Singapore continues to reinvent itself

SINGAPORE – The 272-square-mile island between Malaysia and Indonesia may seem to look very small on the map, but this bustling metropolitan area keeps on growing each day. Singapore’s perpetual state of transformation has fueled economic growth and sustainable development. A favorable tropical climate, with English as the most widely-spoken language; an impressive unemployment rate, as low as 2%; coupled with towering skyscrapers serving as a backdrop, one definitely gets the “big” impression.

Welcome to the Lion City.

eTN Chatroom: Discuss with readers from around the world:

This ever-morphing city state in Southeast Asia, after gaining its independence from Malaysia in 1965, has become one of the world’s leading financial centers and is known as a world-class transportation hub.

The money-making image has enticed many foreigners from all over the world to consider looking for work here or even creating one. As the ballooning population of job seekers and entrepreneurs increase in number, so do the tourism figures.

Another interesting fact to look at is that these travelers are seeking a different kind of x-factor feel in making their stay a pleasant one as well as cost effective and comfortable. A recent jaunt to Singapore revealed a discovery of new architectural havens, distinct enough to cater to travelers and similar.

Those havens take on many forms – some as green and lofty office blocks, or transportation hubs such as the latest terminal additions at Changi Airport or in certain instances, new and avant-garde hotels. The common denominator among all these structures would be in creating a lasting impression through innovation and design. This fuels up the magnetic attraction for both tourists from the corporate coat-and-tie class to exploratory backpackers.

Under the hotel category, a relative newcomer, The Forest by Wangz is just the perfect fit to the puzzle. Characterized as an “urban oasis,” it literally looks as if it is in a tropical rainforest, which as General Manager John MacNeill says, “The design of the building was to replicate the sculptural form of the tropical rainforest. On the surface, like a hotel, this serviced apartment provides weekly and long-term stays. There is a push here in showcasing specially-commissioned artworks which reflect a passion for blending art and nature.”

Its older counterpart, Wangz Hotel, which proudly stands in the heart of the eclectic neighborhood of Tiong Bahru, is a trailblazer in its own right. Its striking barrel-like figure made of glass, supported by a dramatic metal cladding, this boutique hotel does know how to play its cards right.

As today’s discerning travelers look avidly for new destinations, not only limiting themselves in choosing the best shopping bargain or the finest three-star restaurants, they also yearn for that home away from home. The same can be said for the hospitality industry in opening their doors to new ideas. In a busy city like Singapore, it pays to know where to go and where to stay.

The introduction of a new type of service through residential accommodation with an edgy touch and eye-catching infrastructure adds irresistible flavor to Singapore’s hotel scene. For hoteliers, whether big or small, keeping abreast of this kind of demand, is a challenge. A taste to a cooler vibe, great architecture and green spaces is refreshing. Surprisingly, the island of Singapore may look small, but it actually looks bigger when viewed from the inside. Travelers to Singapore get to take a bite of this impression.

Jan Sevilla is a quixotic nomadic chick from the Philippines with some difficulty of having her subject agree to her verb. She is forever 25. Convinced herself that she is alive but half-asleep or half-noticing as the years fly, no matter how oxygenated the blood that flows in her brain. Catch more of her travel murmurs at :