Small IS beautiful: Singapore's designer boutique hotels
If you like your 5-star amenities and Olympic-size swimming pools, then stop reading here. This article is about a new breed of niche smaller hotels with designer touches and personalized service. These four Singapore boutique hotels do it very, very well.
The sci-fi special: Klapsons
The newest kid on Singapore's designer boutique hotel scene, fresh from its opening in October 2009, Klapsons is quite out-of-this-world with its contemporary design and layout. Originally a commercial space at Tower 15 in downtown Hoe Chiang Road, interior designer firm Sawaya & Moroni "wanted to set a new standard in hotels in terms of design and functionality." The result is 17 rooms and suites that are all unique, with individual layouts and custom fittings. The lobby is quite the heart-stopper too, with its massive steel sphere structure and furniture pieces such as the 'Maxima' armchair, 'Leggy Peggy' chair and the signature Klapsons coffee tables.
The conversation piece: The handcrafted five-meter sphere that's decked out in stainless steel and serves as the reception and check-in point. It's apparently a breakthrough in civil engineering, which we don't doubt -- it looks like some space-age prop from a sci-fi movie, floating in the middle of the lobby.
15 Hoe Chiang Road, Singapore. tel +65 6521 9030
The cosy comforter: Naumi
More than one of our executives said to us that they wished their own places were just like the Naumi, which is high praise from frequent business travellers. Naumi's location is great -- smack next to Raffles Hotel and steps away from Raffles City and the City Hall MRT station -- but its draw is its almost-hideaway feel. The hotel was refurbished from the mid-range Metropole Hotel and what a change it was. The Naumi hotel now sports a very intimate yet ultra-luxe feel, with soft lighting, designer Italian furnishings and your own Naumi aide (think caretaker/concierge/butler) to make your day. But it's not all touristy either, as the hotel was designed specifically for business types with a full-scale Cisco communications system and in-room Nespresso machines.
The conversation piece: The rooftop pool, complete with cabana recliners and cocoon couches. It's tiny so you don't really get a workout doing laps, but the view, oh the view...
41 Seah Street, Singapore, tel +65 6403 6000
The sultry seductress: The Scarlet
The Scarlet hotel is like a Hollywood set from Moulin Rouge, only you get to sleep in this Chinatown fave. Every inch of the Scarlet -- from the floors to the walls to the rooms and the corridors -- is clad in flamboyant décor like glittery chandeliers, plump satin cushions, and chairs, while the chic attendants wear scarlet and black horseman coats. The rooms verge on theatrical with S$30,000 beds and gold-plated taps you can see your reflection in. The 80-room hotel prides itself as being Singapore's 'first luxury boutique hotel,' and it's located in the chic Ann Siang/Maxwell area while bordering on Chinatown -- making it quite convenient for both tourists and business execs.
The conversation piece: The dimly lit Bold Bar, with its brazen mix of jet black, matt gold, cardinal reds, Porto Oro Black marble and gray mirror-clad ceilings.
33 Erskine Road, Singapore, tel +65 6511 3333
The mid-century masterpiece: The New Majestic
Lawyer-turned-hotelier, Loh Lik Peng, has what we'd call damn-near-perfect taste when it comes to the interiors of his super modern New Majestic Hotel in Singapore's Chinatown. Not only is the hotel impeccably put together with its clean lines, sexy whites, and chic furniture scattered throughout, but each of the 30 rooms are custom-designed to give unparalleled personality to seemingly every single detail. The name alludes to the building itself, which was built in 1928. You can still see hints of the former dwellings from the exposed concrete ceiling.
The conversation piece: Five of the rooms have been designed by Singapore's top creatives, but the one we like the most is Lee Mei Ling's concept which features fantasy landscapes.
31–37 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore, +65 6511 4700