Singapore: The Warehouse Hotel
One of the best design hotels in Singapore is naturally one of the coolest.
Built in 1895, The Warehouse Hotel was actually a spice-trade route warehouse, back in the days when this area of Singapore was filled with gangsters and their lackeys. Fast-forward to January 2017, when the loved-up version of this grand building opened as an independent 37-room boutique hotel, featuring a destination restaurant, a glam lobby bar and a cool clientele.
Vibe: Expect a fairly international, sophisticated crowd from Korea, the United States, the Philippines and Europe. Young couples, lots of business creatives, solo business executives and the semi-retired young-at-hearts all find a home here.
Rooms: Sexy, modern rooms have an industrial feel, with muted tones of taupe and grey mixed with green marble, wooden flooring, black metal framing and original brick masonry. It feels like the slick apartment of your coolest friend. Find lots of attention to detail, right down to the coffee mugs designed by a local ceramic artist. Minibars are filled with Southeast Asian-specific products, such as Vietnamese chocolate and egg-yolk potato chips. The Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker is a nice touch, as are the eco-certified Ashley & Co bath amenities.
F&B: The bar and restaurant at The Warehouse Hotel are big, big draws, for both the visitors and the locals. The 52-seat Pó Restaurant is managed by noted Chef Willin Low, a trailblazer in the homespun Mod-Sin food movement, which takes the flavours and recipes of traditional Singaporean dishes and gives them a modern twist. The name Po is both an homage to popo, the Mandarin word for grandmother, and to the classic spring roll, popiah. The spacious, 70-seat Lobby Bar whips up incredible concoctions using Asian flavors like kaya, kaffir lime, star anise and cinnamon, with all its infusions and essences made in-house. Try the Madame Butterfly.
Extras: Though small and not really overlooking much except a busy street corner and a gas station, the little infinity pool on the side of the hotel is quite fun. The clear acrylic pool walls will make for more than a few Instagram-worthy moments. Take a sun hat.
Off-Site: The Warehouse is situated on the Singapore River on Robertson Quay, blending in with the Riverwalk restaurants, cafés and shops. It is just a short walk from both Chinatown and the pubbier districts of Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.