It all started at passport control, where I was pulled aside and asked if I’d ever cancelled my passport. As I looked down at the picture in my passport, the panic started. You always remember your passport photos – especially the bad ones – and the one the man was holding was not the photo where I looked like I’d just escaped prison. It was mildly more flattering. The passport he was holding had been cancelled when I thought I’d lost it. I’d ordered a new passport – my valid passport – and never bothered to throw out the old one. My entire mouth went dry as I was told I had 90 minutes to return to the airport with my new passport. I left my husband and two kids at customs and jumped in a taxi to meet my friend Canna at home, where she was (8 months pregnant I might add) rummaging through our drawers trying to find my valid passport. It wasn’t at home, so we went to my office. It wasn’t at my office, so I went to my mother’s home. It wasn’t there either, so in tears, we headed back to my house. Mid-journey, I suddenly remembered where it was. I ran into the house, grabbed it and sprinted back up the road to find Canna rummaging through our car hoping to find it. She drove me back to the airport and I made it to the gate with 15 minutes to spare. I didn’t actually relax until I knew we were firmly flying in the air. I made it.
So, you’ll understand why when I finally got to The Lantern bar – worth a visit just for its architectural brilliance (the sky roof is highlighted with a six-meter diameter glowing bar designed in the shape of a lantern) – I was completely elated. As were the girls – as luck would have it, the sky had erupted in the most magical display of fireworks. I sat there, surrounded by colourful fireworks, cocktail in hand, and felt like the luckiest person in the world. I made the flight.
I’ve stayed at The Fullerton Bay Hotel before but last time, I left my children at home. I’d love the time away from the kids, of course, but there’s always a part of you that wishes they were there. I knew they’d love the pool not to mention all the incredible things for kids to do in Singapore (the Science Centre is just around the corner from the hotel).
A little background on one of Singapore’s most gorgeous hotels: The elegant glass hotel is built on the 1927 Clifford Pier, a heritage site that symbolises the arrival of thousands of Singapore’s earlier settlers (immigrants from India, China, and beyond once poured into the city from this iconic port). The design of the hotel is a nod to Singapore’s colonial heritage. There are individually-themed suites named after ethnic groups such as Malay, Indian, Colonial and Peranakan; and vintage nautical maps in the lobby. There are three restaurants – La Brasserie, The Landing Point and The Clifford Pier (high tea here is a must).
Our room was situated on the water with a spacious outdoor area complete with sundecks and bayside views of the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The 100 guest rooms are furnished with traditional rosewood and latticed screens, with balconies overlooking the bay (in our case, a balcony right on the bay). No detail is left spared at The Fullerton Bay Hotel: there were customised Bottega Veneta collection room amenities that smelled heavenly; Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary coffee capsules to help us wake up in the morning (waking up was hard given we were sleeping on a bed made with Fine Egyptian cotton and 100% goose down pillows and duvets). You get the picture: you could happily settle in here for a while.
The luxe public areas of the hotel were designed by Hong Kong-based designer and architect Andre Fu. “I am here to create a place with soul, a place that honours Singapore’s past,” says Fu. “My answer to the Fullerton Bay Hotel is to tailor a new heritage. [It was my] intention to create a modern colonial hotel that pays tribute to the bygone era, and I have purposely conjured a sense of refinement throughout the design and ambience of the hotel. It is clear to see that the result is where colonial heritage has been reinterpreted in a deeply-rooted, yet distinctly sensual and lush setting.”
It all makes for a very luxe break in a very fun city. And they were so welcoming of our children, which made it all the more enjoyable. We’ll be back – and next time, I’ll pack a valid passport.
For more information, go to www.mrandmrssmith.com