Next time you get to the Lion City, check into one of these sleek new boutique hotels for a stay you won’t soon forget.
Something’s going on in Singapore. The formerly staid island nation seems to have found some major mojo that’s infusing creativity into every aspect of life in the Lion City. Over the past few years, young chefs have been shaking up the culinary scene with incredible concepts and menus; passionate artists have been staging all sorts of riveting performances, from candlelit concerts, laugh-out-loud funny reinterpretations of Shakespeare, and compelling contemporary art; and the tech world is booming, with new start-ups being founded practically every day. Then there are the hotels.
Once, Singapore was a city of big-name hotel chains. Now though, spunky boutique hotels are popping up all across the island, offering design-led stays punctuated with local flair, great service, and even better food. Below are just a few recently opened (or renovated) boltholes to check out next time you get down to the Little Red Dot.
THE BARRACKS HOTEL
Set in a secluded corner of Sentosa Island, The Barracks Hotel is a stunning boutique property that pays homage to the area’s military past. There are just 40 exquisitely designed rooms here, set across a duplex conserved heritage building that was once an army barracks. Smart military-esque design and old-world charm permeate the property, from the trunk-like minibars and nightstands to the leather-clad furniture, vintage-style writing desks, and historic memorabilia strewed around. Breakfast, afternoon tea, and happy hour are served in the Living Room, set between two tranquil pools flanked by sunloungers and palm trees. But, for heavier fare, guests can march across the yard to the Mess Hall, which is packed with restaurants—try the hearty, comforting Eurasian fare at Quentin’s. Book ahead for a historic tour with two former soldiers who offer great insight into the area’s past as an army enclave.
Check into Wanderlust and experience the new look and feel of this recently made over hotel that’s part of the Oakwood Unlimited Collection. Set in a heritage Art Deco building from the 1920s, the hotel combines vintage gorgeousness with mod-cons and the rich heritage of its Little India location. Kick back in the cosy social lounge, take a dip in the rooftop jacuzzi while contemplating the sights and sounds of the bustling surrounding district, and gorge on decadent Sri Lankan-inspired curries and street eats at Kotuwa, the onsite restaurant. When you’re in need of a breather, check into one of the elegant oases that are the 29 rooms and suites dressed in sleek wood furnishings and soothing earthy hues. We recommend the homey Studio Lofts that come with separate living areas and kitchenettes for a real home-away-from-home experience.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION MARINA BAY
Full disclosure—a hotel with 575 rooms may be stretching the definition of boutique. But there’s a reason we’re including PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay on the list. A refurbished hotspot that threw open its doors late last year, the hotel offers a jungle-like experience with all the mod-cons. Along with epic views of the Singapore skyline, the eco-friendly hotel—designed by FDAT Architects—features a sky-bridge treetop adventure, glass greenhouses, and more lush greenery than you can shake a stick at. Don’t miss an evening dip in the Outdoor Mineral Water Pool—lit by 1,380 fibre-optic lights—and an indulgent treatment at the St Gregory Spa. Hungry? Sate your appetite on a range of dining options— Cantonese cuisine at Peach Blossoms, Japanese at Sushi Jiro, grilled meats at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and international delights at Peppermint—then grab a drink at the Insta-worthy Portman’s Bar.
THE CLAN HOTEL
A slick new bolthole in the heart of Singapore’s heritage Chinatown down district, The Clan Hotel draws on the area’s Chinese heritage and the legacy of its clan associations while curating the best the city has to offer. Culture imbues every detail of the hotel, from the signature teas by Pryce, Chinese antiques, and welcoming tea ceremony with which they greet guests. Book a Grand Premier Room for corner views across the historic shophouses of the area and access to a Clan Keeper—the hotel’s butler service—and signature experiences with local experts such as scent-making workshops with Scent by SIX and a brewery tour with The 1925 Brewing Co. When hunger strikes, head straight for QIN for a well-executed meal laced with local influences—think Chili Crab Crostinis. Or, order the rotating daily specials—the hotel works with famous local hawker stalls like Punggol Nasi Lemak to deliver local favourites to your room.
British designer Anouska Hempel turned a row of heritage shophouses in Singapore’s eclectic Chinatown into Duxton Reserve, a sumptuous property that effortlessly blends Chinese, Malay, and European elements with 19th century charm. Each room is rendered in its own distinct, glamorous style, from the sleek black-and-white Duplex Suites and regal white Pearl Suite to the modern minimalist Shophouse Rooms, but all come with mod-cons like Naturalmat organic mattresses, Etro amenities, and Bose sound systems. Head to Yellow Pot—the onsite restaurant—for modern Chinese cuisine by Sebastian Goh, all created without additives or artificial flavourings, then slip into Anouska’s—the hotel’s bar—for top-shelf tipples and artisanal Chinese teas in elegant surrounds. Top tip: you’re in the heart of the city here, so be sure to explore all the restaurants, shops, museums, and nightlife that are all located within a stone’s throw.