Discover the Lion City’s heritage at one of these Singapore boutique hotels, where a side order of creative cocktails and contemporary plates await.
If there’s any city in Asia that’s defined the boutique hotel scene, it has to be Singapore, where you’ll find houses of slumber housed in both former barracks and brothels, and intimate hotels that offer travellers a true sense of place. Whether you’re a connoisseur of heritage or a seeker of the avant-garde, Singapore’s boutique hotels offer an exquisite rendezvous with luxury, ensuring that every stay becomes a chapter in the ever-evolving story of this dynamic city-state.
The Barracks Hotel Sentosa
Once a British artillery outpost, the Barracks Hotel Sentosa is a five-minute buggy ride from Sentosa Island’s beaches and the decommissioned artillery battery Fort Siloso, where World War II memorabilia awaits. All rooms are decked out in dark wood with leather-accented furnishing, and suites feature classic plantation shutters that open out to a semi-private jacuzzi and deliver direct access to the Barracks’ 30m long lap pool. Suite guests can additionally access private lounge The Living Room for daily breakfast plus canapes and cocktails from 5 pm-8 pm, while dining options include modern Japanese at Miyoshi by Fat Cow, where signatures include the Wagyu shoyu ramen.
If you want to tap into Singapore’s heritage further, the hotel offers two tours: Colonial Architecture, which takes in structures built and occupied by the British armed forces in the 1800s and 1900s; and Cultural Gems, which explores Chinatown, Malay district Kampong Glam, hip Tiong Bahru and Katong’s Peranakan roots.
The Warehouse Hotel
This industrial-themed design hotel located on the river at Robertson Quay was once a trio of godowns hawking homemade spirits in the 1890s when trade along the Straits of Malacca was thriving. With 37 rooms, there are six room types, from the entry-level Warehouse Sanctuary, located on the ground floor, to the River View Suite, a loft-style accommodation with original beams and a peaked ceiling on the top floor.
Hungry? Sample modern Singaporean fare at Po, where plates include spicy tamarind red snapper fillet and Wagyu cheek Rendang. Also, don’t miss the BB King cocktail (banana whisky, smoked maple syrup, barbecue bitters) at The Lobby Bar, perhaps after a cooling dip in the rooftop infinity pool.
Situated in Singapore’s business district, which is awash with great restaurants, the Andy Warhol-inspired Eden And Nirwana suites at Naumi Singapore feature a limited edition B&B Italia armchair designed by Gaetano Pesce (its orange and taupe stripes will blow your mind) plus a bold patterned rug and complimentary mini-bar. Fashionistas, meanwhile, will adore the Gabrielle & Camellia suite, inspired by Coco Chanel and her favourite flower, which features monochromatic floral artworks by award-winning French photographer Olivier Henry and Singaporean artist Aiman.
The popular Cloud 9 Rooftop and Bar boasts fabulous views over the Singapore skyline and an infinity pool. Guests can sample food from the hotel’s Italian restaurant/bar Florian here or at the first-floor restaurant, where signature plates include the dry-aged ribeye and seafood stew.
The Vagabond Club
A blend of art, culture, and hospitality, The Vagabond Club is housed in a heritage Art Deco building dating back to the 1950s. Its history intertwines with the vibrant arts scene of the Kampong Glam district and the hotel itself is a canvas of artistic expression, with each corner adorned by curated artworks and bespoke furnishings.
The interiors, designed by Jacques Garcia, evoke a sense of bohemian sophistication that runs through the elegant guests rooms to the hotel’s restaurant, The Salon, where executive chef Aaron Goh crafts a menu that pays homage to both traditional and avant-garde culinary techniques. After your meal, retire to the artistic ambiance of the Vagabond Club’s Whiskey Library or relax at the rooftop bar, which offers panoramic views of the city.
The Robertson House
Step into the epitome of refined living at The Robertson House, Singapore’s newest boutique hotel gem and one that seamlessly melds heritage charm with contemporary opulence. The Robertson House, situated within a meticulously restored heritage building, boasts an architectural marvel that whispers tales of the city’s rich past. Its interiors, curated by renowned designers, create a symphony of plush textures, bespoke furnishings, and avant-garde aesthetics.
While cosy, every room is a sanctuary of comfort, adorned with curated artworks and cutting-edge amenities – including innovative mini bars laced with local products – that cater to the discerning tastes of the modern travelling gentleman. Head downstairs to Entrepôt, the hotel’s signature restaurant, where menus by culinary director Nixon Low pays homage to Singapore’s quayside story amidst black and white rattan furniture.
The Scarlet Singapore
Nestled in the heart of Singapore’s historic Chinatown, The Scarlet was the city’s first luxury boutique hotel and is a property that weaves together history, opulence, and modern allure. Housed in a row of meticulously restored shophouses dating back to the 1800s, the award-winning hotel seamlessly blends heritage charm (it used to be a notorious cat house) with contemporary sophistication.
Boasting decadent interiors adorned with plush furnishings and lush textures, each room is a sanctuary of indulgence, while providing guests with a front-row seat to Chinatown’s vibrant cultural scene. Leave time to dine at Pasta Brava Italian restaurant, home to approachable, authentic fare, or sip sundowners at the Barouv Rooftop Bar.
Nestled in Singapore’s vibrant Little India, Wanderlust, part of The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood, stands as a testament to creativity and individuality in hospitality. Housed in a heritage building that once served as a school, this 29-room boutique hotel is a celebration of design, history, and innovation, with an architectural and décor styles that are a whimsical fusion of the old and the avant-garde, showcasing the creative spirit that defines the Bugis neighbourhood. Each room is a canvas of bold colours and imaginative furnishings, reflecting the hotel’s commitment to pushing boundaries.
Located on the fringe of Singapore’s main commercial and business districts as well as hipster enclave Jam Bear, you’re close to everything while remaining delightfully off the beaten track. Cool off in the hotel’s outdoor dipping pool and be sure to pop your head in at The Mama Shop in the lobby for locally-sourced treasures.
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