Sofitel So Singapore is a hotel with multiple personalities. Its character oscillates between both sides of every spectrum, from old-world to new world; from luxury hotel to quirky boutique getaway; classic to cutting-edge. Though, this is not a character in crisis… instead, it embraces its multi-dimensionality to offer guests the best of every world. While it rests in the heart of some of Singapore’s tallest office skyscrapers, this is far from your usual ‘business’ hotel.
It is impressive that a hotel of this size could embody so much grandeur. The heritage building itself looks like a European palace to scale, with plenty of balcony alcoves from which you can wave to the commoners below. The suites have plenty of space (So Lofty spreads over 85 square metres) and the high ceilings add to the palatial feel of the space.
From the lobby to the lift and even the rooms are bold splashes of bright colours against monochromatic décor, hexagon accents throughout, mirrors on virtually every surface and even a light box resembling a glass cupola above the bed to simulate a skylight. It is very ‘nouveau-riche’, toeing the line between eccentrically stylish and kitsch. This is no surprise once you discover that every room boasts the creative soul of design titans, Karl Lagerfeld and Singapore-based French designer Isabelle Miaja, whose collaboration has created the kind of aesthetic you’d expect from Tim Burton’s latest rendition of Alice In Wonderland.
In the So Lofty suite, the artistic spirit lives on. A bespoke light box resembling a cupola on the ceiling illuminates a king-sized bed, simulating a skylight. Lagerfeld’s “The Lion’s Seal” motif are dotted on objects throughout the room. Simple chairs and sofas take on post-modern creative shapes, from a classic chaise longue (or ‘psychiatrist’s couch’) to the palm of a retro hand chair. Plush pillows decorated with images of iconic Singapore, and pop art splashed on the walls with distinctive local touches, add a little spice to the room.
Balancing out the vintage ‘Renaissance France gone retro-Singapore’ feel are plenty of Apple gadgets to remind you of the times. The So Lofty suite comes equipped with an iPhone for any hotel requests, an Apple Mac Mini that hooks up directly to your flatscreen TV and our personal favourite, an iPad mini that acts as a master switch, letting you control everything from the curtains to the mood lighting.
To add to the vibe is an audio system embedded into the wall on each side of your bed. This fancy little gadget has plenty of tunes synced in (otherwise, link it to your iPod) and doubles as an alarm clock. Skip the startling morning wake up call and be gently woken the next morning by a combination of gently pulsing colourful lights and atmospheric music.
Relatively muted in terms of its design compared to the rest of the room, the bathroom still deserves special mention as a fantastic feature of the room. The bathtub itself is worthy of Marie Antoinette, which stands at its epicentre; complemented by His And Hers bespoke amenities are dual wash-hand basins and a vanity mirror. It is perfect for even the greatest of egos amongst the glitterati. While the toilet and rain shower are each sealed off by fogged glass doors, the sliding glass doors to the bathroom itself are totally transparent, which could make for quite an entertaining show. However, the thick draping curtains are a great help for the particularly coy.
If you’re hosting, invite your guests to sprawl out on the retro furniture or invite them to step out onto your small private balcony to watch the world go by. Then open your cupboard doors to unveil your own in-room private bar. Elevating the customary hotel room mini-bar to new level, the drawers and fridge is stocked with a range of both complimentary and chargeable treats and drinks. There is even an infographic recipe of their signature “#35” cocktail illustrated on the inner panel of the door, should you fancy yourself as a bit of mixologist. (Othwerwise, head to the rooftop to the Hi So bar for a tipple or two, or a dip in the gold-tiled infinity pool!)
However, if you’re hosting particularly ‘special’ kind of company, ruffle a little deeper in the drawers and you’ll find far more than your typical box of chocolates. Discreetly tucked in black velvet pouch is an erotic kit, including origami and a small black feather amongst other things (we’ll leave the rest to your imagination). Not a typical mini-bar offering (perhaps it is a French thing)… but what further proof do you need that Sofitel is keen to make sure you have a great time?
When you do eventually get out of your king-sized bed (perhaps famished from the night before), kick off the morning with a champagne breakfast for two at the hotel’s Xperience Restaurant. It’s a full spread with all the usual tempting suspects but innovatively displayed. Pastries are stacked tall in tiered hexagonal cake tins, cereal-filled graduated cylinders tower over test tubes of compote and jars of fresh fruit. Pancakes (the fluffiest you could every find) are stacked high at the hot food station, surrounded by trimmings of sweet maple syrup or salty bacon, cured meats and eggs cooked a la minute.
Whether you’re heading out on the town for business or leisure, a suite stay at Sofitel So Singapore is a pure, unadulterated pleasure.
Sofitel So Singapore, 35 Robinson Road, tel: 6701 6800, sofitel.com
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