At the heart of Little India, you will find this 1920s school building (which happens to be the first site of the school I’m working in) that has been transformed into a hip hotel. Wanderlust is the third boutique hotel (after Hotel 1929 and New Majestic Hotel) that is set up by lawyer-turned- boutique hotelier Loh Lik Peng in Singapore. This was after he opened The Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai and Townhall Hotels and Apartments in London in 2010.
The 29-room boutique hotel is designed by four local creative agencies as he finds that local designers add more much local context into their designs. As we were introduced to the rooms at the various levels, we couldn’t help but be awed by the different designs and concepts. The rooms are not big to begin with but each has its character. As the spokesperson mentioned, they didn’t want their guests to feel that they were staying in a shoebox apartment so the designers have to work with the space constraints and come up with brilliant ideas and quirky concept.
Clearly, boutique hotels are not everyone’s cup of tea. They cater to a specific group, those who are well-travelled and it’s often people from the fairly wealthy younger set. They do get some interesting corporate types who are in industries like video-game design and architecture. Surprisingly, according to the staff, quite a bulk of their customers comes from the locals and the others are tourists from Germany, UK, etc. Boutique hotels do not have the facilities of normal hotels but they differ in terms of their designs and concepts which tend to be able to provoke one to look at things anew.
The above is a open-air Jacuzzi on the second floor of the building and when you enter the building on the ground floor, you will see different kinds of chairs, sofa and even a dentist’s chair! Many of these pieces are designer furniture which the owner has a penchant for and they, do fit into a boutique hotel.
Our group with the GM (she looks so young!) and another staff (on my right). It was a great experience and the next time I’m in Shanghai, I will check into The Waterhouse at South Bund (dear hubs, do you get the hint? =p)