The boutique hotel industry in Singapore appears to be a booming business of late. Last year, there was M Social Singapore, a Philippe Starck-designed establishment that has duplex-style lofts with four-metre-high ceilings, and Hotel Indigo Katong, housed in the former Joo Chiat Police Station.
The latest entrant in the scene is the first hotel project from lifestyle experts The Lo & Behold Group (the folks behind hip hangouts Tanjong Beach Club and Loof). Dubbed the Warehouse Hotel, the boutique establishment is situated in a historic building along the Singapore River and opened its doors in December.
Designed by award-winning design agency Asylum, which also conceptualised National Gallery rooftop bar Smoke & Mirrors and co-working space Collision 8, the hotel’s 37 rooms bear a calming colour palette of greys and browns. There are six room types available, ranging from the River View Loft (it has high ceilings and a view of the Singapore River) to the River View Suite (at 614 sq ft, it’s the hotel’s largest room and has an open-plan concept).
Everything has a raw, industrial look, but calling the hotel shabby chic would be a misnomer. Rather, the rooms reflect a minimalist aesthetic by adding details – textures, colours and other furnishings – in a thoughtful, pared-down manner.
The other stand-out feature here: The hotel’s collaborative efforts with homegrown labels. For one, almost everything in the rooms are locally sourced, from the contents of the minibar to the guidebooks for guests to flip through. For two, it’s partnered with local brands to produce items for use in the hotel itself, like working with Matter Prints to design custom bedspreads and collaborating with Supermama and Gabriel Tan on a retail installation named “Objects Of Vice” at the hotel’s front desk.
The hotel’s only restaurant, Po, also highlights Singaporean flavours and dishes while infusing them with premium ingredients. Curated by chef-partner Willin Low (he’s behind Wild Rocket), menu highlights include a charcoal-grilled iberico satay and paper spring chicken, as well as a gourmet version of popiah, which involves a four-hour-long braising process to ensure the fillings achieve the right balance of sweet and savoury. As tradition dictates, you will make your own popiah here with three different platters available – the classic is enough for two, while two luxe versions include tiger prawns and crabmeat respectively.
The cocktails from the lobby bar are not to be missed out on either. The beverage menu is divided into three sections, each of which pay homage to the warehouse’s storied history: “Spice trade”, inspired by Singapore’s flourishing trade scene in the 19th century; “Godown”, a reference to the warehouse’s seedy past as a forbidden distillery; and “The Warehouse Disco”, when it was used as a party spot pre-Zouk.
While selection is rather limited (only nine cocktails priced between $19-$22 are available, although you will obviously have other kinds of alcohol to imbibe), each are concocted using local ingredients and spirits. One to try: Barbarella (above), made with hibiscus gin and mixed with elderflower, rhubarb and earl grey tea. It looks deceptively light, but comes with quite a kick.
The Warehouse Hotel (320 Havelock Road) is now open for reservations (rates start from $255).