September 2, 2021
Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.
Here are the top 5 boutique hotels in Singapore:
When Hyatt first announced their Andaz sub-brand, there was a bit of skepticism about whether a corporate behemoth could really just decide overnight to join the design-hotel avant-garde. A decade or so on, they’ve put most people’s doubts to rest, but even so, Andaz Singapore still feels like a surprise. The German architect Ole Scheeren’s DUO towers are a dramatic statement indeed — but the hotel within, the first Andaz in Southeast Asia, turns out to be more than equal to the task.
The public spaces, from the lobby on up, are suitably impressive, equal parts luxe elegance and edgy futurism. But it’s in the rooms, by designer Andre Fu, that the Andaz Singapore really takes flight. They’re warm and organic but they’re also stunning visual compositions — and the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows are nothing short of extraordinary. And when it comes to comfort, there’s no expense spared; this place is the state of the art.
Here’s an enticing formula for a new hotel. An Art Deco building in Singapore’s up-and-coming Kampong Glam neighborhood, plus an illustrious French architect and interior designer. Indeed, there’s plenty of buzz around The Vagabond Club, Jacques Garcia’s first project in Asia. That’s partly because the sumptuous 41-room boutique looks like a lot more than a cool place to sleep. The hotel’s Whiskey Library is home to a carefully curated selection of over 1,000 whiskies, and also features an Artist In Residence program, which brings writers, musicians, and visual artists from all over the globe to live, work, and socialize with guests in a Parisian salon-inspired space.
Ambitious, yes, but no one ever made an impact, especially on a hotel scene as crowded as Singapore’s, by playing it safe. It feels like a special occasion when you step into the hotel. The interiors are dark and romantic, channeling the old-world glamour of Garcia’s native Paris — red velvet banquettes, Dalí-esque paintings, bouquets of roses — as much as the Far-East flair of the neighborhood itself. You’re close to Singapore’s Little India, and it feels like it: glittering, larger-than-life sculptures of an elephant and a rhinoceros grace the lobby, a golden baboon stares back at you as you order a martini, a magnificent golden tree soaring up past the bar, the gilded branches seemingly woven into the architecture.
The colonial style reigned in Singapore hotels for quite a long time. But today a new generation of design-conscious boutique hotels is moving in. In the place of what was once the Metropole, a fairly standard budget hotel, the Naumi now stands proudly clad in steel mesh, just down the street from the Raffles (and, to the great convenience of business guests, just a few minutes’ walk from the convention center).
Inside it’s at once crisp and flamboyant, with clean lines and sober colors livened by expressive touches like brightly-colored design-classic chairs or ornate wallpaper patterns etched into glass. In terms of comforts, the rooms are a step up from the boutique-hotel norm, verging on luxury territory: business travelers will be happy with the full-sized desks, IP telephones, and complimentary wi-fi; leisure guests will make use of flatscreens with Apple TV and BluRay players; and everyone can benefit from the bathrooms, equipped with rain showers stocked with SOAK toiletries.
The thought of Capella in Signapore might at first strike one as slightly odd. This is a smallish collection of carefully crafted luxury resorts, not exactly the sort of thing you’d expect to see sprouting up in an urban setting. But on Sentosa Island, just across the channel from Singapore proper — that makes a lot of sense. Here on thirty acres of manicured parkland sits a stunning new building by Foster + Partners, home to the brand-new Capella Singapore.
If you’re expecting something like The Gherkin, you’ll be surprised. Here Foster’s new addition is gracefully married to a historical structure, as is actually the case with much of his firm’s recent hospitality work. The result is an arrival that’s classic, calming, with the architectural pleasures slowly unfolding throughout the stay.
In some cities, the prospect of a warehouse hotel would hardly raise an eyebrow. But Singapore’s godown warehouse buildings are a good deal more distinctive than your ordinary disused industrial space — and so Singapore’s Warehouse Hotel comes with a good deal more character than your everyday boutique hotel.
Of course, the fact that they had particularly rich raw materials to work with should take nothing away from the achievement of the architects, Zarch Collaboratives, who oversaw the meticulous restoration and conversion of these heritage buildings, or Asylum, the designers who transformed their interior spaces into the hotel you see today.
A sample of the MICHELIN Guide's highest-rated restaurant selections for Singapore:
Plenty of travelers find themselves in Singapore on business, if that’s you, we would urge you to consider the following boutique hotels:
Oasia Hotel Downtown
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore