Backstory It’s easy to feel like royalty while swimming in the Sofitel So Singapore’s chic, golden rooftop pool, which overlooks the Central Business District. That regal touch is no coincidence—everything here is fit for a king. Opened in a landmark 1927 building last summer, the 134-room boutique hotel joins the French luxury brand Sofitel’s new So line, in which each property collaborates with a fashion industry icon. Following in the footsteps of such designers as Kenzo Takada in Mauritius and Christian Lacroix in Bangkok, Karl Lagerfeld adds his uniquely stylish touch here.
Design Notes Lagerfeld designed the signature “Lion’s Seal” logo, which shows up on everything from doorknockers to robes. The emblem honors the mythic origins of Singa Pura (“The Lion City” in Malay), founded on this spot after a Sumatran prince came across a lion—a sign of good fortune—here. Rooms pair 19th-century French decadence with local flair. Guests sleep under a faux “open” sky, thanks to ceiling light fixtures that call to mind the steel-and-glass cupolas Gustave Eiffel once created, and playful artworks include framed Pop Art portraits of Napoléon Bonaparte.
Hot Dish Helmed by one of the city’s only female hotel executive chefs, Anne-Cecile Degenne, the chic Xperience restaurant features a lineup of decadent fusion dishes, like lobster and scallop laksa risotto, chipotle chili crab tacos, and foie gras and truffle siew mai. (Grab a seat near the exposed kitchen to watch Degenne at her custom-made, rose-gold Molteni oven.) The East-meets-West vibe extends to the cocktail menu in tipples like the #35, which takes its name from the hotel’s street address and is made with Tanqueray 10 gin, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac and pandan syrup.
What You’ll Find Just Outside Just a few steps from the hotel’s front door is the 19th-century Lau Pa Sat (“Old Market”), a traditional food hall that is such a local legend it was actually named a national landmark in 1973. The distinctive octagonal space—with its cathedral-like arches, slender columns and wrought-iron filigree work—was designed by British architect George Coleman, the brains behind much of the city’s civil engineering. These days, the market is the perfect spot to try Singaporean delicacies such as Hainanese chicken rice, satay and Tiger Beer.