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Floating Beds and Outdoor Bathtubs: Inside Singapore's New Majestic Hotel

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  Site Where: 31 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore, Singapore, 089845
March 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

What did TripAdvisor rate "Trendiest Hotel of 2011?" This one: the Hotel New Republic in Singapore's Chinatown. Don't let that color your judgment however, since our recent stay proved that "trendy" here doesn't mean it's overcrowded, packed with scensters or cheap furniture to look "cool." Instead, the New Republic is a quiet 30-room design-focused hotel that has expertly renovated a historic Chinatown shophouse into a place we sincerely wish we had booked for more than one night.

To be completely honest, of all the hotels we've experienced in Singapore, the New Majestic is the first one we'd return to on our next trip. It is ideal for travelers who seek out unique spaces that reflect the spirit of the destination (ah hem, not a big chain hotel) and for those who desire to be outside of the business district, in the heart of culture. And maybe those who want a funky pool too.

Rooms at the New Majestic begin around $200 per night, which we paid. There really aren't any bad rooms, but we'd try for the second floor where each room has either a balcony or a patio, some of those patios with outdoor soaking bathtubs. It's details like this—and there are many of them—that give you a sense that the New Majestic is having fun...fun with design, fun with being in Chinatown and fun with having you there, doing things like taking an al fresco midnight bath by the light of a lantern.

Room reaction: We checked into room 210, a goldfish-themed Premier Garden with a bed that appeared to float off the floor. Having stayed at the Wanderlust, one of the New Majestic's sister properties in town, we immediately recognized similarities: the separate tiled cubicles for the toilet and shower, with a sink area open to the rest of the room; the Nespresso coffeemaker, the use of vibrant color as a theme and the incorporation of designer furniture.

Unlike our room at the Wanderlust, the New Majestic has a desk, a giant mirror (much appreciated), another seat, thicker walls, the exterior patio area and more space in general. We especially enjoyed the placement of the flatscreen TV on the frame at the end of the bed, which was a mirror on the reverse.

WiFi Connect: Fast and free all around the hotel.

Amenities: Aside from the WiFi, the rooms include Kiehl's toiletries, use of the hotel fitness center and access to the awesome pool.

What we liked: The location, location, location. Just out of the craziness of Chinatown yet on the edge of it, we were able to easily walk the area and find cool stuff like Oriole Coffee Roasters, Shots Espresso Bar, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Maxwell Road Hawker Food Centre, the Lomography Store and more. It's also nice to see this hotel flourishing in such an architecturally intriguing area. Take a walk and you'll see what we mean. Bring the camera.

The room size was excellent, the fish theme wasn't annoying in the least, the mosaic tiled bathrooms were beautiful to look at, and the extras like the outdoor bathtub (which can be closed off from prying eyes) and the shower that opens to the patio made it feel more like a resort than a city property.

What we didn't like: As we said, we wish we would have stayed more than a single night, but that's our own fault. The only disappointment was that we stayed right after the Chinese New Year and the lobby—one usually filled with designer furniture—was transformed into an extension of the restaurant to accommodate large groups gathering to eat traditional meals. We love hanging out in hotel lobbies, but weren't able to this time around.

[Photos and video: Cynthia Drescher for HotelChatter]

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