If like us, you’ve been dreaming about surreal vacations and historical hotels in far-flung places beyond our shores, maybe it’s time to take a step back. While we have (admittedly) taken this for granted, Singapore is full of hidden gems and buildings with decades of charm and character. Who needs to sleep in medieval castles and Hemingway’s hotel room when we have awe-inspiring restored shophouses and heritage buildings, anyway?
Occupying a beautifully restored warehouse building built in 1895, the 37-room hotel is located along the historically rich Singapore River. What used to be the trade route that connects to the Straits of Malacca in the past was also a hotbed of secret societies, underground activity and liquor distilleries.
The area has since cleared up, with Robertson Quay now known as the latest hotspot for chic staycations, featuring trendy hotels along the strip. The Warehouse Hotel joins the likes of boutique hotel M Social Singapore, which is designed by Philippe Starck and opened in 2016.
Designed by homegrown agency Asylum, who also conceptualised National Gallery’s rooftop bar Smoke & Mirrors, the décor and furnishings of the boutique hotel marry a bygone area with contemporary elements of modern-day Singapore. The original design elements like louvre windows, doors, cornices, moulding and Chinese characters have been retained and complemented with restrained touches – like a metallic black canopy on the main entrance.
According to head designer Chris Lee, their focus is to “protect the property’s legacy, while creating a fresh perspective on the term ‘industrial’.”
While we do love our San Marzano passata with buffalo ricotta or roulade of goose with mushroom and foie grass, there is undeniably nothing more comforting than Singaporean dishes.
The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Po, presents modern-day Singaporean flavours shaped by award-winning Chef-Partner Willin Low. Low takes a more traditional approach with Po, enhancing local classics with premium ingredient – and making many ingredients from scratch.
Local craft concoctions
The heritage of Singapore is eminent in the concept of the hotel’s bar, The Warehouse Hotel’s Lobby Bar, as well. The impressive drinks menu consists of craft cocktails with rustic infusions that transport you back to the heart of the old spice trade.
The Singapore Sazerec is concocted with raisin bourbon, pandan bitters, rye, cognac and absinthe. Flirty concoctions include Barbarella, which name doesn’t need any introduction. Barbarella, inspired by the venue’s transformation into an iconic disco in the 1980s, contains hibiscus gin, elderflower, rhubarb, and earl grey tea.