The Scarlet Singapore in Erskine Road caused quite a stir when it opened back in 2004. Until then, the Lion City had only one other boutique hotel and The Scarlet was the only one classified under the luxury category. With its 80 rooms housed in a series of pre-war shophouses in Singapore’s Chinatown, the property offered a breath of fresh air against the prevailing steel and high glass rises that housed the bulk of the city’s hotels.
The hotel currently has a Party @ Scarlet staycation package. The package comes with additional amenities such as bottles of wine in the room along with standard inclusions such as free minibar. For suite bookings, the additional amenities include 3 bottles of wine while non-suite rooms get a single bottle.
Even to this day, The Scarlet Singapore, with its trademark blood red façade, remains one of the most recognizable boutique hotels in the city.
Lavish and deliberately outrageous décor filled my view as soon as I entered the hotel lobby. The interiors sport a sultry vibe which appeals to independent-minded people as much as it does to those looking for a romantic getaway. Furnishings come with upholstery in varying colors, textures and patterns from the likes of Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, JAB and Pierre Frey.
My room during my latest stay was the Passion Suite. This is equivalent to the Presidential Suite in The Scarlet Singapore. The hotel has a number of themed suites with names such as Sultry, Opulent, Swank, etc – each unique in terms of look and design. The Passion Suite is perhaps the one that stays truest to the hotel name, as the room is decked in red. This room is also frequently booked by magazines and fashion houses for photoshoots due to its bold colors.
While it is called a suite, the room in itself does not consist of separate living/sleeping enclosures unlike in typical suites. The sleeping area is markedly bigger than their entry-level rooms with sizeable width between the foot of the bed and the TV, and even space for a vanity table for the ladies.
The bed is one of the highlights here, being a poster bed with velvety red throw pillows and king-sized. I would imagine this to be just the type of room to appeal to couples on a romantic getaway.
The curtains here were exceptional, with ornate patterns on the fabric and possessing a thickness and texture that I imagine would fit royal palaces or age-old grand hotels. It even comes with its own remote, with clear instructions how to open and close the curtains and sheer.
As part of the Party @ Scarlet package, I found 3 bottles of different kinds of wine atop the minibar when I entered the room. Alongside the drinks was a generous assortment of snacks including imported truffle chips and mixed nuts. There was Fiji water as well which is just about the most lux-ed up version of mineral water I ever received in a hotel.
The free minibar (separate from the Party @ Scarlet package) is equally generous with a wide assortment of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I found Heineken and Tiger beers, soft drinks and even juices.
The bathroom has a different look compared to the ones in the hotel’s other rooms, with dark marbled wall and floor panels and oval-shaped mirrors. There is also a his and hers sink. Notably, the bathroom does not come with a tub – perhaps due to the private jacuzzi already in the balcony – but I found the rain showers comforting after a warm day.
The Passion Suite has a very generous outdoor space with cabana-style seating, outdoor table/chair set as well as private jacuzzi with views of Singapore landmarks such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Pinnacle at Duxton.
The private jacuzzi here is strategically placed at a corner next to the wall to ensure for greater privacy. With this positioning, guests are shielded from the eyes of folks staying at the taller buildings nearby.
The jacuzzi is huge and can comfortably fit 5 persons. It also has 5 different setting for the jets. At the time of my stay, the engineering team advised me that the jacuzzi lights were not working but I did not find this to be an issue since the outdoor space itself features a couple of lights.
My room for this particular stay was a Premium Room which is around three levels higher from the property’s base-level abodes. The room was a departure from what I had grown accustomed to in independent properties. First and foremost, at 26 square meters, the room was markedly larger than the typical boutique hotel room. The uniquely orange color scheme created a less serious atmosphere but no less of a compromise in plush-ness.
The bed’s headboard is perhaps one of the most ornate I’ve seen in a hotel room. It’s made of luxe black velvet and has an intricate floral design. Lighting can be controlled from either side of the bed though I noticed there were certain lamps that had to be switched on/off individually.
In case you have a tendency to iron your clothes inside the hotel room, The Scarlet Singapore does not provide in-room iron however one can easily be requested from reception. I had requested for one and it was delivered to me within 10 minutes.
Moving on to the bathroom – one surprising element is the inclusion of a bathtub which is quite unheard of in non-suite boutique hotel rooms. I was also quite impressed to find a loofah and bath salts placed by the tub—typically something available only upon request elsewhere. The wash area is decked in a soothing white with a separate shower. For that extra comfort, the rain shower feature is very refreshing especially after a hot day out.
The property uses its in-house brand for toiletries and the individual containers carry a refreshing scent. I was relieved to find a full set of amenities – including my much-needed shaving kit – without having to ask for it.
Executive Room With Balcony
The Executive Room with Balcony features a similar theme to the Premium Room, with gold and lime-green wallpaper as well as a tall headboard. Rooms of this category are located in the other taller wing of the hotel, away from the shophouses.
The room size is markedly smaller, at just 18 square metres, when compared to the Premium Room. The sleeping quarters is enough for the bed, TV, minibar, working desk and wardrobe.
The bed was equally comfortable as those in the other room categories. I appreciated just how fluffy the pillows were.
As the hotel is in a heritage building, not all rooms are the same. My room’s balcony was of decent size but I noticed the one in the room next door was smaller. Due to the structure of the building, the balcony next door was fully visible and the separation was low enough that guests could easily climb over to the other room’s balcony if they wished. This is no fault of the hotel, of course, as The Scarlet has to make do with the unchangeable facade of the colonial building.
That being said, the bathroom is huge and I appreciated the sizeable shower area. The color scheme of the bathroom is roughly similar to the one in the Premium Room – a mixture of white and beige.
Due to the proposition of The Scarlet Singapore, the hotel does not have a pool. However, there is quite a sizable jacuzzi found in the second level and it is open until 9 in the evening. In case you have a late flight out of Singapore, the men and women’s changing room allow you to have a quick shower even after checking out of your room. There is also a small gym which has a number of free weights, treadmill, weight machine and multi-functional cardio trainer.
Breakfast is served at Pasta Brava. While the restaurant is located inside the hotel, it is managed separately.
Morning meals are served ala-carte style. Guests choose a dish of their choice from the menu. At the time of my visit, this included an American Breakfast Platter, Granola and Yogurt, Pancakes, Omelette, etc. You do get all your day time essentials here such as cold cuts, eggs and bread. One defining feature of their breakfast is that guests may order up to 3pm. But do note it starts relatively late, at 8:30AM.
Overall, the trendy location and vivacious atmosphere of The Scarlet Singapore makes it a fitting option for those seeking something different from stuffy and business-y hotels. The hotel – being just a few minutes away from Raffles Place – would also suit independent-minded individuals and couples on romantic getaways.
The Scarlet Singapore
33 Erskine Road
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