Singapore

Singapore2-640x250 PHOTO By DENTON MORRIS

By Jae-Ha Kim
Los Angeles Confidential
May / June 2006

SINGAPORE — As an international port of call, Singapore is the embarking point for many top-end cruise lines, such as the Regent Seven Seas voyage through Australasia.  And savvy travelers looking to overcome jet lag before boarding their cruise ships are starting their trips off in Singapore, where they can get their bearings and enjoy a few days basking in a shopper’s paradise.

Fashionistas in the know will tell you that Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive has nothing on Singapore’s tony Orchard Road. A shopping mecca sprinkled with designer boutiques like Prada, Gucci and Versace, Orchard Road is the place to browse, whether you’re hunting for that perfect couture gown or something au courant to wear to one of the city’s oh-so trendy restaurants.

Boasting one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia, Singaporeans take their shopping seriously. Prada (501 Orchard Road) and Gucci (581 Orchard Road) are just a few minutes away from Versace (300 Orchard Road) and Valentino (290  Orchard Road). Take a few more steps and you’re at the impeccably laid-out Coach store (391 Orchard Road). And while not on Orchard, Tiffany & Co. is located nearby inside the Raffles Hotel complex (328 North Bridge Road).

Shoppers looking for something a little more eclectic to take back home can travel to another world by visiting Little India, Chinatown or Arab Street. Just a $5 cab ride away from Orchard Road, the enclaves offer affordable and unique hand-crafted jewelry and trinkets.

Every year, the city hosts the Great Singapore Sale, where thousands of stores slash their prices up to 70 percent off. This year, the event is being held from May 26 through July 23.

Shoppers looking for a place to rest their weary heads have a slew of luxury hotels to choose from, including two Four Seasons properties. Both the Four Seasons Hotel (190 Orchard Boulevard) and the Regent Singapore, a Four Seasons Hotel (1 Cuscaden Road, fourseasons.com) are centrally located.

And besides offering luxe accommodations (including a rose petal bath, upon special request), the Regent Singapore boasts one of the city’s finest dining establishments – Iggy’s. An intimate restaurant seating just 30 people, Iggy’s serves modern European cuisine. Save an evening to indulge in the 10-course tasting menu served tapas style, where diners get to try such delicacies as Tasmanian spanner crabmeat with ponzu jelly, steamed foie gras with tofu, and a deliciously rich soft-cooked egg yolk spiced with a piquant truffle salsa.

By the end of your stay, you’ll have forgotten all about that jet lag.

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