Located along Victoria Street in the Bugis arts, culture, learning and entertainment district, iluma has become a familiar landmark with its illuminated "crystal" façade. With a net lettable area of about 194,000 sq ft, Iluma enjoys synergy with Bugis Junction, linked via a bridge at Level 2, serving the wider needs of PMEBs, young adults and teenagers.
Bugis+ (Iluma) Hot
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An improvement not too far from before
I was really curious about what kind of plans they had for Iluma during their renovations, wondering just how they were planning to revive a dead shopping mall like before. Now that it has finally reopened their doors, I'm rather unsure about the general reaction to Bugis+ considering that it's still pretty empty. The brands that they do carry in fashion-wise is an improvement from before; Sephora, Bershka, New Look, Elisa Litz, and Uniqlo.
You will find a pleasant surprise with their little confectioneries, alongside adorable stores selling toys that are hard to resist (that aren't as pleasant for your wallet). Their dining places aren't to be looked past upon, Astons, Crystal Jade, Marble Slab Creamery-- there's even Chef Daniel's Kitchen! There's always a slot for all sorts of budgets, getting you fast food to luxurious dining.
It's definitely worth a go if you're interested in mid-high shopping boutiques or just seeking for a place to chill in their confectionery stores.
New Life after Iluma
This place was dead when it used to be called Iluma. After CapitalMall took over and renamed it Bugis +, it has started its climb back to life.
CapitalMall really did a good job revitalizing this dying mall. Its shops are now more attractive and bring in more crowds making the place livelier and more hip. Previously, the shops catered more to a niche crowd. Now, the shops house more current brands like Uniqlo and Bershka. There are also more eateries available now which will be sure to bring in even more crowds as the Bugis area is crowded even on weekdays.
Not much different from the usually deserted iluma
I went there for Astons and realised that many of the food outlets are rather crowded with youngsters as well as working adults. However the clothes shops there appear expensive and deserted which feels like the past Iluma. I guess the concept of Bugis Plus was many eateries and less of shopping. It succeeded in this bit with me spoilt for choice as to what to eat over there. The layout of the shopping centre was also not the usual rectangular one but rather a disorderly one which seemingly is the unique bit of the mall. There was also quite a fair bit of empty space.
Would recommend it if you love eating and absolutely have no idea what to eat.
To me, this was a new shopping mall. I knew that it underwent renovation only after a few years in business and the newly renovated mall really gave it more character. This shopping mall was very spacious and it can be seen that the mall management was not that concerned about squeezing rental value out from every square metre of the mall.
When you first entered the mall, you would first see the open space. There was such a big open space that you may wonder why they did not build more shops in this mall. The mall being centrally located should have a high demand for shop spaces but instead, the mall management had chosen to go for character. The floors appeared to be higher than the usual floors in other shopping malls. The layout was not symmetrical.
I believed the mall management took into consideration of its close proximity to the arts scene in Singapore. Being near to the Laselle, Nanyang School of Fine Arts and SOTA, it must be different to draw in the artistic crowds. After the renovation, the mall seemed to be successful.
Another selling point in the mall was the number of restaurants in the mall. If I was not wrong, may be close to 50% of the shops were eating places. Singaporeans being Singaporeans, would be where they can find good food and judging from the people waiting for tables outside the restaurants, this mall may be having quite a few good restaurants.
Love the new renovation
Before the renovations, I barely could visit Iluma as there was not much to offer as compared to other shopping malls. However, it changed the perception after the renovation works. In fact, it was the best thing that it could have!
I used to only frequent Koi Cafe which is just outside at its doors, but now, there are more food choices and one could be having issues on deciding on what cuisine to eat. Clothes retailers have also poured in after the renovation works, such as Uniqlo which totally attracts the crowd.
In addition, there is Film Garde in the premise where shoppers who can conveniently catch a movie after leisure shopping. The variety of films and timings available are limited, so do try your luck!
I was in Bugis+ one night looking for Marble Slab Creamery and I came from Bugis Junction. The moment I was in there, I was hit by the spaciousness of the place as compared to Bugis Junction which was pretty boxed in.
Taking the escalator up to the upper levels would give you the sense of scale of this mall. If you are afraid of hights, it would be best for you not to look down.
There are many eateries there and you'd be rather spoilt for choice. I came there only for ice cream and I cream I had. On my next visit, I will prowl for more things to write.
It is definitely a much better place, compared to Iluma - what it was previously. The place is much livelier and crowded with people. I study in the vicinity, visited Iluma twice, but many times for Bugis+.
I think one of the plus points of Bugis+ is that they have really large retail stores - like Uniqlo, New Look, Aeropostale, Cotton On, Sephora, Lowry's Farm, P&B etc. There are more varieties, in terms of both style and price range. The highest floor seems pretty similar to what it was like before, filmgarde is still there, as well as many japanese and thai food restaurants (alongside with arcades and KTV)
There is also a linkway that transport the crowd from Bugis Junction directly to the second floor of Bugis+, and the linkway contains many interesting gift shops that are definitely worth your time.
But of course, this is still nothing much compared to the main shopping areas in Orchard, but it's good enough for Bugis. If only F21 and H&M came over - woah.
Bugis+ is definitely a vast improvement from its older days, when it was still known as Iluma. Although Iluma used to be constantly empty, even during the bustling weekends, Bugis+ boasts of life and a constant crowd, and is probably the new 'it' mall in Singapore as of late.
Bugis+ houses several power brands like Pull and Bear, Aeropostale, and even Bershka, and is somewhat of a mini ION to me, and I no longer have to travel that far out into town, as I can simply take a quick train ride to Bugis for my latest shopping fix.
There is also plenty of entertainment at Bugis+. There is a Filmgarde cineplex, which I find slightly expensive, but the sleek interior never fails to wow me. It also houses St. Games so it's easy to find something to entertain myself with there.
The list of eateries at Bugis+ is amazing as well. Bugis Junction's restaurants and food stores seem to have hit a stalemate, but the food at Bugis+ definitely brightens up the food scene at Bugis. With renowned restaurants like Astons, Cocoichibanya and Manhattan's Fish Market at Bugis+, it is as much of a food haven as it is a shopping haven.
A fantastic mall that has brightened up significantly ever since it's major revamp, and I must say, that was definitely the most successful mall revamp Singapore has seen in this past decade!
The New Cineleisure
My god I haven't been here for awhile and wow how it has changed. The mall has now been transformed into a haven for young adults. Now no longer having much of retail shops, theres just the ones popular with young people like Sephora and Uniqlo and thats about it. The rest of the mall is built like a pure entertainment complex!! So the mall is basically FOOD + FUN. Which makes sense since you get that already at Bugis junction.
They have a brand new Bon Chon at the ground level where you can actually eat comfortably and have a wider menu, unlike the one at Orchard ION. There were so many pretty looking new eateries which I have never seen before. So L1-3 is basically food. Delicious eateries like Laksania, some Ireland's Potato, Taipei station all of which I have never seen before but look so inviting. And L4-5 onwards is fun.
Gong Cha Check
St Games Check
Credit has to go to The CapitaLand group who transformed a once dead mall into a vibrant paradise for young people.
Better stores now
Mid-2012 saw the rejuvenation of Iluma, now renamed Bugis+. Last week was my first chance to check the mall out, and the changes weren't drastic, if negligible. What was apparent though was the noticeable number of tenants that occupied the spaces (Iluma felt a little drab with too many obscure-branded tenants). Just from the entrance on the first floor I could see Uniqlo and Pull & Bear. A look at the directory yielded names like Calvin Klein Underwear, Dockers and Denizen, just to name a few. Of course like Iluma, the mall has plenty of restaurants and cafes.
My friend and I settled on Ireland's Potato at level four, just as we got off the escalator, also kinda lazy to explore the level farther. Having traveled to Cork, Ireland, I felt a little misled by the name of the restaurant. I had had their hotdog and fries with sour scream sauce, and was disappointed that it had felt a little inauthentic. Granted, the food was satisfying, but I would have probably enjoyed the meal more had I not been expecting genuine potatoes from Ireland. In spite of that, it was a decent meal considering how polite the servers were, and the environment, while not totally reflective of Ireland, was a comfortable one.