– a hotel review –
Every so often the urge to stay somewhere utterly fabulous overcomes us, yet usually common sense prevails. But not this time. It was our wedding anniversary and we were passing through our favourite stopover destination Singapore, and we thought lets treat ourselves.
After trawling through some very ordinary yet extraordinarily expensive rooms on the internet we came across that something a little bit stunning, that travellers like us live for. The beautiful very glamorous Hotel Vagabond in Singapore’s Little India.
The website is a visual feast of red and gold and we prepared ourselves for real life to disappoint, but I am delighted to say it lived up to expectations. We had been warned, thanks to our friends on TripAdvisor, that the rooms were small. They were on the small side, but a bit like the line my vertically challenged friends come out with, good things come in small packages, and this was an exquisite package.
Original artworks and hand painted wall paper married with fine Rosenthal china cups and saucers, you get the idea? Most of the numerous framed photos around the hotel were actually taken by the owners polo playing husband, and hey they were pretty good! In the bar area there is a screen which appears in the restaurant scene of the movie “Pretty Woman” the owners had bought it at auction especially for the hotel. If you are interested the staff will happily give you a guided tour of the art works around the hotel.
Everyday the hotel hosts a High Tea compliments of Lady Boss (this is not her real name but what the staff call her as she is a lady and their boss). It is held in the ground floor salon and it is quite something. Hot and cold mini savouries, delicate cakes and tarts all beautifully laid out. We were fortunate enough to meet Lady Boss over a cup of tea and hear about how she started Hotel Vagabond, which is very much her baby.
At the time we stayed they were actively looking for a chef for the restaurant but I see from their Facebook posts they have now found one, because that to us was the one let down of the beautiful Vagabond, their breakfasts just missed the mark. Having said that the staff, without exception were a delight they always were ready with a smile and a “Hello” even if you just passed them in the corridor.
I cannot write about the Vagabond without mentioning James’ favourite shop of all time, the Mustafa centre. His suitcase had died on the way back from China and was not going to make it home, so we popped in to see if they had a suitcase for him. Yes, they did, in fact poor James was quite traumatised by the vast choice in the luggage department! Mustafa sell everything, the store takes up an entire block, it is a rather higgled-piggledy but at the same time utterly fascinating and well worth a visit as it is in walking distance of the hotel.
Tips: Whilst we found this hotel on TripAdvisor we then booked direct with the hotel. As a thank you for booking direct we got a free one way chauffeur driven airport transfer (we wanted the refurbished London Cab but we had to settle for a gleaming black Merc) and two free cocktails in the bar (and not just any old cocktails!) This offer no doubt changes but every time I have been on their website they have another offer for booking direct.