InterContinental Singapore sets to redefine luxury at the heart of heritage Bugis with the launch of brand new guestrooms and public spaces with its multi-million dollar renovation project. FBEYE International, an award winning interior design firm, was commissioned to embark on the 403- room hotel’s transformation following the successful revamp and launch of the Heritage rooms and suites (formerly known as Shophouse rooms and suites) earlier in August 2011. The new spaces, including the hotel lobby, tower guestrooms and suites, fitness centre, European dining restaurant as well as The Lobby Lounge, showcase influences of the city’s rich heritage and multifaceted culture inspired by the vibrance of the surrounding locale, and at the same time incorporate the contemporary comforts desired by today’s modern traveller.
Situated in proximity to cultural and heritage districts such as Arab Street, Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown, the newly launched spaces will not only embrace the rich heritage connection to local cultures, but will also breathe new life into the landmark hotel, which was established in 1995.
Drawing on the tapestry of the city’s charm, the hotel décor encompasses an elegant blend of modern touches with subtle Peranakan1 undertones which are deliberately evocative of the colourful shophouses, once home to a multi-ethnic community of settlers in the early days. The façade of the hotel is an iconic representation of the two-storeyed houses that used to line the streets of the area in the past.
Paying homage to the distinctive character of the vibrant precinct, the design of the lobby combines the fluidity of space with the intricate nature and design details of a by-gone era, characteristic of the distinct Peranakan culture.
Harmoniously marrying luxury and elegance with hints of locality, the Concierge Lounge located at the entrance of the hotel lobby is fashioned after the living room of a Peranakan home. Here where hospitality begins, the guest arrival experience also starts the moment guests enter the hotel. Fittingly decked with the comforts of a cosy living room, the seating area at the Concierge Lounge is flanked by two shelves that house an exquisite display of items that have been specially selected to represent the different cultural elements that capture the essence of the locale. Display items include food containers bearing traditional prints of phoenixes and peonies, porcelain pillowsb which were commonly used in the past as well as a basin standc, typically found in bedrooms of houses with communal bathroom facilities.
A focal art pieced that adorns that central wall of the Concierge Lounge captures a beautiful mix of local characters from all walks of life, reminiscent of the bustling activities that used to take place along the site where the hotel now stands. The vibrant blend of colours further reinforces the cultural mix in the area.
Showcasing a unifying theme that runs through the hotel’s public spaces and guestrooms, the guestroom corridor way of the main tower brings guests on a journey through a pleasing harmony of textures and colours.
Lining the walls of the corridor way is a series of exquisite art pieces, flanked by British-inspired columns which stem from inspirations of the colonial architecture of old Singapore. Recreated by local artist Gladys Chow, the visual representations combine traditional Chinese motifs and mosaic tiles, with an old- world design, incorporating a take on today’s minimalist approach. The seamless blend of traditional geometrical-patterned tiles with vibrantly coloured Batik2 motifs depicts the rich local heritage of the city.
The bespoke carpete that runs along the corridor ways of the guestroom floors take reference from the phoenix, which is a common symbol of peace and prosperity in many traditional households of the past. A modern representation of the phoenix was used as inspiration for the patterns on the carpets along the corridor way and further replicated in the guestrooms for a seamless transition.
Deluxe Rooms and Suites (Main Tower)
The Deluxe Rooms, which make up a bulk of the guestrooms in the main tower, exude a residential charm with plush beddings and custom furnishings, and are specially designed with the pinnacle of luxury and elegance in mind. An inviting sanctuary within the city, the light-filled interior displays a harmonious blend of textures and colours, with silk-threaded wall coverings and panels against white walls, adorned with gold trimmings on the ceiling for an added touch of luxury.
Drawing inspiration from the vibrant locale, the headboardf above the beds are created with an exquisite padded silk covering that features a contemporary interpretation of Peranakan tile motifs, produced exclusively by FBEYE International, using a traditional technique of block-printing. Upping the ante of luxury, finishing touches further include feature mirrors as well as beautifully marked decorative veneer with marquetry details on furniture such as the writing desk.
Transcending the mish-mash of cultural elements, the mini-bar refrigerators in the guestrooms are set within cabinets that are fitted with black lacquered doors made of mahogany veneers and solids, replete with a champagne gold gilt finish, exuding the beauty of oriental charm.
Aptly adorned in shades of white, duck egg blue and gold, the amalgamation of colour tones in the guestroom lends a touch of timelessness to the culture-inspired room. Incorporating hints of ethnicity and complemented by a comprehensive suite of modern amenities and innovative features such as warm ambient lighting, the newly launched guestrooms showcase practicality and modernity with a sense of place.
The refreshed heritage-inspired design extends across all 338 guestrooms of the main tower, in room categories including the Club InterContinental Rooms, Business Rooms, Premier suites as well as the Executive, Ambassador and Presidential suites.
In addition to the hotel lobby, guestrooms and suites of the main tower, the comprehensive renovation project also includes the hotel’s European dining restaurant and lobby lounge.
Owing to the clever use of lighting, the dynamic space where the revamped European dining restaurant, Ash & Elm sits, transforms throughout the day, taking the ambience from a chic breakfast buffet to a stylish dining destination by night. The skylight canopy which runs the length of the dining area provides a sense of movement, as glimmers of natural daylight provides an ever-changing colour palate to the space in the day.
Thoughtful use of natural materials in areas such as the butcher-block worktops, a mixture of exotic marble, aged oak timbre and mosaic tiles in the flooring as well as the timber walls, introduce an organic feel to the space, imbibing an atmosphere of liveliness. To complement the use of natural materials, the design of copper partitions between tables is made to resemble the bark of an old oak tree, blending comfortably into the surroundings.
Above the main dining area, pendant lights comprising hand-cut polished crystals help set the mood in the evening, making the entire space more cosy and inviting. The scale and slim line design of these chandeliers also emphasise the double height space without overwhelming.
Embracing the heritage setting that is unique to InterContinental Singapore, The Lobby Lounge is an elegant space comprising a delightful lounge seating area that radiates an ambience of old-world charm. Lofty white-washed colonial pillars stand juxtaposed with customised period-pieces of furniture, offset with injections of contemporary elements such as lounge chairs upholstered in stylish hues of duck egg blue and a rich palette of rusts and greens on the carpet. Adding an emblem of Peranakan touch, a series of laser-cut motifs from 12 different coloured tiles used in traditional Peranakan houses are selectively repeated in patterns on the bases of all four-faces of the pillars.
The ceiling of The Lobby Lounge takes on a contemporary lease of life with a modern-interpretation of the elegant Peranakan tile motifs developed from a laser cut-out. Amidst the elegant prints, chandeliers adorn the ceilings, enhancing the double-height space of the lounge.
Beautiful screens which feature a refined motif are finished in bronze metal, and stand interspersed within the area, creating intimate spaces for guests to enjoy their dining experience. A white marble bar that serves as a service space at The Lobby Lounge, is accompanied by a striking back bar shelf, designed to mimic a residential study.
The grand staircase leading to the second level of the hotel completes the majestic backdrop for The Lobby Lounge, making the refreshed space the ideal setting for a leisurely afternoon tea experience where the exclusive InterContinental® Singapore Heritage Tea is served, or an elegant venue to wind down at in the evening.
Guided Heritage Trail
Prominently situated in the heart of Bugis, InterContinental Singapore connects guests to an established network of more than 20 historical sites, national monuments, art institutions and museums. Embracing this connection to the cultural enclaves that surround the hotel and in celebration of the unveiling of the new spaces, InterContinental Singapore launched a two-hour guided Heritage Walking Trail for all hotel guests in January 2016. An exciting journey through areas of interest in the precinct of the hotel, curated in partnership with the Singapore Tourist Guides Society, the guided walking tour is aimed at providing guests with an authentic and enriching stay experience, with the intention of allowing guests to constantly be ‘In the Know’.
Hotel guests are encouraged to sign up with the hotel’s Concierge Team for participation in the weekly guided tour which takes place every Saturday afternoon.