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
- 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
We loved the design and the art installations - a really interesting and enjoyable hotel . Room was compact but well equipped and the bed was very comfortable. The service was excellent and we greatly enjoyed our stay .
My husband and I stayed here for a night on the way back to Australia from an extended European holiday. The staff could not do enough for us. If you want to avoid large impersonal hotels and you are looking for sophistication and something a little quirky and different this is the place for you. Great for singles and couples. Recommend this hotel and will be back.
This hotel rocks. As I sit in the Writer's Room, I feel like I'm in a private creative space, and well, it's true. I've been able to write and edit videos and have really enjoyed this place. The food is good, and the staff are super friendly. The art all over the walls is unique and well thought out. This is definitely my go-to for hotels for Singapore. Thanks for an exceptional stay and great accommodation.
I have returned to this property several times over the past year and it continues to provide excellent quality combined with great service.
The aesthetics are quite bold and perhaps not everybody’s taste as the “less is a bore” has been chosen by Mr Garcia.
A whiskey club has been added recently only adding to the luxury gentleman’s club feel which is the signature style.
The staff rounds off the greatness of the property with knowing your name, knowing what you like to drink and understanding you really wanna go your room after a 4-hour delay and just hand you the keys saying “we’ll handle the rest tomorrow morning during breakfast, sleep tight”.
In short It’s St Regis Service without the snobby butlers...
- I am worried for the day I try to make a reservation and it turns out to be full... That’s probably the best recommendation I can give them...
The hotel is really fun. The staff are warm and welcoming and extremely helpful. Skip at the bar makes amazing cocktails that are as fun as the decor. Set in Little India, it's a fun neighborhood to walk around on foot. With lots of great restaurants nearby.