I stayed at Wanderlust as a guest of Oakwood.
SINGAPORE | Wanderlust: The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood is a boutique hotel in Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood.
It’s part of Oakwood’s “Unlimited Collection”, a selection of hotels that aim to provide guests with “a departure from the conventional short-stay hotel experience”. It’s a funky, modern hotel, housed in a 1920s Art Deco style building that was renovated in 2021.
Wanderlust is located on the eastern fringe of Little India. On one side, it’s the vibrant local food, shopping, and architecture that Little India has to offer. On the other side, there’s the youthful neighbourhood of Jalan Besar, with its trendy bars and restaurants. The exciting Kampong Glam neighbourhood is a short 10 minute walk away.
The hotel’s location makes it a great option when visiting Singapore if you’re really looking for that local’s vibe that you don’t get when you stay downtown. It’s only a 20 minute drive from Changi Airport. If you need to catch the metro, Jalan Besar MRT station is literally around the corner, a two minute walk away.
Little India is a neighbourhood you’ll want to simply wander around in. It’s full of colour and life, with some of the best examples of traditional Singaporean shophouses in the city. The six story electronics mega centre, Sim Lim Square, is in the area, along with 24/7 multi-level, multi-building, Mustafa Centre. For amazing Indian and Malay hawker food, along with clothing and fresh produce, bustling Tekka Centre is a must visit.
The hotel features 29 fully furnished rooms across five categories – Deluxe, Studio Deluxe, Studio Premier, Junior Studio Loft, and Studio Loft. Due to the heritage nature of the property, each room has a slightly different layout, but there is much consistency. Gone are the bold, brash colours of the hotel’s prior incarnation. They’ve been replaced with a more relaxed palette of white, grey, and brown, with good use of natural materials such as wood.
The queen-sized Simmons bed, with soft pillows and linen is very comfortable. Paired with blackout curtains, a comfortable, good night’s sleep is easy to get. Housekeeping services are offered daily.
Each room contains a small desk and chair, plush lounge chair, kitchenette, bar fridge, electric safe, phone for free local calls, large TV, coffee and tea making facilities, bottled water, a safe, iron, and ironing board. I was particularly impressed by the clever use of space, especially in regards to the kitchenette with its filtered water tap, stove, and microwave. The backlit storage space under the bed is also very convenient.
Bathrooms feature rain showers, organic toiletries from local brand Ashley & Co, and amenity kits. It was nice to see the toiletries dispensed from pump bottles to be more environmentally friendly.
I was working remotely during my stay, and was able to do so effectively. There’s free and fast Wi-Fi in all rooms (and throughout the hotel). It didn’t skip a beat even when I was working with, and uploading and downloading, very large files. Power adaptors are available to borrow from reception, which is open 24/7.
Wanderlust contains a laundry room on level two with a washing machine and a dryer that’s free for guests to use. If you want to chill outside, there’s an outdoor courtyard featuring a small dipping pool and lounge chairs.
In the lobby, you’ll find something that I thought was wonderful idea – the hotel’s “Mama Shop”. It’s small curated grab and go store concept that endeavours to showcase the best locally made artisanal food and retail products. Perfect for a snack and drink, and “non-touristy” mementos and gifts that are actually useful.
Eat & Drink
The hotel doesn’t have its own food and beverage offering per se. Rather, acclaimed chef Rishi Naleendra’s Sri Lankan restaurant Kotuwa, and its bar, seamlessly integrate into the lobby. It’s a popular restaurant, so do book in advance if you want a table. If you just want a cocktail and snack at the bar, you’ll be fine without a reservation.
Outside of the hotel, there are no shortage of diverse options for food and drink. Follow your nose and the sight of locals enjoying a feed at any one of the delicious and affordable hawker spots that spill out onto the streets of Little India. For breakfast, the aforementioned Tekka Centre is a winner. Nearby favourites of mine include Indian restaurants Om Murugan Vilas Idly, and Mr Biryani; Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice, Sungei Road Laksa, and Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant. For a drink, craft beer specialists Druggists (who also have great cocktails, wines, and snacks) is a must.
Wanderlust: The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood
2 Dickson Road
Telephone: 6396 3322
E-mail: [email protected]kwood.com