F Some kind of Wanderlust - jeepneyjinggoy

Some kind of Wanderlust

The odd man. The Indian mural @ Wanderlust Hotel lobby

No sooner after Singapore Tourism Board (STB) made a presentation in town to entice the locals to spend summer in the Lion City, I found myself on board the plane heading to this island republic. It seems like this is becoming a regular destination, three times this year so far. Who am I to complain?

I was told that the hotel I’ll be billeted in is different from the “usual hotels” I have stayed in (“usually” I am hosted and “always” I have a great time whatever the accommodation is. It’s in the experiencing of everything new in each visit where the thrill and fun lie). Then Sherina of STB Manila added, ”You’ll love this hotel because I know you love art.”

Building image courtesy of designboom.com
Wanderlust. from 1920s school building to chic lodging.

This hotel wishes all its guests a sweet escape. The first step into the hotel was already promising. The hotel interior has a quirky design with an olio of vintage conversation pieces in bright hues set against the unfinished stark grey walls that creates a striking scenario. A barber’s chair, a dentist’s overhead lamp and tin signage of yesteryears found a new home in this hotel built in the early 20th century.

Just like in any theatrical production, the opening salvo was created to impress. But after going through the necessary “documents”, of “visa” and “boarding pass” issuance, more surprises unfolded as I entered the world of Wanderlust.

Visa stamped, ticket ready. Off to a Wanderlust trip!

Wan•der•lust |ˈwändərˌləst| noun. a strong desire to travel : a man consumed by wanderlust. ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from German Wanderlust. So says the New Oxford American dictionary. (Perfect description of myself, I should say.)

But in Singapore, “Wanderlust is a left-field and totally experimental boutique hotel set to draw madcap voyagers and curious travelers to its doorstep. Located in Little India – a bustling cultural enclave where Indian immigrants once settled, and the building was originally an old school built it 1920s,” says the Design Hotels group.

All spaces of this boutique hotel are uniquely designed. No rooms are created alike. “With four thematic levels of 29 rooms by award winning Singapore design agencies, each group was given full creative freedom.”

The Lobby Level presents the Industrial Glam, as interpreted by Asylum
A. It is a juxtaposition of the surrounding’s setting and contemporary design.

Wanderlust Hotel's "lobby posting"

On the same level is Cocotte, a French bistro that encourages social interaction and communal dining. The food is unpretentious, rustic French cuisine served in a casual and comfortable setting by polite and efficient garcons. Tres bon!

Communal dining ala Francais @ Cocette in Wanderlust.

Mimicking the designer color charts, each of the 11 Pantone rooms on the second level is rendered in a unique hue. A couple of rooms are even named after Rock and Roll hits- U2’s Red Light and the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. This is the Eccentricity floor designed by :phunk Studio
. Everything is in color from the walls to the neon lights, and the rainbow corridor leads to a outdoor deck with a customized mosaic-tiled jacuzzi.

As if Wanderlust knew my preferred shades, I was given a room on Level 3 where a question written on the wall pops at you as soon as the elevator doors open – “Is it just Black and White?" My colors, my floor. Level 4 is the brainchild of DP Architects and named it after the query they posted.
Walk across the black corridor and enter into the contrasting white rooms designed with paper as an inspiration. The 8 Mono Rooms on this level are a mixture of Origami and Pop-Art works.

Guests will then discover that their rooms are more than just black and white. The mood (time-controlled) lighting will splash radiant colors, one hue at a time, in the two-toned room that gives an illusion of lightness.

My kind of hues. The room I stayed in and the chic chair that goes with it.

And last but not the least, are the lofts on level 4. It is called the Creature Comforts by its designers, the fFurious, and invites its guests to “
get cozy with friendly monsters in each room that presents a different vibe and be assured of a fantasy-filled experience” in any of their 9 Whimsical Loft Rooms with five varying themes- “Bling”, ASCII, “Space”, “Tree” and “Typewriter.”

Sorry, Sherina, I do not like this hotel. I LOVE IT!

I love how an old school building was transformed into a modern boutique hotel. I love this funky addition to Little India. I love the food at Cocette (and that’s just the special breakfast specials I had, mind you). I love the chic room appointments and amenities. I love its polite and efficient staff.

Wanderlust IS some kind of wonderful. I don’t mind staying in this hotel again, and perhaps in the other hotels of the Designs Hotel group.

Wanderlust Hotel is at #2 Dickson Road, Singapore. For more information and reservation, visit their website at http://wanderlusthotel.com/

For more travel and lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

*some images from Wanderlust webpage.

Published in Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 29, 2012.