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ARTFUL SPIN: The South Beach, designed by feted French designer Philippe Starck, focuses on experiential luxury – which are high-end experiences with special, thoughtful touches that money can’t buy, from graffiti on the carpets and on the walls to witty, intelligent accents.

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ARTFUL SPIN: The South Beach, designed by feted French designer Philippe Starck, focuses on experiential luxury – which are high-end experiences with special, thoughtful touches that money can’t buy, from graffiti on the carpets and on the walls to witty, intelligent accents.

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FRENCH FLAIR: A small sitting area for guests to mingle nestles under under a huge cocoon-like ceiling lamp.

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FRENCH FLAIR: (Above) Offbeat design features draw attention to a long marble table.

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FRENCH FLAIR: Starck designed a place for guests to feel as if they have entered an underwater world when they step into the lift.

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WARM EMBRACE: The hotel's 25-metre infinity pool.

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WARM EMBRACE: Check into the newly opened Park Hotel Alexandra which has 442 rooms that either look out on the city or the lush greenery of the Southern Ridges area. Its rooms (above), F&B outlets The Carvery and its cafe The Coffee Belt are designed to please from the get-go.

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WARM EMBRACE: Check into the newly opened Park Hotel Alexandra which has 442 rooms that either look out on the city or the lush greenery of the Southern Ridges area. Its rooms, F&B outlets The Carvery (above) and its cafe The Coffee Belt are designed to please from the get-go.

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SCENIC LOCALE: Genting Hotel Jurong, situated in the Jurong Lake District is seeing a healthy occupancy rate taken up by both leisure and business travellers. Most of the leisure guests are travellers from Malaysia and Indonesia.

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SCENIC LOCALE: (Above) Its spacious cafe and, a deluxe room at the hotel.

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SCENIC LOCALE: Its spacious cafe and (above), a deluxe room at the hotel.

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LUXE OUTING: Boutique hotel The Club is managed by Harry's International, and is all about understated luxury, right down to its Hypnos beds which have been awarded a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II.

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LUXE OUTING: On the rooftop is Tiger's Milk (above) a bar and grill which serves up ceviche and tiraditos to be washed down with pisco, tequilas and rum.

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LUXE OUTING: Also on the first floor is Mr & Mrs Maxwell's, an all-day restaurant, where guests can enjoy great morning coffee, local lunch bites and an extensive selection of drinks and cocktails in the evenings.

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DRAMATIC RESTORATION: The Patina is a 157-key luxury hotel in Capitol Singapore, with rooms lovingly restored by Pritzker Prize Architecture laureate Richard Meier. Guests can expect to see grand designs in an abundance of natural light.

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DRAMATIC RESTORATION: The Patina is a 157-key luxury hotel in Capitol Singapore, with rooms lovingly restored by Pritzker Prize Architecture laureate Richard Meier. Guests can expect to see grand designs in an abundance of natural light.

Staycation central

From a new hotel designed by Philippe Starck to pristinely restored rooms at the Capitol, staying on home turf sounds like a great idea now.
Aug 15, 2015 5:50 AM

STARCK CONTRAST

The South Beach

30 Beach Road Tel: 6818 1888

http://thesouthbeach.com.sg

Opening second quarter of 2016

THERE are hotels, and then there are hotels. A sneak peek of The South Beach shows that the soon-to-open 654-room hotel, fitted out by renowned French designer Philippe Starck clearly belongs to the latter.

Just the first few steps into the lobby and you can see this is no run-of-the-mill establishment. The first thing you will see is a giant installation - a 7m high video wall featuring a moving art piece by South Korean artist Lee Lee Nam. Combining art with technology, Lee utilises LED monitors as a canvas. Inspired by "Transformation", it uses abstract shapes, dimensions and the allure of illusions intertwining together to create a sense of energy. Just by the side of this wall is a small sitting area, where guests can mingle with one another under a huge cocoon-like ceiling lamp. True to Starck's aesthetic, the hotel entrance feels a bit out of this world.

While the walls of the lobby may be cast in concrete, the space surprisingly doesn't exude even a hint of anything stone-cold. In fact, at The South Beach they don't call it a lobby - instead, it's the Global Village, a name that's appropriate since everyone around the world will gather here in this space at the hotel eventually. Rather than sleek reception counters, there are seven individual check-in desks encased in glass. Each desk reflects different societies in the world from Chinese to Moorish, with matching hanging lights, carpets and antique cabinets reflecting the heritage.

In most other hotels, the lifts are mostly functional, bringing guests to the different levels. Here, Starck designed a place for guests to feel as if they have entered an underwater world. The wallpaper in the lift features marine life, such as the giant octopus, a jellyfish, and fish. The lighting within alternates between red, blue and green, and guests will feel as if they are going on a mystical journey.

But once on the guestroom floors, it is another feeling: one of calm, thanks to the use of wallpaper and carpet in shades of beige. The rooms are furnished almost entirely in white, a vast contrast from the vibrant vibe of the lobby. The rooms are meant to provide a sanctuary for guests, and on the upper floors, they have unblocked views of the city.

There are spacious bathrooms and "illusion" beds which appear to float above the floor. Many of the furniture pieces are by Starck, such as his iconic Lou Reed chair, that complement the rooms' clean, white look. The multitude of mirrors in the room may be a nightmare for the housekeeping team, but they are there to maximise natural light.

Women can opt to stay in "Showcase Her" rooms. They come with additional amenities, including a facial steamer, a boyfriend shirt for sleeping in, and pink toe separators, for when a quick pedicure is needed. Three floors of the hotel are Showcase Her rooms and they come with additional security as well as female butler services.

In-house restaurants and bars are designed with Starck's touches, from the Ghost high chairs, to the scribbles on the ceiling and wall, which can also be seen in Mama Shelter hotels.

Capitalising on The South Beach DNA of being cheeky, witty and intelligent, the F&B outlets have quirky names too. ADHD is short for All Day Hotel Dining, which feeds you from breakfast to late night supper. LAUGH is a bar decked out in colourful prints, where the lights come with lampshades of kids making faces. The Court Martial Bar is housed in a conserved heritage building and serves serious cocktails.

The South Beach is part of the S$3 billion South Beach Consortium, which also includes offices, residences and retail space. Owned and developed by City Developments Limited Singapore and IOI Properties Group, The South Beach comprises three former army blocks and the Non-Commissioned Officers Club, with eco-friendly buildings, the latter designed by renowned architects Foster+Partners and global design firm Aedas.

The retail tenants are still being firmed up, while one of the army blocks will house Vatos Urban Tacos, a popular Korean-Mexican restaurant brand originating from South Korea; a cocktail bar named Vanity; a gastropub named The Armoury and a new boutique nightclub, all managed by homegrown lifestyle group Massive Collective. The former Non-Commissioned Officers' Club will become an exclusive private membership club, known as South Beach Club.

The South Beach focuses on experiential luxury, meaning the high-end experiences, the special, thoughtful touches that money does not afford. Its general manager Jan Büttgen says, "We are confident that new hospitality benchmarks will be set for service, culture and innovation when we open our doors later this year. It's our commitment to create infinite experiences for our guests that they leave The South Beach with a unique story to tell."

Room rates will start from S$450++ a night. The South Beach Consortium will open by the second quarter of next year.


EARTHY VIBE

Park Hotel Alexandra

323 Alexandra Road Tel: 6828 8888

http://www.parkhotelgroup.com/alexandra/default-en.html

IMAGINE this: you've shopped till you dropped at Ikea Alexandra. All you want is to get home as quickly as possible but alas - the taxi queue is way too long and you're at your wit's end. What do you do? Perhaps, you could check into the newly opened Park Hotel Alexandra next door to rest your weary feet and soul.

The hotel has 442 rooms that either look out into the city, or the lush greenery of the Southern Ridges area. Inspired by its garden landscape surroundings, the hotel is designed in natural woods, earthy shades and prints that embrace the botanical theme.

The rooms are comfortable, with chic interiors, in soothing colours designed by KKS International, but you'll most likely want to spend time at the 25-metre infinity pool. Or if doing laps isn't your thing, there's the swim-up pool bar, Aqua Luna, where you can have cocktails while sunbathing.

Besides Aqua Luna, when it comes to other food options, there is The Carvery, which focuses on roasts as well as the inhouse cafe, The Coffee Belt. All three F&B outlets are also open to the public.

If you still want to shop, there is Alexandra Central, a three-storey mall that is connected to the hotel, while Orchard Road and Vivocity are about a 10-minute drive away. A hotel spokesman says that during the weekdays, the hotel is popular with corporate guests who work at the nearby Mapletree Business District and Alexandra Distripark. On weekends, the hotel has become a popular staycation option.

Room rates start from S$198++.


JURONG LAKE DISTRICT VISTA

Genting Hotel Jurong

2 Town Hall Link Tel: 6577 8888

www.rwsentosa.com/ghj

THE Jurong area is getting hot, with at least three new malls that have popped up there, together with a new hospital and even a new hotel.

According to a spokesman, the Genting Hotel Jurong has been seeing "a very healthy occupancy rate taken up by both leisure and business travellers", since its soft opening in April. Most of its leisure guests are independent travellers from Malaysia and Indonesia.

The corporate mix contributes to a higher proportion of business on weekdays while the leisure mix takes up a higher proportion of business at Genting Hotel Jurong during the weekends. Room rates start from S$380++ a night. Genting Hotel Jurong, which is owned by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is the first major hotel to open in the Jurong Lake District. Its 557 rooms, decked out in bright and cheery colours, are split into three categories: superior and deluxe rooms, and suites.

Apart from the amenities in the rooms, guests also have access to a self-service laundromat, gym, pool and cafe. In keeping with the lush greenery and tranquil environment of Jurong Lake, Genting Hotel Jurong has incorporated the theme of "a hotel in a garden" into its design. Its roof-top garden and sky terrace offer expansive views of the Jurong Lake District.

Most of the hotel facade is North and South-facing to minimise heat. In addition, as part of the hotel's green efforts, a rainwater collection system has been implemented to reduce water consumption for irrigation purposes. Recycling bins are available to encourage g reen consciousness in guests.

The hotel is a 15-minute drive away from the Tuas Checkpoint, and a 25-minute drive away from RWS. Hotel guests can ride the complimentary 24-hour shuttle bus that runs continually between the hotel and RWS, as well as buy tickets to attractions at RWS at the hotel.

"Genting Hotel Jurong will boost RWS's room inventory significantly and forms part of our business strategy to drive greater visitorship to RWS. It also allows us to be part of the exciting transformation that is taking place at the Jurong Lake District," says Chow Keng Hai, vice-president of rooms at RWS.


LUXURY BOUTIQUE DRAW

The Club

28 Ann Siang Hill Tel: 6808 2188

www.theclub.com.sg

WHEN The Club opened five years ago, it was mostly a black and white affair.

That monochromatic look is now gone. The boutique hotel reopened last month, after an extensive nine-month refurbishment.

Its new look, more colourful and with a gentlemen's club feel about it, was designed by Singapore based interior designers Paul Semple and Matthew Shang at Distillery. Distillery has recently merged with HASSELL, an integrated practice of architects, interior designers, landscape architects and urban designers with studios in Australia, China, South-east Asia and the UK.

While there were 22 rooms before, now there are only 20 - two of the rooms have made way for corridors and restaurant space.

The hotel, managed by Harry's International, is now about understated luxury. It is the first hotel to use the organic, luxury range of toiletries from UK brand Bamford. Guests sleep on Hypnos beds which have been awarded a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II, and Ploh bedlinen and towels are used in all the rooms.

"The Club's luxurious rooms provide comfort, intimacy and space," says Sharon Seong, general manager for The Club. "It's a place for guests to call their own."

The Club now boasts five restaurants and bars under its roof. On the ground floor, there's The Disgruntled Chef The Club, which is the fine-dining version of the popular gastrobar at Dempsey of the same name.

Also on the first floor is Mr & Mrs Maxwell's, an all-day restaurant, where guests can enjoy coffee in the morning, local lunch bites at noon and an extensive selection of drinks and cocktails in the evenings.

Just beside Mr & Mrs Maxwell's is The Champagne Yard, located in a courtyard, which offers premium champagnes and wines. Up on the rooftop is Tiger's Milk Rooftop Bar and Grill. On the food menu, there's ceviche, tiraditos, causas and salads, for a casual dining experience. Drinks-wise, there's definitely pisco as well as tequilas and rum.

Soon to open is the last bar, B28, which is located in the hotel basement. B28 will offer more than 100 whiskies, and there will be weekly jazz performances as well.

The Club has proven to be popular with mostly European and American guests. Room rates start from S$280++.


CAPITOL IDEA

The Patina

Capitol Singapore

Opening fourth quarter of 2015

http://patinahotels.com/singapore

BY the end of the year, a weekend in the City Hall area could involve appreciating art at the National Gallery, followed by shopping and dining at Capitol Piazza, watching a show at Capitol Theatre and then spending the night at The Patina, Capitol Singapore.

The 157-key luxury hotel will open in the fourth quarter of this year, with its rooms spread across the Capitol Building and Stamford House, which have been lovingly restored by Pritzker Prize Architecture laureate Richard Meier.

Guests can expect to see high corniced ceilings, dramatic archways and grand windows offering sweeping vistas and an abundance of natural light evoking charm and grandeur. Its elegant interiors are conceptualised by Jaya International Design, which also worked on the interiors for Capella Singapore. The rooms and suites behold a subtle elegance that conjure a sense of timelessness. A soft enveloping palette of cream, taupe and warm wood calms the senses, while the layering of textural elements on coverings, fixtures and drapes enhance the visual appeal and tactile experience.

The hotel will also house ERU, a Peruvian Amazon restaurant headed by Peruvian consulting chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, who owns Malabar, ranked No 11 on Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list last year.

Extending the Peruvian theme is ERUBAR where guests can have the speciality Peruvian brandy, pisco, and a range of signature cocktails by the resident mixologist, as well as taste Peruvian-style tapas.

The third F&B outlet is chocolate atelier PURE & Co which will retail artisanal chocolates.

Tracy Lowe, general manager of The Patina, Capitol Singapore, says: "The Patina, Capitol Singapore, has been created as a hallmark of the Patina brand where tailored services and local character seek to inspire an enriching travel journey. Guests will get to embrace a piece of Singapore heritage, while at the same time, discover truly personalised services, attuned to creating distinctive memories."