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Adventure Asia Destinations Lifestyle Singapore

Unique Accommodations in Singapore to Stay At

Why spend so much on accommodation when you’re going to be out for most of the day anyway?

We won’t be surprised if the above sentence is something that has crossed many a traveller’s mind. Indeed, many travellers look at their accommodation as just a place to stay, simply as a place to keep their belongings and spend the night. However, why not take it up a notch and turn your accommodation into part of the experience?

Look beyond the usual plain vanilla hotel rooms and take your pick from these unique accommodations to jazz up your stay – or a staycation for the locals! – the next time you’re in Singapore:

1. Ocean Suites, Equarius Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa

rwsentosa, Instagram

There’s just something about the depths of the ocean that enthralls people of all ages. Fitted with a giant floor-to-ceiling panel that looks out into the world’s largest aquarium exhibit, the Ocean Suites Resorts World Sentosa offers you the chance to have this underwater wonderland all to yourself — even for just one night!

Lounge in bed and watch fishes of all colours, as well as giant manta rays and hammerhead sharks, swim lazily by. If you’d like, you can even convert the floor in front of the glass panel into a bathtub. Doing so is easy; just call the butler who will be at your beck and call 24/7. The suite also comes with a second floor, which comes equipped with a living area and a jacuzzi. 

2. Glamping

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A combination of the words ‘glamourous and ‘camping’ — glamping is a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. Simply put, glamping is for those that love the outdoors, but not so much the actual process of camping. D.I.Y. tents, sleeping bags, and solid fuel are replaced with spacious tents that offer most of the usual creature comforts — actual beds, cushions, a minibar and more — all draped generously in twinkling fairy lights. Don’t worry about the heat, most tents come with huge fans and the ones from Glamping Society are even air-conditioned!

There are many glamping companies in Singapore — Glamping Society, GlampingCity, Wondrous Glampers, just to name a few — that will do all the setting up for you; all you have to do is to turn up and enjoy. Choose from queen-sized or single beds, an additional picnic set-up, a five-course dinner by candlelight, or even a movie screen with a speaker for your very own ‘Movie Under the Stars’ experience. 

3. Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong

hotelindigokatongsg, Instagram

Travel back in time to the Singapore of yesteryear at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong, a Peranakan-themed hotel nestled deep in the Joo Chiat heritage district. The murals in the rooms take centre stage, revolving around detailed depictions of Singapore’s streets and its hawkers. Everything is according to theme: a carrom board functions as a coffee table, with the bathroom decked out in intricate Peranakan tiles, complete with the basin sitting atop a sewing-machine base. 

Batik print from sarong kebayas and tiles adorn the wall behind the reception desk, complementing the ornate marble floor and a wall peppered with ventilation holes — a feature that’s characteristic of old Peranakan shophouses. Indulge in a languid swim in the infinity pool, which boasts unobstructed views of the area. Take your time to explore the surrounding district as well; Joo Chiat is the first designated Heritage Town in Singapore and is a treasure trove of colourful shophouses, street art, coffee shops, and more. 

4. Treetop Lofts

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Go back to nature at Resort World Sentosa’s Treetop Lofts, which offer some much-needed respite from the urban jungle of Singapore. There are only two of such lofts, each nestled 12 metres above ground within a lush forest canopy. Each loft has a bedroom, living room and bathroom — on top of a sprawling 90-square-metre outdoor terrace. Kick back with a steaming cup of tea, keep your eyes peeled for the surrounding wildlife, take a deep breath, and enjoy being in the midst of all that nature. The terrace also makes for a splendid sunset spot, complete with panoramic views of Sentosa and Mount Faber.

To top it all off, the ceilings of the loft measure at around 5 to 6 metres high, making you feel as if you’ve got your very own rustic palace in the sky. The Treetop Lofts are located a short distance away from the Equarius Hotel, but free buggy rides are available as and when you wish.

Indeed, a fun and quirky accommodation can make all the difference to your holiday. There’s bound to be something that’ll suit your fancy; other than the options above, how about The Pod Singapore, a boutique capsule hotel, or Hotel Re!, a retro-themed hotel?

This way, you can turn every bit of your holiday into an experience. And for the locals, what better way is there to escape reality than with a staycation that’s, may we say, rather extraordinary?

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Adventure Destinations Europe Lifestyle

Hello, Adventure: 5 Unique Things to Do in Iceland

Stepping into the landscapes of Iceland feels like tumbling headfirst into a rabbit hole — onto another planet altogether. Boasting otherworldly scenery filled with ethereal formations, Iceland is a destination fit for the history books. 

And in a country as incredible as this, Iceland is naturally bursting with unique activities for travellers seeking a generous dose of adventure. Check these off your bucket list the next time you’re in the country:

1. Snorkel between 2 tectonic plates

travelynns/Instagram

Thingvellir National Park is one of the stops on the popular Golden Circle route, which can easily be covered on a day trip from Reykjavik. Nestled within the park is ‘Silfra’, a rift created between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in 1789. This fissure measures 600 by 200 metres, creating a passage that’s wide enough for divers and snorkelers to pass through.

That’s right, here’s your chance to actually dive or snorkel between two tectonic plates! Silfra is filled with water from the Langjokull glacier, which is said to be some of the clearest water in the world. This allows for underwater visibility of up to 100 metres, with water temperatures remaining between a comfortable two to four degrees celsius all year round. 

2. Hike across a massive glacier

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Did you know that more than 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers? A glacier forms when multiple layers of snow are compressed to form colossal blocks of ice — in a process that takes thousands of years. 

Strap on a pair of crampons, arm yourself with an ice axe, and make your way across sprawling blue fields and deep crevasses. If you wish, you can even sample some of the clear glacial water found in chasms along the surface of the ice. Don’t worry, this water is completely safe for consumption! Complete your adventure by venturing into the depths of an ice cave; however, do note that Ice Cave season only starts at the beginning of winter (start of November).

3. Walk amongst icebergs at the Diamond Beach

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In Iceland, diamonds are everyone’s best friend. And the country’s home to some of the best diamonds around — which come in the form of countless chunks of ice that sparkle in the sunlight! These ice pieces break off from a nearby glacier and land in the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, before floating out to sea and washing ashore at the Breioamerkursandur Black Beach. 

The beach is dotted with numerous wedges of ice in all shapes and sizes, colloquially earning it the nickname of the ‘Diamond Beach’. Take your time to wander amongst the pieces of ice and even clamber onto some huge ones — at your own risk! — for the photo opportunity of a lifetime. If you’d like, you can even head across the road to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, where you can take a boat ride around the lagoon.

4. Watch a geyser erupt 40 metres into the air

E-lyn Tham

Spanning an area of 3 square kilometres, the Geysir Geothermal Area is a fascinating hive of activity. Wander around and feast your eyes on numerous steaming pools and bubbling fumaroles, complete with jets of steam and a cloud of mist that envelops the area. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the Strokkur Geyser, which erupts in intervals of 10 minutes or so. When this happens, a large volume of water is thrown up into the air, reaching a staggering height of 40 metres! Do take caution not to stand too close, however; the temperature of the water ranges between 80 to 100 degrees celsius.

5. Explore an 8,000-year-old lava tube

E-lyn Tham

Conduct your very own ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ at Vatnshellir Cave, which inspired Jules Verne’s 1864 novel of the same name! Located within Snaefellsjokull National Park, the 8,000 year-old-Vatnshellir Cave invites visitors to explore its depths — a whopping 35 metres underground.

Arm yourself with a helmet and headlight, and follow your guide as he enthralls you with tales and information about the various lava formations. Spot all types of stalactites or stalagmites and, at one point of the tour, even experience what it’s like to be enveloped in sheer darkness. The tour does require clambering up and down a couple of metal staircases; a certain level of fitness is hence required for this experience. 

Other than the above, there’s plenty in Iceland to entice visitors of all ages — ride a horse through lava fields, pamper yourself by soaking in a geothermal lagoon, walk behind thundering waterfalls, and even go on a thrilling Northern Lights chase. 

The list goes on and on; all you need is a hunger for adventure, as well as the willingness to put yourself outside your comfort zone, and you’ll be all set!