More than a hotel, the brand’s first outpost in South-east Asia inspires an exploratory travel adventure, both within and outside its premises
The first Mondrian outpost in South-east Asia boasts an enviable prime location in the hip downtown Duxton Road neighbourhood in Singapore, just a short walk from Outram Park MRT and the CBD. Nearby are preserved shophouses and an exciting mix of cocktail bars, trendy restaurants and bustling nightlife lining the streets of Keong Saik, Duxton Hill, Craig and Neil Roads, for tourists and locals keen to explore.
A nod to its Sunset Strip origins, the ninth Mondrian hotel in the world constitutes a heady blend of contemporary art, bold décor, culinary flair and rebellious electric energy.
An eye-catching six-metre KAWS bronze sculpture titled ‘What Party’ at its entrance kick-starts hotel guests on their art journey to discover more compelling creations within the hospitality landmark.
Mondrian Singapore Duxton’s 302 rooms and suites stand out for its stylish spaces, complete with swanky flourishes. I stayed at the Duxton View Twin Room which was compact, lavish and tastefully done up in a dark jade palette accentuated with gold accents.
Luxe bath amenities from New York-based Malin+Goetz, a Dyson hairdryer, complimentary oatmeal cookies and water in bespoke packaging rounded up the posh room experience.
What’s more, the pink multi-layered artwork on the wall by Singapore artist André Wee, specially commissioned in all guestrooms, can even be brought to life with the use of a special Augmented Reality filter.
Also noteworthy are the five unique Shophouse Suites within the premises which occupy the top floor of a row of five conservation shophouses in the hotel. Located in a separate wing and accessible through a courtyard garden on the second floor, each suite comes with vaulted ceilings and separate living, dining and bedroom areas.
Beyond accommodation, the Shophouse Suites have also been utilised as an event venue for lifestyle and technology brands to host their private launches and showcases.
Inspired by the neighbourhood’s sense of community, the hotel lobby boasts a lively restaurant and bar vibe – the lift to the reception level opens up directly to the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Bottega di Carna, which serves up Italian classics and is headlined by master butcher Dario Cecchini from Italy.
For dinner there on a crowded Saturday night, I made sure not to miss the legendary flamed-kissed meats – tender and juicy, the Stockyard Ribeye was tasty while Cecchini’s Signature Steak Tartare seasoned simply with olive oil, lemon, and some spices was no less mouth-watering.
The flavourful Spicy Lobster Linguine also did not disappoint and the delectable tiramisu served direct at the table provided a satisfying end to my hearty meal.
Come morning, the buzzy dining destination transforms into a serene breakfast venue, for guests to kickstart the day under warm glows of the morning sun shining through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the verdant outdoor garden.
On the same level, a connecting courtyard houses a vine-covered walkway to the Jungle Ballroom, a late-night cocktail bar that concocts inventive tipple made from spices, herbs, as well as floral and fruity ingredients with Asian influences.
The glitzy 1970s Hollywood-inspired Canyon Club, on the other hand, houses a rooftop bar that offers a Californian-inspired menu of fresh seafood dishes and cocktails by the pool.
The ground floor space spotlights Christina’s, an artisanal coffee bar in the day and a wine bar at night. Most guests will encounter the quiet hangout first as they enter the building on their way to the hotel reception.
The latest F&B additions include Noa Lounge which offers classic Mediterranean cuisine, Singapore’s first South American fine-dining restaurant, Araya, as well as the Kengo Kuma-designed Omakase restaurant, Suzuki, by chef Suzuki Yuichiro.
A popular spot with guests, the hotel’s Instagram-worthy rooftop infinity pool decked with cabanas overlooks sweeping views of the CBD skyline. It was crowded most of the time except the early morning where I dropped by to take in the awe-inspiring vista from the vantage point.
For hotel guests keen to keep to their exercise regime during their stay, they can utilise the collection of multi-functional, Italian Technogym equipment available in the 24-hour gym.
The staff were attentive and friendly. When my companion and I were looking for clean towels early morning by the pool, a kind hotel staff cleaning the floor nearby went the extra mile to get them for us. On the day I checked out, I found the hotel manager personally helping guests out with their hefty luggage on the ground floor.
Staying at Mondrian Singapore Duxton is like embarking on a urban adventure as there is so much to explore both within the premises and outside.
From checking out the hotel’s inspiring art collection and gastronomic offerings, venturing out to take in the invigorating sights and sounds of its buzzy hipster hood, to immersing in the local culture at the nearby public housing estates, few hotels in Singapore can lay claim to such a unique preposition.