Singapore, Singapore

Photo: Naumi Hotels
Photo: Naumi Hotels

Your late arrival in Singapore has left you a little dizzy. Like New York or Hong Kong, this densely populated city-state is located on an island. With no more room to expand outward, buildings keep getting taller and taller. There are cranes everywhere. The financial center is continually expanding. More malls are appearing. And the brightest lights announce a new casino. Unfortunately, all you want to do is sleep.

But you aren’t sure how that’s going to happen as your taxi winds through the noisy Central Business District. You booked a room at a boutique hotel with the hope of getting more rest than you would at a 1,000-plus-room entertainment complex. The glass tower in front of you doesn’t inspire much confidence though.

Your fears are immediately squashed when you enter your earth-toned room at the Naumi Hotel. It’s quiet, peaceful, and full of all the modern conveniences you wish you had at home. Apple TV, AirPlay Mirroring to connect your computer with that Apple TV, and an XBox will surely keep you occupied. A sliding glass door opens to a small bamboo garden. Magic glass panels separate the bathroom from the rest of the room. Mood lighting ensures you’ll fully relax during a bubble bath. The treats from the minibar and the Nespresso machine won’t cost extra. And, most importantly, there’s a seven-layer bed.

Photo: Naumi Hotels
Photo: Naumi Hotels

The only problem: you’re no longer ready to climb right into bed. You have a strange burst of energy that is propelling you to explore the rest of the hotel. There’s a yoga mat in the room and a gym with iPod docks, but you don’t have that much energy. Instead, you wander up to the rooftop. A tenth-floor infinity pool looks out over the sparkling lights of the city. You grab a seat by the edge of the pool and order a fruity cocktail. This is a much better introduction to Singapore.

After you make your way back to your room, you sleep too many hours to mention. But you eventually wake up feeling refreshed and ready to explore. Usually, museums are your introduction to a new city. The National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum, and the MINT Museum of Toys are all nearby. But this time, your senses are pulling you elsewhere. Ignore the hotel’s breakfast, and wander in search of kaya toast, runny eggs, and kopi, a strong, sweet coffee. Watch old men play mahjong. Go shopping on Haji Lane in the Muslim Quarter. Eat chicken rice and drink fresh fruit juice at a stall in the Maxwell Road Food Centre. Have a fortune teller try to decipher your future in Chinatown. Learn about tea in an old tea shop. Eat more street food–dumplings and satay and chilli crab–at the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market.

However you spend your day–and it certainly wasn’t in front of the Apple TV–just return to the Naumi’s rooftop pool again. This time for a sunset cocktail. You’re still dizzy, but no longer with confusion.

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