In a country where going on a break invariably involves a plane trip (sometimes a ferry), regular staycations are our lifeblood. Whether it’s for a romantic getaway, an intimate party with friends or simply a very indulgent me-only R&R (we won’t judge), here’s our list of seven tried-and-tested staycations at boutique hotels around town.
PARKROYAL on Pickering
Best for: A spare-no-expense, five-star treat.
The place: It’s hard to miss this sleek and slightly imposing building in Chinatown, with lush foliage perched on its architectural facade. PARKROYAL on Pickering is an award-winning sustainable hotel with eco-friendly features like rain harvesting and a solar-powered, zero-energy sky garden.
The perks: The Junior Suite is spacious and intimate—you’ll wake up to a nice view of the city—and it comes with a stylish, roomy bathroom. There are a couple of highlights: you get a limousine pick-up and drop off anywhere here, a buffet dinner for two at Lime Restaurant and Bar, two 60-min massage treatments at St. Gregory, the hotel’s in-house spa and exclusive access to the Orchid Club, a private lounge located at the 16th floor. There, you can have a complimentary Champagne breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails away from the crowds.
The rant: Great news for exhibitionists—the windows, which face rooms and offices in nearby buildings, are not tinted.
The damage: The Suite Life package starts at $698 per night for a Junior Suite to $1,988 for a Presidential Suite, until Dec 31.
Studio M Hotel
Best for: Minimalist types looking for a cozy weekend getaway.
The place: The hotel has a predominantly glass facade which gives off a cool industrial vibe and its concierge counter makes a statement with modern glass chandeliers. Studio M Hotel, known for its stylish loft rooms, is close (but not too close) to watering holes and cafes at nearby Robertson Quay.
The perks: Depending on what you’re there for, you get a complimentary birthday cake, wine and even a flower petals arrangement on the bed when you check in. The hotel’s most attractive feature has to be its 25-meter pool on its semi-outdoor deck with lush cabanas and an open-air gym on the second floor.
The rant: The room we reviewed needed some sprucing up—the blinds were a little worn and the toilet was not thoroughly cleaned. The view of Robertson Quay was also partially blocked by the opposite block. Breakfast wise, it’s an international spread of local and western dishes, but be prepared to queue if you’re down at 9am.
The damage: The Celebrate with Style package starts at $330 for an Executive Loft to $480 for a Moonlight Loft.
Best for: Self-sufficient yuccies who can’t get enough of Keong Saik Road.
The place: The Naumi group’s newest offering is a chic, heritage hotel set in a row of refurbished 155 year-old shop houses. Peranakan-inspired design elements can be found throughout the 79-room establishment, which is located right across Potato Head Folk. Naumi Liora is a hip outfit with mod-Asian interiors and artworks on display include miniature sculptures by local artist KY Huang.
The perks: The beautiful architecture and location is the hotel’s main draw. Trendy restaurants and bars like Burnt Ends, Muchachos, Neon Pigeon, The Library and Cufflink Club are all within walking distance and it’s pretty near the CBD, if you’ve to work the next morning. The Liora Porch room is cosy and comfortable and it comes with a private balcony surrounded by greens. The hotel also has a 24-hour gym and a 24-hour snack bar stocked with ice cream, confectionary and hot beverages.
The rant: The complimentary “grab-and-go” breakfast, catered by Amici, is an uninspired mix of yogurt, fruit, salad, croissants and orange juice.
The damage: The Big 50 package starts from $164 onwards per night for the Liora Quaint Room to $230 onwards for the Liora Porch room, until Dec 30.
Hotel Fort Canning
Best for: A quiet and romantic retreat.
The place: A quiet drive up the lush Fort Canning Park, Hotel Fort Canning is tucked away from any busy street making it perfect for a quiet night in. Built in 1926, the historic building is also beautifully restored and features touches of Chinese and colonial heritage.
The perks: Even the smallest room, a Deluxe King, is airy and spacious. It comes with all the modern conveniences like free WiFi and a Bowers & Wilkins iPod dock. The best part is the full-glass bathroom, which comes with a rainshower and a standalone tub complete with rose petals. Plus, this package gets you a free in-room bottle of Prosecco.
The rant: It’s hard to get to, which means you have to get a taxi or drive if you want to get anywhere in the city. It’s a 10-minute walk to Plaza Singapura or City Hall, but be prepared to sweat.
The damage: The Love Blossoms package starts at $385 per night, until Dec 31.
Best for: Design-conscious foodies and cocktail fans.
The place: After a total overhaul, The Club now sports a luxe and vintage-modern vibe. The 20-room hotel is decked out in one-off art pieces, designer furniture and quirky antiques—befitting of its cool, dining-centric focus.
The perks: For such a small hotel, it’s got no less than five restaurants and bars—including Tiger’s Milk, a Peruvian rooftop resto-bar, and Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell’s, a mahogany-lined all-day dining space with cocktails by the guys of Proof & Co. The rooms are equally plush: designer beds by Hypnos (the same bed used by Queen Elizabeth II), Bluetooth Tivoli speakers and, of course, a minibar with organic and artisanal drinks.
The rant: Being so close to party central that is Ann Siang Hill and Club Street, expect late-night drunken choruses and thumping music to permeate the rooms.
The damage: Introductory rates start at $280 per night for a Club Room and $460 per night for a Club Suite, until Sep 30.
Best for: A selfish indulgence.
The place: Housed in a heritage building from the 1800s, the hotel’s key feature is its burlesque-inspired decor. The recently-refurbished Scarlet Singapore is plush and flamboyant, with luxe boudoir furniture and campy gilded walls. It’s also located within the Club Street and Ann Siang Hill hotspots, so there are lots of pricey food and drink options if you want to grab a late bite. The perks: The package includes a complimentary San Pellegrino drink and the option of a 10 minute Herbal Foot Soak, an Oxygen Recharge Inhalation session or Tension Relief Back Massage at Beauty Empire, which is located along the hotel’s row of shop houses. If that’s not enough, picky guests can also choose from three types of pillows: goose down, tempur and non-allergenic foam pillows. The Executive room offers a panoramic view of Chinatown and surrounding rooftop bars from the balcony and facilities include an open-air Jacuzzi and a gym. One major highlight is the complimentary breakfast at Casa Tartufo, which serves items like truffle scrambled eggs, chipotle and grilled vegetables.
The rant: It’s a great experience overall, but if we had to nitpick, the layout of the building with its narrow corridors can be slightly disorienting.
The damage: The Escape with Me package starts at $190 onwards per night for a Deluxe Room to $210 onwards for an Executive Room, until Dec 31
Best for: Culture vultures and jazz fans looking to explore a historic hood.
The place: Situated on the edge of one of lovely Kampong Glam, The Sultan is a boutique hotel comprising ten restored shop houses, close to the Sultan Mosque and the wonders of Arab Street and Haji Lane. What it lacks in facilities—no pool or gym, for example, and the in-room iPhone dock doesn’t work for anything after iPhone 4—it makes up in modest charm: unique rooms with fun features like slanting ceilings, wooden lattice work over windows, Persian rugs on the floor. (We stayed at the spacious Puteri room, but the Sultan Loft is especially nice, with a giant sleigh bed and a skylight.) And though you don’t need to be a guest to drink at their in-house cocktail bar Fresh!, we loved being able to roll back into our room after an epic night on its breezy and bustling terrace.
The perks: There’s free WiFi, though it’s not always very fast, and all guests get free entrance to the Sing Jazz Club on premises, which is open Wednesdays through Sundays (normally $10-35).
The rant: Pretty rooms aside, there’s little reason to stay indoors. The breakfast comprises little more than croissants, white toast, a couple local deep-fried things and eggs on request. But that’s all the more reason to be eating at the classic places around the area. Try Indo food at Sari Ratu and nasi Padang at Hajah Maimunah.
The damage: From $188 per night for a Standard Single room, $299 for the Puteri room to $488 for the Sultan Loft room. Their SG50 discounted rates are on average 30% cheaper than the regular price.