The Scarlet Singapore, known as Singapore’s first boutique hotel, made me feel as if I was stepping into a beautifully decorated colonial house during the 19th century– with its deep colored velvet drapes, carpets and upholstery. It was like walking into the set of the 1939 classic ‘Gone with the Wind’, one of my favorite movies of all time; in which the main character’s name was also Scarlett. How apt.
The Scarlet Singapore is situated in the bustling area of Chinatown, just a walk away from the shopping street, the food market, the club street and the local MRT train station. The hotel occupies the entire row of preserved 19th century shop-houses on the historic Erskine Street, as well as the 1924 art-deco building next to it. The entrance of the hotel is painted a bright red color with traditional wooden rectangular windows on its second floor. I half expected a lady in a classic Chinese qipao to appear at the windows and wave as I passed by.
Rooms and Interior
Entering the hotel on the other hand, presented a whole new atmosphere. Though the lobby area is small, it is opulently decorated with an array of textures and vibrant colors– giving the hotel a very lavish ambiance. The many brightly lit chandeliers added to it too.
The Scarlet Singapore’s 80 rooms are luxuriously designed and exudes an aura of sophistication. The room rates range from SG$350-550 (US$250-400) for the normal rooms; and SG$780-S$980 (US$550-700) for the five individually themed suites.
The Scarlet Experience
Upon entering the hotel, I was immediate greeted by the friendly staff– who checked me in pretty quickly. Unfortunately, I arrived a little too early and the room was not ready yet, so I spent a few hours walking around Chinatown until check-in time at 2pm.
I was personally escorted to my room on the 1st floor. I booked into the Premium Room, and though it is slightly larger than the other 3 types of rooms– it is still not very spacious (after all, it is a boutique hotel, and it is housed in a conservation building built many many years ago), with a balcony that looked over the rooftops (it was too bad that mine was a completely blocked view). The room was beautiful though, and I loved the touch of classic elegance with the dimly lit lights, thick drapes with trimmings, and velvety furnishings.
The Scarlet Singapore is actually a wonderful sanctuary to pamper yourself, even if you are on a one night stopover in Singapore (like me), or have decided to spend an entire weekend on a staycation.
The small shops on the ground level of the row of traditional shop-houses are filled with specialty shops, boutique spas and fashion outlets. The hotel also boasts a beautiful rooftop bar (it was being refurbished when I visited) and a rooftop jacuzzi.
I must mention that the service I received was excellent too.
I booked my room without breakfast, so I didn’t have the chance to try the hotel’s breakfast spread. However, I would suggest that if you decide to stay here– remember that you are in Chinatown, and there’s an abundance of food available just outside your doorstep. So forget the predictable and basic hotel breakfast buffet, and go on a food adventure. When you’re traveling, it’s always fun to eat what the locals eat, and do what the locals do.
At the End of the Day
I had a lovely stay at The Scarlet Singapore. It provided everything I needed for my one day visit to the city– easy access, convenience, comfort and a little bit of luxury. It is a stylish and alluring boutique hotel; and with its lush interior similar to that of early American luxury during its colonial period– you can fantasize and imagine yourself living the life of Scarlett O’Hara, or Rhett Butler. I did.