by Michael J. Shapiro | March 03, 2018
Singapore set tourism records for the second consecutive year in 2017, welcoming some 17.4 million visitors -- a 6.2 percent jump over the previous year. Visitor spending rose to a record high as well, driven in part by an influx from the United States of more business travel, much of it relating to meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions.
The island city-state is responding with open arms: Twenty-two new hotels opened in 2017, increasing the nationwide room count by 5 percent, to 67,084. Following is a snapshot of what's new and what's to come.


WELCOMING HOSPITALITY
Among the newcomers to Singapore's hotel scene in the past year was the Andaz Singapore, a 342-room boutique property that debuted in November, in the DUO integrated development. In tribute to the local neighborhood, the hotel design incorporates an "alleyway" theme: Alley on 25 is a series of "shophouse" eateries on one floor, serving everything from noodles to barbecue snacks to premium meats and seafood, while Alley on 3 is a 14,800-square-foot events alleyway consisting of four residential-style event-space studios.

Just one month earlier, in October 2017, several important hotels opened their doors: the 225-room (pictured) InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, amidst countless restaurants and bars along the bustling riverfront walk; the 254-room Novotel Singapore on Stevens, which sits alongside the 518-room Mercure Singapore on Stevens, forming a "lush urban paradise"; the 223-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre, a luxury property in Chinatown's Tanjong Pagar district; and the 610-room Yotel Singapore, on the entertainment and shopping hub of Orchard Road, Yotel's first flagship property in Asia.


ON THE WAY
The coming year will bring a number of highly anticipated debuts. The Duxton Club, which should open by this quarter's end, will be a pair of Luxury Collection properties with a total of 188 rooms, converted from two pre-war shophouse buildings. Later this year, the 280-room Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore is slated to open next to the Laguna National Golf & Country Club's Masters and Classic championship golf courses. And the third quarter should bring the long-awaited reopening of the iconic Raffles Singapore, currently undergoing the third phase of a restoration.