The first luxury boutique hotel in Singapore only opened in 2004. The Scarlet Hotel was the original, the first one and also the most audacious one. Since then, the small city-state has bloomed with many other options. Here are my picks of the best luxury boutique hotels in Singapore.
1. The Scarlet Hotel
The pioneer hotel on Club Street is a blend of old and new, a red velvet Chinese den in Singapore’s eponymous expat go-to evening spot. I know because I lived in the area for two years. Set in a contiguous line of shophouses that were refurbished and renovated to accommodate the requirements of a luxury hotel, The Scarlet is a great place to reminisce of Singapore’s past in modern obscene luxury. Take the outdoor jacuzzi with views over the Buddha Tooth Relic Museum in Chinatown, or the neon lit red corridors connecting all the shophouses and you are sure to be transported to the last century of Chinese decadence. The rooms come in various shapes and layout to maintain the essence of the shophouse architecture and the common spaces are decked with chaise longue and chandeliers. Even if you do not stay there, drop by for authentic Italian fare with strong truffle influences at Casa Tartufo, run by a Singaporean-Italian couple or one of the many great restaurants.
2. The Naumi Hotels
Naumi‘s naughty and nice. She will guide you through grey corridors of excess and fun and help you make the right choices. Nestled at the edge of the CBD, far away to elude all the chaos but close enough that you can pop by the office in a jiffy, Naumi embodies the concept of grown up modern chic. Watch the sun set over the infinity pool, the first rooftop of its kind in Singapore, reached through the staircase to heaven, or the hangover cures served at breakfast and you will know what I mean. The rooms are sleek, functional and smart and make the most of technology to bring a smile to your face. The devil is in the details, and so is Naumi, the slightly flirty lady that welcomes you to a world of fun riddles and innuendo. Here is my full review.
3. Six Senses Singapore at Duxton Hill
Newly opened in April 2018, the Six Senses Singapore at Duxton Hill is the brand’s first urban retreat. Yet what it lacks in sand and sea it makes up for in style, heaps of gorgeous style. Apart from its much larger 200-room sister property in Maxwell Road, that will open in Fall, the Duxton property only has 49 rooms. Meticulously conceived by Bond Girl turned design guru Anouska Hempel, it’s not only the distinctive rooms that are pleasing to the eye, but the entire boutique hotel that garners attention to detail. Hempel is credited with inventing the concept of the boutique hotel, so you can imagine that the Six Senses Duxton Hill is on par with the best of them. Hempel’s trademark consists of a mismatch of old and new, dark and bright, East and West, sober and opulent, fitting right in with Singapore, where skyscrapers tower over centuries’ old heritage shophouses. When planning a stay, I would recommend the Skylight Suites which have added brightness and romance. Other than the design, there are a few finishing touches that make this a truly boutique experience. You are welcomed by a Tibetan singing bowl, advised in a consultation with a Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) expert, dine with deconstructed Chinese food at Yellow Pot, or sip the signature Escape to Kaifeing cocktail in the Yellow Pot Bar. See some amazing pictures of the Six Senses Singapore at Duxton Hill and my full review here.
4. Wanderlust Hotel
One of the funkiest hotels in Singapore is Wanderlust Hotel, another gem from The Unlisted Collection. Located in the exotic, colourful and vibrant Little India neighbourhood, this is a hotel that fuses various designs, concepts, trends and aesthetics. The lobby resembles more a loft in the Bronx than a hotel and the concept is refreshing and innovative. Wanderlust is young and rebellious at heart. The Whimsical rooms are the most original I have ever seen with some designed to look like spaceships (for real!) including furry friends to play with and others replicating an indoor treehouse. Or go for the Mono ones and get entire furniture pieces in shinny 2D wall apliques. To say Wanderlust is original would be an understatement. It reminds me a little of the JW Marriott South Beach.
5. Lloyds Inn
A minimalistic concept that almost feels like it is trying to stay off the beaten path, unknown. The small hotel believes in nature, space, light, texture, convenience and comfort. This means that you can bring your own breakfast and enjoy it at the outdoor pantry, make a cocktail under the stars on the rooftop or take a dip in the outdoor pool. Lloyds Inn is different and not for everyone. Think straight lines, white walls and linen, grey touches and natural wood colours.
6. New Majestic Hotel – Closed in 2017
Part of the Unlisted collection and Starwoods SPG program, New Majestic Hotel was a heritage rich address where Singapore’s past could be seen in hip gentrified surroundings. Some of the hotel’s rooms were designed and decorated by artists from various disciplines, including what the hotel described as “the most extravagant and outrageous room in the hotel (…). Designed to be a fashionista’s playpen, the room is an over-the-top party-den inspired by the photography of celebrity lensman David Lachapelle.”
After 11 years in operation, New Majestic Hotel closed its doors in June 2017 and was converted into a private club, Straits Clan.
7. Wangz Hotel
A futuristic and funky hotel, Wangz is located in the gentrified area of Tiong Bahru, the place where the craze for specialty coffee started in Singapore. Return to the basics in this neighborhood where life moves at a different pace and you can still see a lot of the old ways of Singapore before the glitzy Marina Bay Sands opened. I like their rain showers with outdoor views and the rooms with patios, such a rare thing in Singapore.
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