By Daven Wu
Aug 19, 2021
LUXURY HOTELS IN SINGAPORE are certainly not in short supply. But there’s always room for innovation in hospitality.
While the pandemic may have hit a temporary pause on major hotel projects in the island-state, it looks like things are getting back on track again. Leading the charge are local developers and mega property consortiums who’ve teamed up international bigwig hoteliers to push ahead with ambitious new openings over the next few years, including the Hilton, Citadines and Pullman all prepping for their close-ups.
A trend that has us really excited, however, is the category of boutique luxury hotels. Three of the world’s coolest hotel brands are coming to Singapore in the next couple of years, bringing with them fierce attitudes and distinct personalities. Read on for our first-look previews of them all.
THE STANDARD, SINGAPORE
Los Angeles native The Standard is one of those boutique hotels that helped define a generation upon its 1999 opening, both backed and beloved by Hollywood glitterati such as Leonardo DiCaprio.
Sansiri, a Thailand-based real-estate group with a good grip on luxury, now owns the hotel brand and has quite logically begun an aggressive push into the Pacific region. As evidence, we offer The Standard’s quartet of openings over the next three years: Hua Hin at the end of this year, Bangkok next year, and Melbourne and Singapore in 2023.
The Singapore project is generating particular buzz, not least because it’s opening in the island’s tony Orange Grove Road, just across the road from local grande dame, Shangri-La Singapore and within easy reach of the UNESCO-listed Botanic Gardens and the buzzy luxury hotel and shopping strip of Orchard Road. Local studio DP Architects have cocooned The Standard’s 143 rooms – interiors by boutique designers Ministry of Design – within a slender shimmering tower of glass set among thick, lush landscaping and fronted by an enormous lap pool. Consider this your invite to the party.
The love-child of legendary hotelier Ian Schrager – he who co-founded 70s New York hotspot Studio 54 and is often credited with inventing the category of boutique hotels – and Marriott was meant to open in 2019, but a number of factors, including a pesky pandemic, has pushed the date back to 2024.
Set along leafy Orchard Boulevard right next door to the Four Seasons Singapore, the 204-room, eight-story luxury hotel will be the centerpiece of architect Moshe Safdie’s Boulevard 88 – an ambitious mixed-use development that includes an exclusive condominium whose silhouette of twin towers and skybridge bears more than a passing resemblance to his other marquee project across town, Marina Bay Sands.
The developers are tight-lipped about the Singapore hotel details, but if the other Asian Editions are any guide – looking at you, new Tokyo Edition, Toranomon, and Shanghai Edition – expect spacious guest rooms lined in blonde timber, blow-out pool-side parties, and sexy, mood-lit restaurants and bars.
MONDRIAN SINGAPORE DUXTON
The Mondrian Hotel in Singapore shares lineage with both the Singapore Edition, as Ian Schrager’s ownership of the original West Hollywood Mondrian firmly put the boutique brand on the map, and The Standard Singapore, with DP Architects also overseeing the design here.
When it opens in early 2023, the Mondrian will fairly rear over the Tanjong Pagar/Duxton precinct in Singapore’s Chinatown quarter. At the same time, the property is planned to assimilate as much as possible into the historic neighborhood with insertion along Neil Road of a low-slung three-story building – a stylized homage to the surrounding late 19th-century shophouses – that holds the hotel’s luxury loft suites.
At the rear, connected by a garden, will be the main tower containing a mix of guest rooms (there are 300 in total), a speakeasy bar, and rooftop pool. The popularity of that last in the Los Angeles original is one thing that made it such an icon. On top of that, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this Mondrian hotel’s location is flawless with a bevy of wonderful Michelin-starred restaurants, stylish bars, and local street food vendors all within walking distance… though if none of that pleases, there is a Shack Shack just across the road from the hotel.