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On the Radar: Sofitel Singapore City Centre

November 06, 2017

From brand spanking boutique hotels to fresh fine diners and new artisan retailers, On The Radar is all about spotlighting LUXE's latest finds.

Yes, it’s a card-carrying member of a global chain, but this glossy, grown-up stay in heritage hood Tanjong Pagar evokes a distinct sense of place with its clever design aesthetic. From a sprinkling of botanical accents throughout to wow views over Chinatown’s shophouses and high-rises, Sofitel Singapore City Centre leaves you in no doubt that you’re in the beating heart of the Lion City. The smack-bang central location makes it a deal-sealer for biz bees, but the leisurely vibe is enough to woo the staycation set too.

Plush, sinuous interiors sport an on-trend, Art Deco finish and a warm, easy-on-the-eye palette, while pops of colour and whimsical installations – like ‘Singapore Je T’aime’ in the lobby – inject a wink of character. Rooms feature super-sized beds, blackouts and the all-important soundproofing to maximise shut-eye (not always a given in inner-city hotels).

Smart n’ stylish chambers aside, the property’s ace in the hole is its luscious tropical pool deck, home to a 30m lap pool for serious flippers and gentle dippers alike, as well as an enviable 180-degree outlook to fill that Insta feed. Guests can also work up a sweat at the in-house gym and access neighbouring Virgin Active’s wide range of classes.

When you’re not discovering the delights that surrounding Chinatown has to offer, kick back at the hotel’s exec-preppy Club Millésime for brekkie, high tea and apero hour, slink into Franco-Chinese fusion pleaser Racines, or the pull up a pew at elegant, unstuffy bar-lounger 1864 for light bites, a cuppa or a cheeky nightcap.

Sofitel Singapore City Centre, 9 Wallich St. +65 6428 5000. sofitel-singapore-citycentre.com

With its idiosyncratic mix of trad shophouses and glittering high-rises, Tanjong Pagar in Chinatown is one of Singapore’s liveliest nabes. Here are three LUXE picks a mere stiletto’s click from the Sofitel Singapore City Centre.

Jigger and Pony

Cute name (an homage to the iconic double-sided spirit measure) and cute place, but it’s also a serious mix-meister. Settle into a horseshoe booth and enjoy some old-fashioned thirst-quenchers or classics with a twist. Decent bar bites, too. Amara Singapore, 165, Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088539 jiggerandpony.com

Chinatown Complex/Amoy Street Food Centre

Super basic, Chinatown Complex (335 Smith St) is one of the original hawker centres and what it lacks in style it makes up for with yum food. Try Teochew Street's mushroom and minced-meat noodles, or Heng Ji Chicken Rice, but be prepared to queue. Amoy Street Food Centre (7 Maxwell Rd) garnered all the Michy stars when the guide launched in 2016, and while many a local foodie would dispute the selections, it’s one of the city’s buzziest – brave the heat n’ hordes at lunchtime.

The Ottomani

This sumptuous supper club, repping mod Mid-East flaves, is just minutes from the Sofitel. Its dim-lit, velvety atmos creates the perfect backdrop for a date à deux, although the menu of shared plates works for larger groups too. Cast aside thoughts of greasy kebabs, Aussie pan-handler Nick Phillip draws on Arabic and Oz influences to create fresh, tastebud-titillating dishes that surprise – go for the chargrilled cabbage sprouts with sweet potato dumplings and pit-roasted lamb shoulder with spiced molasses. #01-01A Peck Seah St, 48, Singapore 079317 theottomani.com

Roaring into the Lion City? Don't forget to nab a copy of the LUXE Singapore guide...

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