It was during the festive eve of Chinese New Year (CNY) when we checked in at the four-storey boutique hotel of Wanderlust Hotel, one of the three unique Singapore properties under the Unlisted Collection (the other two are Hotel 1929 and the Majestic Hotel). Ironically, we unconsciously strayed away from anything traditionally Chinese that CNY weekend — from choosing a hotel situated in the peppy neighborhood of Little India to indulging in pratas, chicken briyanis, and paneer tikkas from nearby hawkers.
The hotel was an easy five-minute walk from the Rochor MRT station, and the streets that lead you to Wanderlust welcome you with an uncanny yet cozy feeling: “Are we still in Singapore?” I asked myself a couple of times.
With a slightly unfamiliar scene — roti prata stalls at every street corner, rows of old shop houses painted in unabashed colors, and friendly locals in their saris & kurtas — I can’t help but think: ‘Did we get transported somewhere far away from the little red dot?’ No, not all. We are still in Singapore, and yet I’m seeing a different facet of the same city-state. I am somewhere in the same city, but with its own distinct sense of culture and heritage. It is still Singapore, but you get immersed in a space where there is a strong Indian influence.
Unlike other hotels that greet you with high ceiling lobbies, fancy chandeliers, and a room full of majestic mirrors, Wanderlust presents to you an unusual box of crayons: a space that will excite your imagination and a fun playground that sparks inspiration. Just look at the colorful retro wall they have near the reception counter and the foosball table they placed in the lobby — strange combinations, but they excite your inner playfulness.
The hotel has a total of 29 unique rooms and was designed by award-winning Singaporean agencies: Asylum, phunk studio and fFurious.
Our room was a unique story on its own: the almost-bare looking room (white walls, wooden floors, and queen-sized bed with fresh white linens) took a different persona, thanks to the color changing LED lights on the ceiling and by the bedside. I personally prefer the blue lights as it was easier to the eyes versus the other striking colors.
Thanks to the Wanderlust team for welcoming us with this special note and a bottle of the Singapore Sling:
Another remarkable feature of our room is the spacious shower area/toilet with the vintage-looking black-and-white tiles, which I totally dig because of its whole ’80s vibe.
Breakfast was served at the French-inspired, Cocotte . The morning menu included a mix of Western favorites: Sweet Potato Pancake, Bacon Egg Sandwich, Full Breakfast (bacon, sausage, hash brown, egg, caramelized onion, ham & tomato), and a couple of other sweet & savory a la carte combinations. A variety of bread, pastries, cereals, and fruits were also available at the little food counter in the corner.
The outdoor area features a colorful mini-pool, a mini-garden, and view of the neighboring houses in Little India. I can imagine having pool parties and bbq gatherings with my friends if I only have this cute area in my backyard.
Wanderlust Hotel. Address: 2 Dickson Rd, Singapore 209494. www.wanderlusthotel.com. T: 6396 3322.