindled relationships.

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It’s undoubtedly been a long time and we bet that the first local fans are probably in their 30s – starting their own family.

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While the spot has carved a special spot in the hearts of Singaporeans, the revamped space is also a site to commemorate old memories and make new ones too.

Out with the old, in with the new

The new Starbucks store is right at the heart of Orchard Road – Singapore’s main shopping district.

It’s open 24 hours so you can visit to endure more late nights from work or school. The interiors are a far cry from the old branch, but we’re definitely happy to move forward and enjoy a cup of coffee at a gallery-esque setting.

Starbucks’ Liat Towers Branch
Address: 541 Orchard Rd #01-10A, Liat Towers; Singapore 238881
Operating Hours: Open 24/7
Website: Starbucks SG

Featured images courtesy of Starbucks.

China’s Zhongshuge Bookstore Has An Inception Mirror Maze That’s Mindbendingly Beautiful

Zhongshuge Bookshop In Chongqing, China Is A Mind-Boggling Masterpiece

Chinese bookstore chain Zhongshuge (钟书阁) is no stranger to outlandish, mind-boggling designs. That’s probably what earned one of its stores – in Xuhui (徐汇), China – the title of “Most Beautiful Bookstore In China“.

On 25 Jan 2019, the bold bookstore expanded its enterprise — this time with a store featuring an Inception-like, M.C. Escher-esque library in the hilly city of Chongqing (重庆).

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Yes, that’s also the province where the Mala Hotspring is located. Let’s take a closer look at this mind-bendingly beautiful library.

Mind-bending & mirrored communal area

The unorthodox bookstore houses multiple sections, each as intriguing as the other, but all guided by a single aesthetic — haphazard geometry and mirrored ceilings.

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Those familiar with the paradoxical stairs in the movie Inception – adapted from M.C. Escher’s famous painting – may have already begun theorising from where the bookstore designer got his inspiration.

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Trippy mountain book shelves for kiddos

Reading is a habit best sown when young.

With vibrant colours and shelves shaped like mountains, the dreamy pink children’s section will easily steal the young ones away from their electronic addiction.

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Though not as extravagant, the quiet reading spaces are equally stylish with dark wood and cosy curves.

For those who prefer more privacy, there are cushioned ‘caves’ perfect for both solitude and refuge from the clamour of the crowd.


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‘Infinite’ tunnels & Alice In Wonderland themes elsewhere

If there’s one thing about Zhongshuge bookstores, it is that every one of them will dazzle and impress.

The Yangzhou (扬州) store features an ‘infinite’ space-age tunnel — once again making clever use of reflective surfaces.

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Li Jiang’s (丽江) branch takes you down the rabbit hole into a colourful world not much different from the one Alice discovered.

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Finally, Zhongshuge in Hangzhou (杭州) will give you glimpse of a distant, sterilized future. Or the inside of an alien abductor spaceship — we’ll leave it to your imagination.

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Chongqing, China is a 5-hr flight away

Chongqing is a major city in southwest China. The city is about a 5-hour flight from Singapore — same as a flight to Shanghai and about an hour shorter than one to Beijing.

Zhongshuge’s Chongqing store, the brand’s 14th, is at a part of the city called Yang Jia Ping (杨家坪). The city’s trains run directly to the area, and from what we’ve read, the bookstore is only a short walk from the station.

Opening hours: 10am to 10pm daily
Address: 3 Floor, Zhongdi Plaza, No. 8 Yangzheng Street, Yangjiaping, Jiulongpo District (九龙坡区杨家坪杨正街8号中迪广场3楼)

Many ‘Zhongshuge’s scattered across China

The inventive bookstore has footprints all across China — Shanghai, Hangzhou, Yangzhou, Chengdu, Suzhoi, Wuxi, Xi’an, Guiyang and Chongqing.

If for some reason you’re flying to any one of those cities during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, it will be worth your time paying a visit to a Zhongshuge bookstore.

They say reading feeds the imagination. But sometimes, the bookstore feeds it just as well.

You’ll also love:

Seoul Library Literally Brings Books To Life In Stunning Christmas Display

Featured image from Sohu.

Istana CNY Open House On 6 Feb Lets S’poreans Bai Nian Inside For Free

Istana Hosts CNY Open House On 6 Feb

Mention visiting the Istana and you may get bewildered looks from your family and friends, followed by a “can go in one meh?”.

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The answer is an indisputable ‘yes’. In fact, the Istana has a few open houses every year, one of which is happening very soon on 6 Feb, the second day of Chinese New Year (CNY).

The open houses are held in celebration of various public holidays in Singapore, such as CNY, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, National Day and Deepavali.

The Istana is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore, as well as the working office of Singapore’s Prime Minister.

Tours & exhibitions

Even if you’ve never been to the Istana before, not to worry as there are guided tours available.

Take a tour of selected function rooms in the Istana Main Building, and view a special exhibition of gifts presented to Singapore’s Presidents and Prime Ministers over the years.

Istana Main Building

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Sri Temasek building

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The Villa building

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Military Guard Room

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Here is a picture of what you can expect from a past open house:

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You can also try your hand at Chinese calligraphy booths.

Furthermore, there will be a display by Wildlife Reserves Singapore to educate the public on wildlife conservation issues.

But, if you prefer to enjoy the scenery and festivities of the Istana on your own, you can choose to do a self-guided tour using the Istana Garden Walk mobile app.

Wushu & musical performances

Expect to be treated to an array of performances such as brass band and Chinese martial arts (wushu) shows.

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And of course, the all-time CNY favourite — lion dance.


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Istana Nature Guided Walk by NParks

If you love greens – admiring them, not eating them – you may also choose to join the Nature Guided Walk.

A collaboration between the President’s Office and the National Parks Board (NParks), the walk will take you through the Istana’s flora and fauna displays.

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You may even be able to catch a glimpse of swans at the Swan Pond!

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The guided walk will be conducted hourly from 10am to 4pm. For those who are keen, do look out for signs on the Istana grounds to find out where to register.

Guided Tour Fees:
– Children aged 4 years & above: $2
– Singaporeans/PRs aged 13 & above: $4
– Foreigners aged 13 & above: $10
– Singaporeans/PRs (Family of 4): $12
– Foreigners (Family of 4): $30

150th anniversary of the Istana

This year is undeniably a special one for Singapore, since we’re commemorating SG’s Bicentennial Year — aka the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ arrival in Singapore.

But did you know that the Istana is also commemorating its 150th anniversary?

To mark this occasion, President Halimah Yacob will be launching an Istana 150 Souvenir Series of Medallions and FlashPay cards on that day.

Jointly brought to you by the Istana and The Singapore Mint, the souvenir series will consist of a range of unique silver medallions and card products featuring the architecture of the Istana buildings.

Security screenings will be done

Before you head down to the Istana on that day, do make a mental note of these rules.

For security reasons, do not bring the following items with you:

1. Pointed & sharp objects (e.g. knives of any size, forks)
2. Flammable items (e.g. lighters)
3. Canned food & drinks

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit and to prevent damage to the premises, visitors will have to undergo security screening before entering the Istana grounds.

The sale of tickets for the Istana Main Building will close at 5.30pm, subject to crowd conditions. As for the guided tour, registration will close by 3pm for the main building, and 4pm for the Nature Guided Walk.

Bai nian at the Istana this CNY

So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like inside the Istana, head on down on their CNY Open House!

But if you happen to be busy with CNY visits that day, there are still more Istana open houses later in the year.

You can take a look at the schedule here.

Address: 35 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238823
Date & time: 6 Feb 2019, 8.30am-6pm
Entrance fee: Free for Singaporeans & Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs), S$2/person for all other visitors

Featured image from Wikipedia and the Istana.

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