Singapore may be a small city-state, but it has no shortage of accommodation options. The hotel scene has more than 400 properties to pick from, and it has diversified beyond the typical five-star cookie-cutter luxury tower to include cool, independent abodes, meticulously refurbished heritage stays, and guest suites that highlight the local experience beyond listing a token Singapore Sling on the bar menu. Here are some of our best picks for where to stay in Singapore.
The Clan Hotel
Neighborhood: ChinatownBook Now
The newly opened Clan Hotel makes the most of its location with a 30th-floor rooftop pool overlooking colorful Chinatown and room views that juxtapose the city’s sleek skyscrapers with the neighborhood’s charming shophouses. The scenery isn’t the hotel’s only selling point though. Cultural touches of the past and present differentiate the Clan from any standard hotel stay.
Once guests pass through the hotel’s sleek and modern bronze exterior, they are welcomed with an oolong and osmanthus tea ceremony. In the lobby, they’ll encounter The Pact, a 50-piece aluminum art installation by Grace Tan; it’s inspired by an origami technique and symbolizes the close ties among immigrants in the early 1800s. The hotel’s signature scent—a distinctive sandalwood and white musk blend called “Kindred Spirit” by local perfumer Scent by SIX—follows visitors through all the public spaces.
Of the 324 rooms, the Grand Premier category’s Master Series rooms (located on floors 24 to 29) come with the extra luxury of the Clan Keepers, a personal butler–style service. Guests of these rooms are also entitled to an exclusive, twice-weekly Local Precinct Tour of the area’s heritage and cultural hot spots, akin to a CliffNotes version of Singapore’s rich multicultural history.
ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay
What to expect: Former Marina Mandarin now has an indoor forest and canopy walkNeighborhood: Marina SquareBook Now
“Sustainable initiatives” may be the most overused hotel trend in recent years. However, if the nine-month, S$45 (US$33) million refurbishment and rebranding of the former Marina Mandarin Singapore into ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay is anything to go by, there’s potential for eco-led practices to become the main draw.
For decades, the 21-story indoor atrium designed by architect John Portman had been grossly underused. Finally, the indoor sky-lit space (originally built in 1987) has come into its own. In line with a “garden in a hotel” concept, the space now includes a sky bridge for guests to walk above a forest canopy with bird’s nest–style pavilions. There’s a 43-foot planter wall flanking the concierge desk, and more than 2,400 plant, flower, and tree species dot the property. The hotel also has an urban rooftop farm that will supply fruit, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers to its restaurants, bars, and spa; other green features include a filtered water system, solar panels, a ban on single-use plastics, and a food waste program that converts scraps into fertilizer for the hotel’s new gardens.
What to expect: Secluded off-mainland retreat with mahjong and feng shui lessons Neighborhood: Sentosa IslandBook Now
The 112-room Capella Singapore has topped numerous best-of lists year after year, but now that it’s reopened after a well-timed 2021 refresh by Hong Kong designer Andre Fu, it’s ready for a revisit. Playing up an idyllic beachfront setting, the stylish, ultra-comfortable rooms have been updated with a soothing sand, sage, and mineral color scheme and deep soaking tubs.
The hotel embraces its (manicured) jungle side, too: Rooms have plush window lounge seating perfect to do some in-sofa “forest bathing.” In addition to eye-catching amenities like a three-tier infinity pool and an award-winning art collection (there are over 900 pieces on-site), the “Capella’s Culturalist” activity calendar offers lively mahjong lessons, farm-to-table cooking classes from modern-day farming kampung (village) One Kind House, and a sidecar tour with a feng shui master who explains how the ancient Chinese philosophy influenced the placement of Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands and the mystical Merlion statue.
Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore
What to expect: Singapore’s first all-villa resortNeighborhood: Sentosa IslandBook Soon
No expense has been spared for the upcoming Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore, set in 24 acres of tropical gardens with picturesque views of the surrounding South China Sea. Slated to open in late 2022, it will be Singapore’s first all-villa hotel and is being designed by Yabu Pushelberg (the same team behind the Park Hyatt Bangkok, and several Edition properties).
All 62 villas have a seamless indoors-outdoors style, leveraging its verdant setting with private pools and covered alfresco lounge spaces. The property itself will have a bar, several eateries, a fitness center, a Raffles Spa, and the Raffles Butler service known for discreet, intuitive assistance. In short, there’s a good chance guests won’t feel particularly compelled to venture off property.
Heritage Collection Boat Quay
What to expect: Lofts and studios in heritage shophouses on buzzy Boat QuayNeighborhood: Raffles PlaceBook Now
Fun fact: It took 10 years and S$170 (US$126) million to clean up the famed Singapore River back in the 1980s. Today, the vibrant waterfront is home to a hodgepodge of bars and restaurants, and with the opening of boutique hotel Heritage Collection Boat Quay in late 2019, visitors can now fall asleep to the sound of river taxis traversing the span.
The hotel offers 40 chinoiserie-themed loft and studio-style rooms housed within four heritage shophouses, and the top-tier 427 square-foot Raffles Loft comes with a private balcony that looks out to the boat-shaped Marina Bay Sands and the arch-shaped Elgin Bridge. While the hotel has kept the original facade and numerous heritage architectural elements intact (wooden door screens, Peranakan style jade-green tiles), rooms have been kitted out with all the expected mod cons (kitchenette, washer/dryer, blackout drapes) for a comfortable stay in a space that straddles old-new Singapore.
What to expect: New management means less quirk, more extended-stay amenitiesNeighborhood: Little IndiaBook Now
When the original Wanderlust first opened in 2013, it was arguably Singapore’s quirkiest boutique hotel, where rooms came individually decorated with oversized typewriters, Frank Gehry sofas, and neon light art pieces. Fast forward to 2021, the 29-room Little India property, now managed by Oakwood’s new Unlimited Collection brand, has undergone an overhaul. The spacious lofts and studios are now dressed in a pared-down, earth-toned palette with wood accents, and amenities like a complimentary launderette and kitchenettes are designed for the extended-stay guest.
While the spunky attitude has been managed out, guest activities—such as leather craft workshops, kombucha-making sessions, and food heritage tours of Little India and Chinatown—offer local insight (and a touch of community) to the overall stay. Another bonus? Having modern Sri Lankan eatery Kotuwa in the lobby, although advance reservations are advised if you’re set on trying one of its mouthwatering curries.
Hilton Singapore Orchard
What to expect: “The biggest hotel in the Asia Pacific”Neighborhood: Orchard RoadBook Now
Tthe Hilton Singapore Orchard 1,080 botanically inspired rooms and suites enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline. It comes with plenty of guest amenities: two 24-hour fitness centers, an outdoor pool, and five restaurants including frequent winner of local best-of awards Chatterbox (we recommend its Hainanese Chicken Rice), Osteria Mozza by Nancy Silverton (winner of a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef), and the two-Michelin-starred Shisen Hanten by Chen Kenmin, largely regarded as the “Father of Szechwan Cuisine.” For shoppers, the property’s direct access to a four-level luxury retail mall, and location right on Orchard Road, will be one more reason to choose this as a home base.
What to expect: a tropical oasis (with butler service!) Neighborhood: Orchard Road Book Now
Set among 15 acres of tropical gardens, the iconic Shangri-La Singapore feels like an idyllic escape to a botanical oasis, albeit with butler service and an on-site Chi Spa.
Here, Old World ambience (marble-clad bathrooms and chandelier-decked ballrooms) pairs with modern updates (a metallic “tree canopy” installation by Hirotoshi Sawada and the Orchid, a soaring greenhouse). With 792 rooms spread across three wings (Tower, Garden, Valley), the lavish Valley Wing— a preferred choice for visiting heads of states—offers a more discreet encounter with a separate entrance, breakfast served in the Summit Room (or at the Line), and butler service for suite guests.
For families, the revamped Tower Wing’s family themed–suites (Space, Underwater, Safari) include a family concierge and access to a snack-filled pantry and Stokke amenities. Plus, it’s close to Bud’s, the interactive play space with a giant pirate ship where the littles can be dropped off so parents can lounge undisturbed by the pool.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
What to expect: A superlative Ritz with a La Mer Spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and art by Warhol, Chihuly, and StellaNeighborhood: Raffles Avenue Book Now
Designed by Pritzker Prize winner Kevin Roche, the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore has worn its years well. Its sumptuous rooms with octagonal bay-facing bathroom windows and butler-drawn baths indicate five-star luxury. Book the 26 series Premier suites that peek out to the Kallang and Marina Bay area if you can.
Luxe touches continue throughout the 32-floor property. There is a triple-tiered pool, and the on-site La Mer Spa (the only one in the Asia Pacific) is complete with treatments like the Cello Concerto, a massage synchronized to the delicate finger pickings of a live cellist. For art lovers, a daily concierge-led tour brings guests through its 4,200-piece collection (90 percent of its collection is specially commissioned) featuring works by Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Dale Chihuly, and Frank Stella.
Hungry? The one-Michelin-star Summer Pavilion serves sublime Cantonese cuisine (order the lobster-studded Hong Kong noodle); for local flavors, Colony’s menu of multi-ethnic delights includes a nasi lemak station at breakfast.
The Fullerton Bay Singapore
What to expect: Classic, glamorous, with views of Marina BayNeighborhood: Marina BayBook Now
What was once Clifford Pier, a landing point for immigrants arriving in Singapore, is now a snazzy hotel welcoming well-heeled travelers.
Located right on the water and clad in glass and metal, the 100-room Fullerton Bay Singapore feels glamorous with a heady scent of gardenias and lilies wafting through its dramatically arched hallways. The plush rooms designed by Andre Fu boast views of the Marina Bay Sands, Customs House, or Clifford Pier; the Premier Bay View rooms offer a private deck and Jacuzzi overlooking Marina Bay.
Come sunset, wind down with a cocktail at the rooftop bar Lantern—named in honor of the pier’s past moniker “Red Lantern Pier”. Order the tequila-spiked Red Lantern and sit back to enjoy the sparkling lights of the waterfront.
Raffles Hotel Singapore
What to expect: Iconic hotel reborn, still home to the best Singapore Sling Neighborhood: Beach Road Book Now
The resplendent Raffles Hotel reopened in late 2019 to great fanfare after two years of restoration.
Originally built in 1887 as a 10-room hotel, it now features 115 suites with oriental carpets and teak floors to complement four-poster beds and colorful Peranakan-tiled bathrooms. An in-room tablet controls everything from the mood lighting to calling your butler for a glass of bubbly. All have a private veranda to enjoy balmy evenings outside.
The building was declared a national monument in 1987, so the façade has changed little, but the hotel’s food and drink concepts have been revamped with a focus on marquee restaurant collaborations with the likes of Alain Ducasse (Osteria BBR) and Anne Sophie Pic (La Dame De Pic). Not forgetting Singapore’s rich food culture, there are regular pop-ups with noted local names like Meatsmith Little India and Peranakan private dining concept FatFuku. Guests also have access to a self-guided Raffles Singapore Hawker Food Trail video hosted by hawker champion and Makansutra founder KF Seetoh directing visitors to the best hawker finds.
No stay is complete without a Singapore Sling at the evocative 1920s Malayan-style Long Bar and its peanut-shelled floor. The iconic drink now has sustainable twist: eliminating single-use plastic waste and planting one native tree in the Kalimantan or Sumatran rain forest for every 25 Singapore Slings ordered.
The Warehouse Hotel
What to expect: Local owners restore historic warehouses with hip, soulful styleNeighborhood: Robertson Quay Book Now
As a relatively young country, Singapore has few old buildings. For years, this trio of historic godowns (warehouses) dating back to 1895 lay empty till homegrown hospitality group Lo and Behold restored them into the hip yet soulful, industrial-edged Warehouse Hotel.
Opened in 2017, the boutique property features exposed ceiling trusses and midcentury-style furniture in a taupe and gray palette with gold and copper accents. The rooms make the most of their original structure (double-high ceilings, original windows, and wooden beams). Some come fashioned as loft-like dwellings, others outfitted with a mezzanine library, while a select few look out to the Singapore River.
Then there are the shared spaces, designed for maximum people-watching pleasure: a glass-walled infinity rooftop pool, the rattan-and-terrazzo styled Po with elevated local favorites and a menu by Mod-Sin champion Chef Wilin Low, and the Lobby Bar serving drinks like the hibiscus-gin Barbarella, a homage to one of its former lives as a 1980s discotheque.
Voco Orchard Singapore
What to expect: an IHG hotel close to the action, be it shopping at mega-malls or wandering the gorgeous Botanical Gardens Neighborhood: Orchard Road Book Now
Singapore’s bustling Orchard Road has seen several new hotels recently, with the midrange Voco Orchard tailored for designer shoppers looking to stay in the thick of the retail action.
On the site of the former Hilton Singapore, the 423-room property has been spruced up to include more tech-savvy touches (USB ports, ergonomic workstations) and ecofriendly elements like beds made from recycled plastic bottles and sustainably harvested cotton bedding. As a nod to the area’s history as former nutmeg plantations and fruit orchards, guests are offered house-made spiced cookies, and the lobby carries a faint scent of pink peppercorns and citrus grapefruit.
For nonshoppers, its location near the Singapore Botanical Gardens (Cluny Road entrance) is a bonus, letting guests start the day with a promenade around Swan Lake and through the National Orchid Garden, home to over 450 species. Visitors should try a slice of its legendary D9 Cakery cheesecake and make a reservation at Iggy’s, one of the best modern European dining spots in town, with an enviable wine menu.
The Capitol Kempinski Singapore
What to expect: High design in neoclassical historic buildings near the National Gallery Neighborhood: Downtown Core Book Now
For fans of the late Indonesian interior designer Jaya Ibrahim (the Setai Miami, Chedi Muscat), the understated, tranquil Capitol Kempinski Singapore remains one of his final projects.
Located close to the National Gallery Singapore, the 157-room, neoclassical-style property occupies two historic buildings—the 1933 Capitol Building and Stamford House built in 1904—carefully restored by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Richard Meier. Besides retaining the original art deco facade, the hotel has kept details like the chengal wood flooring and travertine limestone columns, as well as the labyrinth of corridors. While navigating the property can be confusing, the Kempinski’s team of Ladies in Red ambassadors have a talent for showing up exactly when you need them, to guide you to your destination or assist with a restaurant recommendation.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung (of Hong Kong’s famed Bo Innovation), offers a bold menu of Asian favorites, including local favorite laksa elevated with char-grilled tiger prawns and jasmine tea-smoked onsen quail eggs. To relax, an intimate three-room treatment spa features an outdoor saltwater pool.
Goodwood Park Hotel
What to expect: walk back in time to Singapore’s colonial era—but with high-speed internetNeighborhood: Orchard Road Book Now
Heritage hotels in Singapore are a bit of a thing. While the Goodwood Park Hotel isn’t the fanciest, it’s the second oldest hotel (next to the Raffles Singapore), dating back to 1900 when it was the Teutonia Club, an elite meeting place for German expats in Singapore.
Housed in a building fashioned after German Rhine castles, the sprawling complex has 233 tastefully decorated rooms, all updated during the pandemic. There are seven dining concepts (Singapore’s old monied set swears by Min Jiang and Gordon Grill), two swimming pools, a fitness center, plus the Tang Treasures Suite, displaying 88 artifacts (on loan from the Asian Civilizations Museum) recovered from an Arab dhow that sunk off an Indonesian island.
If you can, book a stay in one of the Deluxe Poolside Suites for direct access to the hotel’s Balinese-inspired Mayfair Pool. It will be like a walk back in time to Singapore’s colonial era but with high-speed internet access.
Charlene Fang Charlene Fang writes about travel, luxury, lifestyle, food and drink.