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Looking to channel your inner Rachel Chu? The eagerly-anticipated new rom-com “Crazy Rich Asians” opened this weekend with a splash, and it wasn’t just the plot, the casting and the romantic sizzle that wowed audiences. It’s the jaw-dropping locations in Singapore, too.
If you’re thinking, how long will it be before guides start offering “Crazy Rich Asians” film-location tours — the answer is four years ago. Singapore tour guide Phil Choo began leading them soon after Kevin Kwan’s book, which forms the basis for the movie, came out.
Choo’s four-hour tours take visitors to locations from the book and the movie, including the Goh family mansion in Cluny Park, Gardens by the Bay’s futuristic urban forest, the Marina Bay Sands — its 57th floor infinity pool is the world’s largest and highest — and the “Kingsford Hotel,” which is actually the grand Raffles Hotel, which opened in 1887. Scenes from the movie were filmed in a wing of the hotel, while it was undergoing renovations that closed its doors for more than a year.
Of course if you really want to do it up right, you’ll want to stay at Raffles, which will reopen in early 2019. Sleep in a swanky suite, dine in one of the hotel’s new high-end restaurants — headed by chefs Alaine Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic and Jereme Leung — and sip a Singapore Sling in the bar where the gin-based cocktail originated in 1915.
Raffles’ emphasis on upscale food and drink has not gone unnoticed. “The new Raffles emphasizes food and drink so much,” the Business Times notes, “that with 10 food and beverage spaces that represent more than 1,100 seats for just 115 suites, it can claim far more tables than beds.”
As for Choo, you’ll find tour details for his four-hour Crazy Rich Asians tour ($489 for four people) at www.toursbylocals.com/SingaporeGuide.
Meanwhile, here are eight “Crazy Rich Asians” filming locations to check out while you’re there:
- Raffles Hotel
- Marina Bay Sands
- Gardens by the Bay
- Sentosa Island
- Joo Chiat Road
- Newton Food Centre and other hawker centers
- Merlion Park