Checking In: Singapore’s coolest boutique hotels

If you’re going to pay to stay in a local hotel (or recommend one to a visitor), it needs something that makes it stand out. All of these hotels feature unique design concepts that distinguish them from more run of the mill places. But design alone isn’t enough—you actually have to spend the night, after all. We rated four of our favorites for creativity, suitability for spending the night and affordability.


One of the most recent arrivals on the niche boutique hotel scene, Wanderlust was designed for madcap, curious voyagers in search of adventure. Awardwinning design agencies Asylum, :phunk Studio and fFurious, as well as renowned architect firm DP Architects were assigned a level each to conceptualize any way they desired, and the result was a hodge podge of daring themes like “Creature Comforts,” “Industrial Glam,” “Eccentricity” and “Is It Just Black or White?”
Cool factor: 4/5
The pantone “capsule” rooms designed by the :phunk boys are really quite, well, funky, with each space cheerfully lit by a neon sign sporting an apt song title. The Pink Triangle (a Weezer number) room looks like it’d be great for a sleepover with the gals (or playing Paris Hilton for a night).
Overnight appeal: 2/5
You definitely need a sense of adventure to stay in this one. While it is one thing to sit down on a giant typewriter (“Creature Comforts” on level four designed by fFurious), it is another to sleep under a giant carpet of leaves stuck to the ceiling. We like the fact that there’s a pretty little Jacuzzi on the second level alfresco deck. But its close proximity to the neighboring flats is a bit of an issue.
Rates: $300-650
Verdict: This is certainly one of the coolest boutique hotels in town (its location in Little India also ups its street cred), but you’d need a lot of cash to spare to justify a staycation here.
Check in at: 2 Dickson Rd., 6396-3322,


Leading design company Sawaya & Moroni scores points in design with architecture that is avant garde, yet not over the top. From the leaning lamps to the futuristic-looking chrome sphere reception, everything about Klapsons is minimalist with a touch of luxe.
Cool factor: 3/5
Unfortunately, most of the avant garde design elements don’t go beyond the hotel’s main lobby. The Executive and Cosmo rooms have mostly dark parquet walls and the bathrooms are surrounded by glass—sexy, if not exactly cool. If you want to be impressed, you may have to check into one of their suites, which give you access to an alfresco deck equipped with a daybed and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Overnight appeal: 4/5
There’s no denying that the comfort factor here is very high. What the hotel lacks in creativity it makes up for in luxurious offerings such as the butler and secretary services (upon request).
Rates: $270-600
Verdict: In a class of its own. And that’s not just the Chivas whisky talking.
Check in at: Tower 15, 15 Hoe Chiang Rd., 6521-9030,

New Majestic

There’s no other word for the design of this place but “eclectic.” There are 30 rooms altogether, with names like “The Mirror Room,” “The Hanging Bed Room,” “The Aquarium Room” and “The Loft Room,” and they all bear the influences of the nine local artists commissioned to dress up the place with their original, site-specific artworks. There are also five concept rooms designed by bigwigs of the local creative scene like stylist Daniel Boey and fashion designer Wykidd Song.
Cool factor: 4/5
This is quite possibly one of the edgiest hotels we’ve been in. Just walking across the gleaming terrazzo floors of the open-concept lift lobby is sure to get you excited but if you’re looking for a greater adrenaline rush (or if you’re a voyeurism nut), get a table underneath the ceiling portholes of the hotel restaurant. You might be able to see people splashing about in the swimming pool right above you if you’re lucky. For a dramatic living experience, check out director Glen Goei’s Wayang room.
Overnight appeal: 3/5
If you’re a sucker for space, you’ll appreciate The Loft Room, if only for their giant vintage twin tubs. You’re also ensured top quality sleep here, what with the 280 thread count sheets and plush down and feather pillows by luxury brand Ploh.
Rates: $250 upwards
Verdict: Definitely worth checking out. Hell, go ask to see the rooms even if you can’t afford to stay.
Check in at: 31 Bukit Pasoh Rd., 6511-4700,

The Club

Ministry of Design has successfully combined the exotic feel of Chinatown with Singapore’s illustrious colonial history. From the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles with his head up in the “clouds” to signify his ambitions for early Temasek to the gaudy pink Chinese-inspired upholstery, the Club Hotel is a stylish pairing of modern minimalism and oriental elements.
Cool factor: 1/5
It’s nice but not something you’d write home about. The rooms are standard—all white space with a tinge of floral artwork. The use of checkered walls and floors reminds us a teeny bit of the film Beetlejuice (and most cafés these days, actually).
Overnight appeal: 4/5
There’s a lot of white space and the walls are soundproofed so it’s probably a good place to hide out in if you’re thinking of getting some “work” done without interruption. They’ve also included a thoughtful lounge and seating area in most of the rooms, which we like.
Rates: $210-450
Verdict: Great for some indulgent me time.
Check in at: 28 Ann Siang Rd., 6808-2188,

More off-the wall options

Hotel 1929
This four-star boutique hotel boasts a funky mix of retro-chic interiors and old world architecture. We like their blue-tiled, rooftop Jacuzzi, 80s-inspired rooms (though the floral gaudy motifs can be a bit of a turn-off) and the quaint dining space of Ember Restaurant.
50 Keong Saik Rd., 6347-1929

Hotel Moon
The newest kid on the boutique hotel block looks set to heat up the competition with 60 Standard rooms, eight Deluxe rooms, 14 (massive) Executive rooms and one pretty, idyllic Moonlight suite. It’s not a very tall building but the suite’s alfresco deck makes you feel like the sky’s just opened up to you.
23 Dickson Rd., 6827-6666

Studio M Hotel
Italian design maestro Piero Lissoni has ensured elegance and sophistication throughout the hotel using a subtle palette of colors and hints of plant life. The amazingly spacious lofts also feature floorto- ceiling glass windows that allow you to enjoy expansive views of the city’s skyline, as well as open concept wardrobes.

3 Nanson Rd., 6808-8888