Singapore 12-2010

Fast Facts
Singapore's hotels offer an inventory of more than 37,000 rooms.

The main island of Singapore measures only 26 miles long and 14 miles wide.

Although Singapore has four official languages (English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil), the day-to-day language for business is English.

Unlike for travel to many other Asian countries, including China and India, United States citizens do not need to apply for a visa for stays of up to 30 days.

The 203-room Park Regis Singapore should be open by the end of the year. With views of the Clarke Quay waterfront entertainment district, the hotel will offer two boardrooms seating 35 people each.

With a booming economy reflected by soaring new skyscrapers and a growing number of hotels and other venues, Singapore is an increasingly powerful magnet for visitors. Some 355,083 of them came from the United States alone during the first eight months of 2010, a 15.8 percent rise from last year.

Much of the action in this island republic is taking place in two up-and-coming districts.

Marina Bay A plethora of new business and leisure options are making this southern-shore district an increasingly popular option for planners. Among recent developments are the following.

The US$5.5 billion, 2,500-room Marina Bay Sands opened in June. Comprising three 55-story towers, this dramatically designed property includes an 800,000-square-foot retail shopping area; restaurants branded by celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Guy Savoy and Wolfgang Puck; and a casino with nearly 500 gaming tables. Connecting all three towers up top is the 133,472-square-foot SkyPark, featuring 360-degree views of the city, a 495-foot-long infinity pool and several dining options.

Attached to the hotel is the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, featuring 1.3 million square feet of meeting space, a Grand Ballroom available for up to 11,000 delegates and divisible by 16, and  250 dedicated meeting rooms. For an outdoor venue, the bayfront Events Plaza can accommodate up to 10,000.

The 100-room luxury Fullerton Bay Hotel opened in July on the waterfront and features a rooftop pool and bar in addition to three boardroom-style meeting rooms.

In the works are the Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre display of Singapore's horticultural diversity, set to open in 2011, and the International Cruise Terminal, which will double the destination's berth capacity from two to four ships upon opening by the end of 2012.

Sentosa Off the southern tip of Singapore, southwest of Marina Bay, the small resort island of Sentosa has seen the debut of a huge new resort complex.

The US$4.4 billion, 121-acre Resorts World Sentosa officially opened this past January. Properties now open within the resort include the 390-room Festive Hotel and its 1,600-seat Festive Grande theater; the 360-room Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, which offers 26 meeting rooms and the Compass Ballroom with seating for 7,300; the 120-room Crockfords Tower, and the 470-room Hotel Michael. The 410-room Equarius Hotel and 40 spa villas are set to open in 2011.

Additional developments within the Resorts World complex include Universal Studios Singapore and the Resorts World Casino, with the Marine Life Park and the Maritime Experiential Museum to be completed by 2011.