InterContinental Hotel Singapore – Review
The elegant InterContinental Singapore is well positioned in the historic arts and cultural districts of Bugis and Bras Basah. Bras Basah that means wet rice in Malay is Singapore’s oldest neighbourhood. The rice was once laid out on the banks of Bras Basah River, known as the Stamford Canal today. The founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles chose the area to be the European part of Singapore Town. The adjacent Bugis Street, named after the seafaring Bugis people from Indonesia who came to trade with local merchants, was once notorious as a haunt for sailors and undesirables.
Since opening in 1995, the InterContinental Singapore has been awarded many prestigious accolades which are well deserved. The hotel reflects the fascinating Peranakan culture. Peranakan is a Malay term which means “locally born” and is unique to Singapore. Peranakan homes and architecture remain an integral part of Singapore and many of these unique residences can still be viewed in districts such as Katong, Bugis Street and more.
The 403 room hotel exudes a colonial charm with attention to detail including a main tower with heritage themed rooms and inspired furnishings with modern day comforts. There is also a Heritage Wing that reflects the Peranakan culture.The revamping of its 65 shop house guest rooms and suites reflect the heritage that is woven throughout the streets of Singapore. The entire row of Peranakan-style shop house rooms and suites preserved from the 1920s, received a makeover incorporating inspiration from homes of Peranakan families dating back to the 17th century. Blending heritage and technology, the rooms also incorporate leading-edge technology.
The range of rooms include Deluxe Rooms, the signature Peranakan inspired Heritage Rooms, Club InterContinental rooms, Premier Suites and other luxury suites. Home for me was a chic club suite which was so comfortable with a view of the swimming pool and city centre. Striking decor and touches that reflect the Peranakan culture feature with modern day facilities. A smart phone with unlimited 4G data including complimentary local and international calls to 10 overseas destinations and a daily selection of print and digital newspapers is included. I was welcomed with a beautiful chcolate map of Singapore that was too hard to resist.
Ash & Elm
This restaurant has a great vibe to it, no matter what time of the day. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are three exciting culinary theatres including a charcuterie and cheese room, wood-fired oven and an open charcoal grill kitchen. It is all about interactive dining and you can watch the chefs in action.The skylight canopy which runs the entire dining space provides ever changing hues, day and night.Breakfast is a culinary journey with everything you could wish for including European and Asian offerings.At lunch and dinner there’s a selection of sharing platters, house cured and premium meats, as well as sustainably sourced seafood, primed with the traditional craft of classic wood fired ovens and charcoal grill. The wine list features 100 handpicked wines from renowned regions.
Man Fu Yuan
A long standing, established restaurant, Man Fu Yuan serves Chinese cuisine including perennial favourites, fresh seafood and delicately hand-crafted dim sum. Set within an elegant venue which accommodates up to 172 guests, there are also private dining rooms.
The Lobby Lounge
The chic lobby lounge takes centre stage at the hotel with its glittering chandeliers and elegant decor.It’s a perfect place to catch your breath in busy Singapore, enjoy a delicious high tea or by night cocktail and canapes. For a great photo looking down on the luxurious lobby, head upstairs where you will also find an impressive display of Peranakan china.
A fine dining Japanese restaurant that is owned and operated by the Chikuyotei Group, serves the best variety of authentic Japanese cuisine like unagi – eel, sushi, tempura, sukiyaki and shabu shabu.
It is well worth upgrading to Club InterContinental which offers access to the chic lounge with benefits including personalised check in and check and out service, daily breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and light refreshments.Settle in the lounge and explore the extensive reading library featuring Peranakan literature and reference books. There’s comprehensive business support services including high speed Internet access and professional secretarial services, complimentary one hour use of the meeting room, free pressing of two pieces of attire upon arrival and 25% on all laundry services.The concierges are extremely helpful recommending sights and attractions in Singapore and shopping gems.The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool located on the roof -garden, pool bar serving snacks and refreshing cocktails and a 24-hour fitness centre.
The hotel is close to Arab Street, Kampong Glam and Little India. Shoppers will enjoy the nearby Bugis Junction shopping complex, Singapore’s first glass covered air-conditioned shopping street. Many of the city’s finest museums including the National Museum of Singapore which is excellent. The Peranakan Museum and national monuments including the Armenian Church and Central Fire Station, Singapore’s oldest fire station are within walking distance.The Peranakan Museum houses the world’s largest and best overview of Peranakan life over three floors, and is not to be missed. Explore documents and artefacts, Peranakan wedding rituals and accessories, or learn about their religious choices, public life and food.
Take a seat in the cosy Concierge Lounge in the hotel lobby inspired by the living room of a Peranakan home and fitted with a collection of exquisite display items that capture the essence of the historic Peranakan culture.
An artist-in-residence program with interactive painting sessions is available every weekend from 2.30pm to 5pm for club lounge guests.
A guided two-hour heritage walking trail in the Bugis precinct takes place every Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. It’s a great way to discover Singapore’s heritage.It features areas of interest in the vicinity of the hotel with an established network of more than 20 historical sites, national monuments, art institutions and museums.
What I loved
There’s a sense of history about this hotel with its iconic façade reminiscent of the unique shop houses that used to line the streets of the area in the past. The club lounge is perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea and great cocktails and canapes. I also loved the Peranakan china display and the nearby Peranakan museum is fascinating.
Address: 80 Middle Road, Singapore