Places & Spaces: The Wanderlust, Singapore

Wanderlust in Singapore is a mix of industrial chic and childish fancy.

The Far East is weathering the global economic situation better than many other areas, and nowhere more so than Singapore. Here, in the buzzing Indian neighborhood, we find the eccentric and, to quote its own words, “totally experimental” boutique hotel Wanderlust. It was converted from a 1920s school.

In common with an increasing number of out-there, trend-leading hotels, each floor is designed by a different creative agency. In the case of Wanderlust, all home-grown agencies from Singapore.

The 29 rooms all have different decor, in three themes: zingy Pantone, in different primary colors (these are compact; the deluxe version has an antique cast-iron bathtub); soothing Mono(chrome) with neon-lit stencil designs; and childish/surreal Whimsical (duplex loft rooms). Flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, iPod docks and free WIFI ensure that glampackers are fully wired.

A particular favorite of the Whimsicals is the Tree. It’s heavy on the wood with a canopy of felt leaves overhead. Flowers, meanwhile, offers a more high-tech take on nature.

The overall effect is fun and eclectic. There’s a customized mosaic-tiled jacuzzi on the sundeck and a casual restaurant (industrial chairs, bare wood tables) serving rustic French cuisine. Think along the lines of escargots, pig’s trotters and roast chicken with herb butter. Homemade ice-cream and sorbets include lavender, basil and blood orange.

The hotel is full of original touches like stools upcycled from old street signs and origami folding chairs.

Rates from $180 including tax, minibar soft drinks, iPad loan, hand-drawn maps of the area, and a regression to your childhood dreams.

Places & Spaces is a travel guide that will inspire you to carve out a vacation on your calendar. All of the gorgeous locations and accommodations in our guide share our concern for the environment. From tent glamping to lavish built environments, fair warning, you’ll feel compelled to pack your suitcase.

Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.