Top Banana account director Marc Hazelden was impressed by the passion and culture of the Lion City on a recent educational trip with Singapore Tourism Board, Qantas, Destination Asia and Shangri-La Hotels…
“I had never been to Singapore before and what really resonated with me was with me was the harmonious culture. It’s a real fusion of east meets west with all religions and cultures living side by side in harmony. Singapore’s slogan is Passion Made Possible, and when you visit you can see that it’s a really passionate city – everyone has great passion and pride for their heritage and country.
Even though it’s a country, it feels more like a city, and from an event planners’ perspective it’s very practical as everything is so close, it’s really easy to travel around, the standard and quality of the facilities are exceptional and most importantly it’s one of the safest destinations in the world.
We were fortunate to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel which has been recently been refurbished – as you’d expect it provides high-end five-star facilities and fantastic service in a great location. It’s also commonly used for high dignitary visits, so if you are looking for high-end security, it’s your best bet. We also stayed at Hotel Jen Tanglin, part of the Shangri-La’s Hotel Jen brand – also a great modern property, with lots of tech including a robot that delivers room service!
Highlights for me included a traditional Peranakan lunch and a visit to an island off the coast of the mainland called Pulau Ubin, where we had a Malay lunch in a traditional resident’s house and had a go at making the food. It’s like being transported back in time and was nice to see a glimpse of what Singapore would have looked like in the past.
One of the highlights venue-wise was Marina Bay Sands – we had drinks at LAVO right at the top of the sky park – it is definitely the most iconic building in Singapore. Gardens by the Bay is also a fantastic attraction (right), and Clarke Quay, Little India and Chinatown are all worth a visit, while Sentosa is the place to head for adrenalin junkies like me – some of us did the AJ Hackett Bungee Jump.
Based on my visit, I would be very confident proposing it to any kind of group.”