Singapore and business are a natural pairing.
The area’s predominance in banking, biomedics, logistics and construction, among other fields, guarantees a steady flow of international businesspeople.
Once in Singapore, however, what is the best hotel for business-oriented travelers?
Let’s begin by looking at what makes a hotel work for business:
Up-to-date communications are a must. A sleek business center, with conference rooms and facilities for presentations, helps promote professionalism and efficiency. The right kind of atmosphere, neither too quiet nor too noisy, puts clients and employees in the proper frame of mind, while well-trained but unobtrusive hotel staff can make the difference between an unsolved or chaotic situation and one in which all proceeds smoothly.
Given these criteria, where should forward-thinking businesspeople stay in Singapore?
One of the most obvious candidates might be the Ritz-Carlton with its distinguished name and reputation for excellence. A business traveler would be surprised, however, to find that in-room connections at the Ritz require Ethernet, that cable-dependent system long spurned by even cheap hotels in favor of wifi. In the post-millenium age, many laptops and almost all tablet computers don’t even have Ethernet ports. The Ritz-Carlton may be a pleasure palace for the leisure traveler, but anyone who needs swift, wireless internet in his or her room would be best advised to go elsewhere.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel earns plaudits for its service and its boutique atmosphere. Within walking distance of Singapore’s main business district, this hotel is also adjacent to Western-style shopping malls. With only eighty rooms, there’s no standard or corporate feel at the Fullerton Bay yet guests report a lively atmosphere, especially around the roof-top pool.
At the Shangri-La Hotel, business travelers should opt for the hotel’s Valley Wing, which is quieter and has its own reception and lounge areas, rather than the more boisterous and family-oriented Tower Wing. Fresh orchids in the room and a “massive” breakfast buffet appeal to guests. Although the tariff at the Shangri-La is on a par with other luxury hotels in Singapore, many travelers cite good value for their money here.
The Naumi Hotel, previously the Metropole, offers a large office space as part of all its rooms. Free soft drinks earned guests’ praise at this thirty-room boutique property. Reasonably priced restaurants line the nearby streets, and the Bugis native arts and crafts market is also only a short walk away. Unlike international chain hotels that tend to cluster by the bay, the Naumi is in a posh residential district that’s still easily accessed from elsewhere in the city.
Finally, no discussion of hotels in Singapore can exclude mention of the Raffles, the legendary Victorian hotel that still exudes charisma and glamour. While service, food, and ambience at the Raffles win raves from travelers, the TVs in the rooms are “small and prehistoric” according to some recent guests. For business travelers who want to make a splash and don’t intend to spend time in their rooms watching sports or soaps, however, the Raffles is still the “name” hotel in town, and an experience not to be missed.
Singapore is chockablock with hotels old and new. Those cited here, however, all present excellent choices to those with business purposes in mind.
Travel tip shared by kurtappleberry