The Scarlet Singapore in Erskine Road caused quite a stir when it opened back in 2004. Until then, the Lion City had only one other boutique hotel and The Scarlet was the only one classified under the luxury category. With its 80 rooms housed in a series of pre-war shophouses in Singapore’s Chinatown, the property offered a breath of fresh air against the prevailing steel and glass high rises that housed the bulk of the city’s hotels.
Even to this day, The Scarlet Singapore, with its trademark blood red façade, remains one of the most recognizable boutique hotels in the city. Its luxury proposition is evidenced via its inclusion in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a group comprising hundreds of independent lodgings worldwide. During a recent week night, I was finally able to check out the property when Small Luxury Hotels organized a #SLHdoesSingapore event and invited me to stay at The Scarlet Singapore for a night.
Lavish and deliberately outrageous décor filled my view as soon as I entered the hotel lobby. The interiors sport a sultry vibe which appeals to independent-minded people as much as it does to those looking for a romantic getaway. Furnishings come with upholstery in varying colors, textures and patterns from the likes of Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, JAB and Pierre Frey.
My room for this particular stay was a Premium Room which is around three levels higher from the property’s base-level abodes. The room was a departure from what I had grown accustomed to in independent properties. First and foremost, at 26 square meters, the room was markedly larger than the typical boutique hotel room. The uniquely orange color scheme created a less serious atmosphere but no less of a compromise in the luxury department.
The bed’s headboard is perhaps one of the most ornate I’ve seen in a hotel room. It’s made of luxe black velvet and has an intricate floral design. Lighting can be controlled from either side of the bed though I noticed there were certain lamps that had to be switched on/off individually. There is also a pillow menu and guests can choose between Goose down, Tempur and Non-allergenic foam pillows
In case you have a tendency to iron your clothes inside the hotel room, The Scarlet Singapore does not provide in-room iron however one can easily be requested from reception. I had requested for one and it was delivered to me within 10 minutes.
Moving on to the bathroom – one surprising element is the inclusion of a bathtub which is quite unheard of in non-suite boutique hotel rooms. I was also quite impressed to find a loofah and bath salts placed by the tub – typically something available only upon request elsewhere. The wash area is decked in a soothing white with a separate shower. For that extra comfort, the rain shower feature is very refreshing especially after a hot day out.
The property uses its in-house brand for toiletries and the individual containers carry a refreshing scent. I was relieved to find a full set of amenities – including my much-needed shaving kit – without having to ask for it.
Due to the proposition of The Scarlet Singapore, the hotel does not have a pool. However, there is quite a sizable Jacuzzi found in the second level and it is open until 9 in the evening. In case you have a late flight out of Singapore, the men and women’s changing room allow you to have a quick shower even after checking out of your room. There is also a small gym which has a number of free weights, treadmill, weight machine and multi-functional cardio trainer.
Breakfast is served at Casa Tartufo. While the restaurant is located inside the hotel, it is managed separately. And speaking of Casa Tartufo, I had a wonderful Italian dinner there. Their truffles are delicious!
Morning meals are served in a relatively modest buffet. You do get all your day time essentials here such as cold cuts, sausages, rice and a bit of pastries. There is also an omelet station where you can request for your choice of egg.
Overall, the trendy location and vivacious atmosphere of The Scarlet Singapore makes it a fitting option for those seeking something different from stuffy and business-y hotels. The hotel – being just a few minutes away from Raffles Place – would also suit businessmen just as well as it would to independent-minded individuals and couples on romantic getaways.
The Scarlet Singapore
33 Erskine Road