Aahh… Singapore. Tiny island off the equator. Little red dot. One would miss us out if you try looking for us on the map, though we’re not really the absolute tiniest nation on the planet.
Our fun-size home boasts beautiful and brilliant locations for a weekend writer’s retreat. This tiny roaring island surprisingly has quiet escape pods throughout the city that will make you want to stay longer than just a weekend.
I’ll be sharing a few of my very personal favorites.
- The Great Madras Hotel
When I brought my partner over for a pre birthday surprise retreat, it was just the right location to rest and relax. Though small in size, its big on nostalgia. The neon signboard above the entrance lobby draws you in and you’re splashed with a cool Malibu summer interior. With its pastel pinks and hues of tiffany, cerulean and sunset colors, it’s a place to be for a short weekend retreat. It has this mixed vibe of a “Stranger Things” pool scene and the 1960’s lobby of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” kinda thing about it , you’ll know what I mean once you get there.
Nestled in a secluded street of Little India, this instagram worthy hotel’s positive vibes are translated into cool neon signs decorated at different corners of the hotel. I felt like I was in some summer motel down by Santa Barbara. It’s the experience of being in Singapore yet, it takes you someplace else. I felt like I stepped into a California themed World and the gateway was the pine green elevator with its arched shaped patina mirrors. The mornings started with a home cooked local breakfast. A buffet set up by the morning reception staff. And how they make you feel sets you in a positive and relaxed mood.
The rooms are “cosy” hint hint on the size but it’s more than enough for two. Choose the right rooms that suit you. Please do check again on any of the following hotels availability as it’s still phase 2 for our country due to Covid (info as at 27th Aug 2020) .
Look forward to:
- get inspired by the hotel decor and environment
- summer feels that make you calm and relaxed
- the small but cool pool
- you can take a break from writing by feasting your eyes on the greenery of the pool’s courtyard
- food is easily available in the area (there’s no room service). Call for food delivery from any of the local platforms (pick up at the lobby) or walk down the road to find some local eats
- there’s coffee/tea facilities in your room, a mini fridge with 2 complimentary bottles of water
- there’s a small tv with Netflix
- the place is simple, laid back and chill
- it’s mostly quiet unless you have noisy guests which is unlikely
- it’s a 7 mins train ride to the nearest mall (the train station is a 2 mins walk from the hotel)
- its peaceful
- there’s a cute desk for you to use with enough sockets for your devices
2. The W Hotel, Sentosa Cove
We were welcomed with a small chocolate covered cake presented on the bed and a gold-speckled balloon that said, “Happy New Year!”. It was New year’s 2015, my sister and I were there with my mum. While my mother enjoyed the alone time in a fancy schmancy room for the evening, my sister and I left for a night out on Siloso Beach for Countdown . Nonetheless, we enjoyed our time watching tv together and ordering room service the next morning. We had a blast even though it was just a one night stay.
A luxe vacation retreat, the Sentosa Cove district houses a fleet of millionaires and invested resident expats from all over the World. Golf carts and island buggies can be found zooming back and forth on a busy weekend. Bentleys and lamborghinis are a norm on this fun-in-the -sun playground island off our main land. The W hotel is plush and lush so you’ll be spoiled with comfort. And though it’s a writer’s fantasy retreat, thanks to the rich and successful lifestyle in the area, it’s fun to have friends over too for a bachelor party or an all girls weekend.
Look forward to:
- good facilities in the room and around the hotel
- a restaurant for buffet breakfast
- a gym and 24hrs pool to relax and chill
- the junior suits and above, you’ll have the luxury of a seaview or a view of the yachts (very Hailee Steinfeld music video feels) this should be a west facing room, I think.
- the stationery for your use
- the chaise lounge or sofa stretched by the window so you can sit and get inspired by the sunset (depends on what room you get)
- complimentary fruit and water so you’ll be hydrated
- the huge and amazing bed, so you’ll have a good rest
- the staff from any department that are very professional and friendly
- the hotel cleanliness
- room service which is awesome, so you don’t even have to leave your room if you don’t want to and continue writing
- the pool that is quiet on weekdays so you can sit at any of the selection of lounge chairs to write away
3. Llyod’s Inn
Little did we know that this old Inn owned by Mr Herman Chang would be taken over by his business savvy, beautiful and creative daughter, Joan Chang. Renovated and revamped into a minimalistic industrial work of art, it is the go-to place even today for a short getaway in the city. The hotel is tucked away off the main road near residential private homes just a stone’s throw to the heart of bustling Orchard Rd. This heavenly retreat makes it easy to go from tranquility to city life in just 7 mins.
I’ve been a guest there a couple of times and I am a fan. Though it may be heavy on the pocket, the peace and serenity you’ll be enveloped in is worth every penny. Every room has its uniqueness and the layouts are a surprise. I’ve never been in the same room twice. Insta-worthy as well as comfortable, it’s a good place to find your inspiration whilst at your desk, looking out to the trees, writing your wildest imaginations.
Look forward to:
- a really cool lap pool you can chill out at, at sunset
- amenities stocked daily
- beds that are heavenly
- the ambience of the hotel premise. It’s a chic, minimalistic “I carry reusable totes to buy groceries” kinda moods
- the vibe it’s elegant, modern and calming
- the rooms smelling fresh with a relaxing scent
- local eats that are just a 7 mins walk down the road
- Orchard ( 313, OC, Gateway malls ) which is a 10 mins walk away
- the supermarket that is literally right there (NTUC) 2 mins walk, I’m not sure if it’s changed since 2016
- no one disturbing you unless you call for it, no interruptions, no noise, no annoying traffic
- staff that is helpful and will accede to your requests as far as possibly can within their power
- the area that is adorned with native greenery
- Bali type feels (they also have a Llyod’s in Bali fyi)
4. Hotel 1929
Hotel 1929 is a boutique hotel in Singapore’s Chinatown and one of the most known in the area on Keong Saik Rd. Though the hotel front has changed through the years as businesses come in, the traditional architecture remains it’s elegant eclectic self. Vibrant and fast paced, as the neighborhood’s attitude develops into a more modern scale with cafes and restaurants booming in the duxton sector, 1929 is still a quiet enclave to escape in for a day or two.
Hibernate yourself in the room to focus on your writing or get inspired and write love stories in the comfort of your personal rooftop patio while you immerse in the colors of Keong Saik Rd.
The last I visited, I took the rooftop suite that had an outdoor bathtub with a view of the neighboring buildings. It’s interior is a modern transitional design with some coastal holiday themes and every room is decorated differently. It might be a little small for those who face claustrophobia but if you book the suites, you’d have the patio at your advantage. There is a small tub-like pool in the hotel somewhere and maybe a small gym ( I didn’t try that one so not too sure about the gym). I also love how the staff at reception greets us. Smiles and warmth once you get in. There’s even a nook at the front desk area where you can replenish your drinks and traditional local snacks from your childhood. Nostalgia is reigning here.
Point to note: Book the suites, trust me.
Look forward to:
- the staff who are welcoming
- room amenities with coffee/tea facilities
- there is a small tv
- a closet to fit wardrobe for a 5 day stay
- the area that is filled with local eats and modern European/ Western cuisines
- the neighborhood that is booming with culture and nightlife to excite your writing senses
- a public park near Duxton’s residential area ~ great for walks at sunset
- a pool and gym (not that you’ll be using it)
- a bustling Chinatown surrounding but still quiet enough to focus your writing on
- the howl of late night larks or tune it all out with good music
- the rooms smell fresh
- halal food, there’s a Indonesian restaurant called Yanti on 45 Keong Saik Rd and the next available halal food area is Maxwell food centre
- you can get inspired by writing a short romantic novel about that lady in the black and red cheongsam
Writer’s inspo note:
Elegant and classic, this is a look that’ll make heads turn, an inspiration of what novels can bloom out of such traditional beauty.
This portrays a very respectable and well groomed lady yet her smile and inviting eyes, gives a hint of mystery that there’s more that meets the eye than just her gentle and modest demeanour.
Well, there is definitely much more to share, maybe on future write ups. But just these, might give you 4 weekends of continuous inspiration. For writers, I feel we tend to absorb our influences at the moment. It could be a song, a genre of music we’re into, a lover we’re so obsessed with, a moment in our lives where it’s all drama and turmoil or it could even be that we’re facing the inevitable life crisis at our doorstep. Many things inspire or motivate us to write really good material and I believe that our environment sets the mood and the tone too.
So get into the momentum of writing and confine yourself for a 3 day stay and just write your mind off. Giving yourself a time limit sometimes sparks that move you’ve always wanted to make to write that book and get it done. Then you can spend the rest of the following months, tweaking, editing and proofreading it before publishing. I hope this helps.
Remember to call or email ahead to ask for details on new Covid 19 protocols, just in case you aren’t able to book a stay due to it. All info and experiences above are based from 2015-2020 so do do some homework before deciding to pack your bags.
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