“Are we in Singapore?”, my photographer and I first asked ourselves when we arrived at Victoria Hotel Singapore. Although we were alerted that Victoria Hotel Singapore is located in the melting pot of Indian and Peranakan influences, little did we expect this elegant 210-room hotel to be built in a row of well conserved pre-war shop houses that are adorned with beautiful Straits Chinese carvings and motifs on the walls inside. Our first impression of Victoria Hotel Singapore was totally the opposite of the futuristic and sophisticated glass and steel fortress-like Singapore.
As we set our foot in the hotel, my colleague and I were fascinated by its smart interior of the hotel and were blown away by the very soothing scent of the hotel. According to Christina Tan, the Marketing Manager of Far East Hospitality Management, Victoria Hotel Singapore has its own secret scent, made from several herbs blended to intentionally create a soothing and welcoming ambience.
Early this year, this 20-year old hotel had gone through a refurbishment exercise, which was done stage-by-stage to avoid inconvenience to the guests. Since completion of the refurbishment in June 2014, the hotel management has been receiving lots of positive feedback from the regular as well as first-timer guests.
Being travellers, spending nights in a hotel means everything. Therefore, a good hotel must always have a comfy bed and pillows for the guests to have a good rest at the end of the day. Both my colleague and I personally enjoyed our sleep at Victoria Hotel Singapore very much as the bed and pillows were remarkably comfortable that we did not want to leave them – and we are NOT exaggerating.
The rooms come in different sizes depending on the types. Each room promises a very comfortable bed and pillows, bathroom with bathtub, basic facilities such as iron, mini bar (complimentary for Premier Rooms and above only) safety box, television with local and international channels, and access to free Wi-Fi. What more could a traveller ask?
Besides the cosy rooms, Victoria Hotel Singapore also provides a 24-hour gym equipped with treadmills, cycles and weights and two 4-seater Jacuzzi. It also offers two function rooms, perfect for small and medium-sized events that can accommodate up to 80 guests.
Victoria Hotel Singapore’s restaurant, Albert Cafe, serves huge selections of local and international fare throughout the day. Located at the second floor of the hotel, Albert Cafe is not just another restaurant because each dish is made with passion and love, making each of them tastes so good! The restaurant features intricately carved wooden furniture and distinctive paintings of Singapore’s flora and fauna, making you feel like having meal at one of your relatives’ homes.
For breakfast, we filled ourselves up with cereal, fresh fruits, fruit juices, fried rice, including the traditional putu mayam (popular Southern Indian string hoppers) that we almost couldn’t move from our chairs! Dining in at Albert Cafe is worth the investment not only because of the great selection (and taste!) of food, but also because of the restaurant homey ambience.
In case you needed a different gastronomic exploration, you can also drop by at Casa Latina, located right at the doorstep of the Victoria Hotel Singapore. Casa Latina offers authentic Mexican food for guests who feel like adding some Mexican spice to their taste buds. The restaurant is a great alternative for those who want to try the taste of Mexico while being on the island republic.
Besides the great value that Victoria Hotel Singapore offers, this hotel offers amazing experience for their guest to explore a different side of Singapore, which is not usually seen in the media. Victoria Hotel Singapore is located on Albert Street, which is only a 5-minute stroll to Little India and a 10-minute walk to the famous Bugis Street. Both of these places offer an amazing view of different side of Singapore where you can see multiracial Singaporeans living their daily lives and doing their daily activities such as buying fish at the market, eating at local places, interacting and going off and about.
In Little India, Muslim travellers will be able to find lots of halal food at the Little India market, sold by Indian Muslims. Since both halal and non-halal food are sold in the same area, the easiest way to distinguish halal food sold here is that halal food is served in polystyrene plates and cutlery, while the non-halal food are served on plastic plates. We personally love the idea of separating the dining ware for halal and non-halal since this way gives better peace of mind among Muslim diners.
Bugis Street is a very lively place at night and is a haven for those who love to shop. It offers delightful street food, souvenirs and clothings, all at affordable prices. However, it is best to avoid going Bugis Street during weekends as it attracts overly large crowd.
Victoria Hotel Singapore is definitely one of Far East Hospitality’s crown jewels as this hotel is rich with unique flavours and has a lot to offer to their guests. Besides being elegant and efficient at the same time, the hotel’s attentive and friendly service definitely won us over. We love the fact that each staff was helpful and friendly, making us feel all the more welcomed and wanting to return soon.
I suppose it is safe to say that the welcomingly intimate Victoria Hotel Singapore is indeed a wonderful antithesis to Singapore’s impersonal glass-and-steel and should be made as the bolthole for travellers who yearn to really experience a slice of the island’s authentic local lifestyle.