This is why Singapore’s City Hall area is hotter than ever

There’s lots of stuff to check out at the City Hall area, with local designers setting up shop, new restaurants, and museums and galleries pulling out all the stops. We give you the lowdown on what’s cool in the area:

1. It’s got a new and Instagrammable hotel

, This is why Singapore’s City Hall area is hotter than ever

Designed by architectural firm Foster+Partners with interiors by the well-known French designer Philippe Starck, the 654-room hotel The South Beach is filled with quirky designs. While the rooms are mostly decked in white, Starck’s touches include some brightly colored cushions inspired by artist Joan Miro and a striking black and white carpet. The interiors are peppered with Moroccan-style lamps and other Middle Eastern-inspired furniture, as well as a colorful video mural. There are also two sky gardens, two infinity pools and fun restaurants and bars like Vatos Urban Tacos and The Armoury.

2. Local labels are settling in for the long haul

, This is why Singapore’s City Hall area is hotter than ever

Elohim by Sabrina Goh

Local fashion designer Sabrina Goh has now set up shop at Capitol Piazza. While the store concept hasn’t changed much from her previous branch at Orchard (think minimalist decor, with racks of the brand’s Elohim and Light labels), there are a few other independent lifestyle brands stocked there. Skincare labels Rough Beauty and Frank Skincare, desginer eyewear brand Karen Walker and stationery specialist The Paper Bunny are just a few names on the list. There’s also Supermama @ Esplanade, with products that re similar to the Singapore Art Museum. so you’ll still find home decor items and the store’s signature ceramic ware featuring graphics of Singapore icons. 

3. Bali’s famous rib restaurant is arriving

, This is why Singapore’s City Hall area is hotter than ever

Ubud’s famous eatery specializing in fork-tender barbecue pork ribs and proper martinis is opening shop any day now at Capitol Piazza, promising casual, communal Indonesian barbecue and allegedly the best martinis in the world. Keep tabs on their FB page, because opening is imminent.

4. The National Gallery now does concerts

, This is why Singapore’s City Hall area is hotter than everNational Gallery Singapore

The hottest opening in recent memory, National Gallery Singapore just announced that i’ll be doing concerts on Fridays, 2pm at the courtyard witih the gallery. Great for a long lunch break from the office. And if you still haven’t been yet, it’s not too late to do a guided tour for free: the building highlights tour starts at 11am daily, the DBS Singapore Gallery tour starts at 2pm, the UOB Southeast Asia Highlights tour starts at 3:30pm, and the last two tours, Beauty Beyond Form and After The Rain (showing work by Chinese ink painters Wu Guangzhong and Chua Ek Kay), start at 4:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

5. And of course the new galleries at the ACM

, This is why Singapore’s City Hall area is hotter than everKwek Hong Png Wing, Asian Civilisations Museum

The first phase of the ACM’s revamp is done, with the addition of two new wings – the three-storey Kwek Hong Png Wing, and the Riverfront Wing where the Khoo Teck Puat Gallery is located. Among the exhibits are a few on trade, including one of a Tang century shipwreck, one about Chinese porcelain, Indian textiles and furniture and another one about Southeast Asia as a global trading herb. Apart from trade, the other exhibits show the different religions that pervade throughout the region. History nerds, get ready.