City respite of history, art, animals and a soothing bath

By Zhao Xu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-11-12 10:34:27

City respite of history, art, animals and a soothing bath

New Majestic Hotel. [Photo provided to China Daily]

If there is one apt metaphor for Singapore it is a tapestry, one that weaves together the multiple threads of ethnicities and religions, immersed in the colorful dye of history. And history has been combined seamlessly with modernity in a country that is striving to become the world's leading financial center. Here are a few tips for those who want to put their hand on the pulse of Singapore.

Where to stay: New Majestic Hotel

In the heart of Chinatown, it offers an opportunity to explore the history-rich area. The hotel, itself a conservation building, has retained its rough ceiling in the lobby while jazzing it up with the owner's collection of designer chairs. One notable exception is a barber's chair placed at the entrance, a nod to the experiences of early Chinese immigrants, many of whom became barbers in the foreign land.

The design spirit is carried through in the general arrangement and the rooms of the hotel. The second floor features an indoor gym and an outdoor swimming pool where you may even see pigeons dipping their wings in the water.

The rooms, judging by the ones I and my friends stayed in, are designed around the bathtub-quite literally in my case as the tub is placed in the center of the room, separated from bed by a glass wall. For my friend it was on the balcony, ready to be enjoyed under a starry firmament.

However, the real stars of the hotel, according to Lyndel Joyce, the hotel's marketing communications executive, are the five rooms personalized by five local designers, each "given free rein over everything, from flooring to wall color". For the imaginative, the room names may offer some clue: Fluid, Untitled, Work, Wayang and The Pussy Parlour.

Location: 31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road

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