Somerset: Hotels, Bars and Shopping Along Orchard Road
About Somerset is located on the periphery of Orchard and is likewise dense with shopping centres and hotels. Even so, Somerset is less busy and quainter than its neighbour. Hotels and shopping centres in Somerset tend to be older and you find fewer Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) and retail chains here. Rather, there is a pleasant, laid-back atmosphere to Somerset because of the presence of small shops, old food courts, relaxing bars and shop-houses.
History Somerset was once a place for Chinese residences, plantations and graveyards. Around Somerset were the Chinese and Jewish graveyards, demolished when the district was designated a shopping district in the 1980s. Located at Emerald Hill were the residences of rich Chinese businessmen who owned the plantations around Somerset and Orchard.
Specialist' Shopping Centre Specialists' Shopping Centre is one of the oldest shopping malls in Singapore. It stands on the site of the former Pavilion Cinema, which was a popular entertainment venue in the mid-1900s. Specialists' Shopping Centre's anchor tenant is John Little, which opened its first store in Singapore in the late 1800s and is one of the oldest foreign companies to invest in Singapore .
Centrepoint Shopping Centre This shopping centre is probably one of the largest in the Somerset district. Recently renovated, Centrepoint now hosts a large number of eateries and retail outlets, including the largest Robinson' store in Singapore.
The Heeren A relatively new shopping centre, The Heeren is known for housing HMV, Singapore 's largest music store. There are also clothing and accessories stores as well as hair salons in The Heeren. The Annex, also in the building, is where younger Singaporeans enjoy shopping because of its budget retail outlets.
Cineleisure Orchard This building is one that is catered towards entertainment purposes. Cineleisure Orchard is best known as a place to watch movies, housing a cinema run by Cathay Organization.
Business and Organizations
Starhub Centre Starhub, one of Singapore 's three telecommunications companies, has its headquarters behind Centrepoint.
Singapore Power Building This is the main office of Singapore 's electricity and gas provider. You can come here to pay bills or clarify your electrical situation and needs.
National Youth Council One of Singapore 's statutory boards, the National Youth Council (NYC) is in charge of educating the youth and providing them with avenues for creativity and development.
Hotels There are many hotels in Somerset, including Orchard Le Meridien, Hotel Phoenix, Park Hotel Orchard and the Holiday Inn. Here you also find Meritus Mandarin, a five-star hotel that is connected to high-end shops selling luxury goods.
Residences There are many condominiums located in Somerset, especially in the Oxley and Emerald Hill areas. They tend to be very expensive. Condos here include One Oxley Rise, Oxley Apartments, Emerald Lodge, Emerald Mansion and Hill Court.
Nightlife You can find a row of bars along Emerald Hill Road, including Alley Bar and Ice Cold Beer, which serves a range of beers from all over the world. Happy Hour at this row of bars is delightful because of the bargains.