“One of Singapore's original design hotels, this arty Chinatown hangout still sets the bar for stylish mid-budget sleeps”
The same artistic flair is evident in the 30 rooms and suites - some are 2-storey duplexes, some have tiny private gardens. Singaporean designers were given a free hand in the suites with breathtaking (if at times unnerving) results. Expect arresting murals, neon lighting, cobalt blue or scarlet walls, perhaps a pair of rolltop bathtubs: zany but fun. You get tiptop bed comfort and little indulgences, too. Other design statements include glass-tiled bathrooms and porthole windows to the swimming pool in the restaurant ceiling. The Cantonese cuisine also gets rave reviews, so no wonder the arty-party crowd hangs out here.
- High wow factor, particularly in the lobby - heritage chic at its best
- Unobtrusive and impeccable service, plus you're lent a smartphone with handy info and free local calls
- Imaginative pool with marvellous restaurant below
- A short walk to cafés, restaurants and bars, and only 15 minutes from downtown if you're on business
- A determinedly non-formulaic hotel, perfect for discerning travellers who appreciate modern design
- Recent feedback suggests the breakfast does not live up to the restaurant's usual standards
- It can be noisy at night
- Rooms are not spacious, with limited storage, but this is about par for Singapore
- Some might find this more of a place to gawp at than to make yourself at home
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Design Hotel
- Restaurant (closed Mondays)
- Not suitable for children
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
From the outrageously decadent ‘Pussy Parlour’, with its chandeliers and brass four-poster designed by a fashion show producer, to the bright green vigour of 'I am Upside Down Because of You', there is a room here to delight every design addict. But not all of them are for everyone. If you don’t like cityscapes, you might want to avoid the stark simplicity of the ‘Untitled’ cement-clad bedroom. If you're an obsessive gardener, you'll go mad in room 26, where ‘weeds’ grow out of cracks in the walls and adorn the bathroom units! Narcissists, meanwhile, will love the 'Mirror' room, with its mirrored walls and ceilings.
The ingenious (but not always relaxing) design makes use of every available space in the hotel. Junior Lifestyle Rooms have loft-style beds with living rooms underneath, while others have hanging beds. Some of the sitting room-cum-bathrooms without windows can feel a little claustrophobic; and in the Attic Suites you have to navigate ladders up to bedrooms, which could be tricky, especially after a night on the town!
But even the smallest rooms are blessed with funky artwork, teak parquet floors, mosaic tiles and vivid colours. The bedding is sublimely comfortable, perfect to sink into after a day at the shops; there's free WiFi and a flat-screen plasma TV in every room, too.
Glittery bathrooms might have a choice of showers, or a bathtub separated from the bed by a glass panel. Indulgent toiletries are specially imported from New York.
When booking, you choose your category and leave the rest to fate. Premier Pool Rooms have views over the swimming pool, Premier Garden Rooms have small outdoor gardens with open air bathtubs, and in the Aqua Room guests become aquarium fish when they use the glass-encased bathtub.
- Air conditioning
- Cd player
- Central heating
- Coffee maker
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
Breakfast is served in the delightful and soothing restaurant, where light filters down through ceiling portholes that look up into the swimming pool above. Choose between traditional dishes such as scrambled eggs and bacon from the à la carte menu, or muesli and strawberries from the buffet selection.
The restaurant, owned and managed by Yong Bing Ngen, formerly one of the Chefs de Cuisine at Raffles, serves beautifully presented modern Cantonese cuisine in chic surroundings. Think paper-thin slivers of peking duck skin served with pancakes and spring onions, or baked seabass in champagne sauce with steamed Chinese greens. There's also a 200-bottle cellar, which makes pairing food with wine very difficult indeed! The restaurant is open all week except Monday, but book well ahead as it's busy.
If you want to eat out, Singapore is a gastronomic melting pot of Cantonese, sushi, Korean barbecue, Indian curry and all points in between. The hotel is well placed in Chinatown with a plethora of bars, street stalls and restaurants; we enjoyed new English cuisine at The Study, and upscale tapas at Vida Vino, both round the corner on Keong Saik Road.
- Coffee maker
- Room service
- Chinatown is full of colourful street life, from Chinese herbalists to chic shophouse bars; don't miss the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, with its meditative roof garden and 3.5 tonne gold stupa
- Singapore is renowned for its shopping - cruise the malls of Orchard Road (15 minutes by MRT), or try Arab Street or Geyland Serai for more ethnic markets
- Take high tea (literally) at the Equinox on the 69th storey of Swissotel The Stamford - the views are breathtaking; or try the iconic Singapore Sling at the Raffles after hours
- The Botanical Gardens, just off Orchard Road, offer a breath of fresh air and quietude
- Or take a picnic lunch to the Bikut Timah Nature Reserve which covers 164 acres and is one of only 2 reserves in the world located within a city
- The Asian Civilizations Museum explores Singapore's diverse ethnic and historical roots in a neo-classical restored 1910 building
- Take a ride on the river on a Ducktour (half-boat, half-truck)
- Play golf on flood-lit fairways at Jurong Country Club or Orchard Country Club
- Historical Singapore is found in Changi Chapel and Museum, Johore Battery and Fort Siloso on Sentosa, where you can find out about the war years
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children are allowed but not actually encouraged - and noisy children running round in the business-like atmosphere of the lobby would definitely be frowned upon. Extra beds and cots are available on request. Children under 6 years old stay free if sharing their parents' bed; over 6s requiring an extra bed incur and extra charge.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking