Sure to become one of the most iconically designed hotels in Singapore — thanks to a symmetrical trio of buildings as a result of combining and outfitting three warehouses into one — The Warehouse Hotel opened in January 2017 to much fanfare and hype.
Dating back to 1895, the warehouse (known in Asia as a ‘godown’) was once a distillery, mill and meeting point for secret societies and prostitutes — a heritage that The Lo & Behold Group, one of Singapore’s most successful hospitality firms, is immensely proud of incorporating in its inaugural hotel.
Marked by its distinctive whitewashed façade, the interior features jacked roofs and original design elements like louvre windows, cornices, mouldings and skylights. Though it sounds austere and cold, the corridors and spaces are anything but. Natural light suffuses in from every possible entryway; furnishings are comfortable and swathed in neutral tones, and the ambience is constantly tranquil.
In all its public spaces, there are two areas that truly stand out. First is the reception-slash-lobby bar area. Literally housed under one roof and spread across an expansive space, I stepped in to the building to be greeted by double-high ceilings, dangling light bulbs and vintage black pinwheels hanging from original trusses. A view of the Singapore River waterfront was directly in my line of sight once I stepped past the entrance doors.
At check-in, I admired display cases by the reception which showcased accoutrements and accessories reminiscent of the property’s past in burnished gold and black that guests could purchase.
The lobby bar was a whole other beast. Lined up on a three-tier wall display sat alcohol bottles of every variety, interspersed with rose gold pineapples and ingredients in cookie jars. The whole area seemed to come alive with its own spin on luxury and what it meant to be à la mode as far as a warehouse aesthetic could be. Even an elevator refinished in black and intentionally clad with metal grilles overlooked the bar with quiet regality.
“Display cases by the reception showcased accoutrements and accessories reminiscent of the property’s past in burnished gold and black that guests could purchase.”
My River View Room, which was on the ground floor — the same floor as the reception, lobby bar and Pó restaurant — so happened to be the first room behind automated doors that only one with a key card could access. At 34 square metres, the room was spacious and inviting with a king sized bed and ensuite bathroom.
All 37 rooms on the premises are dominated by a contrasting industrial design and a warm colour scheme of browns and greens; further accented by copper and brass accents. My River View Room, for instance, featured an eye-catching fern green headboard and a mosaic marble sink and vanity table. Black steel fixtures rounded out the décor in the bathroom, closet space and work desk area.
Perhaps what set my accommodation apart from most of the rooms I’ve stayed in before were the industrial details and embellishments set all around. Partnering with local designers and creators, one brand I identified was Matter Prints, a company that specialises in reinterpreting textile heritage into unique prints. Their custom fabrics were seen on my bed runner — their logo sewed on in the corner of an ikat motif that coincidentally resembled the building’s reflection in the water — as well as in pouches used for the storage of hairdryers and toiletries.
Another detail was the traditional Chinese characters spotted on stationery and key cards — including a gold font with the words “Maid Tip” embossed on a black square envelope that was inconspicuously placed in the folder containing the hotel information.
The rest of the room furnishings are all locally sourced, including traditional rattan and natural leather in continuance of the industrial vibe. The same aesthetic spirit travelled across the rest of the hotel’s common areas; like The Den, a private event space located in the back end of the lobby; and Pó, the flagship restaurant that served local fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Matter Prints’ custom fabrics were seen on my bed runner — their logo sewed on in the corner of an ikat motif that coincidentally resembled the building’s reflection in the water.”
The second outstanding public space was the infinity pool that sat perpendicular between the river and the street corner. With its transparent glass walls, it was as if someone had just filled an empty container with water.
For a truly modern Singaporean hotel in a cosmopolitan city as diverse in culture and rich in history, you won’t be disappointed by The Warehouse Hotel.
Where: The Warehouse Hotel, Singapore
320 Havelock Road, 169628, Robertson Quay, Singapore 169628
Phone: +65 6828 0000
Note– The critic was invited by the Warehouse Hotel, Singapore. But all the opinions expressed herewith are her own.