Happy 50th birthday to Singapore: while National Day, the anniversary of the island nation’s founding, is August 9, its circa 5.5m citizens and residents have been celebrating all year with a chock-a-block calendar of events, from the Southeast Asian Games (which the city hosted in June) to the inauguration of its 64,000sq m National Art Gallery in the coming months.
There’s soon to be an ultra-luxurious new hotel brand minted here too, with its flagship property of two heritage buildings renovated to elegant new purpose. The 157 rooms and suites at The Patina, Capitol Singapore (www.patinahotels.com; from about £519; Stamford Suite in second picture) are spread across the 1933 Capitol Building, 1904 Stamford House and an adjacent slick, curvilinear glass pavilion designed by Richard Meier. The late great Jaya Ibrahim authored the room decor – a take on his signature Zen-meets-opulence style – and Peruvian master Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will oversee the kitchen and a bar designed by New York darlings AvroKo, which will toe the artisanal cocktail line that Singapore has been doing so well of late.
And after an absence from the Lion City last year, British Polo Day(www.britishpoloday.com) – the glittering, world-circuit sport-slash-social event – returns on October 31, with the Singapore Polo Club team playing Cambridge. From there things get really interesting, as British Polo Day’s organisers take their travelling party to the island of Sumba in Indonesia on November 3 for a seven-day extravaganza of stand-up paddleboarding and hilltop yoga, parties and beach banquets, culminating in a game played on the sand. It’s all happening – where else? – at Nihiwatu (www.nihiwatu.com; from $1,100 for three nights; first picture), where in August owner Chris Burch is adding his own sprawling estate to the resort pool, along with two traditional three-bedroom Sumbanese villas set at the Celebes Sea’s edge, overlooking Nihi’s now almost too famous left-hand surf break.
For the full lowdown on Singapore’s shaken-up scene, see Maria Shollenbarger’s guide to the Lion City, or for an Indonesian sailing odyssey that takes in Sumba, there’s the phinisi-like Alexa, with its single perfect suite.