Jacqueline joined Savills in 2013. She leads Singapore’s local and international sales teams, and is part of the Private Office. A yoga enthusiast and travelling foodie, she ranks Tokyo as her favourite culinary destination.
Which are the coolest bars and restaurants in Singapore right now?
Singapore is a tiny dot of an island in Southeast Asia – we’re smaller than London, but people come here because our food is so international. We have Michelin stars alongside world-famous hawker food. Hawker centres are more than just open-air markets with smoking-hot woks: these food courts are a buzzing social centre for Singaporeans. There’s brilliant Japanese, Malaysian, Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine – we are a melting pot. We also have 52 Michelin-starred restaurants. Les Amis and Odette are two of the best, but my favourites are Cloudstreet on Amoy Street, from the Sri Lankan prodigy Rishi Naleendra, and the Indian-inspired Thevar.
Everybody goes to the skybar at Cé La Vi, and you can’t miss the Long Bar at Raffles, famous for the Singapore sling. The Art Deco-style Atlas feels like stepping back in time, too.
What’s the appeal of Singapore for international buyers?
Singapore is the Switzerland of Asia right now and we have a lot of clients looking to relocate here. We have excellent international schools – the Singapore American School, Dulwich College Singapore, the International French School, the Swiss School in Singapore and the United World College of South East Asia – many of which offer the International Baccalaureate.
Singapore is politically stable and our dollar is strong. We’re super-efficient, whether it’s transport, finance, health or education, and you can fly here direct from London, Frankfurt, Paris and New York.
Which are the best places to live?
We are surrounded by sea, so international arrivals often like to live in waterfront apartments on Sentosa, a sub-island to the south. In Singapore, many international buyers focus on the prime residential districts: 9, where Orchard Road (the equivalent of Knightsbridge in London) offers great shops and restaurants, and 10 and 11, both of which have excellent schools.
As a former British colony, we have many conserved buildings (the equivalent of the UK’s listed buildings) – particularly black and white bungalows. International buyers can only lease them, but there’s lots of heritage, and they often have gardens and a pool. We’re strong on high-end condos and apartments, and we have a stock of huge mansions built by the British, which are also conserved. I love the old shophouses – heritage terraced houses, fronted with arcades or colonnades, that are now residential.
What does Singapore offer in terms of lifestyle?
Singapore is tropical, so we don’t have four seasons – the temperature stays between 26C and 32C – but we do have great summers. Sentosa has a beach where you can windsurf and kids can do watersports. And we now have casinos: Marina Bay Sands is a big attraction. Gardens by the Bay is a popular nature park covering 100 hectares by the Marina Reservoir. Singapore is also an easy jumping-off point for Bangkok, Phuket and Langkawi. We have so much to offer here.
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Pictures from top: the Super Trees at Gardens by the Bay (Alamy); a row of Singapore shophouses (Alamy); Jacqueline Wong; Pulau Palawan Beach on Sentosa (Alamy); colourful shophouse (Alamy); Raffles Hotel (Alamy); a hawker centre in Singapore (Alamy)