The new Asia – a blend of slick glittering super-cities, brimming with life and a rich tapestry of culture and history, palpable at every turn, with awe-inspiring nature, friendly people and locally and internationally fused cuisine definitely worth writing home about. Experience it all with this incredible trip from Singapore, modern with its hint of colonial history, across the South China Sea to Manila’s most exciting district, Makati and lay your head every night in luxurious Raffles hotels, a piece of history in themselves.
SINGAPORE SLINGS AND SENTOSA
Raffles Singapore is the birthplace of the infamous Singapore Sling cocktail, mixed for the first time in its institutional Long Bar almost a century ago, so waste no time in sampling the original and best upon arrival on your suite’s veranda, overlooking the outstanding city skyline. While away the afternoon in the shops of Orchard Road and for dinner, help yourself to a serving of Singapore history with a meal in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel’s renowned Tiffin Room. The following day, see the spectacularly futuristic ‘supertrees’ of the Gardens by the Bay and then witness the previous British military fortress of Sentosa Island, now home to golden beaches, thriving forests and a sky tower granting amazing views as far as Malaysia and Indonesia.
On your final day, meander the streets of China Town and Little India, neighbourhoods full of spice markets, street food stalls and eastern promise, before returning to the hotel to take the infamous high tea in signature Raffles palatial grandeur. And to put the cherry on top of a day well-spent, retreat to the spa for a rejuvenating treatment to prepare you for the second instalment of your Asian adventure.
MAKE WAY FOR MANILA
A destination often overlooked on most travellers itineraries; Manila is a truly teeming Asian metropolis that offers a vast amount to discover. Holing up at the elegant Raffles Hotel Makati you’re in the right spot to explore this fascinating city from the old capital of Manila dating from 1571 to Fort Santiago, built in memory of those lost during the Spanish and Japanese periods. Or pay a visit to the Ayala Museum, full of art and heritage that traces the rich tapestry of Filipino history.
Spend a leisurely afternoon, shopping for local wicker and wooden handicrafts or take a tour of the incredible art collection on display at Raffles, showcasing the richness of Philippine history and culture and blurring the lines between hotel and top-class contemporary art museum.
BREAK FROM THE CITY
Time to head for Tagaytay, the Phillipine’s much-loved summer capital, carpeted in lush green woodland and offering an ideal viewpoint of Manila Bay, Laguna de Bay and the iconic Taal Volcano – the unique volcano both on a lake and with one in its centre makes for a compelling sight. Follow up with lunch of equally incredible proportions at Antonio’s, a Black Tomato favourite, where Filipino flavour reaches new heights – sit in the garden for a side of added ambience.
Fill your final days with champagne dinners at Raffles’ sparkling Spectrum restaurant, spa treatments at the Willow Stream and some pearl shopping in Makati – the beautiful golden South Sea pearls give souvenirs a good name, in our humble opinion. End on a high note with high tea at the Writers Bar, a library-style setting perfect for reflecting on a week experiencing the side of South-East Asia that everyone will be soon talking about.