Faralizah Binte Abdul Rahman (Fara), Guest Services Manager at Preferred Hotels’ Royal Plaza on Scotts in Singapore, is in the spotlight in Ask The Concierge this week. Fara loves meeting new people every day at work and helping guests experience Singapore “in the best way possible”. How lucky are we to benefit from her experience and wisdom!? Take out your pen and get ready to take notes…
Favourite locale when enjoying a day off
I love cycling along East Coast Park with my family and then making a pit stop at a nearby hawker centre for some yummy local fare.
Where she takes her own guests when they visit
We will kick start our day by having breakfast with the orangutans at Singapore Zoo, then pop by River Safari next door to say hi to the pandas. The afternoon will be spent at S.E.A Aquarium at Sentosa, followed by an evening at Clarke Quay to experience the river cruise and have a feel of Singapore’s nightlife.
It’s a rainy day but we want to explore, what we should do
Stay dry indoors by doing some shopping on the famous Orchard Road which is just steps away from Royal Plaza on Scotts! There are plenty of stores in various malls, from local to high street and even luxury brands. Best part? The different malls are connected via underground walkways.
For sightseeing, head down to Gardens by The Bay and be enchanted by the vibrant world of flora and fauna. Step into the Cloud Forest, where you can find the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, or wander about in the Flower Dome, a cluster of gardens with seasonal blooms and a changing floral display. I promise you’ll be spending hours there. When the rain stops, you can proceed outdoors to continue exploring the Bay East Garden, Children’s Garden, Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes and Heritage Gardens.
Recommended night-time entertainment
Check out CÉ LA VI for dining against the stunning backdrop of the Marina Bay skyline. Alternatively, 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar also offers excellent views of the Singapore city skyline at night. Plus they have great music.
Key phrases visitors should learn
Makan. It means eat in Malay. There are many shiok* makan places in the city. It’s always makan time here, all the time! *Shiok means enjoyable or pleasing.
Where to find the best shopping and souvenirs
Shop at Bugis Street which houses over 600 shops spread over three levels. Besides clothing, shoes and bags at affordable prices, you can also find plenty of local souvenirs including Merlion accessories, shirts and magnets.
A child-friendly thing to do or place to go
Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, is a popular spot for families. Within walking distance from Royal Plaza on Scotts, the Botanic Gardens has various attractions to cater to both adults and children. The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is a space especially dedicated to encourage children to explore, learn and have fun in nature. There are also other attractions such as the National Orchid Garden and SBG Heritage Museum.
Best kept secret or favourite hidden treasure
Pulau Ubin! Home to one of Singapore’s last kampungs (village), the island is where you can (temporarily) leave behind the hectic city life and take things at your own pace. The slow life begins the moment you join the bumboat queue at Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
The best way to get to the airport
If you do not have much luggage, public transport is a great option as it is easily accessible in Singapore. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) can take you there in an hour from the city. The Orchard MRT station is just a 3-minute walk from Royal Plaza on Scotts.
Best time of the year to visit
There’s something for everyone no matter what time of year. Weather in Singapore is pretty typical all year round – either rain or shine; so just keep look out for the various events you’re interested in and plan your trip around them.
Anything else we should know when visiting
Be sure to experience the melting pot of cultures in our little red dot and there’s no better way than through our local food. Pro tip – visit cultural centres such as Chinatown Heritage Centre, Istana Kampong Glam and Indian Heritage Centre; where there are cultural centres, there is always food.
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