1) The South Beach

Bright pops of colour and a trippy elevator ride are among the first things to greet you at The South Beach, where guest rooms are a haven within the city. The walls are decked in cool muted tones to inspire calmness, while floor-to-ceiling windows let in soothing natural light.

Keep an eye out for furniture pieces by acclaimed designer Philippe Starck, like the sofa and touch-sensitive desk lamp in the premier suite. 30 Beach Road.

(Related: Chief of The South Beach, Aloysius Lee, talks about the importance of social spaces in hotels)

Top food picks in the neighbourhood:

Vatos Urban Tacos
This hip Mexican-fusion Seoul import does tacos and quesadillas with a Korean touch. Try the Korean pork belly taco, where the meat is marinated with ssamjang aioli and gochujang. 36 Beach Road.

Taking the helm at new cocktail bar Vanity is American bartender Ricky Paiva, a familiar face for regulars of Regent Singapore’s Manhattan Bar. Sip on fashion-inspired cocktails like No.5: a vodka, champagne and lavender syrup mix that takes its cue from, well, Chanel, of course. 38 Beach Road.

The modern Indian restaurant has moved from Duxton Hill to the National Gallery, where chef Abhijit Saha continues to deconstruct Indian food and surprise us with items such as kerala vegetable istew espuma and kasoori methi seared foie gras. #01-03 National Gallery Singapore, 1 Saint Andrews Road.

2) Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

The newly refurbished Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is an island getaway close to home. Boasting direct access to Tanjong Beach, the property features four private villas that come equipped with Illy coffee makers and Hermes toiletries.
The resort is also home to Sofitel’s largest So Spa, with a New Zealandic mud pool that returns the glow to the dullest of skins. 2 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa.

Top food picks in the neighbourhood:

Avenue Joffre
Resorts World Sentosa’s newest establishment serves a mix of Cantonese, Sichuan and Shanghai cuisine. This means a good variation of soup dumplings, Szechuanstyle poached fi sh in chilli oil and dim sum staples like baked pork buns and roast meats. #02-137/139 Resorts World Sentosa.

Il Lido at The Cliff
Restaurateur Beppe de Vito’s iconic brand has found a new home at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, and continues to dish up authentic Italian dishes like kurobuta pork Milanese and grilled octopus with Roman artichokes.

&Made Burger Bistro L’Entrecote Express
This burger and steak concept might have moved from the city to Sentosa, but signature items like the B Burger remains the same with a juicy patty topped with comte cheese and caper mayo. There’s also a more straightforward option of ordering sliced entrecote with a side of frites. #01-03 Quayside Isle, 31 Ocean Way.

3) The Club Hotel

Newly revamped boutique hotel The Club on Ann Siang Road recaptures old world charm with dark wood furnishings and low lights in all-day dining restaurant Mr & Mrs Maxwell and whisky bar B28, where you get to sip on exclusive Scottish single malts like a 33-year-old Highland Park (we hear there are only eight bottles left in the world).

(Related: Japanese and Indian whiskies might be gaining popularity now, but Scotch isn’t going anywhere)

All 20 rooms here are furnished with a plush Hypnos bed – which has a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II herself – and stacks of classic literature for bedtime reading. Have breakfast wheeled up to your room on a trolley and get served in bed for an extra treat. 28 Ann Siang Road.

Top food picks in the neighbourhood:

For some casual Asian fare, hit up Tapow for the likes of rendang burger and ayam penyet served in a tiffin carrier. 19 Ann Siang Road.

Bird Bird
Don’t let the seedy decor and colourful milk crate seats fool you. This self-proclaimed house of Thai chicken does a mean coconut cream burrata served on crispy wonton skins and a fried chicken skin coconut sundae. 18 Ann Siang Road.

Tong Heng
An oldie but a goodie, join the long queue at this confectionery for traditional egg tarts that have a sweet custardy centre and buttery rich crust. 285 South Bridge Road.

4) Hotel Vagabond

Adding a touch of luxe to the gritty district of Little India is art-centric Hotel Vagabond, where provocative art and animal sculptures decorate the plush scarlet and gold lobby.

Even the elevator is designed to entertain, with a video installation by Milan-born artist Marco Brambilla that scrolls horizontally to reveal film characters from different periods.

(Related: More hotels are jazzing up their elevators to entertain guests)

The 42-room boutique hotel is also the first to have an artist-in-residence programme. 39 Syed Alwi Road.

Top food picks in the neighbourhood:

This quirky outfi t owned by chef-couple Petrina Loh and Bryan Chia serves dishes meant for sharing. Order the octopus squid ink risotto with salted egg sauce and the umesake braised short-rib. 35 Mayo Street.

(Related: Petrina Loh and Bryan Chia were Gourmet & Travel’s chefs to watch)

Red Eye Smokehouse
Here is where secondary cuts like brisket and shortrib come to be smoked for long hours at low heat for a fall-apart texture. For dessert, get the maple honey cornbread, a dense slice of sweet goodness. 1 Cavan Road.

5th Quarter
Located in the lobby of Hotel Vagabond, this restaurant by Unlisted Collection does a good job with cured meats. The charcuterie platter, salt and pepper tripe and Anzac biccies served at the end of the meal are worth not leaving the hotel for.

(Related: The Peak reviews the food and drinks at 5th Quarter)