How Andaz Singapore became our country's most talked-about hotel
Luxe and local
Andaz Singapore is all about making a big space feel small.
Wait, what? We're used to hearing people go on about maximising the space in their cosy homes, but this is the first time we're learning about the reverse. But it comes as no surprise that our island's most buzzed-about hotel — Andaz Singapore, which opened its doors in October last year — is turning everything on its head and embarking on its own path.
In reality, this all makes sense. Cookie cutter luxury builds are making way for bespoke boutique hotels, as the modern-day traveller seeks out comfort in tailored experiences and a place which feels like home. Andaz Singapore has created a maze of restaurants, enclosed spaces, and smart partitions to ensure you left feeling like you were the only one in their 342-room hotel. There's no one area for crowds to gather — its lobby on level 25 is a beautifully minimalist space, which looks straight out of a architectural masterpiece. No surprises there either, as it's designed by the renowned André Fu —the man behind The Upper House in Hong Kong.
The check-in process at Andaz Singapore is swift and pleasant, done over sleek wooden tables (no chairs in sight) in an open-concept lobby area on level 25. This is the heart of the hotel, alongside its glittering rooftop pool and Alley on 25 — which offers five alleyway "shophouses" with a myriad of food choices, including barbecued snacks, a hotplate grill, and refreshing shaved ice. You'll be amazed at how much larger the area really is when you weave through each restaurant during your stay.
While international brands are stalwarts in bringing their personal stamp into a new country, Andaz does quite the opposite. The hotel group is committed to crafting indigenous experiences that immerse guests in the local culture of each unique destination. Situated in the heart of Kampong Glam, Little India, and the Bras Basah districts, Andaz Singapore draws inspiration from the vibrancy of its neighbourhood, through usage of certain pops of colours and textures within the hotel.
That's not all — if you peer into their fridges, or pay attention to their F&B offerings, you'll notice other Singaporean brands hold court here, such as Juice Junkie, Neh Neh Pop, and Tiong Bahru Bakery (for your daily bread, literally). Staff at Andaz Singapore are also appropriately dressed in stylish outfits by local label In Good Company.
It's time to head up to your room. With 10 room categories to choose from, including 26 suites, there's something for everyone. Each room is designed like a private bungalow, with a nifty "letterbox" on the outside which reflects your room number. Your personal home for the night also does away with overpriced snacks, but comes with a minibar stocked with complimentary locally-sourced items (the hot and spicy gourmet popcorn Eureka were the absolute bomb) and non-alcoholic drinks.
If we could name a few things that made the room for us, it was Fu's chic simplicity in its wooden furnishings and that spectacular floor-to-ceiling view. Booked a suite? Even better — you'll get a view while luxuriating in your bathtub. Yet, the finer details continue to impress. We're told that the scent used for the bathroom amenities was created by a French perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, who spent three days in Singapore exploring the likes of Botanic Gardens, Arab Street, and Chinatown to get a feel of our plants, scents, and flavours. The finished product is called "Singapore Fusion #19", a distinctive floral blend of dewy orchids, orange blossoms, Indian sambac jasmine, and ginger lilies.
Another interesting fact: The hangers in the wardrobe are intricately designed to match the room (one of Fu's apparent obsessions, which we thoroughly appreciated).
A TRUE SMORGASBORD
You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food at Andaz Singapore. From Chinese food at Auntie's Wok and Steam to classic international favourites at The Green Oven, it's hard to stay hungry in this joint. We especially loved the rack of lamb and moreish steaks at 665°F (trust us, perfect for date night), and the lively hot plate experience at Plancha'Lah!. The latter is a five-course meal that's interactive, incredibly delicious, and packed with flavour.
At Andaz Singapore, happy hour occurs from 5 to 7pm daily at the Sunroom, where guests flock down to enjoy a glass of wine or Andaz Pale Ale — the hotel's special collaboration beer with local microbrewery RedDot Brewhouse. Unlike other hotels which only offer this preferential treatment to those staying on club floors, Andaz Singapore believes this is for everyone.
Alternatively, nightcaps can be had at Mr. Stork, the super hip rooftop bar occupying the top floor of the hotel. There are teepees to snuggle into and breathtaking 360-degree vistas of the city. Head up at sundown and order one of their refreshing cocktails — it's an unforgettable experience.
The dynamic hotel group has certainly got their mix of luxury, design, food, and service right. There's no pretentiousness; just an genuine want to cater to the needs of a new generation of travellers. You'll want to spend a night or two here on any given weekend, just for kicks.
For more information or to book a room, visit Andaz Singapore.