Cool as cup­cakes

It’s all about the ex­tras at two Sin­ga­pore ho­tels

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - JO MAKITO

Re­clin­ing on a deckchair in the 12th-floor pool — yes, the deckchair is ac­tu­ally in the pool, be­side an im­prob­a­ble palm tree — it’s hard to de­cide whether to go for a dip in the Jacuzzi or pop up to the Club Lounge on the 22nd floor for af­ter­noon tea and cakes. Such are the dilem­mas of (tem­po­rary) life at Oa­sia Ho­tel Novena, smack-dab in the mid­dle of Sin­ga­pore, yet seem­ingly miles from the in­ces­sant beat of the city. Hang on, I think I’ll do both.

Far East Hos­pi­tal­ity’s Oa­sia Ho­tel truly is, as its name sug­gests, an oa­sis in the heart of Sin­ga­pore. With 428 well-ap­pointed gue­strooms, this cor­po­rate-cum-leisure property sits neatly on top of Novena MRT sub­way sta­tion, which makes for ul­ti­mate con­ve­nience as the ho­tel el­e­va­tor con­nects you with the shop­ping mall and sta­tion be­low, and it’s just min­utes away from the Sin­ga­pore CBD. Pick of the ac­com­mo­da­tion bunch is a Club cat­e­gory cham­ber con­ceived by Takashi Sugi­moto of Su­per Potato with an un­adorned Ja­panese sen­si­bil­ity of wood pan­elling, stream­lined sur­faces and pol­ished floor­ing. Win­dow walls of­fer stun­ning sky­line views and in ad­di­tion to aro­matic Thann bath­room ameni­ties, Ne­spresso ma­chine, huge in­ter­ac­tive tele­vi­sion, free and fast Wi-Fi and com­pli­men­tary vi­ta­min wa­ter mini-bar, there’s ex­clu­sive ac­cess to that 22nd-floor Club Lounge, com­plete with ca­banas and an­other pool. Good­ness, there’s even com­pli­men­tary press­ing of one suit a day — busi­ness wear, not swim­suit, one pre­sumes.

The Din­ing Room in the Club Lounge of­fers light snacks and drinks daily from 7am to 11pm and serves a break­fast buf­fet with barista-qual­ity cof­fee and a live cook­ing sta­tion that of­fers 11 ways to pre­pare your eggs; I stop count­ing at five and go for the cheese omelet. That open-air pool area of­fers plenty of pri­vacy and feels more like laz­ing about a pent­house pad in, say, a James Bond movie, than be­ing in a big city ho­tel. There are re­mark­able sun­set views across the city as well as com­pli­men­tary cock­tails and canapes as day falls to night.

On the ground floor, Mar­malade Pantry is pop­u­lar with lo­cals and tourists alike and is leg­endary for its cup­cakes. It has a re­laxed at­mos­phere, dishes such as panseared salmon and sweet potato and the largest slices of cheese­cake imag­in­able … so big as to war­rant making a men­tal note to check the lo­ca­tion of the gym and try­ing not to look at the cup­cake se­lec­tion as I leave. Also on site, and pos­si­bly offering fewer kilo­joule hits, is Rakuichi restau­rant, which serves au­then­tic Ja­panese cui­sine with a

Oa­sia Ho­tel’s Club Lounge ter­race and a spa­cious suite, top left and above; The Quincy, top right

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