If your visual thoughts of Singapore are resolutely urban, then you’ll no doubt be glad to learn that there is a beach. Sentosa Island, about 25 minutes by car from Orchard Road, and best known mainly for such dubious pleasures as the Universal Studios theme park and a vast casino (although I’d love to visit the soon-to-open Marine Park) also has some okay beaches.
Tanjong Beach is one of the furthest along, and really needs a car to visit, although you can get a bus and then walk. I’m a fan of the booking a cab route myself. The stretch of sand is attractive, but the tankers visible off shore don’t make a dip in the water an alluring prospect.
If like me, you can’t sit in the sun, ever, do bear in mind that the only shade on offer is at and outside the Tanjong Beach Club itself, an elegant structure containing a smart restaurant serving the kind of modern international food that is the same the world over – brunch and risotto, roast chicken, goats cheese salad etc etc, with an open bar outside with stools and an awning.
There are a few loungers and double beds with umbrellas, which are mainly used as a base for some serious preening by the party people, hard by the (very small) rectangular pool which is filled with raucous splashy drinkers, amorous couples and a few kids. It’s quite a scene with house music pumping through the speakers: not quite Nikki Beach Miami or Ibiza’s Jockey Club, but a pretty fair pint-sized facsimile. Book a lounger or large bed at least a week in advance and go party on a Sunday with friends in the sunshine.
However, if you are like me & cross-eyed with jetlag, wanting just to read a book under an umbrella and drink watermelon juice I’d give it a miss and stay at your hotel. With nowhere to sit but unshaded sand in the lee of the manic Sunday afternoon party scene, I went for a walk along the beach instead which was glorious about 6pm, as the sun began to set and cast shadows along the water.