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Where to splash your cash in Singapore

Blasé about bubbly and too chi-chi for caviar? Here are the most over-the-top experiences money can buy

Live like royalty
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Live like royalty

The St Regis Singapore Presidential Suite
Damage: From $15,000 a night

The St Regis Singapore captures the epitome of opulence in its swish 335-sq-m presidential suite on its 20th floor. It’s the little things that count in the all-marble space: gold, cream and emerald accents complement touches of onyx and silver; works from famed artists the likes of Mark Tobey and Le Pho sit alongside Jim Thomson silken throw pillows; a hand-polished swing on the balcony overlooks the Botanic Gardens. And just so all bases are covered, you get a personal butler and executive chef with the suite – even a limo to charter you from the airport and back. Who says heaven’s not a (painfully pricey) place on Earth? 

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


The Vagabond  Executive Club Suite 

Damage: From $594 a night

Live it up for less in hôtel vagabond’s 64-sq-m, Parisian-chic executive club suite. Works of art are spread throughout your plush suite, where you can take a slow bath in the marble-and-glass mosaic bathroom, dry off with a Turkish towel and then sink into goose down pillows on your 400-thread-count, Egyptian cotton sheets.

All-access (almost) tours
Photo: Universal Studios Singapore
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All-access (almost) tours

Universal Studios Singapore VIP Tour
Damage: $228-$298

It’s not a VIP tour without the red carpet experience – and you’ll get no less during the five-hour guided tour at Universal Studios Singapore. There are free refreshments throughout and priority access to shows and rides like Revenge of the Mummy and Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs CYLON. Refuel at one of the theme park’s restaurants with your $25 F&B voucher before meeting Madagascar characters in a private meet-and-greet session. Each tour takes up to a group of 12, but a day’s notice is required. 

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


Zoo Wild Discoverer

Damage: $18 for kids, $28 for adults

If you’re after a more interactive experience beyond admiring lithe-limbed cats and agile primates from afar, the Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer tour is for you. With a buggy to ferry you around, observe invertebrates in the Fragile Forest, have a close encounter with snakes and lizards in the Reptile Garden, then feed baboons at the Great Rift Valley – over a hundred of them form the zoo’s Hamadryas baboon colony. 

Party on a yacht
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Party on a yacht

The Royal Albatross by Tall Ship
Damage: From $5,000 an hour

Wanna live la vida loca on the yacht used in The Dark Knight? Tall Ship’s four-masted vessel boasts 22 sails to support its 47m-long body – and it’ll cost ya. Depending on how large a group you’re looking at, a 2.5-hour sail for a hundred folks will set you back a cool $20,000 or more. At least it’s inclusive of a BBQ spread and drinks. For a less pricey sunset charter, the Royal Albatross is open to all on selected evenings from $145 a person, complete with a barbecue dinner, drinks and a live saxophonist to set the mood as you catch the sunset.

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


The Argon

Damage: From $1,200 for three hours and $2,000 for eight hours

For a party of up to 18, Oneº15 Marina Club’s catamaran promises a fancy day out at sea. Set sail for three hours from $1,200 on weekday mornings, or call the Argon yours for a day – well, almost – starting at $2,000 for an eight-hour charter. If your sea legs are up for it, make use of the ship’s leisure floats, stand-up paddles and towing donuts.

24K movie magic
Photo: Chris P
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24K movie magic

Arts House Screening Room
Damage: From $800 for four hours

Private theatre rentals are few and far between here, but a 75-seater cinema at The Arts House is a solid option: bookings come in four-hour slots, with subsequent hours pro-rated. Booking the space during off-peak hours – between 9am to 4pm on Mondays to Thursdays – sets you back around $800, and goes up to $1,800 from 4 to 10pm on Fridays to Sundays. Rentals are subject to the standard IMDA ratings and licensing fees, too, so make sure to block out the date up to two months prior. 

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


Golden Village Gold Class

Damage: $29 on weekdays, $39 on weekends

Get a taste of the atas life for less by putting up your feet at one of Golden Village’s Gold Class theatres, with leather recliner seats, pillows and throws, as well as in-seat dining and bar service so you won’t miss a second of your film fixing your popcorn craving. Be sure to reap the full benefits of your ticket by popping by the Gold Class Lounge before the movie.

Ride a supercar
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Ride a supercar

Ultimate Drive
Damage: $948 an hour

Be the envy of everyone else on the street when you take Ultimate Drive's most expensive ride – a $1.6 million Lamborghini Aventador – out for a spin. Put the pedal to the metal on the streets of Singapore, or if you prefer, allow one of the service’s professional drivers show you what the supercar can do.
THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


Ultimate Drive
Damage: $298 for 15 minutes

Instead of the full hour, have a taste of what it might be like to race like a Formula 1 driver in a Ferrari F1 Spider or Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. You’ll get to speed past Singapore’s F1 circuit during your session, taking the car from zero to 100km in four seconds. Unleash your inner speed demon and let adrenaline take over.

Go cocktail mad
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Go cocktail mad

Omakase cocktail menu
Damage: $150 for five courses

Hidden along an alley at the junction of Club Street and Ann Siang Hill, Operation Dagger is as mysterious as its moniker would suggest. The entrance – unwashed floor, plain glass door, illegible scribbling on the top – is so nondescript that even the building it’s in doesn’t have a name. While there are plenty of multi-sensory concoctions to choose from on the à la carte menu, treat yourself to the bar’s omakase menu. You’ll get five cocktails and a different snack paired with each, guaranteeing you won’t leave the bar sober.

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION
Campfire

Scent-based tipples

Damage: From $60 a person

Let Tippling Club's head bartender Joe Schofield pour you a drink from his Sensorium Menu, which emphasises scent over spirit. Cocktails like Campfire ($22) will remind you of barbecues with schoolmates, while Rain ($22) will trigger memories of running home during a sudden downpour – perfect talking points to go over during a date.

Shape up in style
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Shape up in style

Gravity Gym
Damage: Price upon request only

With club membership capped at 999 places, Gravity is the most exclusive gym in the city. And at 17,000 sq ft, one of the most spacious, too. The two-storey gym provides elevated views of Marina Bay and the CBD as you swim and rub shoulders with the corporate elites in the temperature-controlled outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. There’s even a ‘breeze-controlled’ yoga deck that channels the wind so you can hum your oms in comfort. As you’d expect, its indoor gym space is packed with cutting-edge cardio and strength equipment for personal training, and it offers a range of small group classes led by certified fitness coaches to complete the package.

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


VisionGym

Damage: From $85 a session

VisionGym specialises in Electric Muscle Stimulation training, where electric currents are used to stimulate your main muscle groups, activate blood circulation and enhance cell metabolism to build muscles and eliminate fat cells. The programme is simple: for the whole 20 minutes, you perform an exercise (say, a plank) while the current is turned on. And when it’s off, you take a breather.

Tress for success
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Tress for success

High Performance Transform Treatment
Damage: $230

Count on Blow+Bar’s High Performance Transform Treatment to tame the frizziest of manes. This six-step regime is touted as a ‘reconstructing treatment’, wielding top-tier Shiseido products to remove calcium build-up, improve texture and restore suppleness to coarse hair. The treatment finishes with triple coating to maintain results – and this is all before the actual blowout itself. 

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


Purifying Evian Blowout

Damage: $60-$70

Fancy washing your hair with bottles of Evian water? At PREP Luxe, you can – and you won’t even need to lift a finger. After a wash with Label M shampoos, a Mucota hair mask is applied to nourish your locks before impurities are washed out with Evian water. The therapists will even provide you with a chilled Evian mist to spritz on your face while your hair gets styled.

Best face forward
9/9

Best face forward

Celebrity Peel Facial
Damage: $945 for two hours

Why quaff collagen drinks when there are plenty of anti-ageing facials? Just shy of a cool four-digit sum, Celebrity Peel at Raffles Hotel’s Estheva is one of the most expensive facials around. It uses light microdermabrasion to remove the outer layer of dead skin before delivering an ample amount of collagen and – get this – essence of caviar into your skin to reduce fine lines, repairs scars and regenerate skin cells. With that hefty a price tag, instant gratification is, of course, a given: Estheva promises ‘highly visible difference’ after a single session. 

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION


La Mer Miracle Broth Facial

Damage: $480 for 90 minutes

Not a soup but an elixir, the La Mer Miracle Broth is deployed at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s spa to lock in moisture while soothing and brightening the skin. As the extract is slathered on your mug, therapists conduct a series of deep cleansing, massage, eye treatment and an ‘ice sequence’ to seal in all the benefits

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By: Natasha Hong

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