Reviewed by Rhonda Bannister
The first thing you notice when entering the lobby of the Sofitel Singapore City Centre Hotel is a stunning, nine-metre chandelier whirling across the expanse. To say it’s eye-catching would be an understatement! This glittering work of art, comprising of 700 hand-blown glass crystals shaped into leaves, is designed by Lasvit — an artisan Czech company renowned for its fantastic light sculptures, as seen in the Dubai Opera, Changi Airport and Peninsula Paris. It’s just a taste of what’s to come as we head up to the fifth floor for our luxury weekend stay.
I’ve stayed in many hotels, but none do style in the same way as Sofitel does. It doesn’t matter where in the world you find yourself – if you’re staying in a Sofitel, the interiors will be the epitome of fashionable design. For example, there’s a multi-tiered flower arrangement at check-in and the gorgeous botanical artwork of artist Arianna Caroli hanging throughout the public spaces. Both are mesmerising in their transcendent vibrancy and colour. Indeed, from the sleek, plush designer furniture in the restaurant, lounge and bar areas to the sculptural luminosity of the lights hanging from the lobby’s lofty ceiling, the hotel’s style sets the perfect scene for a glamorous escape.
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Following suit, the bedrooms are beautifully appointed and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, complimentary minibars (serviced by the hotel’s very own droid butler, Sophie The Robot), Sofitel’s luxurious MyBed, free local and international calls to ten countries and Wifi on-the-go.
I especially loved the bathroom with its large bathtub set up with a wineglass and book to read while soaking (who else but Sofitel would think of that?), and the separate rain-shower with Lanvin body and hair products. Our tip? Book a Luxury Club Room or Suite – the Club Millésime amenities will make your stay very special.
Sofitel’s signature afternoon High Tea is served in the 1864 Bar, which doubles as a popular spot for after-work and pre-dinner drinks and tapas. You might even witness the dramatic French art of Champagne sabering — it’s worth ordering a bottle for. But it was Club Millésime that beckoned us to the sixth floor for evening canapés and Champagne by the pool. It’s an incredibly special treat after our long day spent in airports and planes.
Adjacent from 1864, Racines is one of Singapore’s most elegant restaurants and showcases panoramic views of the surrounding skyline and Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood. Naturally, the interiors are design perfection. Helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Jean-Charles Dubois, the menu features traditional French classics alongside refined local Chinese delicacies prepared by two distinct brigades of chefs.
We were enticed by the Chef’s French Degustation, which featured Lobster Bisque or Chargrilled Octopus, Wagyu Beef Cheek or Locally Sourced Barramundi and Mousse Au Chocolat or Yuzu Tart. After an indulgent hour of canapés and Champagne in the Club lounge, we sensibly settled for just one course.
Breakfast is also served in Racines. So, after a quick gym session, we surveyed the splendid offerings laid out at a half-dozen or more lively food stations and knew we had made the right decision at dinner. With an appetite to do this magnificent buffet justice, we spent the next hour grazing our way around the room — from freshly-squeezed orange juice and pancakes to omelettes and French charcuterie, dumplings, sushi, pastries and coffee. Thank goodness for elasticised pants!
Opened in October 2017, the hotel is located in the downtown Tanjong Pagar area, right on the edge of Chinatown. With an MRT station downstairs, it’s within easy access of the entire city – ideal for business meetings or sightseeing. If you’re staying a few days, get out and explore the surrounding streets which are full of great boutiques, restaurants and cafes, plus the famous hawker market, Maxwell Food Centre. With Little India, Orchard Road, Arab Street and Marina Bay Sands and Gardens not far away, your Singapore sojourn will fly!
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