Take a leaf from the property’s #sginsiders initiative and discover some awesome spots around Clarke Quay, Fort Canning, and Chinatown.
I last stayed at Park Regis Singapore with my then-fiance (now husband) about four or five years ago. Even then, we found ourselves impressed by the cosy yet well-appointed rooms, beautiful pool with a waterfall feature, and of course, the hotel’s unbeatable location a hop and a skip away from Clarke Quay. So when the invitation to come in to stay a night at Park Regis and experience the hotel’s #sginsiders initiative first-hand, I couldn’t say no.
Our room during the #sginsiders staycation. While my husband did laps at the pool, I read and napped by the window seat.
The inviting swimming pool at Park Regis
So what is #sginsiders? In a nutshell, it’s a guide where all the recommended lifestyle spots are located within a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Curated by local personalities Aarika Lee, Sara Wee of the band 53A, Divian Nair, as well as the hotel’s concierge, the guide runs the gamut. From historical spots, to fashion outlets and cool bars, it really has almost everything everyone – tourists and locals alike – needs to experience when they are in the area.
Our first stop of the evening was Battlebox at Fort Canning, which reopened in February this year after undergoing a two-year renovation. Battlebox was the site where the decision was made to surrender Singapore to the Japanese during World War II, and I highly recommended going for the guided tour. It was a much needed refresher course on the WWII history I learnt when I was in school, and being at the site itself somehow made it come alive. You’ll learn interesting trivia such as the fact that the surrender of infantry units in Singapore was the largest ever in British military history.
Image courtesy of Battlebox, Singapore History Consultants Pte Ltd
Following that informative tour, we headed next to Matter Prints, a local fashion brand headquartered in the heart of Chinatown at Pagoda Street. Offering functional clothing in fun prints inspired by aspects of the Asian cultural heritage, each piece takes a painstaking 60 to 90 days to make! The pieces were beautiful and comfortable, and would make great souvenirs for friends visiting from overseas.
The beautiful pieces at Matter Prints
By this time, we’d all worked up quite an appetite, so we were happy that our last stop of the night was Hive by Wala Wala. This cavernous bar has taken the place of the *ahem* gentleman’s KTV bar Las Vegas, and in the spirit of the original Wala Wala, is the place to hit up if you like a side of great live music along with your pint of Stella. The bar bites were hearty, and tasty, and best of all, a night out here won’t break the bank as there are a slew of awesome drinking deals that change every night.
Other Go Away-approved spots to check out close to Park Regis Singapore:
Ramen Bar Suzuki, 61 Circular Road
For those who like their broth extra thick, extra garlicky, and not stingy on flavour, go for the tonkotsu shoyu ramen. What we love about Suzuki is how we can customise everything from the doneness of the noodles, to how much flavour you would like packed into your bowl. That, and the free flow of hard-boiled eggs! Sake bottles are also reasonably priced – a 300ml bottle of junmai ginjyo averages around $25.
The Belljar, 18 North Canal Road
Hopping on the bandwagon of “secret” bars of Singapore, The Belljar’s entrance is so well-hidden that you have to enter through a back alley that adjoins Circular Road with North Canal Road. Once you’re there, sit back, relax, and enjoy well-balanced cocktails customised to your taste and liking, along with extra cheerful service.
Lepark, #06-00 People’s Park Complex
One of the spots featured in the #sginsiders guide, getting to Lepark is quite an adventure in itself. The mall is labyrinthine in nature, but all you have to do is follow the trail of red stickers to reach the rooftop where Lepark is located. The old-timey shopping complex itself – made up mostly of jewellery shops and moneychangers might not be very appealing to the young and happening, but Lepark is a whole other ballgame altogether. Featuring a diverse lineup of craft beers, the establishment regularly hosts events such as yoga sessions, movie screenings and music festivals, living up to its punny name (“Lepark” is a play on the Malay word “lepak” which means to relax).
Park Regis has launched its #sginsiders Weekend Staycation package, where $199++ will get you a complimentary room upgrade, Regis Insiders Mocktail for two, buffet breakfast for two, Wifi access, late checkout till 2pm, and complimentary two-hour bicycle rental for two. For more information, visit the hotel’s website. Park Regis also offers complimentary poolside yoga sessions every Sunday from 8am to 9am. Guests who wish to join the session have to register themselves at the concierge by 6pm on Saturday.