Every month, the Spirited Singapore team curates some of the more eye-catching news in drinks, dining and travel in our part of the world. Here’s our April 2024 edition, which features quite a number of new hotel openings.

Travel continues to be increasingly bullish, if what we’re reading from press releases are anything to go by. In our last Dispatches edition we saw how air travel routes – cancelled during the COVID pandemic – have been reinstated. That trend continues.

The hotel and hospitality sectors as well. New hotel openings, for example. Construction of new properties – and refurbishment of older ones – that stalled during the global pandemic have begun to come online, adding a myriad of new accommodations to travel destinations around Asia. Many of them offer new dining and nightlife options, adding fresh vibrancy to cities that look to attract more travellers.

These and more in our April news roundup.

News & Events

  • Asia’s 50 Best Bars makes a return to Hong Kong

50 Best has announced that Hong Kong will be the host country for Asia’s 50 Best Bars this year, as it was last year. The highly anticipated ninth edition of the annual Asia’s 50 Best Bars list will be revealed at a live awards ceremony on 16 July in collaboration with destination partner Hong Kong Tourism Board. Revellers in Hong Kong can expect an entire slate of bartender guest shifts and other cocktail activations at bars across the island leading up to and after the official ceremony.

  • The MICHELIN Guide extends Vietnam footprint to include Da Nang

The MICHELIN Guide has announced that it will be Da Nang to its extensive gourmet city guides. This comes after the gastronomic directory’s successful entry into Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi last year. The acclaimed tourist destination is widely considered the seat of central Vietnamese cuisine and boasts a lively fine dining scene. MICHELIN Guide inspectors are currently on the ground, and the results are expected to be released this June.

  • Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy named The Best Bar In North America

World’s 50 Best recently unveiled their 2024 list for North America’s 50 Best Bars. Hidden bar Handshake Speakeasy from Mexico City took top honours, while New York bars took four spots in the top 10, with Superbueno, Overstory, Martiny’s and Double Chicken Please taking the second, third, fourth, and seventh spot respectively and cementing the Big Apple as a cocktail capital. Then there’s Toronto’s Civil Liberties, which at No.21 is Canada’s best bar.

87 Club Street Pasta & Grill - main dining room

Drinks & Dining

  • L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele comes to town

Napoli institution L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele, one of the world’s oldest pizzerias, has opened a Singapore outpost at newly-opened Mercure ICON Singapore City Centre. Pizza lovers can not only expect their legendary Neapolitan pies such as Margherita and Marinara, but also many other classic Italian favourites from a range of pastas to a swathe of appetisers such as fritto di mare and burratta alla puttanesca.

  • 87 Club Street is now 87 Club Street Pasta & Grill

What was wine bar 87 Club Street – previously Club Street Wine Room – is now 87 Club Street Pasta & Grill. Chef-owner Andrew Walsh – who is also behind Michelin-starred Irish restaurant Cure – looks to elevate the previous wine-centric venue with more gastronomic options, particularly popular pasta dishes as well as offerings from the grill. Wine lovers, don’t fret. Expect the focus on wine to continue, including an extended wine-by-the-glass list. 87 Club Street Pasta & Grill is located at, well, 87 Club Street.

Air Canada Water Salute Ceremony
[Photo credit: Changi Airport Group]


  • Emirates restarts daily direct flights between Singapore and Phnom Penh

World’s largest international airline Emirates will be bringing back daily flights between Singapore and Phnom Penh from 1 May 2024, boosting its Southeast Asian connectivity to and from Dubai. The service will be operated with a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with a conveniently timed schedule, providing optimal connecting opportunities from key points in Europe and the United States including Paris, Lyon, Nice, London Heathrow, Boston, and New York.

  • Air Canada inaugurates Singapore – Vancouver route

Direct travel to Canada just got a little bit easier. Air Canada has this month launched a non-stop international flight from Singapore to Vancouver – the only non-stop flight between the Lion City and Canada – running four times weekly all year round. At nearly 13,000km, this is Air Canada’s longest operating route and clocks in around 14 hours and 40 minutes. Operated using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, this route offers three cabin types.

Room view at 21 Carpenter, one of the more recent new hotel openings in Singapore
[Photo credit: 21 Carpenter]


  • Amara Singapore completes first phase of extensive refurbishment

Amara Singapore has announced that it has completed the first phase of its room refurbishments, part of Amara Hotel & Resorts’ comprehensive brand redesign of its flagship Singapore properties. The business-friendly hotel has been operating in Singapore’s Central Business District for the last 38 years, and the renovations are set to see its 389 rooms newly redesigned to meet the needs of the modern traveller. It has launched a ‘Welcome Home to Amara Singapore‘ room package to thank guests for their continued support throughout the year.

  • Iconic heritage hotel 21 Carpenter officially opens

Among the new hotel openings in Singapore is 21 Carpenter, which officially throws its doors open this April. Soft opened since last December, the cosy 37-key boutique hotel boasts a combination of old world charm and contemporary luxury in the heart of Singapore’s civic district. Facilities include modern European restaurant Kee’s, a rooftop infinity pool and lounge, as well as a botanical-themed bar in its garden terrace.

  • World’s largest Mercure Hotel, Mercure ICON Singapore City Centre, launches

Not like Singapore needs another big hotel, but newly-opened Mercure ICON Singapore City Centre along Club Street straddling the country’s Central Business District and iconic Chinatown precinct is a massive 989-room edifice that is the largest Mercure hotel in the world. Aside from its cosy rooms with eco-conscious amenities, the property is home to a bevy of six different dining concepts that should delight any gastrophile.

  • Caption by Hyatt Zhongshan Park Shanghai debuts in the thriving Chinese metropolis

Hyatt’s new lifestyle brand makes its debut in Asia Pacific with the opening of Caption by Hyatt Zhongshan Park Shanghai. This 254-room lifestyle-driven property is situated in the city’s iconic Zhongshan Park, offering easy access to Shanghai’s many historical precincts, upscale shopping centres, and charming boutiques. Digital keys, mobile food ordering services, 24-hour grab-and-go options are some of its conveniences designed for the savvy new traveller.

New hotel openings - Room with sea view at Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa
[Photo credit: Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa]
  • Marriott’s Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa opens in Terengganu, Malaysia

Marriott Hotels marks its debut in Terengganu in Malaysia with the opening of Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa. Located on the island of Perhentian Kecil nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Perhentian Island Marine Park, this elegant 200-room and 17-villa resort is a nature lover’s dream. Guests can discover the unparalleled natural beauty of marine biodiversity, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters this tropical sanctuary has to offer, while enjoying facilities such as a dive centre, fitness studio, yoga deck, children’s club, and various F&B concepts to suit any dining need.

  • New ultra-bespoke Maldives resort Soneva Secret welcomes first guests

World-leading sustainable resorts operator Soneva has revealed Soneva Secret, a resort project that has been thirty years in the making. Located in the Maldive’s most remote atoll of Haa Dhaalu, Soneva Secret will set a new standard in exceptional hospitality with its 14 beach and overwater villas, each designed to exist with sustainability in mind and in perfect harmony with nature. Responsible luxury, apparently, is no longer just a secret. Soneva Secret is now open for bookings.

  • Okinawa sees launch of new hotel with Storyline Senagajima

Japan’s southernmost island prefecture of Okinawa gets a new beachfront hotel with the opening of Storyline Senagajima. Located on the small island of Senagajima next to Naha Airport, this 101-key hotel is a condominium-style property – including 92 twin rooms and nine suites – that offers picturesque ocean views from every room. An infinity pool, outdoor spa and the Sky Room relaxation lounge provides respite after exploring what Okinawa has to offer.

  • Homestays: A different kind of Bhutanese hospitality

Bhutan has launched a homestay experience for visitors, offering travellers to the Himalayan kingdom the unique opportunity to live with Bhutanese families and immerse themselves into local Bhutanese life. A total of 124 homestays have been certified and validated by Bhutan’s Department of Tourism, boosting the country’s accommodation options alongside a comprehensive selection of star-rated hotels.

roya salute kingdom edition amarone wine cask finish
[Photo credit: Royal Salute]

Product Releases

  • Royal Salute drops limited 26 Year Old Kingdom Edition Amarone Wine Cask Finish

Luxury blended Scotch whisky brand Royal Salute has released a limited edition expression with an Italian wine influence. The much beloved Amarone from Italy’s Veneto wine region, to be exact. The Royal Salute 26 Year Old Kingdom Edition Amarone Wine Cask Finish is a first for the brand, having been finished in Amarone della Valpolicella wine casks. It comes housed in a vibrant purple flagon, reminiscent of the deep plum hues of an Amarone wine. It is available in limited quantity at selected retailers and on Le Cercle. at a recommended retail price of S$480.

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