One Farrer Hotel is an upscale hotel located in the vibrant Little India district of Singapore. It is a modern hotel that features 249 rooms and suites, all of which are equipped with high-end amenities such as flat-screen TVs, minibars and high-speed internet access. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, with contemporary decor and exceptionally wide windows that offer stunning views of the city.
Despite being initially geared towards medical tourism (the hotel is integrated with Farrer Park Medical Centre), the property has won plaudits among business and leisure travelers and also has a strong base of local clientele who come for staycations.
It has been a while since I last stepped into One Farrer Hotel. I had a very good staycation there a couple of years ago and I also went for a dinner event in The Nest in 2022.
The neighborhood where One Farrer Hotel is situated is seeing a lot more interest recently – especially with TimeOut magazine listing Little India as one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods.
The property can be thought of as having four different propositions. The first would be the standard rooms which the property calls Mint Hotel. The second would be the Loft Apartments – a SoHo living concept with lower and upper sections in the room. The third is the Skyline Hotel & Sky Villa – the more exclusive upper floors of the hotel where rooms get club lounge access as well as a separate pool dedicated to guests staying in these levels. The fourth would be the Saranggong Villa concept – suites which offer bells and whistles such as courtyard, jacuzzi, BBQ facilities and even chefs that can serve in-suite meals to guests.
I was recently invited back by One Farrer Hotel to stay in the property – this time at their rather private and luxe Saranggong Villa.
One Farrer Hotel has a few villas for guests to stay and each one is named after a plant or flower. The sky villas which are located at the upper floors are named as Peony, Lotus, Jasmine, Orchid and Calla Lily – with the latter being the hotel’s equivalent of the presidential suite.
The Saranggong Villa (there are 3 of them) which are situated in a far corner of the hotel’s 6th floor – is even more exclusive and can serve multiple purposes. Namely, these 3 villas are named as Wisteria, Camellia and Dahlia. The former 2 are frequently used as event spaces due to the wide, rectangular layouts of those suites while the latter – the Dahlia Villa is doable either as event space or for accommodation. For this particular instance, I stayed in One Farrer Hotel’s Dahlia Villa. This room category does not appear in the hotel’s booking engine. Rates normally start well above S$1,000 per night and bookings are done by calling the hotel directly.
The Dahlia Villa is situated right at the point where the building’s curve is located, making for a rather unique layout. The architects who designed the hotel have thoughtfully filled this space with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing for plenty of natural light coming in. I absolutely love it!
It makes for a dramatic entrance as well with the room’s motion sensor system automatically pulling up the blinds once someone enters the room, revealing the wonderful city view.
This villa also defies the traditional suite concept, with only a soft separation between the living area and bed. The villa has 2 TVs – one in the living area and another by the bed.
It is worth noting that there is a small set of stairs comprising about 3 steps at the foyer that lead to the living area. This is not an issue to most, but may be worth considering for those with mobility issues.
The bathroom is another noteworthy affair. The same wide windows that permeate the room extend across the bathroom. It is too bad that the night blinds here are perpetually set to shut and do not respond to controls.
The hotel uses a different brand of toiletries for guests staying in one of the villas. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion come from Salvatore Ferragamo. I love the perfume-y scent of their toiletries!
The bathroom is spacious and can accommodate a standalone tub, separate enclosure for shower, heated toilet with bidet as well as his and hers sink.
Minibar in the villa is free and there’s a rather generous food basket consisting of nuts, cookies, juices, soft drinks and even milk in a carton.
Coffee with coffee machine comes from Illy. One Farrer Hotel is one of the few hotels in Singapore to use Illy in-room, in a Nespresso dominated scene.
Compared to the hotel’s other villas which have dedicated dining spaces, the Dahlia Villa has no dining set. But while it lacks that, it more than makes up for it through the expansive open space. A door by the bedroom opens up to a lawn which is accessible only to guests staying at the villa. While it is mostly lacking of any furnishings at the time of my stay, those holding events can request for a dining setup if they wish.
Another impressive feature of the Dahlia Villa is that it comes with a private jacuzzi. There are three pools here, each with a different temperature. There’s a warm pool, another hot pool with onsen-like temperatures and the 3rd one is a cold pool which is great for a final soak after a turn in the onsen.
Skyline Club Lounge
Since my last stay at One Farrer Hotel a couple of years ago, the property has adjusted its club lounge offerings and instead of providing 5 meal services, it has been whittled down to 3 meal services per day. The property removed the less important meals like the afternoon tea and supper. Breakfast, lunch and light dinner are still provided.
I was pleased to see a familiar face when I entered the lounge. Malek, the same staff member who was manning the lounge 4 years ago, greeted me with a smile and explained the club lounge inclusions to me.
I dropped by during both lunch and dinner to see what kinds of dishes were being served. Lunch is a rather light affair with puffs, fruits and satay. There were no carbohydrate dishes like noodles or rice. Dinner was more substantial with a various meat dishes, vegetarian options and fresh fruit.
Private Dining at The Nest
Guests staying at One Farrer Hotel who prefer to have greater privacy have a lot of options to ensure they are away from the prying eyes of the general public. At the 20th floor is The Nest – a series of hotel rooms that were re-purposed in 2021 as intimate dining spaces. I had been here last year for a private event and imagine the clientele here mostly have similar needs – either for company events, private parties or even special dinner dates. I was told by the staff there that they could also serve the food in one of the sky villas situated on the 20th floor for a minimum spend.
I had the Executive Set Lunch (S$78) which consisted of 4 courses. Some of the dishes such as the Oatmeal Crusted Lemon Sole and Five Spices Confit Duck Leg were quite spot on. Dishes are prepared under the tutelage of the hotel’s Executive Chef Marcus Tan.
Desserts were also memorable and elaborately presented. The Citrus Symphony consisted of lemon curd, lime meringue and yuzu sorbet. The hotel’s pastry chef, Wee Pai Hau, has won awards for his presentation.
Access to The Nest is typically off-limits to guests unless they have a prior reservation or key card with access to the 20th floor. Non-staying guests have to get someone at reception to provide them lift access.
A business hotel in appearance but with bells and whistles for leisure travelers, One Farrer Hotel continues to surprise me with its range of offerings. Its private dining concept, one-of-a-kind sky villas and private jacuzzi in certain suites are definitely quite unique and something you don’t see in other city hotels in Singapore. Add to that the attentive service and 3 meal services in its club lounge and you have the formula for a fun-filled city staycation!