At the InterContinental Singapore, concierge Syed Musaddiq taps into 15 years of experience to guide travelers to the best sights and tastiest meals in this Southeast Asian city-state. Here he offers advice for business travelers.
What should business travelers pack?
Pack light, loose clothing. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must. Bring shorts and T-shirts for casual outings, but pack lightweight pants or skirts, dress shirts and dress shoes for dining out; many restaurants have a dress code.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
All over the city, you’ll find chili crabs, hard-shell crabs cooked in a thick, spicy-sweet tomato and chili gravy. I recommend trying this Singaporean favorite at Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant (No. 01-09, One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road; Ph: +65 6336 8118). The restaurant is at Marina Bay and offers a spectacular view of the Singapore River. Chop Suey Café (Block 10, Dempsey Road, No. 01-23; Ph: +65 9224 6611) at Dempsey Hill focuses on Anglo-Chinese inspired by the culinary team’s travels around the globe. It’s a family-style dining experience in what was once was an army barrack during British colonial days. Many buildings in the area have been converted to trendy restaurants, bars and shops.
What’s one thing that always surprises guests about your hotel?
Guests are always pleasantly surprised to discover our complimentary weekly Heritage Trail walking tour. We lead guests through the cultural district, pointing out historic sights and telling stories of Singapore’s rich past.
If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see in your city?
In three or four hours, visitors can see several highlights. Start with a visit to the statue of the Merlion, an icon of Singapore. It’s a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish. Taking a photo with the Merlion is a must-do for visitors. At Merlion Park, you can hop on a 40-minute cruise of the Singapore River to learn about its historical importance to the city. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The garden, established in 1859, reflects the city’s English influences. It also contains one of the world’s largest collections of orchids.
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise in your city?
A jog around Marina Bay is scenic, as well as invigorating. You’ll pass the Merlion, Esplanade Theatres On The Bay, the Helix Bridge, the ArtScience Museum and Marina Bay Sands. For more meditative exercise, try an outdoor yoga session at Gardens by the Bay or the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Concierge Syed Musaddiq’s top tips for getting business right in Singapore: