In an increasingly crowded hospitality market with more and more hip hotels that have popped up in Singapore recently, Andaz Singapore sets itself apart by creating ‘inspiring, indigenous experiences that immerse guests in the local culture’. Now that’s a big promise, but certainly not empty words as I discovered during my brief stay at this highly anticipated boutique property managed by Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
The hotel nestles within one of the iconic DUO skyscrapers high above the teeming streets, offering rarefied spaces with cosy, residential quality and refined sense of locale, highly influenced by Singaporean flair. Upon arrival at its lobby on the 25th floor, I immediately fell in love at the first sight of the hotel’s interiors by Hong Kong-based designer André Fu of AFSO, who also gave his ingenious highly acclaimed touch on the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul and The Upper House in Hong Kong. His thoughtful style – combined with a dash of whimsicality yet restraint – works like magic onto the light-filled and understated spaces within Andaz Singapore.
The communal space on level 25 that combines the lobby, lounge and bar is welcoming; rather than feeling like checking into a hotel, guest might instead feel like they are putting up at a rich friend’s chic penthouse. The hotel’s members of staff, who are youthful and multinational, are well-dressed in stylish uniforms created by a local label In Good Company. They prove friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. There is also a real sense that guests’ needs are given top priority here.
When I checked out the guestrooms, I notice that they follow a muted, brown-and-white colour palette, with furnishings crafted out of natural materials. Brass fixtures and bright leather elements add a touch of subtle luxury. I stayed in a King View room that allowed me to wake up to striking views of the city through a widescreen window. The bed is firm, which helped my aching back, but my favourite part of the room is definitely the well-stocked minibar that comes with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Mind you, not only the guests of those who stay at the same category as my room get to enjoy the complimentary minibar – this feature, including free strong Wi-Fi and access to the chic Sunroom, is extended to guests of all rooms! Other convenient amenities include well-positioned power outlets, a Nespresso coffee machine, Bose Bluetooth speakers, ironing facility and specially-created toiletries (Singapore Fusion #19) by French perfumer, Christophe Laudamiel. And as with many hotels, the rooms in Andaz Singapore come with a guide, The Andaz Times, which is complete with things to see and do in the area.
When it comes to dining options, guests can be rest assured that they will be having plenty of options. Alley on 25 consists of seven individual shophouse-inspired venues — one bar, one lounge and five restaurants – that the hotel uses as opportunity to showcase its creative edge. I particularly love the clever layout of Alley on 25 that is designed almost like an extension of the neighbourhood rather than just giving guests the cookie cutter atmosphere.
Every morning, guests may choose to have breakfast at either The Green Oven, Icehaus or Auntie’s Wok & Steam. The Green Oven offers classics such as eggs en cocotte or three-egg omelette that are served with Tiong Bahru Bakery’s signature sourdough toast. Icehaus, on the other hand, presents light fixes such as cold-pressed juices, fresh fruits and cereals, including the Andaz Pop which is a special collaboration with Neh Neh Pop that is owned by local celebrity Chef Bjorn Shen. Conversely, Auntie’s Wok & Steam serves up steaming Asian specialties with Szechuan influences.
For dinner, I tried out The Green Oven again, which practices market-to-table philosophy using fresh, high-quality ingredients that are locally or regionally sourced. Its spring chicken is light, flavourful, and functions as an ideal go-to meal for those who need to watch their weight. But for those who gravitate towards sinful comfort food like me, do try the outlet’s lobster mac and cheese, which is just heavenly genius! Combining the richness of the big lobster chunks and the creaminess of the cheese in one single bite, diners are bound to feel like they are being shot straight to heaven! Then to push the sin a notch further, diners should top it off with the decadent and fulfilling house-baked bittersweet brownie and peanut butter ice cream.
Smoke & Pepper is the largest dining destination at Alley on 25 that specialises in Asian-inspired barbecue specialities while Plancha’Lah! offers five-course dinner sets, including a vegetarian set menu prepared and served via dramatic culinary theatre from an open hotplate (plancha). On top of these, all in-house guests can also enjoy the all-day complimentary refreshments at Sunroom, plus access to the Andaz Lounge Hour from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. that serves complimentary wines and the signature Andaz Pale Ale. But should guests prefer to venture out, take a short walk to any of the eateries located within a stone’s throw of the hotel such as the popular Singapore Zam Zam and Victory restaurants, both renowned for their beef and chicken murtabak (pan-fried bread filled with meat) and hearty biryani dishes.
When exploring the area, guests could simply enjoy the tourism attractions that can be reached just by walking such as Singapore’s largest mosque called Masjid Sultan and the hipster shops along Haji Lane and Arab Street all the way to Bugis Junction. If guests want to venture further, the DUO building is directly connected to Bugis MRT station via underground pedestrian walkways, providing easy access to all corners of the city.
After a long day of shopping, sightseeing or working, guests can decompress at Mr. Stork on level 39, a veritable green oasis boasting ten tepee huts and dramatic views, located above the urban jungle. Those who prefer to remain active can head to the 24-hour fitness centre and outdoor pool, both located on level 38 and 25 respectively, for guests to use at their convenience.
In conclusion, I definitely love Andaz Singapore for its unrivalled conveniences, which resonates well among travellers, especially millennials who would not only value the hotel for its function but also for its refined aesthetics. Its strategic location makes the hotel an ideal base to explore the city centre’s best offerings.