One Farrer Hotel in Little India offers a plethora of room types perfect for a family staycation or even a longer stay option.
Located in Singapore’s bustling and colourful cultural district of Little India, One Farrer Hotel can seem like an odd choice to some for a staycation. After all, since its opening in 2014 the leading lifestyle hotel-resort is best known for being a solid accommodation option for those seeking treatment at Farrer Park Hospital right next door. That’s right; One Farrer Hotel draws on Singapore’s reputation as a stellar destination for medical tourism to fill its rooms.
But that is also exactly what makes 249-room One Farrer an excellent staycation choice, offering a wide variety of room types to suit any guest need. In fact, with a total of 14 distinctively different room types to choose from, from its standard Mint Room and family-friendly Mint Suite as part of Mint Hotel to the staggeringly luxurious options that are the Wisteria Villa and Calla Lily Presidential Villa as part of its newly-refurbished Sarrangong Villas, your real challenge is picking the right option for your stay.
We had an enjoyable stay in a Skyline Studio Room many years back when the hotel first opened; this time round we again had the pleasure of revisiting that experience.
Almost ten years on, the once trendy and vibrant design touches of the hotel’s lobbies and rooms (aside from the newly spruced-up villas, of course) now seem a little dated and somewhat worse for wear. But it’s always what you don’t see that’s the magic of One Farrer Hotel. From anti-microbial gapless vinyl flooring and roller blind fabrics to the anti-viral wall coverings and paints, those initial design choices – which helps mitigate disease spread and allows for easy disinfection – offer health and wellness security that’s particularly welcome in these pandemic days.
And one of the advantages of the Skyline Studio Room? Lounge access. You’ll be grateful for it, particularly during pre-dinner happy hour.
As for the Skyline Studio Room itself? It’s as large as we’ve remembered, at least for two people. There’s a living area when you first enter, along with its own attached bathroom. Further beyond is the equally large bedroom with its massive, comfortable king-sized bed. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a great view of the hotel’s surroundings, and thankfully automated full shut-out curtains can be activated for the perfect night’s sleep.
But it’s really the huge bathroom that will take your breath away. Here you’re looking a full-sized bathtub that’s flanked by a shower section, toilet, as well as a vanity area in a space that’s bigger than some one-room apartments. It’s certainly as luxurious as some of those you get at exclusive island resorts.
As for amenities, One Farrer’s full-sized gym and swimming pool are worthy of note. But rooms on the hotel’s Skyline floors – lounge access! – can peruse a smaller but more private pool next to the lounge. There was also once a small but exclusive gym on this floor, but it was closed during the pandemic and has not reopened.
The hotel’s in-house Escape Restaurant, once located on the lobby floor, has been relocated to a smaller space on Level 6, offering a concise contemporary grill house menu with popular Western and Asian options. The Super Lobster Laksa comes highly recommended, and the Kaya Toast Mille-Feuille is also particularly inventive. Then there’s Nest at One Farrer. This is a bespoke private dining experience served up in a number of its villas with special set menus carefully curated by Executive Chef Marcus Tan and Pastry Chef Wee Pai Hau.
Or you can venture out. Little India is a veritable food wonderland, and there are good options aplenty within walking distance from the hotel especially if you love Indian food. Otherwise there’s Michelin-starred Putien on Kitchener Road with its award-winning Heng Hwa cuisine barely a five-minute walk away, or Sushi Jin just downstairs if you’re craving Japanese. Go a little further to Jalan Besar and there are even more dining alternatives.
Chances are, though? You’ll rather be spending a lot of time lounging in your Skyline Studio room bathtub or at the hotel’s full-sized swimming pool.
Verdict: One Farrer Hotel is an excellent staycation option for couples and families looking to explore the environs of Singapore’s Little India cultural district. Service is consistently good. For art lovers, the hotel’s award-winning permanent collection of over 400 pieces of original contemporary Asian abstract art alone makes the hotel fun to explore.