WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The property was built adjoined to nine restored pre-war Art Deco shophouses. One of them was the original location of the city’s famed Rendezvous (Hock Lock Kee) Nasi Padang Restaurant, which has since relocated to Eu Tong Sen Street. The hotel is named in tribute of this institution.
Opened in 1998 as Rendezvous Grand Hotel, the interior has been renovated a number of times, most recently in November 2013 when contemporary artworks were added to reflect the area’s artistic and cultural credentials, near the home of Singapore Art Museum, Singapore History Museum and National Museum of Singapore. The pieces range from static sculptures and paintings to interactive multimedia art installations. I particularly loved the giant masks, a little like two-dimensional Easter Island heads. On my floor, Cubist works were featured on the corridor carpets.
WHERE IS IT?
This place is only a few minutes’ stroll from the city’s retail belt on Orchard Road and two subway stations – Bras Basah and Dhoby Ghaut. Chijmes, a nightlife complex converted from the historical structure of a Catholic convent, is also nearby.
My Rendezvous Club room, on one of the top floors, offered an open city view, and although modest in size (at about 28-30 sqm) the use of bright, light colours gave it a spacious feel. Above the headboard was an art piece based on one of Oscar Wilde’s famous lines “Illusion is the first of all pleasures”, continuing the hotel’s artistic theme.
Across the room was a wide but rather shallow work desk and a mounted flatscreen TV as well as a block shelf holding a DVD player. The twin bed was very comfortable with plush duvets. Near the door a decent-sized closet contained terrycloth bathrobes, slippers, iron and ironing board, as well as space for a suitcase.
Universal sockets were available throughout the room, including two above the desks and one above each nightstand.
The bathroom, featuring grey tiles and a big mirror, had a shower stall and a bidet toilet.
The club room also came with personalised check-in at the Club Rendezvous, where an exclusive breakfast and evening cocktails were served. I was also offered a 20 per cent discount on laundry and dry-cleaning services.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The Courtyard at Rendezvous Gallery is a shopping arcade with a glass ceiling letting in natural light. This is basically a lounge serving drinks and the standard afternoon tea experience. Facing the street is Straits Café, which is an all-day dining option that serves a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as an a la carte menu. One of its signature dishes is laksa, a hearty coconut curry soup with heaps of seafood, including lobster. The Library, a lobby bar, serves the classic Singapore Sling and martinis just the way you like them. This space is relaxing with its high ceiling, shelves of books, art pieces and long sofa chairs.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
There is some 880 sqm of banquet space, with six function rooms that can accommodate from 10 to 240 people. Club guests have access to Club Rendezvous, which is a modern and understated facility with a good view, perfect for private meetings.
The hotel has a reasonably large swimming pool surrounded by potted plants, although I did not find it to be quite “Balinese-inspired” as the website described it. The fitness centre, which opens from 6am to 10pm, is a little small, but it has a good range of equipment for a thorough workout. Its full-length windows looking out to the pool makes it feel less claustrophobic.
A very good option if you are tired of cookie-cutter hotels. It is fun to muse on some of the rather surreal art pieces, and the bedding promotes a restful sleep. The location is very convenient.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 298 units in four categories: superior, deluxe, junior suite and club (located on the top three floors).
- HIGHLIGHTS Comfortable bed, contemporary art pieces, superb location
- PRICE Rendezvous Club Room SG$440.00 (US$350)
- CONTACT 9 Bras Basah Road, Singapore; +65 6336 0220; stayfareast.com