Boutique hotels - Singapore

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Keith009

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I have to make several personal trips to SIN this year. And SIN alas is another city where Starwood properties don't work for me.

The ugly, tawdry and overpriced St Regis has gone up in category, thus eradicating the only good reason to stay there that was the fab value cat 5 Cash+Points bookings. As for the Sheraton... stayed there once for the sake of stay credits, never again! :shock:

I am keen to go back to my old haunt the New Majestic. But I've just noticed several new boutique hotels in Singapore with similarly trendy design-oriented flairs.

Can anyone comment on the locales of the following? And any general comments about service, or any pitfalls I should be aware of?

Klapsons:
Reserve Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel Singapore at Tablet Hotels

Wanderlust:
Reserve Wanderlust Singapore at Tablet Hotels

Scarlet:
The Scarlet - A Boutique Hotel

M Studio:
Executive Accommodation Singapore | Studio Loft | Studio M Hotel Singapore

Leaning towards Wanderlust for now but no clue where Little India is.

I like the Neil Road locale of the New Majestic with heaps of great bars around so if any of these are in the vicinity of Chinatown that'd be fab. Also like being near the Clarke Quay or Boat Quay area.

Work has a $250 rate with the Mandarin Orchard but I'm not overly fond of the place apart from its fab Orchard Rd location (unless my AMEX is feeling poorly!). I could also go with the usual 5* favourites (Four Seasons, InterContinental and MO are high up on my 'approved' list in SIN) but I far prefer something a little more interesting, especially in Singabore.

TIA! :)
 
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dajop

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I Leaning towards Wanderlust for now but no clue where Little India is.

Little India just to the north of Bugis area, and is the epicentre of Indian life in Singapore. It can be quite a sight on Sunday afternoons/evening when Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi construction workers all congregate in the area on their day off. Dickkson Rd/Wanderlust is no more than a 10-15 min walk from the IC Hotel, and is at the southern edge of Little India.

Dickson Rd itself has been for a while a bit of a backpackers haunt, not to mention the home of an outlet of the infamous Hotel 81. However there are some trendy places moving into to that end of Little India, tapas bars etc - so definitely "up and coming". In fact only a few weeks ago I shared a taxi to the street with a colleague who had a dinner booking at a place that had taken a few weeks to get a booking (for a Fri night), can't remember it's name.

Of course many locals will advise to stay well clear of the area due to the chaos (and other reasons), but that adds a certain edginess. Very different to Neil Rd/Chinatown, but in some ways quite similar, in that it's a heritage part of Singapore and a complete contrast to the glass and skyscrapers of Orchard Road and Marina Bay.
 

Keith009

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Thanks dajop for that very useful information! :D

Wanderlust does look the most interesting of the lot. But yes I was warned about that area as apparently it's the red light district of Singapore. The IC is very near a great coughtail bar at the top of Odeon Towers that I can't remember the name of (starts with L...), so it does sound like Little India isn't entirely a cesspool unworthy of patronage as depicted by a friend. Your description of it is more positive and a lot more reassurring.

ATM am thinking Wanderlust, Scarlet (it's in Chinatown so could be convenient for Neil Rd) or Studio M (good for Mohd Sultan).

Klapsons I was told is near Duxton Road which is apparently to be avoided.
 
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dajop

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But yes I was warned about that area as apparently it's the red light district of Singapore.

A touch of redlight-ness to it. But certainly not the red light district (try a visit to Geylang ...). Sometimes it's interesting the views you get, before I lived in Singapore, I was advised by locals in our office to not stay at the New Majestic because it was "dangerous" around there :shock:

so it does sound like Little India isn't entirely a cesspool unworthy of patronage as depicted by a friend. Your description of it is more positive and a lot more reassurring.

I live in the general area, so am a little biased but I like the fact that its a 24-7 part of town and anything but clinical. I get two distinct reactions when I tell people where I live - the vast majority think I am mad (some racial prejudices often come out pretty quickly), but a few (usually younger, professionally educated) say it's and up and coming area. I guess it's all relative. By Singapore standards perhaps it is a cesspool (dirty, chaotic, people walking down the middle of roads, tut tut ...), but after coming back from a visit to just about any other country in Asia and wander through Little India ... you know you're definitely back in Singapore.
 

xt_20

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I have stayed at the Scarlet about a year+ ago. It is located in Chinatown, not always the best place for most people but certainly a change in scenery. It is actually a refurbished old shophouses common in Singapore, complete with long creeky walkways. The service and rooms were excellent and I would stay there again if the price is right and I want to be in that area.

The Free Wifi did not work from my room (located on the other end of the hotel) -- it did work from the lobby though.
 

Keith009

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A touch of redlight-ness to it. But certainly not the red light district (try a visit to Geylang ...). Sometimes it's interesting the views you get, before I lived in Singapore, I was advised by locals in our office to not stay at the New Majestic because it was "dangerous" around there :shock:



I live in the general area, so am a little biased but I like the fact that its a 24-7 part of town and anything but clinical. I get two distinct reactions when I tell people where I live - the vast majority think I am mad (some racial prejudices often come out pretty quickly), but a few (usually younger, professionally educated) say it's and up and coming area. I guess it's all relative.

Ah yeah, think I get what you mean about the average Singaporean mentality. I'm not sure how Chinatown can in any way be considered dangerous - it's quite possibly the only neighbourhood in Singapore that I consider trendy. I've never actually wandered into Little India despite having lived in Singapore for about 6 years as a kid (we mainly hung out in expat circles), but it definitely sounds like a pretty cool place to be from your description.

Guess it'll come down to what rates I can get when I get around to booking.
 

elbarto

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I've stayed in and around the Little India area on most of my stays in Singapore. More by coincidence than by design. I've never felt at all unsafe or that there was anything untoward going on. Whilst in certain places it certainly feels a bit different to Singapore, you certainly know you're still there and would give it a second thought when considering places to stay in Singapore again.
The opinions of Locals can generally be taken with a grain of salt in some respects. There are areas of the cities we live in we wouldn't recommend to visitors for reasons of prejudice or more seriously their personal safety. But with Singapore being so multicultural, some of those prejudices are probably coming to the fore.
 

Major

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I have visited Singapore almost annually for 40 years. I am a fan of Indian food so always visit Little India where I have stayed, eaten, changed money,bought clothes and generally played tourist.
I have NEVER had a problem, day or night.
I can also recommend the restaurants which put tables out on the streets off Serangoon Rd.
 

PPW

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I have previously stayed at the Quincy and it is a cool, quirky boutique hotel. The location isn't perfect (for me) - just off Orchard, but everything is really only a short cab or MRT ride away.

The hotel sends a Merc limo to meet you at the airport and the room rate includes WIFI, a poorly stocked minibar (a few beers, softies and local drinks, replenished daily) and 3 meals a day. Breakfast is a small but acceptable buffet, haven't had lunch, and dinner is from a limited 'RSL Club' style menu - free beer and wine between 6 and 8 though!

The rooms are funky and modern, but aren't massive. Room comes with all bod cons - iPod dock, big LCD tv on wall with plugs for pc connection. Bed is comfy with quality linen. Bathroom of a high standard too.

I don't rate the food, but it is free (included in rate, but not conspicuously, given the Quincy's pricepoint) so can be disregarded. Rooms and pool are great and the inclusioons make very it good value.

The do 2 items of laundry per day on a complimentary basis too.

I've stayed at the Fullerton a few times this year, which is my favourite and in a league of its own. I've also, in the last 12 months ssayed at (in order of preference) Regent by Four Seasons, Mandarin Orchard and M Hotel.

I'm staying there again in June - couldn't get away with Fullerton this time! I'm not too disappointed though.

I recommend you give the Quincy a go. I'd be most interested in your views.
 

Isochronous

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I have previously stayed at the Quincy and it is a cool, quirky boutique hotel. The location isn't perfect (for me) - just off Orchard, but everything is really only a short cab or MRT ride away.

The hotel sends a Merc limo to meet you at the airport and the room rate includes WIFI, a poorly stocked minibar (a few beers, softies and local drinks, replenished daily) and 3 meals a day. Breakfast is a small but acceptable buffet, haven't had lunch, and dinner is from a limited 'RSL Club' style menu - free beer and wine between 6 and 8 though!

The rooms are funky and modern, but aren't massive. Room comes with all bod cons - iPod dock, big LCD tv on wall with plugs for pc connection. Bed is comfy with quality linen. Bathroom of a high standard too.

I don't rate the food, but it is free (included in rate, but not conspicuously, given the Quincy's pricepoint) so can be disregarded. Rooms and pool are great and the inclusioons make very it good value.

The do 2 items of laundry per day on a complimentary basis too.

I've stayed at the Fullerton a few times this year, which is my favourite and in a league of its own. I've also, in the last 12 months ssayed at (in order of preference) Regent by Four Seasons, Mandarin Orchard and M Hotel.

I'm staying there again in June - couldn't get away with Fullerton this time! I'm not too disappointed though.

I recommend you give the Quincy a go. I'd be most interested in your views.

It's certainly very hard to go past the Fullerton. I recently had afternoon tea at the Regent - best I've ever had, actually. Highly recommended. They even do souffles to order! (along with crepes and waffles)
 

moa999

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For boutique and in QF009's W target
Fullerton Bay.

My two stays at Marina Bay Sands (one exec, one club have been great, yet tripadvisor is average)

The St Regis is crazily pricy and frankly not too my taste.
 

Keith009

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Thanks for the excellent suggestions. :)

Someone else also mentioned Quincy on SQTalk and it does look rather cool so I'll have to put that on my list. :)

I am sure the Fullerton and Regent are very nice and comfy hotels (Regent KL was v nice when it was a Regent - lived there as a kid when my parents were located in KL for work) but not really the style I'm into.

The St Regis SIN is quite frankly hideous and OTT. Only good reason to stay there was the very good value Cat 5 cash+points rates which have now gone up to Cat 6. I can put up with the 'old world charm' if the price is right but the St Regis SIN is just tacky and I find the staff haughty and incompetent, notwithstanding the brilliant bartenders at Astor Bar. Service has gone way downhill since it first opened. Would rather stay at places like Fullerton, Four Seasons or Shangri La if i have to do old school, especially considering the rates the St Regis is charging. Generally find the St Regis brand's affectations rather tawdry, pretentious and wearying. YMMV.

I don't generally like massive casino hotels like those in Vegas (hated the Venetian which I stayed at on a work trip), the service at such hotels feel rather factory line-item in that you're just a number on a list to be processed asap. Maybe Marina Bay Sands is different, and it's architecturally stunning, but would prefer something more intimate. I'll be sure to drop by Ku de Ta for a coughtail or 10 though!

Fullerton Bay and Merchant Court do look nice and reassuringly modern but would prefer something a little more design-focused and 'different.' :)
 
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Keith009

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Have booked Wanderlust for the next visit... looking forward to it. Looks like a most fun and interesting looking property!
 

tuapekastar

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Have booked Wanderlust for the next visit... looking forward to it. Looks like a most fun and interesting looking property!

Well not too much wandering then, and take it easy on the lust OK? :p

Where it is located is very close to where the red light area for Singaporean locals used to be - around Desker Rd, just a couple of hundred metres east. I think it's all moved out to Geylang these days (but I may be wrong).
 
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