Andaz Singapore has it all under one roof

Andaz Singapore has collected the city’s best under its roof so, no matter the weather, its guests never need worry about missing out on what the Lion City has to offer. Zaneta Cheng reports

The air is heavy with humidity and clouds are looming ominously above us as our car makes its way from Singapore’s Changi Airport to the Ole Scheeren-designed Duo towers where Andaz Singapore is located. Aside from trying to determine if we remembered to pack our umbrellas for the weekend that we’re in the Lion City, we’re a tad concerned whether we’ll be able to get the cultural and gastronomic hit that we’ve flown into town for.

The drive from the airport is short and sweet, a mere 20 minutes in late-afternoon Friday traffic. There’s just enough time to realise that we have, in fact, forgotten to pack our umbrellas. Singapore is, after all, tiny – a 40-minute car journey can take you from one end of the city to the other. The car rolls up to a sleek driveway below two gleaming glass towers with a honeycomb exterior before we get out and walk into a warmly appointed entryway. It’s quiet, with a few tourists waiting for cars to come while they sit on sofas below shelves of ornate Peranakan porcelain. The bellboys direct us to a tucked-away corridor where we’re whisked up to the hotel’s 25th floor.

The doors open to a bustling lobby. Comprising two counters, check-in is casual and done against an impressive vista of the city. The feel of the place is decidedly less corporate and much more convivial,
with clusters of sofas set amidst nooks and verandas. The outdoor pool is through a glass door on the left while other guests are sitting in the Sunroom, a sequestered lounge, swigging pale ale specially
brewed for Andaz Singapore and throwing back local Singaporean snacks laid out daily for guests. There’s a bar and three restaurants on the floor serving both local and international fare: steakhouse 665°F; 5 on 25, for elegant Cantonese fare; and Alley on 25, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant and breakfast location – so there’s no end of activities to busy oneself with on just the one floor.

Andaz Singapore sits on the 25th to 39th floors of the building and all the rooms – whether they be city- or bay-facing – have floor-to-ceiling windows that can be left naked in their full glory, shaded to block out Singapore’s blazing sun or completely blacked out for a full night’s shut-eye. Almost everything is button- operable within arm’s reach of the bed, with a full range of plugs and ports both next to the bed and at the desk.

The doorway to each room is done in the style of an old Peranakan shophouse, drawing inspiration from the districts in which the building sits. Designed by André Fu, the spaces within the hotel all draw from the cultural elements of Singapore and are fused together with Fu’s own warm, minimal, modern aesthetic. Warm woods and marbled cement form the base of most of the room, accented with washes of yellow drawn from the bright hues of local shophouses. Take the mango-coloured shophouse doors that divide the bathroom from the bedroom, and bright yellow bath stools and pops of green that are a direct reference to the Sultan Mosque, just a stone’s throw from the hotel. The bins are woven rattan. Even the rubber flip flops (a departure from the fuzzy disposable white slippers usually provided by hotels) are a nod to the city’s penchant for rain-proof, tropics-friendly footwear.

It’s a cheerful contrast to the conditions outside, where rain is lashing down so densely the bay is almost entirely shrouded by a sudden torrent. We’re not hugely worried. The room service menu serves a cornucopia of treats one would find on a trip down to Maxwell Centre. There’s laksa and nasi goreng, which tides us over. One quick visit to the gym to walk everything off, and we’re changed and ready to venture out come rain or shine.

Of course, this being Andaz, it’s not really a huge problem that we’ve left our umbrellas at home. They’ve provided us with two for our excursion. We take them with us, along with the brand-new water bottles provided in the room, which we’ve filled up using the special drinking tap, also in the room. We stop by the Sunroom while we wait to switch lifts on the 25th floor and fill a napkin with coconut biscuits and a pack of local Singaporean crispies. By the time we make our way out, the downpour has ceased.

It’s as easy to hail a car from the Duo building as it is to just take the MRT from Bugis Station, which is beneath the complex. But there’s so much to see around us that we decide to just walk the 15 minutes to Bugis Junction where some of the best bars in Singapore can be found. On the way, we pass by open restaurant shop fronts where steaming bowls of soup are being served to customers sitting street-side surrounded by groups of locals getting ready for their Friday night.

Our night conveniently ends at Mr. Stork, the rooftop bar at Andaz Singapore, known locally for its 360-degree view of the city. And once our friends have gone back to their homes and we to our room, we continue the night on our own, cracking open the hotel’s complimentary minibar.

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In this Story: #travel / #hotels & resorts