If quirky design & cool ambiance is important to you, then make sure to check out the Wanderlust, a great boutique hotel hidden in Singapore's Little India.
Let’s just say we have a soft spot for boutique hotels. A true boutique hotel will often be small, usually independently owned, daring in design, creative in decor and generally in unknown or forgotten locations. They should be like that really great restaurant that’s down a dark ally, through a discreet door and that’s only meant to be utilized by those that know. This is what the Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore is all about!
When we pulled up, we were convinced the cab driver got the address wrong. We were at the end of a long street lined with bright shops and a large outdoor food hall across the street, that seemed a bit desolate. It wasn’t until I got out of the car and noticed the large Wanderlust sign hanging above the discreet white building next to us, that I realized we were in the right place. We had arrived...and after a group of old, shirtless men gave me huge smile, filled with absolutely no teeth, we figured worse case, we would make friends and embrace a 10 AM beer break.
Singapore's Little India
Little India is the complete opposite of what we expected Singapore to be and let’s be clear, it was awesome. The sidewalks aren’t manicured, the buildings are painted in such a way that clearly indicates there is no regulation board and the smell of herbs, spices and incense permeates the air. It’s slightly chaotic yet manages to feel laid back and relaxed.
But maybe that’s just it. This is how Little India is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be colourful, un-perfect and inspire the Wanderlust in us all (haha get it). It’s a small area that is begging to be explored, the alleys invite curiosity and if you’re lucky you’ll find the best Tikka of your life on one side, or maybe get a bad case of food poisoning on the other. That’s just the thing about Little India, you never know.
Our Room at the Wanderlust
If you ever give an artist the ability to do what they want, with no real guidelines or rules, the outcome will always be better. It’s like telling a chef to cook you their best meal. So when the Wanderlust hotel looked to design their interiors they contracted 4 Singaporean design agencies, told them each to pick a floor and do as they wish. The only rule must have been, that the rooms have to have a bed, but other than that, everything was acceptable and the result was a whimsical and very unique hotel.
Each floor is elaborately designed from origami like ceilings and an all white aesthetic on one floor, to another level that has each room dedicated to a certain color (even the toothbrush holders match). Or if you want a bit more space you can stay in the “Monster” lofts where you might just find a floor to ceiling typewriter monster lurking in your room.
We stayed on the third floor dubbed the "Oragami" floor which had tall ceilings that seemed to fold into various origami shapes. The room was simple, yet the awesome light control that allowed us to change the color in our room, entertained us for quite sometime.
The hotel itself is quite small, but perfect if you’re just looking for an artsy untypical hotel to call home for a few days. With only 29 rooms spread across 4 floors, each room comes with all the conveniences you need and offers a relaxing evening after a day exploring.
French Dim Sum at Cocotte
Even if you’re not staying at the Wanderlust (but you really should) you definitely need to make a reservation for their Sunday brunch at Cocotte. Unless you’ve had French fusion comfort food served Dim Sum style, it’s unlike anything you’ll most likely ever experience.
You’ll start your meal by being poured a glass of cold prosecco, which is unlimited if you choose the alcohol plan, as you patiently wait for the carts to come around. We were served everything from cheesy grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade jam, to fresh salads, mussels steamed in white wine, roasted pork collar, to my favourite the poulet roti!
As soon as your done with the savouries sit back, enjoy more prosecco and wait for the dessert cart. Make sure to give yourself ample time, so you can build your appetite back up, to indulge in freshly homemade desserts and pastries…worth every calorie.
The menu changes weekly, depending on what the farmers bring in, so you’ll be surprised each visit. Reservations do go quickly, so plan ahead and make a reservation.
For more information about Wanderlust, make sure to visit their website: