The Review: Andaz SingaporeBy Lauren Arena
09 Nov 2017
It’s been a busy month for the Singapore hotel scene, with the opening of three new, big brand hotels—Sofitel Singapore City Centre, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, and Hyatt’s “luxury lifestyle” brand Andaz, which opened its doors just last week.
Andaz Singapore marks the brand’s Southeast Asia debut and, true to style, it serves up a hyper-local experience. Native Singaporean touches weaved throughout all aspect of the property—everything from the shophouse-inspired décor, to locally brewed pale ale, and even the colourful staff uniforms (which are sourced from home-grown fashion brand, In Good Company).
With renowned architect and interior designer, Andre Fu, at the helm, the hotel pays homage to the surrounding Kampong Glam and Little India neighbourhoods—albeit with a modern twist. Think light, bright rooms with whimsical pops of colour, hanging ferns and rich leather and copper finishes.
And in true Fu style, the hotel’s public areas are cleverly divided into a collection of intimate spaces, mimicking vibrant laneways below. This maze-like quality encourages guests to explore. And those with a sense of discovery are duly rewarded, as every nook and cranny is filled some small treasure—be it a stack of glossy travel and lifestyle books, an intricate floral arrangement or a collection of delicate ceramic objects.
The eclectic journey continues into the guest rooms, which feature custom-designed light fixtures and a complementary mini-bar filled with local treats. Rooms are spacious and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows that capture stunning views of the Singapore skyline. Like the public areas, there is a homely, fluid nature to the sleeping quarters.
Each room comprises a hallway that leads to a bedroom and also flows into a bathroom and walk-in closet. Suites also include a living room and guest powder room. However, as this is a lifestyle hotel, rooms do not include work or study desks—instead you’ll find sun lounges and chic side tables.
Four residential-style event venues also adopt Fu’s streetscape vision, so meeting delegates can ‘meander’ down narrow hallways that miraculously open up into dramatic, light-filled ballrooms. The real showstopper is The Glasshouse (grand ballroom), which as the name suggests, is surrounded by four shimmering glass walls and topped with a series of contemporary chandeliers. Divisible in two, the 537sqm Glasshouse can entertain 320 banquet guests or 500 for cocktails, and opens up to a generous pre-function foyer.
Two meeting rooms can utilised for small gatherings, while Garden Studio (junior ballroom) accommodates 120 for banquet events or 286 theatre-style. The advantage of this space is the adjoining outdoor terrace, which can be used for BBQ or cocktail events.
Perched on the 25th floor, five all-day dining options are uniquely designed as individual shophouses, where the menu is determined not by cuisine, but cooking method.
Among these, Icehaus serves cold plates like beef tartare, hummus and shaved-ice desserts; Auntie’s Wok and Steam serves noodles and dim sum with a Sichuan bite; and Smoke & Pepper is all about grilled meat with an Asian twist—do yourself a favour and try the marinated short rib, which is served atop a flaming Japanese hibachi grill.
There are also two bars, including the super chic Sunroom, which serves free flow wine and beer to hotel guests during happy hour (5-7pm).
Meanwhile, premium steaks and brassiere fair can be found at 665°F, a high-end steakhouse that’s due to open in December; and Pandan, a local bakery on ground floor, is dedicated to reinventing Singapore’s national tea-time treat, the chiffon cake. A rooftop bar and garden is also due to open later this month.
Andaz Singapore is housed within DUO, a mixed-use precinct that includes residential and office space across two striking towers. The development is fairly new, with dining options and ground-level shops still to open, but Bugis Street, Haji Lane and the buzzing Arab Quarter are just a few steps away and offer a myriad of shops, restaurants and bars.
DUO is directly connected to Bugis MRT station, while Marina Bay and Suntec City Convention Centre are also nearby.
Largest meeting room: The Glasshouse, 537sqm
No. of meeting rooms: 4
No. of guest rooms: 342
Time from airport: 20 minutes