When the itch to explore or relax beckons, Singaporeans’ first instinct is to book a flight overseas as one of the most well-travelled citizens in the world — but this means we sometimes overlook the adventures that can be found right on our doorstep.
On your next long weekend, why not rediscover the culture, beauty and fun our island has to offer with these indulgent and entertaining activities.
1. Get that floating feeling
Spend some well-earned recharging time the way top athletes do — with flotation therapy. Also known as sensory deprivation therapy or restricted environmental stimulation therapy, it involves floating in a lightless, soundless pod filled with 500-600kg of Epsom salts, a traditional curative for inflammation, tight muscles and stiff joints.
The float helps you free your mind from distractions and enter a deep meditative state to reduce stress. These healing properties have been known to make the therapy popular amongst sportsmen and women including British hurdler Tasha Danvers and American gymnast Aly Raisman — both Olympians — who have been known to use flotation therapy in their wellness regimens.
At Palm Ave Float Club, you can try it for yourself. Each session lasts an hour to 90 minutes, and there is a special three-session introductory package for newcomers.
2. Embrace your inner artist
Get your creative juices flowing at My Art Space, a picturesque studio located in Istana Park. They offer hassle-free painting sessions, so grab some friends or go alone, and unleash your inner Picasso. All materials are provided for you and a free flow of refreshments is sure to keep the inspiration flowing throughout the session.
3. Holiday at home
You are saving on the cost of an airfare, so you can definitely justify indulging in a little luxury. For a weekend of true luxury head over to the Capella Singapore on Sentosa.
A modern structure that curves around two late 19th-century bungalows that have been restored to their colonial splendour, the Capella is a luxurious oasis away from Singapore's bustling metropolis. Surrounded by 30 lush lawns and sea views, it's the perfect place to relax. In the evening, order a cocktail at Bob's and settle in to watch the sun go down.
New members of The Platinum Card® by American Express enjoy a complimentary 2D1N stay upon signing up. Platinum Members also enjoy spa benefits, including an exclusive treatment package consisting of a 30-minute body scrub and either a 60-minute body massage or a 60-minute Organic Pharmacy facial treatment for $220.
4. Hit the heritage trail
Go back in time with a trip to the National Museum, the oldest museum in Singapore dating back to 1887. Its rich range of exhibits tell a multi-sensory and compelling story of the island's colonial and cultural history. Don't miss the newly refurbished Goh Seng Choo gallery, where you will be immersed in the world of magic and supernatural beliefs embraced by traditional South-East Asian societies.
Learn more about Straits Chinese culture at the Peranakan Museum, which houses the world’s finest collection of Peranakan artefacts. You will be impressed from the minute you arrive as the museum is housed in the former site of the Tao Nan School, a 106-year-old building which features fluted columns and façade-fronting balconies, all reminiscent of the Straits Settlements bungalows once owned by wealthy families.
The best time to visit is the first Sunday of each month, when they host special themed tours of the galleries and arts and craft workshops where you can create Peranakan-style items inspired by the museum’s collection.
5. Sanctuary by the sea
Have an indulgent dining experience at Platinum Vibes, an exclusive seafront dining and drinks space just for American Express Centurion and Platinum Members and their guests — available until Dec 31, 2018.
Located on Level 2 of the Marina at Keppel Bay, Platinum Vibes is the only place in Singapore where you can savour dishes specially created by two Michelin-starred chefs — Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre and Yoshio Sakuta of Shoukouwa.
Accompanying the unique menu is a wine list that boasts over 100 wine labels, which have been curated by wine lounge Park90 in partnership with famed critic Robert Parker. Among these are vintages rated over RP90 — the best of the best!
6. Catch a movie under the stars
Relive the nostalgia and romance of drive-in theatres — or experience one for the first time — at one of Movie Mob’s screenings. A roving cinema with regular film screenings across different locations island-wide, it also offers non-drive-in screenings.
If you work in the CBD, check out the Singapore Open Air Cinema Club hosted by co-working space, Hive. This cosy setting is just a stone’s throw away from Clarke Quay and it offers something for everyone by screening a whole range of films, from cult classics such as Thelma and Louise and The Breakfast Club to recent hits like Lion, starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.
7. Wine and dine in style for less
It is a widely known fact — the national pastime of Singaporeans is eating. That applies not only to sampling hawker fare, but also to checking out restaurants and bistros that offer great food and a memorable experience.
Thanks to Love Dining privileges, American Express Platinum Members can enjoy upscale dining at appealing prices. Enjoy up to 50 per cent off the bill at over 50 of the finest restaurants and hotels in Singapore, including:
- Conrad Centennial Singapore
- Fairmont Singapore
- Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
- Swissôtel Merchant Court
- Swissôtel The Stamford
- The St. Regis Singapore
- W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
8. Put your best face forward
Feeling worn out after a hectic week in the office? A spa treatment is the perfect way to soothe tired limbs and unwind a weary mind.
Head to Adeva Spa. Conveniently located within Paragon mall, you can stop by to enjoy the Natura Bissé Diamond Whitening System, which was awarded the ‘Best Spot-Busting Facial’ at the Harper’s BAZAAR Spa Awards 2017. Or pamper yourself with Signature Face Spa treatments like Botanical Radiance and 3D Lucent.
Alternatively, visit Spa Rael at Goodwood Park Hotel to indulge in a range of Natura Bissé Face Spa treatments. These feature luxury Spanish skincare that can also be found in top-tier retailers worldwide, such as Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
If you want to add a touch of radiance to your weekend, make your way to The Ultimate for the Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Face Spa. This special treatment is designed to give your skin a boost with a powerful dose of Vitamin C to counter the impact of free radicals, resulting in radiant and firm skin.
American Express Platinum Members enjoy 25, 30 and 50 per cent off à la carte services at Adeva Spa, Spa Rael and The Ultimate respectively.
9. Discover a smorgasbord of delights at Sentosa
Sentosa is home to popular attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, but the island also hosts a wide range of unique and exciting activities.
Rub shoulders with statues of the rich and famous at Madame Tussaud’s — the perfect spot for Instagram-worthy photos.
There’s no need to fly to Bali — you can learn to surf right here at Wave House Sentosa. Qualified instructors guide you through the motions until you can carve or bottom turn like the best of them.
Swap skyscrapers and concrete for lush tropical greenery with a visit to The Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom. This multi-sensory interactive experience offers the perfect escape from city living.
American Express Platinum Members enjoy complimentary weekend parking at VivoCity on Friday, Satuday and Sunday, after 5pm, for a fuss-free experience on your way to Sentosa.
10. Chillax with a bar hop
Singapore is fast becoming one of the bar capitals of the world. There are local favourites and award-winning establishments which have been around for years, and then there’s also a constant stream of new places opening up and surprising us week by week.
American Express Platinum Members can explore all that Singapore has to offer as they enjoy a range of benefits at some of the hottest bars and clubs on the island.
At Nutmeg & Clove on Ann Siang Hill, Platinum Members can enjoy a one-for-one deal on their first drink. For a unique take on the classics you know and love, the bar offers a cocktail menu inspired by local herbs, fruits, flowers and spices found in the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings.
The Secret Mermaid at Raffles Place is a tasting room and cocktail bar dedicated to American craft spirits. Pick from a wide selection of gin, whiskey, vodka, rum and more, with one-for-one off the first drink for Platinum Members.
The Mad Men Attic Bar along North Canal Road — designed in a modern industrialist style — features street art from local graffiti collective RSCLS. Platinum Members can enjoy complimentary Kirin Beer or Pure Blonde Bottled Beer as they chill to live music.
Zouk is a mainstay of the island’s nightlife scene and Platinum Members get complimentary entry with a guest, access to the new Zouk Members Lounge and discounted drinks all night long so you can party right through to the early hours!