Hotel Highlights

  • Original, quirky design, ideal for arty types.
  • Cocotte restaurant and bar for bistro-style Gallic comfort food and good wines.
  • The colourful Little India location, showing another side of this cosmopolitan city.

Overview

Imaginations run wild at Wanderlust hotel, a Singapore retreat stemming from the collaboration of four local design agencies and boutique giant Loh Lik Peng. A heritage-listed school building was transformed into this surreal hideaway that most closely resembles a vibrant dreamscape. Rich inspirations from pop art to origami serve as the foundation to each of the 29 individually designed rooms.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Wanderlust with us:

A non-alcoholic welcome drink for two at the bar on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Wanderlust

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Facilities

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Wanderlust hotel - Singapore - Singapore

Need To Know

Rooms

29, including nine suites.

Check–out

Midday, but flexible subject to availability and a charge (half-day rate until 6pm, full-day after that). Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $158.22 (SG$199), excluding tax at 17.7 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast and local calls.

Also

This was the debut hotel project for most of the designers involved and they were given free rein to create whatever fired their imaginations. It definitely shows.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, sun-deck, Jacuzzi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, Kiehl’s toiletries, Nespresso machine.

Our favourite rooms

With its ceiling of dangling felt leaves and designer forest wallpaper, which happens to be identical to that in the Smith offices, the Tree room on the Creature Comforts floor recreates the feeling of kipping in a tree house. Some of the other fantasy rooms might be a little too ‘out there’ for some, so our tip would be to check into the third floor, where DP Architects has created a series of slick black and white rooms. The origami room is most soothing with its artfully crafted ceiling and adjustable lighting.

Poolside

There’s no pool but you can wallow in the outdoor Jacuzzi then bask on the bijou sun-deck on the second floor.

Packing tips

Singapore’s climate can be punishingly hot and humid so lightweight and city-stylish threads should dominate your case. Vanessa Bruno, Bassike and Josh Goot are eminently suitable.

Also

Wanderlust owner Loh Lik Peng is also the creative force behind Smith stablemate the New Majestic Hotel in Singapore, as well as more recent project the Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai.

Children

Kids are accommodated (cots are complimentary and extra beds can be added to rooms at a cost of SG$100 a night), but Wanderlust is more suited to children of the grown-up kind.

Food & Drink

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Wanderlust hotel - Singapore - Singapore

Hotel Restaurant

Cocotte is a casual, bistro-style restaurant with a real communal vibe. This is the kind of place to invite a few friends and relax over a long lunch of unpretentious French comfort food. Many of chef Anthony Yeoh's dishes, including the signature roast pork collar with Dijon mustard, can be ordered to share among up to five people.

Hotel Bar

The large, well-stocked bar is reminiscent of a French tabac, albeit a rather glamorous one. Admire the quirky lamps made from Campari bottles as you sip a Kronenburg 1664.

Last orders

10.30pm at the restaurant; midnight at the bar.

Room service

You can't order from your room, so you're going to have to dress up and head out.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Singaporeans are style conscious, but keep it low key.

Top table

Cocotte isn’t a place for romantic tête-à-têtes – book the long table by the French windows and invite some friends to join you.

Local Guide

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Wanderlust hotel - Singapore - Singapore
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

The Tekka Centre (665 Buffalo Road) is the local destination of choice for cheap, authentic Indian food dished up on the edges of a bustling wet market. Serving true South Indian food at really low prices, Sakhunthala’s Restaurant at 151 Dunlop Street (+65 6293 6649 ext 2; www.sakunthala.com.sg) is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Of a similar ilk is Komala Vilas at 76–78 Serangoon Road (+65 6293 6980; www.komalavilas.com.sg), which is purely vegetarian. Locals in the know flock to Andhra Curry Restaurant at 41 Kerbau Road (+65 6293 3935; www.andhracurrysingapore.com) for spicy, exotic home-made cuisine based on the recipes of the southern Indian Andhra Pradesh region. The biryanis are particularly enticing. If you’re feeling curried-out, Putien Restaurant at 127 Kitchener Road (+65 6295 6358; www.putien.com) is famed for its Chinese seafood cuisine.

 

Local bars

The Prince of Wales at 101 Dunlop Street (+65 6299 0130; www.pow.com.sg) is a down-to-earth Aussie pub that’s popular with backpackers and expats who come here for boutique beers on tap, proper burgers and live music. For a more sophisticated night out, head into central Singapore, which is currently embracing the trend for rooftop bars – there are at least a dozen to choose from. The must-go is Lantern at Fullerton Bay Hotel at 80 Collyer Quay (+65 6333 8388; www.fullertonbayhotel.com), with its resort vibe and spectacular views of Marina Bay and the Singapore skyline. Make sure you reserve a table. More popular with locals is Ying Yang at The Club, 28 Ann Siang Road (+65 6808 2188; www.theclub.com.sg), which attracts creative types once the iMacs have been shut down for the day. It's also a hit with the twentysomething crowd as part of their pre-club warm-up ritual. 

 

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Vibrant Little India

Wanderlust

2 Dickson Road, Singapore, 209494

Wanderlust is located in Singapore's Little India quarter, to the east of the Orchard Road shopping area and north of the colonial district.

Planes

Being the regional hub that it is, Singapore is one of the best-connected countries in the world and slick Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is well served by flights from all over the globe.

Trains

Wanderlust is 500 metres from Little India MRT station (www.smrt.com.sg).

Automobiles

It takes about half an hour to taxi from the airport to the hotel and costs around SG$20. Wanderlust doesn’t have parking, so hiring a car is not such a good idea. The hotel can hook you up with a reliable taxi firm instead.

Reviews

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Wanderlust hotel - Singapore - Singapore

Anonymous review

by Ryan Clift , Young-gun gourmet at Tippling Club

The name alone gets the imagination whirring. Nestled in the back streets of Little India, and quite hard to find even with the help of a local cabbie, is Wanderlust, a whimsical hotel with hip design credentials.

Decked out with cool trimmings and eclectic furnishings, Wanderlust is a designer’s happy place. It’s the latest offering from Loh Lik Peng, the lawyer-turned-hote...

Read more

Wanderlust

Anonymous review by Ryan Clift, Young-gun gourmet

The name alone gets the imagination whirring. Nestled in the back streets of Little India, and quite hard to find even with the help of a local cabbie, is Wanderlust, a whimsical hotel with hip design credentials.

Decked out with cool trimmings and eclectic furnishings, Wanderlust is a designer’s happy place. It’s the latest offering from Loh Lik Peng, the lawyer-turned-hotelier behind Singaporean sister property New Majestic Hotel, and cutting-edge haunts in Shanghai and London. For this project, he teamed up with four local agencies to create fantastical rooms with an upbeat, funky vibe.

As soon as you step through the front door you know you’re not in for a run-of-the-mill hotel stay with a marble-clad lobby and standard-issue uniforms. On the contrary, here the walls are adorned with Indian food labels, a barber’s chair takes centre stage in the lounge area, and the staff are kitted out in tailor-made threads.

Check-in is effortless, thanks to professional yet laid-back staff who make the whole process a breeze. We’re whisked up to our room by a young woman who seems just as excited about the concept as we are, and takes the time to explain what we can expect from our stay.

Even with this introduction, it still comes as a surprise when we enter our Mono Deluxe Room – I can’t help but wonder whose idea it was to craft a hotel room inspired by Pop Art, but whoever it is I’d like to shake their hand. As the name indicates, the colour palette is a simple black and white, which is a stark contrast to the vibrant Pantone rooms, and the spaceship and forest scenes found on the Creature Comforts floor. Here, the visual interest comes from furniture cut-outs that protrude from the wall as backlit reliefs.

The room isn’t as big as I expected, but it’s well laid out, with slick finishings including a bed that’s so comfortable I debate the merits of trying to smuggle it home. The bath and shower hit the nail on the head, too, offering an unobstructed view of the TV, and a bevy of Kiehl’s products with which to lather up. A well-deserved lie-in thanks to the late check-out we’d been granted, followed by shot of coffee from the Nespresso machine, make for the perfect start to the day.

Things only get better when we rock up for lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Cocotte, which serves authentic French bistro fare in an unstuffy, stylish space. Even if you couldn’t bag a room at Wanderlust, I’d recommend jumping in a taxi and coming here for your Gallic fix.

I choose the pork rillettes and my wife opts for the mussels in cider cream. The rillettes is just as it should be: nice and pink, served at room temperature, and with enough residual fat to spread smoothly on the bread. To be honest, I prefer the classic cornichons that accompany the dish in France, but the marinated olives served here cut through the richness nonetheless. Mrs Smith’s mussels are perfectly cooked and super-fresh, albeit a little sweet from the cider, and are demolished within minutes.

Next up are the mains – I can never resist beef bourguignon, and although the portion is a tad small (I wish they’d encouraged me to order a side or two), it’s very well executed and bloody tasty. Mrs Smith orders the sole à la meunière, a lemon sole that comes with fresh vegetables and just enough beurre noisette drizzled over the top. Now that’s my happy place.

Compared to other hotels in Singapore, Wanderlust is on par when it comes to the high standards of service and quality, though it does tend to take a more artistic approach. Where it really stands out from the pack is in its cool appearance, that quirk factor, and Cocotte, which make it a must for art-seeking, food-loving Smiths.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Wanderlust 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…

SilverSmith

Stayed on 18 Apr 2013

We loved

The location of Wanderlust is great being about a 5-10 walk from two train stations so it was easy to get to after catching the train from the airport. Staff were friendly and as promised, a drink was made for us at the bar while we waited to check in and our bags were brought to our room. We stayed in the treehouse room which was quirky and fun with great wallpaper and felt leaves hanging from the ceiling. The bed was really comfortable and exactly what we needed after being on a plane for 7 hours. The included breakfast was delicious with fresh croissants made on the premises and quick service. We didn't get a chance to eat at the restaurant for dinner which had a delicious French menu but it was always busy when we returned to the hotel in the evening. Overall, it was a lovely hotel to stay at for our quick Singapore getaway.

Don’t expect

While the room is definitely quirky and fun, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who can't climb a ladder as the bed is upstairs on the mezzanine level. Not all the rooms are like this I believe but the Treehouse room isn't for someone who is heavily pregnant or frail! Minor frustrations: there were not enough power points; there was only one in the whole room making it hard to keep a lamp on and charge a phone, and there is nowhere to hang used towels — a couple of hooks would have been great.

Rating: 7/10 stars