We were quite nervous about the traffic going into Singapore last Saturday, but taking the Second Link proved to be the right decision. It was pretty smooth going in, although it poured heavily as we got to the immigrations.
The AYE then took us all the way to the city, and ultimately our hotel of choice, the Novotel Clarke Quay at River Valley Road. Yup, instead of staying in the heart of the city, I decided on Novotel knowing how it can get really happening by the river, especially on the eve of a big holiday.
I had booked the room through an online service, and more good news came when we checked in: our room had been upgraded! : ) It was a decent-sized room with a nice bed, big TV and a great view.
I would recommend this hotel if you're down in Singapore the next time around. Service was overall very good, there's also the complimentary use of Macs at with wi-fi at the lobby, and if you're driving, you can easily park the car next door at Liang Court. Everything's downstairs as well; Starbucks, supermarket, McD and other makan places, and even the Singapore River Cruise!
After freshening up a bit, we drove to Orchard Road (where else?) to soak in the holiday atmosphere and do a bit of shopping. And also to get wet, apparently. Yup, Singapore's been at the receiving end of more-than-usual-rainfall, and in fact, just a couple of days before we got there, flashfloods had disrupted some businesses here.
So yeah, we had to move about while covering our heads with our hands, but it wasn't too bad lah. What was quite "bad" was the over-crowding. Understandably, people were doing their last minute X'Mas shopping, so everywhere was really packed. But the bargains were quite good, and we left with more than a few bags in our hands : )
Dinner was back at Clarke Quay. As expected, the place was pretty happening and festive, despite the rain coming down again.
We had a look around and settled with Bayang, a Balinese makan place. Food was pretty good (especially the sup sapi!), and it was cool to just sit down and people-watch.
After more photo-snapping, we went back to the hotel to chill before my Day To Remember : )