Singapore Travel Guide
It’s like clockwork: the annual Skytrax awards for best airport come around, and Singapore’s Changi Airport wins. So it did last month, for the third year running, and no US airport even made the top ten.
If flying in and out of Singapore is nice and award-worthy at the moment, wait until their next project is going to be completed. Called Jewel Changi Airport, it is an enormous mixed-use complex that should be ready by the end of 2018, and includes lots of things, like a new Yotel, but we have to start with the above: the 40-metre high Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall that will be at the heart of the complex. Just take in that rendering – can you imagine something like that greeting you at, say, Newark?
Are you hitting the gym everyday? Restricting your intake of carbs? Drinking lots of cold-pressed juice? No? Well you better get started on that since swimsuit season is practically here. #Ugh #No #Winterbutt.
Speaking of swimsuits, The Mandarin Oriental Singapore is helping guests ease into bathing suit season with their new Swim in Style package. The offer includes accommodations in the Ocean Grand room overlooking the city and the and the South China Sea, along with a private yoga class, a spa cuisine meal for two, new blends of "Refresh, Renew, Revitalise" coconut water and a therapeutic thai massage in a pool cabana.
But it also includes two swim sets from the eco-friendlyFINCH designs (shown below), a Shanghai-based company. We suggest these suits on at the end of your stay, you know, after the coconut water, yoga class and massage.
The package will be offered from April 1 to August 31 with rates starting at SGD 1,450 a night for double occupancy. A two-night minimum stay is required. Regular room rates for an Ocean Grand room start at SGD 590.
Hotel Openings / Philippe Starck / Singapore Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel Development / Women-Only Floors / Female Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
Having just processed the scale and design of the future home of Andaz Singapore, here we are with more on Philippe Starck’s entry into the city’s hotel / mega development game. Part of the gigantic South Beach development, we have some up to date construction shots, but we also stumbled upon these renderings on the hotel website, so far just called The South Beach.
First: the “unveil the future” isn’t our imagination running away with us; keep reading, and you see this bold statement plastered along the construction site - which is not so much down the road from the iconic Raffles Hotel, as the Andaz is, but directly opposite the front entrance.
Second: whoa, that’s a lot of things in one rendering. White walls, ceiling, and bed. Black/grey/white camouflage flooring, which bleeds into the furniture (see the nightstands and the legs of the table). Mirror and artwork behind the bed. TV on a wooden stand. A bathroom clad in mirrors. A lighting fixture in the form of a metal tube coming down from the ceiling. Discuss.
Between its inspiration being a “virtual persona” and the oxygenated water we found in our room, we had little doubt about the millennial roots of Hotel Jen. But what is it like to spend the night? Does Jen give us enough of the things we like about millennial hotels (e.g. free and no fuss WiFi) without some of the trends we’d rather see end yesterday?
The WiFi question we can only answer with a resounding yes. Not only was the WiFi free at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway in Singapore, fast, and reliable, it had no limitations on the number of devices. We found ourselves with no less than five on us during our stay, so being able to go beyond the more common maximum of three was very welcome.
Hotel Construction / Singapore Hotels / Patina Hotels / Maldives Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Having learned about new brand Patina Hotels and its flagship The Patina, Capitol in Singapore four months ago, we strolled down Stamford Road to see how far along the transformation of the classic Capitol Building and Stamford House has come.
Above the view from the corner of North Bridge and Stamford Road towards the Capitol building – for an aerial view of the entire development go here. On the left you can just make out the modern addition that will house the Eden Residences Capitol, a series of apartments with views over Marina Bay and, in the example you can see by clicking that link, views from a private pool. Rather than an April completion (which seemed very soon to us), the Leading Hotels of the World website now lists “mid 2015” for opening.
With the news that Andaz Hotels was heading to Singapore dropping into our inbox just days before we would be in town, we naturally had to include a stop in the Ophir-Rochor district on our itinerary to check out what we’ll be looking at come opening in 2017.
We’ll get to construction shots in a second, but first, here it is: the dual-towered DUO development Andaz will be part of, designed by Ole Scheeren, the architect also behind Bangkok’s Mahanakhon Tower. Curving along a half-moon base, the exterior of the two towers is covered in hexagons, with extensive gardens and at least one pool on the roof. Read on for much more.
In the wave of millennial hotels we greeted in 2014, Shangri-La Hotels decided to join in by throwing out its business-oriented Traders Hotels and repurposing the properties into Hotel Jen, “inspired by virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places”.
In case we had any doubt about its millennial nature after that description when we checked into Hotel Jen Orchardgateway in Singapore, they were put to rest when we found an orange post-it on the bathroom mirror jauntily telling us to check out the minibar, in which we found two bottles of (complimentary) oxygenated water. Fits right in with things like a focus social spaces and acting impressed over artisanal olive oil, don’t you think?
The sleek and gigantic South Beach development takes up a city block, featuring two angular towers with sky gardens and a wavy canopy covering a retail promenade. The hotel will share the tower in the foreground with residential apartments.
If you celebrated the New Year in downtown Singapore, you may have noticed a couple of striking high-rise buildings in the works. This is South Beach, a seriously “green” mixed-use development in the heart of the business district and yeah, there’s a hotel planned. The 654-room “luxury concept hotel” does not yet have a confirmed operator or a firm opening date but it’s got an interior designer we can get excited about – Philippe Starck.
Imagine this, with a Singapore map on the wall
But it turns out we’ve underestimated Premier Inn. They’re not just UK and Ireland anymore. They’ve gone global.
In Singapore the other week, we stumbled on this story about Premier Inn’s plans to open its first hotel in Singapore. How exciting! Except now we realize there are already Premier Inns in India and the Arabian Gulf. You guys!
Anyway, Premier Inn Singapore Beach Road will have 300 rooms with rates at the SGD $160-190 rate ($127-152), which is good-to-standard for the more budget end of the market (although Singapore has lots of beautiful budget hotels, which it’ll have to compete with). It’s currently being built on Beach Road, near Arab Street, and is gunning for an mid 2016 opening. There will be a pool, fitness center and meeting rooms, too.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Patina Hotels / Singapore Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Six Star Hotels / → All Tags
Pretty sure this is the Patina
The scene: the breakfast buffet at the Sofitel So Singapore. The date: last Wednesday. The characters: a group of smartly dressed men and women having a business meeting. And us at the table next door, listening in.
We hadn’t realized when we sat down, but these people were in the hotel industry – two of them seemed to be on a giant hotel of Asia (take us with you?), and they were discussing the scene. They talked about millennial hotels, they talked about HotelChatter (hi!) and then they started talking about Patina Hotels, a forthcoming brand for Singapore. So we googled. And Patina looks incredible.
Behind it all is the Kwee family from Singapore, who own Capella, the Conrad, the Regent and the Ritz-Carlton. The first, and flagship, property will be The Patina, Capitol Singapore, part of a $750 redevelopment project of the old Capitol movie theater (Singapore’s first) on Stamford Road, and designed by Richard Meier (yes, the Richard Meier) and Jaya International Design.
The Hotel Jen brand is inspired by the virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places. Hotel Jen takes care of guests with efficiency and care, while also giving them informed access to the best a particular destination has to offer.
Stress-free ease and simplicity will be reflected in the overall Hotel Jen stay experience through the informal and friendly check-in, stay, check-out and on-going contact. A sense of belonging will be reflected through a brand persona concept that positions guests as "friends of Jen," with a caring and respectful service standard communicated by staff in an enthusiastic, helpful and engaging way.
The Hotel Jen "informed and friendly" service style will also guide guests to the best of where they are, through local restaurant recommendations, under-the-radar sights and unusual boutiques. The Hotel Jen team will be a guest’s own personal local lifestyle guide.
(Note: Jen is not to be confused with Marriott's imagined Millennial traveler, Jia.)
It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.
Looking for a little intellectual stimulation to go with your cocktail buzz? The mixology pros at Raffles Singapore’s iconic Long Bar have put together a Timeline Cocktail Menu that covers significant time periods and events in the hotel’s history. Here’s a sampling of just a few.
Tiffing – “Tiffing” comes from an old English word meaning “taking a little sip” and over time came to mean a light mid-day meal. Hence came Sunday tiffin curry, which was an essential aspect of colonial life. Tiffin curry has been served at Raffles since 1899 and now you can take a little sip of it as well; the cocktail consists of Tequila, Aperol, Angostura bitters, lemongrass, curry, Monin Gomme, and fresh grapefruit juice. Bite into that.
The Stray Tiger – This cocktail marks the rumor that a tiger was shot under the billiard table in the hotel’s Bar & Billiard Room in 1902. The truth (if you want to hear it) is that the tiger was shot under the actual Bar & Billiard building but—hey—close enough. The Stray Tiger is a layered cocktail with white rum, Cointreau, vermouth, fresh lime juice, absinthe (hallucination-causing wormwood was big in those days) and lemongrass foam.
More bevvies below!