There’s lots to love about Marina Bay Sands and Singapore's legendary Raffles, but they aren’t the only smokeshows on the Singapore hotel scene. Some of the city’s smallest hotels punch way above their weight in the design department, giving even the most storied institutions a run for their money. Here are nine gorgeous boutique hotels across the city you’ll never want to leave.
The Warehouse Hotel
A 19th-century spice warehouse along the Singapore River has been reimagined as one of the city’s most stylish spots. You’ll still find original industrial details like exposed beams and peaked roofs, but the rest has been given an elegant facelift — think: natural accents like leather-lined desks, rattan armchairs, and ikat-patterned bedspreads in guest rooms. There’s also a tranquil rooftop infinity pool. The past and present also merge at Po, the hotel’s modern bistro that serves elevated Singaporean staples (platters of popiah, or tangy tamarind barramundi) alongside specialty teas and craft cocktails both classic and current.
Six Senses Duxton, Singapore
The beauty is in the details at this row of converted shop houses turned moody, Anouska Hempel-designed hotel. In fact, no two of the 49 rooms at Six Senses, Duxton are the same—some feature chinoiserie and a black-and-white color palette while others have four-poster beds and dressers inlaid with mother-of-pearl. In other words, you won’t find Six Senses’ signature resort aesthetic here — that includes the absence of a spa (for that, head down the road to sister property Six Senses Maxwell). However, the brand’s commitment to sustainability is still very much intact: Water is filtered on the property and homeopathic soap is poured from ceramic dispensers. The eye-catching Yellow Pot restaurant serves East-meets-West recipes heavy on flavor, though for more traditional hawker fare, the renowned Maxwell Food Centre is a 10-minute walk away.
Singapore’s charming Katong neighborhood, known for its deep Pernakan roots, is the perfect base for this pretty-as-a-picture retreat. Here, rooms pay tribute to the surroundings with batik cushions, colorful bathroom tiles, and hand-drawn murals by artist Don Low that showcase local street life. There’s even a rooftop pool for cooling off above the noise during the city’s humid days. Although there are few other amenities, the restaurant is a good one: Baba Chews Bar and Eatery serves tasty, Mod-Sin (modern Singaporean) dishes including beef short ribs redang and ayam buah keluak — a signature Peranakan dish of whole chicken thighs stewed in spices — that draw a crowd all day long.
Despite its hectic Central Business District address, this 73-room bolt hole is a light-filled breath of fresh air. The clean-lined guest rooms — divided into categories like Habitat and Oasis — are small yet serene. Details include exotic woods, 300-thread-count Egyptian linens, Malin + Goetz amenities, and even freestanding bathtubs or private patios in the larger categories. Need more space? Head to the hotel bar for coffee (by day) or whiskey (by night) — or, better yet, the rooftop infinity pool for stunning views of the cityscape.
Famed French designer Jacques Garcia (behind New York City’s NoMad Hotel) was tapped to bring the Vagabond Club to life, so expect a heady dose of color, texture, and drama. We’re talking life-size animal sculptures in the lobby, red velvet upholstery in the restaurant, dark wood paneling and Chinese folding screens in the 42 guest rooms, and art everywhere. We especially love The Vagabond Club’s artist-in-residence program, which invites poets, painters, writers, and performers to share their work and interact with guests. After taking it all in, kick off the night with a stiff cocktail from the bar before a screening at the salon-turned-theater.
Talk about glamorous: this 1920s-era heritage building owes its striking design flourishes to a host of designers including Karl Lagerfeld, who drew heavily from Sofitel’s French heritage. In guest rooms, you’ll find round-back dining chairs, parquet floors, cupola-inspired light boxes fixed to the ceilings, and street art–style portraits of Napoleon while a sense of place is still alive in the framed Singapore street scenes and city maps etched on tables. Although the Xperience Restaurant serves a solid menu of European and Asian dishes as well as high tea, it’s the gold-tiled rooftop pool we might love most—a perfect spot to watch the financial district’s lights flicker on come sunset.
The leafy, residential neighborhood that surrounds Lloyd’s Inn makes its minimalist, monochrome aesthetic that much more striking. Here, you’ll find only 34 modern, white-washed rooms, which feel even airier with their open plans and exposed concrete. Pops of nature—potted plants, black-framed picture windows overlooking the trees—add energy and color, and there’s even a secluded garden where you’ll find a small dipping pool. The place is quirky and the facilities are limited, but everyone who books a room here comes for the design. If you’re one of them, you won’t be disappointed.
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