Singapore's hotel sector is on the move, as luxury hotels revamp facilities and new towers add to the city's chic appeal. Here we profile the best new and renewed hotels in the Lion City:
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
The original Tower Wing reopens in mid-May after an extensive renovation. The refurbishment increases the number of rooms and suites from 458 to 503, with a new Horizon Club on level 24.
The renovated lobby has a dedicated hospitality desk for event organisers and separate area for group check-in. The updated Lobby Lounge will offer a selection of hawker fare, while a new pastry shop will serve take-away artisanal breads and freshly made pastries and cakes.
BLU has been replaced by NAMI Restaurant, offering Japanese fine-dining. It has two Western-style private dining rooms for six and 10 guests respectively, there’s also a terrace for 20 people.
A new business hub and 15 renovated meeting rooms on the mezzanine level will host business meetings and more intimate social events.
Already an established location for public and private-sector events, the enhanced product will be tested during the annual IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in early June, for which all the hotel’s meeting venues have been booked out.
After running independently for more than a year, The South Beach officially became JW Marriott Singapore South Beach in December, the brand’s first such hotel in Singapore. Spread over two strikingly architectural towers rising over three conservation buildings—formerly British and then Singaporean military barracks and facilities—the physical structure remains intact, but interior design and décor have been jazzed up in the rebrand.
The biggest change is in the number and range of F&B outlets. Five have opened this year (including Court Martial Bar below) and four will soon follow. All have varying capacities for private events, supplementing the ballroom and 15 meeting rooms in the heritage buildings.
Akira Back, helmed by celebrity chef Akira Back, serves modern Korean-accented Japanese cuisine. It seats 100 people. All-day Beach Road Kitchen has international buffets, but the real treat for groups is the six-seat Chef’s Table: they get cooking tips, recipes and eat right in the heart of the kitchen.
Court Martial Bar (55 people) hosts small networking and theme parties, while Media Bar (114) is proving popular for networking and launch parties. The cosy Tonic bar (41) specialises in gins. Outdoor event venue Ebb6 at the sky garden and swimming pool overlooks the Grand Prix circuit.
Eighteen months’ renovation saw the hotel unveiling last October more premier guest rooms and meeting spaces, F&B transformations, and a new Swiss spa. Room inventory now stands at 476.
Ellenborough Market Café’s Peranakan flavour goes beyond the buffet spread to include décor, while Crossroads Bar has become sophisticated and multi-purpose, serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and Asian tapas in the evening.
Although the ballroom continues to be the main location for conferences and banquets, the addition of three meeting rooms brings the total to seven.
The restaurant, bar and landscaped poolside area also double up as group cocktail and dining venues when required.
The only five-star luxury hotel in Tanjong Pagar and the third carrying the Sofitel brand in Singapore, this newest member is part of the massive Tanjong Pagar Centre. Set to open in July and be fully operational later in the third quarter, the 20-storey hotel will have 223 rooms and suites.
Meeting facilities are located at level 5, with lifts that have direct access to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Wallich Ballroom seats 780 people theatrestyle and there are eight other supporting rooms.
Additional event spaces include The Gallery, Pool Terrace and Club Terrace. The poolside lawn area takes up to 100 guests for cocktails.
Part of the Duo integrated development in the Bugis and Kampong Glam area, Hyatt’s first Andaz hotel in Singapore occupies the upper half of the concave Duo skyscraper, from levels 25 to 39. Projected to open fully in September, the 342 contemporary rooms and suites will offer city and harbour views and minibars stocked with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.
Among the four F&B choices are Alley on 25 with a unique ‘street-dining-in-the-sky’ concept and 39th-floor rooftop bar Mr Stork with a 360-degree view of Singapore’s skyline.
On level 3, four meeting and event spaces include two ballrooms. One, the Glasshouse, which can hold 32 round tables, is a high-ceiling venue featuring three walls of floor-to-ceiling windows.