Towering over its diminutive neighbors in the Lion City’s busy Tanjong Pagar district, Carlton City Hotel Singapore is a pleasant surprise with its sleek amenities and chic mod design.
Opened in 2013, the 386-room hotel is relatively unheard of in Singapore. My cab driver, for one, was confused as to where it was, because it shares the same name with another hotel. That makes two of us. I’ve lived in Singapore for many years, but I’m more familiar with its distant cousin, located in the Bugis district.
But it is a place worth knowing. This is a gleaming modern structure conceived by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), the American firm responsible for the palatial the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi.
HBA’s deft touch is apparent in the property’s minimalist yet stylish appearance, which is not surprising from an upscale business hotel. A massive flower-shaped art installation welcomes the guests at the grand marble lobby, as well as gleaming, handcrafted glass chandeliers placed near the elevator.
Space is a luxury in Singapore, which explains why many hotels in the city come with cozy rooms that can only accommodate a solo traveler. Carlton City is one of the few exceptions—its smallest room is a relatively generous 32-square-meters, giving ample room for those traveling with multiple large luggage. I stayed in the deluxe room, which was constructed in a palette of grays and off-whites and dominated by a king-sized posturepedic bed that provided the right amount of support and softness.
Standard amenities can be found, such as a slim, 40-inch LED TV, a top-grade phone, and an ergonomically designed desk with a Herman Miller chair. But what I appreciated the most is that its bathtub has a direct view of the television, thanks to a clear glass window separating the bedroom from the bathroom.
TV bingeing and a relaxing soak in a tub—isn’t that what many travelers want?
Wood-paneled floors, graphic tufted rugs, and plush bespoke furnishings mark the Carlton Club Lounge, open to those staying at Carlton Club rooms and Carlton Suites. Perched on the building’s 28th floor, the Lounge offers panoramic views of the city’s most modern skyscrapers and the nearby bustling port. Hearty breakfasts are served here, as well as tea-time delights such as pasta and siu mai.
Move up another level to the 29th floor to visit Graffiti Sky Bar, whose friendly bartenders welcome everyone with a ready smile. While the watering hole doesn’t offer much design-wise, its carefully created concoctions and impressive vista of the city is a welcome delight to professionals looking to escape Singapore’s frenzied lifestyle.
On Thursdays, head over to Plate, the hotel’s restaurant located at the third floor for “Meat on Thursdays.” Happening from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., it’s a semi-buffet dining concept where a customer can get one main course and unlimited amounts of salads, appetizers, soups, and dessert. Available for US$46 for adults, it has the seriously delicious slow-roasted fillet mignon, which was marinated with choice herbs and garlic-sprinkled green beans; and the tender Australian grain-fed rib eye steak, partnered with roasted mushrooms and garlic-topped potato.
1 Gopeng Street, Singapore 078862; 65/6632 8888; doubles from US$155 per night.