On our humble little island, there's no short supply of hotels that will make you feel right at home. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, these hotels are just a quick walk, train ride or shuttle away from the city's best attractions like Gardens by the Bay or Sentosa. There are also plenty of restaurant and bar options around to make sure you never go hungry – even if it's way past midnight. Whether you're visiting from out of town or looking to do a quick staycation, these are the best of the best rooms you should check out in to.
The crown jewel of the Marina Bay basin, the Fullerton Bay is beautiful in its own right, but also offers a fabulous panorama. The main lobby is located in the historic Clifford Pier and boasts beautiful, dramatic arches. All the rooms promise a view, but the Bay View categories are sublime. Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows (and bathtubs that face the marina), you get to experience the bay's changing faces: glittery and resplendent at night, and a beautiful vision to wake up to. And did we mention that Fullerton Bay has the best pillow menu ever, with eclectic choices such as buckwheat pillows and jade-lined ones? The hotel is mere minutes from major attractions like the Merlion and Esplanade, but set aside quality time to laze by the pool and soak up the nightscape.
A stay at Capella presents an unusual case of #firstworldproblems. There's so much to soak in – literally – but not enough time. There's the foliage-fringed, three-tiered cascading pools with the dreamy vibe of a Bali resort; the Auriga Spa (access is gratis for hotel guests) with its amazing jacuzzi pool, herbal steam bath, and experience showers; the in-room bathtubs; and if you're staying in a villa – your private outdoor plunge pool. And when you want a change from all that soaking, curl up with a good book at the salon-esque library – which is open to all guests with 24-hour complimentary refreshments – or watch the sunset colours from the al fresco terrace at Bob's Bar.
For the fitness junkie
Sofitel is every wellness-conscious traveller’s dream come true. Besides the 24-hour hotel gym, Club Floor guests have access to the adjacent Virgin Active gym where you can exercise in a high altitude room, join workout classes, or get some salt therapy in the Himalayan Salt Inhalation Room. In the evening, cool off in the 30-metre infinity pool, then head down for tipples at the 1864 Bar, which has 22-and-counting barrel-aged cocktails on the list. If you'd rather me-time in the plush comfort of your room, you'll find it equipped with an exercise mat and foam rollers, plus the generously sized bathtub even comes with a book-and-wine-glass tray. Sweet.
Get royally pampered
The ritzy chandelier, expansive marble, and Victorian brocades will have you imagining you've waltzed into a royal palace, and indeed, the hotel has been home to visiting royalty including Prince Charles. The opulence also sets the stage for a truly one-of-a-kind luxurious stay because at The St Regis, every guest is accorded 24-hour access to a personal butler. The perks span from obvious ones such as garment pressing and hot beverages to the downright lavish like having a sumptuous bubble bath drawn for you. Then there’s Remède Spa’s therapeutic Wet Lounge that’s open to all hotel guests. Breakfast is also worth waking up for, if only for the glorious truffle flan and the Avruga caviar-topped Boston lobster omelette.
Garden city adventures
Ever wanted to live in a plush apartment right in the heart of the city? At Oasia Hotel Downtown, you can – even if only for a few days. The hotel towers over Tanjong Pagar MRT station, with hi-fi city views and buzzy F&B options within its furry green shell. WOHA, the architecture firm behind Oasia, has broken down the walls on all four sides of the lobby (and the 21st floor) – the resulting natural draft evokes a vibe reminiscence of a Bali villa retreat, albeit in a high-rise. Air-conditioning, what? The Skyline Pavilion – it’s only accessible to Club room guests – is our fave spot in the hotel. There, an infinity lap pool offers views of the CBD and Chinatown. On the rooftop, two mirrored pools crown the hotel with swing chairs and pale blue chaises.
Live out your Kinfolk dreams
Stepping into Lloyd's Inn is akin to entering the artfully curated pages of Kinfolk magazine. The palette is minimalist – blond wood on pristine white, set off by black frames – and the rooms are bathed in an abundance of ethereal light. Facilities are sparse, but there are numerous pockets of space for guests to rest and recharge: a dipping pool framed by lush greenery (the hotel even provide kaftans and yukatas for lounging around in), a roof terrace for BYOB sundowners, plus most of its rooms offer a mix of outdoor showers and baths. It's almost hard to believe that this oasis is a mere hop and skip away from the Orchard Road shopping belt.
The heart of Peranakan culture
Katong is Singapore's Peranakan enclave, picturesque with colourful shophouses and quaint with old-school eateries. Fittingly, Hotel Indigo makes an earnest yet quirkily modern tribute to the locale's heritage. The minibar’s an ornate cabinet, the coffee table doubles up as carrom board and there’s an enamel washbasin for you to have a foot soak in just like the matriarchs of old. And for a boutique-style hotel with a tiny footprint, it's managed to squeeze into the premises a rooftop lap pool, a 24-hour gym, a lobby lounge/business centre stocked with local books, and an in-house restaurant that stays faithful to Nyonya flavours.
For the ultimate pool selfie
Snagging a pool selfie at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is to reach the pinnacle of your selfie game – literally, because the pool deck, perched at 57 stories and spanning the length of three Olympic-sized pools, is the highest and largest rooftop pool in the world. Then there's the daredevil allure of the infinity pool's "vanishing edge" and the skyline below. You just gotta be creative at cropping because this is a 2,500-room hotel so the pool's bound to be packed. You'll also want to milk your stay for all it's worth on the celebrity restaurant front: redeem your breakfast either at Spago on the pool deck or Adrift, smash up one-for-one cocktails at Adrift or The Bar at Waku Ghin, and flash your room key to enjoy up to 25 percent discounts at Long Chim and Adrift.
A quiet retreat from urban life
This 20-room boutique hotel in a little forest clearing within Labrador Park is easy to fall in love with. The black-and-white villa dates back to the colonial era, yet offers all the trappings of modern life tastefully clad in antique or upcycled furnishing that exude old-world grandeur. But more than its romantic charm, what won our hearts was the hospitality. A wooden boardwalk leads into the villa from the carpark and sets the mood for an idyllic retreat in nature. You're welcomed with an afternoon tea set in beautiful porcelain ware and if you're staying in a Sarang or Luxe Sarang room, your private jacuzzi will have been prepared for your check-in. There's cocktail hour for all guests and turndown service comes with a gorgeous crystal decanter of port and more snacks.
Soho-living by the river
What was once a godown along the Straits of Malacca trade route is now one of the swankiest hotels to open in Singapore. The Warehouse Hotel, with its industrial-luxe design aesthetics, play up the building's history. Think exposed walls, leather couches, and for the cavernous pitched lobby – a mixture of wheels, pulleys and naked bulbs as the light centrepiece. That local-yet-modern emphasis continues throughout the hotel, from its in-house restaurant Po, which spins a gourmet take on hawker favourites to the way Warehouse puts the spotlight on Singapore artisans through its in-room amenities, such as ceramic ware by Mud Rock and teas by Amuse Project. The lobby bar is also a worthy visit for its stellar, Asian-inspired cocktails – after all, the hotel is managed by the Lo & Behold Group which owns some of the trendiest restaurants and bars in town.
The W Singapore is a sexy hotel. Beats thump through the lobby, beautiful people parade around the pool and red Prada leather adorns the lift walls. A staycation here is like peeping into the lifestyles of Sentosa Cove’s rich and famous – so don’t forget your polo tee and bug-eyed sunnies. Whatever you want, whenever you want it, the hotel is happy to provide. Even if it’s a tray of desserts served on a golden skateboard upon check-in. But the pool is where we spent most of our time: open 24/7, it pulses with life in the day and transforms into a private, sensuous and oh-so-inviting space at night.