Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Singapore = Wonderland? - hotel, luxury retail and other miscellaneous thoughts

Not surprisingly, we relied on Trip Advisor to find our hotel in Singapore - Royal Plaza on Scotts.  I am not going to elaborate it more.  In general it is not bad, a standard 5 star hotel in a very good location.  It is clean, spacious, convenient and it met our needs.

Hotel lobby  

There was a flower arrangement art exhibition in our hotel when we were there.  I took a few pictures.

Orchard and Scotts = Luxury Retailing Ground Zero

In Singapore, because I stayed right on Orchard and Scotts (one of the premium shopping locations) in Singapore, I encountered one of the most overwhelming branded luxury experiences every time I walked out the front door.  Honestly, even Fifth Avenue in New York does not compare.  Orchard Road is like a luxury brand magnet.  France's Hermes is one of the world's premier luxury brands.  Within a 0.5 mile radius of my hotel, I saw 5 Hermes stores. (there are 3 more in the Changi airport).  I never seen so many luxury stores in such a small area in my life.  (OK, I had my game face on and didn't take as many photos as I probably should have done of the shops...but check out ION Orchard or other people's photos for a sense of what I'm talking about.)

Other observations from Singapore worth noting:

  • Singapore traffic relies on something called the ERP (electronic road pricing) system.  If you want to drive in restricted (high traffic) areas during peak demand periods, you pay a variable fee.  I know that Singapore is a very expensive place to own a car, and I'm sure Singaporeans have their own views about this, but one thing I noticed was the complete lack of traffic jams.  

  • Food court trust system - people leave their cell phones on the table to reserve a seat.

  • Nice and clean subway system with air conditioning that works!

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