The Warehouse Hotel
There’s nothing quite like The Warehouse Hotel, a converted colonial-era godown on the waterfront of Singapore’s vibrant Robertson Quay. Its long history starts on 1895, year when it was built as a spice warehouse, to then become a house of ill repute and later a nightclub over ensuing decades. Its latest reincarnation is as the city’s hippest hotel, a showcase of modern Singaporean design, culture and cuisine. The lobby is striking in its dimensions: a cathedral ceiling of exposed beams, pendants lamps and ancient pulleys overlooking the bar and lounge area totally colored with hues of black, copper, grey and exposed brick.
Opened in January 2017 by hospitality outfit the Lo & Behold Group, the history of the Warehouse Hotel began back in 1895. Given its privileged position on the sea routes of the Strait of Malacca, it was built along the Singapore River as a base for business travel. At the time it was indeed a hotbed of secret societies, black markets and liquor distilleries.
The meticulous operation of reconversion of the building, curated by the creative studio Asylum, has given life to a design hotel that is mirrored in the waters of the Singapore river and which preserves the ancient charm of the original structure. The unmistakable industrial footprint of the building has been preserved: inside the lobby there is a trussed ceiling from which a series of steel wheels hang, exposed brickwork and a polished floor.
The Warehouse Hotel offers six different types of rooms, each designed with the original layout of the property in mind. The fixtures have been maintained and consolidated, and most of the rooms are characterized by double-height ceilings, wooden floors and local craftsmanship. There are 37 rooms spread over two storeys. The modern comforts are decidedly present day, with a Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker, free Wi-Fi and the latest TV technology that connects to your device.
The Warehouse Hotel’s flagship restaurant, Po, is a refined modern Singaporean concept presenting an array of local classics and elevated Singaporean staples. Curated by Chef-Partner Willin Low, pioneer of Mod-Sin cuisine, Po seeks to bridge the gap between our nation’s vibrant culinary heritage and our rich collective memories of home cooked specialties. The beverage offering features a tightly curated selection of tipples which will bring to life the heritage of The Warehouse Hotel alongside premium craft Asian spirits and fine wines.
The Warehouse Hotel is authenticity and audacity tastefully rolled into one because it is definitely a mix of local history and heritage and contemporary flavours. Last but not least, on the rooftop there is an infinity pool overlooking the river and the neighborhood of Robertson Quay as well as bicycles for those who want to explore the garden city and don’t mind getting a little sweaty. The Warehouse Hotel overlooks the Singapore River, precisely it is situated on the banks of river, in front of the bustling Robertson Quay food and drink area. In just 10-15 minutes by cab you can easily reach the financial district with stunning skyscrapers or the Orchard Road with its gorgeous malls for an amazing shopping time.
Located on a once seedy strip of Havelock Road along the Singapore River, it’s across the water from Robertson Quay, which bustles with restaurants and bars and, unlike the other quays, is devoid of touts and kitsch nightlife. The lively Clarke Quay nightspot is a 15-minute stroll along the river, and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the famous Merlion and Marina Bay on foot. There’s a bus stop out front, but the nearest train station is about 15 minutes’ walk. The Orchard Road shopping strip is 10 minutes by taxi. The hotel lends out bikes for city sightseeing, and tourist bumboats ply the river.
River Cruise Jetty Stop just behind The Warehouse Hotel, sightseeing along the Singapore River. Applicable charges will apply.
Bespoke Cocktails at The Warehouse Hotel Lobby Bar. – PLUS: A welcome drink token will be given to each staying guest, which can be redeemed during their stay.
Po’s Signature Po-piah, a Singapore style wrap, bursting with flavour and is a MUST TRY at the Hotel.
Complimentary use of the in-house bicycles to cycle alongside the Singapore River and enjoy the sights of Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Marina Bay.
Value for Money
Advance Purchase Promotion is available on the hotel website. Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There’s a wheelchair friendly room available in the hotel.
They welcome families but do take note that family rooms and extra bed are not available at this hotel. Rooms next to each other can be arranged with prior notice. Baby cot is available upon request.
The History of The Warehouse Hotel
From 1895 to 1951, the complexes also housed an opium den. An illegal distillery producing homemade whiskey operated on the premises, too, back then, the street the warehouses are located on was known as “Chiu Long Lo,” or “Spirits Shed Street,” in the southern Chinese dialect of Hokkien. Between 1951 and the 1980s, the warehouses were mainly used to store produce, from spices, rice and coffee, to materials like rubber and tin. In 1986, the site became the Warehouse Disco, a legendary party haven for jiving throngs of young people. The disco closed in 1996. Before the warehouses were released for tender by the government in 2013, the site stood empty.
The area had changed dramatically, however. Robertson Quay transformed from a historic wharf into a commercial and residential hotspot in the 1990s, with Singapore‘s Urban Redevelopment Authority at the helm. In 2013, Singaporean hospitality firm Lo & Behold Group, which is responsible for some of the city-state’s trendiest restaurants and bars, acquired the three warehouses for an undisclosed sum. Construction of the hotel began the following year. Creative design agency Asylum and architectural firm Zarch Collaboratives, both Singaporean businesses, were enlisted to oversee the renovation.
Our Special Reading
The rich island-nation called Singapore
Singapore is always evolving and every time I visit it, I find it radically changed in its appearance. This rich island-nation of the Malay archipelago, full of history and traditions, thanks to a very strong central government, was able to do much better than others in terms of urban and economic development. Thanks to a mix of lassez fair economic, cultural openness and good governance, Singapore is a small Montecarlo of Southeast Asia. It has its F1 Grand Prix, its skyscrapers, its world-class hotels, its clean streets and an enviable secure feelings. But unlike the sleeping monegasque city-state, Singapore is a powerful financial center, (the reference square is the SIMEX) an important harbor (before it was surpassed by Shanghai it was the busiest port in the world, but it still remains the main hub of the region), an amazing air center (Singapore Airlines has become the leading company in South Asia and perhaps throughout the region).
And while Montecarlo remains the same, the island on the Strait of Singapore has engaged a series of epochal transformations, expanding its soil in territorial waters, with super projects such as the Marina park, the relocation of the port to the east to have more space for new luxury skyscrapers.
The most iconic part of the city is the old colonial district that extends along the Singapore River, once the old port of the city. On one side you will find ancient Victorian museums and theaters, with excellent art galleries and the unmissable Asian Civilization Museum (essential to learn about the history of the city and learn more about Chinese and Southeast Asian art and history). On the left bank you will find a long row of Shop-House where you can taste some typical dishes, such as Chicken Rice and Spicy Crab.
Special City Guide: Singapore
Pint-sized Singapore is a mosaic of contrasting cultures. It’s easy to be dazzled by Orchard Road’s wall-to-wall malls, but you can take a breather at Chinatown’s immense Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Hindu shrines draped with marigold garlands. The city’s mix of traditional, colonial and futuristic is best seen at the mouth of the Singapore River, where the spiky domed Esplanade theatre is steps away from the neo-Palladian Asian Civilizations Museum, home to Islamic calligraphy and Vietnamese sculptures.
Singaporeans start the day with tai chi in the fragrant Botanic Gardens amid towering rainforest trees. Step back to Singapore’s colonial days at the Corinthian-columned Supreme Court, near cricket matches on the Padang’s grassy expanse. Juxtaposed with the babble of street markets and malls, the city‘s spiritual side surfaces in Chinatown, where incense plumes fill the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple with its immense, ornate gopuram (tower gateway). All-day, outdoor recreation is popular on Sentosa Island.
Orchard Road is crammed with gleaming malls selling the latest laptops, digital cameras and designer fashion. Pick up some Gucci and Cartier at the Takashimaya department store. Browse Buddha heads and Burmese teak furniture at antique stores around lush Dempsey Hill, once a British army barracks. Style mavens love tiny Haji Lane, tucked away in the Arab Quarter, for tailored dress shirts and psychedelic cushion covers.