Singapore meets Miami – first look at The South Beach Hotel

HOOD: Singapore Marina
VIBE: uptown funk
PROPERTY SIZE: 654 guest rooms and suites
ROOM STYLE:  edgy elegance
WE LOVE:  it’s Philippe Starck designed
INSIDER TIP: Japanese TOTO toilets are fun, provided you’re confident with what buttons you’re hitting on the remote!

PREVIEWED BY: Ian Pryer, Director, Goldman Travel

Funky is an often-used word but there is no property (other than those at South Beach, Miami FL) for which this description could be more apt.

The notion of Singapore meeting Miami seems almost contradictory, but on 3rd September Singapore’s newest hotel, The South Beach, opened for business. I was one of two guests who stayed on the night of 2 September, one night before South Beach officially opened.

The hotel is dramatic – in size and style, and the unfolding drama of arrival immediately becomes apparent when one is confronted by left-field furniture and an astonishing electronic art instillation, dominating the hotel entrance. In the lobby you get your first taste of, what the hotel terms, ‘social spaces’ – imaginative areas that (I’m told) cater to the need for being ‘Alone Together’.

In contrast to the design-dense entrance, the reception area – boasting seven desks each reflecting a different culture – is a model of minimalism and subdued lighting. All arrivals are processed wirelessly, using discreetly stored tablets.

The lifts, as one would imagine, are almost as dramatic as the entrance in that the designs on the walls whimsically change you’re whisked away from the ground floor to the sixteen levels of accommodation.

The rooms, described as a sanctuary of innovation and intuition, are large (starting at 30 sq.m), have floor-to-ceiling windowed alcoves that overlook Singapore’s iconic skyline, and true to their word, house every conceivable modern convenience – like Japanese TOTO toilets (with aforementioned remote control), and a phone system that allows you to automatically divert calls to your mobile phone.

The hotel offers two pool areas. The larger pool is on Level 18, and consequentially not actually in the sun, but it sports some of those ‘social spaces’ as well an extraordinarily well equipped gym, and recreational area. The other pool, on Level 6 of the adjacent building, is outdoors but inexplicably lacks the lounge furniture to properly lie out. A drawback for Vitamin D-evotees like myself.

For food, there is an as yet unfinished food court which will form part of the entire hotel/office/retail complex. The hotel has a more formal (than a food court) yet casual restaurant ‘ADHD’ which, pay attention now, in this case stands for All Day Hotel Dining. Again, individual, smaller tables are the exception rather than the rule… so those alone can share their sides.

For the business traveller who is seeking an urban oasis (or to make friends!) at the end of a tough day in Singapore, South Beach is an excellent check-in choice.