BUZZ

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

The trend for small-scale her­itage ho­tels in Sin­ga­pore con­tin­ues as the city gets set to wel­come new bou­tique digs, forged from a her­itage godown, or ware­house, on the banks of the Sin­ga­pore River at lively Robert­son Quay.

Sched­uled to open in De­cem­ber, The Ware­house Ho­tel is the first ac­com­mo­da­tion ven­ture for Sin­ga­pore’s Low & Be­hold, the group be­hind some of the city-state’s smartest restau­rants, in­clud­ing the Tan­jong Beach Club and trendy Odette at the Na­tional Gallery Sin­ga­pore.

The ho­tel’s 37 gue­strooms are housed in an 1895 ware­house along a stretch of river that was an im­por­tant trade route link­ing to the Straits of Malacca and once rife with se­cret so­ci­eties, opium dens and un­der­ground dis­til­leries churn­ing out toddy and ar­rack.

The Ware­house Ho­tel is proud to be 100 per cent Sin­ga­pore owned, de­signed and op­er­ated. The pared-back but very stylish fit-out by lo­cal agency Asy­lum pays homage to the area’s in­dus­trial roots and many of the ho­tel’s ac­ces­sories have been lo­cally sourced, in­clud­ing the staff uni­forms, bi­cy­cles, art­work, guide­books and cof­fee and tea sup­plies.

Sev­eral gue­strooms have dou­ble-height ceil­ings; all will fea­ture free high-speed Wi-Fi ac­cess, Bang & Olufsen Blue­tooth speak­ers, cus­tom pil­low­top mat­tresses and eco-cer­ti­fied Ash­ley & Co bath ameni­ties while mini­bars are stocked with Sin­ga­pore-sourced ed­i­bles. The premium loft-style Riverview Suite is lo­cated on the top floor and fea­tures a soar­ing dou­ble­height peaked ceil­ing and orig­i­nal beams.

The ho­tel’s lo­ca­tion should prove a pop­u­lar lure for vis­i­tors han­ker­ing after a more au­then­tic Sin­ga­pore ex­pe­ri­ence; Robert­son Quay of­fers a lively blend of res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial build­ings with plenty of cafes and restau­rants and is equidis­tant from the city’s CBD and the Or­chard Road shops. DON’T MISS: A dip in the rooftop in­fin­ity pool af­ford­ing great views of the river and sur­round­ing her­itage shop­houses.

DIN­ING IN: The ho­tel res­tau­rant Po is the work of self-ti­tled “mod-Sin” (mod­ern Sin­ga­pore) pioneer Willin Low, founder of Wild Rocket at Mt Emily Park, listed as one of Asia’s 50 best restau­rants. His dishes of­fer a mod­ern spin on tra­di­tional Sin­ga­porean flavours.

DIN­ING OUT: Within walk­ing dis­tance of the ho­tel you’ll find some great cafes and eater­ies, such as Toby’s Es­tate, Com­mon Man Roast­ers, Su­per Loco, Chop­suey Cafe and PS Cafe Petit.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Cock­tails will be manda­tory at Po, where the lively drinks list is in­spired by the ho­tel’s his­tory, in­clud­ing li­ba­tions cour­tesy of the 19th-cen­tury spice trade, house-crafted spir­its straight from the un­der­ground dis­til­leries or some­thing a lit­tle more flashy, in­spired by the build­ing’s most re­cent in­car­na­tion as a disco.

CHECK­ING IN: Spe­cial open­ing rates from $S220 ($207), ex­clud­ing taxes. More: the­ware­house­ho­tel.com.

ALSO TRY: Ovolo 1888 Dar­ling Har­bour, Syd­ney; The Thief, Oslo; Brun­ton Boat­yard Ho­tel, Fort Cochin, Ker­ala.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE Anan­tara Ka­lu­tara Re­sort has opened on Sri Lanka’s south­west coast, one hour from Colombo, in a build­ing orig­i­nally de­signed by leg­endary lo­cal ar­chi­tect Ge­of­frey Bawa; there are 141 gue­strooms, suites and pool vil­las af­ford­ing ex­cel­lent views from pri­vate bal­conies or ter­races • The new­est De­sign Ho­tels mem­ber has opened in Lis­bon; the 41room Memmo Principe Real is a new build in oak and glass with city views and lime­stone bath­rooms kit­ted out with Her­mes unguents • QT Ho­tels & Re­sorts has an­nounced its third ho­tel in NSW, part of the 8 Phillip Street apart­ment tower un­der de­vel­op­ment in Par­ra­matta and sched­uled to open in 2020; the ho­tel will fea­ture 257 gue­strooms and suites and a dra­matic three-storey lobby • Lon­don’s fa­bled Savoy Ho­tel, man­aged by Fair­mont, has opened a spec­tac­u­lar Royal Suite com­posed of an en­filade of rooms span­ning the en­tire river­side of the fifth floor and of­fer­ing guests a but­ler greet­ing at the air­port, a Rolls-Royce at their dis­posal and ac­cess to a full com­ple­ment of staff, from chef and bar­tender to per­sonal stylist and make-up artist • Perth’s COMO The Trea­sury has scored big in Conde Nast Trav­eler’s Read­ers’ Choice Awards, be­ing named best ho­tel in Aus­tralia and New Zealand, No 2 world­wide and the only Aussie prop­erty listed in the Top 50.

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