Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport to Feature World’s Largest Indoor Waterfall

Jewel Changi Airport Forest Valley
Forest Valley

An extension of Changi Airport Singapore, Skytrax’s ‘Best Airport in the World’ for seven consecutive years, Jewel Changi Airport will feature the world’s tallest indoor waterfall as its centre masterpiece

Singapore’s Changi Airport extension, Jewel Changi Airport, will open its doors on April 17, 2019, offering travellers a vast array of options to dine, shop, play and stay.

The multi-use development, attached to Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 and within easy access from Terminals 2 and 3, is located before immigration and will be open to both travellers and non-travellers.

The neighbouring YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport provides 130 rooms for busy travellers in need of flexible check-in and check-out timings, while early check-in and storage availability, even for hand-carry luggage, will additionally be granted to passengers who experience late departures.

Functioning as more than an airport, Jewel will have several recreational features, with the unique mix of lush greenery and curated offerings a first in the region. The Forest Valley, a four-storey verdant landscape, will contain one of the largest collections of indoor plants in Singapore in its 22,000 square metre space. Equally as impressive is the Rain Vortex, a 40-metre tall, indoor waterfall that will showcase a nightly light and sound show. The 14,000 square metre Canopy Park will open soon after in June 2019 and allow visitors their choice of play attractions, gardens and walking trails. Canopy mazes, a bouncing net, a walking net, a 50 meter-long canopy bridge and discovery slides – a 4-slides-in-1 sculptural playground – are just some of the upcoming play attractions.

Jewel will also have over 280 shops and eateries including the Peruvian-inspired TONITO, which will serve classic ceviche and iconic Pisco Sour cocktails, and the locally-beloved Violet Oon, which will have its largest restaurant in the airport and offer popular delicacies such as dry laksa, beef rendang, satays and roti jala.

Several brands such as Shake Shack, Pokémon Center Singapore, Burger & Lobster, Läderach and Pink Fish will make their Singapore debut at Jewel, while respected and homegrown Singaporean brands such as Nalise and Supermama will have a presence. The nationally-recognised Tiger Beer will even be unveiling its first-in-the-world Tiger Street Lab and pouring seasonal brews exclusive to Jewel.

Jewel Changi Airport will open on 17th April.

Skytrax has recently announced that Singapore Changi Airport has been voted ‘World’s Best Airport’ for the 2019 Airport Awards by international air travellers for the seventh consecutive year, maintaining its position as the only airport to have received the accolade for seven years running.

 www.jewelchangiairport.com

Where to Eat, Drink and Party in Singapore

Ce La Vie

With its myriad bars, breweries, clubs and restaurants, Singapore is a night owl’s dream. Here’s where to go for the ultimate night out on the town in the Lion City…

BARS

Cocktails, Spirits & Good Times

 

Native

This impressive haunt, which placed #13 at the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2018, is known for its exclusive use of regionally-sourced ingredients and an inventive menu that includes their unique cocktail topper of basil leaf frozen with liquid nitrogen and garnished with crunchy ants. 

Operation Dagger

Placing #23 on the World’s Best Bar list, Operation Dagger is another beauty worth checking out. Don’t miss their salted egg cocktail and omakase cocktail experience that gave this hangout its stellar reputation.

Atlas

Placing even higher than Operation Dagger and Native at 8th on the World’s 50 Best Bar list, Atlas is a must-visit. Home to over 1000 varieties of gin, the luxurious, gothic-inspired bar offers exquisite food to pair with its extensive cocktail menu. Here, you can rub shoulders with the Singapore glitterati in a timeless, art-deco inspired setting.

Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors is a destination rooftop bar hidden on the 6th floor of Singapore’s National Gallery. In order to reach the bar, you have to take the lift to the 5th floor and then take the escalator up to the 6th floor. Once you’ve found the hidden rooftop bar, you’ll be met with an unblocked panoramic view of the Padang and Marina Bay, which makes Smoke & Mirrors an ideal destination for an afternoon drink or two. Not to mention, the cocktails are inspired by the exhibitions being held in the National Gallery and change as the paintings and artists on display change.

Cé La Vi

One of Singapore’s most iconic nightlife destinations, Cé la Vi stands 200 metres above ground at the top of Marina Bay Sands’ Tower 3 and offers visitors unrivalled 360-degree views of the city skyline. A Singapore institution, Cé La Vi offers Modern Asian bites and signature cocktails in a cosmopolitan rooftop setting where nightly DJ sets are guaranteed to set you up for a good time.

2am:dessertbar

This is the ultimate destination for dessert connoisseurs. Located in the chic Holland Village, 2am:dessertbar is famous for its sumptuous modern desserts and carefully selected wine list. We’ve heard that their smoked white chocolate with hibiscus jelly and cinnamon beads concoction is the type of dessert those with a sweet tooth would die for, and better yet you can enjoy it 6 nights a week right up until 2am.

Level33
Level33
Atlas
Atlas

BREWERIES & DISTILLERIES

It’s All About the Craft

 

LeVeL33

Known as the World’s Highest Urban Craft-Brewery, enjoy one of the best views of Singapore’s Marina Bay and city skyline as you drink one of their freshly brewed signature beers. All of LeVel 33’s beers are brewed onsite, and there are plenty of dining options to pair your favourites with. No prizes for guessing which floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower this beer lover’s favourite is located on…

RedDot Brewhouse

Uniquely Named as Singapore’s first locally-owned, independent commercial microbrewery, the RedDot has a special history. Founded by Ernest Ng in 1997, the concept for RedDot came from a trip to South Africa, where he discovered the world of home-brewing. This ignited a new passion and inevitably sparking the concept for his own microbrewery, now much loved in the Lion City.

Tanglin Gin

Located in Mandai and named after the Singaporean neighbourhood that was once home to many spice plantations, Tanglin Gin is Singapore’s first award-winning gin distillery. The distillery calls its Orchid Gin ‘an old world modern gin’ that uses handpicked spices and botanicals from Malaysia and Indonesia in a product that nods to the past while embodying the spirit of contemporary Singapore.

2am Dessert Bar
2am Dessert Bar
Level33
Level33

NIGHTLIFE

Let’s Party

 

Lavo

Set against Singapore’s iconic skyline at 57 stories above ground with a 180-degree view, Lavo is a contemporary dining experience serving contemporary Italian-American cuisine. Go for the food and stay in the luxurious lounge, equipped with a DJ booth, outdoor bar and terrace.

Zouk

One of the most famous clubs in the world, Zouk has set the pace for Singapore’s nightlife scene for almost 25 years. Playing host to many of the world’s best DJs, Zouk is a hotspot for Asia’s dance music scene and a must-visit for anyone wanting to hit the dancefloor. Zouk relocated in 2016 and is now housed within Clarke Quay’s Cannery Block.

Kilo Lounge

Considered the ultimate living room-style club and known for its unforgettable parties, Kilo Lounge’s cosy space is often used for interactive art showcases, live performances and other events. Situated at 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, it’s a place to catch Singapore’s nightlife vibe in a comfortable and unique setting.

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

NEIGHBOURHOODS

Evening Hangouts

 

Ann Siang Hill

Located between historic Chinatown and the modern Telok Ayer lies an L-shaped enclave known for hip watering holes and laid-back hangouts. On the weekend, the nexus of Club Street and Ann Siang Street is blocked off from cars, so restaurants can set up tables right on the street. Ann Siang Hill is a hip alternative to the traditional nightlife hotspots of Boat and Clarke Quays.

Clarke Quay

Despite being known as party central, Clarke Quay has plenty of nightlife options that will appeal to every to every sort of traveller. Visit to enjoy the noteworthy live music scene, laid-back and fun sports bars and the romantic, chic rooftop bars that come with panoramic views of the Singapore skyline.

Boat-Quay
Boat-Quay

RESTAURANTS

Food, Glorious Food

 

Artichoke

Tucked away in the cobbled courtyard of Sculpture Square off Middle Road in the heart of Singapore’s Arts and Heritage district, the Artichoke Café & Bar specialises in modern Middle Eastern cuisine with a twist. Probably the least authentic Middle Eastern restaurant you’re likely to visit, the food is inspired by the flavours of the region but is put together by chef Bjorn Shen in totally unique and creative ways that have given this restaurant its title of ‘Singapore’s Most Rebellious Kitchen’.

Cheek By Jowl

Cheek by Jowl serves modern Australian cuisine inspired by Chef Rishi’s culinary experiences in Melbourne, where he learned from some of the best chefs in the world. His training has clearly paid off – Cheek by Jowl earned a Michelin star after just one year operation, so needless to say this is a dining experience you won’t want to miss in Singapore.

Boon Tat St

When night falls, the portion of Boon Tat Street adjacent to Lau Pat Sat food centre closes, and between 7pm and 2am transforms into Singapore’s famous “satay street”. Order from various stalls selling mouth-watering satay and other Malay delights like mee goreng and barbecued chicken wings, and then enjoy your meal under the stars surrounded by the balmy cocoon that is Singapore’s year-round climate.

Boon-Tat-Street
Boon-Tat-Street

For more information on Singapore, visit www.visitsingapore.com.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Releases Japan Voyages Aboard EUROPA 2

By Staff Writer

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced its luxury vessel EUROPA 2 will be heading to Japan for the first time in 2019, with two new itineraries on offer: a 15-day ocean cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo and an 18-day voyage from Tokyo to Singapore.

The journey out of Hong Kong will take you to Taipei, before journeying to Jeju in South Korea where you’ll take a trip across the volcanic island to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak.

Your first port in Japan will be Nagasaki, where you’ll learn all about the city’s turbulent past on a tour, before visiting the historic Sofukuji temple and the Peace Park. This route will take you up the Inasayama hill by cable car giving you spectacular views of Unzen, Amakusa and the Goto Islands.

Continuing the historic adventure, visit Hiroshima and the holy island of Miyajima to discover the moving details of Japan’s involvement in the Second World War. You will also find out all about traditional Japanese life and the vermilion Itsukushima-jinja Shrine.

On this voyage you’ll also get to visit one of the best-known spa resorts in Japan and melt into the hot thermal springs of Beppu and the Tatsumaki Jigoku geyser on an a shore excursion.

With two full days to spend in Kobe, you can head off on shore excursions to the ancient imperial city of Kyoto, famous for its countless shrines and temples; Nara, the legendary city of myths and traditions; or bustling Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city.

Wrapping up your Japanese journey is a vital visit to the county’s sprawling capital city of Tokyo. Here, visit the imperial palace and the Ginza district at your own pace or enjoy a view over the city on a helicopter flight. There are shore excursions on offer to world-famous Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, and you’ll get to experience the high-speed Shinkansen train.

On the lengthier 18-day voyage aboard EUROPA 2 from Tokyo to Singapore, guests will not only get to know the metropolis of Japan’s capital, but also some of Japan’s natural wonders. On the itinerary are trips to Ago Bay with its fjord-like waters and Mikimoto Pearl Island, where the first cultured pearls were created at the end of the 19th century.

Ishigaki, the main island of the Yaeyama archipelago, is famed for its idyllic swimming spots and fine sandy beaches, and guests on board EUROPA 2 will get to discover its beauty on a tour, with the fast ferry also taking you to the neighbouring island of Taketomi with its long sandy beaches and picturesque town.

Other highlights include an excursion to the Shuri Castle where fascinating impressions of Okinawa Prefecture await, a visit to the Shikinaen Royal Garden, and a trip to the ruins of Nakagusuku Castle, which dates back to the 15th century.

 

hl-cruises.com

State of the Art: Cruising Southeast Asia on Europa 2

By Grace Smith

“Guten morgen,” says the young woman handing me a moistened towel as I step on board Europa 2, an ocean cruise ship that is widely regarded as the best of its kind in the world. I utter an awkward “thank you”, silently reprimanding myself for not downloading a German translation app before my trip.

My discomfort is quickly forgotten as I am handed a flute of chilled champagne and ushered into the ship’s grand atrium. Light floods through immense floor-to-ceiling windows and the room’s sleek, minimalist interiors feel more suited to a Scandinavian design hotel than a cruise ship. Contemporary artworks from the likes of Damien Hirst and Gerhard Richter hang on the walls, and curved sculptures stand on plinths.

While the curated interiors are striking, the clever architectural design is what makes Europa 2 truly outstanding. The soaring ceilings, open-plan layout and absence of thick pillars means that everywhere I turn I see the endless turquoise sea surrounding Koh Samui, the Thai island where we are currently docked.

I have joined Hapag-Lloyd’s grande dame for the final leg of her Hong Kong to Singapore sailing, and am looking forward to finding out why Douglas Ward (author of the 2017 Berlitz Cruise Guide) chose to bestow the ship a five-star-plus rating. Despite its stellar reputation, the German cruise ship, which sailed its maiden voyage in 2013, is still relatively unknown in Australia, with German-speakers making up 90 per cent of passengers.

As I step into the elevator that will take me to my room I realise the turquoise waves outside are following me – the elevator’s glass walls provide unobstructed ocean views, and I reach my deck without taking my eyes off the mesmerising blue sea.

I am staying in the most modest of the ship’s 251 cabins, although as I open the door to my 35-square-metre Veranda Suite I realise that Hapag-Lloyd’s idea of modest is vastly different to that of other luxury cruise lines. The room has its own balcony as well as a lounge, walk-in wardrobe and a bathroom not dissimilar to what you might find in a boutique hotel: there’s a spacious shower, generous-sized sink and vanity and even a bathtub.

On my first day, I decide to spend a few hours luxuriating in the room, starting by taking advantage of the complimentary 24-hour room service and my private balcony while blaring The Beatles from my entertainment system (one of the few English artists pre-programmed). I pop the cork on my welcome champagne and drop a bath bomb in the tub, enjoying a soak to wash off my flight.

I emerge feeling incredibly reinvigorated – I later learn that unlike most air conditioning systems, which use partially recycled air, the air on Europa 2 is drawn continuously from the outside, adding to the freshness of my cabin. It is a subtle feature that makes a big difference and gives me a new appreciation for the attention to detail the German company pays when it comes to clever design.

I now have my afternoon to plan, and consider the activities on offer across the ship. I can play a round on the golf simulator, take a guided tour of Europa 2’s 890 artworks, sample some of the world’s largest gin collection at sea, head to the gym for a workout with a view, or visit the spa for a beauty treatment or a sauna. Not wanting to overdo it on my first day, I decide to head to the pool.

As the elevator doors open onto the pool deck, I am instantly overwhelmed by the buttery-sweet smell of baking waffles. I follow my nose to the waffle stand and take my bounty back to one of the empty sun loungers dotted around the pool. Waiters descend on me almost instantly, offering fresh coconuts, fruit salad and assorted juices.

The attentive service on deck is reflective of the ship’s high ratio of staff to passengers. Europa 2 is almost at capacity on my trip, but a limit of 500 guests means that rather than the crowded feeling common to even some of the best cruise ships, this beautiful ship feels almost empty. There are dozens of free chairs around me, I never queue at the bar, and it is not uncommon to walk along an entire floor without seeing another passenger.

After whiling away a few hours in the pool filled with filtered ocean water, I decide to continue my German cultural immersion by dining in the ship’s signature restaurant, Weltmeere. After a failed attempt at deciphering the menu I am handed an English translation, which features international dishes along with some German favourites like wurst (sausages) and brisket. Weltmeere is one of the seven restaurants on board, along with Italian, French, Japanese and pan-Asian dining rooms and an obligatory buffet, all included in the fare.

During dinner at Weltmeere, my companion asks for tomato sauce with her fries and is rather bemused when the waiter returns with a freshly prepared bowl of hearty pomodoro pasta sauce. We are more than willing to forgive this amusing miscommunication from our friendly waiter, however the general service provided in the on-board dining venues is somewhat less attentive than what one might expect on a five-star-plus ship, with orders occasionally forgotten or only partially delivered. A tip for international travellers is to head straight to the self-serve buffet restaurant Yacht Club where the selection is extensive and the views are fantastic.

As I step into the elevator that will take me to my room I realise the turquoise waves outside are following me – the elevator’s glass walls provide unobstructed ocean views, and I reach my deck without taking my eyes off the mesmerising blue sea.

After dinner, I decide to skip the tap dancing performance in the theatre in favour of checking out the ship’s nightlife epicentre, Sansibar. I am pleasantly surprised to see plenty of groups sipping cocktails and a number of couples and young families tearing up the dance floor to a mix of ’80s classics, pop hits and the occasional German folk song. It is clear that the laidback luxury of the Europa 2 attracts a younger demographic than its more formal sister ship, Europa.

As I order my Mai Tai at the bar, I convert the cost to Australian dollars – drinks are, surprisingly, not included in Europa 2’s rates. Prices are very reasonable (significantly cheaper than at a standard Australian bar). But the additional expense does detract from the feeling of complete indulgence that draws people to luxury cruising. Hapag-Lloyd seems to understand that international guests expect an all-inclusive experience, so they offer all non-German guests a €200 beverage credit – more than enough for my eight days on board.

From my table at Sansibar’s outdoor seating area, I spot a small staircase on the side of the deck. I climb the stairs until I reach what may be the ship’s best-kept secret. The open-air top deck of the ship – the only area not serviced by an elevator – has a hot tub and plenty of bed-sized sun lounges, and when I visit it is completely deserted. I can’t resist a quick soak while staring up at the clear night sky, marvelling at the fact that I have the deck entirely to myself.

Sinking into my bed that night I think about the activities I have planned for the next day: a morning yoga session overlooking the ocean followed by jet-skiing around a private island and a champagne tasting in the evening.

While there’s so much to look forward to, I find myself most excited about the idea of spending a week sailing through the beautiful waters of Southeast Asia while immersing myself in the German microcosm that is the Europa 2.

hl-cruises.com