Preserving the Past | Singapore's Colonial Hotels

Through loving restoration and a unique vision, Singapore’s hoteliers have found a way to preserve some of the city’s awe-inspiring colonial structures whilst offering visitors an intimate way to experience Singapore’s rich heritage. 

The Sultan

Lovingly preserved and recreated from a collection of 10 heritage shop houses, The Sultan offers a hotel experience that exudes class, culture and comfort.

It’s what a heritage hotel should be, with great respect paid to the old structures’ beautiful bare bones - tall columns, ornate carvings above doors and windows, wide arcs, open-air corridors and stunning full-length shuttered windows in each room – enhanced by sleek modern décor. 

While a theme of white and wood is consistent, no two of The Sultan’s 64 guestrooms and suites are the same as each embraces the unique characteristics and features 

The Sultan is home to Singapore’s celebrated live jazz bar, The Singjazz Club, where the likes of Jeremy Monteiro, Ezra Brown and Richard Jackson have graced the stage. It’s also home to FRESH! – a trendy cocktail bar with a focus on music of the 90’s and early 00’s. 

Capella

Panoramic views of the glistening South China Sea, 30 acres of lush lawns and ancient trees, roaming peacocks… Capella on Sentosa Island is truly something else. 

Nature meets architecture at this enchanting destination.The design of Capella was conceived and brilliantly executed by the inimitable Foster + Partners, who successfully and seamlessly combined curved modern structures with a beautiful stretch of colonial buildings that date back to the 1880s. 

Soothing tones, natural light and subtle oriental touches create a rich feeling of zen throughout the hotel’s 112 rooms, suites, villas and manors. Guests staying in Capella’s lavish Colonial Manor and Contemporary Manor are entitled to some extravagant extras, including Rolls-Royce transfers to and from the airport. 

Facilities include a library filled with books on history, culture, and the arts - including the original copy of Noel Barber's Tanah Merah, three luxurious swimming pools with sea views and plenty of sun loungers and a family-friendly beach just steps away from the resort. 

Be sure to make time for Capella’s award-winning Auriga Spa, which uses 100% natural and organic products from The Organic Pharmacy, and whose four signature treatments are designed around the cycles of the moon. 

Wanderlust

Wanderlust occupies a 1920’s heritage listed building, formerly a school, in colourful Little India, but this quirky boutique hotel is far from old school – pun intended. It’s all about adventure. 

Singapore’s golden child of boutique restaurants and hotels, Loh Lik Peng, assigned four local design agencies a floor each, giving them carte blanche to let their imaginations run wild. The result is a whimsical mélange of designs that range from origami to childhood fantasies like space and tree houses, pop art to the third floor’s sleek monochromatic theme. 

Wanderlust’s laidback French bistro-style restaurant Cocotte has been a hit with travelers and locals alike for its striking design, friendly service and communal vibe; the majority of Cocotte’s dishes are made to share between big groups of friends.

The bar at Cocotte is well-stocked and perfect for drinks before a night on the town, with amusing design touches like lamps made from Campari bottles. 

Just as Peng allowed the designers to run wild, Wanderlust encourages guests to channel their inner child and ignite a sense of fun and wonder. 

Hotel Fort Canning

A picturesque 1926 structure surrounded by a tranquil, lush greenery of Fort Canning Park, it’s hard to believe that Hotel Fort Canning is just a short cab ride away from the nightlife of Clarke Quay, luxury shopping on Orchard Road and the bustle of Singapore’s Central Business District. 

Perched proudly on historic Fort Canning Hill – home to Malaysian Royalty in the 14th century, and once used as a base for the British Far East Command during World War II – Hotel Fort Canning is now a majestic 86-room boutique hotel styled to offer the amenities of a five star ‘city resort’, whilst maintaining a sense of colonial glamour with its many remaining original features, including its multi-columned facade.  

The lofty ceilings and interior design of the rooms reflect ‘modern heritage’ with an air of subtle elegance, while Poltrona Frau furnishings create a comfortable and not over-styled ambience. The stunning Deluxe Garden Rooms are truly something special, featuring French doors that open to a private garden and sun deck.

The Scarlet

47757927.jpg

Being Singapore’s first luxury boutique hotel, The Scarlet made a bold entrance in 2004, occupying a striking 1868 heritage building that stretches along Singapore’s historic Erskine Street.

The hotel houses 80 guestrooms and suites, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a striking meeting room and fully equipped gym. Unapologetically lavish, interiors at The Scarlet are reminiscent of Hotel Costes in Paris with its dramatic décor – think draping velvet, ornate furniture and a palette of deep, rich tones. 

To dine, The Scarlet boasts boutique Japanese sushi bar Mei i Sushi, Aria – a cozy Sicilian rooftop restaurant and bar – and Casa Tartufo, a husband-and-wife run restaurant serving authentic Northern Italian cuisine.

The Scarlet sits amidst Singapore’s vibrant Club Street area. Home to Singapore’s prestigious Chinese clubs and associations 1800s and 1900s, the district has seen an incredible revival in recent years, where beautifully maintained colonial shop houses have been transformed to shops, boutique spas, trendy restaurants and cafes, wine bars, antiques shops and art galleries.