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Hmlet Cantonment

The best boutique and shophouse hotels in Singapore

These hotels evoke Singapore's old-world charm with unbeatable service to boot

By Megan Sim, Cam Khalid and Dewi Nurjuwita

Housed in Singapore’s most culturally vibrant districts, these contemporary boutique hotels are a refreshing alternative to established hotel chains we all love. These swish hotels reveal an oft-unseen facet of our modern metropolis and promise to beguile you with its distinctive charms. Whether you're choosing to isolate yourself in a peaceful setting away from home or spending quality time with your significant other, these boutique hotels in Singapore have all it takes for the perfect staycation. 

RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in Singapore and the best luxury hotels in Singapore

The Quincy Hotel

1. The Quincy Hotel

From a sleek glass-encased lobby gloriously drenched in sunlight to a chic LED-illuminated infinity pool, The Quincy Hotel guarantees to excite with its quirky edge and delightful exclusivity. Every stylish studio room is equipped with a flatscreen cable television and a well-stocked complimentary minibar. Residing in the heart of Singapore’s famed shopping district, Orchard Road, its convenient location boasts easy access to a wide range of shopping opportunities – everything from designer international flagship stores to eclectic local labels. 

2. KēSa House

Hotels Chinatown

Live like a local in the vibrant neighbourhood of Keong Saik at this restored three-storied shophouse. Whether you’re here for a short while or a long stay, the ‘flexible living solution’ is bathed in a bold Mediterranean turquoise palette, boasts stylish social spaces and an international roster of eclectic restaurants and bars including award-winning The Old Man from Hong Kong. The sweet digs of KēSa House also provide a relaxing, comfy home with the offerings of a serviced apartment. Sleep tight in the Sky Double (from $200) where you can fall asleep under a blanket of stars – protected by a ceiling window, of course.


3. Hmlet Cantonment

Hotels Outram

The trendiest co-living space in town is, Hmlet Cantonment, is punctuated with a minimalistic colour palette, indoor plants, and natural accents right out of a Pinterest mood board. Hmlet Cantonment takes over a restored heritage site from the 1950s while keeping its retro elements such as the original staircase with terrazzo handrails and feature walls to retain its heritage. Not only that, the co-living facility also provides other perks like the common canteen, yoga and fitness studio, an outdoor garden lounge, and also a plunge pool. 

The Great Madras, Hotel
Photo: Marc Tan

4. The Great Madras

Hotels Rochor

Singapore’s answer to Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel – minus the purple uniform-clad concierge and lobby boy. This pastel-hued, tropical-wallpapered dream pad is complete with Instagrammable opportunities at every nook and cranny – even in each spacious cocoon. There are fives beautifully decorated room types adorned with retro furniture and bold wallpaper. Go big or go home with a night’s stay at The Great Suite (from $195), complete with a study and circular bathtub for a relaxing bubble bath.


5. Ann Siang House

Hotels Tanjong Pagar

With its electric blue and gold facade, the Ann Siang House is hard to miss. The hotel’s apartment-style rooms (from $260) are decorated with bespoke furniture – think lavish leathers, geometrical tables, contemporary chairs and avant-garde artworks. Squeeze in a bit of #fitspo at The Active Studio, which comes with an in-room stationary bike. For a little R&R, opt for The Wellbeing Studio that has a massage chair, bath salts, electric burner and essential oils. The best bit? Each room is equipped with the world’s most comfy bed, the Hypnos Firenze, for the ultimate snooze.

Wanderlust Hotel
Photograph: 8M Collective

6. Wanderlust

Hotels Rochor

Housed in a 1920’s building in Little India, the Wanderlust Hotel in Little India is now welcoming guests after undergoing a complete transformation. The newly reimagined hotel merges old-world charm with essential modern-day comforts. Swing the doors of the adorned facade of the original Peranakan tiles and you'll step into a peaceful and inviting lobby, which contrast beautifully against the vibrant neighbourhood the hotel is in. There is a range of rooms for you to choose from – be it the Loft category, Studio category or the intimate Wanderlust Room. 


7. Six Senses Maxwell

Hotels Tanjong Pagar

Oozing with charm, this luxurious pied-à-terre’s guestrooms and suites are equipped with custom furnishings, original artwork and personalised touches for an unparalleled experience. There are four room configurations and two spacious suites. Ditch your bedroom for a night at The Terrace (from $390) where each room is designed with European-style interiors that complement the hardwood timber floors. It has a private balcony for a romantic night under the stars, where you can soak in views of Tanjong Pagar with a glass of bubbly.

D'Hotel Singapore
Photograph: The Ascott Limited

8. D'Hotel Singapore

Hotels Tiong Bahru

Stay right on the edge of Tiong Bahru at the newly revamped D'Hotel Singapore. The boutique-style hotel combines classic and modern decor, boasting stylish rooms equipped with 32-inch flat-screen TV, Google Chromecast and a complimentary mini-bar – perfect for your Netflix binge. Want some fresh air? Head up to the lush rooftop bar and lounge, which offers panoramic views of the surroundings. 


9. The Sultan

Hotels Rochor

With its spectacular columns, wide arcs and full-length colonial shuttered windows, The Sultan Hotel is no doubt an architectural marvel. Nestled in one of Singapore’s most culturally vibrant districts, Kampong Glam, this gleaming white property comprises ten faithfully preserved shophouses in an idyllic tribute to Singapore’s rich heritage. Differing in visual themes, views and spatial set-ups, each room proffers its own adventure – always giving patrons something to look forward to. Opt for the prestigious double-storied Sultan Loft if you’re on the hunt for something more spacious.

10. Amoy

Hotels Chinatown

Employees donned in Cheongsams greet you as you arrive – a mere preview of the hotel’s proud homage to its Chinese heritage. Each hotel room takes on the surname of a pioneer Singaporean Chinese families and is outfitted with carefully curated Asian-inspired furnishings, ranging from porcelain sinks to embroidered cushions. Pay a visit to the hotel’s Fuk Tak Chi temple museum and trace the footsteps of early Chinese immigrants. While it’s grounded in rich historical narratives, Amoy’s unrivalled personalised service ensures that your modern comforts are still well taken care of.


11. Naumi Hotel

Travel City Hall

Mahogany veneers, astoundingly original furniture design and specially commissioned art pieces converge to create a luxurious yet homely space that is Naumi hotel. Its thoughtfully designed rooms range from the youthful Eden & Nirwana – an Andy Warhol-inspired suite popping with colour – to the tasteful Gabrielle & Camellia, which pays homage to Coco Chanel with its grandiose yet subdued elegance and monochrome palette. Behold the intoxicating sights of Singapore’s city vistas from the rooftop infinity pool or lounge on cabana recliners with a refreshing cocktail in hand.

12. Hotel G

Hotels Rochor

Surrounded by museums, malls and eateries, the centrally located Hotel G houses 308 rooms, split into 3 categories – good, great, greater. A colourful dreamcatcher hangs from the ceiling of every room, tying together a wonderfully appealing aesthetic created by the atmospheric lighting and vintage furnishings. Each room is intended to dazzle with its vivid colours and unique design. The snazzy lifestyle hotel boats relaxed communal spaces that play host to exciting programmes and food connoisseurs will have a hard time passing up on the hotel’s dining options. Ginett Restaurant and Wine Bar’s extensive menu spans across cold cuts and gourmet cheeses paired with exclusive wines to farm-to-table dishes and French wine, of course. 


13. The Shophouse

Hotels Hostels Rochor

Pioneered by a group of passionate backpackers, The Shophouse perfect for international wanderers and adventurers who appreciate the homely ambience of this humble shophouse-turned-inn. Tucked away in one of Singapore’s major cultural enclaves, Bugis, the hostel is in the vicinity of all that Arab Street is renowned for – a blend of traditional stores selling textiles, Persian rugs and Turkish lights as well as indie hangouts and bohemian watering holes.

14. The Vagabond Club

Hotels Kallang

Decked out in deluxe crimson velvet and adorned with gold details, the hotel flirts with decadent Parisian influences, making it a sensuous playground for the mischievous and high-spirited. Step into a realm of culture and creativity as you rub shoulders with the hotels artists-in-residence or immerse yourself in classy live Jazz music whilst sipping one of the bar's signature cocktails. Thrill-seekers can embark on the Vagabond Vice and Nice tour – venturing through the surrounding ethnic enclaves of Kampong Glam and Little India, as you uncover the secret delights Singapore has to offer.


15. Hotel Yan

Hotels Kallang

Decked out in rustic wood and perked up with repurposed furniture like bar stools made from bicycle wheels, this hotel is strongly reminiscent of the area’s heritage as a warehouse and industrial district. Be dazzled by a casual elegance from the moment you step into the hotel lobby, where high ceilings and cement-washed walls emphasise its fuss-free design. Subtle accents add a touch of dynamism to this industrial homage while wide, open spaces panelled with wood and ambient lighting create a relaxing environment, allowing guests to escape the urbanised corporate grind.

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