Be it a fun-filled vacation in one of the world’s most coveted places, a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or a history lesson at some of Singapore’s most culturally rich hotels, these have it all!
Let us get into the details of the best heritage boutique hotels in Singapore.
Given Raffles’ popularity throughout Asia and beyond, any work on this historic hotel, designated a National Monument in its centenary year of 1987, would necessitate utmost caution. After all, the Raffles Hotel has always attracted worldwide glitterati and literati. The old beach house was rebuilt in 1899 with the distinctive Late Victorian Italianate Revival-style core structure that still remains today to meet its expanding popularity.
The hotel closed in 2017 for the most significant restoration in its history, returning in August 2019 with even more opulence owing to a makeover by New York-based Champalimaud Design. Two years may seem like a long time to shut a hotel with just 115 suites (up from 103), but the renovation offered various obstacles since designers were careful not to weaken the historical DNA of the heritage building.
The vibrant Chinatown quarter has long captivated visitors due to its combination of rich architecture and culture, as well as a thriving nightlife. The 45-room Hotel Soloha opens in August 2019 in fashionable Keong Saik. Occupying a series of restored shophouses with indigo blue shutters, white window sills, and majestic Corinthian columns, the hotel has lively interiors that reflect its urban jungle chic design style.
Aside from tropical designs, there are vibrant colours, neon signs, murals, dramatic lighting, and marble bathrooms with rain showers. The elevators and bedrooms are additionally adorned with artwork by local artists Ethrisha Liaw and Danielle Tay.
The original origins of the property are unknown, however it was the location of the Chinatown Hotel for 25 years before then, and it was once a residential complex.
Josh, the hotel’s creator, and his team first intended to build a fully open lobby and first-level façade – typical of ordinary commercial units – but the URA urged them to keep the covered shopfront because the shophouses were once residential homes.
This limited the designers’ ability to work with the façade, windows, doors, and original walls, requiring them to construct concepts around these protected aspects. Because the original hardwood flooring had to be preserved, figuring out how to appropriately soundproof the guestrooms was a difficulty. Before they identified the winning method, the team had to build many mock-up chambers.
THE BARRACKS HOTEL
The Barracks Hotel, which debuted on Sentosa in December, shows Singapore’s military history. It is housed in the old Blakang Mati Artillery Barracks, which were built in 1904 and utilised by the British artillery force. When Britain withdrew its soldiers from Singapore a few years after independence in 1965, the barracks were converted into a training facility for the Singapore Armed Forces and later into a tourism office.
The Far East Organization was allocated the property for construction in 2014, and three hotels have since opened on the property — the Barracks follows the Village Hotel and the Outpost Hotel, both of which debuted in April of last year.
With the thorough restoration of the property’s structure and ornamental characteristics, history and current coexist in elegance inside the Barracks. According to Laurence Liew, the Barracks’ architect and head of Arc Studio Architecture + Urbanism, the URA’s requirements informed much of the way forward for the hotel’s development.
It’s easy to envision Laurence’s architectural vision succeeding when surrounded by these hallmarks of ageless sophistication: “The Barracks Hotel serves as an excellent conduit for bridging the past, present, and future.”