Perched on a vast and ornate bed, a sea of billowing crimson gauze hangs elegantly above me. Blood-red lanterns sway by my side. The scent of jasmine hangs in the air, and the soft melodies of Chinese traditional music are wafting through the open window. This is, at least temporarily, my Oriental boudoir. Mr Smith and I have just checked in to Singapore’s New Majestic Hotel and each of its 30 rooms is completely individual, designed by a local creative. In fact, you could almost describe the suites as works of art themselves, with one to suit just about any mood. Perhaps not; women are complex creatures after all.
Travelling down Keong Saik Road by taxi earlier, it felt as if we’d gone back in time. There are no malls lining the streets here or workers in their grey and black business best. Instead, in this part of Chinatown, the footpaths are flanked by colourful and historic shophouses, their vivid façades striking in the midday sun. People are going about their daily chores, except for the old men sitting outside the kopitams (coffee shops) watching the world go by.
Mr Smith and I are ushered into what appears to a white gallery, but is actually the lobby of the New Majestic. Adorned with a mix of mid-century and modern furniture, statues, pop art, rustic lamps and candy-coloured baubles hanging from the ceiling, its sweeping white spiral centrepiece suggests further promise above.
Once in our room, we took the time to admire the special touches: Kiehl’s toiletries, decadent bedding, Nespresso machine, mammoth bath and fluffy bathrobes (Mr Smith informs me I look like a big teddy when I fall asleep in one). While he sampled the boys’ toys, I read the lifestyle section of the newspaper, and studied the information on Wen Luxe Spa, located in a shophouse over the road. Soon it's time to feast.
Mr Smith and I enter the dazzling Majestic Restaurant helmed by the wonderful Yong Bing Ngen. We look up to see three oval windows in the ceiling offering a view of the swimming pool. Someone’s wearing a rather sultry bikini. Staff members are amiable, not too stuffy and even laugh at Mr Smith’s musings about why we’ve not been offered Chinese tea. I am ravenous and get stuck into the duck and wasabi prawn entrée. The whole world stands still for a moment when I try the foie gras. Why do the things that are so naughty taste so good? Mr Smith opts for crispy pork. He then suggests that we are served the Peking duck at the table. The staff is more than happy to do just that, and neatly parcel the pancakes in front of us. We leave floating on a fine-dining cloud.
The next day we decide to explore the neighbourhood and unearth some hidden treasures. I stumble across the annual Singapore Wine Fiesta on Duxton Hill while Mr Smith is in the hotel gym. Winemakers from across the globe are tempting punters with tastes of more than 250 fabulous wines. Later on, Mr Smith’s exercise session complete, we wander past temples and discover new cafés that have just sprung up in the area. We potter around a few markets on Temple Street, inhale the incense, and watch the boisterous dragon dance weave its way through the streets. Eventually the siren call of the New Majestic is too much and we head back.
Donning our teddy bear-style dressing gowns, we head to the pool and blast the Jacuzzi into action. Looking around the tiny area, it does feel as if we are staying at the home of friends, albeit ones with impeccable style and taste. As we pack to leave, I take in the room once more and think about my neutral apartment. My own home doesn’t seem to have the same appeal any more – it’s like downgrading from a colour TV to black and white. But that’s the New Majestic – you step inside and, just like Alice, you’re transported into a new, Technicolor world.
Anonymously reviewed by Rachel Everett (Travel addict)
Reviews of New Majestic Hotel from Smith members
Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…
The rooms are fantastically decorated: ours had a cosy mezzanine, and two baths side-by-side. Breakfast was also good quality.
While the staff were really willing to help, we got the feeling that they didn't know that much about the local area. Restaurant recommendations were thin on the ground.
Alison, BlackSmith stayed on 8 Oct 2013
I found this hotel by searching for boutique hotels in Singapore and was directed to the Mr & Mrs Smith website. The New Majestic lived up to all the positive reviews I read about it. The hotel foyer is filled with amazing furniture and the staff are always happy to help. More importantly, the room (number 212) was supremely comfortable. While smallish, it was very well laid out and because it was a Garden View room I had an outdoor area with a bath. What I loved about this hotel was that the shower was amazing, with needle-like jets of hot water that allowed me to relax. And, the towels were soft and fluffy and huge! Other small things to recommend at this hotel: all the non-alcoholic drinks in the mini-bar are complimentary, and they provide a Nespresso coffee machine with plenty of capsules. The location in China Town was so convenient - minutes from Outram Park MTR station and close to many great restaurants. I'd certainly stay here again and would recommend it to anyone who wasn't looking for a large, corporate-style hotel chain – this place has personality!
Iain, BlackSmith stayed on 18 May 2013
Fiona, SilverSmith stayed on 22 Jun 2012