When you’re a mother, it’s not often you pack a bag and escape the country with one of your best girlfriends. But given my days of breastfeeding and settling newborn babies are well and truly over, getting time out isn’t as difficult as it once was. And recently, time out meant four fun-filled days in Singapore at The Fullerton Bay Hotel. No kids. No husband. Just me and a friend pondering things that would never even cross my mind if kids were in tow...
Should we head back to the 25-meter rooftop pool, surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, for another swim? Or head to Lantern bar for a red lantern cocktail (made of tequila, watermelon, cucumber, cointreau and lime, it’s a homage to the area’s heritage when red lanterns hung on the pier to welcome immigrants and seafarers). The Lantern bar is worth a visit just for its architectural brilliance – the sky roof is highlighted with a six-meter diameter glowing bar designed in the shape of a lantern. And then there’s the silence that you notice when you’re without your kids. I missed them, of course. But I also enjoyed the time to myself. I enjoyed waking up peacefully without the 6am demands of a three-year-old. And getting ready to go out without my kids using my lipstick to paint our bathroom walls.
The elegant glass hotel is built on the 1927 Clifford Pier, a heritage site that symbolises the arrival of thousands of Singapore’s earlier settlers (immigrants from India, China, and beyond once poured into the city from this iconic port). The design of the hotel is a nod to Singapore’s colonial heritage. There are individually-themed suites named after ethnic groups such as Malay, Indian, Colonial and Peranakan; and vintage nautical maps in the lobby. There are three restaurants – La Brasserie, The Landing Point and The Clifford Pier (high tea here is a must). Our room was situated on the water with a spacious outdoor area complete with sundecks and bayside views of the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The 100 guest rooms are furnished with traditional rosewood and latticed screens, with balconies overlooking the bay (in our case, a balcony right on the bay). No detail is left spared at The Fullerton Bay Hotel: there were customised Bottega Veneta collection room amenities that smelled heavenly; Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary coffee capsules to help us wake up in the morning (waking up was hard given we were sleeping on a bed made with Fine Egyptian cotton and 100% goose down pillows and duvets). You get the picture: you could happily settle in here for a while.
The luxe public areas of the hotel were designed by Hong Kong-based designer and architect Andre Fu. “I am here to create a place with soul, a place that honours Singapore’s past,” says Fu. “My answer to the Fullerton Bay Hotel is to tailor a new heritage. [It was my] intention to create a modern colonial hotel that pays tribute to the bygone era, and I have purposely conjured a sense of refinement throughout the design and ambience of the hotel. It is clear to see that the result is where colonial heritage has been reinterpreted in a deeply-rooted, yet distinctly sensual and lush setting.” It all makes for a very luxe break in a very fun city. So if you’re up for a fun weekend away, don’t miss Georgie Watts’ guide for travelling to Singapore with kids. See it here. And if you manage to get a kid-free trip, put a stay at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, lunch at the Ritz, cocktails at Atlas bar and dinner at Odette restaurant on your list.
Georgie's Picture Diary
Georgie was a guest of Mr & Mrs Smith. To book, go to www.mrandmrssmith.com. Double rooms from AU$709.04, including tax at 17.7 per cent. Book through Mr & Mrs Smith and receive special ‘Smith Extras’ such as a SG$60 spa credit per room.