Singapore is home to modern skyscrapers, gargantuan shopping centres with internationally-renowned high-end brands, and luxurious hotels. However, while most of the latter are located in the heart of the shopping belt, or — for those looking to escape the crowds — a quieter and more secluded locale surrounded by greenery, one nestled in the midst of Singapore’s cultural hub is hard to come by.

This is where one of the Lion City’s most anticipated hotel openings this year, Andaz Singapore, comes in. Set in the heritage-rich Kampong Glam, Andaz blends luxury and culture in the heart of Singapore. The luxury lifestyle hotel by Hyatt Hotels Corporation is the first Andaz in Southeast Asia — and boasts 342 well-appointed and contemporary guest rooms (including 26 suites), four dining establishments, architecture by award-winning German architect Ole Scheeren, and art pieces from both international and regional artists.

Andaz Singapore
Andaz Singapore was designed by award-winning German architect Ole Scheeren.

The essence of the hotel is encapsulated in the brand’s name. Meaning “personal style” in Hindi, the Andaz name is reflective of the brand’s driving philosophy that celebrates, respects and caters to each guest’s personal style and preferences — all while fully embracing its unique locale. Andaz hotels worldwide are situated in urban neighbourhoods — whether in West Hollywood or Maui — and draw inspiration from each location’s history, architecture and culture.

The Kampong Glam precinct 

Scheduled to open in October 2017, Andaz Singapore is located within DUO, a mixed-use development project consisting of residences, grade A offices, retail spaces, and restaurants. The hotel is situated at the crossroads of the Kampong Glam and Little India cultural districts, as well as the Bras Basah and Bugis arts and entertainment hub.

“While Orchard Road and Marina Bay are very prominent attractions in Singapore, people want more. They want that sense of belonging and discovery,” said the hotel’s general manager Olivier Lenoir. “Andaz Singapore aims to provide that as we are located right near the culturally-rich Kampong Glam neighbourhood.”

Andaz Singapore
Kampong Glam is a historical precinct filled with colourful shophouses, narrow alleyways, and the majestic Masjid Sultan.

Indeed, the historical Kampong Glam precinct, made up of the vibrant alleyways of Haji Lane, Bali Lane, Muscat Street, Kandahar Street, Arab Street, Bussorah Street and Aliwal Street, is just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. The precinct offers a glimpse of yesteryear with traditional hawkers running their business from windows of shophouses, beautiful graffiti in alleyways, and musicians serenading passersby.

“The neighbourhood is an extension of Andaz Singapore. If a guest needs a hairdresser, we’ll direct them to the Victorian-styled barbershop Hounds of the Baskervilles on Bali Lane,” adds Lenoir, “The same goes for The Nail Social, a socially-conscious nail salon where you can get your nails done on Haji Lane. We hope to bring our neighbours business and recommendations.”

Inspired Expressives

In a competitive market where every luxury hotel aims to outdo the other, the Andaz brand aims to cater to a different breed of travellers. Described as “inspired expressives,” these guests are well-travelled and know what sort of experience they’re looking for, yet are still open to trying new things.

“Our demographics are not defined by age. Whether they’re 20 or 55, the people who stay at Andaz hotels are free spirits, love to discover on their own, and are willing to explore,” Lenoir explained. “They pursue an unscripted type of experience, and travel to find inspiration.”

Andaz Singapore
Olivier Lenoir, general manager of Andaz Singapore.

“That’s why our location is perfect. We’ll drop you in Kampong Glam and you’ll find your way out — all while exploring the maze-like precinct by experiencing the sights and sounds, savouring Singaporean food, and engaging with the friendly shop owners,” said Lenoir, an experienced hotelier who began his career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation 17 years ago.

Culinary offerings  

Since food is synonymous with Singapore’s culture, Andaz Singapore aims to bring the best of the Lion City’s offerings with its four dining establishments — Alley on 25, Pandan, Mr Stork and 665°F.

The culinary offerings will be inspired by the authenticity of hawker stalls. Deeply rooted in the community, the restaurants and bars will utilise fresh, premium ingredients and feature an open kitchen concept — which will encourage direct dialogue between the hotel’s staff and guests.

Andaz Singapore
Alley on 25 features an open-space concept.

The hotel’s culinary hub, Alley on 25, aims to recreate the fluid, spontaneous experience of a local food street — as it is an alley of different independent experiences. The outlet will encompass seven shophouse-inspired venues consisting of two bars and five restaurants, each specialising in one food preparation method. Smoke & Pepper, for example, will showcase international barbecued specialities prepared on an open-fire barbecue grill, while Auntie’s Wok and Steam will be modelled after a typical Singapore hawker centre serving Chinese food — specialising in dim sum and rice, noodle and meat dishes.

“We’re taking a completely fresh perspective on how things are being done in restaurants — one that celebrates the sense of discovery,” Lenoir explained. “Alley on 25 will have an alley feel, inspired by alleyways in Kampong Glam. Arriving on level 25 will feel like arriving in a piazza in town — it will be the place where people mingle and meet.”

If you’re heading for a sundowner, head to level 39 for Mr Stork, the hotel’s rooftop bar. The venue will house 12 teepee huts set amongst lush greenery, offering a cosy setting with an all-encompassing view of the city’s skyline. Mr Stork also boasts an observatory corner, which is set to be the best new spot to catch fireworks against the city skyline.

Guestrooms and suites

Andaz Singapore’s 342 contemporary guest rooms, which include 26 suites, feature interiors that are inspired by the hotel’s location. Each of the organic, fluid spaces will feature warm russet, paprika, aubergine and mustard tones frequently found in Indian and Malay handicrafts, and are complemented by wood-effect tiling to create a natural, earthy feel.

Floor-to-ceiling windows help flood the rooms with natural light and frame stunning views of the Singapore skyline, Marina Bay harbour, Bras Basah, Bugis and Kampong Glam.

Andaz Singapore
The rooms will feature colours inspired by Indian and Malay cultures.

Other luxurious features include spacious day beds, plush carpeting and rainfall showers — as well as specialised details such as an entrance doorbell housed in a bespoke post box and shophouse-style doors in bold mango yellow.

Modern conveniences, such as Wi-Fi, a minibar with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, and all-day refreshments at the Sunroom will also be included. Additionally, in-house guests will get to enjoy complimentary red wine, white wine and Andaz Pale Ale during Andaz Lounge Hour (from 5 to 7 pm daily).

Verdict 

Andaz Singapore comes at the right time when well-travelled individuals yearn for something more than just a traditional hotel stay, as it combines the expertise of its staff and the distinct personality of its location to create a truly unique experience. “When staying at Andaz Singapore, you arrive as a tourist and leave as a local,” said Lenoir.

If you want to indulge in the Andaz experience, the hotel is now offering a promotion for bookings until 31 January 2018 — where you save 20 percent off all rooms with a minimum of two nights booked, as well as an additional 3,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points.

 

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.