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Doug Wallace

Contributing writer

Editor and publisher of TravelRight.Today, Doug Wallace is a habitué of hip hotels worldwide. Current clients include the London Telegraph, Fairmont Magazine, Trivago.ca and Today’s Bride.

The first Andaz in southeast Asia, the Andaz Singapore takes over the top 14 floors of a dazzling new honeycomb-like skyscraper, with its reception on the 25thfloor. The hotel immerses guests in Singaporean culture, its public areas mirroring Singapore’s intimate laneways, iconic shophouses and quaint customs.

Street cred: It’s all about location

In the immediate vicinity, the hotel is a 10-minute walk to a few cultural districts, including Little India and Kampong Glam, with its trendy eateries, hip bars and chic boutiques situated alongside the landmark Sultan Mosque and ubiquitous, cooler-than-they-used-to-be government housing buildings. The hotel’s central location, right on the MRT subway line (Bugis Station), allows for easy access to all parts of town. The Central Business District is a five-minute Metro ride away.

Who hangs here: Is this hotel for you?

Business creatives, hip couples, Andaz loyalists and smartly dressed families hunker down here in this little oasis. This is a crowd that appreciates the high-style design and is willing to pay a bit more for that.

The straight goods: What’s in the room?

Starting at 400 square feet, the 342 rooms are big in a town where big isn’t really an option. A sleek and modern design highlighted by ample wood paneling and floor-to-ceiling doors is injected with hits of traditional Singapore, including bright mustard and rust tones, and flat, round light fixtures. The wooden-framed, illuminated bathroom mirror is cheekily shaped like a hand mirror hung on a peg. Find premium linen, soundproof windows, spacious closets, and free minibar snacks and soft drinks. Fancy Christophe Laudamiel bathroom amenities smell divine.

Bragging rights: What else has it got?

Local art is constantly pointed out by staff, who are proud of this heritage homage. Everywhere, attention to detail is paramount, right down to the hallways: Quaint, old-style Singaporean mailboxes outside the room doors house the doorbell and accept your key card.

Good eats: Cocktails and cuisine

Six restaurants and three bars meet your dining needs with ease. The big trend in Singaporean cuisine is Mod-Sin, a reworking of Grandma’s home cooking: traditional recipes given a modern twist. You can find it anchoring the menus of some of the city’s top restaurants, including the Andaz. At Alley on 25, the street-dining experience is not just woven into the menu but into the design of the various eateries as well, with a concept that mimics a street market. Poking your head around corners reveals small kitchen stations whipping up rice, noodle and meat dishes or barbecued fare cooked over a charcoal grill—all delicious. Alcohol is expensive in Singapore, so be prepared for the hefty cocktail bill or take advantage of the daily Happy Hour, when wine and beer are marked down.

A few of our favorite things: What stood out?

The Stork Bar on the 39th-floor rooftop has the most amazing 360-degree views, you will want to squeeze every second out of sunset drinks. The attitude and the service of the front-of-house staff is exemplary. These people know exactly what they’re doing.

Parting shot: If we could change one thing

Having to wait for and take two elevators to your room—first to the 25thfloor and then up to your floor—is slightly cumbersome, particularly if you forget something and have to dash back up.

Standard rooms from SGD$275 (US$200). Breakfast not included.

Doug was a guest of the hotel during his stay. The hotel had no editorial input for this review.

(Photos courtesy of Andaz Singapore)

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