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Loh Lik Peng.
Does this name sound familiar? If you are any Singaporean worth your salt, you would know that he is an hotelier and restaurateur with not one, not two, but three boutique hotels located in Singapore. What may be lesser known is that his empire also includes six restaurants in Singapore; as well as one hotel in Shanghai and two in London.
When I read about the opening of his latest addition, Wanderlust, I wanted to take a peek. How does a sexologist pitch to review weekend getaways for couples? Like any budding journalist, I looked Mr. Loh up on Facebook. Would he respond? Yes he did! After remarking that I have “a rather esoteric profession”, he put me in touch with the right staff.
Let’s start with his first property on Keong Siak Road. Hotel 1929, which opened in 2003, is outfitted in a historical/retro theme. Boasting 32 rooms, there are five deluxe rooms, two Junior Suites and two Terrace suites, with the rest being Super Single rooms. Each room comes in a mix of classic designer and retro-vintage furniture, undoubtedly a well-deserved recipient of the “URA Architectural Heritage Award” in 2003. I understand that no two chairs are the same in this hotel!
I highly recommend the Terrace suite for couples, as it comes with a romantic outdoor bath tub and garden. There is no need to waste precious moments by going out to eat. Why not dine at restaurant Ember, and party like it’s1929? It features suitably nouvelle international cuisine with an Asian twist and requires a reservation.
Next up was New Majestic Hotel, only a few streets from Hotel 1929 on Bukit Pasoh Road. Considered Loh’s flagship property, New Majestic Hotel opened with 30 rooms in 2006. Look up as you enter the lobby because you will be greeted with a refreshing sight – the original ceiling of the building has been retained. Like Hotel 1929, the New Majestic Hotel hosts a mix of vintage and designer furniture. However, each room in New Majestic is designed by different local artists and designers. For instance, there is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ room by Miguel Chew, ‘Which way I ought to go’ by Sandra Lee and ‘Fluid’ by renowned fashion designer, Wykidd Song.
I would recommend that you try to book one of three Suite Attics available. They are called Suite Attics because as you enter the room, you are greeted with a living room which also houses two customised bath tubs. You need to climb the steps to get to the bed which is in the attic. With this room-within-a-room concept, it’s easy to imagine one’s reluctance to get out of the bed, not to mention leave the suite – the whole point of a weekend getaway!
Apparently the suite ‘Samsui Women’ by Justin Lee is a popular choice amongst newlyweds, as well as for bridal showers. The room is so named because of the wall mural of a Samsui woman wearing prominent red headgear – an auspicious colour. There’s more! Think of what fun you might have in the Mirror Room – you could catch sight of yourself from all angles! I need say no more.
We arrive at the much-awaited Wanderlust located on Dickson Road, off Little India. A four-storey boutique hotel with 29 rooms, the hotel features the works of local design agencies Asylum, Phunk Studio and fFurious. It also features a traditional French restaurant called Cocotte, helmed by Chef Anthony Yeoh.
Even though Wanderlust refers to a strong desire to travel and explore, here, also, I found rooms you wouldn’t want to leave. On the second floor, you have eleven rooms, each in a different colour – from red, green and blue, to pink, purple and even silver, gold and black. For the whimsical couples who want to play indoors, how would the Tree suite sound? Like New Majestic, you climb up a ladder to get to your bed – to the possibilities of the night. Wanting to cuddle together? How about the Space room where you can literally see the stars, and count them – indoors?
Each hotel attracts a slightly different clientele, with Hotel 1929 drawing younger travellers looking for more than just a nice bed and shower; older Europeans looking to relax at New Majestic; and energetic tourists from ‘Down Under’ with an eye for the tasteful staying at Wanderlust.
Save the travelling time. Plan that weekend getaway in Singapore, and be transported to a different reality.
Dr. Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.