Intro – Building A Trip To Singapore And Thailand Around A Major Devaluation
Part 1: Getting To Singapore The Long Way
Part 2: The Singapore Do
Part 3: Tumultuous Thailand – Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, And Krabi
Part 4: At Long Last – My Ride Home Up Front In Singapore Suites
I had stayed at the Conrad Singapore one time before, en route to The Maldives, so knew it was pretty easy to get to via the airport train. Immigration was fast as usual, and after hitting up an ATM, I purchased a one way ticket that would take me all the way there. Subway stop ‘Promenade’ is almost directly across from the hotel and is ultra convenient. The trip took about 30 minutes.
The hotel is old school luxurious, meaning its not very modern in decor though everything was of high quality and in good working order, if not a bit dated. It’s also in a great location, a few minutes walk away from the Marina Bay waterfront promenade and ultra touristy Marina Sands hotel. With the subway stop so close, its not a problem to get anywhere. On a previous visit to Singapore, I had stayed close to Orchard Road and I preferred this area. Overall, a good value at 50k Hilton Honors points per night (less with the post deval and now reasonably useless AXON award.)
I was given a standard room on a club floor, thanks to my diamond status. It wasn’t as nice as the corner room I’d had on the previous visit, but still large and comfortable, with a nice view of the waterfront.
The bathroom was huge, with separate shower and tub. There was also a club lounge on the top floor which served beverages throughout the day and evening snacks at night. Breakfast was served either in the club lounge (if you had access) or in the hotel ground floor restaurant. As a diamond guest, breakfast is always included in my stay, and it was one of the best and most extensive that I’ve ever had.
After collapsing for a good night’s rest, I awoke the next day to join my Frequent Flyer friends, many of whom were staying the Conrad, for the first of several activities planned for the gathering. First up was a meeting at the Singapore Airlines headquarters at Changi for a special private tour, including the flight attendant training center.
We had been pre-screened for this event, and at the entrance gate, had to trade our passports for special badges that would get us admitted to the building. Given that all in our aviation geek group was about to experience a little bit of airline HQ heaven, no one minded in the slightest!
We met our host in the lobby. It was full of glass cases with various displays of items from past and present. One had “Singapore Girl” uniforms throughout the years displayed.
First up, we would be meeting with the VP of Public Affairs, who would give us an amazing overview of the airline, including current challenges, strategy and plans for the future. The presentation was interesting and informative and provided a great lead in to the next portion of the tour.
We passed all kinds of interesting monitors, which help employees gauge performance in real time. This one calculated passenger and cargo loads.
After the excellent business overview, we got to tour the flight attendant training center.
There was an a380 suites class trainer, which was especially exciting since I’d be flying in one on the way home!
Service and safety are top priority for this premium airline, and they take it very seriously which was very apparent during this visit. We got to test opening the emergency evacuation door though no one volunteered to test out a water ditch!
We sadly didn’t get to slide down the evacuation slides this time (like I got to do on the One World Megado at DFW AA headquarters) but it was fun to watch the future flight attendants training on them.
After finishing up, many went out for a late lunch. Still a little jet lagged, I headed back to the hotel to relax before a dinner gathering that evening.
The following day, several people took a day trip to Malaysia while others stayed local, enjoying a group lunch followed by exploration around the city. I opted for the latter and an early night, spending some quiet time in the club lounge and amazing Conrad roof top pool.
After a nice breakfast with fellow mileage junkies at the Conrad, we headed over to the National Orchid Garden to meet up with the rest of the group before having lunch. I would have never considered a visit on my own, but it was truly beautiful and definitely worth the time spent.
Weather conditions in Singapore are perfect for orchids, and the variety of flowers, plants and colors in the garden was truly stunning.
We followed the visit to the orchid gardens with a trip to a hole in the wall, local restaurant for an amazing Singaporean fusion meal and great company. It was one of the best meals I’d ever had, and cost almost nothing.
After lunch, I headed back to the hotel to prepare for my trip the following day to Thailand. Later, several of us met up in the lounge for a fun night of drinks, snacks and miles and points chats lasting into the night. I was in heaven.
NEXT – Part 3: Tumultuous Thailand – Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, And Krabi