Courtesy of Capella Singapore
Courtesy of Capella Singapore
Capella Singapore is just one of several new hotels in the vibrant city-state that blends traditional local design with modern comforts.
From eco-conscious initiatives and refurbished heritage shophouses to sprawling all-villa concepts, these are the hot new hotels in Singapore to book for 2022.
Singapore may be a small city-state, but it has no shortage of accommodation options. The hotel scene has more than 400 properties to pick from, and it has diversified beyond the typical five-star cookie-cutter luxury tower to include cool, independent abodes, meticulously refurbished heritage stays, and guest suites that highlight the local experience beyond listing a token Singapore Sling on the bar menu. Here are some of our best picks for where to stay in Singapore, plus a trio of hotly anticipated openings for 2022.
The newly opened Clan Hotel makes the most of its location with a 30th-floor rooftop pool overlooking colorful Chinatown and room views that juxtapose the city’s sleek skyscrapers with the neighborhood’s charming shophouses. The scenery isn’t the hotel’s only selling point though. Cultural touches of the past and present differentiate the Clan from any standard hotel stay.
Once guests pass through the hotel’s sleek and modern bronze exterior, they are welcomed with an oolong and osmanthus tea ceremony. In the lobby, they’ll encounter The Pact, a 50-piece aluminum art installation by Grace Tan; it’s inspired by an origami technique and symbolizes the close ties among immigrants in the early 1800s. The hotel’s signature scent—a distinctive sandalwood and white musk blend called “Kindred Spirit” by local perfumer Scent by SIX—follows visitors through all the public spaces.
Of the 324 rooms, the Grand Premier category’s Master Series rooms (located on floors 24 to 29) come with the extra luxury of the Clan Keepers, a personal butler–style service. Guests of these rooms are also entitled to an exclusive, twice-weekly Local Precinct Tour of the area’s heritage and cultural hot spots, akin to a CliffNotes version of Singapore’s rich multicultural history.
Sustainable-led initiatives may be the most overused hotel trend in recent years. However, if the nine-month, S$45 (US$33) million refurbishment and rebranding of the former Marina Mandarin Singapore into ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay is anything to go by, there’s potential for eco-led practices to become the main drawcard. For decades, the 21-story indoor atrium designed by architect John Portman had been grossly underutilized. Finally, the indoor sky-lit space (originally built in 1987) has come into its own. In line with a “garden in a hotel” concept, the space now includes a sky bridge for guests to walk above a forest canopy with bird’s nest–style pavilions. There’s a 43-foot planter wall flanking the concierge desk, and more than 2,400 plant, flower, and tree species dot the property. The hotel also has an urban rooftop farm that will supply fruit, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers to its restaurants, bars, and spa; other green features include a filtered water system, solar panels, a ban on single-use plastics, and a food waste program that converts scraps into fertilizer for the hotel’s new gardens.
The 112-room Capella Singapore has topped numerous best-of lists year after year, but now that it’s reopened after a well-timed 2021 refresh by Hong Kong designer Andre Fu, it’s ready for a revisit. Playing up an idyllic beachfront setting, the stylish, ultra-comfortable rooms have been updated with a soothing sand, sage, and mineral color scheme and deep soaking tubs. The hotel embraces its (manicured) jungle side too: Rooms have plush window lounge seating perfect to do some in-sofa “forest bathing.” In addition to eye-catching amenities like a three-tier infinity pool and an award-winning art collection (there are over 900 pieces on-site), the “Capella’s Culturalist” activity calendar offers lively mahjong lessons, farm-to-table cooking classes from modern-day farming kampung (village) One Kind House, and a sidecar tour with a feng shui master who explains how the ancient Chinese philosophy influenced the placement of Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands and the mystical Merlion statue.
Fun fact: It took 10 years and S$170 (US$126) million to clean up the famed Singapore River back in the 1980s. Today, the vibrant waterfront is home to a hodgepodge of bars and restaurants, and with the opening of boutique hotel Heritage Collection Boat Quay in late 2019, visitors can now fall asleep to the sound of river taxis traversing the span. The hotel offers 40 chinoiserie-themed loft and studio-style rooms housed within four heritage shophouses, and the top-tier 427 square-foot Raffles Loft comes with a private balcony that looks out to the boat-shaped Marina Bay Sands and the arch-shaped Elgin Bridge. While the hotel has kept the original facade and numerous heritage architectural elements intact (wooden door screens, Peranakan style jade-green tiles), rooms have been kitted out with all the expected mod cons (kitchenette, washer/dryer, blackout drapes) for a comfortable stay in a space that straddles old-new Singapore.
When the original Wanderlust first opened in 2013, it was arguably Singapore’s quirkiest boutique hotel, where rooms came individually decorated with oversized typewriters, Frank Gehry sofas, and neon light art pieces. Fast forward to 2021, the 29-room Little India property, now managed by Oakwood’s new Unlimited Collection brand, has undergone an overhaul. The spacious lofts and studios are now dressed in a pared-down, earth-toned palette with wood accents, and amenities like a complimentary launderette and kitchenettes are designed for the extended-stay guest. While the spunky attitude has been managed out, guest activities—such as leather craft workshops, kombucha-making sessions, and food heritage tours of Little India and Chinatown—offer local insight (and a touch of community) to the overall stay. Another bonus? Having modern Sri Lankan eatery Kotuwa in the lobby, although advance reservations are advised if you’re set on trying one of its mouthwatering curries.
And here are three upcoming hotel openings we’re excited about:
The Hilton Singapore Orchard, slated to open March 2022, is being billed as the biggest hotel in the Asia Pacific, with 1,080 botanically inspired rooms and suites. It comes with plenty of guest amenities: two 24-hour fitness centers, an outdoor pool, and five restaurants including frequent winner of local best-of awards Chatterbox (we recommend its Hainanese Chicken Rice), Osteria Mozza by Nancy Silverton (winner of a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef), and the two-Michelin-starred Shisen Hanten by Chen Kenmin, largely regarded as the “Father of Szechwan Cuisine.” For shoppers, the property’s direct access to a four-level luxury retail mall, and location right on Orchard Road, will be one more reason to choose this as a home base.
No expense has been spared for the upcoming Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore, set in 24 acres of tropical gardens with picturesque views of the surrounding South China Sea. Slated to open in late 2022, it will be Singapore’s first all-villa hotel and is being designed by Yabu Pushelberg (the same team behind the Park Hyatt Bangkok, and several Edition properties). All 62 villas have a seamless indoors-outdoors style, leveraging its verdant setting with private pools and covered alfresco lounge spaces. The property itself will have a bar, several eateries, a fitness center, a Raffles Spa, and the Raffles Butler service known for discreet, intuitive assistance. In short, there’s a good chance guests won’t feel particularly compelled to venture off property.
Opening in 2023, Artyzen Singapore will be the first new hotel added to Singapore’s Orchard Road district in over a decade. What was once the sprawling home of the late Tan Hoon Siang (grandson of Singapore philanthropist Tan Tock Seng) is being transformed into a 20-story luxury property. The 142 rooms (eight suites and 134 standard rooms) will sport a distinctive aesthetic, fusing reinterpreted facets of Peranakan art and style (known for intricate details and immaculate workmanship) with contemporary design. If offerings at its sister properties are a guide—like the teaching of pānānā (navigational techniques) at the Plantation Inn in Maui—expect local cultural experiences here too.
Correction: Artyzen Singapore is slated to open in 2023, not 2022, as previously reported.
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