Is Singapore the next Las Vegas or Dubai? New mega-resorts, iconic buildings, and over-the-top entertainment are shaking up the destination's staid reputation. And in 2010, Singapore will host the first Youth Olympic Games.
Three massive projects are set to open in 2010. A major Las Vegas developer has reached a golden finger across the Pacific to create the Marina Bay Sands, the first casino and resort in Singapore. The resort, set to open this winter, includes three hotel towers topped by a "sky park" with gardens, 360-degree views, restaurants, and a swimming pool. The resort will also house a museum, whose architecture was inspired by the shape of a lotus blossom, as well as a mall with shops, restaurants, cafes, and an indoor canal.
Across from the Marina Bay Sands, big things are afoot at the Fullerton Heritage Complex, a massive waterfront dining, entertainment, and hotel development. In early 2010, the new boutique Fullerton Bay Hotel will join the refurbished luxury Fullerton Hotel in offering waterfront accommodations close to downtown.
Also opening early in 2010 is Resorts World at Sentosa, a family-centric destination island with a Universal Studios theme park and the world's largest oceanarium. Hotels on the island will include a Hard Rock Hotel and the Michael-Graves' designed Hotel Michael.
An entire island of entertainment won't be the only thing to draw families to Singapore this year. In August, the destination will host the first Youth Olympic Games, drawing young athletes from around the world to compete in 26 events, including track, gymnastics, and swimming. Nearly 400,000 tickets, priced to be affordable, will go on sale in March. Each ticket includes a free day of travel on Singapore's public transportation system.
Visitors looking to stopover in Singapore this winter can check out Singapore Air's Stopover special, which includes accommodations and dining discounts, plus attraction and transportation passes.
If you have ideas for things your fellow travelers might enjoy in Singapore, please feel free to add them to the comments below.