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Singapore hotels that ooze charm and personality
Nestled between the hotel monoliths of Singapore are a handful of boutique hotels full of character. Here are eight of the best
The next time you need a hotel in Singapore, why not consider something with a bit more personality than a branded tower of glass and concrete? These eight boutique hotels ooze character and charm and are still within easy reach of many of the city's favored destinations.
While this 108-room hotel is technically still in Orchard Road, it is easy to ignore this fact. Unlike a lot of Orchard, it is affordable without compromising on style.
Quincy has everything for locals seeking a staycation and visitors who don't want to venture too far off from all the shopping action. The non-smoking studio rooms boast city views and a spacious, sexy see-through bathroom, but the real kicker is a glass-enclosed pool on the 12th floor that allows guests to drape themselves over the edge and watch the city bustle.
22 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228517; tel. +65 6496 7699; www.quincy.com.sg
Located on the cusp of historic Chinatown and hip Clarke Quay, Hotel Re! straddles old and new Singapore without being in the way of the action.
If you're stumbling back from a night at Clarke Quay, you might just be early enough to walk sheepishly past bleary-eyed students dragging their feet to the secondary school across the road, or to watch grannies practice tai chi in the park next to the hotel.
The hotel was formerly Singapore's tallest elementary school at 12 stories, a fact well disguised now by the neon colors and psychedelic decor of its 140 rooms. Groovy, baby.
175A Chin Swee Road, Singapore 169879; tel. +65 6827 8288; www.hotelre.com.sg
Sitting quietly and unassumingly at the edge of the tony Robertson Quay neighborhood, Gallery Hotel is a hideout for foodies.
Surrounded by hole-in-the-wall ramen shops frequented by the Japanese community in Singapore, a leisurely stroll to Robertson Quay unfurls a long row of restaurants that dish up everything from authentic Chinese fare to comfort French food. The neighborhood may not offer much in terms of entertainment at night but Singapore's grand dame of the club scene, Zouk, is no more than a 15-minute stroll away. Check into any of Gallery Hotel's tastefully decorated 223 rooms and sink into a food coma.
1 Nanson Road, Singapore 238909; tel. +65 6849 8686; www.galleryhotel.com.sg
Link Hotel is smack in the middle of one of Singapore's oldest and most vibrant neighborhoods.
The two buildings the hotel is built from are converted from historical public housing. Photography enthusiasts would have a field day traipsing around the area to document the art deco-style architecture left untouched by Singapore's upgrading efforts. Around the corner old men gather under a block to show off their songbirds in cages.
If all the exploring has left you feeling peckish, head to the famous Tiong Bahru market for local food. It is usually open till late, but some stalls may close early once their food has been sold out so get into a queue and have what the person in front of you is having. You won't go wrong.
Without detracting too much from the neighborhood's charm, the 288 rooms of Link Hotel in calm, neutral colors and a subtle Asian style are definitely made for respite.
50 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 6622 8585; tel. +65 6622 8585; www.linkhotel.com.sg
Changi Village Hotel
Nestled in the East of Singapore, closer to the airport than the city center, Changi Village Hotel is a true sanctuary for those looking to get away.
The colorful building is a bit of an anomaly in the sleepy, old neighborhood that has otherwise been left untouched by time. There is no shortage of local fare and seafood around but if you want to be clad in your bathrobe and slippers, La Cantina restaurant on the rooftop offers great views of the South China sea and even better crabmeat linguine. If you have some time to spare, take a bumboat ride and venture to nearby Pulau Ubin for a spot of cycling in lush natural greenery.
1 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508502; tel +65 6379 7111; www.stayvillage.com/changi
Hotel 1929 is steeped in local history. The hotel is made up of conserved shophouses synonymous with Singaporean architecture, built in 1929. Behind the largely untouched facade lie just 32 rooms decked out in an eclectic mix of modern and retro furniture and two suites even come with cheeky outdoor showers.
The boutique hotel is a short walk away from the Chinatown train station and shares breathing space with karaoke bars, typically Singaporean coffee shops and a colorful Indian temple. If you're feeling naughty, right across the road is the Yangtze (say young-zhi) cinema, the only soft-core porn cinema in Singapore.
50 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089154 tel +65 6347 1929; www.hotel1929.com
For the budget traveler who doesn't want to stay in a dank hostel, Hangout at Mount Emily is the place to go.
The hotel is on a small hill that sits atop a street of shophouses that are a mix of residences, small offices, an art gallery and even a tattoo parlor should you have the urge to get inked. For travelers wanting a slice of ethnic Singapore, Little India is a leisurely 10-minute walk and a world away.
The no-frills but still hip rooms are cheery and casual, and many face a small park behind the hotel.
10A Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore 228119; tel +65 6438 5588; www.hangouthotels.com
The Club Hotel
The newest kid on the boutique hotel circuit in Singapore, The Club is strategically located on at Ann Siang road, an area that has quickly ascended to become one of Singapore's hippest areas to work, live, eat and play in.
Surrounding the very chic, stark white facade of the hotel are boutiques like Agnés B, Fred Perry and Style:Nordic, which stocks Scandinavian labels like Filippa K and Nudie Jeans. Amongst the rows of retail shops, restaurants and cafes are also saunas and massage parlors surreptitiously tucked in that cater to the gay scene.
28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708; tel. +65 6808 2188