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By: Nessa Anwar
There’s been a visible shift in the staycation era, with the inescapable influence of social media. Hashtags like #staycationsg and #staycay are abundant, and various articles about all types of hotels and the experience are written and shared. InstaScram finds two popular and centrally-located hotels that offer you vastly different experiences, and reveals the intriguing history behind them.
First up is Lloyd’s Inn, located along Lloyd Road, in a neighbourhood most well known amongst locals for being quite the food haven, and the district of our late Minister-Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s family home. At first glance, the pathway leading up to the boutique hotel leaves much to be desired. The hotel sign is subtle, with little fanfare. However, the moment you step through the covered walkway and down to its little lobby, you’ll find yourself immersed in a unique aesthetic that’s close to nature.
A Cinderella story that dates back to the 1990s, Lloyd’s Inn has been dominating numerous social media feeds since its rebranding exercise in 2014 by the multidisciplinary design studio FARM. With its monochromatic minimalist style, the hotel focuses on going back to the basics. Stripped bare of luxury hotel amenities such as a spa, on-site parking and even 24-hour service, Lloyd’s Inn essentially offers just a room. But it has managed to capture the attention of droves of young people and tourists.
There are 34 rooms in eight different configurations, with their much-sought after Sky Room boasting an in-room bathtub. All the rooms make full use of natural light, along with the minimalist textures, colours and materials, which provides you with an acceptable space to inject your own personality into it. Each traveller will make the room look different, and it is easy to see why this hotel is popular for parties and group staycations.
The Business Room, in particular, is a two-storey treat with televisions on both floors, offering the luxury of Netflix in bed or when you need a short respite from your work. A fully equipped work station takes up most of the space on the first floor, and the daylight emanating from the glass bathroom walls gives off a calming vibe, enhancing the warm tones of the room.
Just a stone’s throw away from Somerset MRT and Orchard Road, Lloyd’s Inn have tied up with Killney Kopitiam and Freshly Baked down the road for their guests’ free breakfast. But if you’re just looking for a quick pick-me-up, the hotel does offer a stocked pantry.
It has won multiple awards like Travellers’ Choice Awards and Best Minimalist Hotel 2016 and was also featured on Lonely Planet and High Snobiety Magazine. It is quite a wonder that just four years ago, the hotel was a budget hotel with rooms costing just $90 for one night’s stay.
From the minimalist appeal of Lloyd’s Inn, we take you on another experience that’s on the other end of the spectrum. If you take a trip down to Fort Canning Park or The National Museum of Singapore, you might catch sight of the towering colonial building that radiates a certain regality.
Hotel Fort Canning is a study in history itself, laying claim to the heart of a centuries-old legacy. Opened in 2010 by The Legends Fort Canning Park, the hotel occupies a building that’s been around since 1926. It was built to accommodate the British Far East Command Headquarters, and has been under both the British and Japanese military administration during Singapore’s pre-independence days. Post-independence, various bodies occupied it, including the Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Command and Staff College.
An award-winning hotel conferred with conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Hotel Fort Canning boasts the creature comforts of a modern boutique hotel, yet retains its colonial charm. For example, it preserves its majestic, multi-columned design and original walkways, by retrofitting the elevators outside the hotel to allow the original building structure to remain untouched. The hotel lobby itself boasts 4 archaeological pits, which showcase ancient local pottery from the 14th to the 19th century excavated within the area, further highlighting the depth of heritage to be found within its compounds.
Hotel Fort Canning has 86 rooms with six variants, including suites, which offers the vacationer a variety of options to pamper themselves in.
Its Deluxe Room offers all the comforts expected of a 5-star luxury hotel, like a spacious bathroom and top-notch service. The amenities provided also include a smart phone equipped with GPS that allows free local calls, which is practical for the tourist in Singapore to get by without mobile data.
Even if you’re a local looking for a staycation, Hotel Fort Canning’s superb location gives you quick access to many things. If you’re not a fan of taking a luxurious dip in its three mineral water swimming pools, you can just stroll out the lobby to experience Fort Canning Park independently, or join a Heritage Park Walk with a guide who will give you unique insights to the historic area. The best shopping districts, like Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura and Bugis are also a short walk away. The lush foliage on the hotel grounds also provide a stunning backdrop for thematic weddings and wedding photography, earning it many awards, including HerWorld’s Bride’s Best Venue!
InstaScram is giving away two packages of a 2D1N staycation at either the Business Room at Lloyd’s Inn or the Deluxe Room at Hotel Fort Canning, so check out our Facebook or Instagram @instascram_sg for more details!