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When In Singapore – Where to Go According to Concierges

When you are new in Singapore, you might surely want reliable information about where to go. You might be poring over maps to find out the local centers for entertainment, food and other activities. Let me tell you who to ask for this information – the hotel concierge.

In this article, three concierges from Singapore’s top hotels are sharing their knowledge with us to let us know where to start our trip. All the unusual places and amazing attractions will surely give you memorable experiences that will make you come back to Singapore.

Singapore is considered a “City in a Garden” with its bustling population and lush greenery which covers only about 710 sq km of land. It is also popularly referred to as the “Little Red Dot”.

 

Attractions To Visit

Botanic Gardens – This 154-year-old garden is where you will also find the National Orchid Gardens and best for people who love horticulture. Who doesn’t love flowers anyway especially if they are abundant and vibrant in color? The Botanic Gardens is now waiting for the result of its bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Raffles Hotel – Get a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar in what is considered a National Monument in Singapore. This is a rite of passage for tourists and travelers and you would surely enjoy the majestic interior of the 125-year-old hotel.

Sentosa Island – For some, it might be overrated but tourists, who seek a retreat from the city and want to enjoy the sea, Sentosa is a great place to escape and unwind. There are theme parks, spa retreats, golf courses and outstanding hotel accommodations surrounded by beaches and rainforests.

Exhibitions To See

National Museum of Singapore – If you want to trace the history of Singapore and have a better understanding of how it become what it is today, you should see the Singapore History Gallery and Singapore Living Galleries. Make sure you go to the Food, Fashion, Film and Wayang, and Photography exhibitions.

Peranakan Museum – If you’re interested in the local heritage, you should seek the Peranakan Museum. The Peranakans are unique to only a few areas in Southeast Asia and Singapore is one of them. Know the unique cuisines, costumes and traditions that the Peranakans have. Buy ornate brooches and other souvenirs while you are there.

Restaurants To Dine In

Restaurant Andre – Have dinner in Andre’s, by Chef Andre Chiang. It is one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and it is also included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Guide by S. Pellegrino. Enjoy the sophisticated cuisine and elegant ambience of this top-rated restaurant when you are in Singapore.

Catalunya – Want to have an unforgettable dining experience? Try the Catalunya – a wonder encased in glass floating in the Marina Bay waters. Aside from the exquisite food, you’ll have amazing views from inside the dome. The Spanish cuisine prepared by world-renowned chefs will surely make your Singapore trip remarkable.

Hawker Centers to Explore

Maxwell Food Center – One of the most popular hawker centers is along the 1 Kadayanallur Street . Every tourist should really explore the food stalls there especially the chicken rice which is a very famous dish all over Singapore. Check out Stall #01-10 Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre – To relish a variety of local food, the concierges agree that you should not miss a visit to the Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre. Look for the steamed rice cake or “chwee kweh”, satay and chili crabs. You’ll find another local food by going across the road on the housing estate and looking for the fruit stand which sells delicious jelly served inside a coconut husk.

Surviving Singapore

Tipping – Though tipping is not encouraged as there is already a 10% service charged included in your bill, you can certainly leave a tip (from $5 to $10) if you experienced excellent service to encourage the staff.

Phrase or Slang – A bit of knowledge of Singlish (colloquial Singapore English) is important when you are traveling to Singapore. End your sentences with “lah”, or express your gratitude after a meal with “Shiok”.

Etiquette – If you see a piece of tissue paper on a table at hawker centers, which means the table is already reserved. This is customary that people leave tissue papers to indicate that the table is occupied while they buy food from the stalls. So, don’t forget your own tissue papers.

Shopping – When in Singapore, there are plenty of places to shop and Raffles City is probably among the most popular. People can find international brands there for cheaper prices. If you have gift cards from Giift, then you will have the best deals from Singapore’s malls! There are shopping centers that are open for 24 hours a day such as Mustafa Centre.

Laws – Keeping Singapore clean and green is of great importance. Spitting and smoking in public as well jaywalking and littering a big no-nos.

Whether you are in or about to go to Singapore, this article will surely help guide you through what is best and interesting there. Make sure your itinerary includes the places we mentioned to get the most out of your trip!

 

The best St. Kitts restaurants

Spending 9 days exploring the hidden gems of the paradise islands St. Kitts and Nevis, we were also making our way through them tasting both the local and the luxurious restaurants. I put up a list of the best ones when going all around St. Kitts.

 

The best St. Kitts restaurants:

 

El Fredo’s restaurant

Located on Bay Road in Basseterre is a locally owned restaurant with local specialties and local beer. If you are a fish lover, order the super tasty Creole Fish of the day. I had the famous Mahi Mahi for lunch with rice, beans, vegetables and a fresh fruit punch. We were served by the very friendly Jasmine, the tall owner of the restaurant and then had a chat with her husband Kenneth who just came by to check if everything was ok and we were enjoying the food. We randomly asked him about all the Welsh flags hanging on the walls of the restaurant, and found out a very interesting story behind it.

 

”I was born on St. Kitts but when I was 14, we moved to Wales. Later on, I met Jasmine there whose family was from St. Kitts but she was living in Wales. We married, moved to St. Kitts and opened this restaurant.” started with their family story Kenneth Francis.

Jasmine was able to visit her grandparents here on the island as they still lived there 30 years ago.

”We named the restaurant El Fredo’s after my auntie” continued Kenneth with a smile on his face which was not showing any wrinkles even though he was a father of 2 grown-up boys and 2 girls living all around the world now (in Wales, Vancouver, London and one on St. Kitts).

Kenneth, a cricket player years ago, was now very happy to serve delicious local dishes to both the locals and travelers. I took a quick snap of Kenneth and Jasmine for a memory.

Check out El Fredo’s Facebook page, they don’t have a website yet.

 

El Fredo's restaurant St. Kitts mahi mahi El Fredo's restaurant with Jasmine and Kenneth from El Fredo's restaurant St. Kitts

 

Spice Mill

I think this was my favorite dinner place on St. Kitts especially when it comes to its setting. Personally I would definitely make Spice Mill one of the top 2 St. Kitts restaurants. Situated at Cockleshell Beach with stunning views of Nevis island and Mount Nevis on the horizon during the day and then the lights far away make it very romantic too. You can also witness amazing sunsets from here just before your dinner!

When we came in, I was really in awe. Coconut wood-top, indigenous arts, natural material and all designed in a very original Amerindian way. The restaurant’s interior is actually a Kalinago dug out canoe, custom built by the Caribs of Dominica! Spice Mill is definitely the Kittitian restaurant with the nicest interior.

The food is very authentic too. You really feel like in the heart of the Caribbean. My friends also enjoyed some drinks and wine, I kept staring at the unique chandeliers when sipping on my juice.

There’s a lot to discover at Spice Mill, check out their website for more.

 

Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (1) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (2) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (3) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (4) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (5) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (6) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (7) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (8) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (9) Spice Mill Cockleshell Beach St. Kitts (10)

 

Carambola Beach Club restaurant

Opened since December 2011 in South Friar’s Bay where the general manager Chris Evelyn is making sure everything works fine. A local owns it, so it is locally managed too. 99% of all people having lunch here are the cruisers so they come here and mostly stay on the beach too after they have lunch.

I enjoyed the ambiance of Carambola Beach Club – we walked in, then spent some time at the very pretty beach, had some fun in the waves, enjoyed our fresh drinks and then head inside to cool down for lunch.

 

As soon as I saw sushi on the menu, I was sold. We could even watch the cooks preparing our sushi right there! There’s a European chef with Asian influence which makes up for an interesting menu.

Carambola Beach Club restaurant has an exotic feel to it, it’s a very open restaurant with a lot of fresh air coming in. You can eat both indoor or outdoor. Soon they are expanding to residences on the beach too where you will be able to stay for a night.

Check out Carambola Beach Club Facebook page for the menu and other news.

 

Carambola Beach Club restaurant St. Kitts (1) Carambola Beach Club restaurant St. Kitts (2) Carambola Beach Club restaurant St. Kitts (3) Carambola Beach Club restaurant St. Kitts (4) Carambola Beach Club restaurant St. Kitts (5) Carambola Beach Club restaurant St. Kitts (6)

 

 

Reggae Beach Bar

I really loved its location. It was the first place where we had lunch so I was thrilled to get to the beach after a few winter months back in Europe. Reggae beach Bar is located right on the beach at Cockleshell Bay on the South East Peninsula just 9 miles from Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts.

The beach looks like heaven, there’s sun beds, you can swim and even watch cruises passing by on the horizon. Then just walk a few metres to get in the shade of the restaurant. Drinks and tasty fish were on our table very quickly.

I also enjoyed looking up to the ceiling reading the messages about love, life and happiness.

Check out Reggae Beach Bar website for more info.

 

Cockleshell Bay on the South East Peninsula (1) Cockleshell Bay on the South East Peninsula (2) Reggae Beach Bar St. Kitts (1) Reggae Beach Bar St. Kitts (2) Reggae Beach Bar St. Kitts (3) Reggae Beach Bar St. Kitts (4) Reggae Beach Bar St. Kitts (5) Reggae Beach Bar St. Kitts (6)

 

Ottley’s Plantation Inn

 

Restored 18th century sugar plantation run by a family. Very laid back place and fun at the same time. The plantation stands out for its amazing swimming pool set in between historic plantation building walls. We spent a few hours there, first with drinks and then tasting fresh local food and drinks at The Royal Palm surrounded by palm trees with the view of the ocean. Fresh salads, Mexican dishes and even many special Caribbean meals were on the menu, yay! What a pleasant place to chill out!

Check out Ottley’s Plantation Inn website to find out more.

 

Royal Palm Restaurant Ottle's Plantation Inn (1) Royal Palm Restaurant Ottle's Plantation Inn (2) Royal Palm Restaurant Ottle's Plantation Inn (3) Royal Palm Restaurant Ottle's Plantation Inn (4)

 

 

Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack

Situated in Frigate Bay just a few metres from Timothy beach resort where we were staying, it’s one of the most-known bars and restaurants on St. Kitts. I cannot say it was my favorite one though. It took ages to get a table, it was so busy! And then it took long again for our meals to arrive but with so many guests, it makes sense.

Thankfully, the sound of the sea waves and a show with local kids dancing and then a fireshow made it for an interesting time. I also liked sitting under the stars. And the name of the restaurant just always makes me smile.

Check out Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack Facebook.

 

Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (8) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (7) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (5) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (6) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (4) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (3) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (2) Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack St. Kitts (1)

 

 

Marshall’s Restaurant

Thumbs up for the very fine dining at this restaurant. I really enjoyed our round table as we finally could see each other very well when trying to chat in between the meals and not sticking around to talking just to those sitting next to us 🙂

The pool and all the lights around it were very nice. And the chef said hi to us when we were leaving, so thoughtful!

 

Marshall's restaurant St. Kitts (3) Marshall's restaurant St. Kitts (2) Marshall's restaurant St. Kitts (1)

 

Ballahoo restaurant

The best thing about this restaurant is its location in the historic centre of Basseterre which makes up for really nice views of the area. At night time it’s very romantic with many different lights all around.

I enjoyed my mango smoothie and you can even order Mexican quesadillas! Or many local dishes such as fish of the day with veggies, chicken or sea food.

Check out more about Ballahoo restaurant.

 

Ballahoo restaurant Basseterre St. Kitts (4) Ballahoo restaurant Basseterre St. Kitts (3) Ballahoo restaurant Basseterre St. Kitts (2) Ballahoo restaurant Basseterre St. Kitts (1)

 

Looking for Indian food on St. Kitts? Then check out Bombay Blues Restaurant. I am not the biggest fan of it as I do not like spicy meals and almost everything is spicy for me.

How about an afternoon tea with a rum tour at Fairview Great House?

 

 

Many thanks to St. Kitts Tourist Board and all the mentioned restaurants for treating me like a star. All the opinions in this article are my own as usual. 

*** It took me more than 10 hours to write this post.

 

Quote of the week – my heart was made to travel

This heart of mine was made to travel

I know many people who think that they were meant to here for some reason. Most of them are religious reasons, some are different. But more and more people find their reason of life in traveling. And yes, my heart was made to travel too.

This heart of mine was made to travel