As far as lifestyle hotels go, the W properties are built to shake things up. With words like “bold” and “on-trend” synonymous with the brand aesthetic — words that were in line with my first W experience some years ago at Koh Samui — I had high hopes for my second W experience in Singapore.
Located within the residential enclave of Sentosa Cove, one of the most expensive zip codes on the island complete with multimillion-dollar homes built around an upscale marina, the 240-room hotel stuck out like a flashy thumb when it opened in 2012; forever altering the laid-back, chill vibe of the cove community. Despite being situated a considerable distance away from the downtown shopping area and CBD, the hotel has wooed globetrotters, honeymooners, locals looking for a staycation spot, young business travellers and the like. Offering an authentic lifestyle experience, there’s a spa, bar, two restaurants, event spaces, and the W Lounge experience.
Eschewing contemporary design, the urban property boasts features like a LED light installation that mimics foliage and waterfalls, an overscaled rock garden and Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid (Singapore’s national flower) motifs sprawled across guestrooms, giving you the sense that you are stepping into another dimension.
The pulsating energy and buzzing atmosphere of the glass-clad building also lends itself from a nightly DJ who spins upbeat tunes behind a natural stone console that reverberates throughout the massive welcome area, sprawling grounds and irreverent architectural and design details. At dusk, the hotel exterior lights up with W’s signature mood neon lighting.
So it followed that the décor of our Fabulous room was just as futuristic and unabashedly kooky as the rest of the establishment. Offering a view of the WET® Pool from an expansive private balcony, the 40-sqm space featured neon lights shining through a metallic flower imprint headboard that changed colours according to your moods, white galvanised steel bedside tables, a floor-to-ceiling standing mirror in the shape of a picture frame and pops of pink interspersed with an otherwise fusty grey and white palette. There was even a quirky hand stand at the foyer area that jutted out of the wall holding lime green feathers in the shape of a ball atop a Lucite stick.
“Eschewing contemporary design, the urban property boasts features like a LED light installation that mimics foliage and waterfalls, an overscaled rock garden and Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid (Singapore’s national flower) motifs sprawled across guestrooms.”
The bathroom was just as attention-grabbing, with a frosted-glass window by a deep soaking tub that opened to the sleeping area, amenities wrapped in silver foil, a lacquered eggplant-coloured backdrop over the sink and Bliss toiletries. The shower and toilet enclosures were somewhat befuddling though, as both shared a sliding door that could only conceal one area at a time.
After a mandatory sunset dip in the pool, dinner that evening took place at SKIRT, the hotel’s in-house steakhouse where cuts of fine steaks and fresh sustainable produce are fired up on a centrepiece parrilla grill. Among the choice Australian and American meats hanging in the dry ageing fridge alongside specialty cuts of venison and saltbush lamb, we sat under intricate overhead light installations on leather upholstered booths in a golden-hued, plush room. Apparently, the décor was designed to reflect the life of a cow. Though the restaurant is not the first place I’d think of if I was craving a good steak, it would come to mind if I wanted to dine at a steakhouse with a twist of epicurean options beyond beef.
What left a lasting impression on us before we departed the next day was the breakfast buffet at The Kitchen Table restaurant. Thanks to whimsical touches like vibrantly coloured signage showcasing Mandarin letters above a huge open kitchen, several live cooking stations serving a range of cuisines and to-go juice boxes, the often routine experience was rather enjoyable.
For one night away in the heart of Sentosa Cove, the stay was just enough to break up the monotony.
Where: W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
21 Ocean Way, Singapore 098374
Phone: +65 6808 7288
Note: The critic was invited by the hotel but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own