Cool as cupcakes
It’s all about the extras at two Singapore hotels
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