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Location, Location, Location!

Location, Location, Location!

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Old Jul 9, 14, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by idaud View Post
I might check out the Naumi hotel - any views on this?

It's right around the corner from the Intercon apparently and so presumably benefits from a great location but looks like it has a more boutiquey feel - might just tick the box.

Wan1dap, Hawaiio, jpatokal - does that sound like a plan? You all seem confident that the location fits my bill and your descriptions sound promising - ie mixture of locals and tourists, "local" food as well as malls close by etc. Plenty of street side action/ people traffic etc as I walk out of the hotel right? Are there cafes etc outside the malls as well or just in them?

Thanks everyone - all these specific questions WILL make my choice of location a better one I am sure - just want to get the most out of my trip and hate it when following the status quo ends up in a lesser experience.
The Intercon is directly connected to the Bugis Junction mall, which has a big range of food offerings at ground level, first floor and underneath, on the way to the MRT. Outside, just cross New Bridge Road and wander down Liang Seah St for a selection of local, casual cafés and restaurants.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 1:20 am
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Originally Posted by idaud View Post
I might check out the Naumi hotel - any views on this?

It's right around the corner from the Intercon apparently and so presumably benefits from a great location but looks like it has a more boutiquey feel - might just tick the box.

Wan1dap, Hawaiio, jpatokal - does that sound like a plan? You all seem confident that the location fits my bill and your descriptions sound promising - ie mixture of locals and tourists, "local" food as well as malls close by etc. Plenty of street side action/ people traffic etc as I walk out of the hotel right? Are there cafes etc outside the malls as well or just in them?

Thanks everyone - all these specific questions WILL make my choice of location a better one I am sure - just want to get the most out of my trip and hate it when following the status quo ends up in a lesser experience.
Naumi's location is very good for exploring the area. It's close to the Raffles for the Singapore Sling if that is what you are after, and you're also close to Raffles City if you need a bit of A/C after walking along the street. You're kind of in the middle between the Bugis area and also the Marina bay area, which means u can pretty much walk to and from the major attractions nearby.

Naumi is located on Seah Street, which is right beside Raffles Hotel. The next street, Purvis Street has plenty of local offerings which I personally enjoy. Just to give you a preview of the local food you might find within 20 metres of Naumi Hotel...

If you walk down the small street next to Naumi hotel, that would being you to Purvis Street facing Chin Chin REstaurant and YY Kafeidian. Chin Chin sells some of the best Chicken rice around. Both the roast chicken and the poached chicken are equally good. You may also want to try the Hainanese pork chop at Chin Chin as well. It's different from the Western style pork chop one might be used to.

Opposite Chin Chin is another chicken rice shop called Yet Con. I don't like the chicken rice here as much, but this place is really really retro. It's exactly what I would expect a Singapore restaurant/eating place would be like 30 years ago. Very old school, certainly worth a look.

Next to Chin Chin is another coffee shop called YY Kafeidian. This place does sell chicken rice too, but they are better known for their soft kaya buns. You can come here for a local breakfast of 2 eggs, kaya toast (or kaya bun) and local coffee/tea. If you look at the Google Streetview, you'll see a couple of tables set up alongside the walkway. That's YY Kafeidian.

Btw, there's a pretty decent Thai restaurant opposite Chin Chin as well - First Thai, if you ever feel like having Thai food instead.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 11:21 pm
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I would go for the Interconti. The location is slightly better compared to the Naumi. And for kids i reckon the better choice (nice Pool).
The Arab Street Precint has gone thru a nice transformation. Quite a lot of interessting bars and restaurants. It is in walking distance to the IC. And as mentioned above, Purvis and Seah street is just opposite. Plenty of restaurants there as well.
The MRT makes it convienient to move around.

Second option would be the Park Royal at Pickering. China Town at the doorstep. The China Square has also plenty of restaurants. And Club Street has some nich bars and cafes.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 11:50 pm
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I wouldn't take kids to the Fullerton Bay. The pool is more of a singles bar scene than a place to swim.

If you really want crowds at all hours, go to Chinatown or Little India, especially on weekends, although about six or months ago there were concerns about the situation in Little India. I don't remember the details, but it was something like the death of an older teen leading to some protests, Singapore-style.

I don't think of Singapore as having areas with a high density of cafes. There's some of this around the new Westin (not otherwise a very good location except for its proximity to satay street (has the hawker center reopened yet?) and on a charming street or two on the eastern edge of Chinatown with restored historic buildings. There are cafes in or near certain museums, notably the art museum, Asian Civilization, and the big one on the history of Singapore. CHIJMES is more bars than what I would call cafes or restaurants, but there are a lot of outdoor seating areas in there next to each other. There are a couple cafes in Raffles Center (Fairmont and Swisotel, but it's basically a modern shopping mall. I think of Clarke Quay (Novotel and IIRC one of the Stamfords, again certainly not luxury) as mostly pubs, not cafes. Much of it isn't such a great atmosphere for children, although the far western end of the river becomes quieter and more residential. (Millennium Copthorne is here but it's not a luxury hotel and the location is inconvenient for almost everything but strolling along the river.)
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Old Jul 11, 14, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I don't think of Singapore as having areas with a high density of cafes.
Ha, you'll be surprised. There are SO MANY cafes opening that I'm getting a bit of the cafe overload.

There are a lot of cafes around the Tiong Bahru conservation area (40 Hands, Orange Thimble, PoTeaTo, PS, etc etc). Quite a few around the Arab Street area, Tanjong Pagar Area (Group Therapy Cafe, Plain Cafe, Dept of Caffeine, Drury Lane etc) and also a cluster of them around the Robertson Quay area (Common Man Roasters, Baker & Cook, Toby's estate etc).

Most of these independent cafes tend to avoid the city areas because of the high rental.

Here's a pretty decent list of cafes by location and a blog just on cafes.. And that's not even counting the chain cafes like TCC, Paul, Coffee Club etc.
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Old Jul 11, 14, 5:44 am
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Interesting to read that the Marina area is a bit dull. I have a couple of nights books at the Marina Bay Sands.
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Old Jul 11, 14, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
Interesting to read that the Marina area is a bit dull. I have a couple of nights books at the Marina Bay Sands.
Marina is definitely dull (not just a bit, imho) and massively touristic. While it's ok to go there for a visit, I would never choose to stay there, and especially not at the Marina Bay Sands, which is very much the worst value for your money in the whole of Singapore. OK, going there to check the pool out for a single night, I've to accept, but more than one night there is definitely spending your money on the wrong stuff
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Old Jul 11, 14, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If you really want crowds at all hours, go to Chinatown or Little India, especially on weekends, although about six or months ago there were concerns about the situation in Little India. I don't remember the details, but it was something like the death of an older teen leading to some protests, Singapore-style.
Little India is perfectly safe 99% of the time, but on Sunday evenings foreign workers come there on their only day off, and a few have too much to drink. In the 2013 case, one drunk guy was run over a bus, an angry crowd gathered and attacked the police when they came to disperse it. No bystanders were injured, although a total of 27 in the crowd, police and ambulance crews were.

This being Singapore, police has beefed up their patrols and banned sales of liquor in the area at night. I wouldn't worry about it, and am in fact staying with family at an apartment right around the corner from Little India next month.
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Old Jul 11, 14, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
Interesting to read that the Marina area is a bit dull. I have a couple of nights books at the Marina Bay Sands.
"Marina" in Singapore refers to the area around the Marina Square shopping mall, on the north shore of the river. The Marina Bay Sands is in "Marina Bay", which is the south side, and not officially dull yet because, aside from the casino and botanical gardens, it's still largely under construction. And in case you're not confused enough yet, Marina Bay is actually the bay of water between the two
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Old Jul 11, 14, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by jpatokal View Post
Little India is perfectly safe 99% of the time, but on Sunday evenings foreign workers come there on their only day off, and a few have too much to drink.
Beef up your math. Little India is a no-go pretty much the whole sunday. Workers are ferried down to Little India starting in the early afternoon. They do some shopping and remittance of money before they meet each other and have drink.
Its highly recommended for tourists to just stay away on sundays. It is just to crowded.
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Old Jul 11, 14, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I don't think of Singapore as having areas with a high density of cafes. There's some of this around the new Westin (not otherwise a very good location except for its proximity to satay street (has the hawker center reopened yet?) and on a charming street or two on the eastern edge of Chinatown with restored historic buildings. There are cafes in or near certain museums, notably the art museum, Asian Civilization, and the big one on the history of Singapore. CHIJMES is more bars than what I would call cafes or restaurants, but there are a lot of outdoor seating areas in there next to each other. There are a couple cafes in Raffles Center (Fairmont and Swisotel, but it's basically a modern shopping mall. I think of Clarke Quay (Novotel and IIRC one of the Stamfords, again certainly not luxury) as mostly pubs, not cafes. Much of it isn't such a great atmosphere for children, although the far western end of the river becomes quieter and more residential. (Millennium Copthorne is here but it's not a luxury hotel and the location is inconvenient for almost everything but strolling along the river.)
1) The Westin is definetly in the most boring area a Hotel possibly could be. If you want to feel lonely on the weekend thats the place to be. It caters to business people as it is in the centre of the business district. On weekends virtually everything is locked down.
2) yes Lau Pa Sat has reopend. There is a thread about it.
3) Chijmes on the other hand is closed for renovation locally called upgrading.
4) Clarke Quay is, as you said, not really a kids place. The scene in the evening tends to be young. Clarke has a bit of a violent side in the afterhours and opening times are now restricted. Quite some problems with drunk Youngsters.
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Old Jul 11, 14, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by SQ325 View Post
Beef up your math. Little India is a no-go pretty much the whole sunday. Workers are ferried down to Little India starting in the early afternoon. They do some shopping and remittance of money before they meet each other and have drink.
Its highly recommended for tourists to just stay away on sundays. It is just to crowded.
I agree ... but would go a little further. Food wise.

I love Indian food. I've eaten quite a lot in Little India in all the "named" places and many of the hawker and street places. Obviously I haven't eaten in every place. No one has. I'd say however that people who eat decent Indian food - for example from the UK - will not generally find anything in Little India worth a detour. I'd put it stronger. In dozens of meals I haven't had anything that has been as good as average. There is a lot of places that look like they should be good, but in my view are not.

Even before the riots, it always felt like one of the more edgy parts of Singapore to visit, and my wife commented several times when we visited that it was the only area in Singapore she'd never go to by herself. I'm just a tourist but i see no reason to go to Little India even though they are extending the line from Bugis.
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Old Jul 11, 14, 1:24 pm
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I'll pile on a bit and give a to the InterContinental. I like the location and it's got Bugis, with the full-on mall plus that faux "street" part of it. All busy, fun, lively and not completely antiseptic.

I've also stayed down at the Conrad and that had much less of a "street" vibe - it felt very mall-ish, isolated.

Orchard street is fun, lively, busy, but a very big street.

I guess the InterCon area just feels more manageable
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Old Jul 12, 14, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by jbcarioca View Post
Despite my earlier comments about orchard Road, I have stayed all over Singapore and frankly find almost anywhere quite agreeable. Surprises come when you're out of the ordinary, though, thus I think of the Liora.
FYI Keong Saik Rd (where the Liora is) has become thoroughly gentrified over the past two years and especially the past 6 months. I mean, there is now a burrito place and two or three wine bars, doesn't get more gentrified than that.
Originally Posted by SQ319 View Post
Ha, you'll be surprised. There are SO MANY cafes opening that I'm getting a bit of the cafe overload.

There are a lot of cafes around the Tiong Bahru conservation area (40 Hands, Orange Thimble, PoTeaTo, PS, etc etc). Quite a few around the Arab Street area, Tanjong Pagar Area (Group Therapy Cafe, Plain Cafe, Dept of Caffeine, Drury Lane etc) and also a cluster of them around the Robertson Quay area (Common Man Roasters, Baker & Cook, Toby's estate etc).
The two recently closed coffeeshops down the street from me in Tiong Bahru are under renovation, I suspect there will be even more cafes in the immediate future.

Also cafes are increasingly moving into Little India..there is one right down the block from Bismillah Biryani.
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Old Jul 12, 14, 11:04 am
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An area having more and more cafes is for me personally a no-no. I'm trying to avoid the gentrified areas, seriously, it's not fun, and trying to go other places.
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