By John Wogan
July 08, 2020
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Courtesy of Raffles Singapore

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

It was a special year for Singapore’s hotel scene, thanks to the comeback of the island nation’s most iconic hotel, Raffles Singapore, which took top honors after a two-year renovation. T+L readers were excited about other properties, too, which balance the hyper-modernism as well as the colonial roots — and even longer history before that — of this Asian metropolis.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

At No. 4 this year, the Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a Neoclassical landmark in the central business district that’s within walking distance to sights like the National Gallery Singapore and Esplanade Park. Set in what was once the city’s main post office, the property’s 400 rooms, some of which have views of Marina Bay, exude a “unique ambience” with a neutral, serene color scheme, while the 25-meter (82-foot) swimming pool is the best spot to catch the sun setting over the Singapore River and the skyline. “You cannot beat the pool and view,” confirmed another reader.

At No. 3, and more resort than urban hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore comprises three main towers that hold a total of 792 rooms, two tennis courts, a massive swimming pool, an expansive spa — all amid 15 acres of verdant tropical gardens that feel far removed from the bustle of the downtown core (though the glittering shops of Orchard Road are a short walk away). One reader claimed that the “Shangri-La excelled in all areas. The entire staff was very attentive and caring.”

But none of them could compete with the Raffles. Read on for more about what made it the favorite and the full list of the best hotels in Singapore.

1. Raffles Singapore

Courtesy of Raffles Singapore

Score: 94.18

More information: raffles.com

The long-awaited reopening of Raffles Singapore was an important event in the city (so much so, it was the subject of a documentary, Raffles: Remaking an Icon, produced by Channel News Asia). And T+L readers who experienced the finished product were impressed enough to give it the top spot. “This property is so beautiful after its renovation,” said one voter. “Rooms were fantastic, and the famous Raffles Butler service lived up to the hype.” One thing that hasn’t changed much is the hotel’s historic Long Bar — it was here that the Singapore Sling cocktail (a mix of gin, pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao, and Bénédictine) was created in 1915.

2. Capella Singapore

Courtesy of Capella Singapore

Score: 92.84

More information: capellahotels.com

3. Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Score: 92.24

More information: shangri-la.com

4. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Courtesy of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Score: 92.19

More information: fullertonhotels.com

5. Fairmont Singapore

Masano Kawana/Courtesy of Accor

Score: 91.65

More information: fairmont.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.