Since we know you’re aching to find out about the “BooKube”, we’ll start there: a bookend you’ll find in each room, as well as in “La BiblioteK”, the Lagerfeld-curated library on the ground floor (see the gallery for a photo). And of course, the quote: “Reading is a sport. Books are my personal brain-building”. Oh, Karl. Please don’t ever change. It’s made out of white Corian, weighs a hefty 1,200 grams, and can be bought at the hotel or online.
Walking through the So Hip entrance, you’ll step into the atrium separating the two wings of the hotel. The honeycomb (or fancier-sounding nid d’abeille in French Sofitel speak) is a recurring pattern, here in the marble floor and hanging down from the ceiling, the latter slowly blinking with light. Reception is to your right, facing the entrance on the corner of Robinson Road.
This shot from a few floors up shows how the two wings come together (So Heritage on the right, So Hip on the left). Second category So Comfy rooms in the So Hip Wing overlook the atrium; the windows just across are the Heritage Wing hallway, not other guestrooms, and are frosted to create additional privacy.
The lobby has various seating areas and floor-to-ceiling windows; Xperience Bar and La BiblioteK are to your left when you walk in from Robinson Road, with Xperience Restaurant to the right.
Xperience serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a range of international dishes made in an open kitchen. We had a quick lunch after our tour, trying duck spring rolls as a starter and an interesting East-meets-West vegetarian pasta dish that we liked. Two courses from the limited menu set us back SGD38 (US$30) excluding VAT and service.
If sitting upright isn’t your preference, you can try and snag this rather theatrical bed-cum-sofa in the far corner. A DJ booth is set up as well for evening music.
Upstairs there are 118 rooms and 6 suites in a number of categories, but we think picking one that suits you will be relatively straightforward. A few things they all have in common: Apple in-room technology, complimentary WiFi and local calls, Sofitel MyBeds and light boxes above, high ceilings, Lagerfeld bathrobes and leather notebooks, universal adaptors, and complimentary minibar items.
So Cosy and So Comfy rooms are in the So Hip Wing and do not have a bathtub; all others are in the So Heritage Wing and do feature this. If you’d like some outdoor space, you’ll need to go for the So Lofty (above), which has a terrace.
The So Lofty had a huge bathroom with dual vanity, rain shower on the left and toilet on the right, and an extra-wide bathtub. We liked the quirky towel/robe hooks (you can just make out the red hands in the mirror, a better shot is in the gallery) and the jewellery-inspired boxes with amenities (toiletries are by BISAZZA). All rooms have some form of peekaboo bathrooms, but our pick would probably be So Club, as it separates the toilet in its own cubicle (with proper, solid door) right at the entrance – very much like we saw at Sofitel Le Grand Ducal Luxembourg. So Club and up also come with an F&B credit to spend in Xperience Restaurant & Bar downstairs.
Aside from an iPhone, an iPad Mini controls pretty much everything in the room: lighting, blinds, temperature, you name it.
All rooms feature a minibar in the style you see above, though smaller in lower category rooms. The drawers clearly indicated what was complimentary and what was paid for; the door on the right contains the recipe for the hotel’s signature “#35” cocktail.
We also had a preview of Hi-So rooftop, which indeed has a gold-tiled lap pool. All we can say is we’re pretty sure a refreshing dip will be welcome in Singapore’s blisteringly hot and humid climate. Arriving in July, the finishing touches were being done on the bar and the various seating areas, which will be open to non-guests as well.
We’re curious where Sofitel is taking its So brand (upcoming destinations should include Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, and Sydney); the two city hotels we’ve now seen in detail – Bangkok and Singapore – are full of funky design and quirky features, but very different at the same time. If you’d like to check out Singapore for yourself, you can still score an SGD100 F&B credit during the hotel’s first 100 days. Room rates start just under US$300 with this special offer.
[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]