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
This is a 40+ room hotel near the Arab street area – a few blocks from Mustafa. The lobby and bar/restaurant are very cool and it was great to spend time down there. The room I was in was cool, it had a colonial feel to it but was super small. Old antique Persian carpets, lots of unique photos on the walls, and a door that opened to a shared veranda hidden away from the hustle of the Singapore streets. Breakfast was outstanding- was there for 6 days and had the Kaya toast the first day on the suggestion of the waiter. I got it again all but one other day since it is was so good. Did have one negative - the second floor smelled musty as did my room. Staff was really nice and moved me to another room on the same floor but it too was musty smelling. The hotel seems to be booked out quite a bit so not sure why the rooms smelled as if they hadn’t been used. I asked another guest about his room and he said it did not have any odor but he was on the 3rd floor. Hoping they fix the smell because I really liked the hotel and hope to come back on my next visit to Singapore.
Spent the last night at this hotel before heading out to the airport. Great hotel - providing a boutique "grand" feeling. Everything's laid back and mellow. Clean rooms, friendly staff and def. recommended.
This place was simply perfect! We arrived very late and were quickly checked in and showed to our room. Right from the beginning you get pulled into the ambiance of the hotel. Every detail is perfect. Each staff member was beyond gracious and helpful. We enjoyed the breakfast in the morning with delicious coffee. And we loved relaxing during cocktail hour with the light snacks. I just loved, loved, loved this place. It was our first time in Singapore and first time Tribute Portfolio stay, but we will definitely be back for a visit.
We were warmly welcomed with a cup of tea. Staff went out of their way to be helpful and the service throughout our stay was excellent. The Lady Boss is a very interesting person with a most colourful personality. I like how she spent time with us and other guests and the conversation we had with her was not just at the usual superficial level.
Our room was extremely clean and the bed really comfortable. It was particularly well sound-proofed, both from the road and from other rooms. The air conditioning was easily adjusted, worked like a dream and was exceptionally quiet.
It may just be that this hotel is at the top of our normal budget in general, but the breakfast struck us as being on the expensive side. It was well prepared and presented, but personally I would have liked a little more flexibility and clarity in choosing what to eat, perhaps by adopting a simple buffet arrangement.
A nice touch was being asked in advance if our stay was to celebrate anything in particular. I had just retired and on our first evening there was a knock on our door and I was presented with a card signed by the staff and a delicious slice of cake for my wife and I to share.
So, an exceptional hotel with a great ambiance and lovely staff.
Its like sinking in a bathtub full of the finest champagne. Opulence, luxury, comfort all came together quite wonderfully in here. Love love the crazy quirky decor and all the artwork. Staff were most attentive and helpful, huge plus point. Ask them about the art tour, [not to be missed] they'll gladly take you around and give you snippets. It felt quite decadent in there, yet cosy enough to make you not want to leave. Will be back definitely.