The Vagabond Club, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Singapore
What We Love
- The hotel's distinctive atmosphere of Dadaesque luxury
- Complimentary high tea at the salon from 3 to 5 p.m.
- Interacting with international artists residing at the hotel
- A selection of movies curated by Jacques Garcia
What To Know
- The hotel provides mobile phones with unlimited local calls and data use
- Free WiFi
- Third-floor Junior Executive Club Suites are extra sunny thanks to skylight windows
- Syed Alwi Street outside the hotel, lined with rickety eateries and discount shops, is not exactly glamorous
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
A 1950s retail building straddling Little India and Kampong Glam has been transformed into an irreverent luxury hotel with a Europe-meets-Asia vibe. The whimsy begins right at the entrance, where a life-sized golden rhinoceros masquerades as a reception desk. Behind it is a 5,000-square-foot main salon that includes a restaurant and bar dressed in crimson velvet drapes and matching chairs. The space is dotted with floor-to-ceiling golden banyan trees and bespoke artworks, including a baboon sculpture by Franck Le Ray behind the bar, which doles out potent cocktails inspired by the flavors of Singapore. This transporting setting is the work of architect Jacques Garcia, responsible for such high-profile properties as Paris’ Hôtel Costes and New York City’s NoMad. Upstairs, 42 rooms and suites carry the theme, featuring dark wood paneling, velvet divans, screens painted with flowers, and walls brimming with framed art. Our favorite feature, however, might be the Artists in Residence program (Vagabond is the city’s first hotel to offer one), which gives poets, writers, painters, and performers from around the world access to two spacious ateliers. The boon to guests is that they get to interact with these talented lodgers and take a peek at their work.
In the Area
Just south of the hotel you’ll find Kampong Glam, the heart of Muslim Singapore and home to mosques, cultural centers, and historic streets. Head to Haji Lane, a narrow two-block stretch of pre-war shophouses (this is where Muslim men stayed on their way to Mecca) that recently became a hub of hipster cafés, bars, and independent boutiques loved by anti-mall fashionistas. A few highlights: Mondays Off, which sells trendy housewares and fun stationery, and Soon Lee, which stocks a curated collection of Asian labels. To the west is Little India, a colorful and unassuming neighborhood filled with vegetable stands, traditional spice grinders, and holes in the wall peddling saris and sandals. By contrast, the area is also home to Mustafa Center, a popular 24-hour shopping mall. A short walk away, you’ll find buzzy eateries like Lighthouse Bistro, specializing in Malaysian seafood dishes, and Butter Studio, a bakery known for its lychee rose cake.
How to Get There
The room was very comfortable. On the small side, but very comfortable and well arranged. The whisky library is impressive. The breakfast was great, and every single person we talked to on the staff was very nice.
From the beginning I felt very welcome. From the very friendly and warm-hearted greeting up to the departure a super stay. Very nice and courteous staff. Very cool lounge with live jazz music. A very unique hotel!
To walk from the outside world of Singapore and walk down the street of little India shows you a great perspective of Singapore and makes you feel like you are a local. The hotel itself is picturesque and once you walk through the door you feel transported out of Singapore and to a new world. To me felt like an Indian Fusion space.... It was a great break from the hustle and bustle of Singapore and even better for me to come to a place I can call home and be locked out of the world where I was in meetings all day.
Rooms are small but very comfortable and don't need to be any bigger however for those used to big suites I would opt for that than the normal rooms. Be aware though that the suites do require you take the stairs up from the third floor but being in such a beautiful place im sure no person would mind.
The gym is good and across the street from the hotel. It is big enough to do a small workout however just next door is also a Gym called Anytime Fitness. Open 24 hours its perfect for the gym buff who needs bigger more specialised gym.