The proliferation of boutique hotels over the past decade has produced mixed results. Those who are suckers for aesthetics (present company included) gravitate to these experiments in accommodation, and often times that's exactly what they are: exercises in form over function. You so badly want to like the place, but flaws in design render the place less than ideal. A bathroom out of Wallpaper Magazine is alluring to the eye...until you find that the shower is such that water spills out onto the main bathroom floor. Or the bed, whose linens you want to smuggle home in your luggage, offers all the comfort of a rec room beanbag. Or the front desk/concierge personnel -- decked out in fabulous ensembles -- have zero inclination to be of help, and lack the courtesy to offer so much as a smile.
There are hotels -- many of them of the old guard -- that offer great service. And there are quite a few who give great attention to design. Naumi is the rare place that accomplishes both beautifully.
Naumi has only 40 some-odd rooms, which allows the staff to give you personalized attention. Singapore is a foodie's paradise and the front desk was enthusiastic to recommend their favorite local, off-the-beaten-path food hawker centers. Public transportation in Singapore is world-class, but bus maps are difficult to find. No worries: a concierge will give you not one -- but two convenient routes -- to the Botanical Gardens in the more remote/expat area of town.
The rooms are, in a word, sexy. Amber back lighting behind the headboard gives the room an attractive hue. The bathroom, even in the smaller Deluxe/standard 52sqm rooms, offers plenty of space (and Kiehl's products...yar!). iPod deck, LCD TV, DVD player, work desk, power A/C, etc. Naumi's rooftop pool is every bit as inviting as it appears on the website. And the location is an easy 3-minute walk to the City Hall MRT stop.
...and Naumi knows all of this.
I secured a reasonable "early bird rate" in the spring for my 3-night September visit back when Naumi was a relatively unknown quantity. When I contacted the sales manager about securing the same rate on my return trip a couple of weeks later, my request was met with incredulity. She suggested that she had no idea how I got that initial rate to begin with and couldn't come close -- and you can't really blame her. As the 40-room Naumi continues to establish its reputation as the only 5-star quality boutique accommodation in an expensive hotel market, I suspect the days of locking in anything under $315 SG are over.
Still, given the exorbitant rates you'll pay elsewhere, the Naumi might still be your best bet -- even at the higher rates.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Naumi Hotel is an intimate retreat in Singapore that presents a selection of 73 elegantly-appointed rooms to cocoon guests in comfort. Find refuge and resplendence in Naumi Hotel with a huge selection of handpicked original design pieces from B&B Italia, Poltrona Frau, Zanotta, Tom Dixon, Artemide, alongside an impressive collection of some specially commissioned Singaporean art. With an international design pulse that is both attractive and architecturally appealing, Naumi is the trendsetter. Set in the heart of the Singapore’s Central Business District, Naumi Hotel is a state-of-the-art boutique hotel located a stone’s throw away from the Suntec Convention Centre, the Formula One Track, and a myriad of inner-city shopping centres. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Metropole Hotel Singapore
- Naumi Hotel Singapore