The two-month old hotel in Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar is a tropical building juxtaposed with an urban landscape of concrete and steel. Rachel AJ Lee is impressed with the sedate spaces and the welcome respite it affords
Situated just a three-minute walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT, this 27-storey property is one of WOHA’s – a local award-winning architecture practice – latest creations. The red, orange and pink aluminium-mesh building in downtown Singapore sticks out like a sore thumb, but in an eye-catching way.
Interspersed on its façade are 21 species of creepers, along with other flowering plants. Over time, WOHA has envisioned the creepers will cover a good part of the façade, where the look will mimic nature with bright flowers set against a backdrop of green leaves.
While this is the second hotel under the Oasia brand to open in Singapore, Oasia Hotel Downtown is styled differently from its sister hotel, Oasia Hotel Novena. Gone are the cookie-cutter lobbies and run-of-the-mill rooms, as Far East Hospitality has taken to hiring renowned designers to style its spaces.
The hotel has 314 rooms in three categories – 140 Superior Rooms, 84 Deluxe Rooms, and 88 Club Rooms – all with a maximum occupancy of two. Room interiors, conceived by Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, feature a fair bit of natural wood and Moorish-inspired motifs.
I stayed in the 28m2 Club Room which came with a comfortable king-sized bed, 55-inch LED Smart TV, Nespresso machine and other standard amenities, while the ensuite featured a rainshower and half-sized bathtub. The minibar can be stocked upon request, but for club guests, complimentary wellness drinks like coconut water are provided.
Club Rooms are located on the 22nd to 25th storeys, and the unobstructed floor-to-ceiling view of northern Singapore’s skyline took my breath away when I first stepped foot into the room.
An InFocus smartphone (with 3G connectivity and free calls to selected countries) was also provided, but upon testing, I found the unit to be slow and unresponsive. I preferred using the speedy Wi-Fi instead.
The reception on level 12 is airy and green thanks to a courtyard lawn, where cushioned armchairs and plush sofas, shielded by pergolas, dot the area. Regular guests check in here.
Meanwhile, club guests get to check in at their own lobby on level 21. Also on the same level is the club-access only infinity pool and Club Lounge, which offers snacks and non-alcoholic drinks all-day, and cocktails and canapés between 18.00 and 20.00.
I spent a good part of my afternoon lounging in one of the cabanas, surrounded by lush trees and flowering plants. It was a tranquil respite, peaceful and pleasant. For that moment in time, it felt like I was in an exclusive resort in another country.
Level 21, exclusive club floor
There were two other pools, mirror images of each other, on level 27, the hotel’s rooftop. Open to all guests, the common space on the roof is gaily decorated with a mix of colourful armchairs and whimsical hanging cocoons – I wish I had one in my home – from Patricia Urquiola’s Tropicalia collection.
For meetings and events, there are two retreat rooms on level 12, and a Skyline Pavilion on level 21 for hire.
While there is a 24-hour gym on level 12, the hotel noticeably does not have a spa. However, there’s a space on the rooftop that has yet to be utilised, and upon enquiry, the Oasia Hotel Downtown’s general manager James Coleman said that a spa or restaurant might take up residence there in the future.
Located in the lobby is the spy-themed Cin-Cin Bar and The Marmalade Pantry restaurant, which provides the hotel’s complimentary breakfasts. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner.
For foodies, the hotel is well-positioned in the Tanjong Pagar area which has no shortage of eateries. Popular cafes and restaurants like Ninjabowl, Cake Spade, Teppei Japanese Restaurant, Two Men Bagel House and Tendon Ginza Itsuki are merely a short stroll away.
The staff I interacted with were affable, warm and hospitable. One particular lady, Ifa, stood out. She checked me in swiftly and courteously greeted me by name whenever we crossed paths. But what impressed me most was that she was also barista-trained, and she made me a cup of flat white (complete with latte art) in the Club Lounge.
An oasis of calm, the weekend stay recharged, refuelled and refreshed my body and mind completely.
No. of rooms 314
Rates From S$330 (US$243)
Tel (65) 6812 6900 / (65) 6881 8888