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Singapore: Lion City shows its prowess with new hotels, sights

April 18, 2013|By Rosemary McClure
  • Kids get a close look at nature at Singapore's Marine Life Park.
Kids get a close look at nature at Singapore's Marine Life Park. (Resorts World Sentosa )

Singapore, nicknamed the Lion City, is roaring into the future with a host of new or updated tourist facilities. 

This Southeast Asian city-state known for its shopping, restaurants and clean streets will be the site of several new hotels, an aquarium, major art gallery and other entertainment venues. Several tourist facilities have opened in the past year.

“Singapore is keeping the new development momentum going,” said Serene Tan, regional director for the Singapore Tourism Board. “The introduction of further new attractions in 2013 signifies Singapore’s objective to showcase innovative visitor experiences.”

Among the hotels scheduled to open this year:
•    Sofitel So Singapore (opening Nov 1): The hotel, housed in a historic building with a Neo-Classical facade, will have 134 guest rooms with 23 suites. The decor will feature a funky interior design theme, representing modern Singapore, as a contrast to the classic architecture.
•    The Westin Singapore (opening Nov. 1): The Westin, on Marina Bay in Singapore's  financial district, will have sweeping city and bay views, 301 guest rooms, three restaurants, an outdoor pool, gym and spa.

New facilities include:
•    River Safari: Now partly open, this river-themed animal park will be fully operational by midyear. It includes boat rides and displays of freshwater habitats.
•    National Art Gallery (opening 2014-15): This new museum will focus on Southeast Asian and Singaporean art and will play host to international art exhibitions. The City Hall and adjacent former Supreme Court building are being converted to house the institution.
•    KidZania (opening 2015): This indoor family entertainment center offers an interactive learning experience for children in a kid-sized city. 

“Last year proved to be a pivotal year in Singapore’s evolution with the opening of three groundbreaking assets,” said Tan, listing Gardens by the Bay, a new park combined with a business, entertainment and residential center; Gillman Barracks, a dining and art complex on the site of a former military camp; and the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, which opened in fall 2012 and doubled Singapore’s berth capacity.

Marine Life Park opened in December. This Resort World Sentosa attraction is home to more than 100,000 marine animals and contains one of the world’s largest aquariums and a water park.   

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