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Why Singapore’s new sustainable hotels want tree-hugger guests

Some new Singapore lifestyle hotels may leave you in a ‘gender fluid’ tizzy. A review of eco-friendly beds for corporate meetings and weddings that will delight tree-huggers and latter-day Tarzans who like jungle vines in the lobby.

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by Vijay Verghese

1 December 2023

SEE ALSO Singapore shopping | Small corporate meetings in Asia | Bangkok hotel guide | Hong Kong business hotels | Kuala Lumpur hotel guide | Jakarta business hotels | Asian casino hotels | Covid Travel Restart | Asian medical tourism | Singapore business hotels

Singapore eco-frienfly hotels review: cows in Little India, COMO room, wall art; and EDITION's green lobby

(From left) Happy cows, Little India; COMO hushed room with orange splash; Wall art is everywhere from Arab Street and Haji Lane to Little India; Lush green interiors at EDITION/ photos: Vijay Verghese

THERE was a time when coming to Singapore you had to have your hair trimmed and the gum hidden. Now you need to be potty trained. It’s alimentary. Not that travellers are being impertinent when they stare at toilets instead of using them. But things have changed. “Could you help me?” the immaculately dressed gentleman asked.

I viewed the object of his concern. It was a toilet, the kind often described as state-of-the-art for gender fluid folks. The potty, set in a nice handicapped-friendly room, mood-lit in the manner of an aircraft cabin, faced an automatic sliding door. The white-haired gentleman pointed to the controls. “I will press the ‘close’ button,” he said, uncertainty creeping into his voice. “Please let me know if the red ‘occupied’ light is on outside. This is very important.” We eyed each other like summiteers roping up before the final ascent. Then he bowed and vanished into the perfumed air.

LIFESTYLE INTERRUPTUS Having just emerged from the next cubicle, I assured him it was safe and vowed to stand guard. The problem was that once inside, pressing ‘close’ turned off the ‘close’ button light while at the same time switching on the ‘open’ button light (a rather counterintuitive arrangement). Some could assume the door was open, raising concerns about an Instagram-perfect Thinker pose being rudely interrupted at a critical juncture. Awkwardly for some, the bidet hose can only be operated by the left hand. And thus was I introduced to the understated delights of the très chic COMO Metropolitan Singapore (opened 1 September 2023) off Orchard at 30- Bideford Road (opposite Paragon mall), with its ‘tech-forward touches’.  

New 2023 Singapore lifestyle hotels review: COMO Metropolitan veranda, minimalist room, lobby wall art, infinity pool

COMO Metropolitan style (from left): Green wraparound reception veranda; Minimalist room in pastel and cream; Pink video wall art at lobby bar; rooftop infinity pool / photos: Vijay Verghese

Better known for its meditative COMO Shambhala retreat in Bali and luxe lodges in Bhutan and the Maldives, this is a discrete easy-to-miss high-rise urban property with tall, dark, glass frontage and sparse cream décor furnishings by Giorgetti. Service is friendly and attentive with the reception on the sixth floor refreshingly drenched in natural light. It leads to a video-art wall lounge bar and on to a leafy alfresco sitting area draped around the building for when the weather is being kind to Giorgetti. Lots of pleasant snuggeries for a quiet chat or boisterous cocktails.

This 156-key property has rooms starting at an economical 28sq m, with blonde-wood Emerald Rooms at 36sq m and suites running from 57-97sq m. Expect lots of light and skyline views, Bose sound, valet boxes with key-card access, microwave, complimentary mini-bar, and multi-plug sockets either side of the beds with USB ports. The electronic potty will wink at you with its coloured lights. Starched white sheets and black frame windows are matched by light-wood floors, powder grey divans and dark tables sporting oranges and assorted fruit (the sole burst of colour), the end effect borderline formal, or leisure for those who like their living space muted like unfussy slip-ons. The standard bedrooms, though small, appear to offer more elbow room than in the suites where most of the space is allocated to the living areas.

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The pièce-de-résistance is the rooftop Level 19 open-air pool that runs a generous length above the city with the de rigueur peekaboo glass strip set below for sly street views. Comfortable, neat, and very low-key, COMO offers a blank canvas waiting for you to write your own story. There are several handicapped-friendly features. The hotel is popular with European and American guests as well as wealthy Indonesians who visit the city for medical procedures and check-ups.

Singapore lifestyle hotel Mondrian review - Robert Hauck GM; rooftop pool; bedroom; ceiling art

Mondrian's Robert Hauck makes a wry point; blue rooftop pool; small but pleasant well configured room; riotous Christina's cafe chandelier art/ photos: Vijay Verghese

HELLO SWEETHEART A friend of mine walked into the mod Mondrian Singapore Duxton (opened 1 September 2023), set on a low rise above the colourful Tanjong Pagar shophouses, to be greeted by a beaming staffer. “Hi sweetheart,” he cooed. She was surprised, not offended, and recounts this tale with a grin and a giggle. In-your-face informality that may leave some off balance is the norm here and it attracts a cool crowd with gelled hair and body-hugging Lulu Lemons that scream, “I WORK OUT DAILY”. The older set appear equally comfortable beneath the pink-glass cubist Star Wars ‘chandelier’ at Christina’s. This convivial entrance-level café serves as an informal arrival and greeting area.

“We don’t really have a lobby here,” says dapper launch GM Robert Hauck with a chuckle. “We’re short staffed so I step out and open doors.” For him, a hotel should offer something different to the home, but “hospitality, which comes from hospitable, will never change.” What level of informality is right? Hauck’s forehead creases in thought as he leans forward: “We like our staff to be confident and look people in the eye.”

“People complain restaurants are boring so we hire creative people. But creativity dies if wings are clipped and there are too many reports and formality. We like our staff to be humble, not arrogant, and set their own boundaries. We like eye contact. We have created something different here [hands make a sweeping gesture]… we’re changing hospitality.” Many of the Mondrian’s diverse hires are from outside the hotel industry with colourful backgrounds, from barmen to lawyers.

Hauck is certainly on to something. The place has a special vibe and many will overlook the pint-size 22sq m rooms that are surprisingly well planned, airy, and come with 55-inch TVs, Lavazza coffee machines, hairdryers, irons, safes, Bluetooth speakers and magnifying make-up mirrors. Water comes in small Tetra Pak cartons printed to look like miniature shophouses.

Singapore fun guide to eco hotels: Muscat Street (left);  virginal white The Sultan boutique hotel; Pan Pacific Orchard modular vertical garden terraces; Mondrian atop a low rise in Tanjong Pagar

Singapore is a riot of colour (Muscat Street at left); Virginal white The Sultan boutique hotel; Pan Pacific's modular terraces with vertical gardens (photo: hotel); and the mod Mondrian peeks out above Tanjong Pagar's green shophouses/ photos (except Pan Pac): Vijay Verghese

This is a 302-key hotel though it may not appear quite so muscular on the approach. Suites in a shophouse wing are more classic in appeal and start from 45sq m with the bathtub-equipped Mondrian Suite weighing in at a roomy 70sq m. A large bed flips upright in James Bond fashion to create extra space for small intimate gatherings. Listen up ladies. One press of a button will get rid of your husband though his hands and feet might stick out. There are no meeting facilities here nor herds of nerds stampeding for a morning session. There are also no closed wardrobes, just open niches with rods and hangers.

Expect red-tile views, the contrast nowhere more striking than from the scenic rooftop infinity pool where the blue water sets off the contrast nicely. Hauck shuns words like ‘luxury’ and ‘lifestyle’ that are overused. These mean different things to different people.  “It’s like art,” he quips, “or porn, as some like to say.”

“You may not understand it but you always know it when you see it.” He laughs like a seditious schoolboy, eyes alert, watching staff and guests intently, his patrician nose whipping around like a weathervane towards significant interactions. All’s well. He turns back to face me, relaxing for a moment: “What can we give rich kids in expensive cars?” he asks. “They have everything [shrugs]. We create engagement.” No money has been spared on fabulous artworks, and expensive coffee machines from Slayer in Seattle. “These are our Lamborghinis,” says Hauck with a grin.

Despite the informality there is an intensity here not commonly seen at other hotels. Accor’s partly owned subsidiary Ennismore manages Mondrian. Prefer their website for a browse as the dull Accor online page is a let-down.

SUSTAINABLE SCI-FI At one end of Orchard Road and its glitzy shopping malls at 10 Claymore Road is the 347-key 23-storey Pan Pacific Orchard Singapore that returned 1 June 2023 after a rebuild and dramatic rethink. The arrival experience is like approaching some dark, brooding, extra-terrestrial beast in modular design with soaring ceilings and ‘lost world’ foliage climbing up pillars above a ‘floating’ lobby bar set on a raised mirror-smooth black pool. The heart quickens with expectation, the eyes dart, and the sweat has your shirt clinging to your back as the morning sun sends a hot shaft through the reception area, open to the elements.

Eco-friendly Singapore hotel Pan Pacific Orchard review vs other green hotels

Pan Pacific Orchard has conference heft with massive modular terraces with green features and rippling water; The 'Beach' level with pool; Black sci-fi entrance; Balcony room/ photos: Vijay Verghese

This is one of Singapore’s new breed of eco-friendly hotels, and it comes with impeccable credentials, including the occasional sweats, no plastic bottles (though hot and cold filtered water is on tap in rooms, with glass bottles on hand), and air-conditioning at a consistent 23C (still too warm for some European guests who prefer Singapore’s customary frigid settings). The hotel says greenery covers a whopping 14,000sq m and "occupies over 200 percent of its land area" (vertically).

This cubist extravaganza, both minimalist in intent and gigantic in scale, features numerous energy savers like rainwater harvesting, solar power, and bio-waste treatment. It may take some getting used to by conferencing suits but many love the breezy natural feel of the place, best exemplified by its imposing 18th floor alfresco Cloud Terrace Lawn (concrete actually) for up to 150 guests. Expansive views open up over the city while on either side are spaces for small corporate meetings (Scott’s rooms) and larger Singapore conferences in the natural-light Claymore Ballroom (very different from the normal underground bunkers) for up to 670. The ballroom boasts a huge immersive LED video wall.

On the 11th floor is the Garden Terrace Lawn for 270. This is a real lawn, perfect for cocktails. There is also indoor space for up to 50 guests. All these meeting spaces double up as creative weddings venues.

The hotel ascends through four themed blocks – Forest (the lobby), Beach (starting at the fifth-floor pool), Garden and Cloud, each with its own colour profile from grey-brown to green to white. Each cubist space is built around a vast square atrium terrace with greenery running up huge pillars. A 30sq m Deluxe Balcony King is a contemporary space with sofa, ottoman and a bright veranda overlooking the pool terrace. Expect a pillow menu, 400 thread count linen, floor-to-ceiling windows, electronic safe, 55-inch LCD TV, three-pin (international) plug sockets and USB charging ports. Keep an eye out for the hotel's in-toom specially curated Singapore's Orchard Gin. A light-filled Cloud Terrace Suite offers 68sq m of room with twin vanities, a slim rectangle soaking tub, two 65-inch LCD televisions, and access to the Pacific Lounge Club on the 11th floor.

The welcome here is chatty and brisk with smiles aplenty. At the far end of the second floor reception is the hotel’s main all-purpose restaurant, the high-ceiling Mosella that serves breakfasts and Mediterranean meals with Peruvian influences. A muscle hotel dressed as a demure nature babe is an odd mix but will appeal to many.

Close by on Scotts Road off Orchard the storied Grand Hyatt Singapore where I have had many memorable stays was still swaddled in wrapping late November 2023, awaiting its 2024 reopening. The hotel was completely closed in September 2022 for major renovation. This is a popular Singapore business hotel and meetings specialist to watch.

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Artyzen Singapore review vs other new lifestyle and designer hotels like Mondrian and Pan Pacific Orchard

Artyzen is a breathtaking high-ceiling lifestyle hotel with Peranakan flavours in the lift (left); a cool infinity pool; bright room (photo: hotel);; Normally sweaty Editor Verghese looking quite pleased with himself with partner in crime Karin Galley on an inspection round / photos (except Artyzen room): Vijay Verghese

PROUDLY PERANAKAN A short stroll from Pan Pacific on the other side of Orchard at 9 Cuscaden Road is the luxury lifestyle hotel Artyzen Singapore (opened 24 November 2023), built on a modest plot that formerly housed a celebrated mansion owned by the late philanthropist Tan Tock Seng. A Peranakan leitmotif (check the glass art in the lifts) runs through this otherwise very modern breezy construct with its vertical gardens and large cubist sky terraces that will draw some inevitable comparison to Pan Pacific Orchard. But here the similarities end.

Artyzen is bright, light-filled, woody, and brimming with colour, from its vertiginously high-ceilings (the first thing to catch the eye as you enter), to its lush foliage and striking rooftop pool with a small see-through strip. Swim, work out, try yoga. This is a hotel built on an intimate scale that draws the eye in to linger on all its rich architectural features. It is clearly designed to offer a relaxed breathing space, discretion, and comfort. Artyzen is no cheek-by-jowl meeting hotel but more a retreat for leisure and business punters who enjoy soothing surrounds, tasteful décor, intuitive service, and good food. Think Quenino by Victor Liong with its interpretive take on the Strait cuisines.

The Roof Garden on the top floor offers cocktails and nibbles evenings by the 25m cantilevered pool.

The hotel’s 142 rooms start from a generous 42sq m Deluxe Balcony Room King going up to 89sq m in a Grand Terrace Room King with its smorgasbord of amenities – soaking tub, 55-inch LED TV, complimentary WiFi, Nespresso coffee machine, safe, ceiling fans, B&O Bluetooth speaker and Dyson hairdryer. Also expect e-newspapers and complimentary ‘premium’ bottled water from Swedish company Nordaq.

A high-ceiling Penthouse serves up 448sq m of stretch room with a 98-inch LED television. Everywhere, find floor-to-ceiling windows welcoming of light, bursts of foliage, blonde wood underfoot, neat black piping around wall panels, glass art, arrays of hanging copper lamps, and modern slim-line ottomans and divans with plump cushions in turquoise, gold, and prints. It is an eye-catching ensemble.

DON'T SPILL ANY WINE Directly opposite on Cuscaden Road is the 204-key The Singapore EDITION (opened 9 November 2023). The hotel is horizontal rather than vertical in its design, a mid-rise layered pastry with delicate gold piping between the floors. As with EDITIONS elsewhere the favoured palette is cream and gold and this creates reverential hushed interiors with high ceilings and plenty of space for the eye and mind to wander through.

The Singapore EDITION review vs other lifestyle and green hotels

The SIngapore EDITION (from left): Entrance; clean line cream rooms with blonde-wood floors; Pink pool table at lobby bar; green 'living lung' courtyard; Leafy lobby corridor / photos: Vijay Verghese

No slouch when it comes to sustainability, the buzzword that has newer hotels salivating, this address offers a surprisingly green sun-drenched tropical courtyard that abacus-fingering building owners of yore may have considered wasted space. And should you need water, a chilled Tetra Pak is on hand. As you enter through tall doors, a cavernous lobby lounge greets you with a purple-lit bar, a pink pool table and chill music. Comfy cream sofas extend along the glass courtyard frontage under green fronds and palms up to the signature restaurant Fysh at EDITION. The Pump Room bar with its blue tones is one floor down, accessed via a discrete circular stairwell.

Everything here is in cream, from floors to walls to chairs. The ensemble is unabashedly feminine and attracts unfailing “oohs” and “aahs” from female visitors but smoothly handles brisk-stepping business too. Higher up, a cantilevered private pool stretches across the courtyard catching generous rays. This too features a ‘viewing hole’ at the bottom for those interested showing off. Don your best Vilebrequins, suck in your tummy, and dive in.

Tall pale-wood doors set along cream corridors lead to modular bedrooms in straight clean lines. Crisp white beds on light-wood floors face wall-to-wall windows with black frames and large slatted blinds. The views look onto the street and buildings opposite. Padded cushioning runs along part of the window ledge. Find a white armchair and a large flat-screen TV. Room switches are tactile and user-friendly as are the bedside lamps. Below these are three-pin multi-plug electric sockets with USB ports, all within pillow reach. Toilets offer soaking tubs and electric potties to do your bidding. It’s all dazzling white. Just don’t spill any red wine around here.

SOMETIMES OLD IS GOLD I missed exploring in detail the Conrad Singapore Orchard (1 Cuscaden Road) where I was a devout regular under the previous Regent as the opening had been delayed to late December 2023. But it remains a hushed light-filled atrium affair with rooms in woody beige pastels and classic white louvered blinds. A King Deluxe starts at 35sq m. Expect 55-inch HDTV, Nespresso machines, a pillow menu and fluffy bathrobes for your next lost-in-the-snow yeti impersonation. A King Deluxe Suite weighs in at 81sq m with two balconies and a 65-inch television. Swing an elephant by the tail here if you can get it up the lift.

In a remarkable homage to the Regent of yore, the darkly inviting Manhattan bar remains as do the Italian specialty Basilico, the lobby level coffee-and-cakes Dolcetto, and the Chinese Summer Palace,  all in operation since the January 2023 takeover along with the Royal Pavilion Ballroom for up to 700. Most staff were kept on the payroll and this provides some useful service continuity. The place has been a perennial favourite as one of the best Singapore conference hotels on our annual polls.

A huge plus for guests is Oscar Postma, the genial general manager with a flashbulb smile, one of the happiest hoteliers I have ever encountered. He is an old-fashioned lobby cruising GM. Look out for him.

Singapore conference hotels rreview PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, a sustainable green address

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay is for latter day Lord Greystokes with their Jane and apes in tow: A delightful sustainable eco-friendly conference hotel and a hard act to follow. (From left) Signature atrium; sunny pool; The jungle arrival; Garden deck with city views / photos: Vijay Verghese

AND IN DEEPEST AFRICA The 583-room PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay is the new incarnation of the Marina Mandarin, and what a wonderful change it is. It hits you the moment you step into the atrium lobby filled with natural birdsong and an astonishing sprouting of greenery everywhere. The hotel boasts a collection of 2,400 trees, plants and exotic shrubs for modern environmentally conscious Lord Greystokes who appreciate an eco-friendly set-up with motion sensors regulating cooling and lighting, and solar panels powering the lifts. The birdsong has an oddly calming effect.

As at sister hotel Pan Pacific Orchard, there are no plastic bottles in-room, just on-tap filtered hot or cold water and glass bottles. This is sustainability in action and you can literally swing from tree to meet beating your chest. Find your Bezos or Jane.

Chat in a cool lobby ‘birdcage’ or explore a myriad conference and meeting rooms from the Garden Ballroom that can do cocktails for 600 to the Atrium Ballroom for 250, small corporate meeting venues, and CEO boardrooms. It’s a versatile spread. Best of all it doesn’t feel at all like a dull dark bland conference hotel at all. PARKROYAL COLLECTION doubles effortlessly as a Singapore hotel weddings venue too.

The attractive wraparound glass window COLLECTION Club Lounge is on the alfresco 5th floor that serves up a vast pool, lawn, sun loungers and umbrellas along with breath-taking views of the city skyline including the giant silver durian Esplanade. If sunshine and vitamin D is part of your self-sustainability agenda this is as good a spot as any for a fast-tan Instagram moment.

Spacious rooms run from 31sq m for a Signature Marina Bay Room to a 63sq m Family Room or a 66sq m Lifestyle Suite. Club rooms are bright with pale blonde wood walls and floors and plump white beds with turquoise bolsters and silvery runners. Expect balconies, bathtubs, hairdryers, bathrobes, irons and ironing boards, and in-room safes. A black-top ledge running across the room under the TV serves as a work space and also hosts a large Nespresso coffee machine.

Next door the fresh-look Mandarin Oriental Singapore is back after a six-month shutdown and rework. It is already hosting banker balls and annual conferences with verve and beaming Morgan Stanley pinstripers were all over the place like a rash November 2023. The hotel is humming with colourful but hugely pleasing classic rooms (a Family Room with Balcony starting at a mammoth 56sq m and standards at 34sq m). But it's in its arsenal of suites that the hotel really shows its class with textures and pastel fabrics. The Royal Marina Bay Penthouse dishes out a quietly lush 380sq m with vast views. The old salmon atrium has been brightened up but is instantly recognisable, favourite eateries are back, and the Bay@5 is open from 6pm for sundowner Marina views. Stylish meetings with service on rails are to be expected with LED walls everywhere. Spa, meet, work, play, get wed, celebrate a wedding anniversary, or dive into The Mandarin Cake Shop. Once classy, always classy. A top Singapore luxury hotels address as ever on our review of the city's latest 2023 offerings.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore returns with a facelift November 2023; Pullman Orchard; Hilton takes over the old Mandarin Orchard; and voco replaces the old Hilton with a lifestyle attempt

New Mandarin Orienal Marina-facing room and Cake Shop (pics: hotel); Pullman Orchard; Hilton's bling but underwhelming arrival experience; voco (lower case) lifestyle marble makeover with dash of colour in the rooms/ photos: Vijay Verghese

DASH OF LIFESTYLE COLOUR All around Singapore the skyline is churning as new hotels emerge, many in the contemporary gender-neutral grey and pastel shades that have become the norm. The two newer Pullmans, one off Orchard (Pullman Singapore Orchard) and the other on Hill Street (Pullman Singapore Hill Street), provide contemporary accommodation with daubs of colour and modernist art in rooms that start at a somewhat tight 25sq m. Views from higher floors and cool design compensate well for business travellers in a hurry. Pullman has a work-hard-play-hard ethic that is part of its design and playful touches will pop up here and there.

Those 55-inch flat-screen TVs are di rigueur as are irons and ironing boards and complimentary WiFi. Expect small corporate meetings facilities. Pullman Porters are on hand for insider tips to Singapore and the neighbourhood. Pullman Orchard has a cramped, dark, arrival experience with a touch of overhead bling in the arrays of gold-tinted chains while the Pullman Singapore High Street breaks out with its brighter access and rail carriage theme with sticker emblazoned luggage providing a playful lift.

The Hilton Singapore Orchard (24 February, 2022, a makeover of the old Meritus Mandarin) is less of a standout on design and concept. It is simply HUGE and offers 1,000 neat but unremarkable beige-and-grey rooms, and 2,500sq m of conferencing, meeting, events and wedding space. A 34sq m King Deluxe City View (23rd floor and up) could be the value option for elbow-room, views, and price. Kids’ Ambassadors will set up children with fun kits and space for ‘junior explorers’.

Farther along Orchard nearer Scotts Road, the stately original landmark Hilton with its gold art façade and glittering brand showrooms has morphed into the voco Orchard Singapore (opened 1 January 2022, from InterContinental Hotels) with a lower case name to let you know this is a cute lifestyle escape and you are not in the clutches of some botoxed grand dame. Travellers may nevertheless experience some déjà vu as they enter the dark marbled lobby with its Rolex and Cartier showrooms and peruse the old-fashioned alfresco rooftop pool.

Rooms are certainly mod and inviting with welcome colour, 55-inch TVs, irons and ironing boards, coffee machines, ergonomic chairs, safe, and ‘sustainable bedding’ (whatever that is). Try a 32sq m Deluxe High Floor where the views open up. Meetings? Weddings? This address does it all with a Grand Ballroom for up to 500 guests. If you’re a bit confused, worry not – voco is one of the many emerging faceless hotel names that have upended brand perception. As IHG says in a fit of profound non-speak, these are “hotels that are reliable enough to depend on but different enough to be fun.”

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa water features, the hotel's Michelle Wan, and far right, Cliff for southern Italian

The delightful pulse-calming Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa with water features; Roof art above the lobby offers a suitable posing spot for Editor Verghese with the hotel's Michelle Wan); a sun-drenched pool and the excellent Cliff restaurant / photos: Vijay Verghese

BIT OF BALI AND A SHOPHOUSE GEM Over on toll-charging Sentosa Island – a nature reserve brimming with birds and casinos – the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa (rebranded from Beaufort in 2015) remains a relaxing, tropics-embracing work in progress. If you need an urban escape with peacocks to boot, this is it. Launched as a Beaufort in 1995 and designed by Australian architect Kerry Hill, the 27-acre resort effortlessly conjures up a vision of Bali with its verdant foliage, impressive pool, water features and red-tiled roofs.

Beaufort Director Adrian Zecha who went on to found Aman Resorts, GHM and then Azerai, was behind much of this thinking. The hotel interiors were lushly re-envisioned for Sofitel by French designers Beatrice Martinet and Pierre Maciag. This address has, as its great helmsman, the livewire everywhere-at-once Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale. As he told me in an earlier interview, “We need to go back to basics. We have a lot of assistance from technology but we cannot forget our customers. They are our oxygen. We have to help guests create memories.”
Rooms offer plush furnishings and rich texture, plump inviting beds, and sleek wooden floors.

This is one of the best Singapore family-friendly hotels on our reviews and polls and in addition to its child-friendly features and spa, it is a great venue for corporate meetings, events and romantic weddings with cliff-side views of the sea. Unsurprisingly, The Cliff, with its Southern Italian fare, is a signature restaurant.

Last but not least, in the thrumming Arab quarter at 101 Jalan Sultan is the beautiful boutique all-white 60-room shophouse The Sultan, which has had a lick of paint and a design lift. The pale-wood lobby is airy and cheerful. Curiously, the shelves here have ‘books’ facing away from the interior to present a bland, beige, cardboard effect. “The designer likes this,” I was told. No breakfast but the hotel nevertheless serves up friendly service and solid facilities including TV (with CNN), iron and ironing board, mineral water, bath amenities including shampoo and conditioner, a fast and furious rain shower, and complimentary WiFi. Pick a roomier 17sq m Sultan Room or a more richly designed 27sq m Puteri Room. Lots of food and moneychangers in this Beach Road/North Bridge Road area. And in the evenings The Sultan has a bar that cranks up the volume.

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