Since being built in the late 19th-century, the trio of riverside godowns at Robertson Quay has gone through various incarnations—first as spice warehouses, then as secret society nests and moonshine distilleries, and, for a brief shining moment in the mid-1980s, a wildly popular disco. Now, after a tip-to-toe makeover by architecture studio Zarch and interior design firm Asylum, the buildings have been imaginatively refurbished as a sexy 37-room boutique hotel. From the street, the peaked-roof exterior is somewhat unprepossessing, but the interiors open up TARDIS-like into a vast, moodily lit lobby of brass trims, exposed brickwork, and bevelled stone wall panels. This is flanked by a sunken bar and Po, a restaurant helmed by local chef Willin Low that serves up traditional fare like popiah, vegetarian rolls laced with sweet sauce, garlic, and braised turnips. Upstairs, the rooms are dressed in muted hues of rattan, raw concrete and leather, but the biggest treat is the elongated glass box of a swimming pool up on the rooftop (320 Havelock Rd.; 65/6828-0000; thewarehousehotel.com; doubles from US$205).
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Nods to the Past: The Warehouse Hotel”).