Singapore

6 Sizzling destinations for a short getaway from Singapore

Want to get out of the city for the weekend or maybe your boss isn't giving you extra time off for a holiday? Whatever the reason, a short getaway from Singapore doesn't have to be boring.

Singaporeans have it pretty good: balmy climate, a heady blend of exciting cultures, and a gut-busting selection of sensational street food on every corner. It would be easy to stay put, but another huge benefit to living in this sun-soaked city-state is its close proximity to other enthralling destinations.

To inspire a break away from the regular routine, we’ve selected six paradisaical places that are close enough for a weekend escape. Whether it’s a light-speed dash around electrifying Kuala Lumpur, a breezy beach break in lilting Langkawi or a simple sojourn to heritage-laden Phnom Penh, there are short getaways from Singapore to suit most budgets and tastes.

Short getaway from Singapore: Kuala Lumpur

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For quick and easy weekend getaways from Singapore, head to Kuala Lumpur, a microcosm of Southeast Asian culture. You’ll find culture-rich neighbourhoods around a thriving financial centre.

Malay traditions are interwoven with Indian and Chinese, giving the city a vibrantly exotic feel that’s counterbalanced by impressive landmarks and tourist attractions like the lofty Petronas Towers. Street food is king here – be sure to seek out a Kopitiam for frothy hot tea made with condensed milk or a bit of nasi lemak (coconut-cooked rice).

For a change from the city’s buzz, jump on a train at KL Sentral to the jaw-dropping Batu Caves, where a 140-foot gold-flecked Murugan statue guards an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site.

More Kuala Lumpur ideas:

Malaysia

Best value hotels in KL

Hotels in Kuala Lumpur

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Admire sweeping skyline views

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For location and luxury, the Traders Hotel is difficult to beat. Opposite the iconic Petronas Towers, this gigantic hotel complex boasts sweeping views over KL’s glittering skyline and is perfectly placed for exploring the fast-paced city.

Check into a spacious City View Suite, where a separate sitting room with a glass-topped desk is ideal for anyone mixing business with pleasure. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast, fresh fruits and free beverages in the exquisite Traders Club Lounge before wandering the kaleidoscopic shopping and entertainment hub of Bukit Bintang.

On your return to the hotel, cool off with a dip in the rooftop swimming pool or recline in the muscle-mending Jacuzzi before feasting on fragrant mee mamak (spicy fried noodles) at on-site Gobo Chit Chat.

Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Top rated
Kuala Lumpur, 2.2 km to Aquaria
9.0 Excellent (5578 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
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Affordable opulence

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Those on a lower budget needn’t compromise on quality, as the five-star Majestic Hotel delivers affordable opulence in the heart of KL. Built in 1932, this stately colonial building houses 300 rooms in two distinct wings, both with 24-hour butler service.

Recline in the Majestic Wing’s refined Art Deco rooms and soak in a classic clawfoot bath or spring for the grandeur of a 100 square-metre suite. The contemporary Tower Wing offers polished chrome elegance and refreshing rain showers for washing off steamy KL days.

Savour cucumber sandwiches at English afternoon tea in the lavish drawing room, or awaken your senses with a North Coast Seaweed Sculpt in the decadent Majestic Spa. For dinner, dip into on-site restaurant Contango for an international buffet featuring velvety sashimi and crispy, sugary churros.

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection

Top rated
Kuala Lumpur, 1 km to Aquaria
9.2 Excellent (2804 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
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Short getaway from Singapore: Langkawi

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Langkawi is the quieter, more laidback neighbour of people-peppered Penang and the place to go for a relaxing getaway from Singapore. Officially an archipelago, Langkawi comprises 99 individual islands ringed by clear turquoise waters and wistful white sand beaches to while away the days.

Venture inland on Langkawi Island, the largest of the surrounding sand spits, and you’ll stumble across lush rice paddies and verdant jungles rich in wildlife. Be sure to indulge in a heavily piled platter of local Nyonya cuisine from street vendors who will carefully craft dishes passed down from generation to generation.

Hotels in Langkawi

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A decadent retreat on Langkawi

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If you’ve set your sights on a decadent retreat, cast your eyes to the five-star Danna Langkawi. Dripping in luxury, this hotel blends Mediterranean-inspired architecture with captivating natural surroundings to bring you accommodation fit for royalty.

For the ultimate indulgence, reserve a Princess Beach Villa. You can christen your stay with a dip in the glittering infinity pool, then wander through your private garden to the serene sands of Kok Beach. Enjoy a complimentary bubbly buffet breakfast at on-site Planter’s restaurant before visiting the acclaimed Danna Spa for a Traditional Malay Urut Massage. Take advantage of the resort’s kayaks for an afternoon on the gently undulating Andaman Sea before an evening of live music in The Verandah Lounge with an expertly handcrafted cocktail.

Hotel The Danna Langkawi

Top rated
Pantai Kok, 2.2 km to Telaga Harbour Park
9.4 Excellent (2325 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.6 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
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A Langkawi hotel offering smooth sophistication

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A more affordable, yet equally alluring Langkawi option is Padang Matsirat hotel, The Smith House. Smooth sophistication characterises this boutique budget option, where you’ll find single room options for lone travellers. Wake up in the fluffy bedding of a signature Sassy Bed and step into your gleaming rain shower in the sleek ensuite.

Throw on your swimsuit and head to Seven Wells Waterfall, 20 minutes away by car, for an invigorating jungle swim in natural tiered pools dripping with tropical flora. Return to the hotel to refuel with tea at The Absolut – like smoked duck breast or a simple Greek salad – then top up your sun cream for an afternoon by the rooftop swimming pool. The ambient on-site library provides an ideal escape from extra-hot summer days, or you can cool down with a frozen margarita at The Absolum bar.

The Smith House

Padang Matsirat, 13.3 km to International Airport Langkawi
8.8 Excellent (247 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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Short getaway from Singapore: Jakarta

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If you’re looking for where to go this weekend from Singapore, Java’s capital city of Jakarta blends old-world charm with blazingly bright modernity. This Indonesian behemoth is a head-spinner, offering everything from prestigious designer shopping malls and round-the-clock activities to culture-rich sites like the National Museum and stately Merdeka Palace.

Spend days getting lost in this labyrinthine city’s heart, or head north to Taman Impian Jaya Ancol for thrilling amusement parks and a spot of waterside gado gado (blanched veggie salad).

Hotels in Jakarta

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An urban sanctuary

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Amid the throb of Jakarta’s chaotic core is the five-star Ayana Midplaza Jakarta. A self-proclaimed urban sanctuary, your cares will melt away the moment you set your bags down in this amenity-rich hotel. All rooms and suites offer lavish comfort, though check into an AYANA Suite for a truly unforgettable luxury experience.

Unwind in a cavernous marble bathroom before entertaining in the decadent dining area, or simply throw on your bathrobe and slippers to enjoy the peaceful comfort of your soundproofed abode. Keep your energy levels up with a sugar-laden yuzu float at on-site Japanese eatery Tsujiri, and round off a sun-soaked afternoon by the pool with a reviving reflexology treatment at the hotel spa.

Ayana Midplaza Jakarta

Jakarta, 18.8 km to Cengkareng Golf Club
8.3 Very good (500 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
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A stay at a laidback Jakarta hotel

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A stay at the four-star Hotel Kristal proves that a short getaway from Singapore needn’t cost the earth. Located in laidback South Jakarta, a suave Studio Suite Room with stylish two-seater sofa is the ideal place to base yourself for a comfortable budget break.

If you sleep through the free buffet breakfast (easy to do when you’ve got a super soft king-size bed), prepare something satiating in your in-room kitchenette before taking a dip in the hotel’s palm-lined pool. Grab a finger-licking lunch of nasi timbel (banana leaf-wrapped rice) and scrumptious soto betawi (Jakarta beef soup) in the Orchid Restaurant, then venture out to nearby Ragunan Zoo to glimpse fearsome Sumatran tigers.

Hotel Kristal

Jakarta, 24.1 km to Cengkareng Golf Club
8.2 Very good (189 reviews)
Very good Service 8.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
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Short getaway from Singapore: Taipei

For something completely different, a getaway from Singapore to subtropical Taipei might just be the thing. The Taiwanese capital has strong historic links to mainland China, as well as Japan owing to a period of enforced Japanese rule, all of which is reflected in the city’s surrounds and general culture.

There’s a wealth of things to discover here, including glorious botanical gardens with more than 1500 plant species, the hunger-inducing Shilin Night Market and colourfully quirky Yongkang Street. Don’t forget to order yourself an ice-cold bubble tea made with brown sugar while you’re in the country of its invention.

Hotels in Taipei

3686 Hotels
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A picturesque stay in Taipei

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There are three fabulous Taipei Fullerton hotels in Taiwan’s picturesque capital, and the four-star Taipei Fullerton – Maison North is perhaps the most impressive. The design draws from the idea of a peaceful ‘vogue garden’, and you’ll have a choice of charmingly named rooms – like ‘Delightful’ and ‘Amazing’ – to set your bags down in. Check into a ‘Happiness’ room and enjoy sumptuously soft carpet beneath your bare feet as you brew complimentary boutique tea blends in your Wedgewood cup and saucer set.

You’ll want a long soak in your freestanding KOHLER bath, then fall straight into bed for sweet dreams on soft HILKER mattresses. When morning arrives, feast on an international buffet breakfast in the on-site restaurant. Or opt for breakfast out at a local grab-n-go where you’ll find crispy fried radish cakes dipped in delightfully gooey, savoury chilli sauce and served with fresh, hot soya milk.

Taipei Fullerton - Maison North

Top rated
Taipei City, 1.3 km to Airport Songshan
8.5 Excellent (1240 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
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French-designed accommodation

Closer to Taipei’s centre and more modest in its nightly fee is the French-designed accommodation, The Riviera Hotel. The 24-hour reception staff can cover late check-ins if you’re arriving on a night flight, so you can settle into one of the 112 boutique rooms no matter the hour.

Unwind with a relaxed evening on a feather-soft queen-size bed with cable TV and something from the minibar, or a local snack from one of the 7-Elevens comically found on every block. Start the next day early with a dose of culture at nearby Taipei Fine Arts Museum, then meander back to the hotel’s Mediterranean Steak House to enjoy a meal of signature steak and crème brûlée.

At night, take an evening stroll to the nearby night market and sample local favourites like pungent chou dofu (stinky tofu) or thin, slightly crisped egg and scallion pancakes topped with melty cheese and sweet soya garlic sauce.

The Riviera Hotel

Top rated
Taipei City, 1.6 km to Airport Songshan
8.7 Excellent (1603 reviews)
Excellent Service 9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
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Short getaway from Singapore: Hong Kong

Hong Kong, a popular stopover destination for travellers coming in and out of Southeast Asia, makes for a fabulous short getaway from Singapore. This former British settlement inevitably offers hints of its colonial past, while a distinctly Chinese flavour permeates throughout.

Families with young children will marvel at Hong Kong’s magical Disneyland theme park, while older visitors can soak up the local culture with a meander around eclectic shopping and nightlife district Tsim Sha Tsui. Be sure to catch the light show and fireworks at Victoria Harbour for an experience to remember.

Hotels in Hong Kong

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Asian-inspired elegance

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The five-star Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong will leave you speechless with its effortless Asian-inspired elegance and exquisite views over the iconic harbour.

Blow your budget on a giant Presidential Suite (worth it!) and pamper yourself with a bit of Jacuzzi time and free designer toiletries in your Italian marble bathroom. Select your sleeping accompaniments from an exclusive pillow menu, and call on your 24-hour butler for anything else you might require (macrons at midnight, perhaps?).

There are five acclaimed eateries and a health club within the hotel, so you can dine on pan-fried spotted grouper in the Michelin-starred Shang Palace before booking an opulent Golden Caviar deluxe treatment. A sunset cocktail in the Lobby Lounge will put the finishing touches on a truly indulgent day.

Hotel Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong

Top rated
Hong Kong, 2.3 km to 2 International Finance Centre
9.1 Excellent (4618 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
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An affordable Hong Kong hotel with sweeping harbour views

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An affordable Hong Kong break is easily achieved at three-star Kowloon accommodation, The Inn Hotel Hong Kong. Take in sweeping harbour views from the calming colours of your comfortable room, and lean back on the crisp linen of your double bed to contemplate which sightseeing tour to book.

When you’re hungry, venture out to nearby Yokozuna for spicy bean paste-rich beef ramen, then browse the Jade Market’s technicolour wares for a souvenir. The afternoon will slip away as you wander the bustling streets of this culturally diverse neighbourhood, so catch a rejuvenating treat of ginger milk pudding at Yee Shun Dairy Company before retiring to the serenity of your room for a well-earned rest.

Inn Hotel Hong Kong

Hong Kong, 3.3 km to 2 International Finance Centre
8.1 Very good (1648 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Air conditioning
WiFi in lobby
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Short getaway from Singapore: Phnom Penh

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Steal away from Singapore to dreamy Phnom Penh, a soul-stirring blend of fanciful French colonial influences, striking Khmer-style architecture and ancient Buddhism. Wander alongside saffron-robed monks and a diverse crowd of international tourists as you take in the glimmering beauty of the Royal Palace. Pay your respects to those who have passed at the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, then bolster your knowledge of this fascinating country with a trip to the National Museum of Cambodia.

Hotels in Phnom Penh

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Cambodian luxury

A touch of luxury awaits at the four-star Plantation Urban Resort and Spa. A ravishing retreat in Phnom Penh’s popular Royal Palace Area, you’ll wonder why you didn’t visit sooner when you slip into the cerulean waters of the palm-lined swimming pool.

Opt for a Deluxe Poolside Garden Room and spend serene mornings on your private terrace with a steaming cup of complimentary java. The nearby riverside entertainment hub will tempt you out to explore, so you’ll soon be washing down fluffy blueberry pancakes with a cooling iced frappe at waterfront favourite Cafe Fresco. The hotel’s ethereal Plantation Spa will welcome you back from your wanderings with a Khmer herbal massage, and on-site culinary haven La Pergola will satiate your appetite with 36-hour slow-cooked pork belly.

Okay Boutique Hotel

Top rated
Phnom Penh, 0.2 km to National Museum
8.5 Excellent (2302 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Outdoor swimming pool
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Khmer-style decor

The name of four-star Okay Boutique Hotel undersells this brilliant budget option in central Phnom Penh. Wake in the cool Khmer-style décor of your room and don complimentary slippers to take in the morning air on your private balcony or terrace. You’ll feast on a free buffet breakfast before consulting hotel staff for advice on touring the historic Killing Fields. For a more leisurely day, simply stroll 400 metres and marvel at the sparkling spires of the Royal Palace. The hotel’s on-site spa might inspire an afternoon of relaxation and holistic indulgence; just be sure to leave time to imbibe a classic cocktail on a sun-soaked lounger by the rooftop pool.

Okay Boutique Hotel

Top rated
Phnom Penh, 0.2 km to National Museum
8.5 Excellent (2302 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Outdoor swimming pool
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